06.19.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now!

Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com

Quotes:

Sometimes the interruption is the assignment. #furtick

As we work, God works. The more we surrender ourselves to him, the more we position ourselves to be used by him. #denison

Our nation and world will be changed. One person at a time. For the glory of His Name! #lotz

When you realize He sacrificed to give us life, you will start to say how can I sacrifice to give other people life? #keller

FYI:

1. 13 Ways You Can Equip Parents to Lead Their Children Spiritually… http://childrensministry.com/articles/equipping-parents/?utm_source=internal_children’s_ministry_resource&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=

  1. When someone says Christianity is intolerant…https://beardeddisciple.com/2017/05/30/christianity-is-intolerant/?utm_content=buffer35802&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  1. 10 Toxic Behaviors That Will Ruin Your Small Group… http://www.ibelieve.com/slideshows/10-toxic-behaviors-that-will-ruin-your-small-group.html
  1. 12 YouTube Challenges Your Kid Already Knows About (See below)

Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org

The #1 Surprising Thing Your Church Needs to Know About Gen Z by Ron Powell

Child Behavior: When Nothing Else Works, Consider These 7 Strategies by Gary Direnfeld (Has good insight about behavior in general!)

How to Correct a Student’s Negative Perception by Tim Elmore

Why Porn Might Bring Down This Generation of Young People and My Child Was Caught Viewing Porn! What Do I Do? by Jim Burns

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

http://www.youthworker.com/mini-movies/66448/discover-the-kingdom

http://www.youthworker.com/mini-movies/67142/fools-gold

Here are 2 just for you:

How to Add Value to Others

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” Matthew 4:23

When people think about you, do they say to themselves, “My life is better because of that person”?  Their response probably answers the question of whether you are adding value to them.  To succeed personally, you must try to help others.  That’s why Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” How do you do that? How can you turn your focus from yourself and start adding value to others? You can do it by:

  1. Putting others first in your thinking.
  2. Finding out what others need.
  3. Meeting that need with excellence and generosity.

Passing the Trust Test

“Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds, but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.”  Proverbs 28:16 (The Message)

People today are desperate for leaders, but they want to be influenced by someone they can trust, a person of good character. If you want to become someone who can positively influence other people:

  1. Model consistency of character. Solid trust can only develop when people can trust you all the time
  2. Employ honest communication. To be trustworthy, you have to be like a good musical composition: your words and music must match.
  3. Value transparency. If you’re honest with people and admit your weaknesses, they appreciate your honesty. And they are able to relate to you better.
  4. Exemplify humility. People won’t trust you if they see that you are driven by ego, jealousy, or the belief that you are better than they are.
  5. Demonstrate your support of others. Nothing develops or displays your character better than your desire to put others first.
  6. Fulfill your promises. One of the fastest ways to break trust with others is in failing to fulfill your commitments.

12 YouTube Challenges Your Kid Already Knows About by Christine Elgersma

commonsensemedia.org

It’s a tale as old as time: We see a lot of people wearing/doing/saying something and we want to try it, too. Back in the day, it was saying “Bloody Mary” into a mirror at slumber parties. Today, it means viral social media stunts. Though adults get caught up, too, kids are especially susceptible to peer pressure and FOMO (fear of missing out). To them, what was once a double-dog dare is now a popular YouTuber eating a hot pepper just to see what happens.

Called “challenges,” these stunts range from harmless to horrifying: There are the silly ones (such as the Mannequin Challenge); the helpful ones (like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge); and the slightly risky ones (such as the Make Your Own Slime Challenge). But sometimes, challenges are downright dangerous, resulting in physical injury — and possibly even death. So what’s a parent to do?

Below are some of the hottest challenges that have swept social media; some fade and then make a comeback. In most cases, kids are watching these challenges on YouTube purely for entertainment, but some challenges inspire kids to try them out themselves. (In fact, the safe ones can be fun for families to try.) Others — like the Backpack Challenge — are often done with the goal of filming other kids and broadcasting the results online. While there could be a new one as soon as tomorrow, they do seem to fall into certain categories, and there’s some universal advice that parents can follow, no matter the challenge.

Funny

Try Not to Laugh Challenge. Popularized by YouTubers like Markiplier, this trend involves watching short, funny videos and trying not to laugh. It’s simple and harmless, though there’s often a lot of laughing at others’ expense.

Whisper Challenge. You may have seen this one on Jimmy Fallon: One person wears headphones playing loud music. The other person says a phrase out loud, and the one listening to music tries to read their lips and repeat the phrase. Hilarity ensues.

Mannequin Challenge. A group of people gets together, poses, and freezes in place, and someone with a camera walks around recording the scene while music plays. Even celebrities have gotten in on this one, including Michelle Obama, Ellen, and Adele.

Food

Eat It or Wear It Challenge. This one takes some prep: Put some different foods in separate bags and number them. A player chooses a number, checks out the food, and decides to eat it or wear it. If they eat it, they can dump the remainder on another player’s head. If they choose to wear it … you can guess what happens. Other than a huge mess (and food allergies), this one is low-risk.

Hot-Pepper Challenge. You can probably guess: Eat a super hot pepper — like a habanero or a ghost pepper — while you film yourself suffering and chugging milk to try to stop the burning. Though most people get through it unscathed, there have been a few reports of people ending up at the hospital.

Cinnamon Challenge. Eat a spoonful of cinnamon, sputter and choke, and record the whole thing for others to enjoy. Again, though there may be some temporary discomfort, most kids won’t get hurt — but some have.

Physical

Bottle-Flipping Challenge. Partly fill a plastic water bottle and toss it in such a way that it lands right-side up. This one got so popular they made apps to replicate the experience!

