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

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

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

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

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

What YouTube Channels Are Middle Schoolers Watching?

Over here at XP3 Middle School, we’ve been reading all we can about Generation Z, with hopes to better understand the recent trends we’ve been noticing among middle schoolers all over the country. One of the most prominent things we’ve noticed as we’ve studied this generation is the increase in middle schoolers’ involvement with social platforms, and especially their involvement with YouTube. In fact, recent studies have shown between 80-95% of Generation Z uses... read more

The Four Faith Skills

How do you know if your students are actually growing in their faith? How do you as the Youth Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, or Small Group Leader help students grow in their relationship with God? Is it just about what you teach them? Or is there more? How do we help students make their faith their own? What we do know is there is a difference between… Knowing about someone Meeting them Getting to know them better over time. And just like with people, getting to know God is different than... read more

Thirty Challenge

Today I started the Thirty Challenge with my small group. If you haven’t heard of it, here’s the main idea:

Spend 30 minutes with God for 30 days.

This isn’t something our student ministry requires (although it’s encouraged), but it’s something I want for the girls in my group. Why?

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When to Split Your Middle and High School Ministry

When asked when to split your middle and high school ministry, my answer is usually a simple one:  “As soon as you possibly can.” There are just way too many good reasons to separate them: High School student are more apt to invite their friends when there aren’t a bunch of middle school kids running around. Some middle school students might be more likely to show up if they aren’t worried about that high school guy with the beard hanging around. The ability to craft every second from... read more

XP3 Middle School: A New Take On Teaching Videos

I don’t know about you, but we have been reading all we can about Generation Z, trying to understand the why behind the trends we’ve been noticing with middle schoolers across the board. It’s SO fun! One of the primary things we’ve seen in recent studies is the increase in middle schoolers’ involvement with YouTube and social platforms. But as much as their generation hides behind screens, it’s interesting to see how much they value authenticity, too. Surprisingly, they value it more than just... read more



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...

Ashley BohincAshley Bohinc

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

Crystal ChiangCrystal Chiang

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

CJ PalmerCJ Palmer

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

Jamey DickensJamey Dickens

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

Tyler ReesTyler Rees

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

Brooklyn LindseyBrooklyn Lindsey

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

Orange Conference 2018