These are a few of the wise nuggets that that people have handed me over the years. They are both short and true, which is why they have stuck in my brain all these years.

“Students will never remember a talk you gave, but they will remember the time you spent with them.” – My student ministry mentor, Rodney Huffty, said this to me early on in my ministry and it has been a core part of my ministry philosophy ever since. Whenever I am tempted to spend more time on a talk, calendar, or event than is needed, I think of this. It reminds me of what successful student ministry looks like. It also has paid dividends in the relationships with students I have had over the years. Any student who still keeps in contact with me over the years is because I have listened to this advice.

“What flows over the head covers the body.” – An old co-pastor, Judd Vier, gave this one to me. I thought it was pithy when I first heard it and therefore didn’t like it, but it has grown on me. The basic point is that whatever leadership does, everyone will follow. There is a good and bad component to this. When I clothe myself in humility, compassion and self-control it will show in the students in my group, but when my flesh takes over, I notice it as well. It also works for excitement and energy level with our middle school students. Generally, our students get about as excited/goofy as our leaders are willing to go.

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