7 Ways to Show Value to Others

My friend, Doug Fields, shared a post recently about how to make people you lead or those who work for you feel valued. I could not agree more with his thoughts on the subject.

Doug stated...

"It's been my belief that most people don't leave ministries, they leave leaders. Typically, they leave leaders who don't express value."

I cannot tell you how important this is. Even though I'd consider myself highly relational, I still try to work hard to express value to those around me. And I'd be lying if I told you that I didn't think I have had leaders leave our ministry because they didn't feel valued.

Doug shared
7 specific ways you can value others in your ministry in his post. I'll share a couple here and you can go check out the full post on his blog for the rest:

1. Genuinely care for more than what they can offer you and\or your organization - Many leaders view people as assets. They relate to people in terms of "what they can do for me." While it may be natural and typical for an employee\employer relationship, it's not beneficial. Value is communicated when you genuinely care for people as human beings and not human doings (and what they can do for you to help you build your kingdom).

3. Affirm, affirm, affirm - This should go without saying, and unfortunately, many times it does. I know leaders will say, "He knows he's important to me." Really? When was the last time you told him? It ought to be often! This is such a basic principle that it's almost embarassing to write, but I find it so rare in leaders that it's worth mentioning and repeating.

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Manic Monday Minute

Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...
This is the Manic Monday Minute...
  • Had a great weekend...
  • Weather was great for the most part. It's been hot one day... and sorta warm the next.
  • Looking forward to the weekend. I'll be joining my family for a much-needed beach vacation.
  • I'm sippin a ChickFila Sweet Tea while I write this...
  • What's up with customer service these days? It's horrible! Companies really need to raise the bar of expectation with their employees.
  • I accidentally texted a winky face to my students and they schooled me on how that was considered "creeper text."
  • Really looking forward to the start of my brand-new Coaching Network.
  • If you are a youth worker whose been in the field 5 years or less, check it out [here]
  • I'm giving thought to starting a bible study over chicken wings. Wings & Word ... just sayin.
  • Check out this brand-new camp my friend, Marko, is putting together for middle school workers!
  • Had a little Capture the Caption contest on my blog a couple days ago. I'd like to announce the winner is Joy. Joy, please contact me for your free resource. ;)
  • If you are new here to the blog, welcome. Feel free to subscribe [here]
  • Stay classy!


5 Questions with Greg Stier

In the last couple of days I caught up with my friend, Greg Stier (founder and president of Dare 2 Share), and asked him a few questions regarding his new webinar, Evangephobia. Here are 5 quick questions I asked him, followed by his responses:

1. What is Evangephobia?

It’s an interactive webcast about sharing our faith and its role in youth ministry. Hundreds of youth leaders from across the nation will explore some of the most common fears surrounding evangelism, learn how it can help accelerate spiritual growth in their teenagers, and discover simple steps they can take to make it fit within their current youth ministry context.

2. Who should participate in this webinar you are offering?

This is especially designed for youth leaders who are a little (or a lot) freaked out by evangelism. Street preachers, bull horns and not-so-awesome awkward moments are not what Biblical evangelism is all about. If you agree and want to discover what a Scriptural brand of outreach looks like then this webinar is for you. All youth leaders are welcome. This includes full-time, part-time and volunteer leaders who influence youth spiritually, especially within the context of the local church.

3. Why should people watch\participate?

Too many times evangelism has been delegated to a "professional" or relegated as a relic of a by-gone era when evangelism “worked.” But the gospel is still “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16) and we must help our teenagers share this timeless message in an effective way. When we do the kingdom of God advances both internally and externally. It advances internally in the hearts of our teenagers as they begin to own their faith as a direct result of articulating it (Philemon 6.) The kingdom advances externally as youth leaders witness God building their youth ministries with new believers who came to Christ as a result of peer-to-peer evangelism among their teenagers. Evangephobia will help youth leaders conquer their fear of evangelism and equip them to begin to reap the benefits of building a youth ministry driven by the very cause of Christ, “to seek and to save what was lost” Luke 19:10.

