The Js start off with rethinking some of the stuff they loved about LAST episode (they just can’t let go of the past). Danny Kwon talks about Missions Trips — and he LOVES them. He refuses to poo poo short term missions trips. He wrote a book about it called Mission Tripping. (It also has an accompanying journal.) Danny give some great advice, using examples of how his church has structured their trips. He talks about BIG things to consider, but also small things (like getting to the airport). Danny also shares some wisdom that he tries to teach his leaders and interns. We also ask the important question of the correlation between a male’s facial hair and quality of his ministry. The Js talk about missions trips (duh). Jonathan talks about the returning interest in “pilgrimage” trips - and then questions whether or not we’ve been confusing missions and pilgrimages. We also promote the idea of local missions trips. We make reference to Andy Crouch’s book PLAYING GOD (read it asap… amazing book). Jonny has a brilliant point at the end… listen for it! Follow Danny Kwon on Facebook and Instagram - DKwonPhilly - and twitter @DannyKwonPhD
Danny has been at his church for 24 years. That’s amazing. Danny is amazing. He’s so amazing that it takes two episodes to to interview him. He’s a father of teenagers and married to a therapist. He’s active on facebook and instagram. He seems to take a lot of pictures of food he’s cooking. He’s VERY excited about his Sam’s Club membership. We chat about his 3 (2.5) books. His first book was A Youth Worker’s Field Guide to Parenting. We hear some of his wisdom about what it’s like to see parenting teens from both side: the pastor AND the parent. He gives some great advice about how you can give your kids money every time you mention them in a sermon. The Js immediately go down a completely unrelated rabbit hole about ministry titles. (Reverend outranks Doctor!) Jonny and Jonathan agree that we should have gotten Danny’s wife in to be interviewed as well. #fail. John makes a great point about giving parents the benefit of the doubt. We all collectively agree that #SportsShaming needs to stop in church circles. John makes the point that we have to deal with the idea that sometimes sports teams are offering a type of community that we aren’t offering (and maybe can’t offer) at youth group. Jonathan proclaims that he is tired (“exhausted”) of hearing youth leaders complain about sports. John challenges the idea that we always assume that church events are more spiritual than sports events. Follow Danny on Facebook and Instagram - DKwonPhilly - and twitter @DannyKwonPhD
In our 22nd audio adventure with John, Jonny, and Jonathan, there is some discussion on deep voices… and not-so-deep voices. And SPEAKING of deep voices, Jonathan interviews Chris Hall. Dr. Hall currently serves as president of Renovaré (an amazing organization that you need to learn more about ASAP). Before becoming President of Renovaré, Chris was Director of Academic Spiritual Formation and Distinguished Professor of Theology at Eastern University. He is the author of a number of books, including The Mystery of God (with Steven D. Boyer; Baker Academic), Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers, Learning Theology with the Church Fathers, Worshiping with the Church Fathers (InterVarsity Press), and The Trinity (with Roger Olson; Eerdmans). After the interview, the three Js basically have to take a second because their brains are full… but they get rolling and share some thoughts about what it means to take some of the ideas presented by Dr. Hall and apply them to youth ministry settings. They discuss things like silent retreats, experiential prayer, and how someone could regularly attend church for 12 years and still be the same person. It’s good study - enjoy!
We made it to season 2!!! The 3 J’s celebrate this fact and we (sort of) thank our mothers. They start to introduce the interview but get slightly sidetracked on football things and how west coast Todd Jones comes across. There is also mention about a different J3 podcast that we hope you’re not listening to. The interview begins and it’s immediately obvious that Jonny’s mic REALLY picked up the high ends of his voice (aka - he sounds a little nasally… our bad). Todd has fantastic insight on how to have a better ministry that involves you being on school campuses. The J’s are immediately struck by how much this interview is obvious and yet convicting. Check out Todd on his website - Stoked on Youth Ministry - and follow him on twitter! (also... follow Stocked on YM on Twiitter!)
We talk about the who has what degrees. Jonathan Hobbs comes in third place with 'some' graduate level work. We all agree that John C will have his doctorate sooner than later. And then the sentence "I have a BS in the Bible and I'm getting my DMIN" is said. Epic.
