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This resource will be invaluable for any of us that call ourselves leaders, no matter where we are at in life. Everything rises and falls on leadership. That's why it's so important that we take the time to evaluate ourselves occasionally on how we are doing personally as we lead others.
In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "10 Point Leadership Self-Assessment Test: How Much Of A Leader Are You Really?" I'm challenging all of us to use these 10 points to gauge how we are doing leadership-wise. Let this be both an encouragement for you in the areas you are doing great and a chance to put the target on the wall for yourself in areas that could use some improvement.
When I was training in college to enter youth ministry, I often mentally moaned about the lack of "real world courses" that would prepare me for my ministry journey. Now, more than four decades along, I stand by those early thoughts. One course I wish they taught in college was "Conflict Resolution 101." After all, it's everywhere! Whether it's a parent who is furious because you're not treating their child "fairly" or a church member who thinks the music in the youth service is "of the devil," conflicts are a natural part of ministry.
The truth of the matter is where there are people, there is conflict. Yet, it's important for all of us as leaders to be able to deal with conflict in the right way. If we don't, unresolved conflict, in any arena, can "eat away" at even the strongest of us.
That is why we're sharing "10 Principles For Handling Youth Ministry Conflict" in this Alliance. In the video you'll hear ten practical and healthy ways to handle the very thing we often want to shy away from -- conflict. Unresolved conflict with pastors, leaders, parents, and students is easily one of the top things that take people out of ministry. Sad but true. However, if unresolved conflict can take people out, that means restored peace can help keep people IN the ministry for the long haul! That's sure our heart!
If you're in youth ministry, you know counseling is a significant part of the job description and can be one of the most rewarding things you do. All too often, however, it can feel like a huge black hole...a total waste of time due to the lack of results.
It doesn't have to be that way! While one of my college degrees was in counseling, allow me to share with you 12 things they never taught me in the classroom. The wisdom I've gained through my ministry run will not only help you crawl out of the black hole and get some decent results, it will also save you time...something there never seems to be enough of.
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You're not surprised by the topic of this Youth Leader's Coach are you? Boredom is a fact of life with anything you decide to do with consistency for the long haul.
Even Michael Jordan got bored, but instead of coasting he chose to get creative. He found new ways to do the basic drills to stay sharp when others found it easy to get lazy. He fought through the boredom and became a legend.
If we want to be more than good in youth ministry, but for the Lord's honor want to be great, we too must intentionally and strategically shake up our routines and take care of ourselves. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's wrestle through this thing...together!
Choosing to get creative,
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We all know that good volunteers are hard to find, but they're even harder to keep! There's a million legitimate things that can cause great people to quit, but it's our role to help manage those things effectively so our volunteers will stay in the game long-haul. That's why I wanted to share this resource with you.
In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "16 Reasons Why Good Volunteers Quit," I'm sharing from my more than 40 years of experience 16 of the most common reasons I've found why good leaders quit and how we can tackle them effectively.
This Youth Leader's Coach, "20 Things Guys On Your Youth Leadership Team Want The Lady Leaders To Know," is sure to become one of your favorites! It's the companion to the one I did from the female perspective. Granted, last time I checked, I'm a million miles from being a guy. So rest assured that I interviewed many of the male species to get their "top twenty." The results were eye-opening in some cases.
So listen carefully to what many men in youth ministry would love to communicate to the female leaders on their team. And then feel free to make copies of both this Youth Leader's Coach and its companion, "25 Things Ladies On Your Leadership Team Wish Male Leaders Knew About Them." Hand them out to your leaders and I assure you that the unity and understanding on your team will go up. After all, a popular writer tells us that "Men are from Mars and women are from Venus!" No matter how much we all love teenagers, we're wired up pretty differently.
Your Venus Cheerleader,
Have you noticed? You can't go anywhere without running into a "24" fan. Jack Bauer has truly stood the test of time and, in many ways, can teach us a thing or two. In this hit TV series, we see him continually live out a simple truth that most Christ-followers don't even get. What truth is that? It's the awareness that our daily decisions can derail, detour or drive us toward our destiny. Both Jack's victories and defeats reveal that he "gets it."
In this issue of the Source, you'll get a glimpse into one of our outreach nights. Because "24" is so popular, we wrapped our entire evening around it and the difference a day can really make. Using every art form imaginable - video clips, drama, human video, a poem and a story - we not only captured the attention of the audience, but challenged and encouraged them to take a hard look at their daily decisions, especially in regard to friendships and failure.
So grab a cup of coffee and listen in on this jam packed night. It was one we'll not soon forget.
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One of the biggest challenges in youth ministry is money! Through the years, I've done countless fundraisers. So, in this Youth Leader's Coach, I'm going to share with you some of my very best ideas.
Listen in on "24 Ways To Raise Money Without Washing Cars" and I guarantee that you will come away with some new strategies that will make your fundraising adventures a whole lot easier, more profitable and, maybe, even fun!
This is one of those times together that you will want to copy and give to all the guys in your leadership team! Better yet, if you are bold, make copies for your female leaders too and then ask them how you're doing (if you're a male leader). I've entitled our time together "25 Things Ladies On Your Leadership Team Wish Male Leaders Knew About Them."
Through the years in youth ministry, I've repeatedly heard girls bemoan some of the same issues with men in the youth leadership trenches. This is especially true of ladies who work on the team of a male youth pastor. So I had some fun and decided to create this Youth Leader's Coach around 25 of those most repeated themes. You'll have fun listening. Even more, I think you'll hear some things that will help sharpen teamwork in your youth ministry with some of the amazing females around you.
