Author: Elle Campbell

Sparking Innovation in Ministry

I recently read an article from Art Markman about “the benefits of being an expert generalist.” You should really read it. Markman’s article is the inspiration for today’s blog because, I’m convinced, this “expert generalist” thing is something that we, as youth workers, could really learn from.

First, a quick summary of the original article

The greatest innovators throughout human history have something in common – while they might be known for their contributions to one particular field, the greatest innovators know a lot of things about a wide variety of topics.

They are expert generalists.
People who love and are committed to learning.
People with a wide knowledge base.
People who explore and delve into many different fields of study – even those unrelated to what they do.

These “expert generalists” are often the people who are our best creators and innovators. Because they have expanded their knowledge beyond one single field of study, they are able to see connections, draw parallels, and solve problems that the rest of us simply can’t.

So what does this have to do with youth ministry?


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Refocusing Yourself in the New Year

One of my favorite holidays of the year is New Years Day.

I love to reset.
I love to think about the future.
I love to celebrate the past. 

And…I love to set goals for the next year.

One of my least favorite things to do is to match socks.

Seems random right?

Well…as I was doing my least favorite thing on my favorite day of the year it hit me.

Maybe I need to set a goal for these DANG socks!

As I thought about it I realized some things about our socks…


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Refocusing Your Volunteers in the New Year

This week, now that we’re all back in our offices and kicking off 2013, we’re talking about getting refocused for the new year. Yesterday we looked at refocusing our ministries, and today we’ll keep it going by talking about refocusing our volunteers.

If you’ve been in ministry for any length of time, you’ve probably already discovered that your volunteers are really important. Like, really, really important. So, ministry leaders, as we hit the ground running in 2013 with all of our new ideas, innovative strategies, and fresh vision, remember – we can’t make the mistake of leaving our volunteers behind. 

Fresh ideas, strategies, and vision in the new year are great. And necessary. And awesome. But if we fail to cast that fresh vision to our volunteers – if we fail to lead them well – our fancy new ideas are probably going to fail too.

So what do we do? How do we help our volunteers get refocused on their roles and responsibilities in the new year? How do we help them find fresh motivation for the second half of the school year? Well, here are a few things we’re thinking about…


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Refocusing Your Ministry in the New Year

This week, as we launch into 2013 and get back into the grind at the office, we wanted to chat for a second about getting refocused in the new year – today, we’ll start by chatting about getting refocused in our ministries.

One of the best things Kenny and I have done for our Middle School Ministry has been to establish a rhythm of reevaluating our ministry. Twice a year (usually on the heels of a nice vacation, away from the office), we spend time talking through our vision and goals for our ministry… brainstorming new approaches and ideas… looking at what we do through fresh eyes… and being really honest about the things that need work.

We had one of those “refocusing” sessions a few days ago and we thought it would be fun to give you a little inside look into that conversation…


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REVIEW | Lead Small

This week on the blog, we’ve been talking about some simple, practical ideas to better train, equip, and lead our Small Group Leaders.

We’ve already talked about our 11 favorite small group things at our Small Group Leader Supplies Station and how to make a Small Group Leader Library, but today we’re going to wrap up the conversation by introducing you to a book for Small Group Leaders that we’re really excited about.

Like… really excited about.

It’s called Lead Small: Five Big Ideas Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know. It’s written by Reggie Joiner (the brain behind Orange), and Tom Shefchunas (the Middle School Ministry guy at Northpoint).


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From Kenny + Elle Campbell

Kenny and Elle Campbell

Hi. We’re Kenny and Elle Campbell, founders of Stuff You Can Use. We’ve been doing youth ministry for over twenty combined years and love every second of it. Thanks for stopping by, we hope you find this resource helpful!

Learn More About Kenny + Elle Here

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