This was recorded at Podfest 2018 where Kenn and I met for the first time. He was a Marine who guarded President Ronald Reagan, was later nearly abducted by terrorists in Brazil while a marine in the USAmerican Embassy. He became a C.I.A. agent then was married after a very unusual love story and courtship. Father of, now, 2 grown children whose dad became an assistant pastor and then a pastor to his online congregation through his Speak Life podcast show. This is a great story which will inspire you to treat every adolescent with respect because someday they may be working in the White House or with the C.I.A. You plant the seeds and watch young students become powerful mighty people off God in a Big World and making a difference for Jesus Christ and His Church. They just might grew a family of honor and service. Either way its a Great story of inspiring people for youth pastors and youth workers, volunteers to grow with and share with their youth groups and student ministry leadership groups.
While coming out of a media class room where I produce this podcast and video at a public school, I hear this voice, "Doug Edwards is that you?" I replied yes to turn around and See Breah Croak who is now married and is Breah Hooper. We reminisced and she graciously accepted to come to class the next day at her free period, she is a teacher, to record this episode. Breah has 2 adolescent children now and has taught at the school for 2 years and I had never seen her until that day. Breah's story is a great example of why longevity in a community in student ministry makes a major impact. Breah has always had a kindness about her but she has a spirit of adventure and a drivenness to make a difference in this world. You won't believe what this high schooler did in high school to change the parts of the world she could change to make the world a better place at the sacrifice of her own comfort and safety while she was in high school. To this day she and her family are making a difference. This episode will tell the detailed story of how 1 student matters to what the world becomes.
He played football for the University Florida Gators for a year then played for Bobby Bowden with the FSU Seminoles for his remaining college under grad years. He has worked with telemedicine and been an investment banker. He to this day works out like a body builder and yet he still had a fight with cancer but he's back working out again. He serves God through working with a non-profit christian foundation. In all these things He gives credit for his success to his Lord, Jesus Christ and secondly to his family who have been his biggest cheerleaders his entire life. Find out how his worst and best times in life can encourage you to keep moving forward no matter your adversity.
Jessica Hurley is from St. Augustine, Florida. She had a very bad mentor to make her loose and a Great Mentor that turned her life around radically, but it wasn't easy. It took a lot of time and years to keep Jessica believing she was worth more than she could ever believe.
She had been arrested multiple times as a teen because of the influence of a cousin. She now has her Masters Degree and helped run AMIKids in Tampa, Florida. She is a podcaster and podcast developer for others. She was designed by family never to go to college. Her mentor stuck by her for more than 4 years and made college a reality for Jessica.
To Youth Pastors. We talk about her encounter with the church. Jessica, a non-churched teen that felt like an alien and an outcast when she went to church with friends. It took Young Life and direct encounters from God to help her, because the church often gets in its own way when it comes to the unchurched. This episode is an incredible guide and gift on how to actually help those who have no clue but want to hear and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior if they had to someone would guide them with empathy and no judgement.
I met Clean Ears Podcast Co-Hosts Simone Brown and Seretha Collins at Podfest 2018 Orlando, Florida along with their Program Director Courtney Pledger. They were gracious enough to give me an hour of their busy schedule at this incredible conference to tell me their story. one of them was born and still lives in Atlanta. One grew up in California with a few years in OKC, Oklahoma on her way to a life in Atlanta. One of them grew up in Jamaica before her move to Atlanta and was in a music carrier before developing together the Clean Ears Podcast in Atlanta. They call themselves The Collective. Their Editor who I have not personally met is Darryl and their Co-Editor is LeighAnn.
