What I’ve Learned About Pumpkin Season

What I’ve Learned About Pumpkin Season

By Mikiala Tennie, Director of Discipleship and Students at First United Methodist Church of Stuart in Stuart, FL I used to have a general apathy toward all things Pumpkin Spice related. As a Floridian, winter is my favorite season and fall is basically an extended summer where we pretend it’s not 87 degrees outside, while wearing our favorite scarves and boots. It’s a holding pattern until Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, my apathy lasted until I started working for a church that... Read More
5 Things to Remember When Integrating Students with Special Needs into Your Youth Ministry

5 Things to Remember When Integrating Students with Special Needs into Your Youth Ministry

By Jono Contestabile, Student Ministry Director at Crossroads Community Church in Westminster, MD I’ve always defaulted to the descriptor of “special needs.” The way I see it, or rather have come to see it after eight years of involvement in various special needs ministries, needs are the common denominator of all people. It just so happens that certain individuals have different, or perhaps more unique, and occasionally more demanding needs. I hate admitting my needs. Don’t you? From needing... Read More
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
Orange Conference 2018