4. What are some takeaways/tools/resources people will have after participating?

Youth leaders will leave with some practical and effective ideas that they can begin to put into practice right away to increase the temperature of evangelism in their youth groups. They will also receive a free tool that will come to them bi-weekly which will help them continue to improve this value in the context of their youth ministries.

5. Are you (as a national leader) seeing anything work really well (ie: in approach, etc.) in the arena of evangelism among youth groups today? And what do you hope this webinar will accomplish?

Yes, youth groups that approach evangelism as a lifestyle or cause as opposed to a program or a meeting are exponentially more effective at evangelism than those who don't. The youth groups I have seen that are really thriving evangelistically are the ones where the youth leaders are leading the way in their own lives. Their passion for the lost seeps down into the core of the youth ministry's DNA. At this point evangelism is no longer a program but a paradigm, a way of seeing the world and living our lives. What’s great is that the youth leader doesn’t have to be “good” at evangelism. They just need to be seeking to authentically live this value out in their lives for their teens to make it a priority as well.

I’m hoping this webinar will help youth leaders do just that.

Don't miss Dare 2 Share's next webinar Evangephobia LIVE tomorrow, June 28th, 12PM-1-PM (EST) or on August 9th, 12PM-1PM (EST). Sign up now at www.Dare2Share.org/evangephobia.
Additionally, I'd highly recommend you check out one of Greg's newest resources for Youth Ministry, Reach Out, Don't Freak Out... a DVD Curriculum designed to help your students step out of their comfort zones and share their faith!

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Capture the Caption - Photo Contest #1

There are a number of bloggers who do a photo caption post. I think these are always fun... and I'd like to follow that same spirit and do one here on my blog. With that said, I came across this picture recently that seems to ASK for a caption. Why not provide your best caption... and I'll be the judge here. I'll pick a winner on Monday and reveal the winner in my Manic Monday Minute post. I'll even reward the winner (for winning caption) with a FREE resource! You'll get to pick from 1 of 5 FREE resources that I offer you. Leave your caption ideas in the comments. Enjoy!


Brand-New Coaching Network!

A few weeks ago I announced my plans launch a coaching network for youth workers who have been in the field for 5 years or less if there was a need for it. The response to that announcement was greater than I anticipated and I got a lot of emails from youth workers who wanted to be a part of it.

I had written out a number of details about what the program would look like and here's what I initially put on paper: I know people want more than a monthly phone call... they like having the one-on-one (life on life) coaching... and they probably don't have a lot of money.

Since those first few thoughts written on a white napkin, I've built some structure to my network and have had my first corporate sponsor sign on to show their support! I'm truly stoked about this... and can't wait to begin.

My coaching network will offer everything you might get from a conference, but it will be a semester long (approximately 6 months). Here are some of the advantages of being a part of my coaching network:
  • I'll be your personal coach and cheerleader for 6 months.
  • You'll get practical guidance and personal counsel.
  • You'll get a weekly phone call with yours truly.
  • You'll get encouraging but constructive feedback.
  • You'll get occasional free books from publishers.
  • You'll get the shared experience with other network participants.
  • You'll get select chat sessions with notable thought-leaders.
  • You'll get other free resources too.
  • ... and other fun surprises.
I'm limiting the network to 12 participants, so you'll want to apply [now].

The application form will be LIVE until Friday, July 8th.
I'll spend one final week carefully reviewing the applications and announce to all applicants who will be participating in the first round of my network on or just after Friday, July 15th.

If you don't need a coach, perhaps you know someone who does. Would you please spread the word for me?

Additionally, if your organization or corporation would like to partner with me to invest in youth workers nationwide please feel free to contact me about becoming a sponsor.

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Big News for You & Me!

I've got some big news for you & me. My friends at Simply Youth Ministry have recently announced some new add-ons to their LIVE Curriculum! I encourage you to check out the new LIVE Leadership and LIVE Book Studies (available for pre-order now!).