In this episode we talk about the affects of their adolescence on their future, their spiritual growth, student ministry, music ministry, why they do what they do, how they find all of these known and unknown Christian Hip Hop and Rap Artist, such as Lecrae. We have a lot of fun. we laugh a lot and we talk about food. Yes food. Jesus did a lot of meeting around food and did some miracles with food as well so we thought it was appropriate. Atlanta not only has Southern Cooking but they have food from all over the world and the best locations to get a taste of it in a few close locations to each other. I hope you check out Clean Ears The Collective and enjoy it as much as I did. They are great people. Youth Pastor, if you are looking for knowledge of Atlanta and need a well informed Christian connection then give this crew a call or email them, connection through social media. Enjoy this episode.
Maury Buchanan, Founder of Mission Discovery, speaks to youth pastors about how student missions helps build their students spiritual growth. You will hear about one student mission trip that was a surprise encounter for a student artist engaging with a local community.
Maury grew up the son of a war hero who was a POW. He tells about how God lead Him to salvation in college and about how long it took to start and continue healing from the emotional pain of family conflict in his life. You will then hear how his wife, Ann, led his father to a relationship with Christ Jesus. I asked him if he had had any angel experiences and he had. He shares that experience in this episode. He tells about the life journey that led him to start Mission Discovery and the mentors that taught him how to build a short term student mission nonprofit. Maury took his 1st sabbatical 2 years ago because his board members told him to. We look at the effect of long term rest and his hike through Spain with a little help from his friends, that he did not invite on this trip. The hike began in snow and was more than a 100 miles of a 500 mile trail which carried the body of James the apostle, Jesus' brother for his burial. This was a Pilgrimage. Wow! And there is more. That is just a very small glimpse into this value packed episode.
Sam Collier was on the Steve Harvey Show because his twin sister asked Steve to help find their biological mother. Now a speaking pastor at North Point Church where Andy Stanley is the lead pastor in Atlanta, Ga. Sam's new book is called Find Your Voice. It is a book written for teens and young adults about influence and leadership. But there is MORE as Doug Edwards asks questions that allows Sam to talk about how "His Story and God's Story together Create a Greater Story."
Darryl Perry, spent 24 days in heaven. Sudden death syndrome. No rhyme or reason as to why. He died four times and was revived. His wife and children wanted him back on earth and so did God. After 24 days in a coma, against doctors beliefs, he is back and he even rides a bicycle but he's also on a mission. He's a former University of Florida Gator football fullback who blocked for his best friend Emmett Smith. Today both of their sons play football for the Florida Gators. Kevin Laczko is a former Florida Gator football player who is also a friend of mine and a friend of Darryl's. Listen as he helps Darryl tell his story as his physical trainer at Kevin's gym, Journey Fitness in Longwood, Florida. I am thankful and amazed at the story and excited to share it with you. Check out Darryl's website at DarrylTheMiracleManPerry.org
Nicole Keene Dean is a woman of great surprises. She came with a friend to the student ministry where I was pastor. And after about a year I get a phone call and Nicole says excitedly, "I got it! I got it!" To which I said, "Got what?" Listen and find out. Valedictorian, Honors Graduate University of Florida. Surprise, Nicole became a 2 time missionary to Amsterdam. She became a volunteer in our ministry. And the story goes MUCH Bigger! You are going to LOVE this interview! It's PACKED with VALUE FOR YOUTH PASTORS and amazing to everyone else. Listen NOW!!!
Finding volunteers to help out with your youth program can be a challenge. Often you inherit existing volunteers when you start working with a new organization. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's not. But the important aspect of using volunteers to their full potential is to make sure they're in the right place. If they don't want to work with a certain age group then find another area for them to utilize their skills where they'll be happier. Listen now as Doug Edwards shares his experience finding the right volunteers.
This Episode is Saturated with Value for you:
Josh Douglas is a youth pastor in Mount Dora, Florida. He is a pastor's son, passionate about leading students and families to Jesus. He learned as a teenager how to live in a house with his 4 brothers, pay for his own vehicle and learn compassion for families who had lost children and other loved ones while working for Harden-Pauli Funeral home, all before he graduated high school. When he met the love of his life, she was foreign mission bound and wanted nothing to do with him. Josh was persistent, won her heart and married her and now they are on a mission to lead and disciple students and families. This episode is longer because Josh is so good at communicating. You will be left wanting more. My editor Michael Helms could barely find anything to take out it was so good. Enjoy the ride!
