Posts by Tony


My youngest child is leaving soon for a mission trip with her youth group.  In my morning walking/praying routine I was thinking about her upcoming experience.  I prayed for a lot of things during my walk, but the one thing I did not pray for might be surprising the reader— What didn’t I pray for? Her Safety As a former youth pastor, I have led trips and participated in local mission for decades.  In those years I tried to anticipate...

Read More

Growing up as a kid in rural Indiana, our winters gave our neighborhood gang of kids a lot of opportunity to sled. Our favorite game was to run and flop belly down on our flexible flyers and make the run on the long road from our houses toward the highway which was about a quarter mile away. The contest among us was to see who could make the longest “run” down the road. The key to completing the longest run was to properly manage...

Read More

One of the opportunities I have been afforded in ministry is time to let my youth pastor friends and colleagues vent. Youth workers are my heroes and they deserve a safe place just like anyone else to “let go” and be heard. In a vocation where many hurts linger below the surface, it is a blessing to be trusted and invited in to these holy conversations. Given space and opportunity, it doesn’t take long for us to commiserate and share...

Read More

The call to be a senior pastor is a heavy one. Rarely are two days the same. “Ministry” can happen in a moment’s notice and can suck up several days. Any one day can include emergency visits to the hospital, marriage counseling, funeral preparation, denominational meetings, sermon preparation, wedding preparation, business meetings, building maintenance, an impromptu counseling in the canned good aisle of the grocery store, or even...

Read More

  Got your attention? Many churches and denominations demand that each ministry have a committee to represent decisions related to their ministry area. This is not, of course, a bad idea unless it is executed poorly. Here is what I have found after almost three decades of dealing with youth councils— Problems Participants see their role as advisory. Most decisions will still be made by you-The youth pastor. Most of the work will...

Read More