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Return to Category List Please Select an Article (Archives):
What I Love about Junior High Youth (7/1/2004)
  A Jr. High student is a different sort of animal, and it takes a special person to "tame" him. In this article, DCE Jeff Meinz offers some advice on giving this unique age-group the spiritual food they need to survive.
Five Considerations for Bridging the Gap Between Junior and Senior High Youth (7/1/2004)
  It is sometimes difficult to bridge the gap between junior- and senior-high youth programming. This article provides five things to consider as you seek to meet the unique needs of each age group.
Why Junior High? (6/1/2004)
  It's the big youth programming question: Shoud you divide up the Jr. High and Sr. High students into seperate groups? In this short article, Rev. Terry Dittmer offers some advice on this issue.
The Essential Volunteer Youth Ministry Library (6/1/2004)
  This helpful article provides a list of some essential youth programming resources for the volunteer youth worker.
Learning First to Crawl (10/1/2004)
  Early adolescence if filled with many questions that can shake up a young teen's world. It is essential that this age group find identity in the body of Christ. This article shows how you might help.
Junior-High Ministry Programs (7/1/2004)
  In late spring 2002, and again in the spring of 2003, a group of leaders in ministry to young teens gathered to discuss the state of junior-high ministry in the church. Compelled to voice what they believed to be one of the most important yet misunderstood ministries in the church, these leaders composed this open letter to church leaders throughout North America.
Under the Gun in Jr High (8/1/2004)
  Like many things, competition is a tool. Competition can be used in the life of a young adolescent to teach values, rules and cooperation. However, though some students thrive in a competitive environment, others shut down. Our job is to identify, evaluate, and facilitate competition so that it remains positive and goal-oriented.
Jr. High and Sr. High Ministry: A Conversation (12/8/2008)
  DCEs Leon Jameson and Alaina Kleinbeck discuss ministry with junior high and senior high students.
The Rookie: Junior High Dating? (10/3/2008)
  A conversation with some girls opens the eyes of DCE Lea Mansell to the dating culture of junior high students.
Bible Study: New Challenges and New Opportunities (6/4/2011)
  In this study for eighth graders, students will explore three stories of people who were taken from a place of comfort and found themselves in a new environment where they had to face adversity.
Youth Ministry Basics: Ch-ch-ch-change (10/8/2009)
  On change and confirmation
Changing Confirmation (6/25/2012)
  Confirmation has been and is one of our best opportunities to teach our students and their families about our Christian faith and Lutheran heritage, but like many things, may need some tweaking to better fit the needs of the church today.
Servin' Lovin' Praisin': Kidnapping the Eighth Graders (6/14/2011)
  Today I want to offer an idea that can help get your newly confirmed youth interested in high school youth ministry.
Servant Hearts in Middle School (3/29/2013)
  Middle school is a great time to teach youth to exercise their servant hearts. This article includes some tips on how to do it well.
Betwixt: Getting Along with Parents AND Youth (12/13/2013)
  Do's and Don't's on working with parents and youth
Betwixt: Learning the Kind of Leader You Are (3/13/2014)
  Listen to the counsel of the people around you to determine the kind of leader you are.
Betwixt: Six Phrases Every Teen Needs to Hear (8/19/2013)
  Teens hear a lot of words from us. Here are a few that they MUST hear.
Betwixt: A Handy Survival Guide for Youth Trips (9/13/2013)
  Some helpful tips for surviving a youth trip
Betwixt: Phrases Youth Leaders Never Want to Hear (1/24/2013)
  There are phrases youth workers never want to hear. These are a few of them.
Betwixt: How to (Totally) Sabotage Youth Events (7/17/2013)
  Looking for tips on working with youth? Don't try these things!
Dealing with Negativity (11/29/2012)
  One of the most difficult parts of youth ministry is dealing with negativity.
Betwixt: The Moments that Matter Most (4/15/2014)
  Sometimes the moments that matter the most to youth are the ones we don't expect.
Mosquito Bite Ministry (10/11/2012)
  Even mosquitoes can give us something to think about.