Len Kageler tells us that he has actually been doing (actually DOING) youth ministry for 40 YEARS! He's recently stepped down from being a "weekly youth leader" but still speaks all over the world and even still finds time to do ministry in his local area. He also is in his final year of teaching at Nyack College in Nyack, New York. He is widely considered one of the "Godfathers" of modern youth ministry and has a ton of wisdom to offer us. We decided for this interview, we wanted to hear about "learning styles" and how he's integrated that into his teaching methods. Len also admits that his did a youth retreat at a house of prostitution. Wow. just....wow. (note: It was by accident.) We discuss how Len got his PhD and his decision to be a more of an "academic" youth director. He does studies and writes (and presents) academic papers. He has valued the importance of a strong academic presence in the field of youth ministry. (Which is something that many people don't even know exists!)
The three J's then discuss the topics (in reverse order in which the interview presented them...oddly enough). How well are we PRESENTING our messages? Are people receiving them? Communication is a two way process. We then go into a trickier topic: What is the MINIMUM of something that should be hired to lead a youth ministry? This really isn't a simple question. John C does a shout out to his mom. Literally... a "word to your mother." (#iceicebaby) And Jonny completely forgets how we do our signoff and we have to do it twice.
As always, we would love to hear YOUR thoughts. please follow us on twitter at @j3youthmin or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Christian video game that isn't awful?!??!?? WWhhhahaaa??? Say more...
In this episode, we begin by talking about wonderfulness of the last name “Satterwhite.” The topic at hand is helping people engage with the Scriptures. We sit down with the perfect person to discuss this topic - Arthur Satterwhite who works at the American Bible Society. We talk about his story and about the story of ABS. We then talk about some amazing research that ABS did with the Barna Group about people’s perceptions of the Bible. The results are really fascinating! There is A LOT here. There are 4.8 Bibles per household! So people HAVE Bibles, but the studies are showing that people don’t what to do with them. Check out www.lookinside.bible and pass it along to people that might be interested in learning more.
Right off the bat we talk about how wonderful cookie dough is (which Jonny calls “batter” for reasons we don’t go into). Jonathan claims you can redeem a cooked cookie by freezing it. Jonny presses further and asks about brownie “batter” and then goes too far and says he likes to eat pancake batter. Ewww. Jonathan compares Mark DeVries’ voice to Jon Stewart’s impression of George W Bush. (Look it up… it’s legit.) We all agree the British accent is amazing and makes things better. Then we go to the interview which is actually the part worth listening to. Mark discusses an idea he has around we have a broken incentive system in Youth Ministry. While this isn’t a new idea, Mark’s take on it is pretty fantastic. Jonathan’s mind is blown. They then talk about the “Death Wave” which is either a huge problem or the name of a Middle School event… Mark explains how fishing can BE ministry - and actually FUND ministry. We also ask Mark to talk about new books coming out soon from him and his partners in ministry. John talks about setting fire to rafts. (pyro much?) Jonathan tries to again explains the “death wave” and why he’s obsessed with it. He tries to put a positive spin on it…which is hard to do on something called “death wave.” We discuss encouraging participation over actual growth. John has a great question about how we separate students at youth group and events. Jonathan rambles on and on and then wonders why the podcast went long. Feel free to tweet and make fun of him - @j3youthmin
The J’s admit to being overwhelmed with the awesomeness of Mark DeVries (aka, man-crush?) We interview Mark and here about his story. We talk about why youth directors shouldn’t be excited when they see a job description that says “we want someone to bring a vision to our youth group.” Mark talks about shaping the narrative and says “the one that tells the best stories wins” and it blows Jonathan’s mind. The Js collectively agree that notes are the only thing that can be “copious.” Jonathan cannot get over how long Mark was at his church. Jonny over-uses a southern accent when describing bad churches. Jonathan calls him out. Jonny immediately repents. Shalom is restored. Jonny also confesses that everything Mark says about leading meetings is everything he needs to hear. Jonathan dittos. John is strangely silent during this time… He may have fallen asleep. Jonny says something about “if someone is rambling for three minutes about something" and Jonathan realizes he has been rambling for about three minutes. John speaks up after Jonathan says he doesn’t want to hijack the episode. Then Jonathan hijacks the episode. (But it’s good to know he didn’t WANT to do it…) o_O
Please go to www.ministryarchitects.com and see what amazing this Mark DeVries is doing…. because he’s doing A LOT of amazing things.
Stefanie Boyce is the epitome of "ministering out of the overflow." Jonathan sits down with her they talk about part of her story and what lessons she's learned along the way. Stefanie is a speaker, blogger, writer, and all-around awesome person. (Check out her blog "From Type A to Plan B" @ www.stefanieboyce.com) She quotes Anne Lamott, which makes her the second person to do so in the last few episodes. (And Jonathan is starting to think that we just need to get her on the podcast... so... if anyone of you know her... tell her to call us!) After the interview all the J'sagree that people need to "let leaders lead" but Jonny reminds us that we can just complain about that when looking up... we need to practice this with our own volunteers. John talks about the idea of the "Good Try" which we need to bring back into our normal lexicon. Jonny makes a decent burn on the Miami Dolphins. Jonathan is vaguely aware of who the Miami Dolphins are. We discuss lighthouses. It's one of the best episodes we've done... (definitely in the top 16). Enjoy.
