10.30.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! Our Fall Training in COS starts this Saturday and we would love your prayers!!!!
 
Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
Jesus promised his disciples three things—that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble. #barclay
 
It’s not the size of the challenges; it’s your view of the challenges life brings you that determines your odds of victory. #furtick
 
Every man knocking on the door of a brothel is looking for God. 

God is knocking on the door of every brothel looking for man.  #bethke
 
If you wanna be a “leader” in the eyes of Jesus, get busy becoming a servant. #johnson
 
FYI:
1. Snapchat among teens gains… https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Snapchats-Status-Among-Teens-Notches-Another-Gain/1016615
 
2. 3 Questions for parents to ask before saying “yes” to another activity… http://michaelkelley.co/2017/10/3-questions-for-parents-to-ask-before-you-say-yes-to-another-activity/
 
3. 4 Ways to Learn Beside Your Kids to Strengthen Their Faith… http://coldcasechristianity.com
 
4. Poem by Annie Flint (below)
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
Updated: Are Young People Really Leaving the Church by J. Warner Wallace (Please read! Long but very important!)
Generation Z Under Academic Pressure by Karla Fernandez Parker
The Masked Generation: Five Ways to Build Confidence by Tim Elmore
A Growing Share of Americans Say It’s Not Necessary to Believe in God to be Moral by Gregory Smith

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

http://www.youthworker.com/mini-movies/70042/who-i-am-in-christ?utm_source=YouthWorker%20Newsletter%20-%20NEW&utm_medium=email&utm_content=who_i_am_in_christ&utm_campaign=fp-10/24/2017-2257853
 
http://www.worshiphousekids.com/kids-worship-song-tracks/66467/amen?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20-%20Kids&utm_medium=email&utm_content=product1&utm_campaign=nl-10/28/2017-2258799
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
Nine Promises for Battling Anxiety – By JOHN PIPER (Thank you Debbie!)
 
“Stop for a moment and think how many different sinful actions and attitudes come from anxiety. Anxiety about finances can give rise to coveting and greed and hoarding and stealing. Anxiety about succeeding at some task can make you irritable and abrupt and surly. Anxiety about relationships can make you withdrawn and indifferent and uncaring about other people. Anxiety about how someone will respond to you can make you cover over the truth and lie about things. So if anxiety could be conquered, a lot of sins would be overcome.
 
Let us follow the pattern of Jesus and Paul. Today, battle the unbelief of anxiety with the promises of God. Here are nine of those promises:
 
When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I battle unbelief with the promise: “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
 
When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise, “So shall my word that goes forth from my mouth; it will not come back to me empty but accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
 
When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9), and “As your days so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).
 
When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).
When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us who can be against us!” (Romans 8:31).
 
When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise that “tribulation works patience, and patience approved-ness, and approved-ness hope, and hope does not make us ashamed” (Romans 5:3–5).
 
When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4).
 
When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that “none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself; if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living” (Romans 14:8–9).
 
When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promise, “He who began a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6). “He who calls you is faithful. He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). “He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).”
 
 
The greatest of virtues

Two essential words deserve special attention– Thank you!

Gratitude is a mindful awareness of the benefits of life. It is the greatest of virtues. Studies link it with a variety of positive effects. Grateful people tend to be more empathetic and forgiving of others; less envious, less materialistic and less self-centered.

Gratitude improves self-esteem and enhances relationships, quality of sleep, and longevity. If it came in pill form, gratitude would be deemed the miracle cure. It’s no wonder that God’s anxiety therapy includes a large, delightful dollop of gratitude.

The anxious heart says, “Lord, if only I had this, that, or the other, I’d be okay.” The grateful heart says, “Oh look! You’ve already given me this, that, and the other. Thank you, God.”

Worry refuses to share the heart with gratitude. One heartfelt thank-you will suck oxygen out of worry’s world. So say it often!

 
Poem:

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied grace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Blessings, Kendall

10.30.17

Generation Z Under Academic Pressure by Karla Fernandez Parker

mediapost.com

In the age of globalization, it’s no surprise Generation Z members feel pressure about what to be when they grow up. They are also acutely aware of the state of many Millennials who are paying off large amounts of student debt and working in jobs paying less than they had anticipated.

Even so, Generation Z remains focused on a four-year degree. Planning to get that degree varies by ethnicity. It is highest among Asians at 92% followed by Hispanics at 85% and African Americans at 84%. Anglos planned to get a four-year degree at the lowest rate at 74%. Perhaps this group is jaded by the Great Recession more than other groups due to their parents’ inability to pay for their college. The Recession also likely contributed to the view that a four-year degree is inconsequential for career stability.

Based on our research into Generation Z, it is clear these young people are under intense pressure to choose early and choose wisely.

In late September, I moderated a Generation Z and Millennial focus group in Dallas during the Career Colleges and Schools of Texas annual conference. What we heard from the Generation Z kids was evocative. They have to choose a career path, called an endorsement, by the time they are in 10th grade and are strongly discouraged from making any changes along the way to graduation.

