How to Plan a Youth Group Event

When it comes to growing your youth group and the students in it, events serve a great purpose. They can be a non-threatening way for students to invite friends to church or build up students that want to grow in their faith.

Many youth leaders find they have a lot of ideas for events but don’t always know what steps to take to make them happen. These tips should help youth leaders get the ball rolling.

Figure out your purpose

Youth group events serve different functions, so you need to know your goal. If you are trying to use this event to reach out to students that don’t come to church, you will want the main selling point of your event to be the fun time you’ll have.

If you are trying to build up students and you want it to be a serious time, you want to sell the event on that. This does not mean fun events can have nothing serious in them or vice versa, but your promotional pitch should be based on your goal.

Just remember that they key ingredient to getting people involved in your event is to find a reason “Why” they would want to attend or contribute in some manner. Once you have this reason, it is much easier to organize your event.

Identify A Great Speaker

Having a speaker who comes to your event is going to be critical to its success. The keynote speaker is someone who is going to really make sure that your audience is paying attention and learning something from it.

Of course, the biggest challenge of finding a speaker for your event is going to be determining your budget and date. “Before you contact a speakers bureau, you need to make sure you have clearly outlined your budget and date” says Dan Smith of the website Keynote Speaker. “I have worked with many organizers who don’t have this in place and it wastes a lot of time for both parties.”

We also spoke with Emily Miller, the editor for the website Motivational Speakers and here is what she suggests when hiring a professional speaker:

Step 1 – Determine your theme

Step 2 – Set a budget

Step 3 – Have a date

Step 4 – Have a venue

Once you have these four critical elements for your event, then you can contact a speakers agency and work with them on booking a speaker.

Don’t be afraid to copy

Many youth groups before you have planned events of varying levels of success. Don’t feel you need to reinvent the wheel. Laser tag is still fun even if you didn’t invent it.

Look at what other groups around you are doing or ask your students what they find fun. Not every event will be perfect or original, but they will often get the creative juices flowing and reveal to you what your students think about different things.

Construct a basic outline

When you have your idea, begin to figure out how it will flow. Make sure you answer questions like where students will be dropped off, what are your start and end time, and how much your event will cost. A helpful practice is to run through the event from beginning to end in your head. This way, you can see where the weak areas are along the way. As you start making an outline, don’t expect it to be perfect right away. It’s easier to think against an idea than it is to try to be perfect on your first attempt.

Play the roles

As you think about your event, try to look at your event through different lenses. How will the new student feel? If the answer is confused or left out, you have an area you need to address. Ask yourself the questions the protective mother would ask, mostly about safety and leadership. Answering those questions will find the weak areas in your event and address them before anything can go wrong.


How To Deal With Your Defiant Teenage Son or Daughter

Have you been asking yourself…

What do you do with a defiant teenager?

Is your child angry, disobedient, rebellious, disrespectful, aggressive, or out of control where they no longer respect your authority?

Does your son or daughter have a bad attitude where they don’t respect boundaries and no longer listen to you?

Do you feel like you have failed as a parent and are unsure how to turn the situation around?

Continue reading “How To Deal With Your Defiant Teenage Son or Daughter”

Teen Counseling Services

Are you struggling with your teen?

Are they angry, out of control, or rebelling?

Have they become depressed, withdrawn, or shut down emotionally?

Are you constantly arguing with them?

Do they lack motivation?

Do they have issues with poor behavior?

If so, I can help.


My name is Sam Miller and for the past 20 years I have been helping parents just like you address the many challenges of adolescents.

As a teen counselor, I have worked with many troubled teens with their issues including:

– Abusive behavior (acting emotionally or verbally abusive towards you or others)

– ADD or ADHD (having a hard time focusing at school)

– Anger (constantly angry and emotionally unstable)

– Anxiety (stressed out or having anxiety attacks)

– Arguing (talking back and being argumentative)

– Depression (feeling low, lost, sad, withdrawn, or suicidal)

– Defiant & Disrespectful (rebellious and no longer listens to you)

– Drugs (taking illicit or pharmaceutical substances)

Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, etc.)