And, dear friends, here's where this post just got sweeter! Simply has cooked up a special deal just for you, my readers! If you decide to purchase the LIVE Curriculum you can call Matty (the LIVE guru) and mention one of two special promo codes: "Terrace has nice hair" or "TC is down with JC" and he'll grant you 1,000 (yes, ONE THOUSAND) bonus reward points that you can use for additional purchases!

I'd also like to announce that Simply Youth Ministry has officially signed on as a corporate sponsor for my new national Coaching Network! If you are interested in being a part of my exclusive Coaching Network (limited to 12 participants!), you should [apply now]. The application went LIVE this morning even though I'm officially launching tomorrow. ;)

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Brand-New Camp for Middle School Workers!

I had a great time catching up with my friend, Marko (Mark Oestreicher), recently and we chatted about one of his latest creations... a brand-new conference for Middle School workers! It's actual name is the "Middle School Campference." He's so brilliant that he made up a new word!

Anyways, check out the video, the
website, and sign your team up to go!

[ps] I learned a few things here (a part from the campference talk):

1. I'm not a good camera man.

2. It appears I am obssessed with Marko's beard from the camera shots. I mean, its a nice beard and all...

3. I never remember to put my seat belt on when I'm a passenger. I just don't. Don't judge me.

RSS Subscribers: there is video [

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10 Ways to Get Teens to Own the Youth Ministry

One of the most amazing things you'll ever do in youth ministry is empowering your students to take ownership of the youth ministry. After all, it's their ministry (or should be, if its not).
I'll certainly never forget my youth pastor allowing me to serve and empowering me to do so. It all started with just letting me make the announcements and emcee youth group... and 18 years later I'm a youth worker myself and I'm not only empowering teens to take ownership of the ministry but I'm coaching other youth workers to follow some of the same steps I learned from my youth pastor!
I want to share with you 10 ways you can get teens to own the youth ministry:
1. Announcements! I couldn't help but put this one on the list since it was my first role in youth group. Give up the mic to a teenager!
2. Games - If you plan to do a game (or two) during the course of your meeting together have one of your students plan for the game and then allow them to run it!
3. Greeting - Have students be the first contact when someone walks through the doors of your facility. Prepare a welcome table and get a few students to welcome guests.
4. Snacks - I don't know about students in your ministry but we have a few students who are really great bakers! They can whip up a batch of cookies in no time too. Get a few teens who like baking (or maybe like eating?) prepare the snacks for your youth group!
5. Photographer - We've got a few students who are amazing photographers. Because of their heart for ministry and their creative eye we've made them our resident photographers! It may be easy to find out who these folks are... just check out their facebook photos er notice the camera in their hand!
6. Prayer - I love when students lead our meetings in prayer. Solicit teens (ahead of time) who feel comfortable praying in front of your group and give them the mic!
7. Social media - Encourage your teens to take ownership of your youth group's facebook page, twitter, or whatever social medium you use. Have students update your social media platforms (under your direction) and share your ministry with the world!
8. Connecting with other teens - Teens can come up with great ways to reach out to their peers. Allow your students to lead your group in connecting with new students and with those who might be missing in action too.
9. Lead mission & serve projects - Pull together students who are excited about missions or serving and empower them to lead a project for your youth ministry. Help coach them through all the logistics but let them coordinate the projects!
10. Sharing - One of the best decisions I ever made was giving up the mic to allow teens to share talks or stories with the group. You should coach teens who plan to share ahead of time, but empower them to teach or preach.
Encouraging and empowering your students to do the work of the ministry will go a long way in helping steer them away from being consumers and help them become life-long participants in the Kingdom.
What might you add to this list? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Big News: Doug Fields Joins the YS Team!

I think this year should be themed "expect the unexpected." God is moving ... and I sure hope I can keep up. More big news out of the Youth Specialties headquarters this morning... Doug Fields has joined the YS team!
Here's a quick video of the announcement:

I am really excited for Doug... and equally excited for YS. I don't think there is a person in Youth Ministry today that I respect more than Doug Fields. He has brought so much richness and depth to ministry to teenagers today and this will only enhance what YS can offer to youth workers.
Here's a little background straight from the press release:
"Fields served as youth pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California for 18 years. Doug resigned in 2009 to focus on the growing demand of global youth ministry opportunities. He joined his mentor, Jim Burns, at Azusa Pacific University's HomeWord Center for Youth & Family where he teaches youth ministry and hosts his summer Student Leadership Conference for teenagers.

