The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, March 16, 2004

In This Issue

If you aren't a subscriber of this EZINE and would like to subscribe - it's free - just pop on and sign up in the upper right hand corner.

Featured Article: Moving Students to the Right ... Developing Student Leaders

By Jonathan McKee
March 16, 2004

Ever thought about what would happen to your ministry if you left tomorrow? Would it still have a pulse?

This email is something I hear a lot:

Dear Jonathan,

I thought I was doing a good job with my youth ministry. But then someone asked me for the names of some good leaders who had graduated from my group. I thought about it for a while. I thought of some neat kids, some great babysitters, some kids that came to Bible study every week ... but leaders?

My group just exists. I do the basics every week, but kids just don't seem to be going anywhere. They don't bring their friends often, and if they do, they're terrible examples. They love fun events, but aren't serious about digging into the Word. What am I doing wrong!

Help! -Mark

Mark isn't alone. Many of us ask similar questions. Am I really making a difference? Am I really developing students with a passion for Christ? Where will these students be in five years?

Try something.

Take a blank peice of paper and make three columns. On the top of the left column write CASUAL KIDS. On the top of the middle column write CURIOUS KIDS. On the top of the right column write COMMITTED KIDS.

Years ago, Ray Johnston, a board member here at The Source for Youth Ministry, wrote a curriculum for Youth Specialties' National Resource Seminar. In this workshop he outlined three types of kids: Casual, Curious, and Committed.

    Casual Kids: These students may be visiting for the first time or may be attending regularly. They may be churched or unchurched. These kids may be there because your outreach ministry attracted them or because their parents have bribed (or forced) them. These are kids who have not yet become followers of Jesus. They might be at all the fun events, but the minute they sense a Bible study coming, they dissappear in a flash. If you have a bunch of these kids, don't let it get you down. The great thing is that they are there!

    Curious Kids: These are the students who have started a relationship with Christ and are interested (maybe just a little bit, but still interested) in spiritual growth. They may not be thrilled about a Bible study, but they are curious about what a relationship with God looks like on a day to day basis. They are curious how to live out this life of faith in today's R-rated world, although they don't always show it.

    Committed Kids: Committed students are the ones who are not only serious about their faith, they're ready to make a difference in those around them. They are interested in leadership roles and they want to reach out to their friends.

Okay ... are you ready to take an honest look at your group? If you're up to it -- take your peice of paper and fill in the names of all the students in your youth group. Figure out which column they fit in, and write in their name in that column. Those of you who have just 6 kids, this will be a snap. If you have 250 ... come back to this article in about an hour and a half when you're done.

Now. Which column is the most full?

If the center column is the most full, then you're not alone. Your group is like the average youth group in America right now. A bunch of kids who've made a decision at one time in their life, but aren't that committed. It would be great if we could move these kids to the right!

Some of you might have a number of students in the left column. That's great. I love those kids. But wouldn't it be cool to share Christ with them and move them to the right!

And some of you might have some right column kids - committed kids. Let me ask you: Are you providing opportunities for them to develop their leadership skills and reach out to others?

Whatever the case, the answer you might be looking for is a student leadership program.

Let's look at the average youth group in America - tons of students in the middle column. We would like to move these kids to the right. We'd like them to start using their spiritual gifts, reaching out to others and taking leadership roles. How can we move them right unless we have somewhere for them to move? A student leadership program could be just the thing.

What if you have a bunch of kids in the left hand column - Casual kids. Outreach kids. How do you reach them? Well, what's one of the most effective ways to reach students? OTHER STUDENTS! That's right. Students reaching students.

There's only one of you - and maybe a handful of staff. But how many students do you have? What if each of your students was reaching out to the students next to them in math class, next door to them, or at the locker next to theirs? Think of the outreach potential!

Saddleback's Kurt Johnston describes it like this in my interview with him last year: (CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW)

    "The reason I believe so strongly in Friendship Evangelism ... as flawed as it is ... is because I think big ongoing outreach programs handicap our students in the long run. I don't want them to rely on me, the church, our budget, our facilities, etc. to reach their friends. I want them to see early on that a program doesn't change a life, but a relationship does. If a kid leaves Saddleback and goes to a tiny little church in the mid-west with two students and no outreach program, I want that student to have the understanding that HE is the outreach program. It may not click right now while they're in a big, happening environment, but I'm hoping that we're planting seeds of maturity in their hearts that will reap results when it matters most."

So developing student leaders - developing your right column - can be one of the best ways to do outreach - boosting up your left column. So if you're short on kids in your left hand column, or short on resources to reach the left column, or even if you're short on kids in your right column, developing student leaders might just be the answer you're looking for.