– Low self esteem (lack confidence and low self worth)

– Lying (being manipulative and dishonest)

– Mood swings (dealing with lots of ups and downs)

– Out of control (behaving irresponsibly and making poor choices)

– Overweight (struggling with eating disorders)

– School (doing poorly in school and apathetic)

– Technology & Video Game Addiction (spending too much time on their phone or computer)

– Unmotivated (behaving very lazy or irresponsible)

And much more.


Whatever issues you or your child are facing right now, they most likely stem from one of these six root causes:

1. Unresolved Emotional Issues

Whether your teen is angry, sad, frustrated, confused, or moody, when he or she has unresolved emotional issues they will be the driving cause of poor behaviors such as being defiant, disrespectful, disobedient, rebellious, depressed, apathetic, argumentative, aggressive, antisocial, and so on. This is where your child can become a “troubled teen” and “out of control”.

2. Lack of Communication Skills

When your teen was a baby, he or she would cry for what they wanted. As a child, they would just demand for what they wanted and you would remind them to “say please”. But when they became a teenager, they are expected to start speaking like an adult but never learned how.

Because they are still accustomed to speaking in a direct or demanding way, this can cause conflict where they begin to shut down and stop talking to you. They have now learned that they can’t “get what they want from life” because when they try, they are received in a negative way.

Once this happens, the communication lines are broken and they become very frustrated, aggressive, or withdrawn.

3. Broken Relationship

At some point in your relationship, your child has lost respect for you and no longer listens to you. This is why many teenagers start “talking back”, begin “lying”, are “ungrateful”, become “hateful”, and are constantly fighting with you.

4. Poor Habits & Lack Of Discipline

If your child becomes lazy, unmotivated, and irresponsible, it is because they have established a “rhythm” of poor behavior where they have formed bad habits and lack structure and discipline.

5. Purpose & Meaning

One of the main causes of why so many teenagers exude poor behavior is because they lack purpose and meaning in their life. Without it, they will continue to focus their energy on “destructive” behavior rather than “constructive” behavior.

6. Lack of Confidence or Low Self Esteem

If you find that your child is withdrawn, shy, introverted, insecure, timid, and doubts themselves, it is because they have not learned to believe in and trust themselves. When this happens, the world is a scary place for your child where you can see them act out in “strange ways” as a call for help.


Your teenager is going through their “formative years” right now which is going to have a profound impact on the rest of their life.

How you choose to help him or her now will determine their ability to become a healthy, happy, and responsible young adult.


Because you have lost your ability to communicate with them means they are no longer listening to you.

This is where I can help.

As your teen counselor not only can I help your child address their issues, but I can also help you rebuild your relationship with them so that they will want to talk to you when things become difficult again.

If you want your child to listen to you or do as they are told, then you are going to need to help them deal with whatever is causing them pain and suffering.

My main goal is to “play detective” where I figure out exactly why your teen is having issues and then help them resolve it so that they can move their life forward.

I can also work with you in “parent coaching” sessions where I can teach you how to better relate with your child.

Get the help that you need now so that you can…

  • Regain control of the situation so that it does not get worse
  • Ensure your child is getting the support they need to become a healthy and happy responsible young adult
  • Have the peace of mind knowing that you are doing your best so that you don’t feel guilty
  • Feel confident knowing your child and the situation is getting better
  • Create a healthy and long lasting relationship with your child


  • First 30 minute consult is free
  • $500 for four 1-hour session

How This Works

Step 1 – We have a consult between you and I only so we can speak freely.

Step 2 – I have one paid session with your teen to establish trust and rapport and get them to buy in to working with me.

Step 3 – We book 4 sessions at a time. They can be weekly or every other week.


