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Raising the Bar is aimed at both paid and voluntary leaders, regardless of how long they have been in ministry. Readers have said it's their 'youth ministry handbook' and their 'youth work bible'.

The book gives enough help to start a group, and gives you the skills, ideas and encouragement to keep you going long-term. Learn to deal with conflict. Grow values in the ministry. Build a strong team of leaders. Plan a residential. Respond to a disaster. Leave a legacy.

It's full of stories to inspire you.

"To have a resource like this to put into the hands of my leaders is invaluable. It's so helpful to be able to say to them 'the chapter on X will help you with this'. My leaders love it too because it makes them feel more confident in the ministry we share. Thanks Dave!"

Ross Mungavin

Youth Pastor

St. James, Gerrards Cross & Fulmer



Our first Escape Room has now been played by over 3000 people - youth groups, families and business colleagues. 

"Great escape room again!"

Shelley Logan

currently studying for an MA in Mission, previously a Families Minister

Download Weekend 2020


Resources for planning Christian residentials, camps and houseparties, teaching sessions and much more. Can't find what you need? Get in touch!

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Inside or round a fire pit, there are some great ideas here for games and activities for small groups.

Resources, Small groups & Escape rooms
Training videos


So, one minute isn't very long but it's a great start to train your leaders or encourage your young people to grow in their gifts. There are now a bundle of videos up.

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Click below to check out these photos of health and safety dangers. Use them to help train your leaders. Or springboard off them and find your own. Either way, help your leaders to think about the worst case scenario. Then those will probably never happen.

Accidents waiting to happen
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Check out Dave's new resources for running a question panel. There are helps for panel members and a massive list of recently-asked questions to stretch you, your young people and your panel members.

Question panel helps

This doesn't happen every day, but I was interviewed on Premier Christian Radio about a new piece of research called 'Growing Younger'. You can find out more about that research here. We talked a lot about discipling young people and helping them stay around in church, especially through the transitions. It helped that I'd already done some thinking around transitions for a chapter in my book Raising the Bar, and for the blog on transitions here

You can listen to my interview as part of a longer piece on Premier Christian Radio.

Premier interview
Non-native English speakers

Many churches in Europe have recently been joined by Ukrainian young people. Most of us aren't familiar with their language, but check out this page for ideas to welcome young people for whom English is not their native language.

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"A really detailed, practical, thoughtfully put together and easy-to-apply super manual! It's a real 'go-to' for me."

Keturah Adshead

Youth Leader

Christ Church, Haywards Heath

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Ways to show the love of Jesus to your youth

Outdoor activities

There's a bunch of activities to do outdoors, like instructions for this property game around London, photo treasure hunts and a game based on the UK C4 TV show Hunted.

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Games resources

There's a growing number of ideas for games if you are running short. Try something that looks a bit like the online game Among Us or a load of minute-to-win-its.

Have you had a look at my manual for youth ministry 'Raising the Bar' yet? One reader writes:

"Each time I open it, I come away from it encouraged and equipped to do what I can for the Lord.., thinking 'I'm going to make mistakes... BUT LOOK WHAT GOD CAN DO DESPITE THAT.'

It reminds me that there is only one thing we need to get right - Jesus - and He'll take care of the rest."


Eleni Brooks, Intern, Gaines Manor Christian Centre

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We recently added nine new leaders to our children's ministry team. That doesn't happen every day.

We all need more leaders (if you don't, please get in touch here and tell me how!), maybe we could find one or more of them among our young people.


"The most helpful book I've ever read on youth ministry. I wish I'd had this book when I started."

Luke Blakeley

Youth Pastor

St. Andrew's Church, Leyland

Dave's blog
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"A manual of best practice, showing us that we can lead both a fun and Bible-centred ministry."

Premier Youth & Children's Work 

December 2020

"An essential text"

Jo Baynham

Urban Saints Westbrook Director

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Some great resources here to encourage your young people to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

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Looking for a way to encourage your leaders to attend training, and maybe a reminder for yourself to organise it?

Why not try training passports?

Discipleship and training

"Comprehensive, practical and soundly theological"

Becky Hepworth

Youth Worker

Park Church, Stoke-on-Trent

I've written this practical manual to help you grow effective Christian youth ministry from start to finish. Reading this £10, nearly 400-page book gives you over 27 years of experience. It's packed with loads of how-tos, from writing a Bible talk to leading a small group, dealing with conflict, to working with parents and the wider church. It also has key values for church youth work to remind us what's important - all shared with lots of STORIES involving God's power to transform lives.

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"An invaluable resource"


Scott Rushby

Youth Pastor

Testwood Baptist Church


Raising the Bar
What's new?

What’s new with

I've just uploaded Holy Week and Easter Escape Rooms which have been rewritten for in-person use. I've now uploaded a one-minute training video on 'Starting off in a small group'. I've also put up some 'accidents waiting to happen' photos to help  you think through your health and safety. Let me know what you think here or get in touch if you need any more help. If you've been on the site a few times and I've never said 'Hi!' in the Chat, it's probably because you've turned off cookies. Turn them back on and I'll try and say, 'Hi' some time!

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