What Is My Time Worth? You Decide

I’ve heard it said, “If people won’t pay for your time, your time isn’t worth anything.” That’s has been stuck in my head for a while and I decided to see if this is true.

For the past seven years I have brought you the best content possible as an active, in the trenches youth pastor. I am one of you! I share my heart, my successes, and my failures.

In addition to my office hours, I pass along what I create in the form of blog posts, podcasts, videos, and lessons. All of this takes time. How much is my time worth? Today you get to decide.

I have started a Patreon account. This is a tool by which you can choose a way to support the work I do, especially for those youth workers who have no budget, no support, and no encouragement so they can receive free resources.

There are three ways you can support me,

Team Turner $1 a month

This is just your app of saying, “I am with you Paul and I appreciate what you do for all us.”. It’s less than .05 cents a day and an easy way to show your support.

Turner’s Tips. $3 a month

This is for those of you who really enjoy my content and want a deeper dive into the who, what, where, and why of what I do. If you want to get a behind the scenes look at ministry, this is where you’ll see it.

Turner’s Tribe $5 a month

This is for those of you who have no budget, are under-appreciated, bi-vocational, volunteer and slap any other adjective to describe how hard youth ministry is sometimes. As part of Turner’s Tribe You will receive freebies such as full lessons, special training videos. special Q and A sessions and more.for only $5 a month.

That’s it. Easy as 1,3, 5

What is my time worth? You decide.

You can choose your gratitude path right here.

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Youth Ministry Excuse # 5 I Am Powerless

I have been told, in various churches I’v served, that I could not do something

I could not use secular music

I could not take kids to such and such

I could not redecorate the room

I could not do pool parties

All of which I thought were stupid, but it wasn’t my call.

After I pitched my little fit and blamed everyone for why the youth ministry could not grow or said “If you just let me do …,  I got busy doing what I could do.

Staying within the lines is not my style (and still isn’t) but if I wanted to keep ministering in the local church I had to quit making excuses about being powerless.

How To Kill This Excuse: Collaboration

Many Youth Workers have very little control or say so in the direction of their ministries, but we do have influence. We don’t sign the checks or have a vote, but we do have passion and vision. We can talk, persuade, vision cast, and influence the people around us who do have control over the things we want/need changed.

Real power is not having full control, real power is, according to Dacher Keltner  in his book The Power Paradox, is

“altering the states of others”

This can be done through force or it can be done though joy, surprise, or kindness.

I was a big proponent of the first way. I’d make every argument in the book for why my way was the right way. I changed very little hearts or minds with that method.

Keltner goes on to say that power is given not grabbed and then shares how power is really attained. He uses the word groups, but we can safely include the church in his examples

Groups (Churches) give power to those who advance the greater good. 

For too long I fought for the rights of our youth ministry. I saw my self as the ministry only advocate and I raised my voice when I thought we were being disrespected.

What I did not take into account was that I was a selfish knuckled and did not think of the church as a whole. I wanted what I wanted and let the rest do what they wanted. It was not until I got my thinking unstuck and started to do what was best for the whole and not just for me, did I experience true power.

This leads to principle number two

Groups (Churches) reward those who advance the greater good with status and influence. 

The more I asked,

“What can the youth do to further the churches vision, message, and principles?”

the more I was seen as a team player and less of a rabble rouser.

The more I committed to being a team player and not a dangerous outlier that could upset the apple cart, the more responsibility I was given, the more my opinion mattered, the more I heard yes instead of no. For a youth pastor, this kind of power is like gold. My youthful passion cost me quite a bit of gold.

Lastly, the good use of power leads to principle number three

Groups (Churches) construct reputations that determine the capacity to influence

My negative actions had built me a reputation. Although I had skills, I did not have power. I was the talented monkey playing with matches. I had to rebuild my reputation

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it. –  Benjamin Franklin

I had not only lost my reputation, I had buried it.

Think of the basket ball player who consistently hogs the ball and tries to make crazy shots with zero results. That was me. The team may decide they need you on the court for defense but they do not have to throw you the ball any more.

Also, griping about not getting the ball will only get you traded.

One of my great tenants of youth ministry, now,  is how can the youth ministry bless and serve the rest of the church. I do this by

  • integrating the churches theme (mission, purpose) into the youth ministry DNA
  • serving other ministries in the church from nursery to senior citizens
  • create youth Sundays that will bless our congregation

You will never know greater power than when you are given it rather than trying to take it.