Backpack Challenge. This one’s a little like running a gauntlet. One person runs between two rows of people who try to hit you with heavy backpacks. The goal is to make it to the end without falling down … but no one ever does. Of course, it’s easy for kids to get hurt doing this.

Kylie Lip Challenge. Oh, Kylie Jenner — and her lips. In an effort to replicate them, kids would put a shot glass over their mouths, suck in, and make their lips swell artificially. Not only can it cause damage, but it also can be an indicator of body insecurities and the emulation of impossible beauty standards.

Frightening

Choking/Fainting/Pass-Out Challenge. To get high or faint, kids either choke other kids, press hard on their chests, or hyperventilate. Obviously, this is very risky, and it has resulted in death.

Salt and Ice Challenge. If you put salt and ice on your skin, it causes burns, so the purpose of this trend is to endure it for as long as possible.

Blue Whale Challenge. Of all these challenges, this one is the scariest and the most mysterious: Over the course of 50 days, an anonymous “administrator” assigns self-harm tasks, like cutting, until the 50th day, when the participant is supposed to commit suicide. It is rumored to have begun in Russia, and there were reports that suicides were tied to the trend, but those are unverified and likely not true. Apps related to the Blue Whale Challenge were said to appear and were then removed. The biggest concern is teens who are at risk and may be susceptible to trends and media about suicide because even if the challenge began as an isolated incident or hoax, it could become real.

What to Do

Talk about it. Though we can’t always be with our tweens and teens to prevent dangerous behavior, our words really can stay with them. Say, “If you ever want to do an internet challenge, check with me first.”

Get them to think. Help your kid think through the challenges and whether they’re safe or have potential risks. Say, “Walk through each step and figure out where things could go wrong.”

Acknowledge peer pressure. Today’s kids think of internet personalities as their peers, so seeing kids on YouTube doing a challenge could influence your kid. Say, “Why do you want to do this? Is this a video of yourself that you really want out in the world?”

Stay (somewhat) up to date. Ask your kid about what’s happening in their lives when they’re not distracted — even when it seems like they don’t want you to. Sometimes kids are more willing to talk about what’s going on with other kids than with themselves, so pose questions about friends, school, and trends. Once the conversation is open, you can get a sense of what your kid thinks about the latest craze — and if they’re safe. Keep an open mind and intervene if you’re concerned. Say, “Would you consider doing a viral stunt if someone asked you? Which ones would you do and not do?”

Model responsible online habits. Some parents are the ones recording their kids taking these challenges, so make sure your involvement sends the message you intend. Today it might be harmless, but tomorrow it might be more dangerous. Help your kids make the distinction so they can stay safe. Say, “Let’s do a funny challenge together, but we’ll only film it if you want to, and we’ll only share it with family.”

Blessings, Kendall

06.12.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! 

Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
Show me a way to get more things done with my time. When you arrive in the morning begin at once on No. 1 and stay on it until it is completed. Recheck your priorities, then begin with No. 2 . . . then No. 3. Make this a habit every working day. #maxwell
 
Knowing someone’s story wrecks your ability to judge them. #acuff
 
The Christian living a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ is fearless, regardless of the situation. #chandler
 
 
FYI:
 
3. My Child Doesn’t Believe in God. Now What?… http://www.christianparenting.org/articles/child-doesnt-believe-god-now/?utm_source=Christian+Parenting&utm_campaign=8cabb73999-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_64355cce23-8cabb73999-273558069&mc_cid=8cabb73999&mc_eid=a5401c43e5
 
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
6 Reasons Your Teen’s Life is More Stressful Than Your Own by John Nicholls
Ten Ideas to Build Confidence in Teens by Tim Elmore (I thought there was some good stuff in here for core group time!)
How to Pass Your Faith to Your Kids by Jim Burns (Obviously for parents… but still good for us!)
How to Undo Our Biggest Mistake in Leading Students by Tim Elmore
 

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

 
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 

SHARK SIGHTINGS! by Kurt Johnston

We should have seen it coming.

A few years ago something new began to happen. Sightings and rumors of close encounters with juvenile great white sharks along the local beaches here in Orange County, California began happening from time to time. Not to worry, we were told. After all, “juvenile” sharks are relatively harmless and pose no serious threat.

Fast forward a few years. Shark sightings have become a fairly common occurrence, and a couple of weeks ago the unthinkable happened: A female surfer was attacked by a 15-foot adult great white shark at a local surf spot…the same place I’ve surfed since I was a teenager.

We should have seen it coming.

In an interesting way, this whole scenario reminds me about youth ministry. Specifically, the tendency I have to notice something that seems amiss, or has potential to cause problems down the line yet I chose to ignore it in the hopes that it’s relatively harmless and poses no serious threat. And more often than not, I end up getting “shark bit” a few weeks, months or years down the road by the very problem I should have seen coming.

YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT…

You should have seen it coming.

I’d like to give you a homework assignment before the busyness of summer kicks in. Take a look around your ministry for a few juvenile great white sharks. Small, seemingly harmless, threats to your ministry that you’ve ignored up to this point. Identify them and jot down a timeline and plan for addressing each one as soon as possible.

After all…juvenile sharks are easier to deal with than 15-footers.

What Is A Christ-Centered Life?

“Christ-Centered” – it’s a phrase we love to use. It’s probably in the mission statement of your church and in the title of a book you own.

But “Christ-Centered” is a lot easier to talk about than to live, isn’t it? In the mundane moments of everyday life, a lot of other things compete with Christ for center stage.

Today I want to share four words that have helped mold my understanding of what a Christ-centered life looks like.