One girl, 16-year-old Lupita P., told us, “I picked teaching because I really like working with kids. But now that I am learning more about what teaching pays here, I don’t want to do it. But I’ve been told it’s too late since I had already chosen this path and the concentration of the classes I’ve been taking makes it hard for me to change. I’m stuck!”

We also learned from both African-American and Hispanic participants that getting a four-year degree has been preached to them as the “only option” to be successful — especially if they are to be the first in their families to graduate from college. And at their high schools, tours were being organized to visit four-year degree-conferring colleges but no other options. So these kids weren’t considering community college to hold education costs down nor were they exposed to trade schools.

This comes at a time in the U.S. when we are lacking skilled workers in so many categories like construction, health care, and energy that offer good living wages without the burden of so much student debt if a trade profession is attained. What seems obvious is that Generation Z is headed for another student loan crisis unless more options are offered to them and minority groups will be hit hardest. Not to mention hundreds of thousands of jobs that will go unfilled.

10.30.17

A Growing Share of Americans Say It’s Not Necessary to Believe in God to be Moral by Gregory Smith

pewresearch.org

Most U.S. adults now say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values (56%), up from about half (49%) who expressed this view in 2011. This increase reflects the continued growth in the share of the population that has no religious affiliation, but it also is the result of changing attitudes among those who doidentify with a religion, including white evangelical Protestants.

Surveys have long shown that religious “nones” – those who describe themselves religiously as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – are more likely than those who identify with a religion to say that belief in God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality. So the public’s increased rejection of the idea that belief in God is necessary for morality is due, in large part, to the spike in the share of Americans who are religious “nones.”

Indeed, the growth in the share of Americans who say belief in God is unnecessary for morality tracks closely with the growth in the share of the population that is religiously unaffiliated. In the 2011 Pew Research Center survey that included the question about God and morality, religious “nones” constituted 18% of the sample. By 2017, the share of “nones” stood at 25%.

But the continued growth of the “nones” is only part of the story. Attitudes about the necessity of belief in God for morality have also changed among those who do identify with a religion. Among all religiously affiliated adults, the share who say belief in God is unnecessary for morality ticked up modestly, from 42% in 2011 to 45% in 2017.

Among white evangelical Protestants, 32% now say belief in God is not necessary to have good values and be a moral person, up from 26% who said this in 2011. To be sure, most white evangelicals still say belief in God is necessary for morality. But the share who say belief in God is a necessary underpinning of being moral has declined from 72% to 65% in just six years.

Religious “nones” themselves, in addition to growing as a share of the population, have simultaneously become more likely to reject the idea that believing in God is necessary for morality. In 2017, 85% of religious “nones” say belief in God is unnecessary for morality, up from 78% who said this in 2011.

The trends in opinion on this question also point in the same direction among white mainline Protestants, black Protestants and white Catholics. Recent changes among these groups, however, have not been statistically significant.

10.23.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now!
 
Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:

As Culture, Media, and school Campuses Move Further from Christian Values Students will require Daily Discipleship to Survive Adolescence. #powell

As long as we think we are not that bad, the idea of grace will never change us. #keller
The highest call of leadership is to unlock the potential of others. #brown
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. #churchill
 
FYI:
1. The Stress of Eating Lunch at School… http://www.seventeen.com/health/a10326983/10-teens-get-real-about-the-stress-of-eating-lunch-at-school/
UGH!
 
3. Juuling: Cigarettes for the next Generation… http://theroar.marincatholic.org/1955/opinion/juuling-cigarettes-for-the-next-generation/
 
4.  Are Today’s Teens Putting the Brakes on Adulthood?… https://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/adolescents-and-teen-health-news-719/are-today-s-teens-putting-the-brakes-on-adulthood-726634.html
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
9 Leadership Principles You Need to Know by Todd Jones
The Movement That’s Changing the Way We Teach Kids by Dale Hudson
Five Steps to Fight Fake News by Tim Elmore
Young Children Are Spending Much More Time In Front Of Small Screens by Anya Kamenetz

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/70315/jesus-you-alone?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=jesus_you_alone-2255633&utm_campaign=fp-10/21/2017-2255633
http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/68936/only-one-worship-intro?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=only_one_worship_intro-2255633&utm_campaign=fp-10/21/2017-2255633
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
Who Are You? 
 
