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7 mins

How to Ease Re-Entry After a Mountaintop Experience

The van-ride home from a retreat or trip alternates between chaos and peace as kids relive highlights from the week. The caffeine is finally wearing off, and the exhaustion is setting in. If you’re like me, when I pull the van into the church parking lot I have two emotions sweep over me: relief that we made it home, and a kind of sadness that the experience is over.…

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2 mins

Are Mission Trips the Key to Launching Your Youth Ministry?

Discipleship is the endgame for youth ministry. So how do we help teenagers break free from the gravitational pull of a conventional life? How do we “achieve orbit” in a life defined by a passion for Jesus? Well, I know from three decades of youth ministry experience, and from in-depth research projects, that nothing in our ministry toolbox has more “rocket power” than a mission trip.…

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2 mins

The Rocket Launcher In Youth Ministry

If discipleship is the endgame for youth ministry, how do we help teenagers break free from the gravitational pull of a conventional life and “achieve orbit” in a life defined by a passion for Jesus? Well, I know from three decades of youth ministry experience, and from in-depth research projects I created to explore what really matters in teenagers’ spiritual growth, that nothing in our ministry toolbox has more “rocket power” than a mission trip.…

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2 mins

The Mess of Mission Trips

In case you haven’t realized it yet, mission trips are messy. Despite all our planning, screening, and noble intentions, every trip involves some really flawed people (including us) who tend to swing from one bit of drama to the next. Even when we’re being leader-like, such as ensuring that people serve for the “right reasons,” we’re pushing values that recipients may struggle with.…

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