The Slowly Deflating Youth Group (12/19/2012)
  When doubt about your role in working with you creeps in, we find hope in Jesus.
True Confessions of a Total Goofball Part 2 (9/21/2012)
  More insight on how to approach the goofballs in your group.
Betwixt: Gas Explosions in the Church? (10/25/2012)
  Seize those teachable moments where ever they show up!
Betwixt: Why You Can Drag Kids Away from their Phones (1/28/2014)
  Kids are gorging on technology and are starting to get sick of it.
Betwixt: The Incredible Shrinking Attention Span (1/3/2013)
  Some tips on how to help kids focused.
Betwixt: Puppy Love (2/19/2013)
  Puppy love has hit your youth what do you do?
Betwixt: Crafting Relevant Lessons (5/31/2012)
  My job is to know my students, to learn their struggles, and to come alongside and provide them with rich, thought-provoking materials and experiences that would fan the flames of their personal faith.
Betwixt: Six Untrue Stereotypes of Middle School Ministry (3/8/2012)
  There are countless misconceptions about middle school ministry. Some are well-founded, but other stereotypes of middle school ministry aren't quite accurate.
Why Fellow Leaders are Invaluable (3/22/2012)
  When I know that my leaders are confidently operating in their God-given strengths, using the training we've given them, and impacting students positively in their faith, there's no music sweeter to my ears than that.
True Confessions of a Total Goofball, Part 1 (9/6/2012)
  Get inside the minds of two total goofballs with this interview from Cassie.
Betwixt: Crickets Chirping Into the Silence - Tackling Student Prayer (2/17/2011)
Betwixt: Adapting and Evolving (2/25/2011)
  As unpredictable and ever-changing as our jobs are, that's the reality we have to live with as youth leaders. It's the nature of our ministry.
Handling the Bubbling Stew of Emotion (5/13/2011)
  The passage from middle school to high school ministry is a significant occasion. Students facing this change are caught up in a mixture of excitement, dread, nervousness, poignant sentimentalism, and utter uncertainty.
Betwixt: Good Cop, Bad Cop, part 2 (11/24/2010)
Betwixt: What Keeps Me Going? (1/20/2011)
  Sometimes my job can drive me absolutely bonkers. Can anyone else relate?
Betwixt: When Middle Schoolers Strike Back (a personal anecdote) (2/3/2011)
  I've learned a fearful lesson about pranking the hard way: Never give your secrets away to middle school youth.
What Youth Want from their Leaders, Part 2 (10/15/2010)
  The conclusion to what youth are looking for from their leaders.
Betwixt: What Youth Want from their Leaders, Part 1 (10/6/2010)
  The longer I work with youth, the more I realize that I need to be plugged into them to really know what's going on beneath the surface and be effective in sharing Christ's incredible love with them.
Betwixt: They Think I'm Crazy...Until They See the Kids I Work With (1/5/2011)
  As youth leaders, we need to know everything we can about our kids, so we can best learn how to work with them and help them grow in their faith. Here's a quick glimpse of what exactly we're dealing with when we talk about your average middle school student.
Betwixt: Vanilla Frosting and Dirty Gym Towels Can Really Put Things in Perspective (8/11/2010)
  on lessons learned in Middle School Ministry
Betwixt: Newborn Kittens in Shark-Infested Waters (8/25/2010)
  on the faith life of tweens
Betwixt: When Your Roommate Cusses at the TV (9/23/2010)
  thoughts on outreach
Betwixt: Keeping it Together (12/1/2011)
  Leaders keep it together and do the right thing when everything else around them is falling apart.
Betwixt: Who We're Really Doing it For (4/16/2013)
  It's not about what we're doing, but WHO we're doing it for.
Arriving, Surviving and Thriving at Your Middle School Retreat (4/16/2010)
  Planning a retreat for middle schoolers is an opportunity for you to invest in the growth of your students' spiritual lives, build relationships with them, and have a lot of fun together. Done properly, I believe a retreat can have a life-long impact.
Betwixt: Getting the Shy Ones to Talk (3/28/2013)
  Some tips on working with the quieter students in your group and getting them to talk.
