Read new articles from Doug, Kurt and Jim this month on SYM. Here’s a clip from Doug’s talking about why he loves youth workers so much.

This last week I got the privilege to hang out at my church with 50 visiting youth workers. These men and women are our PDYM state mentors and they range from late 20’s to late 50’s. They reminded me why I love youth workers. After these new and old friends left my house on Thursday night, I told my wife, “These last three days were such a reminder why I love being with youth workers.” Cathy then asked me a simple question, “What specifically is it that you like about them?” In my typical list-making-mind style, I rattled off 10 reasons I like being with youth workers. I thought they would be fun for me to list and I also thought you might want to take a minute to see if these describe you.

And from Kurt, talking about the horrors when a small group goes bad:

Here we go. A few more thoughts about what makes small groups work best from a guy who has had more than his fair share of ‘small groups gone bad!’

Small Groups Work Best When They Are Given Some Freedom. There’s really no need to try to control things too much. In very short order, your small group leaders will have a better understanding of the pace of their group than you do. By ‘pace’ I simply mean the tempo, feel, flow or culture of their group. Each group has a unique pace. Some groups are made up of spiritually mature students who want to engage in lengthy, deep Bible studies while others simply want to hang out and talk. Some groups are made up of students who are super busy with sports,
academic pursuit and other extra-curricular activities while others are made up of students for whom small group is the focal point of the week. Allow each group the freedom to schedule and progress at a ‘pace’ that feels best for them.

And Jim, on transforming your marriage:

Cathy and I are looking forward to speaking at the YS Conventions this year on the Ministry and Marriage. Ministry isn’t easy and neither is marriage. When you combine them, it sometimes puts even a solid relationship in jeopardy. I don’t want to sound overly simplistic but here are my ten top ways to transform your marriage.

1. Adjust your attitude. You might not be able to change your spouse, but you can change yourself.

2. Show affection and warmth. Simple gestures can change your spouse’s mood and the atmosphere in your home.

3. Offer encouragement. It takes nine affirming comments to make up for one critical comment. If you are like most people, you owe your spouse a boatload of encouragement. Watch for opportunities to give your husband or wife an affirming word.