When You Learn a Youth is Having Sex

Before you skip over this article because your students don’t have sex – I’ve been there.  I’ve had that same thought.  My youth are good kids, we’ve done lessons on waiting till marriage, I bought them a bulk of purity rings from Oriental Trading, there’s no way this is going on in my group.  The…

Ministering to ADD Teens

In the past two decades, Attention Deficit Disorders have become household diagnoses. Perhaps in your ministry you already have members who have been diagnosed with or are being medicated for Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Common symptoms you may have seen are blurting answers out without raising their hands, even if they’ve…

Talking with Students About School Shootings

Ministry is about a lot of things, but a growing need in youth ministry in our current era is to help teens process crisis-based tragedy like a school shooting. Events like this are happening more and more often, and students have questions, anxiety and concerns about what it all means for them. Middle Schoolers are…

Ten Other Relationships You Need To Make as a Youth Worker

We spend a lot of time talking about relationships and relational ministry as youth workers. We focus our efforts on building relationships and connections with our students, while also seeking to lean into the lives of our adult leaders. Even in recent years, there has been a renewed focus on making sure we build strong…

Autism in Youth Ministry

I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with several amazing youth on the autism spectrum, and I have learned many things about the best practices in these ministry settings. The term ‘autistic’ covers a wide spectrum of individuals, each with varying degrees of challenges with social skills, communication, or repetitive behaviors as well…

HD Playlist: Worship

Welcome to HD SoundBytes, a monthly twenty-song curated playlist brought to you by HDYM to meet the needs of each area of your youth ministry service.  This month’s HDYM playlist is focused on worship. We wanted to offer 20 new songs you should give a shot in your services this year. Some are new, some…

Managing Dating Teens in Youth Ministry

When you work with teenagers, dating within the group is almost an inevitability. With a David Crowder slow jam worship song and the gentle hum of florescent lights, romance is in the air. In addition to the freely flowing hormones, ministries explore emotions and growing together, relationship development and personal sharing. It’s no wonder our…

You Can Do It (Too!): Worship Music

Small churches are often strapped for resources.  With that, it can feel like they can’t do some of the things they see bigger churches doing, produce what bigger churches are producing and utilize the same quality of tools that the bigger churches are using.  This series is designed to equip the small church ministry to…

Jesus was a protester, activist and God.

  Webster’s Dictionary defines protest as “an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition of something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid.” There’s been a lot of media coverage lately about protesting. The West Virginia teachers, the nationwide walk-out the morning I am writing this blog post, #metoo, racial…

3 Reasons I Like Youth Ministry Networks

Leadership is a lonely place.  Youth ministry leadership can be especially lonely, as youth ministers shepherd students who are facing challenges and issues unprecedented in previous generations.  They sometimes serve in churches whose members resist their efforts to contextualize the gospel to reach students and find themselves in the role of trying to help these…