Concordia Publishing House Podcast

Hosted ByElizabeth Pittman

Welcome to the Concordia Publishing House Podcast where we consider everything in the light of Jesus Christ who is the same today, yesterday, and forever. Hosted by Elizabeth Pittman.

Insights into Healthy Youth Ministry | Rev. Mark Kiessling and Julianna Shults

In this episode of The Concordia Publishing House Podcast, Rev. Mark Kiessling and Julianna Shults from the LCMS Youth Ministry office join host Elizabeth Pittman to discuss facilitating healthy youth ministry practices, as well as their new book, Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry, which outlines their insights into this topic

Get a copy of their book at

Show Notes:
Wondering how to care for the youth in your congregation? Experiencing dwindling attendance or enthusiasm? Not sure how to measure the efficacy of your ministry? LCMS Youth Ministry staff members, Rev. Dr. Mark Kiessling and DCE Julianna Shults, are here to help, offering seven markers of healthy youth ministry. With these research-based, practical insights, you’ll be empowered to take on the essential task of caring for teens in Jesus’ name. Listen now as Mark and Julianna discuss the seven practices (not programs), their journey to writing a book, what’s ahead for the Youth Ministry office, the Youth Gathering in 2025, and more. 

Get a copy of Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry on…


·         Tell us all about your new book.

·         Were there any surprises during your research?

·         Who did you write the book for?

·         What are the seven practices not?

·         What do the seven practices mean?

·         If you had to spend some time digging into one of the seven, where would you                        start?

·         What are some ways warmth, challenge, and grace look like in practice?

·         Talk about the idea of resilience, identity, and Christ as one of the practices.

·         What do you say to youth leaders who have read your book and ask “So, what                         now?”

·         Tell us about what’s coming for the Youth Ministry office.

About the Guests:

The Rev. Mark R. Kiessling serves as the director of LCMS Youth Ministry. In that role, he supports the leadership, service, resourcing, and networking functions of LCMS Youth Ministry. Kiessling graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 2006 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from there in 2020. Kiessling is married to Beth (Timm), who teaches Preschool at Christ Community Lutheran School in Kirkwood, Mo.

Julianna Shults serves as Program Manager for Resources and Leadership for LCMS Youth Ministry. Her work includes managing and LCMS YouthLead along with other research and resourcing. She graduated from Concordia University Seward in 2005 with a BA in Psychology and Director of Christian Education Certification. As a DCE, she has served both Hope Lutheran in Plant City, FL and St. Paul Lutheran in Chicago, IL. With a lo