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:7 (ESV)
“Who are you?” This is one of the most foundational questions anyone can ask, and one with which our culture seems largely obsessed. We long for significance, for meaning, for something unique and special and elite to be true of us. I think this is largely why we are so fascinated by things like a DNA genetics test or ancestry searches. We hope to find something that sets us apart from everyone else. We don’t go hunting to find that our ancestors were from Kansas!
Though genetic testing wasn’t available in Paul’s day, ancestry was still a big deal. Everyone knew where they came from, and that linage meant everything to them. It shaped their levels of influence, passed on power and prestige, and made them someone worthy of affection and attention. Paul checked every box in every category of desired identity for the Jewish people. As he essentially says, “just try and find anyone more perfectly Jewish than me” (Philippians 3:4)!
And yet, he says in the same breath that every single bit of this is now loss and something to freely let go of if it means he is able to know and be known by Christ. This isn’t hyperbole for him or a compelling illustration from a preacher trying to drive a point home. He had lots of gains, and lots to lose!
The more status, wealth, or knowledge you acquire, the harder it is to keep it from becoming a part of your core identity. These identities creep closer and closer to our hearts, becoming foundational and essential parts of our identity. “Who are you?” “I’m from a great family, wealthy, and well educated.” It comes out of us without even thinking! And if this isn’t your story, the danger still persists in the way you might aspire to such levels of success and status. “Who are you?” “I’m working on becoming someone significant and worthy of praise!”
Paul’s words remind us today of one of the greatest truths in the whole Bible. To find your true identity and purpose in life, you must reorient your core identity around Jesus. This is true of every single disciple, whether you have a great deal or very little at all.
The LORD wants to set you free from the identities that promise to give you meaning yet always break that promise and leave you confused and unfulfilled. Encounter the love of Jesus afresh today, and receive a new identity as a beloved daughter or son. That is who you truly are, and it is worth losing everything else in order to gain it!
Prayer: Father, thank you for the amazing love poured out in Jesus Christ. May he be my all in all today and everyday. Amen.
Application: What identity are you still clinging to that’s keeping you from stepping into the joy of Christ today?
Learning to Live Like Jesus
According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:20-21, NKJV 
Without reading glasses all I see is a blurred semblance of letters, words and sentences. My 2X readers magnify the print and bring into focus what my aged eyes alone are unable to see. The writings of a good book are always present, but only apparent with the assistance of glasses. In a similar fashion, Jesus is ever at work in and around me, but at times it may only be apparent when I see it magnified by another Jesus follower. A life surrendered to the Lord brings into focus what only seems like a blur in my unbelief. Christ magnified in a life brings clarity and comprehension.
Paul pours forth his earnest desire, expectation and hope to not be ashamed of the gospel, but with boldness to show and tell the truth of Jesus Christ. In life he magnified the Lord by living for the Lord. Paul suffered imprisonment and the intense pain of shipwrecks, suffering and beatings at the hands of persecutors. What he, as an unbeliever, inflicted on believers, he now received the same interrogation and affliction. In shackles he magnified Jesus with joyful praise lifted to the Lord throughout the jail. Paul’s words and way of life focused in on faith in Jesus.
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).
What does it mean to magnify Christ in our body? How do we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ? Our body language can fluently communicate faith in Christ or it can become a confusing dialect of the devil’s devices. A smile is an invitation into a safe place, while a blank stare screams I don’t care. Eye contact and calling another’s name says you matter, you are unique and I want to know you. Learning to live like Jesus starts with a look, a listening heart and a caring word. Our body language can turn up the volume of the Lord’s tender voice.
Learning to live like Jesus is a lesson in being with Jesus, both in solitude and in community. You get alone with the Lord so He can prep you to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Lord. As you reflect on the life of Christ, being transformed by the inner workings of grace, your life begins to reflect Christ. Before you go out to represent Jesus, you must go in to be molded by Jesus. You can be assured God is with you and He grows even more apparent in the presence of other Jesus followers. You learn to live like Jesus by being with Jesus and His people.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to live a life worthy of the gospel, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Application: How can my life best magnify Christ with my words and actions?
Blessings, Kendall

10.23.17

9 Leadership Principles You Need to Know by Todd Jones

youthspecialties.com

Leadership. Without it organizations crumble, potential is never met, people are left puzzled and frustrated, and everything suffers. But with a strong leader, what can be accomplished is limitless. Especially in the church, most ministries are capped by the capability and competency of the leader, and the stakes are too high to not be the best leaders we can be.

I have worked for both terrible leaders and for incredible leaders. I have seen both the negative effects of poor leadership and the positive effects of strong leadership. The need for stronger leaders is not a secret and the desire to grow as a leader should be a high priority for each of us, regardless of the title of leadership we hold.

So, how do we improve as a leader? Here are 9 simple to enact principles that will change your leadership landscape and propel your leadership journey. 

1. KEEP LEARNING

It has been said “leaders are learners,” and that is extremely true! The moment we feel as if we know it all or do not need to improve is the moment we begin to decline. We must continue learning and trying to improve, and always hold the understanding that we do not know everything.

Read, listen, seek out ways to continually learn and improve. I promise the top leadership role models from podcasts, blogs, speakers, books, etc. that you listen to and learn from will all agree that they need to learn more and improve as leaders themselves.

2. LET SOMEONE BETTER THAN YOU DO THE TASK

Leadership is not doing everything yourself or taking the spotlight for big difficult tasks. Leadership is building someone else up to do the task and doing what is best for the organization. Many times the leaders lack competence in a certain area and the inability to release control in that area is what will hold the entire organization back. 

There WILL be people who are better than you at certain things and leadership is recognizing that and allowing others to take the reigns in those areas to ensure the best possible outcome.

3. BE REAL

The quickest way to kill your leadership is to be inauthentic. Eventually, people will see straight through you when you fake it and no one wants to follow a leader who cannot be real. You are not perfect and you do not have all the answers, so be honest about yourself, and with yourself.

