Supporting youth pastors and youth ministries.

Student Ministry Essentials exists to equip strengthen and support youth pastors and youth ministries for successful kingdom impact. We recognize the vital role that training and networking plays in the life of student ministry. SME is committed to serving you and takes seriously the opportunity to help you inspire, motivate and challenge the students and student leaders God has entrusted to your care.

home-page-accentDr. Charles "Poker" Boyd has been in student ministry since 1982. He earned his BS degree in Criminal Justice from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on a baseball scholarship. During his senior year, he began sensing a call to ministry. After spending his summer in Europe playing baseball on team USA, he enrolled at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Masters degree in Religious Education. In addition to serving the local church, Poker has been an Adjunct Professor to The Baptist College of Florida since 1998 and most recently Samford University in Birmingham, AL where he additionally wrote all of Samford's Ministry Training Institute's Student Ministry courses. Dr. Boyd has served several churches over his career including FBC Panama City, FL and FBC Oviedo FL and FBC Tallahassee, FL. He joined the staff at Live the Life Ministries in Tallahassee November 2001 as a citywide director for strategic youth ministry initiatives and professor of Student Ministry. During this time he was able to develop many of the resources and concepts that gave birth to SME as a full time consulting ministry. By dedicating the balance of his ministry years to strengthening, encouraging, and equipping student ministries and youth pastors, it is his passion to see ministry to students become more effective, healthy, and mature.

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Poker Boyd’s love for teens came through loud and clear with our students.  His life and ministry reflect his passion for youth ministry and we were the beneficiaries of his experience and expertise while he was with us. Poker is a man of deep conviction and focus; yet his message was clear and also easy for our students to grasp. Poker is the kind of youth ministry leader we want our students to meet.”   Roger Glidewell Founder, Executive Director Global Youth Ministry (formerly Sr. Student Pastor of FBC Orlando, FL)

We especially want to thank Charles Boyd for helping us through his Student Ministry Essentials consulting organization. What a blessing Poker has been to us during this season! He is a true, experienced professional who loves God and this church. We are grateful for his vision in creating this unique ministry and for being such a strategic help in preparing us for a greater future in student ministry. Student Ministry Essential truely was a consulting, empowering, encouraging, and equipping ministry for our students and student leadership.

Dr. Jay Dennis, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church at the Mall

Dr. Charles (Poker) Boyd is both an academician and practitioner in Student Ministry. As an adjunct professor for The Baptist College of Florida, he has excelled in both facets of the work. I recommend him to you for biblical, Godly, and practical leadership of students and student leaders.

Robin Jumper Ph.D. The Baptist College of Florida

Poker Boyd came and brought ALL of his resources with him: a servant’s heart, love for our students, encouragement for our parents, personal integrity, unbridled enthusiasm, and a contagious love for Jesus.

Dr. Phillip Hanes, Idlewild Baptist Church, Tampa, Florida

I have used SME for many youth ministry needs. But my favorite resource is the leadership training (Essential Seminars) designed for youth leaders. Poker uses his many years of experience, along with his knowledge of current youth trends, to effectively communicate to youth leaders how to reach teenagers in our world today.  Our youth leaders look forward to our yearly training weekend; to quote one of our leaders, “It’s more than a reminder, it’s like drinking a Red Bull full of youth instruction.”

Obrien Satcher, Student Pastor, First Baptist Church of Henderson TX

Current News & Upcoming Events

Why Summer Camp Should Be on Your Student Ministry Calendar
By Charles Boyd | March 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

For the past ten years, I have heard whispers questioning the validity of summer youth camp. As the whispers turned more frequently into questioning voices from passionate youth ministers, I felt a need to weigh-in on the subject. Camp or no camp? Unquestionably, all student ministry programming should be held to honest evaluation and scrutiny. […]

Seven Practices of Growing Student Ministries Deeper and Wider
By Charles Boyd | September 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

If you have been around youth ministry very long then you have observed how some student ministries seem to grow wide but have little to show for it when it comes to growing deeply devoted followers of Christ. On the other hand, you may have noticed that some youth ministries grow spiritual roots deeper than […]

10 Habits of Highly Successful Student Ministers
By Charles Boyd | July 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

What is it that makes some youth ministries more successful than others? Why do some stagnate, decline or fail while others grow healthy and numerically? Is there a collection of habits that successful or exceptional student ministers practice? In our survey and interviews we have found ten practices that stand out as doable and adaptable […]

By Charles Boyd | April 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

How much of it do you have? According to The World Health Organization the United States ranks 36th in Life Expectancy out of 193 countries. This means the average male in the US can expect to live 78.3 years while females can expect to outlast their male counterparts to age 81.3. By contrast the average […]

Education . . . the road less traveled
By Charles Boyd | January 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

According to Ken Kaegler’s study of Youth Leaders who were fired or burned out 85% are graduates of a college or University. Of those who hold a degree, 49% have an emphasis or specialization in Youth Ministry. This means 15 of 100 youth ministers have no college level training and of those who do hold […]

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