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My Experience with Pastoring Students in the Juvenile Justice System

My Experience with Pastoring Students in the Juvenile Justice System

By Cory Sullivan, Youth Pastor at Wheatland Community Church in Rush, NY  There has not been a more life-shaping experience for me than pastoring students in the juvenile justice system. These are the youth that society has forgotten—the  ones that have been labeled monsters and even pushed to the margins. And believe it or not, that’s what makes it such a great opportunity for any pastor. These teenagers have talents, passions, hopes, and dreams, just like the teenagers that sit in your youth... read more
Pulling A Zero in Your Youth Ministry

Pulling A Zero in Your Youth Ministry

By Jesse Criss, Fresh Ministry Consulting.  Back in my early days of youth ministry, I pulled my very first zero—as in zero kids came to youth group. I had planned an event, bought supplies, advertised to students and parents, and then, no one showed up. Admittedly, I had a very small group of students at the time. However, that left me feeling even more discouraged because every student could be accounted for. Between a wedding, sickness, homework, being grounded, and the classic, “My... read more
5 Hacks for Using XP3 in a Small Church Context

5 Hacks for Using XP3 in a Small Church Context

By Cory Sullivan, Youth Pastor at Wheatland Community Church in Rush, NY  When I hear the terms “small church” or “rural church,” a few things immediately come to mind: small attendance, limited volunteers, and a tiny (or non-existent) budget. There’s little time, little help, and little money to waste on something that won’t work. That’s why a resource like XP3 works so well for a small or rural church context.  It allows a student pastor to do what they do best—build community—giving them... read more
4 Ways to Keep Up with Student Culture

4 Ways to Keep Up with Student Culture

“The time will come when people will travel in stages moved by steam engines from one city to another, almost as fast as birds can fly, 15 or 20 miles an hour…”  – Oliver Evans, 1755-1819. Remember the first time you experienced an Internet connection that was NOT dial-up? For me, that was my college dorm room. We had a “T1 line.” I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew it was fast. It was like a whole new world. I could download a photo without taking a water break. Even downloading a... read more
3 Ways to Utilize the XP3 Student Daily Devotionals

3 Ways to Utilize the XP3 Student Daily Devotionals

If you’re an XP3 partner, you know one of the components included with every series is a set of daily devotionals to share with your students. These short devotionals come with five days of content and Scripture images created to help your students stay engaged and dive deeper into what they’re learning during each series. The content for each week’s devotionals is developed through the filter of what we call the Four Faith Skills, specific prompts designed to help students grow in four areas... read more
Movies, High School, And Studying “The Nature of the Beast”

Movies, High School, And Studying “The Nature of the Beast”

One morning in college, I showed up to my 9am class to find the lights low and the opening credits of a movie already rolling (I was part of the one-minute-after-is-still-on-time tribe). It was one of my education classes, and as the opening scenes started, my professor said something I’ll never forget: “If you’re going to do this well, you’re going to have to know the nature of the beast.” That beast was high school students. And that movie…was The Breakfast Club. And to some extent, my... read more
5 Ways to Make The Most Of Your Youth Ministry Space

5 Ways to Make The Most Of Your Youth Ministry Space

By Ray Milsap, Student Pastor at Momentum Church in Gulf Breeze, FL  The squawks of seagull attacks while meeting under a beach pavilion. The sound of blenders running in the tight spaces of a coffee shop. The squeaking of trampolines overheard at the gymnastics center. It’s safe to say our youth ministry has had quite a few unique and challenging environments to navigate over the years. But every environmental move we have made has been to create more room for more students to be loved and... read more
Taking A Break: Navigating Summer in Your Youth Ministry

Taking A Break: Navigating Summer in Your Youth Ministry

To meet or not to meet. That is the question so many youth ministries are facing over the summer. Do we keep chugging along doing business as usual so that we don’t lose momentum? Or do we take a break from the norm and do something different in order to build momentum going into the fall? I’m sure some of you like the idea of taking a break from the status quo during the summer, but what exactly does that mean? And more importantly, what would you do? Many student ministries that lack... read more
RYM Bonus: 2018 Youth Leader Summer Bucket List

RYM Bonus: 2018 Youth Leader Summer Bucket List

What needs to be on your bucket list this summer? What movies should you see? What books should you read? And will Shef ever get as buff as Doug Fields? Find answers to these important questions and more on this week’s special bonus episode, as we talk about what’s on our youth leader summer bucket list. How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | SoundCloud | Spotify EPISODE RECAP Books on our summer reading lists: (4:00) The Alchemist The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap... read more
The Perfect Storm: What Makes a Student Camp Successful

The Perfect Storm: What Makes a Student Camp Successful

On October 28, 1991, a nor’easter off the coast of Nova Scotia absorbed Hurricane Grace and collided with a third weather system. The convergence of those three weather systems was so intense, meteorologists called it “perfect,” meaning that it could not possibly have been more potent. … could not possibly have been more potent… Sounds a lot like student camp to me. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 have been a camper at least once at a summer camp run by a religious... read more

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CONTRIBUTORS

Jamey DickensJamey Dickens

Jamey is a pastor, speaker, and writer of student content for North Point Ministries in Atla...

Crystal ChiangCrystal Chiang

Crystal currently leads the XP3 High School initiative at Orange. Before that, she spen...

Brett TalleyBrett Talley

Brett Talley is an XP3 Orange Specialist with Orange after 11 years in full time minis...

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson is a writer and communicator who has been involved in ministry since 2003...

Brooklyn LindseyBrooklyn Lindsey

Brooklyn is a wife and mother, an international speaker and writer.  She has served as a y...

CJ PalmerCJ Palmer

CJ is the Managing Editor for XP3 High School at Orange and one of the hosts and producer...

Ashley BohincAshley Bohinc

Ashley Bohinc serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange, is the co-host of...

Tyler ReesTyler Rees

Tyler is the Project Manager working to keep the XP3 Middle School team in line and on tim...

Orange Conference 2018