Why I Log All My Youth Group Games

Logging is valuable for more than nostalgia. When you log your work–especially if you log it in a digital, searchable, cloud-based format–you’re creating a guidebook for future work. Example: youth group games. I have a Google Doc for youth group games that I started seven years ago. A couple times a year I add new […]

Better Than Nothing Is Good

Sunday keeps coming at the preacher. The youth retreat keeps coming at the youth worker. Hospitalizations keep coming at the pastor. It terrified me when I started in ministry, the way events demanding good work kept coming at me, often at the same time. Now I love this. I depend on it. If Sunday wasn’t […]

Why “Yes” Is Worth It

A good reason to say “Yes” to things that scare you, things you’ve never done before, is that they’re only that scary the first time. After you’ve done it–no matter how well it went–you get to add that thing to your bag of tricks. Now you lead youth retreats. Now you write books. Now you […]

Junior High Youth Think Serious Thoughts About Worship

We did a little informal poll about worship with junior high students yesterday morning, asking them things like, “What is your favorite part of the worship service?” and “What do you think is the most important part?” and then inviting them to describe their ideal worship service. Some of the input you could have guessed: […]

Winter Is Coming: Some Thoughts On Harvest

One of my colleagues shared a reflection about harvest time, that it’s a season for storing things up for the winter. That’s mostly a metaphor for people in modern technological societies, because we have the same access to food in January as in July. You may commit to eating “seasonally,” but that won’t mean only […]

Out Of Your League Is Where You Want To Be

There have been a couple of seasons in my work that felt awful for how little control I felt I had over what I was doing, how little effect I thought it was having, and how exasperating every new effort felt. The first year of working with a particular group of junior high guys was […]

Let’s Make A Collaborative Attention Collection

I appreciate David Dark’s concept of “Attention Collections,” laid out in his book, Life’s Too Short To Pretend You’re Not Religious. Attention Collections are the songs on your mixtape, quotes from films that stuck with you, “your stories, your jams, your beloved enthusiasms.” Everyone has them, Dark argues. As much as any explicit religious catechesis, our Attention […]