Bruised, Dirty, and Muddy?

This past Saturday, several good friends and I ran a race called the Tough Mudder. We had a lot of fun, worked hard, and got muddy. Afterward, I realized that this race makes an excellent analogy for what the beginnings of many new ministries feel like. Initially it's scary seeing the course that has been laid [...]

Those Turds

Maybe it’s just our ministries and you don’t have this problem, but we have some unique children in our programs that we lovingly refer to as “turds”. I sincerely mean that. We love them, but their behavior stinks. It’s ok though, they’re keeping us all on our toes, as well as sometimes on our last [...]

Battling Burnout

When I was new into ministry I asked a priest if he had an advice for a new youth minister. “Take care of yourself,” he said. “You have to look out for yourself because no one else will.” I thought he might be exaggerating, after all I was working for a Church and anyone working [...]

What Happens When You Leave

After a short 6 month stint in the Peace Corps, I’d easily estimate I heard the word "sustainability" over a thousand times. Sustainability is the buzzword in the international development community, and for good reason.  The focus of aid has shifted from “giving” to “teaching.” For example, we underwent three months of training, covering cultural [...]

National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry – 5 Quick Takes

Last weekend, the team from Next Level Ministry was able to attend the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry (NCCYM). Over 3,000 people gathered to discuss how we as ministers and as a Church could better connect Christ to teens and families. Here are my 5 quick takes from the conference. Evangelization > Catechesis Bob [...]

Volunteer Training, Simplified

The ministry year is in full swing! We're drinking more coffee than ever and have full voicemail inboxes, but to God be the glory! At this point in the fall semester, you might still be searching for volunteers, or you may be realizing that the ones you have still need some help. Today's post is to [...]

For When You Don’t Feel Like It

The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness. — Pope Benedict XVI I have a confession to make. Rarely, do I feel like doing ministry. I don’t feel bad in telling you this. I told some of my youth this the other day during small group. [...]

Give Them What They Came For

The question I’m most frequently asked at the start of any given youth night is “What game are we playing tonight?” The truth is that for a number of our youth it's the things like snacks, social activities, and games that really gain their interest in coming. I challenge you to give them what they come for! Most of [...]