1. SOURCE

A Christ-centered life begins with realizing that the source of everything we are is the Lord. He created us, he owns us, he gifted us with talents, he authors our story, and every blessing that we receive comes from him (Gen 1, Acts 17:26, James 1:17)

Additionally, Christ is the source for our daily righteousness. We have no internal desire or moral ability to live up to biblical standards on our own, but in Christ, we have everything we need for godly living (2 Pet 1:3).

2. MOTIVE

A Christ-centered life means that a Person is the motivation for everything we think, say and do. Many of us leave little room for Christ in our Christianity. By that, I mean that our ability to “keep the law” or our pride in historic tradition is what defines our faith, not the person of Jesus.

Is your Christianity intimate and personal? Do you want to know Christ? (Phil 3:10) Do you want to be part of his work? Do you want to please him? Do you want to incarnate his character? A Christ-centered life is deeply intimate and motivated by relationship.

3. GOAL

A Christ-centered life has one ultimate goal: that Jesus gets the glory. It’s not wrong to pursue personal goals, but the glory of Christ is the orienting compass that gives direction to all others.

Because we want Christ to be known, honored, worshipped and obeyed, we submit every other attainable goal to him. Our decisions are no longer controlled by selfish desires, but by new desires we get from his love (2 Cor 5:14-15).

4. HOPE

A Christ-centered life finally puts all our eggs in the basket of the Lord. We know that this life is not all there is, and that an eternity is coming (1 Cor 15:19, Rev 21:4).

But a Christ-centered life is more than just a ticket out of hell. We have hope in the here and now, because Christ has promised his presence and grace until we go home.

Ask yourself: is my life Christ-centered?

Is Christ my source for life? Is he the motivation for everything I do? Is his glory my goal? Is he my hope, both for today and for eternity?

Like I said at the beginning, a lot competes for center stage in our hearts. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus accepts us and forgives us when he is not at the center.

Our Savior patiently walks with us and fights for us as we progress to make him the main focus of our life!

Blessings, Kendall

06.12.17

How to Pass Your Faith to Your Kids by Jim Burns

homeword.com

With all the great children and youth programs within churches today, many parents allow churches to “take the wheel” when it comes to their kids’ spiritual development while they take a more passive role. We can easily become convinced that it’s the church’s job to help our kids grow spiritually, not ours. Yet, guess what? God specifically places the responsibility for nurturing a child’s spiritual development on parents — not the church! In the Bible, in Deuteronomy 6:6-7, we read, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” While our churches serve to partner with us in this great task of spiritually nurturing our kids, God has given us — parents — both the responsibility and the tremendous opportunity to pass our faith to our kids. Still, I understand that many parents find it hard to talk to their kids about God and spiritual issues. So, here are some practical suggestions about how to get started.

1) Be yourself. You don’t need a seminary degree to talk to your kids about God. So, be yourself! Share your understanding of who God is and why God matters to you — in a way that reflects the real you.

2) Don’t limit your conversations on spiritual matters to Sunday morning! This is not to say that Sunday morning is off-limits for spiritual discussions, but don’t get caught in the trap of compartmentalizing faith issues to the days your family attends church services. Let your kids know that spiritual issues are important in your life all the time! This is exactly what the quote from Deuteronomy is talking about: talking about God when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up! Spirituality is to be part of an ongoing discussion in our homes, with our families!

3) Let your kids catch you in the act of doing something spiritual. Do you have a regular devotional time — where you read the Bible and pray — that you spend with God? Do your kids know it? How about letting your kids “see” you engaging in your own spiritual disciplines? Don’t forget that your actions will teach your kids a lot about your faith — probably even more than your words!

4) Look for natural opportunities to raise spiritual issues. This takes intentional work by parents to be on the lookout for opportunities “along the road” of life, where issues almost beg to be discussed in light of our Christian commitment and faith. Many opportunities will arise as your kids watch you live life. How do you, for example, demonstrate your faith when some jerk cuts you off on the highway? Perhaps, depending on your reaction, this may be a time to discuss the issues of revenge or forgiveness!

5) Take the posture of a “fellow-learner” as opposed to that of a “teacher.” Being a “fellow-learner” takes the pressure off you to send the message that you “know it all” (and your kids will already know this isn’t true). When discussing spiritual issues, you will most likely hear a question from your adolescent that you can’t answer. It’s fine to say, “I don’t know. Let’s work on finding the answer together.”

6) Utilize media to launch discussions about God and the Christian life. While much of today’s media is negative in its influence and portrayals of values, it can provide a launching pad for discussion of how Christian values compare to whatever is seen, heard, or read.

7) Have a plan for family devotional and prayer times. First, find a devotional book. Then, create a plan (daily, weekly, at certain mealtimes for example) and stick to it. Build the habit so your kids learn, “this is what we do as a family.”

8) Have fun with your kids! Unfortunately, too many kids are taught through role modeling of their parents and other adults at church, that Christianity means being grumpy and bored. Perhaps one of the most spiritual things you can do for your kids’ spiritual growth is to model for them that the Christian life is filled with love, peace, and joy! So, plan intentionally fun times for your family. Let them know that the Christian life can be fun!

9) Get involved in ministry together as a family. The call to Christ is the call to serve. You can communicate a lot about your faith in Christ by your willingness to serve; by being involved in ministry. For years, successful youth ministries have known that getting kids involved in ministry and service results in spiritual growth and in bonding together the youth group community. Do you know what? The same benefits will occur within families when they serve together!

10) Disciple and equip your kids. Actively participate in teaching your kids about God and what living the Christian life looks like. Why not do a weekly Bible study together with your son or daughter? Ask your children’s pastor, youth pastor, or leaders for ideas for Bible study material. They’ll never be able to use all the materials that are available to them, and they’ll be thrilled to help you!

