Treating Students as Students & Not Projects

 Thank you to Doug for inviting me to speak at Synergy. These are the speaking notes from the breakout session, Treating Students as Students and Not Projects.

1       Relationships are the key to ministry

a.   I am the chief cultural engineer.  If relationship is important to me I will be important to everyone.

b.   Ryan P. concept


2       Hand away respect for free.

a.   Do not take someone elses evaluation

b.   Don’t disrespect students


3       Expectation vs rules

a.   Rules: When you establish rules to fix one person

b.   Expectations:  Elevates everyone


4       GPS: Go to where they are

a.   School Lunch/ Games/ Plays/ etc

b.   Phone calls vs text


5       Games:

a.   Tell me 5 things about you that I do not know

b.   One word question game


6       Posture: Speak up to them

a.   Do you like to be spoken down to?

b.   Are you developing someone or babysitting them?


7       The most powerful words in my vocabulary

a.   Disappointed

b.   Disrespect

c.   Can’t (dont say it around me unless you really tried)


8       Love:  Genuinely love students. 

a.   Students know if you care

b.   They dont care how much you know once they know you care


9       Goal:  Keeping the end goal in mind

a.   They want affirmation, attention and affection

b.   Jesus wants them.  So he gives them affirmation, attention and affection.  Got it?


10   Make Disciples

a.   We are not called to change the world

b.   We are called to make disciples.  (Everyone of the gospels give this in parallel.)

Youth Pastors Retreat

Your Heart Matters

Is your family really first?   We thought is was important enough to sell the perfect house to become a horse rancher…. I have four years with her.   What if I was to lose my own daughter and gain the notoriety of being great?  Being someone?  Wrong thinking will affect your heart.

What are you priorities and are you intentional.   Case in point:  Language?  Some things are a matter of language.  Appointments?  Do you set them with everyone else except for your family?  Do you break those appointments all the time?   Set appointments with your family and keep them as a priority.  

Do relationships matter?  They must!!!  All that you have in life that lasts is relationships.  The number one group of people that are going to be there for you in thick and thin is your family.  

If you could make a change in favor of your family would you?   Who are you more loyal to,  your “church” than your family.   Ive  been on both sides of this issue.  Striking a proper balance of these two is vital.

Do you have an EGO?  Do you ever judge someone else from afar?  Do you see there EGO?  You might be confused, they might just have a work ethic…    A quote from that night.. "If you can give away your ego, you can give away your ministry" 


Don’t blame your senior pastor for you poor time management.  IF you roll in late to the office every day and leave early but you don't get your job done, how is that your pastor's fault?   Work smart and hard so you invest in your family time and future. 

Priority management    I have spent money on myself to become better.  I am worth the investment.   I paid to fly to Washington DC to DCLA with my friend Reggie.  It has opened doors for years with my students.  I have paid to get an education.  I paid to start Wired Inc…  You are worth your own investment. 

What is the trajectory of what you do?   Do you handicap yourself by your own belief system?   Money follows ministry.  Can you talk about your dream and ideas in such a way that it become infectious with others to get on board and go with you?     There are others who might want to do what you do but trajectory can limit their involvement.   

These are just a few of my thoughts.  If you have any other things that would be helpful to consider please post them in the comments section.   God Bless


Kevin Norwood

Want to go on a journey?

About three years ago, a former intern of mine asked me to go on a journey with him to earn our master's degree of Practical Theology.  We have just concluded that journey and what I discovered once again is that there is always room for more education.   I had a goal and plan to have my master's degree by the time I was thirty but ministry got in the way.   I took eleven masters level hours of sociology and those hours have greatly influenced my understanding of the way teenagers think and why they do what they do.  But it took a long time to finally get back to education.   So why take the time to get some more knowledge? 

What I have discovered is if I keep learning on purpose from people who have a deeper understanding than I do, I start to think differently.  It doesn't happen overnight but somehow I started to talk and think different than I did just a short time ago. I believe the same can be true for anyone who is willing to take the time to think, study and listen.   I have been incredibly blessed to be in youth ministry for 26 years and most of that in one church.   On the journey I have learned some things about seeing in the long view and not always in the immediate.   Developing relationships is an amazing journey and as I was reflecting about this journey one of my students who has helped me in ministry asked a simple question:  Do you have any teenagers whose parents were teenagers at Owasso when you came?   The answer is that I have a bunch of sixth and seventh graders who I have sat at school lunch with their parents when they were students.  So I have known these students all of their lives.  Even before their parents were dating or married.   There is something amazing about that.   How does that happen?   You stay in one place and learn to navigate all the things that come your way, from parents to pastors, from students to adult leaders.  

How do you manage all of the multiple aspects of ministry?   Trips, camp, student ministries, worship,  discipleship, sports, etc.... the list becomes so long but there are principles to managing all of these things.   I have taken this journey with hundreds of student leaders and many of them have ended up in full time ministry or on the mission field.  I have given them their "10,000 hours of experience".   Would you like to learn some of the basic principles that I have learned?   I would be happy to share with you and take time to walk with you on this ministry journey.   Why don't you click on contact and give me some information and I will get in touch with you.  


God Bless

Xtremely His,

Kevin W. Norwood