Jonathan McKee is president of and author of the new book "Do They Run When They See You Coming? Reaching Out to Unchurched Teenagers."
(CLICK HERE FOR THE BOOK) Jonathan speaks and trains across the country and provides free online resources, training, & ideas for youth workers at

A Resource You'll Want: Student Leadership Resources Offered Exclusively from THE SOURCE

If you need to develop student leaders, or if you are looking for some great curriculum for your student leadership program, we've got 3 great resources for you.

1. Developing Student Leaders, by Ray Johnston

You may be sitting on an untapped gold mine of leadership for your youth group - the kids! Ray Johnston outlines a step by step strategy on how you can help your kids tap into their leadership potential.

PLUS- this book includes a complete 5 Week Student Leadership Training Course and a reproducible Spiritual Gifts Test!

Just $13.98 Only at THE SOURCE.


2. Developing Spiritual Growth in Junior High Students, by Ray Johnston

Tap in to the leadership potential of your junior high students. Yes ... your junior high students!

Developing Spiritual Growth in junior high students gives you all you need to build a growing, healthy, spiritually-alive junior high group. This is the book where Ray introduces the casual, the curious and the committed kid, and what to do with each of them!

Just $13.98 Only at THE SOURCE.


3. The Top 12 Resources That Youth Workers Want, by Jonathan McKee

Get the book that Fuller Seminary's Chap Clark calls "The best single volume on pragmatic programming I have ever seen ... a must on every youthworker's shelf!"

Enjoy not only an entire chapter on developing a student leadership program but also the best of Jonathan's games, video clip ideas, and weekly curriculum. And the basics in programming, small groups, and building an effective team of volunteers.

Recommended by Jim Burns, Chap Clark, Kurt Johnston, Fred Lynch, Laurie Polich, Wayne Rice, and more!

Just $13.98 Only at THE SOURCE.


Our Annual Hideous Heap Contest: Rewarding You for Being a Poor Youth Worker

Don't miss our annual HIDEOUS HEAP CONTEST, A FREE contest where you can earn some great prizes just for being a youth worker and driving a hideous heap!

This year Youth Specialties has kicked in the grand-daddy of cool prizes ... paid admission to their national youth workers convention in one of three U.S. cities. (A $350 value!) I'll be speaking at all three conventions this year, so I'll be looking forward to meeting the winner in person!

Second place will win YS IDEAS CD-ROM 2.0, and third place will win the YS Worship Image Gallery. We'll also be giving away a few honorable mention prizes. Cool stuff!

It's simple. You just submit a picture of your car with a description of what a heap it is, and we'll be choosing the winner April 15th.


Jonathan's "Understanding & Reaching The Unchurched" Training

Reaching the Unchurched Jonathan's new book "Reaching Unchurched Kids," published by YS, is coming out late this year. Don't wait for the book, get this training now!

This training workshop will be coming to Tampa on April 24th, Southern CA on May 1st, and Western PA on May 22nd. See below for registration information for each city:


April 24, Jonathan is doing a Saturday workshop (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) for youth workers in the greater Tampa area. If you're a youth worker, barely paid or a volunteer, this is for you!

Here's the details:

    Saturday April 24th , 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    University Church of God
    10948 Central Avenue
    Tampa, Fl. 33612
    Two choices:
      $20 at the door (includes lunch)
      ONLY $15 if you pre-register by April 19th (includes lunch)


May 1st, Jonathan is doing a Saturday workshop (9AM to 3PM) for youth workers in the greater Ventura County area. If you're a youth worker, barely paid or a volunteer, this is for you!

Here's the details:

    Saturday May 1st, 9AM to 3PM
    Two choices:
      $15 after April 24th or at the door (includes lunch)
      ONLY $10 if you pre-register by April 24th (includes lunch)
    CONTACT Jeff Kempton at (805) 484-0530


May 22nd, Jonathan is doing a Saturday workshop (9AM to 3PM) for youth workers in New Castle, PA. If you're a youth worker in the area, don't miss this opportunity to train and equip your youth ministry staff and volunteers.

    May 22nd, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    New Castle, PA (Western PA). Specific Location coming soon.
    • About an hour North of Pittsburgh
    • About 15 minutes East of Youngstown, Ohio
    FREE- but you need to pre-register
    Call Todd Smith at Knox Student Ministries: (724) 946-3035

Jonathan's Resource Ezine from The Source

Delivered free via e-mail to subscribers each week. We encourage you to distribute this newsletter freely and ask only that you not change its contents.


And for more FREE resources and ideas ... go to THE SOURCE

Copyright ?2004 The Source for Youth Ministry
All rights reserved.