Thought Factory Podcast
#815 || Special Edition Four | The Big Question that Crisis Forces Us to Answer

#815 || Special Edition Four | The Big Question that Crisis Forces Us to Answer

April 23, 2020

As weeks roll into months of this current crisis we find ourselves in, you may be evaluating and re-evaluating what you have been doing in your ministry to students.  This time has caused all of us to slow down in some way or another and there may be questions you are asking yourself.  What have you found to be unnecessary?  What do we need to let go or repent of that we have been doing?  But, what's the big question that this crisis is forcing all of us to answer?  What are you calling your students to when the normal program is disrupted?  In this episode, Jeff and Jayson discuss the big question we should be answering when it comes to our ministries as well as the wrong questions we may be asking instead.  Are we offering a product to be consumed, or are we creating an environment for students to meet with God?

 

#814 || Special Edition Three | Decision Making in Times of Crisis

#814 || Special Edition Three | Decision Making in Times of Crisis

April 21, 2020

How do you make decisions in a time of crisis, especially when you do not know when the crisis is going to end?  How do you approach each daily decision when tomorrow's forecast is so uncertain?  What approach should we have toward the long-term when the short-term will likely change?  In this episode, Jeff and Jayson discuss three concepts in an article found in the Praxis Journal, "Leading Beyond the Blizzard" - talking about making decisions in a blizzard, a winter, and a little ice age.  When a crisis occurs and it appears that it will last longer than anticipated, how do we operate our ministry, church, non-profit, or business when things appear to not be going back to normal? 

Rean more at:
https://journal.praxislabs.org/leading-beyond-the-blizzard-why-every-organization-is-now-a-startup-b7f32fb278ff

#813 || Special Edition Two | Number One Thing to be Doing Right Now in Youth Ministry

#813 || Special Edition Two | Number One Thing to be Doing Right Now in Youth Ministry

April 16, 2020

As we shift into the groove of being removed from our normal routines of ministry, we have established what our ministry will look like digitally for the extent of this pandemic as we socially distance ourselves. What is the number one thing we should be focused on?  This crisis has caused us to think creatively and execute plans in innovative ways, but are we providing what our students actually need or are we simply filling time until we can physically gather again? Have we stopped to listen to God's direction in all of this?

#812 || Special Edition One | Designing our Digital Destiny for Youth Ministry

#812 || Special Edition One | Designing our Digital Destiny for Youth Ministry

April 14, 2020

We are navigating through the new normal with the coronavirus pandemic affecting all areas of society throughout the world.  Churches and youth ministries have not been immune as we try to scramble to provide digital content for our students and communities.  But, what will our digital destiny be like as the landscape of the church changes and students' expectations shift?  Will we have a compelling enough reason to gather again or will this new normal of the digital world become permanent for many youth ministries?

Special Edition Series Intro

Special Edition Series Intro

April 10, 2020

We are in the middle of a crisis with the Coronavirus pandemic spreading across the world.  As ministry leaders speaking into the next generation, it is our responsibility during these moments to be ready for what is about to take place in the coming months and years, not only in our country, but also in our churches.  This 4-part series will be released starting the week of April 13, 2020, with two episodes per week.

#811 || The Return of the Lord Boards

#811 || The Return of the Lord Boards

March 31, 2020

Jesus' disciples got to witness Jesus ascend into the skies and into Heaven.  Jesus claimed He would return again one day.  The disciples believed this to be true and anticipated Jesus' returning very soon.  This return was what motivated them to spread the gospel to all nations.  Fast forward 2000 years and the Church is still waiting for Christ to return to Earth, but do we approach each day with the same eagerness and anticipation as the disciples had?  In today's episode, Jeff and Jayson are joined with Dave Butts, Chairman of the National Prayer Committee, who is also on the board of the National Day of Prayer.  Dave discusses the importance of keeping the perspective of Christ's near return centered in the Gospel message and how it is vital in our Christian walk.

#810 || The Most Urgent Need Youth Workers are Unaware of in the Church

#810 || The Most Urgent Need Youth Workers are Unaware of in the Church

March 26, 2020

If you were to take a minute to think of the greatest issue in the Church, what would come to mind for you? Hypocrisy, greed, division, sexual immorality, biblical illiteracy...?  We all have our thoughts and opinions of what major issues face the Church today.  But there may be an even deeper issue that no one is thinking of nor talking about.  This issue is holding the Church back from its full potential.  In today's episode, Jeff and Jayson are joined with Dave Butts, Chairman of the National Prayer Committee, who is also on the National Day of Prayer Board. He discusses what he thinks is the greatest issue in the Church today.  And no, it is not the lack of prayer.

*Episode Originally Recorded on 1.17.2020 (before the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States)

#809 || Six Strategic Steps Toward Engaging the School Campus

#809 || Six Strategic Steps Toward Engaging the School Campus

March 17, 2020

The school campus is a focal point in society and is present in any community.  Students occupy a school building over 6,000 hours of their life between 6th and 12th grade.  If they attend our youth ministry, they occupy our church buildings around 300 hours in that same span of time.  And that number is declining.  Today's discussion is centered around the school campus as we ask the question, “Where are the students in our churches?”  So what do we do about it? Go where the students are.  Jeff and Jayson discuss six ways to engage the school campus.

#808 || The Next Wave of Youth Ministry in America

#808 || The Next Wave of Youth Ministry in America

March 10, 2020

Several years ago a question emerged amongst the youth ministry community that we’ve been debating ever since. ”Why are so many students leaving the church after they graduate high school?” For those involved in local and national youth ministry know that’s an old question.  Now the question has morphed to be, “Where are the students in our churches?”  Are we in a crisis with the next generation disappearing from our faith communities and congregations? Some would say yes. Today, Jeff and Jayson discuss a growing trend in how we can reach the next generation. 

#807 || Jeff and Jayson’s Common Core of Student Behavior

#807 || Jeff and Jayson’s Common Core of Student Behavior

March 3, 2020

Common Core is a set of standards that the educational system uses for teaching and testing English and mathematics between kindergarten and 12th grade.  This is what teachers not only teach, but what they want students to know by the time they graduate.  If youth ministries had a "common core" of behaviors that we would want our students to have when they graduate from our ministry, what would they be?  What is that standard that we should set or aim for based on the Christian faith?  In this episode, Jeff and Jayson created their own list of 10 behaviors they think an ideal student, hypothetically, should have after they leave the influence of our ministry.

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