Longfellow said "Great is the art of beginning but even greater is the art of finishing." On episode 06 of the 12 Stone Spirituality Podcast I discuss how difficult beginning and finishing are both in our lives as well as in our understanding of our own spirituality. We revisit the story of the Good Samaritan and I give you 3 ways to both begin and finish well! Click Here to Listen on Soundcloud Click Here to Listen on iTunes
Click Here to Order Organic Student Ministry Today!
Click Here to Follow me on my new Facebook Page!
“Forget the growth hormones! Stephen Ingram calls everyone who cares for young people to get our hands dirty in the organic soil of student ministry. Drawing on years of experience in ministry and consulting, Stephen will help you asses the particularities of your ministry context and determine what to plant and what to prune in order to promote long-term growth and sustainability. This book is required reading for anyone seeking fresh visions for youth ministry.” —Dave Csinos, Author, Speaker, and founding President of Faith Forward “The keen mind of Stephen Ingram permeates this book. Organic Student Ministry is chock-full of smart, savvy youth ministry wisdom. You won't find quick, shot-in-the-arm fixes for programming. Instead, you should read each chapter like it’s a treasure chest: with a yellow highlighter ready to put each gem into pragmatic practice.” —Stephanie Caro, Author, Speaker, Senior Consultant for Ministry Architects “Youth ministry will only be effective in our post-Christendom culture if it is contextual. Cookie cutter ministry models no longer work—if they ever did. Rooted in years of experience as a youth worker and consultant, Stephen Ingram has assembled a collection of best practices and attitude adjustments that will nurture relational and adaptive youth ministry in whatever context you serve. If you want to cultivate a dynamic and holistic ministry with young people and adults, this book is for you.” —John W. Vest, visiting Assistant Professor of Evangelism at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Cofounder of the Progressive Youth Ministry Conference “Finally a student ministry book written by an honest youth minister! Stephen not only captures the beautiful and hectic mess of adolescence, but lets the minister off the performance and production hook and invites them to get down and into the students' lives. Organic Student Ministry is the book I wish I read 15 years ago ... but at least I can share it now.”- Tripp Fuller, Cofounder of Homebrewed Christianity podcast “After reading an early draft, I knew Stephen was onto something profound. I could see immediately the authentic ring of ideas proven in the crucible of actually doing ministry week in and week out with young people. Though Stephen has already contributed quite a number of books to the youth ministry conversation, Organic Student Ministry introduces clearly and provocatively Stephen’s innovative, signature vision for ministry. I am thrilled that, at last, Stephen’s timely and distinct approach will be added to the vocabulary of those seeking to do faithful work with a new generation.” —Mark DeVries, Founder of Ministry Architects and Author of Sustainable Youth Ministry…
What is the One Thing? It is about to happen. Here in the coming weeks there will a mass return from the camps, beaches, lake houses and vacations. Summer is almost over and your program is in its final stages of gearing up for the Fall bump. There are a million things probably swirling around in your head today; Do the teachers have their curriculum?, Is the worship ready to go? I need to do that final run through of the small groups to make sure they are all equally distributed. Don’t forget to order the pizza for the big kick off party. The list goes on and on…. There are so many things on your radar screed that it looks like enemies are attacking from all sides! All of these things are important, really important, but what is the one thing? What is that one thing you are going to focus on above and beyond the daily “to-do” lists that make up everyday ministry? What is your overarching goal for the ministry to achieve this year that will be an underpinning or overtone to the student ministry of your churches ministry to students for the next 12 months? Don’t know? Take some time over the coming weeks and think about it. Ask yourself the question, “What big thing does the ministry need to move into its next God called incarnation”? “What does this ministry need to focus on in everything it does, at least at some level, over the course of this next year”? Over the past few years some of these grand overarching topics in my ministry have been; Hospitality, Sacred Community, Service and Relationships. I only pick one a year and focus on it. I try to hold these topics, just one a year, at the top of my list, always asking, “Is this happening today”? or “How can I infuse this event with this focus”? I do not do this alone or in secret. I make this vision known to staff, students, volunteers and though talks and studies. I try to find practical ways to include it in conversations and empower those around me to practice it in everyday situations. Each of our ministries have deficits or things that we need to work on. It is not a weakness to recognize these, it is a strength and will strengthen your community. So, what is the one thing? What is that one thing that you are going to undergird your ministry, events, retreats and studies with this year? Is it Community? Prayer? Accountability? Hospitality? Fun? What is it? What is your one thing?
Ministry Architects is offering two incredible deals for this Fall! These are being offered on a limited time basis so make sure to take advantage of these ASAP!
4 Hours of Free Coaching!If you book an assessment for your church to happen before the end of 2013 Ministry Architects will give your church an extra 4 hours of Free coaching after your assessment! This is a $320 value! The coaching will help you and your church begin the implementation of the Ministry Architects Sustainable process that will put your ministry on the path to sustainability and growth. Remember this only applies to assessments done before the end of the year. It generally takes one to one and a half months to set up for an assessment so book before November to receive this great offer!!!
Free Coaching at National Youth Workers Convention in Nashville!!! #NYWCAre you going to National Youth Workers Convention in November? Want free coaching for your youth ministry with a nationally recognized and trained expert? Then I have good news for you! Ministry Architects will be in full force at this years #NYWC in Nashville! We will be offering Free one on one coaching throughout the conference for all attendees. Spots are limited, so sign up now!!!
Fill in the contact form below for more information[contact-form firstname.lastname@example.org' subject='Submission for New Assessment Organic'][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Church Name' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='Phone Number' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='Comments' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]
Student MinistryTaking off the Training Wheels- Richard Parker Guest Blogging at YM360 How Duct Tape + Arm Hair Taught Me to Help Students Get Caught Up in Scripture- Tony Myles at Youth Ministry.com A Valuable Uthmin Volunteer Doesn't- Stephanie Caro at Morethandodgeball.com Great is the Art of Beginning: With Students, With Ministry, With Your Family, With Yourself- Stephen Ingram Organic Student MInistry
CultureWhy I Changed My Mind on Weed- Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN.com
Pure HappinessFootball On Your Phone- Eli and Peyton Manning Mumford and Sons Parody
Ministry with Sr. High students is becoming more and more difficult. The combination of their increasing business, higher workload and the ever decreasing social influence of religion in our culture is making ministry to High School students a more and more complex endeavor. Part of the issue too is the techniques used 10-15 years ago in High School ministry are now standards in Middle School and lower. By the time they are in High school the common "youth ministry" schedule, approach and technique are all old hat to be honest not very engaging. I believe there are three principles, which when are appropriately utilized, make High School Ministry fresh, relevant and engaging. …