Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I guess I can’t really speak for all of America or all of youth culture or whatever on this one.

But I will simply say from my own experience over the past 6 years at Journey at least… we don’t just have an absentee dad issue, we have an absentee adult issue.. and it’s at Epidemic levels.

Here’s some cold hard realities of my world:

  • it’s simply not possible to have the lasting faith impact we desire in a student’s life in a 1 on 50 ratio, like what we often have in our Sunday program.  This is ridiculous. 
  • the prevalence of our teen subculture has resulted in the reality that students no longer have consistent access to caring adults
  • just when we most need adults to be stepping into the lives of students, the vast majority are stepping away out of fear, annoyance, or ambivalence to them.
  • students don’t need peers as much as they need mentors
I could give you example after example of hurting student.  I could lead you on any given Sunday morning in our program to a student struggling to understand their sexual identity or feels lonely or is dealing with divorce or just needs someone to listen.  
It’s time to sound the alarm again.  We need your help!!!!
IF YOU HAVE A TEEN IN YOUR HOME, it’s critical that you set a weekly time to talk face-to-face with them.  Put away the cell phones and unplug the screens.  Grab a meal or a cup of starbucks or whatever and just talk about life and faith and whatever comes up.  Just genuinely care for them. In so doing you will instantly become an influential and very rare voice in their reality.
GIVE A COUPLE OF  HOURS A WEEK, cuz it’s time to dive in.  WE NEED YOU in student ministry in churches all around the country!! WE NEED YOU. Please come and worship along side students, sit with students, talk with students, and generally encourage them in their pursuit of God and relevant friendships.  Be an adult who is with them and for them.  In so doing, you will instantly become an influential and very rare voice in the faith of a student. 
IF YOU TALK TO A TEEN, assume the best.  Assume their intentions are good.  Assume they want to change the world.  Assume they are who they are, largely because of the choices of adults around them (both positive and negative) who helped shape them, not just the face in the mirror.  Strive to understand their reality and why they do what they do before you tell them how to fix it.  In so doing, you will instantly become an influential and very rare voice who breathes life into students in ways so very very few in our world today do.  


  1. Brian,

    I read your post a while back about retreat planning for youth groups. It was re-posted on Josh Griffin’s blog.

    Do you have any sites that you have used for the coupons?



  2. the “coupons” were just an illustration of how this kind of thing works. I have used to buy tickets for some stuff we’ve used for youth group events. I’m sure there are several other similar coupon site that operate like this.

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