///My Youth Ministry Timeline

My Youth Ministry Timeline

I posted earlier this week some questions to help you journal, celebrate and reflect on the story of your youth ministry timeline. Even writing those thought-provoking questions challenged me to journal where I’ve come in youth ministry – what were the highs and lows that shaped me over the years.

I wanted to share a few of my notes as I went through this process, not in perfect order and I’ve certainly missed some significant ones intentionally or unintentionally because I have many more memories than I could possibly write down. Here’s a glimpse of my youth ministry story … hope you’ll do some processing this week and journal yours as well:

  • helped lead our youth group at my home church
  • served in a local church in college
  • had my first experience volunteering as a youth worker
  • volunteering as the youth worker at a church plant as a college student, paid $50/week
  • my father explains he never wanted me to be confused by his voice if/when God called me into ministry, he wanted me to know it was God’s voice so I would never question my calling
  • life-changing conversation about life mission/calling with significant mentors
  • got married and started full-time in youth ministry (same year!)
  • was asked, “Where is the youth leader?” at an event and decided to grow a goatee to look older
  • so many epic fails, in particular the TP-incident. Still amazed I wasn’t fired, served with some gracious leaders
  • quit youth ministry for the first time, never left the church / position
  • read 1st book on youth ministry, Purpose Driven Youth Ministry
  • attended 1st youth ministry conference
  • saw God heal some incredibly-broken relationships
  • I did the funeral for a baby with severe complications who died in my arms
  • created the Steak-Out, a monthly BBQ volunteer meeting
  • did ministry with some amazing friends/volunteers
  • asking God for what was next, year of discomfort, questions
  • trying to leave well, transition, patience
  • found out we were pregnant with #3 on the move to CA
  • realized my story was so many youth pastor’s story and I could help/relate
  • came on staff at Saddleback Church to help with Purpose Driven YM
  • volunteered in the high school ministry at Saddleback Church
  • helped run church conferences, student leadership events
  • traveled with Pastor Rick to the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina
  • helped with the Extend the Vision Campaign for our church
  • started blogging every day about youth ministry
  • became the high school pastor at Saddleback Church
  • started our “State of HSM” meeting every December
  • the opening of the Refinery Student Building
  • partnered with incredible teammates and friends
  • first hire, amazing team-member still with me!
  • wrote my 1st book!
  • departure of Doug Fields from Saddleback
  • changed Small Groups to Life Groups to focus on “doing life together”
  • 1st summer camp on our own
  • big changes to summer calendar that have now become traditions
  • went to Africa 5 times in 3 years
  • did the funerals for both victims of a rare double homicide in Lake Forest
  • important changes, leadership challenges
  • started Download Youth Ministry with 2 of my very best friends
  • serving at a church I love, with people I love


By |2016-10-13T13:54:54+00:00September 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Josh Griffin is one of the leading voices in youth ministry with over 20 years experience in the trenches, most recently as the High School Pastor at Saddleback Church. He's the co-founder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and been in 300+ episodes of the DYM Podcast with Doug Fields. He's created more than 50 youth ministry resources and authored several books including 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders. Josh and his wife Angela have 4 kids, which now includes 2 teenagers of their own! Contact Josh | Speaking Requests

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