Let's be honest, fundraising is a challenge. Bake sales, car washes and spaghetti dinners are ok but golf tournaments are much more effective. You can raise enough funds for the entire year with one well planned golf tournament. Golfers love to play and don't mind paying, especially when it's for a good cause. When done in the off-season, you can get good discounts on green's fees when the courses are slower. Listen now as Doug Edwards shares his tips on doing golf tournament fundraisers.
Are you being intentional? By planning ahead and setting short and long term goals for what you want to happen in your daily life, career and ministry, you're able to stay focused and stay on track. Your staff and students need to know what is expected of them in advance, for example, before leaving on a trip. It's your job to give them that information. Parents want to know, in advance, the itinerary of the students while they're away. This gives them confidence and security that their kids will be cared for while they're gone. Planning ahead and letting everyone know what to expect is always better than just "winging it." Be intentional in all you do!
Listen as Doug shares his insight on taking students on winter ski retreats and summer mission trips. Structured youth camps and conferences are fun but consider planning winter ski retreats and summer mission trips where you get to be outside and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation as you serve. Safety is key so don’t go it alone. Always use an organization that knows the area you’re going to and student safety is a priority. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for the students to bring their friends that normally wouldn’t go with them. This episode is packed with great information so check it out.
Check out these links of trusted mission and travel organizations:
Mark Moore spent 10 years as a missionary in Uganda, Africa where he saw children die of SAM's (Severe Acute Malnutrition). He later returned to the USA with his family and worked in the United States Senate where he served as Legislative Fellow and Africa Specialist in the United States Senate for Senator Mary Landrieu. While at Ebenezer's Coffee House in Washington, DC, he prayed, then soon attended a meeting about R.U.T.F. Ready to Use Therapeutic Food which can cure SAM's. Mark's nonprofit, MANA Nutrition, was born to distribute R.U.T.F. Here is...the rest of the story! http://mananutrition.org/
This week Doug talks about being a dad when everyone wants your time. It can be difficult to divide your time between work and your family. Coaches deal with this especially during football, baseball or basketball season. Wives of coaches are often referred to as coach widows because they don't see their spouses much during the week due to practice and games. We need to make time to be with our spouses and children. Doug also talks about the perks when your kids get to be a part of what their dad is doing by being on the sidelines and also going on group trips. Listen to these valuable life lessons.
Sean Algaier was a foster child with a lot of pain. He was on the Biggest Loser TV show while being a youth pastor with his wife near Tulsa, OK. He worked as a tour manager in Nashville for Toby Mac, Rachael Lampa and several other artists. He has himself performed with a band in South Africa on a goodwill mission. He now is a minister of music at Providence Road Church of Christ in Charlotte, NC. My son Ryan is his sound and media guy for the church. This story will add great value to your ministry and life. He adds practical ways to make an impact and helpful change in your community.
In this segment, youth pastors will learn tips on how to choose churches. Although you're being interviewed for the youth pastor position, you need to have a list of questions to ask too. Churches also need to learn how to choose a youth pastor that's right for them and not just fill a vacant position. Another key tip is to separate the middle school students, high school students and college students into their own groups and have them meet at different times during the week. This can cause frustration with many families but each group is at a different developmental stage in life and you will be able to better minister to each group and give them your full attention. Hear this one out. This episode is simple but powerful! So here we go!