05.22.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now!

Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
It happens again and again, never a break, without fail, God’s mercies are fresh and new specifically given for the needs of this day. #tripp
 
We don’t have to have the perfect words to say. We can simply speak sincerely from a heart full of love. #terqeurst
 
Conviction is the place where God doesn’t only show you what needs to change, but He gives you the grace and the power to begin that change. #furtick
 
Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you will get neither. #graham
 
 
FYI:
1. 6 Questions to help students exceed expectations… https://growingleaders.com/blog/six-questions-that-help-students-exceed-expecations/?utm_source=Master+List+%28Monthly%2C+Weekly%2C+Daily%2C+Events+%26+Offers%29&utm_campaign=9eb77dc475-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b8af65516c-9eb77dc475-304414745&mc_cid=9eb77dc475&mc_eid=70da1f1f8e
 
2. Athletic options for those that don’t play team sports… https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2017/04/19/athletic-options-for-kids-who-have-no-interest-in-traditional-team-sports/?utm_term=.e6d2468931d4
 
3. Millennials Don’t Consider Themselves Grown Up Until They are 27… 
 
4. 40 YOUTH MINISTRY HACKS (Most probably won’t apply… but you never know… see below)
 
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
Two Worlds to Understand When Leading Generation Z by Tim Elmore
‘Adult’ is Not a Verb by John Stonestreet
Teenagers Seeking Purpose by Mark Gregston (Blog post but good!)
Making Discipleship a Priority for Your Church by Jake Mulder (For churches but a good reminder for all of us!)
 
 
Thoroughly Prepared 
 
So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters.  The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me. Nehemiah 2:9
It is very hard to over-prepare, as most people do not struggle with over-preparation. One’s temptation is to neglect the real need of being thoroughly prepared. When you rush ahead of God, you expose yourself to the nagging details you could have intentionally prayed about and thought through. Pride tends to shun preparation, as it assumes too much and prays too little. When you take the time to prod those areas you are unsure of, you discover insights that are invaluable to success. If, on the other hand, you go off half-cocked with a Pollyannaish naïveté, you are an excellent candidate for disappointment, or even worse, failure. Irresponsible assumptions are foreign to faith because faith thoroughly prepares on one hand and humbly prays on the other.
Preparation also includes the involvement of others because you will not accomplish big things for God by yourself. Jesus didn’t. He called the Twelve to join Him. He has also placed people in your life whose hearts have been inexplicably moved to join you in this God-created opportunity. Let them in and do not be intimidated because they possess skills and experiences you don’t. Instead of lamenting the different backgrounds, personalities, and skills that surround you, celebrate them. A well-rounded variety of relationships and resources bring strength to the whole. A true team is diverse, and a secure leader accepts diversity as a key ingredient in the recipe of success.
“Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people” (Isaiah 57:14).
 
So unfetter your team from the fear of failure by giving them the freedom to try new things and to test long-held assumptions and methods. Help others prepare by removing obstacles. A team—thoroughly prepared—produces. Prayer is the most potent part of your preparation. You cannot pray too much about your methods and motives. Pray for God to be glorified and for His will to be done. Pray for His provision and resources. Pray for relationships you have yet to enter into that will become critical alliances in your God-sized project. It is through prayer that you persevere in preparation.
 
Change occurs primarily in the person praying. Their faith expands and so does their patience. Their love elevates, while their vision grows. In a phrase, their character receives an extreme makeover. Prayer is the crowning jewel of thorough preparation. Prayer gives you courage to speak boldly and the wisdom to know what to say and how to say it. Prayer holds you back when you need to wait in silence. Prayer is preparation, as it aligns you with the Almighty’s agenda. Thorough preparation is your friend. God does not waste preparation; He blesses it. Therefore, be thoroughly prepared following through with the plan with abandonment and gusto. Weave prayer throughout your preparation as if it were an intricately woven quilt, and then watch God work. Thorough preparation positions you to be used by God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray for patience to prepare thoroughly and trust You wholeheartedly, in Jesus’ name, amen. 
Application: What area of my life requires additional preparation, so I am ready for the Lord’s next season of service
 

Good To Great

“Good is the enemy of great.”

That’s the opening sentence from Jim Collins’s best-selling book on corporate management, Good To Great. He writes:

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

What does a book on corporate management have to do with our Christian faith?

I’m persuaded that Christians settle for “the good life” when God is calling us to something great.

I don’t know about you, but more times than I would like to admit, I have found myself settling for a “good Christian life” while caring for little else in the Kingdom of God that does not directly relate to me.

Even though we attempt to stay inside of God’s boundaries, we manufacture a life where self is at the center.

We are thankful for our good marriage that we have because of Jesus. And we should be! How amazing is it that two selfish people can live in harmony with one another?

We are thankful for our good family that we have by grace. We are thankful for our good career that we have by God’s sovereignty. We are thankful for our good Christian friends who surround us.

Yes, we should celebrate and enjoy these good blessings that are ours!

But, in ways that we don’t even realize, it’s quite possible for our Christianity to culminate here.

That’s settling for good, when great has been offered.

You see, we have been chosen to transcend the boundaries of our own little plans and purposes, wants and needs. We have been called to participate in the Kingdom of God and his mission to make all things new (Revelation 21:5).

That doesn’t mean you need to abandon the good things that God has blessed you with.

Rather, it means living with a redemptive, ministry mentality in every those situations, locations, and relationships where God has placed you.

