How HGTV & Student Ministry Are Basically The Same…

Just to get a laugh I posted this status update on Facebook recently:

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-7-42-42-amI forget the name, but I saw this show on HGTV where the couple remodeling the house discovered issues that were going to cause the remodel to cost significantly more… after the dramatic commercial break they decided to go for it. The house turned out great. Anyone know the name of that show? #hgtv

If you have EVER watched a show on HGTV then you understood the humor— it seems EVERY show on HGTV has this similar storyline.

However, I’m still a faithful viewer of these HGTV programs, because I love to see development. I enjoy seeing obstacles overcome. I love transformation.

img_0196I’m getting so excited about a new venture with Youth Specialties, something that is all about  development and transformation. The 101 Collaborative is a seven-month coaching initiative for those new to youth ministry, in a new role or those looking for a refresher in foundational youth ministry skills and strategies. It launches this spring.

I believe there are three foundational reasons a newer youth pastor should be a part of this Coaching Collaborative.

  1. You’ll Become More Self-Aware

The program is designed for you to better know yourself (your gifts, motivations, skills and strengths) and know how to better communicate these assets to others. I believe knowledge of self leads to improved boundaries and ultimately helps you understand your part in the body much more (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12).

2.    You’ll Develop New Skills and Strategies For Your Context


So excited that Summer Sipes and Dr. David Fraze will be joining me as the Coaches for the 101 Collaborative

College and seminaries are excellent, but the actual “doing” of ministry differs from the philosophy you’ve created, adopted or inherited. I’m excited to help our 101 participants take theory into practice and have coaches and peers walk through this together as you contextualize ministry to your own local setting. The “line-up” for 101 includes everything foundational for sustainable long-term ministry success.

3.   You’ll Learn From and Become a Collaborative Community

Youth ministry is relational and the 101 Collaborative will create relational environments where you’ll likely gain life-long friendships and expand your networking abilities. The program itself starts and ends with on-site retreats and then includes monthly online video chat sessions, one-on-one coaching appointments and peer groups.

It’s hard to believe it, but April 24-25 and our opening retreat is just a couple months away. The kicker to me is that we are including the National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC Memphis in November) as part of the tuition (arrive one day early for culminating retreat).

Though we only see 43 minutes on TV, the actual transformation of a house on an HGTV program takes several months. I cannot wait to see how a several month process will promote transformation in life and ministry through the 101 Collaborative


Most Mission Trips Are Incomplete!

There was a moment in the movie Soul Surfer that made me laugh that probably wasn’t noticed by 99.9% of the audience. The movie portrayed Bethany Hamilton making a last minute decision to join her youth group on a mission trip to Thailand. She showed up at the airport as they boarded the plane and asked if she could come (and did)!

Unfortunately the truth is, a lot of youth group short term missions are actually done in a similar fashion. Many churches operate with a sign-up/show-up mentality. Students sign-up in April, participate in a few car-wash and bake sale fundraisers that are done predominantly by the parents and then the Youth Leader hosts a couple meeting where favorite scriptures are shared and packing lists are distributed. Come June a few have dropped out due to funds, family vacation or a break-up. And on the flip side a few have added because funds, family vacations were changed and a new relationship sprouted and “the Lord wants us to serve together.”

Sadly… very little prayer support has been generated, many congregants just know you’re going on a trip (camp? retreat? vacation?), students view the mission through the eyes of a consumer (what will I get out of this) and too many youth pastors are hoping to produce a spiritual high.

Though a sending team WILL get a ton out of the trip; spiritual, emotional and practical preparation must be done before, during and after the trip. Focus and attention must be given to the people and organizations you’re going to serve and a sustainable change after the mission can and should be the goal!

I am proud of what we’ve been able to do with hundreds of ministry partners over the last few years at Youthmark. But leading short-term missions has never been our primary goal. Our goal is MISSION51! We want to see participants equipped for the 51 weeks of life outside the mission. We believe the mission trip is simply a catalytic and/or culminating event in the midst of the other 51 week mission to our own Jerusalem!

Whether you’re signed up with another great organization, planning a mission to support one of your overseas missionaries or up in the air on what you’re going to do this summer, Youthmark would like to help augment your overall mission experience (and transform it to MISSION51!). Check out our newest “Strategy Pack” that can be used by a group who especially already knows what they’re doing for their trip!

Call 1.800.455.1450 to inquire!

In addition, those of you in the Southern California, Houston, Colorado and the Northwest, Youthmark offers a Mission51 Retreat (24 hour evangelism equipping retreat). For a limited time we’re offering this retreat for only $51 per person (normally $79) when you purchase the Strategy Pack. Please call us 800.455.1450 to inquire.

  • San Diego: March 9-10
  • Houston: March 16-17
  • Seattle: May 4-5
  • Seattle: May 11-12
  • Portland: May 18-19
  • Denver: June 1-2
Please check out more information about all our packages here and don’t hesitate to call me at our 800 number!