A new school year brings excitement and new opportunities for youth and young adults in service. Friends of Walla Walla connect mentors (youth, young adults, and those who are young at heart) into the lives of children at schools. If you have an hour during lunch—any day of the week, why not spend a few moments and making someone’s day? One hour a week with your “friend” at lunch and spend their recess doing whatever they want do; sports, drawing, playing games, or anything else you or your Friend can dream up.

Be a role model for your Friend. Be an example for them how to treat others well. Bring life and confidence to a child. Watch the Friends video and consider how you can be the best part of another’s day!

If you are in Walla Walla Valley, sign up for the Friends program this school year. Or, look around in your schools and community to find how to bring joy into life of a child. Contact us at (509) 301-6951 for questions about bringing goodness to kids in your neighborhood.


ChristWise Coming Soon!

ChristWise is headed to the press!

This summer, ChristWise is headed to the press. These discipleship guides for kids, juniors, teens and youth will help leaders with the task of preparing young people to walk fully in the grace of God's son. 

Youth leaders need a thoughtful approach for relating to, preparing, and developing the youth of our church. ChristWise prepares young people for baptism through thoughtful questions, study of Christ's parables, prompts for action and time for reflection. 

Below is a sneak peek of the design.

Stay tuned!

Student Leadership: Matthew Cosaert

Leadout Ministries has some amazing interns, and we'd like you to meet one of them. Matthew Cosaert is a junior theology major at Walla Walla University. He's studying to become a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Matt started working for us in June, 2016, and has directed some of the youth programs for me over this last year. Some of the programs he helps with are the youth Sabbath school classes, outreach opportunities in the area with students, leading a youth group, Bible studies, and small groups.

According to Matt, the thing he enjoys most is spend time with people. "I spend most of my time talking with youth about all kinds of subjects. I get to learn what they are passionate about and share things that I am passionate about with them."

Where does his passion for ministry come from? From his desire to serve God. "I have come to love studying the Bible and learning how it applies to my daily life. This is a passion I want to share with others so that they can find out about the amazing love of our Savior, Jesus Christ."

Thank you for all your hard work, Matt!


The quest of young adults for conviction is a process of learning how to combine the mind and the heart with action. Conviction runs deeper than ideas. Although the word does not appear in the Bible very often, the practice of living as one who is deeply convicted of a truth is common in scripture.

This new devotional is publishing soon!

This is the 2nd of a series of devotionals for young adults by the General Youth Conference Youth Ministries Department. Some themes that you will encounter in this book are rich insights into human nature and the rules of the heart. You will meet biblical people stirred by conviction. What is the relationship between the Holy Spirit, the conscience, and the person you are called to be? How can you be resolute, sure and confident in your faith?

Book Giveaway!

Calling all book lovers!

We're giving away a copy of the devotional book "Calling." Enter to win by following us on our Instagram page @leadoutministries, and tagging up to three friends in the comment section of this photo on Instagram. For each friend tagged, you'll receive an additional entry in the drawing.

Read below for the giveaway official rules:

Entries will be counted on May 12 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. [Pacific Standard Time]. 1 winner will receive one copy of Calling ($9.95 value). Prize is non-transferable. Winner must provide mailing address by May 19.  

Anyone 18 years or older and living in the mainland US may enter for this giveaway. 

The giveaway can be entered via our Instagram page. To enter, follow our Instagram page and tag one friend in the comment section of the picture below (which is posted to our Instagram page). 

Participants may tag as many friends as they like, and up to three will be counted as entries for the giveaway. The winner will be chosen by random. 

Within three days of the end of the giveaway the winner will be informed via Instagram direct message, as well as be tagged in a post on Friday, May 12. The notified winner will have one week from this notification to accept the prize and provide a current mailing address. Failure to respond to the notification within one week will be considered a rejection of the prize. 

The prize will be delivered via USPS to the address provided by the winner. 

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway is sponsored by Leadout Ministries. 

Live Like You Mean It

Wisdom for the journey home.