What does that look like? Here are a few examples:

  • Don’t just settle for a good marriage. How can God use you in the redemption of other marriages, or engaged couples, or divorcees, or singles?
  • Don’t just settle for a good family. How can God use you to disciple others in the wider family of Christ?
  • Don’t just settle for good career. How can God use your platform, power and influence to make a difference for his name?
  • Don’t just settle for good Christian friends. How can God use you in your neighborhood to spread the life-changing Good News of the Gospel?

Be honest with yourself and with God today: Are there ways in which you have settled for, and Christian-ized, selfish living?

Jesus rescued you from something very bad, not so you could settle for a good life, but to invite you to something eternally great!

40 YOUTH MINISTRY HACKS

  1. Keep a small stack of $5 Starbucks gift cards handy in your desk drawer to give out for encouragement.
  2. Join the Youth Ministry groups on FB & get wisdom, advice, how to’s from 1000’s other youth pastors. (Download Youth MinistryStuff You Can Use)
  3. Students attract students. Let them promote, teach, lead ministries, and host.
  4. Students know what they like better than youth pastors know. Give students input into your youth group’s physical environment.
  5. When making a decision don’t ask “Will my students like this?” ask “Will my students’ parents like this?”.
  6. Find and cling to a network of other youth pastors in your area. Youth Ministry is too hard to do alone.
  7. Always remember, students are a work in progress. When they mess up, it’s ok. You did too.
  8. Use DYM University to train your leader. It’s hard to have an above average youth ministry with only average volunteers.
  9. When with other youth pastors ask more questions about their ministry than you make statements about yours.
  10. Give your custodians a gift card and thank you after a messy night.
  11. Partner with other youth ministry para-church organizations. They are reaching students you can’t/aren’t.
  12. Get a good travel rewards credit card. Pay for your ministry supplies and trips on it. Then, take a vacation with all the points.
  13. Read something every day. If you’re not learning, you’re not leading.
  14. Buy a cheap drone for camp/retreat. Use it as a way to provide surveillance to cover the campground quickly.
  15. Do background checks for all your volunteers every year. It protects you, your students, and gives confidence to parents. Back Check is an online provider that works with most churches insurance providers.
  16. Realize you’re doing the most important and urgent job in the world. Act like it. Don’t waste time on things that don’t matter.
  17. Fully screen all the videos you ever play at youth group. Watch them through an over-protective parents lens.
  18. Use an app like Schedule Once, Doodle, or Calendy to make appts with leaders and parents. You set the times you’re available throughout the week, they choose the times.
  19. Schedule one day every month for yourself. No meetings, no prep work. Use it to pray, read, reflect.
  20. Exercise.
  21. Email parents every week. Tell them what happened last week and what is happening in the coming weeks.
  22. Use plastic cups, not styrofoam cups, when working w/ youth – they aren’t as fun to pick apart & leave the pieces all over the room.
  23. Align your youth ministry vision with the church’s vision. You are on the same team.
  24. Pray for your senior pastor every day.
  25. Just because you don’t like lock-ins doesn’t mean students don’t. You’re a youth pastor, don’t be a grinch.
  26. Post on social media while you’re going to the bathroom. It’s a sure fire way to make sure you are constantly posting on social media. No one will know.
  27. Buy a deep fryer. You can cook mozza sticks and chicken fingers in 2 minutes!
  28. Get a membership to Download Youth Ministry. You have more important things to do than reinventing the wheel each week.
  29. Rig games. There are certain students who really need a win.
  30. Convince your church to adopt certain tech (Wufoo, Dropbox, Mailchimp, Planning Centre, Buffer, EZ texting…etc) and then use it for youth ministry. That way you get the tech but it doesn’t come off your budget.
  31. Sometimes your church can’t give you a raise, but they can give you more holidays. Ask for that.
  32. Put your phone on “do not disturb” for a couple hours every day. You’ll get more done in those two hours than you will the rest of the day.
  33. Don’t run expensive events very often. Keep events over $20 to 5-6 times/year.
  34. Use Planning Centre Registrations for big events/retreats/camps. It so simple and cheap.
  35. Don’t be afraid to take up tithes/offerings at youth group. You might be a lead pastor one day and those teens will be the giving adults in your congregation.
  36. It’s ok to cancel youth group sometimes, especially if it benefits parents.
  37. Realize your youth ministry isn’t as fragile as you’re making it out to be.
  38. Use a program cheat sheet (like this) to make sure you never drop the ball.
  39. Don’t spend much time on merchandise…it almost never works the way you hope it would.
  40. Give your lead pastor the benefit of the doubt.
  41. Use “Do Not Disturb” on your phone from 9:00pm-8:00am every night/morning
Blessings, Kendall

05.15.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! 

Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
Jesus didn’t come to earth to make bad people good people. He came to make dead people alive people. #holcomb
 
We become what we teach and what we learn. #godin
 
The best defense to the lies we hear from within our hearts is the rehearsal of truth – scripture. #keller
 
People are hungry for truth in this post-truth, post-fact culture, especially when it’s harder than ever to discern fact from fiction, reality from conspiracy theory. #jonestreet
 
FYI:
1. How we can minister to children who come from households with same-sex parents… http://childrensministry.com/articles/johnny-two-moms/?utm_source=internal_children’s_ministry_resource&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=
2. Depression… http://www.today.com/health/depression-s-not-word-depressed-teens-use-t111162
3. Classes teaching Millennials how to be adults… https://cassandra.co/life/2017/04/20/adulthood-101
4. The gender options on Facebook… (below)
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
Bullied in 5th Grade, Prone to Drug Abuse by High School by Valerie Earnshaw
Anxiety in Teens – How to Help a teenager Deal With Anxiety by Karen Young
Competing Worldviews Influence Today’s Christians by David Kinnaman (Barna Group)
Young Americans Are Killing Marriage by Ben Steverman
 

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

http://www.videosforyouth.com/mini-movies/14675/the-marshmallow-test?utm_source=vfynl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=resource2&utm_campaign=nl-05/12/2017-2099879
 
http://www.videosforyouth.com/mini-movies/26033/temptation?utm_source=vfynl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=resource1&utm_campaign=nl-05/12/2017-2099879
 
Here are 2 just for you:

Give Them Themselves

And [the Angel] said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)

Team members always love and admire a person who is able to help them go to another level, someone who enlarges them and empowers them to be successful.