Still laughing at "Women's Lib,"
Over the last decades the students in my ministries have gone through lots of culture shifts. From the Baby Boomers...to Generations X, Y, Z, Millennials, iGen, and Gen Alpha. One of the most common questions I get asked is, "How do you connect with and leave a footprint on the next generation?" That's what this Youth Leader's Coach is all about. I share 5 "Non-Negotiables" for reaching the next generation, whatever they happen to be calling them.
These 5 simple principles have remained consistent as I've reached almost 5 decades of students. So listen in. Together we will raise a generation of young people that will say with confidence, "Jesus, we are yours!"
Listen to a master communicator, Andy Stanley, as he shares five questions which help him reach his communication goals each time he plans a message. He also shares some great topic ideas for your next message. You'll love this one!
Someone asked me recently, “What are some things that would have helped you along the ministry journey if you would have known them when you started?” It started my heart and mind reaching back over the more than four decades of youth and young adult ministry experience to make some summations of some of what I’ve learned along the journey.
Listen in as I unpack 5 things that I most wish someone would have shared with me early on when I began in youth ministry. Many of these lessons I’ve learned the painful way. It is my prayer that I can encourage you by helping you avoid some of the same pitfalls I made in my journey.
Jesus regularly went to the synagogue. David prayed seven times a day, and Daniel three. Zacchaeus offered sacrifices "as was his custom." What are your daily success rituals? Do you have any? Have you thought about them lately?
Honestly, we really don't decide our future, but decide our habits. Our habits, in turn, are what determine our future. The statement is so true, "The secret of our future can be found in our daily routines."
With that in mind, our daily routines are far too important not to intentionally spend some time focusing in on them. So grab your coffee, have a seat in your favorite chair and listen in as we get strategic in creating our daily success rituals.
As a youth leader, have you ever thought when counseling someone, "If you only knew"? If you only knew that I too wrestle with doubts, insecurities, and mind games. If you only knew that I too struggle with unconquered sin patterns. If you only knew... The reality is that I do know. I know not only because you told me, but also from having faced my own "If you only knew..." challenges.
My heart's desire is that you suffer in silence no longer. Hopefully, this Youth Leader's Coach, "7 Things Youth Pastors Tell Me In Secret," will reach inside that secret place in your heart and provide you with large doses of encouragement, along with valuable wisdom and hope.
We think that this quarter's topic could be a game-changer for your ALLIANCE group. I think all of us enter youth ministry with high expectations and some UNREALISTIC ones. It's easy to become disillusioned when youth ministry doesn't work out the way we envisioned it. I created this coaching session from many of my talks with ALL OF YOU. The points I share are some of the repeating themes youth pastors and leaders tell me confidentially when they feel SAFE ENOUGH to open up their honest hearts. That's why we call this Alliance, "7 Things Youth Pastors Tell Me In Private."So, as you discuss with your gang some of the things that they may quietly wrestle with, may you hear each other all the way. It's not nearly as challenging when you know others deal with some of the same thoughts. Know, too, that we're all cheering you on from Atlanta.
I suppose nothing challenges most of us in youth ministry more than trying to make enough time each day to get everything done that seems to demand our attention. Over the years in youth ministry, I've made it a habit to occasionally re-evaluate my own time management in light of my personal dreams and goals.
In this Youth Leader's Coach, I share with you the eight key questions I ask myself periodically to "keep myself on track." Peter Drucker says, "Efficiency is doing things right, but effectiveness is doing right things." So grab a cup of coffee, consider transcribing my eight questions, and then spend some time evaluating your time management in light of these thoughts. I promise the results will be both challenging and rewarding.
Yours for being EFFECTIVE in Youth Ministry,
You'll love this Source! It's the first night with my new youth group and my strategic announcement of launching small groups. You'll hear me take a run at what our youth ministry can look like over the next year and how the students can be involved in creating the next 8,760 hours together.
You don't have to be starting with a new ministry like I am to use this Source. It's a great message to use if you just want to "refresh" your youth ministry at any point in the journey. With some thought provoking monologues from both students and leaders, a few key Scriptures and some quotes, we saw the atmosphere of the room change as we built a dream for the future.
You may also want to listen to the Youth Leader's Coach that goes with this message, "Thoughts From The Starting Line."
The wisdom of Proverbs 23:7 tells us, "For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he." And, James Allen echoed it well when he said, "You are today, where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow, where your thoughts take you."
How we "think" is such a key component of success that, in this Youth Leader's Coach, we are going to cash in on ten years of study by Dr. Seymore Epstein, Chairman of the Psychology Department at the University of Massachusetts, on how super achievers think.
As you listen, honestly evaluate yourself on the nine distinct patterns that emerged and zero in on a couple areas where opportunity for improvement exists in your life and ministry.
A few years back, a PBS special was aired about a war hero who was being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery on the battlefield. He was a "conscientious objector," so his role on the front lines was that of being an ambulance driver to get wounded soldiers back for medical treatment. He chose not to kill anyone in war, but risked being killed for the sake of others.
The Old Testament story of Samson, shows us another story of a man with great destiny on his life, who was willing to die for something, and a man who God used even after his past mistakes. In many ways, Samson was an "ambulance driver."
In this month's Source, "A Call For Ambulance Drivers," with the help of Samson, a hilarious skit, and some other must-see creative elements, I'm bringing to life the concept of GIVING YOUR LIFE AWAY for others. With the reminder that failure isn't fatal, to occasionally have holy anger, and to have the guts to pull down the pillars in our own lives, the challenge is sent out to our students. We too, can be ambulance drivers.