Episode 047: Creativity in Youth Ministry With Justin Knowles

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In this episode, I talk with Student Pastor Justin Knowles. Justin and I have a great conversation about youth ministry, what it looks like at his church, and how to get creative with programming. We also dive into what makes a great volunteer culture and he shares his 3 year plan for revamping the ministry he came into at Christ’s Church.

Justin Knowles

Connect with Justin on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Christ’s Church of the Valley

Click Here to Win a FREE Orange Conference Ticket

Like the page and comment on my OC17 Ticket post with your location and church. I will be choosing a name this Friday, April 7 at 5PM Eastern Time. If you’re planning to be at the Orange Conference, feel free to reach out and let me know. It’d be great to connect with you!

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Download Youth Ministry Blog – Check out Justin’s posts and other great youth ministry resources

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (book) – Chris McChesney shares how to determine what is most important, develop a strategy for going after it, and seeing it through to completion

Event Ideas

  • Glow-in-the-dark night
  • Silent disco with headphones and dancing
  • Fall flannel festival with fire pits, a photo booth, and all things pumpkin flavored
  • Backyard BBQ with burgers, hot dogs, inflatables, human hamster balls, and an ice cream truck

Christ’s Church’s New Student Area

  1. Invite new students to the back of room at the end of the night
  2. Have them fill out a quick info card
  3. Give them a giant candy bar
  4. Follow up that week with a personal text from the leader they were introduced to

Justin’s Process for Revamping Student Ministry

  1. Started with leaders
  2. Rewrote volunteer expectations
  3. Had all leaders reapply
  4. Onboarded new volunteers
  5. Created opportunities for leaders to hang out together
  6. Began 3 year plan (Programming, small groups, serving)

Action Items

  1. Try planning and hosting events that take place during your regular programming
  2. Gather a team of people and brainstorm ideas for every area of Student Ministry

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Next Episode: Shannon Pijanowski

In the next episode, I talk with one of the small group leaders from our church, Shannon Pijanowski. Shannon is a phenomenal SGL who leads a group of 2nd graders every Sunday morning, and a group of 11th graders every Sunday night. We walk through what she does on a week-to-week basis to connect with kids and students, and how she partners with their parents. The principles and practices she shares are really helpful for ministry leaders, but could also serve as a great resource for your volunteers.


FREE Resource: 30 Apps We Use to Lead Family Ministry

Download this FREE resource and get the 30 Apps We Use to Lead Family Ministry. We use these almost every week and I share what they are and how we use them to lead our children and student ministries.

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