You are not powerless! It’s not that the church won’t let you do anything, maybe just have a bad definition of what real power looks like and your process for getting it is flawed.

Collaboration, not instigation, brings true power.

On to Excuse # 6: It’s Too Much Work 

 

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End Of Year Review: The 9 Questions You Must Ask Your Students

 

Kids want to share how they feel about us and the ministry they are a part of, but too often we’re scared to ask. We think, if I just keep my head down and plan lots of stuff I’ll be alright and I won’t have to listen to any criticism. Is that what you really want? Don’t you want to know what they really think?

Hearing them out is a win-win. They get to express themselves, we get to grow, and we get to plan on purpose for the next year.

Check out this mini-workshop on doing an end of the year review and the questions you must ask your students.

What other questions might you include?

 

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New Three Week Sermon Series: Transformed

 

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I wrote Transformed because I wanted kids to see themselves as works of art in progress. They are unfinished, but no less beautiful or valuable.

In this three week series we cover the transformations of people like Paul, Peter, the woman at the well and more. We look at their lives before and after meeting Jesus and the process in-between. We use stories about art, phone apps, hands on art projects, small groups and more to drive home the point that we can be transformed by the power and grace of God.

I’d love for you to give it a try. This is a money back guarantee, if you don’t like it, I’ll give your your money back. It’s that simple. Check it out HERE.

The series includes

– Opening activity ideas
– Art related activities
– Power Point and Keynote Slides
– Small Group Questions
– Promo Art Work
– Movie and Music Suggestions
– Curriculum Coach Audio

The series is flexible and you can design it anyway you’d like to meet the needs of your specific kids.

And remember, you are in the transformation process as well. God is not done with you yet. Keep going, and one day you will spread your wings and fly as well.

Recovering From The Post Summer Blues

 

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Youth Ministry doesn’t get any better than a missions trip or camp. In fact, if I could do only two things, missions and camps are all I would do because of the impact they have. But what is camp and missions trips without the downtime and struggle in-between?

I just got back from our missions trip to Florida where I speak at the camp I received Christ at. I’ve been doing this for 13 years. This year I took a team of students to do dramas and and skits. Camp and missions together? It was just too much. I have no idea how to recover, but I have to try.

I’m taking the next few days easy. I’m not prepping for anything. I sat in my office all day yesterday working on menial tasks like organizing my desk and putting pictures in frames.

Today  I’m picking up or building some soccer goals, whichever is cheaper. Physical activity helps clear my mind. Later, I’m going to wash the van we used on the tiro and and get it detailed. It’s hot mess.

Tomorrow, is Wednesday, I am using one of my messages that I used on the missions trip to share because, honestly, I don’t have the brain power. Don’t worry, the message was good and it’s something our group needs to hear. Timely. Tonight I’m going to see new Batman animated movie, The Killing Joke with my teenage son.

This weekend, I think it’s this weekend, we are having a 30 Days After Camp Reunion to see where we are in our relationship with God, His Word, and His Church.

That’s it. That’s my plan. Take it slow. Do something physical. Spend time with family. Enjoy the down time. Re-vist what God did in the hearts of kids. Dream for the future. Listen for what’s next.

What does your post camp/mission/summer look like?

How do you handle the highs and lows of ministry?

 

 

How Will You Get Kids There? Train or Dune Buggy?

Trains, Dune Buggy;s

We have two ways to travel, by trains or dune buggy.

Trains are predictable. They have scheduled stops. You may even arrive on time but you have one problem, tracks. If you want to go “over there” you can’t. You have to stay on the tracks. One other thing. you are not the conductor. You have no option but to allow someone else to drive the train.

Dune Buggy’s on the other hand, are awesome. You go where you want to go, explore where you want to go, see things that train people only see from their window. You are the driver and set he course.

It’s a choice between safety and predictability vs adventure and autonomy. What will you say to your kids this summer: Get on the train or jump in my ride?

Before you choose, remember, Jesus lived in the desert.

For more inspiration, be sure to sign up for my Fresh Impact newsletter.

And The Winner Is…You

 

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Have you ever wonder why there is no awards show for youth pastors? I mean we could give out some awards like

Best Worship Pose

Best Hipster Beard

Best Game Player

Best Talk Giver

Best Organized

But, alas, no award show has been created for us, or has there?

