1) What is Your Name?
Heath Tibbetts

2) How old are you?

3) Tell us a little about your family?
Married for 4 years to Nikki.  
Have a 2 year old, Tyler, and 1 year old Kaitlyn.

4) What is the Name of Your Church?
Hallsville Baptist Church

5) Does your Youth Ministry have a name?  If so, what is it?
It’s slowly changing to R.O.C.K (Relying on Christ the King). That’s our Sunday morning program, and taking over as our name.

6) What is your role in the ministry?
Part-time pay, full-time responsibilities

7) How long have you been at your present church?
Since 1997 as member and 2001 as youth pastor

8) How long have you been in Youth Ministry all together?
3 years

9) What is your greatest passion in Youth Ministry?
To help students realize that the choices they make now will influence the adult they’re going to become.

10) What would you say is your "life verse"?
John 3:17 So many people miss it because of 3:16, but I think it’s important to remember that when people say that Christ is exclusive, that he chooses all and we condemn ourselves when we don’t reach out to him. I think it’s an important verse for those in direct ministry.

11) What is your passion in life?
Making the bible applicable to life. Some ministry leaders share lessons from the bible, but don’t apply them to the lives of those they’re teaching. I enjoy teaching, and especially preaching which I’ve been able to due numerous times at our church.

12) Share one ministry highlight for you?
Building on the youth mission trips. We often traveled to local spots and did ministry with just our groups. I wanted our youth to learn to work with other youth, since they will be working with other adults as they grow up and move to other churches. Bringing our group into WorldChangers (SBC) working with youth groups all over the country in different cities was a definite highlight.

13) Share one ministry lowlight for you?
Parents wanting to meet to talk about grievances against me. I’ve learned that we can talk through problems, but often it was a real lowlight as I had to learn not to take everything personally. Things are often what you make of them. We can’t be afraid to communicate through problems.

14) What have you done in your ministry that has had the greatest impact on students?
I think one of the biggest things I wanted to do was see our student ministry become a student led ministry. So far we have turned a pre-existing clown ministry over to a student who also started a drama ministry. We have a youth band that I am gradually giving control of to a senior high guy since these students are still new to playing and practicing for leading worship. We also have a youth website that I’m bringing a youth in to start doing upkeep on. You can minister to students, but an effective student ministry is students ministering.

15) What is something in ministry that you would warn others to NEVER do?
One thing to not do is everything by yourself. I’m very hands on and have a difficult time delegating tasks because I fear they won’t happen. When you do this you’re robbing yourself of help from parents and students, and you rob them of the blessing to become ministry helpers with you.

16) In a sentence or two, what is your definition of a "successful youth ministry"?
A successful student ministry is defined by having students growing in their faith, caring for each other and realizing their energy is important to their church and using it to inspire the church body. 1 Timothy 4:12 is a call not just to be strong, but set an example to those who are supposed to be leaders to young people.

17) In your opinion what are some of the biggest needs of teens today?
To be shown the worldly ideal for how to look and act is not God’s ideal. They need to feel that they’re being treated as young adults and not kids. If you can assure them you think they’re important, they will listen to your guidance as they mature into adulthood.

18) What advice would you give the teens of today?
Don’t settle. When you give your sexual purity away, strive for the things of the world or follow a plan for your own life without God’s help, you’re settling for the world’s best. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a prosperous plan for us and settling for the world’s best isn’t God’s best for us.

19) If you could tell parents ONE thing, what would it be?
Be your kids parents first and friend second. They look to you for guidance, and you need to be willing to make the tough decisions even though they may be unpopular with your kids.

20) What book(s) are you presently reading?
J. Vernon McGee “Questions and Answers”

21) What would be the top 3 books you would recommend?
1. Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life”
2. Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness”
3. Max Lucado “He Chose the Nails”

22) What two movies would you most recommend to other youth workers?
1. Remember the Titans (lots of examples of students having to make the decisions despite the teachings of the adults)
2. Home Alone (I used it to demonstrate how a family should NOT communicate. And it’s pretty unobjectionable.)
I’ve used these in our Sunday morning program before.

23) Who is your favorite musician/music group?
MercyMe. I can think of no other group who sings more about sharing the gospel and the beauty of God’s Word and love.

24) Who has been the biggest influence on you in youth ministry?
Randy Schilb, my youth pastor growing up. He knew how to walk the line of mentor, friend and leader.

25) What direction would you like to see your ministry move toward?
I would like to see my personal ministry move to a teaching pastor of some type, or perhaps even conference speaking for youth. I didn’t think student ministry would be something I would become passionate about until God placed me in it. I also think college ministry is very important; research shows at least 8 of every 10 youth group members will walk from the faith in college.

26) What is the most significant thing God has taught you since being in Youth Ministry?
You can have the best bible studies, activities and events, but if you don’t forge personal relationships with people, all those ministry benefits mean nothing.

27) Youth ministry involves a lot of doing and giving to others.  What do you do in order to get fed and encouraged?
I think that God feeds us primarily through our individual bible study every day with Him. Through individual prayer and bible study the Holy Spirit feeds us. I remember Doug Fields says in the “Purpose Driven Youth Ministry” that your spiritual life will be an indication of your youth groups spiritual life. Personally studying for Youth Rock and bible studies does feed me in addition to our pastor’s messages.

28) If you could have done three things differently when you were a teenager yourself, what would they have been?
I would have been wiser in my relationships with girls and not allowed myself to make mistakes with physical encounters. I also would have shared the gospel with my friends more and had daily quiet times and bible study and meditation..

29) What would you say are three to five MUST-HAVE resources for every youth worker?
A strong parent support group. Great Sunday school and bible study leaders. Some sort of communication medium (church newsletter or website) and Doug Fields “Purpose Driven Youth Ministry”. He really challenges you to have a reason for what you do and a purpose for your ministry.

30) Have you contributed anything to the YM Exchange on Pastor2youth.com?
No, but I plan to do so very soon. My part time status usually causes me to prepare and plan ministry things and never the time to load stuff. I now have DSL in my office, so I’ll get on it!

31) How could we pray for you and your ministry?
I’m leaving this summer for seminary, which my group knows and has been supportive of. I pray that the students who have taken over ministries already will inspire other youth to step up in other areas and ease the job of a new youth pastor in continuing our successes.

32) Would you be willing to share a picture of you and/or your group with us?

This was from last years mission trip to Alabama. Bill (in wheelchair) and his wife Diane really grew to love working with teens and teens loved working with them. It was a tremendous trip for our students. They combined with approx. 2000 youth in Birmingham to make a mark on the town for Christ. They’ll always remember it, as will I. Click Here to view the full-sized picture.


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Bouncy Ball Blitz 2012-11-06 22:06:02
Chain Reaction 2012-02-26 14:28:00
Giant 75 foot Water Slide 2012-01-22 21:28:24
Peanut Butter Face 2012-01-15 23:44:28
Messy Twister 2012-01-15 23:43:37

I have had many youth pastors over the years ask me for my own personal recommendations on products. In recent years, this request has increased. So, I thought it might be beneficial to many to share on the site my personal favorites in different categories from Simply Youth Ministry.

CLICK HERE to check out my personal picks in 7 categories

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In The Trenches

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