The Podcast for Youth Pastors, Small Group Leaders,
Campus Ministry Directors, College Pastors & Young Life Leaders

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Episode 20 | Ben Markham: How to Have Tough Conversations with Leaders and Parents

20 | Ben Markham: How to Have Tough Conversations with Leaders and Parents

Sometimes being a leader means that you need to have some tough or challenging conversations. In the world of student ministry, that often means you will be faced with having to confront a volunteer leader or you may need to challenge a parent in a manner that may feel uncomfortable. In this [...]

Episode 19 | Todd Cochrane: How to Podcast Like a Pro

19 | Todd Cochrane: How to Podcast Like a Pro

Podcasting has become a very popular medium that can be effectively utilized by churches and non-profit organizations for messaging, training, and for a variety of ministry purposes. In this episode, Kenny interviews Todd Cochrane, the CEO of RawVoice (parent company of Blubrry), about all the [...]

Episode 18 | Jeremy Zach: Relational Ministry is the Key to Successful Ministry

18 | Jeremy Zach: Relational Ministry is the Key to Successful Ministry

In this episode, Kenny interviews Jeremy Zach to talk about the importance of being relational and personal in student ministry, and empowering other leaders to do the same. Jeremy was a full-time youth pastor for nine years before joining the staff team at the reThink Group working with the [...]

Episode 17 | Ken Freire: How to Effectively Develop Students to Be the Future Leaders of the Church

17 | Ken Freire: How to Effectively Develop Students to Be the Future Leaders of the Church

In this episode, our host Kenny interviews leadership expert (and personal friend) Kenneth Freire about the importance of engaging students in such a way that they will develop in their leadership abilities, as well as how to effectively train our students to be the future leaders of the [...]

Episode 16 | Megan Monson: The Case for Gap-Year Programs

16 | Megan Monson: The Case for Gap-Year Programs

In this episode, Kenny interviews one of his previous students, and now personal friend, Meg Monson about the values of a gap-year program. She tells us about her experiences as a student in YWAM-England’s Discipleship Training School (DTS), her life lessons learned living in Europe, and [...]

Episode 15 | Ajith Fernando: The Importance of Healthy Family Life

15 | Ajith Fernando: The Importance of Healthy Family Life

In this episode, Kenny interviews author and international speaker Ajith Fernando about the importance of Christian leaders having a healthy family life. Anyone involved in Christian ministry knows how challenging it is to balance ministry and family responsibilities, but it is essential that [...]

Episode 14 | Tiffany Kelly: Four Steps to Transforming Your Ministry Branding and Design

14 | Tiffany Kelly: Four Steps to Transforming Your Ministry Branding and Design

Each ministry has an identity, and whether you realize it or not, you are sending a message to the world about your identity. The problem we often observe is that many ministries are not nearly as intentional in communicating their identity as they should be. That’s where branding comes [...]

Episode 13 | Thermostat vs. Thermometer

13 | Thermostat vs. Thermometer

To be an effective leader, you need to be a quality thinker as well as become an efficient problem-solver, and there is no better way to solve problems than to proactively stop them before they ever even occur. In this episode, Kenny dives into one of his favorite illustrations for leadership [...]

Episode 12 | Three Leadership Lessons Learned From Coach Bill Walsh

12 | Three Leadership Lessons Learned From Coach Bill Walsh

In 1979, Bill Walsh became the Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He went on to become one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. In this episode, Kenny talks about some of the great leadership lessons we can learn from Bill Walsh: 1) Develop a successful team-oriented culture 2) Develope [...]

Episode 11 | Paul Turner: Twelve Books Every Leader Should Read

11 | Paul Turner: Twelve Books Every Leader Should Read

Reading good books is an essential discipline for any leader, both for the feeding of our own souls as well as for the development of our leadership skills. Anyone who desires to be successful in student ministry must be a regular reader. In this episode, Kenny interviews pastor and blogger [...]

Episode 10 | Dan Sanchez: Utilizing Text Messaging in Student Ministry

10 | Dan Sanchez: Utilizing Text Messaging in Student Ministry

Anyone who works with teens or college students knows the importance of text messaging as a means of connecting with and starting conversations with students. In this episode, Kenny interviews digital marketing guru Dan Sanchez about the things any leader or pastor can do to better utilize text [...]

Episode 09 | Fourteen Bill Gates Quotes Youth Workers Can Learn From

09 | Fourteen Bill Gates Quotes Youth Workers Can Learn From

Just about every person in our society is familiar with Bill Gates, the co-founder and long-time CEO of Microsoft. He has been a business man, entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, consultant, and software programmer. Gates has also authored and co-authored several books. Throughout his [...]

Episode 08 | Mike McGarry: Student Ministry as a Bridge Between the Church and the Family

08 | Mike McGarry: Student Ministry as a Bridge Between the Church and the Family

Student Ministry is most effective when it serves the local church by connecting the church with families. Every youth worker ought to seek to make their local student ministry a bridge between the church congregation and the families that the students come from. In this episode, Kenny [...]

Episode 07 | Eight Steps in Training Your Leaders to Engage with Students

07 | Eight Steps in Training Your Leaders to Engage with Students

Effectively engaging with students is super important, therefore training your leaders to effectively engage with students is also super important. In this episode, Kenny gives us eight tips and ideas on how to be most effective in training our leadership teams. The Eight Steps: 1- Make sure [...]