You see, our awards or rewards come later. They seem slow in coming, but when they come, they’ll come big. It’ll make the Oscars look like Boy Scouts getting awards for Pinewood Derby and and the Oscar after parties like a five year old birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.

See what I mean in the video below.

Oh, and if you like videos like this, be sure to subscribe at the top right of this page or here

Your Turn

Have you ever moped around wishing someone had given you an award for something you did in ministry?

What award do you think you deserve? Why?

 

 

Tips For Family and Ministry Balance

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I am on Periscope every Monday and Friday to answer your questions about youth ministry, life, and whatever else is on your mind. Periscope is a live streaming app and different kinds of people jump in an comment.

Here’s Monday’s episode.

The question: How do you manage spending time with family and doing ministry?

Thanks to @CJ_Bourroughs for his comments and insights.

Periscope Principles

Make family a priority.

Does the priority make the calendar?

Delegation creates space for family.

Who dictates your calendar? Pastor? Students?

Face to Face with students and leaders will be the most fruitful time you spend all week. Go deep with people, build equity in the relationships and the need for you to do everything will relax.

Subscribe to the Youth Ministry In Motion podcast

Subscribe to the Fresh Impact Newsletter

 

 

Becoming A More Dangerous Youth Ministry

 

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I’m speaking for my own youth ministry. It’s way to safe. Too predictable. But I’m always trying to change this.

When I say I want  our youth ministry to be more dangerous I don’t mean I want kids to get hurt or that we are a place where it’s not safe for kids to share. What I mean is that we should increase the risk and take away the safety net.

The safety net is the program itself. Whats more safe than a few games and a watered down talk?

I can hear the whinging now, “But, we need the program Paauuuuul”  No, we don’t.

The program may actually be in the way of what I really want for my kids.

If I am dong 4 week series on sharing your faith and don’t cancel the program and take kids out to share their faith, that’s a fail.

Information without application is a fail.

Risk is the key to growth both spiritually and numerically. Don’t believe that? I’m pretty sure this is how Jesus did it and you can too. Intead of the meeting

  • Make kids go out 2 by 2 and share the gospel
  • Change the location of your youth meeting to a mountain, a sea shore, or a house
  • Buy a bunch of pizzas and say “We’re heading to the _______________(put hot spot here), hand out pizzas, and invite sinners to Jesus and then our church.
  • Go to the seniors homes and pray for them.
  • Go out and serve the least of these with coats, hats, and blankets in winter. Sacrifice a meeting for them

Cut out all the excuses you’re thinking about using

  • They won’t do it.
  • Kids will leave
  • It will mess things  up (good!)
  • I don’t have enough leaders.
  • It’s impractical
  • My pastor won’t let us (I recommend finding a new church)

If we want our kids to experience Jesus weekly (daily!) , we have to occasionally take away the safety net and teach them how to have faith and take risks. It starts with us.

Youth Ministry is safe.

Jesus is dangerous.

Be dangerous.

Your Turn

How can you take the safety net away this week?

31 Flavors of Roles and Responsibilities For Teens

I like a busy though ministry. I like when kids come in and have a job; that’s why I don’t do everything. I leave things undone on purpose so kids will have something to do when they get to the church.

I believe in the economy of youth ministry. Youth Ministries are like small cities. When people are working and invested there is less crime, less blight, and less vandalism. Same is true for our ministries. More kids who serve weekly or monthly there are less complaints, less griping, less boredom, and  more vision.

Here are some roles I have given out over the years plus a few I am still working on. By the way, nothing on this list is sacred or proprietary. If we can do it a student can do it, with a little training and mentoring.

Create Worship Slides

Make Announcements

Take Offering

Poetry reading ( I have a kid who does this)

Pre-Rap your message (had a kid do this in another youth group. Would intro my message with a rap)

Share a testimony

Cafe (weekly serve snacks and refreshments)

Clean the room

Set up chairs

Lead the game

Sing A Song

Do A Dance

Do a Drama/Monologue

Play in the band

Lead Worship

Design Graphics

Weekly Photographer

Run Your Social Media

Run The Sound Board

Preach

Teach

Small Group Leader

Run The Compter

Do An Illustration

Video Tape The Service

Edit Video

Make Movies/Skits For The Message or Fun

Youtube Manager

Greeter

Follow Up Leader For New Guests

Mentor To Middle School Students

Disciple New Believers

Here are a few videos I created that may help

Feel free to add your idea below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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