Youth ministry looks different than in did in 2001.

In 2001, if you were to misplace a small middle school person at Disney world, there would have been no way to connect.

In 2016, you’d find yourself on Snapchat looking for their last time stamp  or simply sending a text with a pin that shows your exact locations.

So much easier, right?

Except when your phone dies.

Except when they aren’t allowed to have a phone yet.

Except when emotions are involved.

Except when no one is really thinking clearly on that much sugar.

The point is, youth ministry may look different in 2016, but it’s really not that different.

Youth ministry exists to walk beside teenagers as they are growing up and discovering themselves and God in God’s redemption story. It exists to affirm their significance as human beings, as kids created by God, has unique to the universe. And doing all of that can takes effort from a leader.

It takes time, attention, patience, wisdom, money, planning, forgiveness, hope, tenacity, and an out of this world sense of humor.

That’s why every year I say the same thing. Before we can provide all of this for someone so special. We have to feel special. We have to know who we are and whose we are, or we could feel defeated before we even begin.

I don’t like to make flimsy resolutions. Last year I tried picking five things, five ways to live and focus. My 2015 resolutions helped me stay focused and stay full, but they needed to be more specific. You can read both the 2015 post and how I did here. The main objective was to find a way to simultaneously be filled and be emptied. Be filled and be emptied.

I’m not sure what way will work for you, but it may be a good idea to think about the ways you’ll experience God’s Word, solitude, prayer, fun, worship, rest, friendship, love, growth, etc. as you pour out your life for others this year.

Brooklyn’s Five and OLW (One Little Word)

  1. Worship Daily. A song. A word. A message. A blog post. Find Jesus. Discover Jesus. Hold onto Jesus.
  2. Date Weekly. A walk. A dinner. An adventure. A good laugh. Rekindle passion. Be spontaneous. Stay curious.
  3. Retreat Monthly. A beach day. A quiet hour in a bookstore. A massage. Solitude. Refill. Recover. Remain.
  4. Fast Weekly. #JustWaterWednesdays. Because, look at what the church is doing! This is your invite to join me.
  5. Write The Book. The big magic that peeked over the edge of my first coffee cup says, “do it”.


One little word to guide the days of 2016: WONDER. This is a word both for me and for my family. I want to find the wonder in each day no matter where we are or who we are with. I want to stay curious and provide a safe place for my kids to ask any and all of the questions. This week my 6 and 8 year old wanted to know EXACTLY how a doctor get’s a baby out of a person’s belly button. Hello wonder!

Happy Sweet Sixteen everyone, it’s going to be a great year.


Image: Smithsonian Archives

A bus dropping visitors at the south side of the Natural History Building, United States National Museum (now the National Museum of Natural History), April 1931


Palm Trees - Brooklyn Lindsey - Lakeland, FL - Speaking

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