4. CARE ABOUT THOSE YOU LEAD

A leader who does not care about his people is simply a tyrant. While it is very true that leadership is a skill and not a title, a title does put you in a place of leadership. It is our choice whether we will lead with character and care about those we lead or ride the title and crash the organization. Lead with compassion, thinking about those you lead more than yourself and your goal (Philippians 2). Pray for those you lead, talk with them, listen to them.

5. YOUR TEAM IS AS STRONG AS YOUR TEAM MEMBERS

Going hand-in-hand with point number 4, we must pour into our people! We lead a group of people which means the group is only as strong as the people in it. We must pour into our team members in order to increase our leadership potential. That means recruiting well and building a leadership structure that is comprised of the best people possible. Find individuals who are BETTER (point # 2) and more talented than you and sign them up. Train your team, don’t just expect them to all be rockstars the first day, you had to learn (hopefully are still learning) and so do they.

6. ADVERSITY IS NECESSARY FOR GROWTH

Guess what? Things won’t always be perfect. I know, major bomb right there, but it is true. You will fail and you will encounter roadblocks. In fact, if you are not failing, you probably aren’t doing anything at all. Every single leader fails at something at some point and will unavoidably encounter adversity. What you do with that failure/adversity is what determines your success. Embrace adversity, work through it, and use it to grow.

7. HAVE A BIG, CLEAR VISION

Leading literally means taking someone, something, or a group of someones or somethings somewhere. Your job is to take the people you lead in a certain direction. This means you MUST have a clear picture of where you are headed and wherever that is should be somewhere difficult to get to, somewhere that sounds impossible at first. As the leader, it is essential that you have a BIG (challenging and growth-requiring) and CLEAR (easily defined and understood) vision that will take the people you lead somewhere amazing.

8. TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

Working together is essential to the success of any team or organization. However, truly “working together” is merely a byproduct of the work that has gone into building a cohesive team. Cohesion, unity, atmosphere, and team-building are essential, and they fall on you as the leader. It begins with recruiting the right people and is sustained by reinforcing vision, building relationships, and working to strengthening the unity of the team.

9. HAVE A FOUNDATION

Every physical structure needs a foundation or it will crumble. The same goes for a leader, we need a foundation or we too will crumble. Leadership is not easy which is why it is essential we have something to lean on. That something needs to be Jesus. As leaders, we must be learning, reading, communicating with, and building our relationship with Jesus or we will find ourselves drowning, freaking out, and feeling empty. The organization is only as strong as its leader, which is why we must continue to learn (point # 1) and most importantly we NEED a firm foundation. If Jesus is not your foundation and He is not the one you are fully leaning on, eventually you will no longer be able to stand.

10.23.17

The Movement That’s Changing the Way We Teach Kids by Dale Hudson

relevantchildrensministry.com

Did you see the television special a few weeks ago about the movement that is changing the way kids are taught?  It was on all 3 major networks at prime time.  It’s big, exciting news!  Let’s take a closer look.

The movement is called XQ: The Super School Project.  The movement is working to overcome the complacency of high schools and other institutions of learning that are outmoded and ill-equipped to prepare kids to thrive in today’s world.

The movement reveals that while the world has rapidly changed, our methods of learning have barely changed at all.  The United States, who was once first in the world in high school completion, now ranks 23rd.

It’s time we make the changes needed to once again become a leader in education and provide state-of-the-art learning for every child.  And that’s what the movement is about.  It’s bringing together students, parents, educators, entrepreneurs and other leaders to re-imagine and re-think how we teach kids.  It’s about creating the schools of the future.

The movement focuses on collaborating to help kids move beyond just memorization and abstract concepts to becoming self-directed learners who can apply what they’ve learned and use it to solve the problems they will face in a rapidly-changing world.

Here are some examples…

Old Paradigm                New Paradigm
-follows orders               -co-creates plans to achieve goals
-product driven               -customer driven
-climbs corp. ladder       -seeks leadership opportunities
-change takes time         -team responds quickly
-9 to 5                             -flexible
-lifelong job                    -change jobs often
-completes tasks            -pursues goals

How kids learn best:

1. Caring, trusting, supportive relationships with adults.

2. Kids respond best when high expectations are set.

3. Kids need opportunities to contribute.  Provide them with a choice and a voice.

4. Learning experiences that are engaging, related to their interests, offer opportunities to succeed and provide feedback.

Essentials for effective learning:

1. Students need opportunities to learn deeply, so they can gain knowledge and the ability to apply what they know, make inferences and solve problems.

2. Learning is most effective when students are able to relate what they’ve learned to their real lives.

3. Students need meaningful, student-centered, learning experiences, that enable them to build toward mastery.

4. Stop rote memorizing and start applying knowledge.

5. Depth of learning is achieved when teachers integrate new learning methods and tools into their curriculum thoughtfully and mindfully to meet students’ needs and interests.

6. Students learn best when teaching is personalized and varied.

7. Inspiring teaching connects to the real world.

8. We have to make learning something kids want to do.

Here’s what children’s ministries have to understand.  These principles and philosophies of learning are the same when it comes to children learning God’s Word.  It translates directly into how we teach and communicate God’s Word to kids.

