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

June 5, 2019

Episode 0066 Her Majesty the Queen Katie Edwards, The prince of CIY Mike Branton and Kurt and Justin talk about the real heroes, The volunteers! Junior High Youth Ministry Middle School


CIY hosts relevant episodes that will train, teach and inspire you on your journey in ministry. In this episode, you'll hear from junior high ministry experts Kurt Johnston, author of the book, "Controlled Chaos" and Justin Herman, host of the Controlled Chaos Podcast. They join the WebCast to talk about creating a magnetic junior high ministry, attracting them and keeping them.

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Recruiting Volunteers—Justin and Kurt

  1. Why Summer is the best time to recruit leaders

    • You have a lot of fun events and gives people a taste of students at their craziest. Get a leader to see the beauty in that and they will go crazy over them in group.
    • You can’t take the summer off from recruiting cause fall is coming
  2. Language to use
    • What did you do last year to say you moved the needle on spiritual life in me and around me?

      • No matter the answer ask them about investing in a Jr. High Student this year. Everyone had someone or wished they had someone and they can pay it forward or be the person they needed.
  1. Don’t say someone’s no for them

    • Make the ask and let them say no. Don’t be afraid to ask
  2. Have a 2-3 minute elevator pitch
  3. Your best recruiters are people already serving and attending.
    • Who in their circle can they ask?
    • Get students to ask.
  4. Invite them into something specific
  5. Don’t have eyes bigger than your stomach
    • Are you ready if you grew by 10 leaders tomorrow? Is there is a plan and process in place so they are not in the queue for 6 months?

Katie Edwards (DYM Podcast and Saddleback Church)

  • Connecting with females in your youth ministry

    • Focus on the times you are with them weekly. Have those spaces to have significant conversations.
    • Healthy touch is important
      • A high five is touch. It does not always have to be a hug.
    • Great eye contact and get rid of distractions. Give warmth in your voice and how you ask questions
  • Keeping volunteers
    • Create a family community that will minister to the family (their students)
  • Katie-isms to cast vision and leadership
    • People over protocol, people over programs. Love people well. The goal is love and care for people if they are in the church or not.
  • Innovation and Newness to the ministry
    • Never Stop Learning. Learning leads to innovation
    • Evolve with what’s best for the kids—think of new ways to communicate
    • When brainstorming make sure you have different thinkers, ages, and other
    • different types of people
    • Don’t skip the debrief—successful idea/event or not
  • Make sure you understand the audience. The more you know the lower your frustration will be and help you be more effective
  • Practice and experience things together with a middle schooler. (serving, learning scripture, etc)
  • Missions
    • Getting them into environments with they partner with the local church in other spaces

      • Expands their view of the kingdom
      • Helps them see outside of themselves
    • Middle schoolers are fearless and are willing to step into things and having a life changing experience like that can get them into next level ministry
    • Find an organization that your church trusts to take care of the “scary stuff” and then you can just be with the students


Mike Branton (Christ in Youth)

  • Environments—Where you meet is just as important as what you are meeting about

    • How will they hear if we are not intentional about the space
    • First impression for families
      • You may only get one chance with a parent. Make your space so it looks like you knew they were coming.
    • You don’t have an excuse for not being intentional with what you have
    • Having a clean space is vital.
    • It is an act of worship to have a clean space (Think tabernacle in OT)
    • Things your environment should help communicate
      • Signage (from street to seat)
      • Safety
      • Specific age (how do we say this space is for you)
      • Broken window (kids will break more and trash it) if it is pristine they will be less likely to break and dirty it up.
    • Portable is key if the space is not yours
      • You can’t just leave your stuff if it is a multi-purpose room
    • Sometimes make the space smaller (30 kids in a 300 person room is daunting). Curtains or defined spaces within the environment. Have a goal to fill it.
    • Celebrate the things that you want repeated
      • Camp, baptisms, volunteers. Use the walls, floor, bathroom to tell a story
    • You are trying to creature culture and environment is a lot of that.
      • Your environment should drive the mission home not make people want to drive home
    • Talk to parents, students, and student leaders about what they think of the space

Whose on this episode? 

Justin Herman LINKTREE

Kurt Johnston

Katie Edwards Katie's Twitter

Mike Branton Mike's Twitter



Meet the HOST!

Justin Herman

Go to for all his links! 

Question or Show ideas? Email Justin!

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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