Players who enlarge their teammates have several things in common.

  1. Enlargers value their teammates: People’s performances usually reflect the expectations of those they respect.
  2. Enlargers know and relate to what their teammates value: Players who enlarge others understand what their teammates value. That kind of knowledge, along with a desire to relate to their fellow players, creates a strong connection between teammates.
  3. Enlargers add value to their teammates: An enlarger looks for the gifts, talents, and uniqueness in other people, and then helps them to increase those abilities for their benefit and for that of the entire team.
  4. Enlargers make themselves more valuable: You cannot give what you do not have. If you want to increase the ability of a teammate, make yourself better.

Three Things You’ll Have to Say to the World to Live a Surrendered, Godly Life by J. Warner Wallace 

1 John 2:15
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

I know I’m just as likely as anyone else to love the world rather than the Father, so I consistently challenge my desires in three specific areas. I bet these aspects of life have tempted you as well, and if you’re a Christian leader, these are particularly important areas of concern. All of us, as good Christian ambassadors, need to speak to these challenges on a daily basis to resist the worldliness that threatens our character:

“I Will Not Allow Myself to Be Impressed with Money or Stuff”
I can’t allow money to dictate my choices. I’ve got to separate my “wants” from my “needs,” and recognize I already have everything I “need”; it’s time to get some control over my list of “wants”. I can either decide to chase the stuff I “want” and hope to be content once I get there, or decide to be content with what I already have. The older I get, the more I realize the pursuit of money and materialism has little or no relationship to happiness. Contentment is a choice. When the pursuit of money or stuff is removed from my decision making process, my decisions are far more Godly.

“I Will Not Allow Myself to Be Captivated by Lust or Passion”
We’re living in a sexualized culture that consumes our time and attention. The age of innocence is dangerously low; our kids are exposed to concepts and ideas at an early age. By the time we’re adults, unrestricted sexual or relational desire is a real danger, and it’s been the cause of many fallen Christian ministries and leaders. This is all about resisting the first step, the initial glance, and the early temptation. I need to be careful to guard my eyes and heart in this area if I hope to make Godly decisions.

“I Will Not Allow Myself to Be Fascinated by Fame or Influence”
The Internet has given all of us the potential for global impact and influence. It’s easy to get caught up in how many people “like” a post on our Facebook page, post a response to our blog entry, or visit our website. All of us, whether we choose to admit it or not, want to be known and heard. We’re enamored with celebrities who have the attention of the culture. We admire people who create videos that go viral. We secretly long for similar fame and attention. As my own career drew the attention of television producers and publishing houses, I knew it had the potential to derail my priorities. I can’t allow myself to make decisions based on how many people I can reach, even with something as valuable as the Gospel. Instead, I need to be faithful and content with the scope of influence God has given me.

If I want “the love of the Father” in me, I simply need to say “no” in three distinct areas of worldly temptation. God has already provided abundantly, but I am often unappreciative. He’s given me the money and material items I need, a wonderful relationship with my wife, and a mission field appropriate to my abilities. It’s my choice now to speak to my worldly desires; I’ve got to learn to say “enough is enough.” If you’re an ambassador for Christ, keep talking to the culture and speaking to your worldly desires. The difference between worldliness and Godliness is often product of this ongoing conversation.

LGBT+

Ever wondered why Facebook has so many gender options or what any of the letters in LGBTQQIP2SAA mean? The initialisms are as varied as the community they represent, and keeping up with the changes or what they mean can be hard. Yet knowing them can better prepare us for interacting with and ministering to the community, as well as for discipling teens through the issues they present.

Here are the official definitions of the 11 types of people represented by the letters. (Keep in mind that many consider “sexual orientation”—what sex/gender one is attracted to—as distinct from “gender identity”—what gender one identifies with.)

  • L = Lesbian, a female who is sexually attracted to other females.
  • G = Gay, a male who is sexually attracted to other males; also used as a general term for homosexual attraction.
  • B = Bisexual, someone who is attracted to both males and females.
  • T = Transgender, someone who identifies with a different gender than the one they were biologically born with.
  • Q = Queer, an umbrella term for anyone who doesn’t identify as cisgender or heterosexual, but who also may not identify as lesbian or gay and therefore prefers this broader, more ambiguous term.
  • Q = Questioning, someone who is unsure about their gender identity and/or their sexual orientation.
  • I = Intersex, someone whose sex characteristics (chromosomes, gonads, hormones, genitals) do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies (aka hermaphrodites).
  • P = Pansexual, someone is attracted to anyone of any sex or gender identity (aka “gender blind”).
  • 2S = Two-Spirit (used by some indigenous North Americans), someone who has both male and female spirits within them
  • A = Asexual, someone who lacks sexual attraction/desire to anyone.
  • A = Ally, someone who identifies as straight and cisgender but still wants to support those who don’t.

Other terms to know:

  • Cisgender = someone who identifies with the gender into which they were born.
  • U = Unsure, someone who is unsure of which gender they identify with or which gender they are attracted to.
  • C = Curious, someone who’s willing to explore their options.

