NYI Talk

NYI Talk uses interview-style videos and questions to challenge individuals and teams to reflect on their ministries. We invite you to use NYI Talk in meetings, during retreats, or on your own. Looking for further conversation? Use #NYITalk to take part in the dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Take time to explore how this leadership development tool may be used in your local context.


FEATURED VIDEOS

Meeting Students Where They Are - Greg Wells

Greg Wells shares his thoughts on creative ways youth ministries can meet students where they are.

  1. How well does your youth ministry do at getting outside the four walls of the church building? 
  2. How aware are you or your team of the things your students are interested in or connected to? 
  3. What existing connection points (FCA, YMCA, etc.) can your youth ministry leverage to better meet students where they are?

Concerns of College Students - Blair Spindle

Blair Spindle discusses some of the observations he’s made over the course of years of ministry to college students. 

  1. What is the place of emotion in faith? How does your ministry help students establish consistent Christian practices and rhythms?
  2. How can you or your team differentiate between the “needs” and “wants” of students at every level (middle school, high school, college)?
  3. Do you agree with Blair on the importance of rest or Sabbath for students? What specific things get in the way of students developing patterns of rest?

Long-Term Investment in Students - Goose Ramos

Goose Ramos shares his story of faithfully investing in the life of a former student.

  1. How well do you handle relationships with students who seem to be making little to no spiritual progress?
  2. Do you agree with the statement, “It’s not our job to transform, but God will do it in His timing”?
  3. Are there former students you need to check up on or reach out to?

Youth Ministry & the Larger Church - Gary Young

Gary Young explores issues such as vision, giving youth a voice in the direction of the church, and empowering others to minister and love.

  1. How do you seek to support the vision of the Lead Pastor? Is your vision for youth ministry more like-minded or conflicting with the vision of the Lead Pastor?
  2. Do youth have a voice in the determining the future of your church? Why or why not? How can you as a leader help ensure the voice of the youth is heard?
  3. How are you empowering the people you serve to minister and to love? Do the youth in your church have a basic understanding of what it means to be the Church?

Sending Graduating Students - Matt Pollock

Matt Pollock explores what it means to send all students into the world as ambassadors of the kingdom of God.

  1. What intentional things are you doing to help students recognize a greater sense of belonging to the Church?
  2. How have you typically framed graduation for students? Does the idea of sending or commissioning graduating students challenge you?
  3. In what ways are you inspiring students to understand their future endeavors in light of the kingdom of God?

The Strength of a Team - Derek Whitten

Derek Whitten, Student Ministries Pastor at Grace Church of the Nazarene in Columbia, TN, challenges youth pastors and leaders to leverage the strength of a youth ministry team.

  1. As a team, walk through each individual’s strengths and how they can be used to better and further your ministry.
  2. What are the most important roles you play as a youth pastor (teaching, relationship building, etc.)? What other roles are you holding on to that could be entrusted to other leaders?
  3. How do you help volunteers develop relationships with students that you don’t connect with?
  4. How can you work with your lead pastor to mentor and disciple adults that will pour back into students?

Listening to Young People - Marg Stahlbaum

Marg Stahlbaum, Canada Central District NYI President, challenges us to find new ways to listen to the young people in our ministries.

  1. How can you make students more comfortable expressing their view point about your teachings and practices?
  2. How do you respond to students that appropriately challenge your teachings and practices?
  3. What have you learned from engaging with students about the beliefs and practices of our faith?

One-on-One with Students - Billy Buisman

Northwest District NYI President, Billy Buisman, shares some of his thoughts about building one-on-one relationships and empowering students to take ownership in the larger church.

  1. Are you comfortable in one-on-one relationships? Why or why not?
  2. How have you structured your leadership team to make the most out of one-on-one interactions?
  3. How does your ministry foster or inhibit one-on-one relationships?
  4. What strengths do your students have that your whole church can benefit from?
  5. How can your church create opportunities for students to take on responsibilities outside of the youth ministry?

Prevenient Grace - Joshua Kleinfeld

Mid-Atlantic District NYI President, Josh Kleinfeld, shares about the beauty of Prevenient Grace in youth ministry and how he goes about conveying the core beliefs of the Church of the Nazarene to students.

  1. Is the culture of your ministry optimistic? Why or why not?
  2. Are there relationships or situations in which the radical optimism of Prevenient Grace challenges you? 
  3. How can you weave the articles of faith into your preaching, teaching, small groups, and conversations?
  4. What can we do to express to youth that God’s desire for everyone is to be made right, made new, and made family?

Embracing Connectedness - Michael Pigg

South Texas District NYI President, Michael Pigg, encourages us to think about technology in creative ways that can improve ministry to youth and their families.