Every walk begins with the first few steps—so, what if we just lived our lives one step at a time, as though we were headed for home? Live Like You Mean It will inspire and encourage all who are on the journey, filling each one with hope as they draw closer to the Promised Land. And even though we struggle through the defining moments in life—we are all a mixed bag of failure and heroic faithfulness—we are going home! 


Sneak Peek

CHAPTER 1 - Killer Cucumbers

Jesus had high expectations of Peter, and the brazen young fisherman knew it. 

  • I will make you a fisher of men.
  • You are Peter and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. 
  • You will do even greater things than these when I go to the Father.

While Jesus set the bar high for Peter, He calls everyone to embrace their extraordinary calling as children of God. If the story of Christ had been written two thousand years later, the "little rock" could have easily been Justin or Serena; and the same things He said to Peter, He could have said about you. Do you believe that? Truly, nothing else God says about the journey home will ever really make sense unless you accept the fact that you, a broken sinner, are also the indisputable heir of the King of heaven. 

Find this book in the resource page of our website!

Mentorship, Enlisting the Crew

Benchmark 7

All Hands On Deck

At this point in the Shipyard Model we have built relationships with young people, given them opportunities to fellowship, to worship, and to experience discipleship. These interactions prepare them for leadership, which ultimately cultivates a sense of ownership. Now, we come full circle with mentorship.

History offers many examples of helpful mentoring relationships, such as Socrates and Plato, Hayden and Beethoven, and Freud and Jung. Mentorship varies in definition, but in our context, it refers to a mutual learning experience between a young person and someone older. Note here that mentors cannot simply be assigned or appointed. Students must choose who they want to learn from. 

Catch A Vision

The challenge of keeping young people active in the local church increased significantly over the last few decades. If the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few, we need more laborers. Mentoring young people to be disciples of Christ and ultimately missionaries for Christ needs to be a concurrent effort as much as public evangelism or Christian education.

Imagine what would happen in local churches if youth and young adults catch a vision to befriend and assist younger believers in their walk with God. Mentorship is the way of creating a seamless sequence in the life of the church. This is a Spirit-guided endeavor where young and not-as-young people influence the younger in a deep, abiding walk with Christ.


Want to know more about the Shipyard Model? Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page! 


Ownership, The Identification

Benchmark 6

Naming their ship

Young people, as they journey through different stages of their development, need to examine and express what being a part of a church means to them. In doing so they stir up a question that may rarely enter into their mind about their individual connection to the body of Christ. Like the naming of a ship, it's about self-expression. 

The suffix "ship" used in the Shipyard Model conveys a state of being. Ownership in this case means that young people feel invested in the church. They are not only contributors, but stakeholders. Youth own the mission of the church when they participate in the direction it is going. This is why ownership is a by-product of leadership, and until the church depends on young people to accomplish its mission, they are merely spectators. 

Where to Start

Encourage a sense of ownership in young people by employing the following:

  • Ask the young adults in the congregation to express and share what it means to be a member of the church, globally and locally.
  • Evaluate your own effectiveness by surveying young people to find out what they think about the activities and events that they appreciate. 
  • Encourage their interest in mission work.
  • Connect them to the global church by reaching out and writing letters to missionaries and church leaders in other parts of the world. 
  • Help young people understand the history and heritage of the Christian church and the the story of the Adventist movement. 

Remember, ownership is the result of an enduring, intentional ministry to young people. 

Want more suggestions on cultivating discipleship with your church youth? Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page.

Leadership, Steering the Boat

Benchmark 5

Influence Direction

Leadership moments are crucial, valuable experiences for young people. After giving youth space to experience relationship, fellowship, worship, and discipleship, the next step is to provide room for leadership. In the scheme of the Shipyard model, leadership is the point we begin to move young people out into a new world of ministry and opportunity. 

It is vital to give youth the chance to assume a role in ministry. As the steering wheel or rudder of a ship influences the direction it goes in, so also do leadership roles help young people navigate through the challenges of following Christ. In providing youth with these growing moments, you honor a sacred, Biblical trust that just may change the direction of the church for the better.