Blessings, Kendall

09.26.16

Surprising Secret to a Highly Effective Youth Ministry by Geg Stier

youthspecialties.com

What’s the secret to a highly effective youth ministry? Rocks!

I love the Bible’s obsession with rocks. In GENESIS 28:18 Jacob used a rock as a pillow of sorts and then anointed it with oil as a memorial to his God-induced vision/dream the night before. Then there’s the pile of rocks that Joshua had the Israelites stack up in JOSHUA 4:19-24 as a commemoration of the crossing of the Jordan river into the Promised Land. And, of course, all of us remember that single, smooth rock hurled from the sling of David that took out a giant in 1 SAMUEL 17:50. God loves to use everyday, ordinary objects (like rocks) and everyday, ordinary people (like David) to accomplish extraordinary missions.But that’s not the point of this blog (although the Bible’s consistent allusions to stones and rocks as metaphors and illustrations are interesting to me.) No, the point of this blog is that rocks are the secret to a highly effective youth ministry.

Allow me to explain.

The late Dr. Stephen Covey gave a powerful illustration in his wildly successful book, THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE. And it had to do with, you guessed it, rocks!

Here is the illustration in his own words:

“One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I’m sure those students will never forget. After I share it with you, you’ll never forget it either.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered over-achievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed, mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone in the class said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was onto him. “Probably not,” one of them answered. “Good!” he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”

“No!” the class shouted. Once again he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

What’s true of rocks in a jar is true of priorities in a youth ministry. If you want to make prayer a bigger priority in your youth ministry you must program it in first. It must be on your calendar and in your weekly youth ministry programming. The same is true with relational evangelism, student discipleship and leadership development.

Too often our youth ministries are full of the sand and gravel of goofy games, fun videos and massive pizza parties. As a result, we have little room left for the bigger rocks that can make a deeper impact. Don’t get me wrong pizza is fine and games are fun but without the big rocks programmed in first the weighty stuff of youth ministry can easily get left out of the programming jar.

Our proclaimed values are either true youth ministry priorities or empty platitudes depending on whether or not they get programmed. I’ve seen this with youth ministries across the country, especially in the area of evangelism.

While many youth leaders say that evangelism is a big priority, it’s often not reflected in their weekly programming. Perhaps they do a quarterly outreach meeting but our biggest priorities get programmed into our weekly meetings, not our quarterly ones. If I tell my wife that she is a priority, but only talk to her once a quarter, then she’s not a priority at all. If I say that evangelism is a priority, but I only push it once a quarter, then it’s not a priority at all.

If you’d like to learn how you can make evangelism (and 6 other rocks) a bigger priority in your weekly youth ministry programming then click HERE to download a free e-resource that will help you do just that. Also take time to download this free PDF filled with practical ideas from youth leaders across the country to help you advance the Gospel and put the big rocks in first!

Let’s start programming our biggest priorities into our weekly meetings!

Rock on!

06.13.16

Start Young by Boyd Bailey

wisdomhuntersdevotional.com

For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Psalm 71:5, 17

Start to learn the ways of the Lord when you are young. This is your wisest and best investment. Youthful learning is leverage for the Lord. When you start young, you don’t have to wade through the muck and the mire of disobedient living and its consequences. There is no need to stray and go your own way, for you may end up back at the point where you originally drifted from God. Stay the course of Christ while you are young, and you will develop into an obedient adult. God does a masterful job of molding the young into the image of His Son, Jesus. He infuses youth with His spirit, so they become His image bearer. Youthful dependence on God results in an adult who depends on God. Do not kid yourself into thinking that you can change your ways quickly, once unhealthy habits have been entrenched in your life.

There is tremendous energy and passion around youthful hearts engaged with the eternal. Do not despise your youth or let others do the same. Paul exhorted his protégé, Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, KJV). Take God at His word. Depend on Him for your confidence, wisdom, and security. God uses youth to accomplish His purposes.

Even as those older in the faith falter in fear, your heavenly Father frees youthful hearts to attempt big things for Him. Courage and conviction blossom in a young and hungry heart for God. The Holy Spirit is calling forth faithful young people to further His Kingdom. Listen to the heart of your heavenly Father and do what He says. People are dying of distress and neglect in their nutrition- deprived lifestyles. Yahweh is calling His youth to something much bigger than themselves. And you can facilitate their faith with prayer, financing, and training.

Help the youth start early in their engagement with God. Teach them, train them, model for them, and then send them out to serve on the Lord’s behalf. Youth do not need to be overly protected, but set free to think big for God. The larger their vision, the larger their God. So present them with a God-sized challenge. Expect great things from young people who have a heart to follow hard after God. Do not underestimate their ability to be catalysts for Christ. Release them to exceed your accomplishments in half the time. Pray for God to scatter young people across the connected planet. Now is the time to send them out in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Use today’s resources to prepare for tomorrow’s results. Youth need not be coddled as the status quo, but challenged to break out of boxes of unbelief that restrain them. Invest in and equip young people so they can roll up their sleeves and serve the poor. Children of the poor need your children to show them Jesus by loving them at their point of need. They can far exceed our efforts with your significant support, and persistent and powerful prayers. Support the young, for a youthful person, called by God and full of the Holy Spirit, can change the world.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to pray for and mentor those younger in the faith.

Application: What young person  can I invest my time, energy and resources into?