  1. Is technology helpful or distracting in youth ministry? How so?
  2. How can you creatively eliminate distractions from youth ministry?
  3. How can we model and teach families to embrace connectedness and eliminate distractions?
  4. How are you communicating with parents about issues that are hot topics for their student?
  5. Does your ministry facilitate connection points between parents and students? Why or why not?

The Essence of the Church - Helen Thiessen

Canada Field Youth Coordinator, Helen Thiessen, challenges us to re-embrace the essence of the Church through community and authenticity. 

  1. How can you strive for excellence in ministry without selling out to flashy and produced elements?
  2. How do you make your messages/sermons conversational?
  3. How do you celebrate your community?

Including Youth - Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood, Canada West District NYI President, challenges us to consider how well we are including youth in the larger ministry of our churches.

  1. How do you encourage students to engage with the rest of the church?
  2. What are your priorities for the ministry inside and outside the youth group?

RECOMMENDED VIDEOS

Authenticity with College Students - Blair Spindle

South Central Field Youth Coordinator, Blair Spindle, shares insights from his experience with college students as University Pastor at Southern Nazarene University. 

  1. In a world of fakeness and brokenness, how can you express authenticity in your ministry?
  2. In what ways are you displaying holiness in your own life?
  3. How can you be real, present, and concerned in every interaction with a student?
  4. What does it mean to build a good and beautiful community?

The Church Relating to Youth - Bob Keuther

Eastern Field Youth Coordinator, Bob Keuther, discusses the necessity of creating open dialogue around tough issues and intentionally maintaining connection with youth.

  1. Knowing that this generation seeks justice for all, in what ways is your ministry modeling the justice that Christ embodied?
  2. How do we share with students that Christ embodied justice while maintaining holiness and purity?

Youth in the Local Church - Gary Young

Executive/Youth Pastor, Gary Young, discusses his role in the local church and how youth ministry connects to the larger ministry of the church.

  1. How are you keeping your ministry aligned and loyal to the vision of the senior pastor and church?
  2. When was the last time you properly thanked and showed appreciation to the volunteers in your ministry? How can you improve?
  3. How are you equipping and empowering others to do the work of ministry alongside you?
  4. What steps can you take to develop your own leadership skills?

Reaching Students Today - Gordon Wong

Southwest Field Youth Coordinator, Gordon Wong, challenges leaders to build bridges and connect with students outside the walls of the church.

  1. How has your church sought to engage students in new ways?
  2. What resources do you need to help you think outside the box of the “old school” way of doing youth ministry?

Dealing with Questions of Identity & Doubt - Jason Buckwalter

Missouri District NYI President, Jason Buckwalter, shares his thoughts on walking with students through questions of identity and doubt.

  1. How are you giving room for students to express big doubts they have about God and faith?
  2. How is your ministry shaping your students in the long run?
  3. How are you showing that a relationship with God is not a ‘transaction’ but a gift?
  4. What ways are you leading your students to serve in the church and surrounding community?

Discipleship in the Family - Joshua Kleinfeld

Family Pastor, Joshua Kleinfeld, explains his approach to equipping parents to take an active role in the discipleship of their students.

  1. In what ways are you equipping parents to lead their families in a Christ-like manner?
  2. Are you providing opportunities for families to serve in your church and surrounding community?
  3. How can you ensure that the mindset of your church is missional and others-focused?

Young People in Leadership - Marg Stahlbaum

Canada Central District NYI President, Marg Stahlbaum, highlights the value of involving young people in the leadership of the local church.

  1. How diverse is your church board and leadership in terms of age? How can you add more diversity?
  2. In what ways have you found yourself learning from the students in your ministry?

Advice for Youth Pastors & Parents - Phil Starr

Pastor of Student Ministries, Phil Starr, shares valuable advice that will help youth pastors and parents work together. 

  1. How can you make yourself more approachable to parents that express concerns to you?
  2. What ways have you allowed parents to assist you in being a part of the solutions to problems?
  3. Are you listening to the heart of the parent and the passion they have for their child?

Christian Worldview - Ryan Wood

Canada West District NYI President, Ryan Wood, discusses the challenge of responding to a constantly shifting culture.

  1. How are you addressing big topic questions in culture?
  2. How are you filtering what is happening in culture through a Christian worldview?
  3. How are you shaping the worldview of the students to one that is influenced primarily by Jesus?

Loving Students - Colleen Baker

Pittsburgh District NYI President, Colleen Baker, speaks on the importance of getting to know the story of every student.

  1. How are you acknowledging and responding to the changes in the structure of families today?
  2. How are you responding to students that come from diverse backgrounds?
  3. Are there obstacles that keep you from seeing the good in every student?