The Download Youth Ministry Blog/
22 Jul 2024

Reflecting on a Summer of Ministry

By |2024-07-22T13:02:16-07:00July 22nd, 2024|Youth Ministry Ideas|0 Comments

As we transition from summer to fall, it’s a great time to reflect on the experiences and lessons we’ve gathered over the past few months. Here’s some advice on how you can use the summer’s growth and experiences to strengthen your ministry year-round:

Student Testimonies: Harnessing Stories of Faith and Transformation

One powerful way to inspire your youth group is by sharing student testimonies. Here are a few ways to effectively incorporate these stories:

  • Encourage Sharing: Create opportunities for students to share their faith journeys, whether through dedicated testimony nights or casual discussions. Hearing peers speak about their experiences can be incredibly motivating for other students.
  • Document Experiences: Collect and document testimonies from summer camps, mission trips, and small groups. Written or video testimonies can be shared during fall events or posted on your ministry’s social media to highlight the transformative power of your programs.
  • Reflect on Growth: Use these testimonies as a starting point for discussions about personal growth and spiritual development. Reflecting on how students have grown over the summer can set the stage for continued growth in the fall.

Volunteer Highlights: Recognizing and Empowering Your Team

Your volunteers play a crucial role in your ministry’s success. Here’s how you can celebrate and empower them:

  • Showcase Dedication: Regularly recognize and celebrate the efforts of your volunteers. Highlight their contributions in newsletters, during services, or on social media. This not only shows appreciation but also motivates others to get involved.
  • Foster Creativity: Encourage volunteers to bring their creative ideas to the table. Whether it’s planning events or developing new programs, their unique perspectives can lead to innovative and engaging ministry opportunities.
  • Provide Support: Ensure your volunteers feel supported and valued. Offer training sessions, regular check-ins, and opportunities for feedback. A well-supported volunteer team is more effective and enthusiastic.

Key Takeaways: Applying Summer Lessons to Future Ministry

Reflecting on the lessons learned during the summer can help shape your ministry moving forward. Here are some key takeaways to consider:

  • Build Connections: Focus on building strong, personal connections with your students. Encourage small group participation, one-on-one mentoring, and casual hangouts to foster a sense of community and belonging.
  • Embrace Flexibility and Creativity: Be open to new ideas and adaptable in your planning. Flexibility allows you to respond to the evolving needs of your students, while creativity can lead to more engaging and memorable experiences.
  • Intentional Spiritual Growth: Design programs with intentional opportunities for spiritual growth. Incorporate prayer workshops, Bible studies, and service projects that challenge and inspire students to deepen their faith.

By reflecting on and applying these lessons, you can create a thriving ministry that nurtures the faith and growth of your students throughout the year. Let the successes and experiences of the summer guide and inspire your plans for the fall and beyond.

Need something to really help you get kickstarted with Fall? Check out DYM’s free customizable Fall Calendar!

15 Jul 2024

How to Do a Summer Check-In with Yourself in the Middle of a Crazy Season

By |2024-07-15T05:05:25-07:00July 15th, 2024|Leadership|1 Comment

As youth pastors, we know summer can be one of the busiest times of the year. Between camps, mission trips, and events, getting lost in the hustle and bustle is easy. Taking time for a self-check-in is essential to stay healthy, spiritually nourished, and effective in your ministry. You can’t serve from a place of complete burnout and exhaustion. It’s also near impossible to help others connect with God when you feel far from Him because you’re so busy serving.

Here are three steps to help you do just that:

1. Reflect and Reconnect with God

Why It’s Important: Your spiritual health is the foundation of your ministry. It’s challenging to pour into others effectively without a strong connection to God.

How to Do It:

  • Set Aside Quiet Time: Carve out at least 15-30 minutes daily to pray, read Scripture, and meditate on God’s word. This can be early morning, during a lunch break, or in the evening.
  • Journaling: Write down what God is teaching you during this season. Reflect on His faithfulness and any areas where you feel He’s leading you to grow.
  • Worship: Listen to worship music or sing your favorite hymns. Let the lyrics remind you of God’s goodness and sovereignty.

Pro Tip: Don’t see this as another task on your to-do list. It’s a vital time to refill your spiritual tank and hear from God amidst the busyness.

