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Hello #ChaosNation, and welcome to the new Controlled Chaos Podcast Companion Blog! Starting this week, we will post this Companion Blog every Wednesday as a way to help you connect and engage with the content of the weekly podcast.

This week Justin Herman comes to us from the iBelieve event in Cincinnati, OH, hosted by Christ In Youth (CIY). In our episode we’re talking with Juan Fallas of CIY, Carey Nieuwhof, and Matt Lewis.

Carey Nieuwhof is an author, former lawyer, blogger, husband, father and founding Pastor of Connexus Church. Carey’s podcast, Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast is one of the leading Leadership podcasts available. His new book, I Didn’t See That Coming, is currently on Amazons, Best Seller in Christian Leadership list.

Justin and Carey talk about his new book and the trends of leadership and the seven struggles that many deal with in ministry. Sharing from his own personal experience, Carey writes to encourage leaders to keep a healthy balance while in leadership. 

Since burnout is one of the biggest dangers for youth workers, Justin asks Carey for his best insights to recognizing, recovering, and setting up healthy boundaries within the context of junior high/youth ministry. Carey’s experience and how he dealt with his own burnout, provides really helpful ideas for youth workers who might be struggling with burnout or potential burnout.

If you think you might be heading toward burnout, give Justin’s interview with Carey Nieuwhof a careful listen, then reach out and seek help. Talk to a fellow youth worker. Reach out to us here at Controlled Chaos. Talk with your pastor. Don’t wait for burnout to sideline you and your ministry.

In the show’s second segment, Justin talks with Matt Lewis, a columnist for The Daily Beast and a political commentator with CNN. Justin and Matt tackle the topic, Youth Ministry in a Political World. Politics was a ministry taboo; one of those topics you never really talked about in the church setting. But politics today is reaching down to our students and effecting their world view. So how do we address the current political climate with our students?

Matt shares the impact of politics on students and culture, and how today’s politicians and the political climate have shifted from something respectable and educational to the division and tension we now see. We were once encouraged to watch the news and follow along with what was happening in government. However, Matt cautions us to consider the realities of today’s politicians and suggests that we encourage students to perhaps not watch, but instead read sources about political philosophy and theology to establish a foundation of understanding and knowledge before attempting to tackle the political playing field.

While we might not have to deal with political issues on a weekly basis, we have to remember that our students have access to so much more than many of us when we were students. From opinions to bullying to how we view politics in general, we need to consider how our faith is impacted by politics and how we as Christians impact the world around us.

Questions to consider…

  1. How healthy are your current leadership habits and practices? Are you appropriately resting so that you are ready to give he best you can give?
  2. How could doing less benefit your leadership and ministry?
  3. Who could you confide in and seek help from? Reach out to them and share your struggles.
  4. How often do you find yourself talking about issues that spawn from today’s political climate?
  5. What topics do you feel come up the most?
  6. What are some good practices that we could use when talking with students about political issues, politicians, and the state of our political culture?
  7. Do you encourage your students to participate in rallies, marches, or other political events? If so, what and why or why not?

Show Notes:

Episode 51 Carey Neiuwhof, Youth Ministry in a Political World with Matt Lewis from CNN and the Daily Beast Youth Ministry Junior High

Thanks to Christ in Youth, our exclusive podcast partner!!!! For info about CIY CLICK HERE

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Whose on this episode?

Justin Herman – Sandals Church

Carey Nieuwhof. Website | Twitter | New Book

Matt Lewis Twitter | The Daily Beast Writings | Book

Juan Fallas CIY: EMAIL HIM if you want to check out a CIY event!

Will from Pier 19 Creative. Will works with youth pastors, churches, and faith based organizations. We help churches with branding, logo design, sermon graphics, t-shirt designs, and more. Website or Instagram @pier19creative

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Meet the HOST!

Justin Herman

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Question or Show ideas? Email Justin at

Controlled Chaos Podcast: A junior high ministry podcast for youth workers!

Meet Jay Higham!

Jay Higham, Controlled Chaos Blog Manager

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