Posted on Leave a comment

Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First

Anyone who has ever managed to actually pay attention during the safety instructions on an airplane, knows this line:

“When traveling with children, put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.”

As much as I don’t want to think about an airplane losing cabin pressure, causing passengers to need an oxygen mask, I have pondered the reality of that admonition. You cannot help your children—or anyone else for that matter—when you don’t have oxygen yourself. They need you to take care of yourself first, so you can take care of them afterwards. They need you to put your own oxygen mask on first. Continue reading Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First

Posted on 1 Comment

Do You Need An Online Dry-Out?

Every year, I go offline for at least two weeks. Usually in the summer, but I’ve been known to do it over Christmas break as well. I don’t make a big thing out of it, but I just close all social media for a while and spend time doing other things. Like reading, hanging out with the family, or projects that have been on my list.

It’s a great way to remind myself that being online isn’t the answer to anything. On the contrary, it can often cause more problems than it solves. I’ve found that consistent online dry-outs help me keep the right perspective. Continue reading Do You Need An Online Dry-Out?

Posted on Leave a comment

Email like you could be hacked

A recent hack has left Sony Pictures Entertainment scrambling to apologize after emails were leaked. In these emails, executives trashed actors and made racially insensitive jokes about President Obama. Now, they’re left trying to backpedal and explain and apologize to everyone they discussed.

It’s not the first hacking scandal (think of many pictures of celebrities that were hacked from a cloud storage a while ago) and it won’t be the last. You’d think that leaders on that level would learn to be more careful, but evidently not.

Yet there’s a bigger picture here. If these emails had never been made public, the remarks about for instance the president would still not have been okay. They would have still been racially insensitive—and I’m using a much more politically correct expression here than they deserve. Continue reading Email like you could be hacked

Posted on 9 Comments

The 10 TED Talks every youth leader should watch (1)

I love TED talks. They’re often inspiring, challenging and it’s a quick and easy way to get fresh perspectives and new ideas.

For youth leaders, TED talks are a brilliant resource. I’ve truly learned a lot by watching a few talks each month and in this post, I want to share my favorites with you. Here are the 10 TED talks that every youth leader should watch:

1. Brene Brown – The Power of Vulnerability

This is the ultimate TED talk in my opinion. It’s brilliant, it’s funny, it’s personal and it will completely change your perspective and paradigm. Literally life changing.

Continue reading The 10 TED Talks every youth leader should watch (1)

Posted on 3 Comments

Visualize your priorities with red, yellow and green

Prioritizing is of crucial importance, especially when your to do list is overflowing, as most of ours are. We’ve discussed several methods of prioritizing so far:

No matter which method you choose, it’s important to come up with a way to visualize your priorities, so you can see at once which tasks have priorities and which don’t. Again, there are several ways to do this:

  • Put the high priority tasks at the top of your list
  • Categorize by A (high priority), B (medium priority) or C (low priority)
  • Use an app like Evernote to separate high, medium and low priority tasks

Continue reading Visualize your priorities with red, yellow and green

Posted on Leave a comment

Setting priorities with the INO System

You can’t do it all. You know that deep down, but still you try. We all do. As youth workers, our to do list is often unending and things we cross off at the top, are being replaced just as quickly at the bottom.

That means we have to choose what we do. We have to set priorities and work according to these.

We’ve talked about two ways of defining priorities before: the 80/20 rule and Covey’s time management matrix. But on the Harvard Business Review Blog, I came across another method that you can use to decide how much time to invest in something: the INO system. Continue reading Setting priorities with the INO System

Posted on Leave a comment

How the Zeigarnik Effect can help you battle procrastination

We all have those tasks on our to do list that we just can set ourselves to do. Sometimes it’s because we don’t like doing this (for me, making phone calls is a biggie since for some reason I really dislike calling people), sometimes it’s because the task is so big we just don’t know where to start or it may be that we wonder how we’re ever going to finish it.

Whatever the task is that you dread doing, chances are it will results in big time procrastination. So how do you get yourself to do the things you dread, especially if they are bigger tasks that require more time?

The solution is as simple as can be: just start. If you just take that first step, the rest won’t be as hard. Continue reading How the Zeigarnik Effect can help you battle procrastination

Posted on 2 Comments

Your greatest path of influence with teens

As youth workers, we are striving to make an impact on the life of teens. Ultimately, out goal is to make them into devoted followers of Jesus. But how do we get them there?


Bible studies?



Small groups?

I think these all have their place. But sometimes we focus so much on these, that we forget our greatest path of influence with teens: love. Unconditional, selfless, Christ-like love. Continue reading Your greatest path of influence with teens

Posted on 2 Comments

Get more done with Gene Schwartz’ 33 minutes rule

For the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with a productivity tip called Gene Schwartz’ 33 minutes rule. It’s a ‘system’ designed by famous copywriter Eugene Schwartz that allowed him to write many books, successful ads and much more in just 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. So I gave this rule a test drive and I have to say the results have been far better than I expected: I’ve worked more focused and gotten more work done in less time.


Continue reading Get more done with Gene Schwartz’ 33 minutes rule

Posted on 1 Comment

Stress management in youth ministry

This is the fourth and last post in a short series in dealing with stress in youth ministry. We’ve been talking about the stress that is youth ministry and why youth ministry may even be extra stressful compared to other jobs. In the last post we’ve discussed how you can acknowledge, recognize and identify the stress in your life and youth ministry. This brings us to the fourth step: preventing stress.

Let me start with the bad news: you’ll never completely eliminate stress from your youth ministry job, whether you’re a volunteer or on staff. Working in a church, working with people and especially young people will always result in some amount of stress. But there are things you can do to keep the stress level acceptable and healthy.

Continue reading Stress management in youth ministry