2. Evaluate Your Physical and Emotional Health

Why It’s Important: Your body and mind are instruments for God’s work. Neglecting your physical and emotional well-being can lead to burnout and affect the effectiveness of your ministry.

How to Do It:

  • Physical Health Check: Assess your current health habits. Are you getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and exercising regularly? Small adjustments can significantly affect your energy levels and overall well-being.
  • Emotional Health Check: Reflect on your emotional state. Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or joyful? It’s okay to acknowledge your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend, mentor, or counselor if you need support.
  • Rest and Recharge: Schedule downtime to rest and do things you enjoy. Whether reading a book, hiking, or spending time with family, prioritize rest.

Pro Tip: Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s essential. You can’t serve others well if you’re running on empty.

3. Reassess Your Ministry Goals and Priorities

Why It’s Important: During a busy season, losing sight of your ministry’s overarching goals is easy. Reassessing ensures you stay aligned with your mission and make the most impact.

How to Do It:

  • Review Your Goals: Review the goals you set at the beginning of the summer. Are you on track? Do any goals need to be adjusted or prioritized differently?
  • Celebrate Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate the successes and progress made, no matter how small. This can boost morale and provide encouragement to keep going.
  • Delegate and Collaborate: Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to your team or involve volunteers more. Empowering others lightens your load and fosters a sense of community and shared purpose.

Pro Tip: Keep a flexible mindset. Ministry is dynamic, and sometimes plans need to change. Be open to where God is leading, even if it’s different from your initial plan.


Taking time for a summer check-in can rejuvenate your spirit, mind, and body, enabling you to serve more effectively and joyfully. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Lean on God and your community, and take care of yourself to continue to pour into the lives of the youth you minister to.

8 Jul 2024

Start Recruiting in the Summer

By |2024-07-08T04:49:53-07:00July 8th, 2024|Training, Volunteers|2 Comments

Summer is wild! You may be reading this from your summer camp bunk or on a mission trip in another country. You may even read this after finishing up a wild week and needing a pick-me-up.

So, why am I encouraging you to start recruiting fall leaders right now? Don’t you have enough to do already?

The reality is that people will commit to things in the fall long before you start your first small group meeting. They may even be committed to things before school starts for their kids! Locking down volunteers right now will ensure that you’ve got the leaders you need to make ministry great this next season!

And you can start recruiting by asking just three questions:

Who has been hanging around?

Whenever you have an event or start your summer programming, who are the adults that seem to be hanging around? Sometimes, you can identify a potential leader just because they hang out with students without being asked to! This doesn’t mean parents who throw their students out of the car while the wheels are still spinning make great volunteers, but parents who stick around and chat should definitely be on your radar!

Who do the students gravitate to?

In the same vein, who do your students normally move towards? This might be a parent hanging out or a college leader stopping by the student ministry to check out what’s going on. If your students are already gravitating towards this potential leader, why wouldn’t you keep track of them and put them through your volunteer process?

Who do your leaders speak highly of?

Leaders recruit leaders! People know that you are supposed to be gathering a team of ministry volunteers, but what about your leaders, who are around all the time? Who do they know in your church that might be a good fit for student ministry? Ask around and see who your leaders would recommend. You might be surprised at who they already have in mind!

Get ready to train them!

These aren’t the end-all or an automatic pass for volunteers! You’ll still need to meet with them, vet them, and train them to make sure they help the student ministry grow! Speaking of training, have you heard of DYM’s amazing training?

This Fall, kick off your ministry year with a customizable video-driven, fun, and helpful event, with practical youth ministry training for your volunteer youth workers. It’s packed with energy, discussion time, and fun-filled “we get you” memorable moments, and over the last 5 years we’ve trained 70,000+ volunteers!

1 Jul 2024

You Will Always Be Their Youth Pastor

By |2024-07-01T05:51:34-07:00July 1st, 2024|Youth Ministry Ideas|3 Comments

I had a former student from my previous church reach out to me. That may not be the biggest deal, but the last time I was in a youth room with this student was about 15 years ago and four states away.

He thought of me because of how I ministered to him in his teenage years. I had impacted him, and because of that impact, he wanted to reach out to me when he needed some encouragement and direction.

No matter why you are no longer the youth pastor at your previous church, the students you ministered to will consider you their youth pastor. It doesn’t matter if you were promoted, fired, or moved across the country. There will be students who think back to their youth group days and think of YOU as their youth pastor.

