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Bullying: How serious do we take it?

Recently, I was talking with two middle school girls about some messages they had received from a girl in their class. The girls had been spotted hanging out with some guys at youth group (!) and were now accused of being sluts. Yes, that’s right. Just talking to a couple of guys at youth group of all places was enough ammunition for one girl to attack them.

They showed me the texts this girl had sent the both of them on their phones. The language was quite…graphic. Slut was actually one of the nicer words. So what do you do when teens share something like that? Continue reading Bullying: How serious do we take it?

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The Fine Line Between Fun and Chaos

On the axis between all fun and completely serious, every youth ministry has its place. No judgment here.

However, even when you’re (almost) completely on the ‘fun side’, there’s a fine line between fun and chaos. You can choose to go for fun and make it work. Especially when your main focus is on unchurched kids, you might use fun and games to build relationships. It can work.

Chaos never works.

So where is that line between fun and chaos exactly? Continue reading The Fine Line Between Fun and Chaos

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Discipleship Lessons from the Patriots

Being from Europe, football is not a game we were familiar with until we moved to the US—unless you were talking about the real football: soccer. Sure, I’d seen some football games and I had tried my best to understand what was happening, but it never really captured my interest. And in Europe, that as fine as no one cares about football there anyway. Continue reading Discipleship Lessons from the Patriots

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Keeping Your Youth Group Fresh

How do we keep our youth group fresh? That’s what a youth leader asked me recently. It’s a well known problem, especially for those who’ve been doing it for a while.

You have found a format that works for your group, but after a while it becomes kind of…predictable. Everyone knows what’s coming next. The content is great, there’s nothing wrong with the music, or the discussions and yet…It feels done, old, boring.

So what do you do? Here are some suggestions for keeping your youth group fresh. Continue reading Keeping Your Youth Group Fresh

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Discover Your True North: 5 Leadership Lessons

Leadership is character—that’s at the core of Discover Your True North, a classic book on authentic leadership. True north, of course, refers to your inner compass, the values and convictions that will help you stay true to yourself.

Here are 5 true gems in leadership lessons I’ve gotten from this book: Continue reading Discover Your True North: 5 Leadership Lessons

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Helicopter Parenting in Colleges and Schools

In this series on the phenomenon of helicopter parenting, we’re searching for the truth behind the hype. In the first post, we explored what helicopter parenting is and what the causes are. In the second post we analyzed research on the effects of over-parenting on college students and in the third post we looked at some other evidence suggesting negative effects. In this post, we’ll see how schools are co-culpits when it comes to coddling students. Continue reading Helicopter Parenting in Colleges and Schools

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The Negative Effects of Helicopter Parenting

In this series on helicopter parenting, we’re exploring this phenomenon with the goal to separate the facts from the hype and see how it affects youth ministry. In the first post, we saw what over-parenting looks like and tried to see how big an issue it really is. In the second post, we looked at research amongst college students, showing both positive and negative effects. But aside from studies done amongst college students, there has been more research into the effects of parenting styles. Let’s look at a few interesting ones. Continue reading The Negative Effects of Helicopter Parenting

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The Effects of Helicopter Parenting On College Students

In the first post on the phenomenon known as helicopter parenting (or over-parenting) we explored some definitions and characteristics, and tried to answer the question if it’s really as common as sensationalists claim. In this post, we look at the effects of this parenting style.

Of course, the common wisdom is that over-parenting is bad, bad, bad. But can it be scientifically proven? Continue reading The Effects of Helicopter Parenting On College Students

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Helicopter Parenting: The Truth Behind the Hype

Helicopter parents.

Now there’s a term no one had heard of a decade or two ago. Now, it’s the talk of the town. As with all buzz terms however, there’s the usual amount of hyperbole and generalizations-based-on-incidents. In this brand new blog series, we’ll unpack this helicopter parenting phenomenon in more detail, separate the facts from the hype, and more importantly, see what this means for doing youth ministry. Let’s start by defining what helicopter parenting is exactly and what the causes are.  Continue reading Helicopter Parenting: The Truth Behind the Hype

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Bonding Over Heartbreak, Bullying, and Poverty

One major mistake many speakers in youth ministry make, is that they focus on the content of their youth talks too much. They forget that youth won’t listen to you until they have decided you are worth listening to. And for teens to accept you as someone who is real and trustworthy, they have to see you as someone they have something in common with.

What you need is bonding. The good news is that bonding with teens is easy. The bad news is that it’s incredibly hard. Continue reading Bonding Over Heartbreak, Bullying, and Poverty