1. How are payments handled?

Credit or debit through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account.

2. Do you accept insurance?


3. How are sessions held?

Phone or video (Google Meet).

4. How long does it take to see results?

You will notice some results right away just by the fact I am able to connect with your teen. After that, it really depends on the situation.

5. Where are you located?

I am in North Carolina (EST) and can work with anyone in the world.

6. What happens if my teenager does not want to talk to you?

A. Put them on the phone and let them listen to me. I will do all the talking. 90% of the time they open up because I know what to say to them.

B. If they fall in the 10% and still don’t want to talk, then I can at least coach you on how to deal with them.


If you would like to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how I can help you, please email me:

[email protected]

Get Help For Your Teen

Dear parent,

Are you struggling with your teenager?

Are they out of control, lost, depressed, angry, unmotivated, or behaving poorly?

Have you lost your ability to communicate with them?

If so…I can help.

My name is Sam Miller and as the founder of the Parenting Teenagers Academy, my mission is to provide parents the best tools  to help them raise responsible, healthy, happy, and successful young adults.

For the last 20 years, as a teen counselor and coach I have been working with many troubled teens to help them address their emotions, solve their problems, and communicate more effectively so they can get back on track with their life.

I have worked with teenagers who are depressed, angry, addicted to drugs, defiant, have anxiety, withdrawn, lost, rebellious, lack motivation,  irresponsible, and more.

Here is how it works…

We have a free 30-minute phone consult to see if I would be a good fit.

After this call I recommend that we schedule two sessions with your child where my job is to earn their trust and get them to buy into wanting to work with me.

After these two sessions, then we can proceed with more ongoing sessions where I provide you updates via email so you can see how we are progressing.


1. How much does this cost?

$500 for four 1-hour sessions.

Credit card payments are managed via PayPal.

2. How are sessions held?

Phone or Video.

3. What happens if my teenager does not want to talk to you?

A. Put them on the phone and let them listen to me. I will do all the talking. 85% of the time they open up because I know what to say to them.

B. If they fall in the 15% and still don’t want to talk, then I can at least coach you on how to deal with them.

4. How long does it take to see results?

This can vary depending on your circumstances. However, I guarantee after our first session you will feel much better knowing that things are moving in the right direction.

To inquire about a free consultation, please email me:

[email protected]

Motivatonal Quotes & Phrases For Parents

In this day and age of social media and mobile phones, it can be hard for a parent to capture their child’s attention and keep them motivated to do the right things in life.

Between work, putting food on the table, chores, and so on, we know how difficult it can be to stay inspired to do your best.

So we have come up with a list of motivational quotes and phrases that will help you get through the many challenges ahead.

We also thought it would be a good idea to include some motivational quotes that you can use with your child as a way to inspire them.

1. When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. – Harriet Beecher Stowe

2. Try giving up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just some of them, and see how doing that changes your life. You don’t need negative thoughts. All they have ever given you was a false self that suffers. They are all lies. ― Gina Lake

3. Reframing encourages you to say, ‘Let’s look at this another way.’ By changing the frame around a situation, you not only change your perception of it, but its meaning for you as well. If you were to take one painting and view it in three different frames, each combination would offer a completely different presentation. Your perceptions work the same way. ― Susan C. Young

4. No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change. – Barbara DeAngelis

5. Somewhere between handling challenges, taking care of business, and juggling responsibilities, you may have lost pieces of yourself which you long to recover. Perhaps they were buried and forgotten long ago. Rediscovering is more than just being reminded of these golden treasures. It is being able to excavate your riches by pulling them out, polishing them off, and allowing them to shine again. ― Susan C. Young

6. Remember to say thank you for being alive, remember to tell people you love them while they’re still alive.

7. A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult. – Melinda Gates

8. I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. – Oprah Winfrey

9. There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fills you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies. — Robert Frost

10. Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think straight, if possible. — Robert M. Hutchins