So what can you do when those students reach back out to you?

Pray for Them

Usually, former students reach out because they need some spiritual direction. In this time of searching, remember to take some time to pray for them. This may seem secondhand to some, but for those of you who may no longer be at a church but instead work in a different field, it may not be as intuitive.

We talk about our students being missionaries at their school. We encourage them to pray for their friends, teachers, coaches, etc. We may forget this for ourselves when we’re no longer working at a church.

Remember that these students see you as their spiritual leader. Or, at the very least, remember you as such. Take this opportunity to lead them spiritually!

Be Their Cheerleader

Have you ever reached out to a friend or family member for help in a time of need? What did you need from them? Hope? Wisdom? Love? Encouragement?

Probably a little bit of all of those.

Take this opportunity to be your former student’s cheerleader!

They may have reached out to you during real pain, worry, anxiety, or fear. Encourage them in their time of need!

Remind them how much God loves them, that you love them, and that you are on their team.

Help Them Get Connected

The former student who reached out to me sought consistent spiritual guidance. Now, in the time of Zoom and FaceTime and all the ways we get connected, I could have offered them all of those things.

But I know what I need when I have been in those dark times.

I needed people.

Face to face, knee to knee, toe to toe people.

I hit up my buddy, who is still serving in that area. I told him I had been contacted by a student and asked if he’d be willing to meet. And I ask the student if he’d be willing to hang with a friend of mine.

Everybody was.

It’s a great idea to try to stay in contact with pastors and mentors in your previous church if you can. So that when a former student reaches out, you can connect them to people who can actually meet face-to-face.

And if you’re still in the area, arrange a coffee and hang out in person!

There’s something about face-to-face, in-person time together that can’t be beat.

Point Them to Jesus

You served this student as their spiritual leader for a time. That’s probably why they are reaching out to you specifically. When you were their spiritual leader, it was your job to point them to Jesus. It’s still the best thing you can do!

Whether they are far from God or just feeling that way, take some time to point them back to their Savior. Remind them how much Jesus loves them and encourage them with the good news of the Gospel.

Not platitudes or pithy sayings.

The real person of Christ.

Read Scripture over them. Remind them of what Jesus did in His day and what He’s doing right now.

That’s the best thing you can do as a spiritual guide and mentor!

Keep At It

I got a text yesterday from the pastor I had connected my former student to. They had made the decision to get baptized! I was so grateful for the church as I watched my former student get baptized by the pastor who replaced the pastor who replaced me.

We’re not in ministry to bring ourselves glory.

We’re in ministry to point others to Jesus.

And it was a beautiful moment to be a part of.

Remember: you’ll always be someone’s student pastor or youth minister.

When they reach out to you, point them to Jesus and be grateful for the time you have been given to minister to them!

24 Jun 2024

Help! The Parents Won’t Let Go!

By |2024-06-17T13:25:14-07:00June 24th, 2024|Leadership|0 Comments

Are you struggling with parents who won’t let their students attend youth group? Are you dealing with parents who insist on attending EVERY event and program meeting with their students? How can you minister to this family better? Here are some tips!

Meet with the parents

The very first thing I like to do is meet with new parents! You can always offer to take them out to Coffey or have them come to your office to chat for a little bit.

Parents who know more about your reason for ministry and your program and procedures are more likely to trust you. It might still be tough for them to let their baby attend, but meeting with them helps them get to know you better. The more they know you in the ministry, the more likely they will allow their student to participate.

Give them two weeks

I know that parents are the reason we have any children in the ministry in the first place. I always told parents they had two free weeks of observing and checking out the ministry without needing to do anything else. They are their kids, after all! Sometimes, giving them two weeks to observe lets them see everything they need to know about the ministry to let their son or daughter take part.

Remind them of the volunteer process

If a parent wants to continue hanging around after two weeks, I remind them of the volunteer process. Again, helping parents remember that we don’t allow anyone to hang out is a safety issue.

Having a formal volunteer interview process reminds parents that you formally vet every volunteer who comes into the ministry. This could include a background check, an interview with you, two references outside of the church, and an interview with their own teenagers.