We also have to understand this.  Normally the church lags behind the education world when it comes to making changes in teaching methodology.  This means the necessary changes in the church will probably happen several years after schools make the shift.  That’s scary, because the result could be another generation of kids who grow up in church without gaining the spiritual knowledge, instruction and passion they need to follow Jesus for a lifetime.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  The church can learn from this movement and make the necessary shifts needed to raise kids who follow Jesus in today’s world.  It’s time we stopped doing children’s ministry like it’s still 1950 or 1980 or even 2010.  It’s time we make the changes needed so we can be effective.

In fact, rather than lagging behind, we should be leading the way in making the changes needed to effectively help today’s kids learn and apply God’s Word.

It’s time we replace lecturing with learner-based activities.  

It’s time we replaced rows of chairs with circles where kids learn from each other just as much as from a teacher up front. 

It’s time we made church relevant to the lives of today’s kids.  

It’s time we teach application just as much as we teach information. 

It’s time we teach kids to think critically and walk with them through the hard questions they will face about God and His Word. 

It’s time we shift the focus from the teacher to the kids. 

It’s time we stop having kids memorize scripture without helping them understand what it means. 

It’s time we embrace the fact that kids are wired to move and learn best through interaction, activity and movement.

This is just a small overview of the many great insights you can gain from this movement.  I want to encourage you to check out their website and watch this video below for more information.

So much is at stake.  We must be willing to change if we are going to help kids gain a faith foundation that will stand the test of time and see them develop a Jesus-centered worldview.

Let the children’s ministry movement begin!  Let’s start teaching today’s kids with relevant methods and effective philosophies.

10.23.17

Five Steps to Fight Fake News by Tim Elmore

 

Critical thinking is a skillset that university faculty is begging for in students today. For that matter, so are employers. Simply defined, critical thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

Why Is This a Vital Issue Today?

In January 2016, the World Economic Forum issued a report entitled “The Future of Jobs.” It states: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, will cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labor markets over the next five years, with enormous change predicted in the skill sets needed to thrive in the new landscape.” In fact, in 2015, critical thinking was listed as the number four skill graduates need in the workplace. In 2020, it will be number two, right behind complex problem-solving skills. In the upcoming “smart world” we will need to think critically. It is rated as the number one skill of increasing importance over the next five years. Sadly, according to CriticalThinking.org, studies of higher education demonstrate three disturbing facts:

  • Most college faculty at all levels lack a substantive concept of critical thinking.
  • Most college faculty don’t realize they lack this skill, assuming they sufficiently understand it and that they’re already teaching it to students.
  • Lecture, rote memorization, short-term study habits are still the norm in college instruction and learning today.

With this in mind, we still face formidable gaps between today’s classroom and career-ready graduates who demonstrate critical thinking skills. 

What’s the Enemy of Critical Thinking Today? 

So what is the chief culprit of our waning critical thinking skills? It seems I find educators, coaches and employers talking about the need for it all the time.

What exactly is preventing critical thinking from prevailing in our everyday life?

In my humble opinion, it is social media.

It was recently discovered that Facebook was used by Russian hackers as a platform for hate speech and fake news. Somewhere between 3-20 million Facebook users were affected. And we all know once something is posted that elicits emotion, it can blow up with comments and go viral in days. Let’s face it:

  • Social media users know: If it’s outrageous, it’s contagious.
  • Journalists know: If it bleeds, it leads.

Almost two-thirds of Americans agree that taking a break from portable devices (i.e. social media) is good for our mental health, but less than 30 percent actually do so. Many of us (both students and adults) are addicted to it. In our resistance to boredom, we actually look for sensational news. And in a world riddled with impetuous behavior, we pass it on rather than thinking it over.

We’d rather react than reflect.

So, What Are Some Realistic New Habits to Cultivate Critical Thinking?

As you cultivate critical thinking skills in yourself and in your students, this simple list below may be a good place to start. It won’t be a magic wand for you, but it will get both you and your young people moving in the right direction.

1. Always confirm the information with more than one source.

Everyone knows this is important, but frequently we fail to take the time to do it. If some information or news story can only be found in one place, go deeper. Question the details and inquire if it’s really legitimate, especially if it seems farfetched. Real facts usually can be substantiated by multiple sources.

2. Always work to see the opposite side of the issue.

It’s usually helpful to avoid “group think.” Too often, we just agree with everyone around us and fail to take control of our own thinking. It’s always wise to step into the shoes of the person who holds a different view and see it from his or her angle. This is closely tied to metacognition—thinking about your thinking. I have found I can be more objective if I take a few minutes and look at the issue from the other person’s perspective, and sometimes I even take a contrarian viewpoint to both angles.

3. Always take the time to evaluate the details and their logic. 

Consider this analogy. When shopping for new clothes, you go into a dressing room and try it on for size. How many times do you turn around and look at all three mirrors they provide for you to see yourself? Lots of times. You want to see what you look like from different angles. This is how we should handle new issues.

4. Always try to detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning.

Henry Ford once said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it..” When “fake news” breaks onto your phone screen, ask yourself if there is any faulty reasoning or even lack of reasoning behind the story. See if you can spot mistakes or inconsistencies in the flow of thought.