Jonathan says "the Twitter" and realizes he's a 85-year-old man in a 38-year-old's body. The J’s plug their twitter handles as a thinly veiled cry for help (or at least a cry for attention). The #nightmoose comes up again because we still think it's funny. We chat with Rich Douglas about what it’s like to do youth ministry in a small southern town. He also claims he doesn’t have an accent… and says it WITH AN ACCENT… which Jonathan somehow doesn’t push back on during the interview. Shotty journalism! In the debrief John and Jonny Make great points... Jonathan goes on a rabbit trails then finally says something insightful.. and THEN realizes how far down a rabbit trail they've all gone... and that's basically the end of the episode.
Darrell tells about about how he used to teach his Jr Highers Greek... Jonathan and John feel like terrible youth directors in the presence of such awesomeness.
We. Are. Not. Worthy.
Scary wilderness moment? #nightmoose … We chat more with Darrell and go into one of his (and our) favorite topics — ministry in the wilderness. We hear great stories about how conversations around the campfire can go deep very quick. Darrell tells how he abandoned his church group in the Grand Canyon so he could have an awesome hike by himself. He also explains how canyon hiking is different… and hard. Jonathan confesses he doesn’t do wilderness ministry enough (really… at all). John and Jonny shame him and refuse to be his friend for a moment. We all end as friends and together hope and pray that #nightmoose becomes a thing and starts trending on social media.
John, Jonny, and Jonathan discuss the art of “the event.” Jonny uses the word “apostolic” which impresses Jonathan and John. We all agree on the awesomeness of the goatee and that youth ministry pretty much drove the popularity of that facial hair design. Jonny also kinda refers to our guest as a horse. We sit down with Darrell Pearson from Eastern University and hear his story - and a large part of that story is how he and a friend started a company putting on youth ministry events exclusively for Jr Highers! Darrell gives some advice about what makes a good event and tells us some surprising things that he DIDN’T do in his middle school events.
We discuss books and Jonny R confesses that he doesn’t “read for entertainment.” It’s universally agreed that the name “Brock” is cool, and that it’s pretty hard to be uncool if your parents name you Brock. The hosts become collectively upset at their parents for naming them iterations of “John.” We interview Brock Morgan and he shares that he grew up on the tour bus of his dad’s band - Amplified Version. We also discuss Brock’s new book - 2027 (available Sept 15 from The Youth Cartel). Brock also has an AMAZING book called “Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World” that you need to read if you haven’t already. After our chat with Brock, the three J’s talk a lot about the interview and the themes that came out.
All very good stuff. Lots here to make you think.
AND…There’s a fun surprise at the end. You’re welcome.
Ray Garcia shared with us some wisdom about what it takes to plant - and specifically Replant a church. Many Youth Directors look at this as possibly part of their future. And if this is where God is calling you to - AMEN. But know it takes a very specific DNA to do this kind of work. It truly is NOT for everyone. Great wisdom here and worth a listen.
In this episode, we (finally) make a Carman reference, and then sit down with Ray Garcia. After many years working in youth ministry, Ray founded a missions organization called "The Philadelphia Project." He also became the pastor of Roxborough Church. We talk about the organization and how it's grown over the years. We also share a few bits of wisdom that Ray has learned through the years that could be incredibly helpful to people in ministry. No big deal... (double entendre there... you'll have to listen to get it...)
In our 10th episode (yay! we made it to ten!) we sit down with the amazing MarkO from “The Youth Cartel” and chat about his life, his company, and the importance of youth ministries being weird (and other stuff).
Be prepared to take notes on this one.
It’s great stuff.
Alison is a youth leader and an author (and many other wonderful things… but these two are what we focus on during the interview. She’s also Catholic - and we focus on that too. For far too long, youth leaders in the Evangelical Christian world have been encouraged (either subtly or blatantly) to not play well with our Catholic friends. Alison and Jonathan also talk about how awesome Pope Francis is, and Jonathan brings up Martin Luther. (whoops. mistake.)
Our third and final installment of our conversation with Tony Campolo. We ask him which of his books you should read. He also prays for all of us in youth ministry.