8 Hacks to Make your Overnighter Great

I’ve never understood why youth workers hate overnighters, they are my absolute favorite thing! …Sparingly, admittedly. My first day at my current church, 5 years ago, was an overnighter. The relationships that I built that first day with students and leaders set me up for success. Now, each overnighter, I reflect on it as my “anniversary date,” and try to make each one better than the last.

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Attendance Isn’t Everything

Over the last 3 years, I’ve been working at a smaller church in Northeast Kentucky. When I accepted the position at my current congregation, I was 20 years old and a full-time student. I was young (I’m still young) and inherited a small youth ministry that consisted primarily of young middle school students hungry to learn. Over the next 2-3 years as the youth ministry matured, so did the original middle schoolers.

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Partnering with Parents is Good for Everyone

Hands up if you’ve ever found that working with parents in your youth ministry setting can be tedious? I’m with you. I’ve been in and around youth ministry for nearly a decade in different ways, but it’s only now that I have begun to feel like I’ve made some headway in my partnership with parents.

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The LGBTQI Conversation

At a recent UK gathering of Christian Youth Workers the most requested area of advice and training was surrounding the LGBTQI conversation. Yep, I said it friends, conversation. The use of the word ‘issue’ or ‘situation’ in this context, I find, is at best unhelpful and at worst, spiritual abuse.

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A Day at the Beach

A day off of school for some of us who live in Florida, means a day at the beach. There are many beaches to choose from here in Florida, and even in November it was perfect beach weather. Over the years I have experienced many trips to the beach with my family and with youth groups and I have noticed that they usually fall into two categories. First, there is the ‘oh, look the beach, let’s stop’. This is the trip that is spontaneous and has people rolling up their pant legs to wade into the surf.

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Turning Moments into Discipleship Moments

Jesus was propelled forward by a vision: to teach young disciples about the Kingdom of God and who He was. He knew what to teach and when. He didn’t start by telling James and John “Come follow me. By the way, I’m going to die so let’s make the most of this.” He understood the season and stage the disciples individually were in and used those moments to teach what they needed to hear in that moment. Jesus found ways to teach in the midst of his everyday life.

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Embrace the Chaos

Last year I started a new position in a new church community. One of the things I had observed right off the bat as I was evaluating the culture was how noisy and rambunctious this particular group of students were. Don’t get me wrong, this can easily describe many groups of students (especially middle schoolers!).

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This is Just the Beginning

We’ve all been there before. Maybe it’s the worship night or the big event with the guest speaker. It could be the last night at camp or the one time you take a week out of a series to talk about Heaven and Hell. I’m talking about that one night where it seems like every kid wants to get saved (maybe for the third or fourth time).

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