In this episode, I have a conversation with Kurt Johnston of Saddleback Church about how Saddleback does student ministry, the key components of that strategy, what has remained constant, and what has changed over the past ten years. We also dive into the questions facing student ministry and church leaders as they struggle to engage and create points of involvement for high school students, at a time when high school ministry seems to be struggling more than ever Finally, Kurt also teases out what it has looked like transitioning from the role of a student ministry leader to a NextGen leader at his church.

Kurt Johnston

Connect with Kurt on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Saddleback Church

Links Mentioned in This Episode

The Purpose Driven Life (book) – Rick Warren helps you explore what it looks like to live with your God-given purpose at the center of everything

Resources for Students

Middle School Survival Series: My FaithMy FamilyMy FriendsMy School

10 Minute Moments: God's Story – 31 relevant devotions for teens that take ten minutes each and help them develop the discipline of a daily devotion

The Jesus-Centered Life – 40 devotions for teenagers

Reframing Jesus: A Fresh Look into a Familiar Face

99 Thoughts About Guys: For Girls' Eyes Only

99 Thoughts About Girls: For Guys' Eyes Only

Tempting Stuff (5-Week DVD Curriculum)

Resources for Student Ministry

This Book Gets Around – A resource to help people get to know those around them better

Controlled Chaos: Making Sense of Junior High Ministry

99 Thoughts About Junior High Ministry

Middle School Ministry Made Simple

The 9: Best Practices for Youth Ministry

Getting Students to Show Up

Go Team: 101 Ideas to Energize Youth Ministry Volunteers (book)

Kurt and Scott's Junior High Adventure: Taking Your Ministry Beyond Duct Tape, Dodgeball, and Double-Dog Dares

Action Items

  1. Map out your current strategy-the components, purpose of each component, and how they work together
  2. Think about what it would look like to start measuring involvement, attendance, and engagement differently
  3. Ask: What different opportunities exist for student involvement and engagement, and does anything need to be added or taken away?

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