Love Freebies!

Every now and then we just need a spark, an idea to get our creative juices flowing. I find this to be true especially when it comes to outreach opportunities for our students. So, today I give you free spark…

If you're fortunate, your host home will bless you with Steak!

If you’re fortunate, your host home will bless you with Steak!

One of my favorite events I ever organized as a Youth Pastor was an outing I called “The Dinner Scramble.” I wrote about this event for one of my Dare 2 Share blog posts. It can be found here.

If you’re looking for an opportunity that can bring your church together while motivating your students to reach out relationally to their unchurched peers then this is an easy even to try! Read it, plan it, tweak it and see what happens!




Yes, I found them, have you ever found them?

I’m pretty pumped about my latest at the Dare 2 Share blog.

Hosting Everfound for a backyard BBQ

Hosting Everfound for a backyard BBQ

For those of you in the great NW we will have the opportunity to spend a weekend with several friends of mine. Not only are Greg and his D2S crew going to be here for the Follow Tour, but they are bringing four of my good friends as the worship team!

Everfound played for our "LIFT" events in Seattle and Portland

Everfound played for our “LIFT” events in Seattle and Portland

I’ve had the privilege of partnering with Everfound for 6 different venues (four of them week-long camps) in the past and I think that D2S struck gold by inviting them to be the band for the tour.

Check out my unique introduction to this band and what stood out about 4 Russian brothers!


sometimes it’s just best to kiss!

We often make things more complicated than we ought. The title of this post may have done just that by complicating the issue of that this blog is about… 🙂

This is when the acronym KISS comes in very handy.

Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. (for those offended, change the last S to “Silly”).

UnknownKeeping it simple and practical is the principle I tried to make in this blog post I wrote for Dare 2 Share. The less-than-two minute video segment from Francis Chan totally makes the click worth it.


Are You Taking The Lead in ALL Areas?

Perhaps you read the news last week, Pauline Friedman Phillips, who under the name of Abigail Van Buren, wrote the  “Dear Abby” advice column that was followed by millions of newspaper readers throughout the world, died at the age of 94. Not only does her column continue (her daughter took over years ago), but a spin-off, and a little less known column with a slightly different spelling “Dear Aaby” is beginning to thrive!

Dare 2 Share, a national evangelism training organization has been publishing several of my blogs for the last five or six months and just today went live with another one of the Dear Aaby video blogs.

Mike is a youth leader for Canada, eh?

Mike is a youth leader for Canada, eh?

Mike, a Canadian youth worker recently asked  the question, “what are some cool ways to get my students more into evangelism?”

I’d love for you check out the quick video response here.

The bottom line, we as youth workers, parents and pastors (and yes, even presidents of organizations) better be taking the lead in peer-t0-peer relationally driven sharing!

Like D2S, Youthmark is committed to training all in the area in real-life ways to share about Christ. We have resources for that purpose, but we also have a training experience we’d love to have you a part of. If you’re in (or near) SoCal, NorCal, Colorado, Washington, New England, Oregon or Idaho please consider being a part of our Mission51 Retreat (24 hour blitz-retreat)!



UGH! Spiritual Manipulation…

c_37I’ve enjoyed writing blogs for Dare 2 Share and have especially enjoyed doing the Dear Aaby video blogs lately… However, today, I saw they went live with a bonafide old-school text only blog I wrote! It’s one of those blogs that gets right to the point about my beef with some camps and retreats (not to mention missions) and can serve as a warning to us all about spiritual manipulation.

Though it feels a little odd to quote myself, but hopefully to entice you to read the blog, here’s my favorite line: “You should never ask for a hand to be raised if you haven’t presented Jesus was raised from the grave!

Check out the full post here!

I’m praying the we teach the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!


