Youth Ministry Sherpas

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YMS Episode 74 — Talking Squirrels and the Beauty of Middle School Ministry

April 2nd, 2020

In today's episode, we share a conversation we had back in January with Ronald and Michelle of the Talking Squirrels Middle School Ministry Podcast. Middle School is the hidden treasure of youth ministry and the most undervalued ministry in the church. We love those who have pledged themselves to work exclusively with this age group.

We had some audio problems with the call, so please bear with us. There are nuggets of wisdom and encouragement throughout.

As serendipity would have it, both of our shows are joining the Download Youth Ministry Podcast Network (theirs is being renamed simply "Middle School Ministry). We are beyond thrilled to be included in this amazing partnership, beginning with Episode 75 coming soon!

Episode 74 --- Talking Squirrels and the Beauty of Middle School Ministry

YMS Episode 73 — Firing Volunteers

March 9th, 2020

No man (or woman) is an island.

Building a healthy volunteer team is one of the keys to a successful youth ministry. We've been down that road, and for better or worse, have learned a few things along the way. Here is the final part of our three-part series on Recruiting, Keeping and (gasp!) Firing volunteers.

Episode 73 -- Firing Volunteers

YMS Episode 72 — Keeping Volunteers

March 4th, 2020

No man (or woman) is an island.

Building a healthy volunteer team is one of the keys to a successful youth ministry. We've been down that road, and for better or worse, have learned a few things along the way. Here is the second part of our three-part series on Recruiting, Keeping and (gasp!) Firing volunteers.

Episode 72 -- Keeping Volunteers

YMS Episode 71 — Recruiting Volunteers

February 25th, 2020

No man (or woman) is an island.

Building a healthy volunteer team is one of the keys to a successful youth ministry. We've been down that road, and for better or worse, have learned a few things along the way. Here is the first part of our three-part series on Recruiting, Keeping and (gasp!) Firing volunteers.

Episode 71 -- Recruiting Volunteers

Sherpa Legends — Greg Stier

February 20th, 2020

Greg Stier is one of the most important voices in youth ministry. His passionate call to keep evangelism at the forefront of all we do has inspired an entire generation of youth pastors and students to share their faith with courage.

Greg is the founder and former president of Dare 2 Share Ministries. Raised in a violent, inner-city family in Denver, Colorado, he never knew his father. A local pastor named "Yankee" led Greg and his entire family to Christ. That ignited a passion in Greg to see all lost people come to know Jesus. Following college, he became a pastor and founded Dare 2 Share ministries. Deeply impacted by the Columbine shooting in 1999, Greg took the ministry full-time and has never looked back.

Greg has spoken to more than a million teenagers through the Dare 2 Share conferences. He's the author of Gospelize and numerous resources for leaders and students. A few years ago, Greg and his team created Dare 2 Share Live, taking the principles of healthy evangelistic youth ministries to thousands of churches around the country via simulcast. The next event is 10/10/20.

Greg is a frequent speaker at Youth Specialties and a die-hard defender of youth pastors and youth ministry. You cannot talk to Greg Stier and go away unchanged and unchallenged.

We hope you enjoy our conversation with the legendary Greg Stier.

https://www.dare2share.org/
https://dare2sharelive.org/
https://lifein6words.com/app/

YMS Episode 70 — With a Young Family

February 11th, 2020

It feels like another lifetime, but we still remember it like it was, well, a lifetime ago. Once upon a time, we were youth workers with young children at home!

Youth Ministry is an incredible life choice, not only for us but for our spouse and kids as well. It presents blessings and challenges to parenting and to raising small children that many other professions do not. How do you leave the troubles of other people's kids at the office? How much do you share with your wife? How do you integrate your family and ministry, but not too much? With great skill and agility, we navigated those waters. Actually, we had little idea what we were doing, but we survived. Maybe we even learned something worth sharing. 

As Mathew prepares to send his youngest child off to college and Steve prepares to graduate his youngest child from college, we present to you our old thoughts on how to be a great youth pastor while raising a young family.