5. Always ask hard questions, including why, how, and who?

Do you remember the last time you watched a movie with 3-D Glasses? Those spectacles enable you to see dimensions on the screen (three of them to be exact) that you can’t see in a regular two-dimensional film. Similarly, ask three types of questions about new information. For example: Why is this information important? How will it affect people? Who stands to gain from it?

I recently asked myself a question before speaking at a parent event: What if people had to pass a test before they became parents? What 5-7 questions should be on that test? These kinds of questions led to a great discussion at the conference, and it gave me a great starting point to address the audience. It just required a little extra thinking.

10.23.17

Young Children Are Spending Much More Time In Front Of Small Screens by Anya Kamenetz

npr.org

It’s not your imagination: Tiny tots are spending dramatically more time with tiny screens.

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, just released new numbers on media use by children 8 and under. The nationally representative parent survey found that 98 percent of homes with children now have a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone.

That’s a huge leap from 52 percent just six years ago. Mobile devices are now just as common as televisions in family homes.

And the average amount of time our smallest children spend with those handheld devices each day is skyrocketing, too: from five minutes a day in 2011, to 15 minutes a day in 2013, to 48 minutes a day in 2017.

James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media, calls this “a seismic shift” that is “fundamentally redefining childhood experiences” with “enormous implications we have just begun to understand.”

Other eye-grabbing highlights from the survey:

  • 42 percent of young children now have their very own tablet device — up from 7 percent four years ago and less than 1 percent in 2011.
  • Screen media use among infants under 2 appears to be trending downward, from 58 minutes a day in 2013 to 42 minutes in 2017. This decline correlates with a drop in sales of DVDs, and particularly those marketed at babies, such as Baby Einstein. Updated pediatricians’ recommendations released last year call for limited, but not banned, screen use among the youngest set.
  • Nearly half, 49 percent, of children 8 or under “often or sometimes” use screens in the hour before bedtime, which experts say is bad for sleep habits.
  • 42 percent of parents say the TV is on “always” or “most of the time” in their home, whether anyone is watching or not. Research has shown this so-called “background TV” reduces parent-child interaction, which in turn can hurt language development.

The growth of mobile is a dramatic change. But other aspects of kids’ media use have been more stable over time, this periodic census reveals.

When you take every source of screen media together, children 8 and under spend an average of about 2 1/4 hours (2:19) a day, a figure that’s flat from 2011 (2:16). That implies mobile is apparently cannibalizing, not adding on to, the boob tube and other types of media.

And, whether young kids are looking at small screens or big ones, most often they are passively watching videos, not using interactive apps. Video watching has dominated children’s media use for decades.

Finally, young children are still being read to by their parents about 30 minutes a day.

More questions than answers

What does all this mean?

Researchers don’t really know, and that concerns observers like Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, the founder of Children and Screens: The Institute of Digital Media and Child Development.

“How different is the brain of a child who’s never known anything but sustained digital media exposure to the brain of her parents, or even older siblings?” she asks. “And what are the implications for parents, educators or policymakers?”

Hurst-Della Pietra says these are questions “we’re only beginning to ask, let alone answer.” Children and Screens is getting ready to release its own series of reports that sets an agenda for future research.

Steyer, of Common Sense Media, agrees. “I would argue there are big implications for brain and social-emotional development, many of which we don’t know the answer to,” he says.

The public conversation about kids and screens is somewhat schizophrenic. American schools, even preschools, are buying millions of electronic devices, and there are tens of thousands of apps meant to enhance learning for even the smallest babies.

On the other hand, doctors warn, and parents worry, about negative effects from too much screen time, ranging from obesity to anxiety.

One part of the Common Sense report that really plays up this contradiction is the section on the so-called digital divide. The phrase reflects the idea that learning how to use computers and the Internet at home helps kids get ahead in school and in life.

Unlike in previous years, this census shows both rich and poor families now appear to have nearly equal access to smartphones. At the same time, kids from lower-income families are spending twice as much time with screens daily as those from the most advantaged families. Is this a boon or a danger?

Lynn Schofield Clark at the University of Denver studies media use with a focus on disadvantaged youth and youth of color. She says the missing ingredient in understanding the real impact of the digital divide is time.

That is parenting time: showing a kid how to use a laptop, how to do Internet research, picking out highly rated educational apps or steering a child toward programs with positive messages.

“People who have more advantages have more time and education to help their kids use the technology,” she explains. “We have set up a society where it’s structurally very difficult for families to spend time together.”

10.16.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! Monica, Nancy, Michael and I are headed to LA today and would love your prayers!
Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
WWJP: “What would Jesus Post?” (Bracelets coming soon) #johnston (Haha!)
Your praise is contagious – So is your complaint. What are you carrying today? #furtick
God isn’t nearly as concerned about what we’re doing for Christ as He is committed to forming Christ inside us. #voskamp
“If your life does not worship God, your lips do not worship God either.” #Tozer
 
 
FYI:
 
 
 
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
The Scary Truth About What is Hurting Our Children by Becky Mansfield (Blog post but some good data.)
Genius Ways Companies get Kid to Do Their Marketing for Them by Caroline Moore (Interesting!)
3 Vital Tips for Leading Discussion in Small Groups by Trey Gilmore (You know this but still good!)
What the Future of Leadership Looks Like by Tim Elmore

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/70470/the-one-who-died-for-all?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=spot1-2249484&utm_campaign=nl-10/11/2017-2249484
(I’m playing this at training! Zo and Jon… start learning your moves!!
 
