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.
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.
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:
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, also. *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!
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.
Three children, John, Michael and Rebecca, in that order. Yet, for 24 years they have been working with Michael to control his seizures which are located all over his brain. Jim has been a 20+ year student ministry volunteer, community volunteer and church board member. He and his wife Marilyn own a major screen printing business and have traveled to different parts of the globe trying to find a cure for Michael's condition. Sleepless nights in hospitals, educating John and Rebecca through college and trying to make life normal for them...but it's not! Life is not normal as we see normal. To them, all of the above is "Their" normal. Jim and Marilyn are the Ultimate Warriors for Family, Faith, Friends and Business. Why, What, How can you possible SERVE OTHERS when your needs are so great? Listen closely to the pain and the joy and the hurt and the laughter of a man who serves...
In 8th grade she joined us on a mission trip to the Appalachia poverty mission. She has been a world changer ever since. Alex went on 4 Colorado trips with our student ministry, she was FCA student leader at her high school for 4 years because she initiated it. Pat Williams, Manager of the Orlando Magic NBA Team, spoke to the 2013 senior class because she decided it needed to happen. She is a student at the University of Florida. She is a Biology/Medical Geography major, she in her college career studied in New Zealand, Went to a mission trip in Croatia; then Hiked through Europe and Russia with her best friend! "SUPER GIRL"! If you stay in student ministry long enough God will allow you to minister to students that are unbelievable.
My Travel Agent to date is Don Holme's in Texas! I have taken 18 plus years of Colorado trips booked and arranged by Don! When you travel with students and volunteers you want the guy who thinks ahead of you and cares about you and your people. That's why Don is one of my Consistent Heros. He has been working with High Point Travel in Dallas, Texas for 30 years. In Don's words, "And they said it wouldn't last." He was being funny. HaHaHa! 13 year's in Youth Ministry Married for 30 years, 2 daughters and both are in college. He also has a website that He covers the local high school sport's teams. He is immersed in his community and he is a World Vision thinker. Youth Worker Nation, Don is the real deal because everyone my team and I bring you on this podcast is and will be the REAL DEAL!
Blake Appleby was saved as a teenager and has been reaching and teaching young people as a pastor and evangelist to students for 9 years. He has a beautiful wife named Meredith and two boys, Micah and Wade. He is the Student Pastor at First Baptist Church of Umatilla, Florida. He enjoys sports, bass fishing, playing the drums, reading, and a good cup of coffee.
Anthony Sabatini was a sophomore in high school when his principal sat him down and said to him calmly, “You have some potential and you’re going to be one of two things, either you’re going to end up in the United States Senate or you’re going to end up in prison. And you have to make that choice.” Anthony recalls, "No one had ever talked to me that way before." It could have gone either way.
But Anthony was a leader and it was evident to all. He became Student Body President and is a proud member of the Eustis High School Class of 2007. Anthony went on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Florida in 2012, with a double major in History and Philosophy and commissioned as an infantry officer into the Florida Army National Guard. A member of the National Guard since 2008, he currently serves as Executive Officer of an Infantry Company in Ocala, FL. Anthony is now attending the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, where he is in his final year.
Listen as Anthony tells us about some of those key moments that influenced his life in a major way.
Bryan Totten is currently teaching AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. This program helps prepare students who are in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility. These are students who are capable of completing a college-prep curriculum but may be falling short of their potential.
Bryan has been in public education for 7 years and has taught both middle and high school. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary and is married to his wife Savannah. He's a member and Deacon at Lifepointe Church in Eustis, FL. Bryan is also a beard enthusiast.
What if your daughter tells you she was ______ 2 years earlier. What if you found out she was a cutter and later on drugs? What if soon after that she turns 18 and moves out and you wonder night after night if she is alive or dead? Tom and Dena Yohe have lived that life and still live on the tentative list. In Dena's book to parents, You Are Not Alone, she takes you through how their family felt alone and through much time found answers that you will not have to look for because they found the answers for you. This podcast episode 050 is an amazing story. Listen now and get answers!!! *Dena Yohe is author of the book, "You Are Not Alone: Hope for Hurting Parents of Troubled Kids."
Ryan Schmitz was a rebellious teenager with a tough home life. With no boundaries, he dropped out of high school and got into a lot of trouble. Doug Edwards talks to Ryan about the positive adults who influenced his life and how his life was transformed through the grace of Jesus Christ.
A drug and alcohol addiction recovery program, Teen Challenge is the focus of this week's episode. Doug interviews Joe Batlock, who works for Teen Challenge, a drug and alcohol addiction recovery program. Teen Challenge USA works on a holistic model of drug and alcohol recovery. This means they are concerned with the body, mind, and spirit of those who come to their addiction recovery centers. They endeavor to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive. For more information or help call 1-855-END ADDICTION or visit TeenChallengeUSA.com.
Carey Baker is a man among men. He and his wife Lori have 3 children and the oldest is 14 years old. That makes him qualified to talk to youth workers among many other things. He comes from a history of soldiers. In this episode, he speaks of 3 of our recent fallen young soldiers in the Middle East and Afganistan. His dad served in WWII and Carey joined the National Guard at age 18 and served for 32 years. In later years, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives as well as serving a tour of duty in Iraq during the war. Later he went on to the Florida Senate and now serves as County Appraiser in Lake County, Florida. Listen to the great integrity and faith of this man, Youth Worker Nation.