Episode 06 | Jonathan Ferguson: Four Ways to Be a Great Short-Term Missionary

06 | Jonathan Ferguson: Four Ways to Be a Great Short-Term Missionary

In this episode, Kenny interviews missionary Jonathan Ferguson about the theology of world missions, the importance of taking students on short-term mission trips, and the four things we must do to be great short-term missionaries. Those four things are: 1- Be a student 2- Drop the hammer, grab [...]

Episode 05 | Dominate Facebook to Enhance Your Ministry

05 | Dominate Facebook to Enhance Your Ministry

Facebook has become as much (or more) a part of American life as any sport, activity, or tradition. Recently the Pew Research Center surveyed teenagers (ages 13-17) and young adults (ages 18-24), they discovered: – 71% of teenagers and 85% of young adults use Facebook daily – 52% of [...]

Episode 04 | Jon Nielson: Trends, Parents, Entertainment, Preaching, and the Gospel

04 | Jon Nielson: Trends, Parents, Entertainment, Preaching, and the Gospel

In this episode, Kenny interviews student ministry veteran and preaching stalwart Jon Nielson about the importance of giving students a lot more than just fun in student ministry gatherings, but how to truly give them the depth of the Bible and the Gospel. Jon gives us wisdom in several arenas [...]

Episode 03 | Getting Lucky on Purpose

03 | Getting “Lucky” on Purpose

Being successful in student ministry often involves being at the right place at the right time. Some might say you need to be “lucky” in order to “catch” ministry opportunities. But how can we put ourselves in a position to get “lucky” more often? In this [...]

Episode 02 | Cameron Cole: What Does It Really Mean to Be Gospel-Centered in Youth Ministry?

02 | Cameron Cole: What Does It Really Mean to Be Gospel-Centered in Youth Ministry?

The importance of having a student ministry that truly is Gospel-centered cannot be overstated. In this episode, Kenny interviews youth ministry veteran and author Cameron Cole about a variety of elements of local youth and family ministry; specifically how we, as student pastors, can [...]

Episode 01 | What's This Podcast All About?

01 | What’s This Podcast All About?

This is the very first episode of the Student Ministry Podcast. In this first episode of the podcast, our host Kenny Ortiz explains the genesis of the show, his motivation for doing the show, its format, and its goals. He also tells his own personal story and why he love student ministry. This [...]

Podcast Hosted by
Kenny Ortiz

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The best way for a kid to know God is
to know someone who knows God.

~Reggie Joiner

About The Student Ministry Podcast

What is the Podcast All About?

The Student Ministry Podcast is designed to be a Gospel-centered resource for any adult leader serving the next generation of future leaders.

The information covered in our episodes is for youth pastors, small group leaders, Young Life leaders, parents, campus ministry directors, Sunday school teachers, college pastors, young adult ministers, and educators who just want to learn more about ministering to youth and young adults.

This show gives quick, simple, and practical ideas to help leaders address some of the tough scenarios that they might be facing as they serve in youth ministry, family counseling, or college ministry.

Meet the Host

Kenny Ortiz is the solo host of both The Student Ministry Podcast and Theology For the Rest of Us. He is also the co-host of The Inspiring Awesome Podcast and Plant Better Podcast, both of which Kenny co-hosts with James Carbary.

Kenny is an author, international speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the Director of Bethany Teams as well as the founder of 4thFloor Media. He has more than 15 years of pastoral ministry experience, youth ministry experience, and church leadership experience. Kenny has had the privilege of serving under several legends in the world of youth ministry; including Jeanne Mayo and Ron Luce. He was also personally mentored by best-selling author Shannon Ethridge.

Kenny loves studying and discussing the Bible and theology. He has a strong track record of mentoring teenagers well and he loves coaching adults that are investing in the lives of teens and young adults.

Kenny is an avid reader, podcast addict, Disney enthusiast, history buff, and coffee lover. Learn more about Kenny at his personal website www.kennethortiz.com.

You can design and create, and build
the most wonderful place in the world.
But it takes people
to make the dream a reality.

~Walt Disney

Recommended Resources

Kenny’s Top-5 “Must Read” Books

  • A Tale of Three Kings (Gene Edwards)
  • Experiencing Father’s Embrace (Jack Frost)
  • The Pursuit of God (AW Tozer)
  • What’s So Amazing About Grace (Philip Yancy)
  • Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ (John Piper)

Great Books for Youth Pastors

  • Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry (Cameron Cole and Jon Nielson)
  • Jesus Centered Youth Ministry (Rick Lawrence)
  • The Shepherd Leader (Timothy Witmer)
  • Already Gone (Ken Ham)
  • Make Believe (Ben Crawshaw and Kevin Ragsdale)
  • Lead Small (Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas)
  • Thinking for a Change (John Maxwell)

Books Authored by Kenny Ortiz

Gap-Year Programs Endorsed by Kenny Ortiz

Wise leaders train themselves to “catch” kids
doing something positive and then reinforce
it with authentic encouragement.

~Jeanne Mayo

Contact Info

Do you have an episode topic idea? Or would you like to be interviewed?

E-mail Kenny Ortiz at heyortiz@studentministrypodcast.com