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 

Alarm Bells for Leaders

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  (Galatians 6:7-10)

We can’t pull a fast one on God. He sees all and cannot be deceived. He notices our shortcuts and also our efforts when we do well. To ensure that we live by this truth, seek others to hold you accountable and act as your “alarm bells.” Invite others to ask you tough questions, such as the following:

  • Is my personal walk with God up-to-date?
  • Am I keeping my priorities straight?
  • Am I asking myself the hard questions?
  • Am I accountable to someone in authority?
  • Am I sensitive to what God is saying to the whole body of Christ?
  • Am I over-concerned with building my image?
  • Do I put more stock in “events” rather than “process”?
  • Am I a loner in my leadership and personal life?
  • Am I aware and honest about my weaknesses?
  • Is my calling constantly before me?
Learning to Lead Like Jesus
 
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52
Learning to lead like Jesus is a lifetime journey that begins with humility. “Better to say I am learning, than to say, I have learned,” wise and humble words indeed from Dr. Charles Stanley spoken to me and several staff members at First Baptist of Atlanta in the late 1980’s. As a young pastor, this seasoned leader helped me understand to first follow the Lord Jesus by continuing to learn and grow. For example, don’t say “I’ve learned to be a patient leader”, rather, “I’m learning to be a patient leader”. This reminded me to be a humble, teachable and ever-growing leader who is desperately in need of God’s grace to carry out my responsibilities.
Learning to lead like Jesus is for leaders who desperately need the Holy Spirit’s direction, the Father’s wisdom and the Son’s encouragement. Leaders who are learning to first follow Jesus, learn well. Learning to lead is a lifelong education. We never graduate from Christ leadership school, but we do advance as we become wiser students through our own struggles, failures and successes.
“Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister, and call understanding your kinsman” (Proverbs 7:4).
Wise leaders are learners, but if they stop learning they cease to lead wisely. Leaders who learn ask the right questions, get the most accurate answers, and are able to make the wisest decisions. “How can I get out of the way as the leader, and support the team to be successful?” “How can our organization go from good to great by integrating and sustaining best practices?” The Lord can’t wait to pour out wisdom on earnest and humble hearts seeking to gain what only He gives.
James, the brother—who experienced first hand Jesus’ wise words and actions— defined wisdom in this way: “But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile” (James 3:17, Amplified Bible).
Before Steve Jobs died, wouldn’t it have been wonderfully insightful and inspiring to ask him about the pinnacle of his creation: the Apple iPhone? Seriously, if we wanted understanding into the motivation for and the purpose of his world-changing invention, Steve would be the logical starting point. What was he thinking? What motivated his perfectionism? What was his vision?
In the same way, why not first seek wisdom from the Lord of creation whose majestic exclamation point was humanity—you and me? Doesn’t it make sense to learn how to think from the Divine who molded our mind? Understand how to care for our bodies from the One who perfectly meshed billions of unique cells into a living being? Or engage the heart of God to feel and express the emotions He embedded into our heart, soul and spirit? Wisdom from our Maker makes us more like Him and less like foolish inferior idols. We learn to lead like Jesus by looking to Jesus!
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me wisdom to learn to lead like Your son, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Application: What specific area of my leadership needs to grow more into the likeness of Jesus?
Blessings, Kendall

10.16.17

The Scary Truth About What is Hurting Our Children by Becky Mansfield
yourmodernfamily.com

In the past week, I’ve read several studies that are scary to me… it’s the scary truth about what’s hurting our kids.   We all know that what our kids hear becomes their inner voice, but it’s hard to control what they hear from others, isn’t it?

CNN recently interviewed Dr. Jean Twenge, author of iGen and her interview really worried me – because I saw the truth that I would be facing in just a few short years.   Dr. Twenge started doing research 25 years ago on generational differences, but when 2011 -2012 hit, she saw something that would scare her to the core.   This is the year when those having iPhones went over the 50% mark.

The results of that should scare all of us.

  • This was the year that more kids started to say that they felt “sad, hopeless, useless… that they couldn’t do anything right (depression).”
  •  They felt left-out and lonely.
  •  There is a 50% increase in clinical level depression between 2011-2015.
  • Suicide rate goes up.
  • Substantial increase in suicide rate.
    Before I give you any more, I want you to look at these graphs and look at how they correlate to the iPhones being released.They aren’t hanging out with friends nearly as much.

She goes on to say that we are in the worst mental health crisis in decades.  You can get her book, iGen, with my Amazon affiliate link here, to read the rest of her findings.

Why is this happening?  Why are kids more depressed because of electronics?
Think about when we were in school – we didn’t know every time that there was a get-together that we weren’t invited to and we didn’t see pictures of each outing, game, or party.