Don't Delay

The key here is to give youth these roles sooner rather than later. There is no reason to wait until some nebulous moment in the future where they might mature enough to assume a role in ministry. If they don't begin the exercise of taking responsibility to do things for God's cause now, it becomes much harder to do it in the future.

Starting Points

The cornbread and beans of developing young leaders is in the active participation in service.

Identify young people in your church that you think are ready, right now, to learn how to do something new that they are interested in (could be anything from video editing to leading a children's choir) and then find someone who can train them.

God gives spiritual gifts to each young person who commits their life to Him. Give young people a spiritual gifts assessment to find out where their strengths lie. 

Expect great things from young people. In John 14:12, Jesus says that we will do "even greater things." Trust that this will be the case.

Want more suggestions on growing others in leadership? Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page! 

Discipleship, Wind in the Sail

Benchmark 4

Sails Up  

Discipleship-making should be the central focus of local church life. As young people grow up in a discipleship-making situation, their tendency to learn and choose to follow Christ will grow. This culture will support youth when they make the decision to live their lives open for the Spirit of Christ to propel them in a desired direction. Similar to the work of a sail on a ship, our spiritual sail is what moves us forward, and this happens through discipleship. 

What it looks like

Matthew 4:19-21

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Each young person who chooses Christ is different, but our churches need to respond by affirming them, enabling the next steps of their journey, and by giving them a chance to actively move toward doing something about their decision. 

Invite young people to:

  • Start a small group action team where they invite a few friends to pray, read scripture and plan projects to help those in need.
  • Assist an adult as they give Bible studies to someone else.
  • Help teach Sabbath school to kids in the younger divisions.
  • Interview faithful believers in the church about the big decisions they have made in relation to their walk with Christ. 

What young people need to hear, sense and feel is action. Be willing to put other things on hold in order to meet with those who are interested in getting involved. Extend the invitation to become a disciple of Christ in as many different ways as you can. 


Want more suggestions on cultivating discipleship with your church youth? Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page! 


Worship, a Compass


Essential Benchmark 3

Our Compass

Worship is such a broad concept that we will not try to capture it as much as begin a conversation about it. Our relationship with God isn't something that we contain in an "hour of worship." It's important to have regular moments of worship in our lives to allow God to have a deeper role in our decisions. When we make worship a habit, God becomes the reference point for what we do, say, think and believe. 

Think about the reference points on a compass. They never change, and neither does God. 

It is crucial that our seasons of worship be genuine, personal and sacred. Worship service styles will come and go, and from one culture to the next, it will look, sound, smell and be different, but one thing that will never be different is that it will always be about people and their attitudes, beliefs and values expressed in action to God—about who He is and who we are in relationship to Him.

Youth leaders need to foster an atmosphere where we encounter God in worship.

Thoughts on CompasS-ING

Consider the following forms of worship.

1. Prayer. Ellen White captured the essence of prayer well when she said, "Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary, in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him." Teaching young people to pray (not necessarily what to say but simply to pray) ushers them in to the very presence of God. This may be the most common exercise, so make effort to make these moments fresh and real.

2. Secret goodness. This may seem fluffy compared to other disciplines, but in reality, this taxes us as deep as we go. Engage in secret goodness in a way that God alone gets the credit. There are many ways to do this. We like to "Change the Day." (Read more about this on earlier blog posts).

3. Sacrifice/Taking leaps of faith. It is a leap of faith to look to God to fulfill a need instead of trying to provide the answer for yourself. It is an act of faith to give up something to the degree that your life changes and you need to live differently. When we deliberately engage in these exercises, we will feel the effects of growth, sometimes painful, but extremely rewarding, because we have found what we are looking for, moments where we connect with God.


We have more to share on Worship in our book! Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page. 


Change the Day Tour

This spring break I will embark on a service trip throughout the northwest.  On this Change the Day tour students are going to spend a day or two in towns and cities where we are going to change the day for as many people as we can.

The ministry concept for Change the Day started with young people who went into the community to find people to help. Our work is to scatter kindness into people’s lives to help them feel the unmistakable grace of God. We are going to mirror what happened the book of acts where the church…

Acts 2:36-42

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Our structure for Change the Day also comes from the last departing words of Jesus before ascended to heaven:  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Jerusalem–believers and people who are brothers and sisters in Christ.

