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Hmmm and Wide, there’s a youth ministry growing Hmmm and Wide”

Greg Stier
Greg Stier

Certain Sunday school songs freak you out as a kid. When I was a young pup in little league Sunday School songs like “Are you washed in the blood?” threw me for a loop. I didn’t get the analogy. All I knew was that my garments would not technically be “spotless” or “white as snow” if they were drenched blood red (I was the same kid who thought asking Jesus in your heart could result in a real heart attack so cut me some slack!)


One Sunday song freaked me out because once I heard it I couldn’t shake it for a week! This melodic memory invader is the children’s song “Deep and Wide.” There’s something about that little ditty that is painfully unforgettable. It gets stuck in the membrane of your mind and can’t find the exit sign. It won’t flush or go down the disposal or get evicted. Once you hear it it is there to stay.


But that’s okay with me. Why? Because I want that little song to change the way you do and/or view youth ministry and/or all ministry. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19-20 that we are to be deep and wide as we minister. The deep part is when we teach every believer to obey everthing that Jesus commanded them and us. The wide part is when we go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.


One part of the little kiddie ditty is when you replace the words deep and wide with the sound “Hmmmm”. Have you done that in your ministry? Have you replaced deep with “hmmm”? Or is it wide you have replaced with a useless humming sound? In other words are you going deep into the Word AND wide into the world with the gospel or are you settling for something less than the full stanza of Christ’s intent? If you are not singing both words in your ministry then you are hmmmm, shall we say, being less than obedient to the totality of the Great Commission.


It’s not deep OR wide. It’s deep AND wide. Both are to happen simultaneously and consistently. I don’t buy the “My kids aren’t ready for that yet” mantra that I hear from some youth leaders. They will become ready soon enough when you lead them. Can you imagine Jesus telling his disciples, “Pick up your crosses and follow me when you’re ready for it guys”?


Jesus would never say that so why would we?


The question is not if they’re ready but how do you begin to lead them to grow deep as they go wide? That’s a challenge that we at Dare 2 Share would love to help you conquer. Here’s a few resources that could help you as you lead your teens to a Deep and Wide youth ministry model:


  • Last year I wrote a book called Ministry Mutiny that gives a template to build a Deep and Wide youth ministry model. You may want to pick it up. It’s a story based, fast and easy read.
  • We have FREE tools on to help you go wide and grow deep (Soul Fuel, Culture Commission, etc.)

 No more “hmmmm and wide.”  No more “Deep and hmmmm”. Those words, just like the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20, go together forever amen.


The Bible tells me so.

Unlikely Fighter

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The story of how a fatherless street kid overcame violence, chaos, and confusion to become a radical Christ follower.

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