Hospitality How-To (5/12/2011)
  As teachers and leaders and parents, it's up to us to model hospitality for our young students. When it's a priority for us, it will be easy for our students to emulate because they've seen us living it out.
Betwixt: The Elusive and Fleeting "Aha!" Moment (9/29/2011)
  A light bulb going off in the mind of every kid sitting in your youth group or classroom is definitely not a guarantee in our line of work.
Betwixt: The (Unexpected) Joys of Middle School Ministry (4/28/2011)
  Sometimes, in the midst of our biggest struggles and most unbearable pains, God gives us a little glimpse of something incredible--our whisper of hope in a time when things seem the darkest.
Betwixt: Alone? Alienated? Abandoned? Nope! (6/24/2011)
  A lot of us can feel like we're alone in our jobs, but we have a God who never leaves us.
Betwixt: Stealing Kids (Without Breaking the Law) (9/22/2011)
  When I say "stealing kids," I mean the notion of capturing their attention completely with pure wonder at the work of the Holy Spirit, the creative genius of our Father God and the unimaginable love of our Savior Jesus.
Betwixt: How Did You Not Kill Us? (4/18/2012)
  So how do you handle your temper, as you undoubtedly face frustrating situations, maddening parents, difficult leaders, ridiculous expectations or out-of-control students?
Betwixt: Dealing with the Dreaded Drama (5/3/2012)
  "Drama" is a bitter reality our kids deal with every day at school.
Betwixt: Expectations of Leaders (4/14/2011)
  One of the most important elements of my entire ministry, without a doubt, is my leaders. Without them, I'd be floundering alone in a dark, dangerous, and life-sucking whirlpool.
Betwixt: The Weight of the Future on Their Shoulders (8/18/2011)
  I often ponder how this younger generation is growing up, and how we can best assist them in their trek to maturity as caring adults and leaders.
Betwixt: The Dirty Little Secret of Ministry (1/12/2012)
  The dirty little secret is this: sometimes, we give into that temptation to take the lazy road in our ministries.
Betwixt: Essential Items a Youth Leader Should Never Be Without (2/9/2012)
  What are some things you always need to have on hand, as you're dealing with middle school kids all the time? Trash bags. Lots of trash bags.
Betwixt: Drowning in Technology (11/3/2011)
  I'm curious about how I see technology influencing our everyday middle schooler--the good, the bad, and the ugly effects--right now, at this very moment.
Betwixt: My Biggest "Oopsies" (11/17/2011)
  Every so often, I like to remind myself of some of my biggest failures or mistakes in ministry, just to realize how many things I've learned in my years working with youth.
Betwixt: Learning the Act of Juggling Fun and Ministry (6/9/2011)
  How do I balance fun with ministry? What's that fine line between teaching something important and goofing around? How far do I let my kids get off topic before reeling them in?
Betwixt: The Boy-Crazy Cheerleader Who Drove Me Bananas (7/14/2011)
  The temptation, as leaders, is to think that we can't matter to certain kids. We want to try to label ourselves and the students around us.
Betwixt: The Sin that Swallows Church Workers (11/15/2013)
  The sins of pride and arrogance are the ones that often cripple church workers more than almost any other sins.
Betwixt: Navigating the Choppy Waters of Identity (10/13/2011)
  Most students are desperately trying to find their identity during these tumultuous few years, and it's easy to see why so many kids latch onto the first thing they stumble across: Hockey. Choir. Alcohol. A boyfriend or girlfriend.
Bible Study: It's a Jungle Out There (5/11/2011)
  Making one's own decisions is an exciting part of growing up. But making decisions can also be like going on a jungle safari. The whole idea of decision-making for junior highers sounds exotic, exciting. Yet there's an element of fear: What's really going to happen if I choose this? What will be best for me? What will harm me?
Life...The Great Pressure Cooker (5/18/2011)
  Help junior high youth find ways to deal with the pressure in their lives with this junior high event.
Confirmation Practices and Youth Connectedness to Church Life (6/3/2011)
  Is there a connection between models and methods of confirmation instruction and continued congregational connectedness of confirmation students after they have been through the Rite of Confirmation?

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