Judea/Samaria–neighbors who are close by, but believe and live differently.

To the ends of the earth–the gospel work that goes beyond our borders and our culture.

We want to reach out to these three groups with the following types of activities, which we will do each day of our trip:

  • Serendipitously sharing gifts and kindness.
  • Packaging and offering our affirmation and encouragement to members of the “household and faith.”
  • Helping the poor and lost with enduring hope and timely help to their needs.
  • Writing and posting communication to mission workers around the world.
  • Surveying the community about their needs and hopes for their neighborhood.
  • Seasons of prayer, study, and sharing how God is working in our lives.

Our theme will be:

Galatians 6:9,10

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Over the last few months, we have saved our change. Other families and businesses in our community have also helped. Our needs for travel, lodging, and food are met. However, we still your support to Change the Day. 

When you participate by giving to the needs of this mission, your contributions will go directly into the lives we will encounter.

If you feel like you can share, make your contributions to:

Leadout Ministries (Change the Day)

PO Box 5

College Place, WA 99324

Or donate here at


Fellowship, an Anchor

Essential Benchmark 2


"No man is an island." The poet John Donne captured the essence of fellowship well. It is much more than a potluck dinner. Fellowship is about a sense of unity. It causes us to rise higher in our aspirations. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Solomon talks about the idea that fellowship strengthens us and keeps us from going in the wrong direction.

It's like the role of an anchor. The multi-pronged anchors are a vivid example. They are made of several barbs connected together, and while only one barb may catch the floor to secure the boat, their collective strength holds them firmly in place. 

When young people participate in fellowship in the form of small groups, community service and short-term mission trips, they partake in something that bonds them to each other and to the God they serve. 

We were never meant to grow closer to God in isolation.

Suggestions for Anchoring

Try the following.

1. Start small. A small group of three that has already started is much more effective than a small group of ten that may start sometime next month. You will always be able to gain more interest when people talk about what has already happened than some great idea that we hope will work. 

2. Start with their interests. If you see students with a particular interest, auto mechanics for example, find ways that those students can use their interests to meet the needs of others. 

3. Start. Whether it's scheduling a regular event at your house or inviting a few students to help you minister to someone in need, every step you take unites young people under a common vision to bring the grace of God to others.

Want more relevant information on launching an effective youth ministry?

Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page. 

Relationships, a Net Work

Essential Benchmark 1

Net Work

Forming relationships with young people is the "alpha exercise" of youth ministry. It involves making connections or moments where your life intersects with theirs. It also means using those connections to build up trust and acceptance. 

It's like the purpose of a knot in a net. The strength of the net is effective when there are many knots. In the same way, our relationships or interactions are comprised of many different interactions—knots.

See people for who they are, and give them a chance to share themselves with you. Young people crave an invitation for real connections. Community. In order for youth to see the message we will convey about God, they need to be identified with and engaged as individuals. And they need to feel cared about.

Jesus gave us many examples of fostering relationships. Read Matthew 17:1 and John 13:23. Jesus spent quality time connecting with His disciples, especially with Peter, James and John. 

Suggestions for NetWork

Here's what is involved.

1. Authentic conversation. Take time to ask young people questions that require more than responses such as "fine," and "good," or "yes," and "no." Find out what they like to do in their free time. Tell me about your family. What is the best thing that happened to you this week? Then listen for an opportunity to safely pry into another layer of that young person's life. 

2. Make a master list. Make a list of all your young people. Include their phone number or email and their interests. Put this some place where you will see their names on a regular basis. Keep track of the last time you made a connection with that young person.  

3. Pray. The easiest thing you can do in youth ministry is to interact with God about this person. This is something that we can always do at any point. The other side of this is that nothing good will grow unless we invite God. Use your master list to lift up each young person to God. Prayer deepens your connection to young people in ways that are intangible. Prayer will help you understand them, and praying for each by name will fasten them to you.


Want more relevant information on launching an effective youth ministry? Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page. 

