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21 | Kara Powell: Churches Growing Young | Help Young People Discover And Love Your Church

Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys,...


20 | Ben Markham: How to Have Tough Conversations with Leaders and Parents

Sometimes being a leader means that you need to have some tough or challenging conversations. In the world of student ministry, that often means you will be faced with having to confront a volunteer leader or you may need to challenge a parent in a manner that may feel uncomfortable. In this episode, Kenny interviews veteran student pastor Ben Markham about how to tackle and navigate moments when we need to resolve a conflict or have a tough conversation with one of our leaders or with one...


19 | Todd Cochrane: How to Podcast Like a Pro

Podcasting has become a very popular medium that can be effectively utilized by churches and non-profit organizations for messaging, training, and for a variety of ministry purposes. In this episode, Kenny interviews Todd Cochrane, the CEO of RawVoice (parent company of Blubrry), about all the important things any podcaster ought to know before launching a podcast and how to continually get better as your show grows. E-mail Todd at Follow Todd on Twitter @geeknews Check Out...


18 | Jeremy Zach: Relational Ministry is the Key to Successful Ministry

In this episode, Kenny interviews Jeremy Zach to talk about the importance of being relational and personal in student ministry, and empowering other leaders to do the same. Jeremy was a full-time youth pastor for nine years before joining the staff team at the reThink Group working with the XP3 Orange team. Jeremy gets to spend most of his days connecting and resourcing student ministry pastors all around the country. Jeremy earned his M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He lives in...


17 | Ken Freire: How to Effectively Develop Students to Be the Future Leaders of the Church

In this episode, our host Kenny interviews leadership expert (and personal friend) Kenneth Freire about the importance of engaging students in such a way that they will develop in their leadership abilities, as well as how to effectively train our students to be the future leaders of the Church. He gives us four steps: 1) Ignite students' hearts with Gospel-centered purpose 2) Allow them to ask the hard questions 3) Give them meaningful responsbilities 4) Teach them how to learn Kenneth...


16 | Megan Monson: The Case for Gap-Year Programs

In this episode, Kenny interviews one of his previous students, and now personal friend, Meg Monson about the values of a gap-year program. She tells us about her experiences as a student in YWAM-England's Discipleship Training School (DTS), her life lessons learned living in Europe, and why she believes every young adult should do a gap-year program before heading off to college. Gap-Year Programs Endorsed by Kenny Ortiz: LEAD Internship Fusion (Midwestern) Link Year (Kanakuk Kamps) Focus...


15 | Ajith Fernando: The Importance of Healthy Family Life

In this episode, Kenny interviews author and international speaker Ajith Fernando about the importance of Christian leaders having a healthy family life. Anyone involved in Christian ministry knows how challenging it is to balance ministry and family responsibilities, but it is essential that we master this balance. Mr. Fernando provides us with a healthy and God-centered understanding of family that can help us cultivate to a flourishing home. Mr. Fernando was the National Director of Youth...


14 | Tiffany Kelly: Four Steps to Transforming Your Ministry Branding and Design

Each ministry has an identity, and whether you realize it or not, you are sending a message to the world about your identity. The problem we often observe is that many ministries are not nearly as intentional in communicating their identity as they should be. That's where branding comes in. Design, communications, and utilizing your digital footprint are all essential elements of branding; communicating your identity to the world. In this episode, Kenny interviews design and branding...


13 | Thermostat vs. Thermometer

To be an effective leader, you need to be a quality thinker as well as become an efficient problem-solver, and there is no better way to solve problems than to proactively stop them before they ever even occur. In this episode, Kenny dives into one of his favorite illustrations for leadership and proactive problem solving. Kenny has often challenged the people he has worked with to be a "thermostat" instead of just being a "thermometer." To be effective leaders in any ministry context, we...


12 | Three Leadership Lessons Learned From Coach Bill Walsh

In 1979, Bill Walsh became the Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He went on to become one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. In this episode, Kenny talks about some of the great leadership lessons we can learn from Bill Walsh: 1) Develop a successful team-oriented culture 2) Develope a system that maximizes the gifts of your team members 3) Teach people to hate mistakes, but not fear failure Recommended Resources The Score Takes Care of Itself (by Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, and...


11 | Paul Turner: Twelve Books Every Leader Should Read

Reading good books is an essential discipline for any leader, both for the feeding of our own souls as well as for the development of our leadership skills. Anyone who desires to be successful in student ministry must be a regular reader. In this episode, Kenny interviews pastor and blogger Paul Turner to dialogue about some of their favorite recommended books and the great lessons they have learned from each of those books. Paul also gives us some bonus commentary about the styles of books...