I remember one volunteer who passed on everything I asked them to do until I met with their kids. They told me under no circumstances should their parent via youth ministry volunteer! I was floored, But it was one of my hard and fast rules.

You don’t have to let a parent know which part they pass on, but they should know that you are the ministry’s leader and can determine who hangs around students.

Challenge their beliefs

Why do they feel the need to be around their students 24/7? Youth group, at best, is two hours long. Letting their students have a little bit of independence and freedom might be good for them! I might help them grow and their faith on their own. It’s not taking away any personal discipleship, Student. You’re just asking for two hours a week. 

Maybe the parents feel they need to be in constant control, make sure their students make the right kind of friends, and ensure their students are safe all the time.

These things can come from a good place, but they can also be unhealthy.

Challenge parents’ beliefs!

Let them make the call

We can’t change how parents disciple their kids. If they decide that youth ministry is not the best for their student, then that’s the parent’s decision!

As pastors, we have a unique role of coming alongside parents and helping them disciple their students. We’re not supposed to be the primary disciples, which means the final to the parent. The parent doesn’t have to dictate how your ministry works, but they can decide if their student will participate.

Did I miss anything? Could you add anything? I’d love to hear it!

 

17 Jun 2024

Youth Ministry in the Summer!

By |2024-06-17T11:52:14-07:00June 17th, 2024|Youth Ministry Ideas|6 Comments

What do you do in the summer?

Summer is a wild time! Student ministry aside, families take vacations, kids attend all types of summer camps, and who knows what Summer sports are happening! When it comes to work and the regular, you will more than likely feel a little disrupted!

What’s your plan for the summer?

Experiment

Maybe you have fewer students around. It’s a great time to try things out! If you want to change up your programming schedule or a new teaching method, it could be a great time to try it out!

See if it works with a few or during the summer season, and then you’ll know if it’s good to try in the fall!

Take a break

Maybe it’s a good time to take a week or two off! If you’re going on a trip and taking half of your group, consider having the group take a break.

You’ll want to clear this with leadership first, but it may be a good time to try it out if it’s not your normal. Make sure you communicate to everyone that a break is happening!

Or maybe you can take a longer break! Maybe August is a great month to let families and students recover from the summer and get back into the glove before the youth group starts back!

Have some fun

If your group is not normally one to play games or have a fun outing, summer is a great time to see if that might be something you can add to your group!

It can be as easy as meeting up at a coffee shop or having a board game night or as complicated as arranging a trip to a nearby amusement park or planning a giant scavenger hunt!

Summer is a time when the sun is expected, so if you’ve been looking to experiment, go crazy!

Keep it going

Maybe all the churches in your area decide to lay off for the summer. They all take breaks, and your church is the only one around that keeps the regularly scheduled programming. Maybe that’s the best thing for you and your ministry! The rhythm can help students look forward to the summer break when they don’t go to school and see their friends.

If you go this route, just make sure to still take some time for a personal vacation. It’s really important to rest and recover during the summer months!

What do YOU do?

Is there anything on this list that I missed that you like to do during the summer? I would love to hear it! Sound off below in the comments!

Need a summer game to make things a little wild? Try this one out from DYM!

10 Jun 2024

Oh No It’s Youth Movie Night!

By |2024-06-10T09:08:40-07:00June 10th, 2024|Youth Ministry Ideas|6 Comments

I’ve seen it a lot.

It’s the summer. You’ve got a lot on your plate. You’re scrambling to add just one more event to the calendar. Or you have intentionally planned a chill event after a week-long mission trip.

What’s easier than putting on a movie and microwaving popcorn for your students?

Very little!

But let’s be real, sometimes a harmless movie night can turn into A LOT of angry emails. Especially if you’ve got hypervigilant parents who think Veggie Tales is a little too mainstream.

So, what to do?

Well, first, check out this movie list. It’s not conclusive, but it can get you started! Picking the right movie is KEY!

Pick a Movie

Are you doing a faith-based movie? An animated sing-a-long? An action or sci-fi flick? Great! Have fun with it! Then, I go check out a website I use to see what’s in a movie. Common Sense Media is my go-to, but you can search just about any movie by putting it into Google with “how many cuss words does _____” It will get you far and save you a lot of trouble.

Watch it First

I know, you’re busy. But if you want to put students before a movie, you will want to watch it first. Don’t slack here. Put it on while you catch up on emails or clean the youth room. If something DOES come up, you want to be able to say, “Yes, I watched the movie and prepared students for that.”

