Youth Ministry Podcast: Your 10 favorite episodes of 2018

Dec 26, 2018 7:00:00 AM / by Sparkhouse


After listening to your feedback (hi!), we launched the Youth Ministry Podcast in late 2017 as a way to share insight into what it means to be a youth worker in today’s world. With the addition of smart phones, games like Fortnite, smart phones, and living through the internet (also, did we mention smart phones?), ministering to youth looks completely different than it did a few years ago, let alone a few decades ago. 

And in 2018, the Youth Ministry Podcast produced over 50 episodes in 2018! Throughout the year, hosts Bryan and Erik covered anything and everything -- from professional development to the use of games during youth group, the podcast gives you a fresh perspective with some tips to use in your daily life as a youth worker. 

We’re gearing up for a fun series of topics in 2019, too! Bryan has since left the podcast, but Jake Bouma, a veteran youth leader in Iowa, joins Erik each week on the podcast. You can listen to the Youth Ministry on your favorite podcast platform (and we’d love to see your rating and review – after all, that helps the podcast get to more ears, too!).

Looking for where to start? Want to reflect back on some favorites? Check out the best Youth Ministry Podcast episodes of 2018 to get started.


#10 – Performance Reviews

We thought people might shy away from the topic of performance reviews, but it turns out you guys were ready for it! Coming in at #10, this podcast covers why performance reviews are critical to ministry success, how to get them started in your context, and who should be doing them (hint: everyone.) Bryan and Erik are joined by special guest, Pastor Eric Carlson! Tune in.


#9 – Holy Week and Youth Ministry

Deciding what to do with your students during Holy Week can be tricky. Whether it’s a passion play, stations of the cross, or even a 30-hour famine-like simulation, giving students an opportunity to understand and experience the highs and lows of the passion narrative is a fundamental part of youth ministry each year. In this episode, Bryan and Erik discuss six practical ways to help students engage with Holy Week. Tune in.


#8 – Mail Time!

We love listener questions as it allows us to really know we are covering topics you want to talk about! In this special mailbag episode, Bryan and Erik cover questions such as:

  • How do you deal with unruly students?
  • What’s the difference between expectations and requirements?
  • Does a kid need to go to confirmation in order to make a public declaration of faith?
  • And what makes a youth worker, a youth worker?

Tune in


#7 – Wonder and Youth Ministry


We all long to capture (and keep) the attention of our youth students. In this episode of the Youth Ministry Podcast, Bryan and Erik are joined by special guest Sarah Logemann to discuss the idea of wonder, how to use it in your youth group, and why it’s integral to keeping students engaged in their life of faith. Tune in.


#6 – When it’s Time to Leave

Leaving a ministry position is never easy. It’s a tough topic to cover, but it’s evident our listeners think it’s important too. Coming in at number six, this podcast covers the hard questions. How do we know when it’s time to leave a church? How do we value and advocate for ourselves in the job search process? In this episode, Bryan and Erik talk about changing roles, how to communicate openly and honestly, and red flags in a job search. Tune in.


#5 – Enneagram and Youth Ministry

We all love a good personality test. It teaches us about ourselves and about others. For youth group, it can really help to make sure all types of kids feel engaged, welcomed, and loved. In this episode, Bryan and Erik are joined by special guest, Sparkhouse’s Carla Barnhill, to discuss the Enneagram personality inventory and why it is important for youth workers. Tune in.


#4 – Summer Ministry


We’re not surprised the topic of summer ministry was a hit – it can be a tricky time and we all want to figure out what to do with it. Summer is usually a time of decreased attendance, but that doesn’t mean it should lack the same quality and depth found during the program year. In this episode, Bryan and Erik discuss what makes a good summer ministry, how to plan it, how to mix fun and educational activities. Tune in.


#3 – Live from Youth Gathering 2018!

ELCA’s Youth Gathering can be such a powerful time for students and leaders alike. This year, we headed down to Houston to take part in the gathering, which brought about 30,000 youth from across the country together. In the Sparkhouse booth, we had the honor of getting to hear about the leader and students’ experiences, including why they attended, what they liked, and how the event made a difference in their lives! Tune in.


#2 – Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera that has inspired and excited audiences for close to 50 years. Following the passion narrative, Jesus Christ Superstar gives us an opportunity to experience that story in a different way. But, what does it say to students? How can we use it in youth ministry? Should we use it in youth ministry? Tune in.


#1 – Fortnite


Shockingly, our number one most listened to podcast this year was about Fortnite (do you pick up on the sarcasm?). If you’re not familiar, Fortnite is an online multiplayer video game that has taken over the screens of youth, adults, and everyone in between (even some moms got in on the fun!).


Turns out, youth workers are really trying to figure it out. Or… they must just really like it. (No judgement.) In this episode, Bryan and Erik discuss what Fortnite is, how youth workers should think about it, and are joined by two very special guests. Tune in.



Thank YOU for tuning in and making the Youth Ministry Podcast a success in 2018 – we can’t wait to bring you more good stuff in 2019. Subscribe to us on iTunes, follow along at our website, or just tune in from wherever you get your podcasts!

Topics: Youth Ministry Podcast


Written by Sparkhouse


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