Pluralism: A New Youth Ministry Imperative

Pluralism - a new youth ministry imperative

My relationship with Rabbi Mark inspired me to understand religious pluralism differently and inspired me to make interfaith dialogue and cooperation not just an important part of my career, but also an imperative part of my Christian walk. It is my hope that youth leaders and ministers also begin to see pluralism as a youth […]

When Scripture Talks Back

Perhaps you’ve seen the bumper sticker: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” There’s a certain simplicity to this sentiment that no doubt adds to its appeal. Statements like these represent a common strategy for reading the Bible and reveal a perspective that understands that Bible as speaking with one voice, with absolute […]

Youth Ministers, Politicians, and Other Liars: Five Tips for Honest Counting

honest counting - kindred youth ministry

I know a lot about ministers, and a little about politicians, and I know we both lie about numbers. We lie about the numbers themselves, and we lie about what they mean. We have learned that data has power, so we game it (just like everyone else). A lot of this has to do with […]

How to Think Theologically About Youth Ministry

thinking theologically

Youth workers haven’t always been famous for deep theological reflection. In fact, youth ministry has been blamed by some for the bigger problem of the church’s lack of theological depth. But even though youth ministry is more famous for games like “Chubby Bunny” (which, if I’m not mistaken, has been mostly banned) and other strange […]

Confessions of a Youth Ministry Veteran

Confessions of a Youth Ministry Veteran

I’ve been a youth minister now for ten years. A decade—wow, that feels like a long time! I was at one church for eight years, and now I’ve just completed my second year at a new church. As I look back at ten years in ministry, there are too many moments of grace to count […]

9 Ways to Cultivate Community

9 Ways to cultivate community

Is it possible to have a team that cares deeply for one another, shares life together, encourages and supports each other, and loves each other so well that ministry naturally flows out from within? That’s a tall order, but one that we should all strive to make a reality amongst the teams we work with. […]

The Worst Youth Pastor Ever

the worst youth pastor ever

I used to think I was the worst youth pastor ever. When I was a young youth worker, fresh out of college, a small church took a chance and hired me as their Director of Youth Ministry. But about two years into the job, I started to feel burnout. I began to feel like I […]

The Stories We Tell

The Stories We Tell

In youth ministry there is a lot of storytelling going on. Some of these stories are told around campfires, over a coke, or while taking a drive together. Often we have the chance to stand before kids we love, open stories from the Bible, and tell them in ways that allow the characters to leap […]

UBUNTU: An Invitation into Full Humanity

ubuntu - Kindred Youth Ministry

When I was 19 years old, I sensed a distinct call to full-time professional youth ministry. All of the seasoned youth workers in my life at that time were like superheroes to me. I wanted to be just like each of them. Good grief, if I am really honest, I still do.  One couple launched […]

Ministry Survival: Criticism

Criticism - Kindred Youth Ministry

Listen, let’s just be really honest with each other. Deal? Good. Truth time: People are the worst. I mean, not all people are terrible, some of them are great and you end up marrying them or asking them to be the godparents of your children. But outside of those folks, everyone is just a big […]