Episode 70 -- With a Young Family

YMS Episode 69 — 2nd Semester Seniors: A Deeper Look

February 4th, 2020

2nd Semester Seniors -- A Deeper Look

In episode 68, we asked two second-semester seniors what they want from their youth ministry as they approach graduation. The main thing we heard from them was support, caring, and comfort. What they don't want is change, guilt, pressure, or anyone asking, "So, what are YOU doing after graduation?"

In this episode, we unpack these ideas a little more thoroughly. What's behind that for these students, and perhaps even their parents. What can we as youth workers do to help not only our students, but their parents, prepare for this emotional and important transition. What if, instead of adding to their stress and feeding the comparison machine, we instead relieve the pressure and help everybody realize it's all going to be okay?! 

It's something we confess we haven't done well, and yet, now that we are nearly finished with this whole season ourselves, wish we could do differently. Maybe we don't have to drown ourselves in fried cheese curds to survive this after all.

We think this is an important conversation. We hope you can learn from our mistakes.

This episode of Youth Ministry Sherpas is sponsored by: https://servehq.church/

Episode 69 -- Second Semester Seniors: A Deeper Look

YMS Episode 68 — 2nd Semester Seniors

January 28th, 2020

You know them, invest in them, laugh with them, and love them for 4, maybe 7, years, and then it's time to say goodbye. It's not easy.

Nothing makes the years seem to go faster in youth ministry than seniors in their final semester.

In today's episode, Illy McCabe and Emily Webb, two second-semester seniors, share their thoughts on how to make the most of this last phase of life in student ministry. It's a great reminder for us as youth workers of how valuable what we do really is, and how blessed we are to be able to enjoy such bittersweet moments. We can be the source of stress and guilt for seniors, or we can send them off well. Let's choose the latter.

Episode 68 -- Second Semester Seniors

Sherpa Legends — Jim Burns

January 23rd, 2020

Great coaches have what's called a "Coaching Tree." It's the legacy of former assistants who have gone on to great things in their own right. The longer they coach, the farther and wider those branches stretch.

No youth pastor has a deeper, wider, and more influential tree than Dr. Jim Burns.

Jim Burns has been involved in youth ministry since the time he was saved at 16. He  even turned down a baseball scholarship to Stanford in order to study for the ministry at then little-known Azusa Pacific University. He led a growing youth ministry in California, where he mentored a high school kid named Doug Fields. Jim became a key part of the Youth Specialties speaking team, working closely with the legendary Mike Yaconelli and Wayne Rice. He has written resources which now have more than 2 million copies in print. He eventually turned his rich wisdom towards parents, and became the President of HomeWord and the Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific. He and his wife Cathy still speak regularly at parenting and marriage events around the country, and are the proud parents of three grown daughters and proud grandparents of James and Charlotte.

Even with his many achievements and rich legacy, Jim still gets teary-eyed thinking about the students who didn't get it. It's a quality that makes him a great youth pastor.

We know you will enjoy our conversation with the gracious and wise Dr. Jim Burns.

 

YMS Episode 67 — Getting a Mid-Year Checkup

January 7th, 2020

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade! Welcome to the 3rd Season of the Youth Ministry Sherpas Podcast!

In this episode, we kick off a new season with a much-needed checkup when Steve discovers in horror that Mathew hasn't been to the dentist in 9 (or is it 11) years! Apparently, Mathew doesn't think it's necessary until the pain is intolerable. Steve, on the other hand, goes faithfully twice a year (hey, it's covered by dental insurance, so why not?). 

Since we are now at the halfway point of the typical youth ministry year, this reminded us that it's good to do a bi-annual check up on our youth ministry. What are our volunteers, our students, and we ourselves doing to remind ourselves of our vision and goals? What can we do to avoid the cavities and apathy that the long winter months sometimes bring?

We are the danger, we mean, the dentist! (Breaking Bad reference there)

Episode 67 -- Getting a Mid-Year Checkup