I learned a lot yesterday!

My desire is to serve the Lord, with all my heart, strength, body, and soul. Part of this is making the effort to learn from the best and become a student of ministry. Especially modern day youth ministry. Yesterday I did, because I was blessed with the opportunity to learn from some of the best, I got to hear from Judah Smith, Rich Wilkerson Jr., Chris Durso and Jude Fouquier. I learned so much about youth ministry, life as a pastor and so much about kingdom thinking. I believe Kingdom thinking is imperative to our churches, so I want to share what I learned yesterday. Because that is my responsibility as a minister is to share what I have been given. I hope that you get as much out of it as I did.


The three C’s of culture with Rich Wilkerson Jr.


  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 my grace is sufficient
    • Never try to claim something as your own, because only by his grace can we accomplish anything. He gives us just enough for our purpose
    • Expert wine tasters can taste the identity of a wine maker by just one sip of the product.
      • You cannot separate the leader from the culture. You have to do you, otherwise you are an imposter.
      • Rich tells a story about his grandma’s gravy, when he moved away his mom tried to make it, she screwed it up twice. She got all of the ingredients right, she cooked it right, except it was missing the special ingredient. That ingredient is Grandma.
      • Culture can only exist with the person God helped create it for.
      • God says “ you are my special ingredient for the culture, BE YOU!”
      • If you want to change the culture there is something you  need to know.
        • You cannot change anything you are willing to tolerate. When you tolerate things than why would people think it needs to change. You cant bad mouth it if you aren’t willing to change it.
        • Culture is something that people notice, but they can’t quite pinpoint it.
          • You know stinky guy, everyone  knows stinky guy but nobody says anything… You have to tell him or he wont stop smelling, you might even start to smell like him.
          • Three C’s           
          • Cast vision
            • To form culture, you need to cast vision. Even the Lord says without vision my people will perish.
            • There are two types of vision, short term & long term.
            • Short term- What do you want to accomplish this week/month? (connect with new students, have a coffee meeting with a leader etc.) Short term goals are important because they give you a gauge and something to look forward to every week.
            • Long term goals are numerical, by this time we want this many people, or we want this #  for this event, long term gives you goals to measure and something that last  for 1 year plus.
            • Make your big events about the next week, build up the next week always have a culture where people want to come back. “You thought tonight was good, wait til next week”
            • You have 52 weeks a year, make them all count. The Vous does 1 big meeting and then three weeks promoting the next big week, build up anticipation.
            • Care more about your people than anyone else
              • We are called to love people
              • We care about our people, we have to.
              • We aren’t called to just preach,  if that’s you good luck.
              • Rich used the example that he cares so much about the dance team ministry, he could care less what they do, but he cares about them.
              • When people are cared for, they care for the things you care for, even more so than you ever could. Rich started with a chair stacking ministry, then he had  start he got them to care, one volunteer changed them to the chair engineers.
              • Correct problems
                • Sometimes stopping things can be way more powerful than starting things.
                • Get off the horse if the horse is dead.
                • Learn to reframe your ministry.
                • Faith is about doing what God has called you to do. It takes faith in order to do that and expand/trim back the ministry.


Unstoppable Youth Ministry with Rich Wilkerson Jr.


  • What do you do when life caves in you?
  • Psalm 57
  • We have a lot of different encounters in life good, bad, awkward.
  • There’s nothing better in life than what happens as a result of a God encounter.
  • David’s God encounter came at his anointing in 1 Samuel 16
  • Anointing can take a shepherd and make him a king. What can the Lord’s anointing do for you? Anointing happens as a pouring of the spirit that last from that day on.
  • Unstoppable youth ministries are driven by a God encounter.
    • There is nothing better for a person than a God encounter. That’s why we do what we do, we encountered God.
    • Don’t ever forget your God encounter.
    • We live in a time where people are looking for a God encounter. There is no better time to pick up our cross and our burden for the city. (this is collin) How do we reach the city? How do we create something that our city has never seen, but we desperately need. How do we win Gresham/Portland? It’s going to take people who have different anointings, different callings, kingdom minded thinking to do it.
    • There is times in our life where everything goes well, ministry is awesome. We don’t have control over it, you can go from David who is loved and who has songs to David hiding in caves because crazy Saul is trying to kill him.
    • When you are in a cave is when God is ready to do his best work with you. God takes the misfits (people in debt, distressed, discontent) puts them in the cave and has David lead them into become the greatest kingdom Israel has ever seen.
    • God doesn’t give you the perfect people for a perfect team. He gives you people to build up.
    • When you are in a cave you often cant see your way out. You have to go back to the last thing God called you to and walk what is in front of you and let God do what he does.
    • It is in caves where God builds faith,  caves allow new faith and allows that faith to be tested.
    • David learned more about being a king in the cave, than he ever did in the palace.
    • Take your cave as a blessing, deal with it.
      • God has mercy, God fulfills your purpose.
      •  Don’t let your purpose fall to your position