Essentially, Fields is returning to his roots at Youth Specialties. In 1986, Doug began a 20-year relationship with YS where he was a primary speaker and one of Youth Specialties' most prolific authors (including the best-selling Purpose Driven Youth Ministry). His early days with YS ignited his passion to launch Simply Youth Ministry from his family garage. SYM grew quickly and larger than Doug's desire to lead, manage and operate. Passionate about his own family and the local church he served, he looked for someone to take over the SYM operations. In 2006 Doug merged Simply Youth Ministry with Group Publishing to better manage what had become a leading brand in youth ministry resources."
When commenting about the decision, Fields said, "I was so happy that Group embraced 'my baby' and helped make it healthier. Now, 5 years later, I'm still very pleased that SYM has a great home! I know they'll continue to flourish even though I'll no longer be leading it." He continued by saying "I'm indebted to the years YS invested in me when I was a young youth worker and the thought of returning to invest in a new generation of youth workers makes me come alive. As I listened to Mark Matlock's plans for the future of YS my excitement only increased. I believe my gifts can compliment Mark's leadership and direction. I am very impressed with Mark's heart, passion, and vision for Youth Specialties. I'm honored that he's excited to work with me and look forward to partnering with him to resource youth workers around the world. Mark is the type leader I want to align with... YS is in great hands!"

Well there you go. Sounds like a HUGE win\win to me.

To read the full press release go [here]
RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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How To Make Your Small Group Fail!

I saw this creative parody video online that is a great reminder to small group leaders that developing authentic community is messy and requires us to go deeper.

Here are a couple of articles (on the subject) that I have read recently that caught my attention:
Share your small group horror stories or links to articles on the subject in the comments!

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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8 New Findings on Social Media

I feel like I've become a part-time student of social media... and I like it. I do a lot of research (particularly these days) on the subject and because of current projects I'm working on I'll suspect that I'll be blogging more and more on social media.
Recently 2 corporations (Arbitron & Edison Research) decided to collaborate and study how Americans are using Social Media. At Blogworld 2011 Tom Webster ( VP of Edison) released some preliminary data in his talk and I wanted to share with you 8 findings on how Americans use social media that you might find interesting:
1. Social Media's Reach: More than 51% of Americans (ages 12 & up) are on one or more social media platforms today. Over 46 million of those Americans use their social media platforms at least once daily.
2. Demographics: The typical social media user is apparently a 35 year old white (caucasian) woman. Only 43% of men use social media. Other numbers: 64% of caucasians use social media, while only 28% of African American & hispanics combined use it and only 8 percent make up other minorities.
3. Mobile users fueling growth: More than half of social media users are using their smartphones to update their accounts. In fact, 64% of those who use social media use their (smart)phones to update their statuses.
4. Twitter vs. Facebook - 8% of those recently surveyed say they use Twitter, while 51% of users said they had a Facebook. Don't count twitter out... that 8% translates to over 20 million Americans too. Are you on twitter?
5. Location-based services & apps: Only about one third of social media users actually know what location-based services are. You know... Foursquare, GoWalla and the like. The number of users is expected to grow exponentially over the next couple years though!
6. Broadband users: 6 out of 7 American homes have broadband internet access, while 9 out of 10 are online. Wonder how many of those connect (or will connect) through social mediums over the next few years? How are you reaching people who aren't connected through social media?
7. Brands on Social Media: Social Media has really put brands on the map. Because of platforms like Facebook and Twitter, companies have made a ton of money! The question is, how will you leverage it? Recent research shows that 1 in 4 users are following a brand on social media.
8. Facebook is influential: There is research to show that marketing via Facebook (whether business, church, organization) is profitable; however, its not enough. Webster mentioned in his talk that even though Facebook is influential its not enough to persuade the consumer to trust your product or offerings. You must use other social platforms and mediums to connect with your audience.

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