No Child Left Behind
The United States Military has a motto, "Leave no man behind," on the battlefield. In almost every youth ministry interview I have been asked some variant of the question, "What would you do if you discovered that you've left a student at a location?" As a youth worker who loves taking students on

Youth Ministry Exchange - When God Shows Up
Last week, I found myself staring at the glowing stars on display in the splendor of the wide open Oregon night sky at Grove Christian Camp, just outside of Cottage Grove. It was approaching 1:30am. The previous hour was spent chatting with two of my campers one-on-one, each of whom poured out their

Jake Smith Fights Breast Cancer
Singer/songwriter Jake Smith has chosen to take part in a battle of awareness, a battle that far too many men ignore. After his mother was diagnosed with a second bout of breast cancer, Smith decided to take a proactive role in breast cancer awareness by partnering with the National Breast Cancer Fo

Jesus Justice: So Easy a Five-Year-Old Can Do It
Justice is so easy even a five-year-old can do it. It took me a long time to figure that out. Even though I’ve spent the better part of a lifetime committed to the idea of justice, determined to live for justice, I really couldn’t define it until last year.

I Knew Better
Our textbook leadership retreat involved planning, training, worship, playing and eating. (We are Baptist after all.) We were wrapping up our last training session when I remembered that I hadn't mentioned appropriate boundaries between students and adult staff.

The Power of a Mentor
I am the product of good mentoring. When I was in high school, LoriJo Schepers was one of my mentors. She helped me start an outreach ministry on my high school campus.

The Power of Small Groups
There are times when smaller is even better, and healthier. Growing deeper, sharing life together, becoming more intimate, real, honest and open really comes from the power of small groups.

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives
I intend to look at one of the most powerful forces in the lives of teenagers today: the music they listen to. Every generation has grown up listening to and, in some cases, being shaped by the music of the era.

I've been re-thinking the whole youth ministry sex talk. While I haven't given one yet, I think it's good to think about this far ahead of actually doing one. Especially in the light of what I really want to communicate if and when I get to have these kind of conversations with students.

Growing Souls by Mark Yaconelli
His latest book, Growing Souls: Experiments in Contemplative Youth Ministry, shares stories, experiences, conversations, and insights from the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project (YMSP), an initiative by the San Francisco Theological Seminary that Yaconelli co-founded in 1996.