How can I breathe with no heir- Chris Durso


  • Just because we tell people what to do, doesn’t mean they will catch it. You have to walk them through it and explain it.
  • The story of Paul, Silas & Timothy Acts 16
  • It’s important to remember when it comes to discipleship you aren’t the best. You know the best.
    • Admit you are foolish
    • Chris took his youth group from 500+ to less than 100 because he “knew best” almost got fired by his dad. He abandoned prayer and the answer to pprayer that the lord provided.
    • Once he allowed himself to be humbled, he began to get discipled by his brother the youth group went from 100 to 1,000 +
    • It is imperative to identify who is going to take your place.
      • The moment you choose, doesn’t = you losing your job. It means you begin to train and equip them.
        • Identify the person who has the capacity
        • Who has the character
        • Who has the talents.
        • Ministry is much more than pulpit time
          • It is all about doing life together, that’s where discipleship happens. In life.
          • When you pick that person, ask others what they say about them? Are they an upstanding citizen.
            • Do they have character at church but they are sleeping around?
              • If they have a moral failure.
                • Don’t Dismiss them, correct them
                • Ask hard questions
                • Be willing to make hard choices
                • Deal with the messes deal with the problems
                • Love the person
                • The best days are ahead!!!
                • Involve them in the mission!
                  • Paul didn’t make timothy wait to start ministry, he made Timothy jump in with him and silas.
                  • Great leaders desire to raise up great leaders.
                    • Paul Circumcised timothy so that he wouldn’t be limited in who he could minister to.
                    • You gotta deal with the sensitive areas (figuratively)
                    • Once you deal with the sensitive areas in a persons life, their ability to preach/speak to all is incredibly doubled.
                    • Talent never trumps character when picking an heir.
                    • Raise up leaders that live out their walk 24/7
                    • Just as Paul had Timothy come alongside and help in ministry we should do the same.
                      • Youth Ministry is when the youth ministry
                      • Just because something sounds spiritual, doesn’t make it spirit led.
                      • We have to have a shallow leadership pool, one that anyone can dive into.
                      • If you are yelling to lead, you are not a good leader.
                      • Lead people through your successor, by thinking about the future now.
                        • Acts 16:5
                        • Anything healthy will grow.
                        • Advertising doesn’t make you grow, being healthy does
                        • Amateurs built the ark, professionals built the titanic.
                          • Look for the hand of God on your students, it’s not their talents that will get them anywhere it is the hand of God.


Question & Answer with Judah, Chris & Rich


Enjoy what we are doing. You don’t quit you win.  -rich


People aren’t going to remember your sermon. They’ll remember the love you preach with. Not the art of it the heart of it.-  Rich


Don’t make Jesus serve the church. Let the church serve Jesus.  Judah


Don’t concentrate on making the series form you.  Chris


Don’t try to change people. God makes it grow.  Our job is to fish, not to catch –  Rich


You aren’t going to have the head starts that Judah, Chris and Rich had. Deal with it, don’t get jealous, pray you are the start of generational blessing.


Honor your pastor.


Manage your calendar


Rest you’ll be blessed.


Who ya gonna cheat? When you say yes to something you are agreeing to do less of something else.


Made for a mission-Jude Fouqueir


When it comes to building a youth ministry

  1. It must be built on prayer
  2. You must evanglize, and your students must evangelize
  3. Their must discipleship
  4. You must pasrot/Shepherd them
  5. Create a leader within them (It’s in there, don’t ignore it)


  • Matthew 28:28 our mission is to get people to stand in line behind us in eternity, that is what God is going to look at. Who did you bring with you.
    • John 17:18 I have a mission
    • Acts 20-24
    • Luke 16:19
    • Our ministry services, are for believers.
    • My mission is to the one who doesn’t believe.
    • #’s come and go there is never base your feeling on signifigance on numbers because Jude went from 200 to 5 to what City Church is now.
    • If you cant make a disciple, you are one.
    • Mission is what gets heaven excited.
    • What are you doing to advance the word of God.
    • When you die, will you be able to say you completed your God given mission.


Changing change- Judah Smith


  • Luke 24:46-49
  • Change is a good thing, unless it’s bad change. Change has gotten a weird rap, everybody is all about it, but it isn’t always good.
  • Biblical change isn’t changing people.
  • Change is framed by repentance and remission
  • If you want change preach Jesus.
    • Change doesn’t come from preaching against something, change doesn’t come from condemnation.
    • Help people change by showing them they way to change give them a new focal point.
    • Repentance- Realization & Return
      • Don’t preach mathematical terms to teach repentance nobody gets is.
  • You cannot force somebody to realize that they are a sinner and they need Jesus.
    • Unless Jesus burns hearts and opens the eyes of our students than we are useless.  People have to realize they need a savior.
  • Realization is a sovereign move of God. That’s it and that’s all.
    • We don’t make change
    • Jesus had no issues, that’s who we preach for people to realize they need him. He has it all together.
  • Repentance is that simple realize you need a savior, return to God.
  • People cant figure out what to turn to if we are only preaching turn away from.
  • Hebrews 10 talks about there is one sacrifice, which allows the Israelites to stop focusing on their sin and coming together to talk about how sucky they are and dwell on sin. The sacrifice that Jesus gave allows us to look at our savior.
  • Love will always be greater than fear.
    • Don’t preach fear, don’t instill fear. Instill love so that fear has no chance to exist.
    • When you are so in love with Jesus, you forget to sin.
    • Repentance is not remorse, or resolution.
      • New years resolutions never work, why should our resolutions to stop sinning work?
      • Remission defined- Removing & Realizing
      • Remission is past present and future. Christ is today, his sacrifice is still good today.
      • Removalis sending sin away.
        • Jesus died & rose again so sin would have to stay in the grave.
        • Realising-3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
        • Ephesians 2 we are seated with Christ.
        • Christ releases us to live with him.



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