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A teenager is talking with two elderly home residents around a table. They are laughing and smiling.
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4 mins

True Grit

A couple of mornings every week, I walk my middle-school daughter and my cabin-fever dog to the bus stop on the corner before I head off to work. We live in Denver, and during the winter months it’s as cold as you think it’s supposed to be in the “Mountain” time zone.…

Exhausted teenager with his head resting on his arms on a saw horse. He's covered in paint and holding protective glasses in his hand.
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7 mins

Epic Fail: Summer Trip Disaster Stories

Few things have greater leverage for spiritual growth in the lives of your teenagers than summer trips—and that’s just why they’re a magnet for disaster. Embedded in these EpicFail stories are profound lessons on effective youth ministry. Summer trips are the lifeblood of a thriving youth ministry.…

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3 mins

Rebooting Your Calendar

My team was tired. And I couldn’t blame them, even though the fruits we saw from our ministry efforts were undeniably profound. We’d just marched through a packed calendar of amazing, bridge-building events that attracted new teenagers to our ministry and a Bible study series that deepened the faith of our student leaders.…

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2 mins

Unpack the Suitcase!

It’s quarter to midnight. I have to be at church at 5:30 a.m. to make sure last-minute logistics are covered and someone is available to meet the bus drivers when they arrive. Fortunately, this ain’t my first rodeo… A carefully (and perpetually) packed toiletries bag stands watch in my bathroom, with duplicates of everything I use in my daily routine.…

mountains cross retreat getaway
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15 mins

4 Practical Ways to Grow Intimate With Jesus

When Tom Melton, my friend and the senior pastor at my church, describes Jesus’ character and personality, he often has to collect himself and wipe away the tears that come so quickly. I’m riveted by those tears — they preach louder than his words.…

car accident
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2 mins

Parenting: The Riskiest Thing You’ll Ever Do

A single text from T.J., my oldest son, instantly sent me down a dark path of despair. “NO!” I yelled, pounding my desk so loudly that coworkers came running. My greatest fear as a dad had just rushed from a locked cabinet inside my brain to the small screen in front of me.…

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4 mins

Why Standing-at-the-Door Is My Favorite Ministry

“Helloooooo!!!” I greet teenagers as they walk up the stairs to our middle and high school student ministry area. There’s a platform at the top of the landing where kids gather before they make their way into the youth room. I love this space.…

parent volunteer
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3 mins

The Plight of the Parent Volunteer

  This past weekend I had an interesting opportunity to be one of the parent volunteers for a trip for “another” youth group my kids are involved in. It is not one in which I am a leader in any capacity.…

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3 mins

Reaching Over-Involved Teenagers

We’ve already plowed through the meat of the new school year. And if your life is anything like mine you’ve catapulted from the bustle of summer into the craziness of fall. My schedule is fuller (how is that possible?), overshadowed only by the packed calendars of my teenagers.…

Two mission trip participants, one middle-aged female and one a teenage girl stand, stand in a field in the Dominican Republic holding shovels.
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2 mins

Solving Your Top 5 Mission-Trip Problems

A mission trip is like the Olympic steeplechase—you’re running as fast as you can over, around, and through every imaginable obstacle to get to the finish line. Maybe it’s the girl who shows up with a piece of luggage the size of a small horse casket, or the guy who forgot to study the packing list and brought clothes that won’t work well in your context.…

Get free weekly resources from us!
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