Plan it Out

Does the movie push the boundaries? Send an email. Tell parents WHY you want to watch that movie. Explain what difficult scene their students will see. Tie it into your teaching for the month. Prepare and communicate. That way, you’ve got parents sorted, and no one is surprised. Besides, an extra 30 minutes of work can make you look like a rockstar who totally didn’t just put a movie night on the calendar to have an easy week.

Have Some Games!

DYM is full of resources you can use for your movie night. There are tons of movie-themed games in the DYM store. Go see them all! And with a little bit of effort, your low-key event turns into a great hang with your students!

Get a License

Ugh. LEGAL STUFF!? Yeah, I know. Most youth pastors think you can just watch a movie and pray for forgiveness. But you actually DO have to get a license to show a movie. Unless you know the owner of the movie’s copyright. Just where are you doing youth ministry anyway? Head to this website to grab a license. Put it in your budget. The lawyer, a deacon, and the head of the youth committee will thank you.

Any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

3 Jun 2024

Summer Camp Leader Survival Bag

By |2024-06-03T06:34:29-07:00June 3rd, 2024|Youth Ministry Ideas, youth mission trips|4 Comments

Summer is upon us!

Which means camp is probably here soon (or next week!). You’ve got leaders ready to go with you on the trip. They aren’t your normal adults. They’re the ones who have a week of vacation they’re willing to burn, or they’re stay-at-home moms or retired seniors who like students enough to spend a week with them. But is there a way you can show them that you care about them and want to thrive during the week of summer camp?

I present to you: the Camp Leader Survival Bag.

What a great way to let leaders know you love them, are thankful for them and want them to have a great week of camp! It doesn’t have to be big, but it can have a big impact. Here some ideas of what you can put inside!

Earplugs – Needs no explanation.

Sleep mask – Do the cabins have blinds? NO? Cool.

Favorite snack and drink – text them and ask or have them fill out a quick Google form survey

Clorox wipes – You don’t know where that student has been

OTC Pain Reliever – We’re not young anymore. That’s why we’re CHAPERONES!

Leader Journal – They’ll have thoughts. Good and bad. Give them a place to write them out!

Sunscreen – It’s hot out there

Bugspray – Mosquitos are evidence of the fall. I’m sure of it.

Electrolytes – For adding to your water bottle that you definitely remembered.

Gum – You endeavor to brush your teeth, but camp happens.

Icy Hot Patches – You know. You know, you know.

Put all of it in a swag bag with your student ministry logo and look like a rockstar! Got any other ideas? I’d love to hear them!

Do YOU need a summer survival kit? DYM has got you covered! Grab this kit to get started right! Click this to find out more!

Need some ideas and resources to help you with summer programming? We’ve got you covered! Need help to prepare your leaders for summer camp? Check. It’s in here. Wondering what series to teach? Not to worry! This pack has got it all and more!

  • Summer Events Canva Graphics 6-Pack: Help plan your summer with ease using this event graphics 6-Pack which includes slides, Instagram Story & grid posts that you can customize on Canva!
  • Known: Discovering Our Identity in Christ: A 4-week series on our identity, value, and purpose in Christ.
  • Summer Camp Counselor Toolkit: If you run a summer camp or even just attend one and want some sweet pre-made resources for your counselors, then this is the tool kit for you.
  • Total Event Prep Kit: A resource to help leaders plan, execute & evaluate an event
30 May 2024

All the FREE Games in Sidekick!

By |2024-05-30T08:07:12-07:00May 30th, 2024|Sidekick Hero Blog, Sidekick: What's New|7 Comments

Obviously, we all know that Sidekick is the best thing to happen to youth ministry since that one guy wrote that one book… but did you know that Sidekick keeps getting better every single week? That’s right, each week, we release a new FREE resource that’s available exclusively to Sidekick users. And all you have to do is click the little button in the tool bar that looks like this:

And here’s what’s even better… as of May 30, 2024 (the date I’m writing this post), there are currently TWELVE premium games that are absolutely FREE in Sidekick. All you have to do is go get ’em!

And if you want to get an idea of what’s available, just scroll through the media gallery below:

And don’t forget that we’re adding new FREE content in Sidekick every single week, so be sure to check back often to see what’s new!

