Economic diversity exists everywhere. Which means, if we’re hoping to connect with every student in our community, we must consider the unique ways we can support and serve students of various economic backgrounds—including those from lower-income families. On this episode, join us for an honest conversation about what it looks like to minimize assumptions, partner with parents, and best serve students in lower-income situations.


  • Self-awareness of students’ life situations helps ease awkwardness and embarrassment (2:08)
  • Adriana and Jamie Howard share their experiences working with lower-income students (3:30)
  • The problem does not start and stop with money (8:36)
  • The bigger conversation about what’s going on in students’ homes and economic situations (9:11)
  • Four out of 10 American students are living in situations where their basic needs are unmet (10:01)
  • The importance of small group leaders (10:44)
  • Assumptions youth ministry workers make (11:01)
  • Ways youth ministry leaders unintentionally offend lower-income students (15:24)
  • The value youth ministry resources can give lower-income students (20:00)
  • How to orient your messaging and programming to make sure you’re serving lower-income families well (20:36)
  • Your involvement with lower-income families has to be highly strategic (26:04)
  • How to train and equip your small group leaders (31:15)
  • Partnering with parents of lower-income families (33:21)
  • Finding common ground with students through authenticity (35:26)


Book: There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith

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