ms ministry summit notes, part 7

summit attendees, goof.jpg

the ys middle school ministry summit took place at spring hill camp in evart, michigan, in mid-september. 45 paid junior high or middle school-only youth workers attended. these are the mostly unedited notes. remember, they’re notes on a dialogue of 45 voices, not a refined set of ideas…


what questions do we have?
– How do you tailor small groups for boys?
– How do you keep boys?
– Getting Dads.
– Learning to teach boys
– Training boys to be men
– We have a lot of single parent families
– There are so many more loner guys than years ago. /Helping them build friendships
– Making sure some don’t go into a homosexual direction
– How do we minister to boys into porn.

Small groups
– Let the staff choose their type of students
– Balance the group with 2 leaders and two different ages
– Meeting off site at homes
– Give lots of space for play
– We have snack every week, and it is the last thing we do
– Most of the groups are closed
– Allow some jokes. Don’t form an intense Christian bubble.
– Guys get freaked out about talking about porn at church.
– The play factor is huge!!!
– Everything in 6th grade leads up to ministry in 8th grade.
– In 6th grade, let the boys play with something in their hands in the small group time.

Connecting with and keeping boys
– Sometimes you can keep the leader as their leader when they move to high school, on the other hand, some people are just made for jr. high
– Give your boys jobs – chairs, trash, snack shop,
– Camping trips
– Sports game
– Guys event – Burly
– Dad and son event
– Mother and son event

Connecting with the Dads
– Training day – How do you be a dad?
– Bring students to the men’s retreat, but break the students off in their own seasons.

Relevant teaching styles
– Visual
– Humor
– Experience
– Sports/coaching teaching maybe be blunt and relating things in a team and action context
– Telling your boys that you are proud of you
– Boys need to know that they are safe!! They need to feel safe.
– Boys will talk in small groups in the right context.

– Read the book Teenage Guys
– XXX Church
Every young man’s battle
– Read the book –When young men are tempted.
– Bring HS/College guys in to tell a testimony.
– Read the book (for dads) Preparing your son for every young man’s battle

2 thoughts on “ms ministry summit notes, part 7”

  1. I follow your blog pretty closely, but I usually tend to skip over the ms ministry summit articles–usually because of time & the fact that I’m not in youth ministry right now. For some reason, I chose to stop today and glance at your notes, and something caught my attention…

    I’m sure, as it was a dialog, that much more was said on the topic, but you hear this kind of solution in reality a lot too. As I glanced down and found the “Porn/Homosexuality” question, in my mind I heard:

    “I’m really struggling with pornography…
    What can I do?”

    “Read a book”
    “Visit a website”
    “Read a book”
    “Read a book”
    “Hear this guy”
    “Read a book”

    Now I’m sure these are great resources, and reading a book is something I love and value greatly–but seriously, this sounds like giving a bandaid to someone who just had their arm cut off!

    I’m glad they stepped into “XXX Church” and testimonies as other options, and I think those are good ideas. Bringing in others who struggle to share their perspective is probably the most effective solution on that list. XXX Church is a helpful solution too, but if it’s the only other idea with bringing in another group speaker and reading books, I’m not so sure that it is going to be as effective for life transformation. I wonder about placing such high hopes in a solution that can only be accessed through the same medium that creates most of the problem? Would you tell a pedophile that he needs to meet with a group at the local playground to help him through his issues? Would you tell a recovering alcoholic that the next AA meeting is going to be at the local bar?

    Again, I think those two could be viable options, but the whole “Read a book” mentality is ineffective for real life change in the area of addiction. When someone’s an alcoholic, do you hand them a book and say, “Read this”? I’m sure that AA offers some helpful reading material, but it’s not referenced in their 12 steps.

    Are these books bad ideas? No. Can they be helpful? Yes. However, as the primary solution, will it work? I highly doubt it. In graphic design (the field I’m studying now) the goal of every project is to communicate a message, and it is the designers job to come up with a solution. This requires:

    -more than the same 3 ideas repeated over and
    over, as seen in the above notes

    Creative Thinking
    -with no limits to the money I can spend, how
    would I effectively transform this kid’s life
    in the area of pornography?

    Asking questions from different perspectives
    -How does the teen think and interact on the
    -How do adults think and interact on the web?
    -Could this difference be part of the reason
    our adult solutions are ineffective for teens?
    -Is pornography an issue for dad? How will this
    impact the necessary solutions for his child?

    You’re off to a great start because you’re asking the questions–but if you’re serious about solutions, you can’t merely stop with a reading to-do list (again, I know it’s just quick notes to a dialog, so I’m sure more was said). I think this could be an important area of investigation, as the pornography issue in teens will have major repercussions in the rest of their lives, not to mention future marriages. And just think, hitting this issue now could impact the issue of divorce in the church, self-esteem in women, and a myriad of other problem arenas.

    May God continue to guide you, your family, and the work that youth specialties is doing as you continue to follow Him faithfully!

  2. There is so little out there about ministry to middle school and high school boys. Why is that?
    The girls have sage and other girl type events and ministries. Where is all the stuff for guys?

    I think that this is huge area that we are not giving the attention that it needs. These young men are expected to become the leaders of our student ministries and some day families. They need more of our attention.

    They need coping skills and stratagies to deal with porn, peer pressure, school, adictions, etc.


    We could do a sage type conference and call it Rage…………….

Leave a Reply