10 | Dan Sanchez: Utilizing Text Messaging in Student Ministry

Anyone who works with teens or college students knows the importance of text messaging as a means of connecting with and starting conversations with students. In this episode, Kenny interviews digital marketing guru Dan Sanchez about the things any leader or pastor can do to better utilize text messaging in their ministry. Dan Sanchez is a marketing automation wizard, blogger, and a self-proclaimed Bootstrap code slinger. Dan serves as the Director of Marketing for Bethany Global University...


09 | Fourteen Bill Gates Quotes Youth Workers Can Learn From

Just about every person in our society is familiar with Bill Gates, the co-founder and long-time CEO of Microsoft. He has been a business man, entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, consultant, and software programmer. Gates has also authored and co-authored several books. Throughout his leading, speaking, and charitable work, Gates has sought to give the world some great words of wisdom to live by. In this episode, Kenny goes through fourteen of the best and most inspirational quotes from...


08 | Mike McGarry: Student Ministry as a Bridge Between the Church and the Family

Student Ministry is most effective when it serves the local church by connecting the church with families. Every youth worker ought to seek to make their local student ministry a bridge between the church congregation and the families that the students come from. In this episode, Kenny interviews author, blogger, pastor, and student ministry veteran Mike McGarry about effectively winning the parents' trust and building that bridge; ultimately being a resource to the families and being an...


07 | Eight Steps in Training Your Leaders to Engage with Students

Effectively engaging with students is super important, therefore training your leaders to effectively engage with students is also super important. In this episode, Kenny gives us eight tips and ideas on how to be most effective in training our leadership teams. The Eight Steps: 1- Make sure they know that connecting with students is the priority. 2- Train them look for and engage with new students. 3- Strategically and prayerfully assign them students to look for, and boldly approach those...


06 | Jonathan Ferguson: Four Ways to Be a Great Short-Term Missionary

In this episode, Kenny interviews missionary Jonathan Ferguson about the theology of world missions, the importance of taking students on short-term mission trips, and the four things we must do to be great short-term missionaries. Those four things are: 1- Be a student 2- Drop the hammer, grab a cup of coffee 3- Support long-term missionaries 4- Understand that short-term missions and long-terms missions operate differently Jonathan was also a guest on Kenny's "Theology for The Rest of Us"...


05 | Dominate Facebook to Enhance Your Ministry

Facebook has become as much (or more) a part of American life as any sport, activity, or tradition. Recently the Pew Research Center surveyed teenagers (ages 13-17) and young adults (ages 18-24), they discovered: - 71% of teenagers and 85% of young adults use Facebook daily - 52% of teenagers and 55% of young adults use Instagram daily - 41% of teenagers and 45% of young adults use Snapchat daily - 33% of teenagers and 35% of young adults use Twitter daily Social media is a huge part of the...


04 | Jon Nielson: Trends, Parents, Entertainment, Preaching, and the Gospel

In this episode, Kenny interviews student ministry veteran and preaching stalwart Jon Nielson about the importance of giving students a lot more than just fun in student ministry gatherings, but how to truly give them the depth of the Bible and the Gospel. Jon gives us wisdom in several arenas of student ministry such as understanding our role as youth ministers, entertainment, national trends in youth and family ministry, relationships with parents, and preaching. Jon Nielson (MDiv, Trinity...


03 | Getting “Lucky” on Purpose

Being successful in student ministry often involves being at the right place at the right time. Some might say you need to be "lucky" in order to "catch" ministry opportunities. But how can we put ourselves in a position to get "lucky" more often? In this episode, Kenny recounts the narrative of Zack Hample, the man who holds the Guinness World Record for most baseballs caught at baseball games. It appears that Zack gets "lucky" but in reality he puts himself in position to "catch" the most...


02 | Cameron Cole: What Does It Really Mean to Be Gospel-Centered in Youth Ministry?

The importance of having a student ministry that truly is Gospel-centered cannot be overstated. In this episode, Kenny interviews youth ministry veteran and author Cameron Cole about a variety of elements of local youth and family ministry; specifically how we, as student pastors, can effectively remind students of the Gospel through everything we do. Cameron Cole is the director of children, youth, and family at Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama, and chairman of Rooted....