The Stuff of 2013


  1. A new look for the blog (have done this the last couple years).
  2. Weigh less at the end of the year than I did at the beginning (accomplished that in 2012).
  3. Blog more in 2013 than in 2012.
  4. Publish a few books (a few of my own and few from others).
  5. Share meals, not just yard conversations, with neighbors.
  6. Log more miles on my bike than I did in 2012.
  7. 13 pre-planned dates with Elisabeth (a gift I gave her at Christmas).
  8. Park my car in the garage all year (clear the clutter).
  9. Do one major house or yard project (likely our deck).
  10. Get to at least one new state or country.
  11. Read all of the Bible (it’s been a couple years since I did this in a year).
  12. Solo-date each month with each of my kids.
  13. Talk to and about Jesus. A lot.



5 Christmas Party Ideas

As some of you may know, I have been writing for the Dare 2 Share blog as well, it’s been a lot of fun coming up with posts that specifically have to do with evangelism!

The latest post, Christmas Party Ideas, went live yesterday. I recruited the help of my good friend Mark Knight and captured him on video sharing a couple ideas.

Here’s this list of five, but you need to go to the D2S blog to read the descriptions (how’s that for a teaser?).

  1. Ugly Sweater
  2. White Elephant
  3. The Christmas Formal
  4. Two-Minute Movie
  5. Night Light Blessing



The Posts With the Most

Every now and then over the weekend I find that I have time to go through and read some past posts from bloggers that I try to keep up with… In the off-chance that that’s what you’re doing right now, I thought I’d make it easy for you… I give a brief “subject” and then the following links take you directly to a few of the blogs that I have written that have gotten the most action of late for both this site and for the Dare 2 Share blog that I contribute to.

An Open Letter to A Departing Youth Pastor… this post has been the most read blog of any post I’ve ever written. It deals with leaving a church (or any job) well. This one was Retweeted and picked up by a few other organizations.

Holiday Red Cups… this is a post I wrote for Dare 2 Share in my “Dear Aaby” series. It is advice on how to turn a conversation into a possible opportunity to share Jesus with those who do not know Him.

What Is Your Mission… Trip?… this post encourages those in youth ministry to use your mission trip for more than just a one-week experience.

3 Areas of Neglect In Your Ministry… I’m excited by the way this post seemed to encourage many veteran youth workers to take a look at where they are spending their time and placing their efforts.

5 Youth Pastor “What Ifs”… This one was a highly read and re-tweeted  post from a few weeks ago. It deals with five questions I wonder about and if only I had done some things differently “back then.”

Any one of these a particular challenge and/or blessing? Any post you’ve read in the last few weeks from another blog you think I should be sure to read?

Happy weekend. Happy reading!


What You May Be Neglecting In Your Ministry

If you were to identify two or three areas of neglect in your youth ministry what would they be right now?

Seriously, if you are involved with student ministry you ought to be asking yourself this question and rectifying the neglect.

I recently revisited a blog I wrote a couple years ago and tweaked it a bit for the Dare2Share blog. That blog went live on the site yesterday here.

In short, I make the case that I see three things that many ministries are neglecting.

1. The Campus

2. Evangelism

3. The Gospel

Some may argue that this trifecta ought to be three of the pillars of a youth ministry, yet they’re getting neglected.

But no worries, I am not one to just name the problem and hope that it goes away, check out the post, I give three suggestions for the road to redemption!

Check it out and give some feedback (here or there)!


Oh Dear! Partnering Up For The Cause

For the last three months I have been a contributing author for the Dare 2 Share Blog Relational and Relentless.

It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve receive a number of comments via the blog, Twitter, Facebook, text and in person. It seems people like the little play on words I created with one series I am running there called Dear Aaby.

The latest Dear Aaby post has to do with evangelism as it relates to home school students. Most Youth Pastors I have dealt with have told me countless stories of home school students and even Christian school students feeling like relational evangelism is impossible, since they haven’t any unchurched friends.

We’d love for you to submit a Dear Aaby question here on my blog, email me (brian at youthmark dot com) but most of all I’d love to you to comment on the D2S blog and keep the discussion rolling there!