A Junior High Ministry podcast for Youth Workers!
Hosted by Justin Herman

March 21, 2018

Episode 0003- Volunteers, Beards and the best MoCouragment Yet! Youth Ministry

Thanks to our partners at CIY!

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Topic: We talk about the transition Mark made from being a full time youth worker, his years primarily in Junior High ministry to being a volunteer for his local church to a young pastor (who he brags on as awesome). What are the things he needs from his junior high pastor, what he has learned in the transition, how he can think differently about our adult volunteers. JUNIOR HIGH PASTORS! If you have any volunteers that are older than you, or you want to develop your leadership with your recruit volunteers with more age and experience, you will WIN and help them WIN with this episode.


0:32 Introduction to Mark Oestreicher and topic on how to lead volunteers that are older than you

2:58 Marks resume of work he’s done in junior high ministry

4:14 Age gap between volunteers and pastor at Marks church

4:56 Mark explains the crazy games and events that he did when he was in junior high

6:28 Marks scariest moment in ministry with junior highers

8:46 Mark discusses his transition between paid position and volunteer

10:01 Understanding the sacrifice volunteers make

10:44 Mark’s small group articulates excellent question which God blesses

11:26 “It is really critical that we have junior highers verbalize what they believe.”

11:33 “The verbalization of belief is more important than the accuracy of the belief.”

12:10 Volunteers need to be treated as someone with a unique set of skills and abilities

13:00 Example of Marks context of volunteering

14:17 “Knows me more than what I can do for the ministry and helps me win.”

15:55  How to start engaging volunteers in what they are interested in

17:30 How the volunteer can contribute to the value of the ministry

18:39 Number one top priority of every junior high youth worker

19:25 “It will only succeed if you embrace a value of small, build systems in place and embrace values that have to do with getting adults who love Jesus and like junior highers into meaningful relationships with kids.”

20:10 Transition to building relationship with volunteers before kids

20:27 “You have model with your volunteers what you are hoping they will do with teenagers.”

21:09 Myth about college worker volunteers

21:34 Diversity of age and gender makes leadership well rounded

23:45 Book recommendations; reading fiction books sparks Mark’s creativity

25:38 Leadership tip from Mark

27:18  Mo’Couragement from Mark on intentionality

27:25 “Junior high ministry, I just am more convinced than ever is so critical and so close to the heart of God.”

27:40 “Our high school ministries are going to suck if we don’t have good junior high ministries.”


Whose on this episode? Mark Oestreicher, Justin Herman

Quotes I dig from this episode (all from Marko):

You have to model with your volunteers what you hope they do with teenagers.- Mark Oestreicher

Junior High ministry, I’m more convinced than ever is so critical and so close to the heart of God.- Mark Oestreicher

Our High School ministries are going to suck if we don’t have good junior high ministries.- Mark Oestreicher



Things mentioned in the episode:

The Youth Cartel

Youth Cartel Coaching Program

Middle School Ministry Campference

Book: Canoeing the Mountains By: Tod Bolsinger

Book: Youth Ministry 2027 By: Brock Morgan

Book: 4 Views on Pastoring LGBTQ Teenagers By: Eric Woods, Gemma Dunning, Mark Oestreicher, Nick Elio, Shelley Donaldson

Controlled Chaos Book by Kurt Johnson


Controlled Chaos Community

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Our Controlled Chaos Podcast Partner CIY, Christ in Youth.

CIY- Christ in Youth  


Controlled Chaos Podcast: A junior high ministry podcast for youth workers!

Thank you for tuning in.  The work youth workers do is hard work, thank you! Thank you for taking time to get a little more equipped to do Junior High or Middle School Ministry in your Youth Ministry or Student Ministry at your church.  Keep it up!


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