Irma was the biggest hurricane in Florida, 400 miles across. It brought back a memory of our student ministry taking 55 people to volunteer after Hurricane Andrew, 7 days later. A student, Jason Mages, decided we had to do something. He said the right things to the right people and the next thing I knew, we had a caravan of motorhomes, vans and trucks heading south from Eustis, Florida for a 2 night and 3 day work adventure in a place that looked like a bomb went off and had wiped out Homestead, Florida. Now we relive that experience but on a state wide scale. No where in the state of Florida or the Caribbean Islands escaped Irma's wrath. Today I just heard that a Catholic Nun in Miami is attacking Irma's aftermath with her own chainsaw, helping citizens remove trees from their property. With friends in the destruction of Harvey and Irma just days apart, there are plenty of places for us to lead our people to physically show that we are people of The Way, The Jesus Way, that helps the hurting. Get going Youth Worker Nation! Be the Force that God uses to change your world!
DJ Verkaik at the age of 19 sold his truck and a lot of other things to get his 1st pro video camera! He later bought a $50k 1st of its kind digital computer video editing system and became famous. But he started by volunteering with me as an 8th grader producing mammoth video shows for pep rallies, church and massive events all through his high school career. He and his buddy, Matt Johnson, worked harder than most people being paid. All I tried to do was show him how to have a relationship with God and he caught a vision for going far beyond where I could take him. He has a wonderful amazing wife and 4 great children getting ready to make their own marks in this world. What adventures we had! What a life of greatness he has! This is his story. Listen and learn why students are ready for far more than you expect!
Coach/Teacher/FCA Huddle Coach/Wife/Mom was NOT a great softball player but her dad worked with her everyday even when friends went to the beach, she cried, but she practiced. And she went D1 to Auburn University as a softball player and became the 1st female athlete to go to FCA with the football team, and then she brought her team as well to start an Auburn Legacy. She is still building Legacies! What a powerful person in the public school system. Listen to Coach Brittany Beall's story now!
He has always been a champion, raised by champion parents! Being forgiven was his only way back! He had hurt his wife, himself and his relationship with God. Now he is Fellowship of Christian Athletes Director in his home county. How in heaven's name did he get to do that when his failure was so painful. Matt Matulia is a bigger Champion now than ever before. But, how? Find out in this episode!
How can a person get arrested for drugs while in college, go to a rehab facility and later become a youth pastor for one of the largest churches in the Orlando, Florida area? And who is this person? Well his name is Matt Williamson. Listen to how this story unfolds. Further more, how does he score an amazing wife and start a great family with 2 little boys? You will hear the answers to all of those questions and more in this episode of Youth Worker On Fire.
Coach Jack Cole is a self employed missionary to Jamaica where he and his wife adopted a daughter, raised their own children, and was called by a principal in a public high school, "a man of great integrity and influence." He is what every coach, youth pastor and teacher should be. He puts Faith 1st, Family 2nd and others 3rd while making all feel and believe they are blessed to be with him. Coach Jack Cole is the mentor we all should be to those around us because we do the NEXT Right Thing.
Mike, who? MichaelTheSoundGuy.com on his website! Michael Helms, was a junior in high school when we met. He was a regular student, but brilliant, laughed and joked a lot. His dad was an international accountant and decided Michael, "Mike", needed to travel so he sent him to his company in Brazil where Mike met the love of his life, but he didn't know it yet. But, this young Brazilian lady, Silvana, knew he was the love of her life at 1st sight. Mike, makes Youth Worker On Fire sound AMAZING! He is a pro and brilliant! He and his family have sacrificed much for me, my family, this podcast and multiple ministries that I had developed over many years to reach students and families for Jesus Christ. Michael's oldest daughter Isabella, was even in the middle school ministry my last 2 years of my 29 years at Trinity Evangelical Free Church. Since Mike was in high school he has shown up every time God started a new wave of ministries through my family. I am forever grateful to you Michael for showing a servant's heart even when it came at a high price. Thank you Silvana, Isabella and Gabriella for loaning him to me to change our world with a piece of, "on earth as it is in heaven." I LOVE your story in this podcast of international love, pain, joy, brilliance, fearlessness and sacrifice. I am glad untold numbers of people will have a little glimpse into the man of God you are and all you have accomplished with your family. It's about time!