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

If you’re using Sidekick and you run into any issues, or if you just have a question, please feel free to reach out to our support team at: [email protected]. Or you can check out other helpful articles and walkthroughs at the Sidekick Help Desk by visiting https://help.sidekick.tv.

Finally, if you choose to use the new Sidekick… let us know how you do it and what types of polls you do because we want to highlight you. Our goal is to highlight a youth worker every week with different ways they’ve used Sidekick to help their students engage. If you’re interested in being recognized as a Sidekick Hero, just click the big red button below:

27 May 2024

Navigating Youth Ministry with Your Own Kids

By |2024-05-27T06:04:00-07:00May 27th, 2024|Parents, Youth Pastor Life|3 Comments

There’s a post that’s getting some great attention in the incredible community at the Download Youth Ministry Facebook Group. And it rang true with me, having two of my kids come through the middle school ministry while I was the youth pastor there.

How do you minister to your own kids when they come into youth group?

I’ve collected invaluable advice from seasoned youth pastors who chimed in with answers. Here’s a compilation of their wisdom on how to effectively minister to your own children when they join your youth ministry. And, if I can add anything, give yourself grace! You’re new at this (probably) and just like any thing you’re doing for the first time, don’t expect to nail it right away. Give both you and your now YOUTH GROUP STUDENT a chance to learn and grow together.

Maintain the Element of Surprise

One insightful piece of advice comes from a youth pastor whose own children were part of their ministry. They emphasized the importance of keeping upcoming youth events a surprise for your kids, just like for the other students. This approach ensures that your children experience the same excitement and anticipation as their peers. Additionally, although they might naturally end up helping with setup and cleanup, try to limit their involvement to when it’s absolutely necessary. This helps them enjoy the youth experience more fully without feeling like unpaid staff.

Balance Involvement and Independence

Navigating your children’s involvement in youth activities requires a delicate balance. Make sure they understand that certain norms, like seating arrangements, apply to everyone equally, and rotate seating to avoid any sense of favoritism. It’s crucial to engage them in discussions and activities without making them feel singled out. This involves calling on them for answers in group discussions without putting them on the spot, striking a balance between inclusion and pressure.

Prioritize Family Time

Youth ministry can be all-consuming, but it’s vital to remember that your children’s lives don’t revolve around it the way yours does. Dedicate at least one Saturday a month to family time, completely unrelated to ministry activities. This time is crucial for maintaining a strong, personal connection with your children outside the church context. Furthermore, when faced with scheduling conflicts between youth ministry and your children’s events, open and honest communication is key. Plan and discuss these situations in advance to manage expectations and foster understanding.

Respect Their Space and Autonomy

As one pastor who recently saw their children graduate from their youth ministry advised, it’s important to give your kids space. Avoid using them as sermon illustrations and let them initiate interactions. Recognize that they spend more time at church than other kids, so occasionally offering them special opportunities can be a positive way to acknowledge their extra commitment.

Involve and Empower Your Leaders

Bringing your youth ministry leaders into the conversation about your children’s involvement can be incredibly beneficial. Encourage leaders to take your kids under their wing, allowing them to experience the youth group as any other member would. This also means letting other leaders handle disciplinary issues and provide pastoral care, so your child doesn’t always see you as both parent and pastor. This approach can help your children feel more integrated and less singled out.

Maintain Clear Boundaries

Lastly, advice from Katie Edwards highlights the importance of treating your children like any other youth group member. Avoid placing additional expectations on them simply because they are your kids. Allow them to build their own relationships with small group leaders and respect their privacy. Each of your children may want different levels of interaction with you during youth activities, and it’s important to honor their preferences. Sometimes, having a clear conversation about when you are in “youth pastor mode” versus “parent mode” can help set these boundaries. Even allowing your kids to call you by your first name during youth events can lighten the atmosphere and reinforce these distinctions.

These insights from the Download Youth Ministry Facebook Group have been incredibly helpful in my journey as both a parent and a youth pastor. This community is a fantastic resource for anyone involved in youth ministry, offering support, advice, and a wealth of shared experiences. Remember, while the journey may be challenging, it’s also one of the most rewarding aspects of ministry. Blessings on your path as you navigate these unique dynamics in your own youth group!

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