The Seven Ships

Join us

In our book Out of the Shipyard, we discuss seven essential benchmarks in youth ministry: relationship, fellowship, worship, leadership, discipleship, ownership and mentorship. Cultivating each of these in a youth group will empower young people to take on leadership in their church. 

For the next 7 weeks, we're talking about the 7 essential benchmarks in youth ministry. Visit this page each Tuesday for relevant suggestions on how to foster each of the seven ships in your youth group.

Next week: building relationships with young people. 

Out of the Shipyard

Our roots began with this book - a model for youth ministry. 

Out of the Shipyard is a philosophy of youth ministry based on seven essential benchmarks that foster enduring growth for young people. Each chapter includes a nautical metaphor and a biblical discussion, followed by stories and practical ideas. This book provides a coherent model that enables youth leaders, Sabbath school teachers, parents, and pastors to know how to grow with young people into passionate and committed workers for Christ in local churches and communities here, and out into our whole world.. and more importantly, why.


Sneak Peek

Chapter 2

Net Work - Building Authentic Relationships

A net is comprised of a series of small knots that intersect and create a network of strength. In the same way, relationships are comprised of various intersections—connections. Our connectedness with young people may exist from a series of many little experiences or points of contact. Our stories, commonplace or mundane, make up the very stringy tapestry we call a relationship. The knots are bound together by little experiences and stories, interactions, reactions and attitudes and perceptions about them. The net is only effective if the strings are tied together in some way...

The beginning of youth ministry is net work: making little knots of trust and acceptance in the lives of children and youth, tying up the two strings that illustrate how your life intersects with their lives. First, we need to know what the intersections are. Then we need to make them happen or seize them when they emerge...

Find this book in the resource page of our website!

Bible Illustrations

  2 Corinthians 4:16

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

My friend Ron shared this Bible verse with his family and friends a few weeks ago. When I shared this with Angie, a local high school student, I asked her to draw what she saw in this verse. 

People learn in different ways. Some by reading, while others by seeing

One way we encourage youth to dig into the Word is to have them create a visual message from the passage. Illustrating the Bible gives hands-on learners a way to connect to the book, and take time to think about that the message means to them. 

Have kids look at their favorite passage or promise and sketch what they think about. What key words or images come to mind?

Balancing Act


An object lesson for Sabbath school teachers and youth leaders.


Life requires balance. The pole in the images represents our direction in life. When we look up to God for direction, He helps us anticipate what to do. 

Try this: balance a beam or stick in your hands. Notice the difference between looking at your hand versus looking up. 

When we look at our hands, we loose track of where the pole is going, and it falls on us. However, when we look up, we have a reference point. Having a reference point gives us balance.

Looking above for direction vs. looking at the problem in our hands. One helps us anticipate what to do - the other leaves us racing about trying to keep up.

Does this sound familiar?


Facing the Son

Facing the Son is a book for kids who want to follow Jesus. This simple study is designed to guide children to face Jesus and love Him. As they discover and practice the qualities that make Jesus so endearing, young people (and those of you who are simply young at heart) get to color in the portrait of Christ provided in the center of the book. 


Sneak Peek

Lesson 12, Practice Makes Perfect


The Bible is loaded with snapshots of Jesus being a friend, calling us His friend, and showing us what true friendship is all about.

Snapshots of Friendship

Two things are really important to understand about mercy: 1) it is a choice, not a feeling, and 2) it calls for you to go the extra mile-more than what seems normal. The story of Jesus and the expert in the law is a great example of learning the important of mercy. On one occasion an expert in the law stood ip to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"...

Find this book in the resource page of our website!

The Pearl

Pearls are a product of an amazing process.

It starts when a grain of sand or some foreign matter becomes trapped in the oyster, causing irritation. The oyster secretes two chemicals, a mineral substance, to coat the foreign particle. Ultimately, the irritation becomes a pearl. 

Pearls are also a product of time. It took 3-5 years to make the pearl you see in the image below.

Leadout Ministries is working on a book to write about this metaphor and the parallels to the Christian journey!

Stay tuned for updates on this resource.