We didn’t care what we looked like when we were hanging out with friends, because we were  the only ones that were there- I can remember sitting around with my best friends in our sweatpants, just laughing – I didn’t wear makeup or care if I had my hair fixed just right, because the worry of a phone or camera wasn’t there.

Think about bullies.  When we left the school, we left them.   If teasing happened, it didn’t happen at home.  It didn’t happen so publicly.   Everyone couldn’t see it or know what they were teasing other kids about.  Now, it’s all public knowledge and anyone can join in or watch.   It’s horrifying.

I can’t imagine being a tween or teenager now.   Although- as the parents of children, we have to imagine it, because we have to help our children navigate it.

According to Victoria Prooday of YouRot.com, “There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, and it concerns our most precious jewels – our children... Researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in kids’ mental illness, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:

She goes on to say that “Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood:

  • Emotionally available parents
  • Clearly defined limits and guidance
  • Responsibilities
  • Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
  • Movement and outdoors
  • Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom

Instead, children are being served with:

  • Digitally distracted parents
  • Indulgent parents who let kids “Rule the world”
  • Sense of entitlement rather than responsibility
  • Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
  • Sedentary indoor lifestyle
  • Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments”
    How true… and how sad.

I couldn’t agree more.  According to TIME.com, “Despite the rise in teen depression, the study, which analyzed data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, reported that there wasn’t a corresponding increase in mental health treatment for adolescents and young adults. Researchers said this is an indication that there is a growing number of young people who are under-treated or not treated at all for their symptoms. ”

The article goes on to say that it’s not just teenagers, it’s young kids- in elementary school.  “Counselors like Ellen Chance in Palm Beach say they see evidence that technology and online bullying are affecting kids’ mental health as young as fifth grade, particularly girls.

“I couldn’t tell you how many students are being malicious to each other over Instagram. “I’ve had cases where girls don’t to come to school and they are cutting themselves and becoming severely depressed because they feel outcasted and targeted.” She says she now sees cutting incidents pretty much weekly at her elementary school, and while they vary in severity, it’s a signal that not all is right.”

So… what can we do about it?

– The AAP now suggest screening all children for depression starting at age 11.

– Get back to what we did before phones (back to what our parents did when we were young)… spend time playing games with our kids.

-Spend dinnertime talking.

–Drop everything that you are doing when your kids get home from school to TALK to them.

–Make dinner without having the TV on, the phone close by, or the tablet tuned into something.

–Use any ‘car time’ to talk to our kids (maybe even by not allowing electronics in the car)

-Have your kids do chores: Responsibilities increase their self-worth.   Example: if you don’t set the table, we can’t eat.  If you don’t wash your clothes, you will have nothing to wear tomorrow:
“To develop a high self-esteem a person needs purpose. A key component to high self-esteem is built on how you view yourself in terms of contribution. In other words, in the child development process, chores are a big role in a kid’s self-esteem.” ~impactparenting.com

-Be sure that your child is getting enough sleep.   This is a huge contributing factor.

-Don’t keep a lot of junk food in the house.  Limit junk food & replace it with fruits & vegetables.  If your child is picky, they can certainly find a fruit or vegetable that they like.  (I’ve taught our kids to make smoothies, too, but they have to clean up after themselves or they lose the privilege of making them… they LOVE to make them).

-Take away electronics and tell your kids to “go play!”   Don’t feel the need to always play with them.  My job, as a play therapist, is to teach parents how to play with their kids to help them, so while I always think that playing with your kids is a good idea, but I also want them to play alone.  I want them to learn how to keep themselves entertained.

From the time that our kids were very little, I gave them time to entertain themselves and now they are are all good about finding ways to keep themselves busy (drawing, playing, building, etc..)

– Don’t rescue your kids.   Here’s a recent example that happened in our house:
I’ve started having our kids pack their own lunches (with my supervision), but yesterday one of our sons decided to wait.. .and wait… and wait.  When it was down to 10 minutes before leaving, he asked me to pack it.  I said no and he then asked for lunch money.  I said, “I think it’s upstairs in your piggy bank if you have some in there.” His face said it all.   I wasn’t going to buy him out of this.  It was his responsibility.

IT is NEVER easy to teach our kids these lessons, but they serve our kids well.   He quickly made himself lunch and was on his way.   He learned an important life lesson about preparing himself for the day.

–Talk to your kids about why they need to come to you if something is wrong.  I talk to our kids about all of this and they know that I would do anything to help them.   I say it daily… “If you are ever feeling sad or left out about something and it becomes too big for you to handle easily, come to me.   I want you to know that if you ever hurt yourself, you would be hurting your whole family.   My happiness would go away with yours.”

Yes, it’s a lot to tell them, but it is the truth.  I need them to know it.  It’s not a joking matter and it’s not one to take lightly. Talk to your kids TODAY.

Make a rule with yourself that you will limit YOUR online distractions when your kids are home. Make 3:30-9:00 a no-tech time for you, the parent.   (or whatever hours your kids are home). It will not only benefit your kids, but it will help you, too.