YS IDEA LAB: Derry Prenkert on Summer Camp

By Josh Griffin

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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, NYWC, parents, Youth Specialties, derry prenkert, Summer Camp, youth worker conferences, YS, ys idea lab, parent ministry, yoth pastor convention, next level leadership

5-Minute Youth Ministry: Networking with Mark Matlock

By Doug Fields

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GUEST POST: When Small Groups Aren't Working

By Josh Griffin

I love small groups! In fact, the church I serve at also loves small groups so much that they say we are not a church that does small groups; we are a church OF small groups. Small groups are a very important piece of the discipleship ministry in our student ministries department and as we are ready to end our small group season for the summer, I am already brainstorming for next year. In my planning I began to think, what happens when they don’t work? I say this because I have found that for some of our students, especially high school guys, small groups isn’t always something that they are willing to jump into. Of course this is always difficult for me because if I had it my way everyone would be involved in a small group ministry. So, what is the reason for pushback towards small groups? For some they may still not be at a place to make that commitment, or perhaps there is a lack of trust with a smaller community, perhaps they just don’t like small groups or maybe they are just comfortable showing up to our weekly outreach programs and leaving it at that. But here is the problem, if you are like me and the main piece of your discipleship ministry is small groups, then I think we would all be missing out if we just simply left these students in a place where discipleship is not happening because they are not showing up to a small group ministry.

So what can we do in this situation?

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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, small groups suck, discipleship, Small Groups, life groups, PRAY, guest posts, kevin klaus, promotion, small groups aren't working

GUEST POST: A New Season Ahead

By Josh Griffin

It's official! I'm starting a new season today.

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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, farewell post, children's ministry, ashley fordinal, big move, guest posts, last post, breakthrough, step of faith

The Best Gift To Give Your Seniors

By Justin Knowles

It's that time of the year when we say good-bye to the seniors. It's sad but amazing time because for most of them, they just spent 4 years in the ministry. What a great time it has been, am I right? This is the time of the year where we think about the perfect give to give the seniors during their last few moments in our ministry? Do we get them a book? A gift card? A slide show? Some sort of gift with the ministry logo on it so they always carry it around? Sure, why not. Who doesn't like free stuff? While I think it is great to want to give them a tangible something to take with them, I think we need to focus on the most valuable, something you can't take back, type gift.

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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, leadership, TIME, Graduation, small group, seniors

Summer Reading List

By Rachel Blom

It's been a bit quiet around the Download Youth Ministry Book Club, but that doesn't mean we were gone. It just means we were reading :)

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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, DYM Book Club, reading, books

3 Ways To Find Great Volunteers

By Geoff Stewart


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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, leaders, recruiting, Small Groups, volunteers

Making the Most of I.N.T.E.R.N.S. - Part 3

By Josh Griffin

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2

Regular coaching and mentoring
All interns should be assigned to both a supervisor who oversees their work and a leader who oversees their experience. For the work they are accountable to accomplish, interns need the management and teaching of a supervisor. This is the person they go to with questions about their projects and draw support from to finish their tasks. To ensure an excellent experience, an intern also needs a leader to help unpack all their lessons and struggles over the course of the internship. This allows a forum for questioning, asking “why is it done this way?”, and talking through failures, possible improvements, and successes.

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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, interns, internships, church interns, saddleback church, youth ministry internships, saddleback interns

Making the Most of I.N.T.E.R.N.S. - Part 2

By Josh Griffin

Here's some more really great stuff from our church on intern ministry - I first posted about some of the backstory a week ago right here - here's the first section of the acrostic I.N.T.E.R.N.S. - I'll post the rest tomorrow:

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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, interns, saddleback, internships, church interns, saddleback church, youth ministry internships

Fun Paintball Summer Camp Announcements Video

By Josh Griffin

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Topics: Youth Ministry Posts, saddleback church, hsm, Summer Camp, promo videos, mike brook, videos, colton harker, hsm summer camp, high school ministry, travis prouty

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Josh Griffin


Josh is the High School Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co- founder of DYM and is the father of 4 who speaks a little, writes a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot.

Blog Authors


Doug Fields

Doug Fields is a 30+ year youth ministry veteran who is the Author of 50+ books, Founder of Simply Youth Ministry, Speaker, Pastor, Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth & Family at Azusa Pacific University, and a Partner in DYM.


Rachel Blom

Rachel Blom is from The Netherlands originally and has youth ministry experience in several countries, both as a volunteer and on staff.


Justin Knowles

Justin Knowles is the Lead Next Gen. Pastor of Christ's Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA. He oversees Jr. High, High School and College ministries at the church.


Colton Harker

Colton Harker serves college-age students at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He loves Jesus, people, life change, and Netflix.


Christopher Wesley

Blogging serving at a Catholic Church. Chris Wesley has been in youth ministry for over 9 years as the Director of Student Ministry at Church of the Nativity in Maryland.


Jen Bradbury

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus and her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. She also blogs regularly at www.YMJen.com


Neely McQueen

Blogging about girls' ministry. Neely McQueen has been working with students for over 15 years. She works in Student Ministries at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, WA.


Leneita Fix

Author, Speaker, Director Ministry Development for Asian Youth Ministries. Love 22 years of working with youth and equipping others in the trenches in youth ministry.

Geoff Stewart

Geoff Stewart

Geoff Stewart serves the Jr/Sr High School Pastor at Peace Portal Alliance Church in Surrey B.C. and doesn't appreciate the jokes about being Canadian (unless they are funny of course).


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the founder of The Source for Youth Ministry and the author of over a dozen books like More Than Just the Talk and Connect.



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