12 Keys To Unlocking Your 2018

I don’t like to rush things. I like my seasons in order. I don’t like Halloween stuff in stores before October. I don’t like Christmas music before Thanksgiving. But, I love thinking about New Years  Eve and 2018 in late summer.

There is never a bad time for preparing.  I love taking notes, jotting down little ideas for message series, service projects, etc.  and then compiling them into some kind of strategy for the next quarter.

Our preparation to make an impact on the students we serve includes


Nothing will happen without inviting God to the party. Jesus went to a wedding and turned water to wine. Our plans, without God, are just water. Our plans, like water, are utilitarian and will suffice in keeping the engine from overheating, but that’s all. With God, out plans are changed, re-arrange and transformed into something far greater and make an impact far deeper that we could have imagined.

Asking the right questions

Jesus was asked a lot of questions and asked a lot of questions himself. We do not spend nearly the time asking the questions and reflecting on what the Holy Spirit may tell us. The answer to our biggest problems are in the questions we ask.

Putting it our there

One we have an idea we must share it. We must pass the idea around like a piece of clay rather than a rock. Passing around a rock says, “Here’s my idea, adore it but do not change it”. Passing around our ideas like clays says, “Here! Make this better. Transform it!”. Gather some people through e-mail, text, video, and in person and ask “How can we make this better”


We have to stick our flag in the ground. Talking is for the insecure. We can talk a good game but, if we do not pull the trigger, our ideas are sent to the graveyard where other ideas not acted upon go.

Don’t tell us what you are gong to do, let me see you doing it. The distance from idea to execution can be as long as it takes to work through the three steps above. The bigger the idea the long the time  it may take, the more people it may take, the more prayer it make take, but putting it in motion has to start now.

If you want to take a deeper dive, check out my new book Prepared For Impact where my friend Ryan Latham and I help you prepare for the opportunities God has waiting for you, right now, to start making an impact.

The book is packed with keys for preparing your next retreat, event, or meeting. Here’s what others are saying about it

“This book has been pivotal in the growth of my youth ministry! It is a great resource for beginners and seasoned youth workers equally. Filled with nuggets of wisdom, and challenging questions,it helps you turn your dreams and visions into a strategic plan of action. If you want to have a greater impact in the kingdom of God, buy this book!” – Jackee

“Prepared for impact” is the kind of book that thoroughly helps you become prepared for that next ministry step in your life. It brings up ideas that are both thought provoking and helpful. 10/10 would recommend.” – Amazon Customer

“If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining”
Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

Buy the book and start building habits of preparation so you can beat the rain every time.

Leveling The Youth Ministry Playing Field

Things can seem, and many times are, uneven in youth ministry.

The church down the street has:

a bigger budget

a better youth facility

a brighter influence in the community

But, you’re not competing against the church down the street, you’re competing against yourself.

God does not love the church down the street any more than He loves you, your church or your youth ministry, but griping about the church down the street does nothing to move the dial in your youth ministry or walk with God.

There are ways to level the playing field when it seems like the deck is stacked against you.

You can pray just as much or just as hard

Prayer is not a tool to grow our youth ministry it’s a way to know and bless our Creator. We can grow in our relationship with God. We are not less than anyone. We have the same access to the same God who loves us just the same. Talk and listen to God and you will grow and you will receive the affirmation you are looking for from the one who matters most.

Prayer is also weapon against the feelings of inferiority and toxic emotions that cause us to fear, shrink back, and debilitate us.

You can work just as hard

No one has a claim on hard work. We can reach out, follow leads, follow up, and take advantage of the opportunities that are afforded us just like everyone else. [bctt tweet=”Hard work is not proprietary. No one owns hard work.” username=”@paulturnertoo”] Work hard, work smart, and you’ll see a harvest proportionate to your harvest field and then some.

You can improve

Once again, this is open to anyone. If you are not improving in your skills or disciplines your losing. Doug Fields likes to say that leaders are learners, and that is true. If we’re leading we should be learning.

If you are new here, I offer a few options to improve your personal and ministry performance

A Youtube channel with over 500 videos to help you become all you can be.

2. The Youth Ministry in Motion Podcast, my weekly attempt to motivate you and keep your youth ministry moving forward

3. The Fresh Impact Newsletter that give you insight, ideas. and inspiration to help you on your journey.

Your Turn

Are you working at the level you you could be?

Where do you think you could improve?