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


Nothing in all the world beats a one-on-one conversation.  NOTHING.

You can’t top it with a seminar.  You can’t top it with a nice family dinner. You can’t top it for focus.  You can’t top it for influence.  You can’t top it in investment.  There simply is nothing more powerful in all of leadership than a one-on-one conversation.

Honestly, as a youth pastor, if I could do nothing but line up one-on-one conversations and never “preach another sermon”, I swear I’d get more done for the Kingdom of God than ever before.  On Sunday, I had two one-on-one conversations with students after church that were significant.  I know they grew out of the “preaching” or “weekend service” they experienced that morning, but I honestly believe that if I had not had them, the most significant moment of life change this past weekend would have been missed.

So, here’s my reminder to me and my encouragement to you…

MAKE TIME FOR ONE-ON-ONE TIME.  It won’t happen by accident.  It requires ruthless devotion to the priority.  So….  take your kid on a ride with you to run an errand and “accidentally” end up having a convo over ice cream while you’re at it.  Take a spouse on a date and skip the movie in favor of a meal you can enjoy at a place with really great food and lousy service so it takes forever.  Grab a friend and say, “hey, got some time for java this week?”… and then make it happen.

BUILD ONE-ON-ONE TIME INTO “GROUP TIME”.   When planning a retreat or even a family vacation, I can make sure to make time for this.  This might mean having intentional conversations on the bus or van ride on a retreat.  This weekend, in our high school program, we’ll have almost a 1 to 2 ratio ration of adult to students on our trip to the snow.  Truth is, if we don’t maximize this trip for significant and intentional one-on-one conversation time, then we’ve missed it.  My most significant student ministry moments as a teen myself were one-on-one times I had with my leaders at summer camp, retreats, and weekly meetings.

DON’T SUBSTITUTE ANYTHING FOR PRESENT TENSE ONE-ON-ONE TIME.  I simply cannot allow facebook or a txting conversation or e-mail or a phone call or anything else to replace a face-to-face one-on-one conversation. It is the most powerful and focused tool in my leadership influence toolbox.  I cannot allow that to be replaced by any modern technological impostor.  Good ol’ fashion one-on-one time simply cannot be faked or trumped.  EVER.


  1. Sign me up,and your mom too. Unless a two on one works for this relationship.
    Love, Dad

Leave a Reply