Post/Tweet this today: Youth need not be coddled as the status quo, but challenged to break out of boxes of unbelief that restrain them. #WisdomHunters #startyoung

05.02.16

Vulnerability: A Forgotten Virtue of Great Leadership by Rick Warren

pastors.com/vulnerability-forgotten-virtue-great-leadership/?mc_cid=f4c94a2cd3&mc_eid=%5BUNIQID%5D

You don’t know it all. There are limits to your knowledge, ability, and energy. And while the competitive nature of our culture, which often sneaks into our lives in ministry, would have us to hid all of our weaknesses in fear, there is tremendous power in becoming vulnerable with people.

Deciding to become vulnerable is risky. As church leaders, there will be people in our congregations who don’t want us to be human. They would prefer that we wear a halo and pretend that we’re never really tempted to sin in the same ways that they are. They feel safer if we, as spiritual leaders, are immune to the crass realities of life.

But when we hide our weaknesses, three big problems arise:

  • Our weaknesses get worse, feeding off of the shame and secrecy.
  • We become dishonest and hypocritical.
  • The truth inevitably comes out and people are disillusioned as a result.

So is bearing our vulnerability worth the risk? Absolutely. Here are some important reasons why vulnerability is a forgotten virtue of great leadership…

1. It’s emotionally healthy.

Maintaining an image of perfection requires enormous amounts of emotional energy. One of the reasons we sometimes get so stressed out and depressed is because we’re working so hard to stay behind the facade and keep everyone convinced that we’re strong.

If you are worried about your image, you are heading for burnout. Keeping people happy and impressing others is terribly exhausting, and it’s always temporary. Eventually, people get to know our weaknesses all at once.

Being real and vulnerable, on the other hand, is liberating. It’s freeing. In fact, it’s really the only way to live. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (NLT). We need to confess our sins to God to be forgiven, but we also need to talk about our weaknesses with others to find healing.

In fact, some faults won’t budge until you confess them to others.

2. It’s spiritually empowering.

James also says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NLT). It is impossible to lead in ministry without the grace of God. And how do you find the grace you need? You find it by humbling yourself before God and others.

Remember, pride prevents power! 

3. It’s relationally attractive.

Everybody is wearing a mask, and it’s what we expect others to do as well. When we choose to throw our masks away, we surprise people with our authenticity. Being real is the fastest way to endear yourself to others.

We tend to love people who area real, honest, humble, and vulnerable and we tend to despise people who are deceitful, arrogant, and hypocritical. Paul told the Thessalonian believers, “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News, but our own lives, too” (1 Thessalonians 2:8 NLT).

When you share your strengths, you create competition. But when you share your weaknesses, you create community. You let people know, we’re all in this together.

Pastors are often incredibly lonely people. Why? I believe it’s in large part because they’re so afraid of the cost of being vulnerable.

4. It’s a mark of leadership.

We only follow leaders we trust. The first requirement for effective leadership is credibility, and the more honest you are, the more credible you become.

Real leaders lead by example. They go first. If your desire is that the church, group, or organization you’re leading be a place where people are open, you must be the first to open up.

You must decide whether you want to impress people (which you can do from a distance) or influencepeople (which you can only do up close).                                                                                      

5. It increases the impact of your preaching.

The concept of preaching from our vulnerability is something I’ve written about before because it’s a really big idea. In the previous generation of great preachers, we usually asked what’s the most powerful way to preach this? Now, we should be asking what’s the most personal way to preach this?

You will always be more effective as a personal witness and a storyteller than as a skilled orator. As you preach and lead, try to answer these questions…

  • What struggles and weaknesses should I share with others?
  • What progress am I making that others could learn from?
  • What am I currently learning, especially from my failures?

Remember this: The minister is the message.

11.09.15

Talking ’bout My Generation by Greg Laurie

http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4f108f827aed8d503b5fca9fa&id=ae8f5e40ef&e=123c2175b7

“The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.”

—Proverbs 20:7

Having lived over 60 years now, I have been able to see a few generations: my grandparents’ generation, my parents’ generation, my generation, and now my children’s and grandchildren’s generations.

What happens from choices that were made decades ago can still come back to affect us—for better or worse, depending on what kind of choices they were. The choices of time are binding in eternity.

Contrast two men from the 19th century: Max Jukes and Jonathan Edwards. Continue reading

10.19.15

5 Reasons to Silence Your Cell Phone by Janet Denison
janetdenison.com

Sherry Turkle holds an endowed chair at MIT and “serves as a kind of conscience for the tech world,” according to a New York Times article. Her recent book, Reclaiming Conversation, is a self-help book for people who overvalue technology and undervalue the fundamental art of meaningful conversation.

This book lists important reasons to consider quieting our technology that every spouse, parent, friend, and family member needs to pay attention to. I’m writing about this topic because I think that the conversation crisis in our culture will also dramatically impact the church. Did someone text you the plan of salvation, or did you come to know Jesus after deep and meaningful conversations?

Even as I type I am picturing a large number of cell phones that are buzzing or dinging or ringing—right now. If that just happened, look Satan in the face, tell him to flee, and keep reading.

The NYT article summarizes the conversation crisis, saying, “Our rapturous submission to digital technology has led to an atrophying of human capacities like empathy and self-­reflection, and the time has come to reassert ourselves, behave like adults and put technology in its place.”

We all know what it is like to be speaking with someone who regularly glances down at a cell phone during the conversation. We don’t mean to be rude, but what if the phone call is from…? Looking down at a cell phone says that whoever might be calling is more important than whomever you are actually with.

If you were sharing the plan of salvation with someone, would you interrupt that opportunity for a text message?  We might not ever have the opportunity to share Christ if we treat our other conversations with that person any differently.  Philippians 2:4 reads, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” When we speak with people, do they think we are more interested in them than a message on our phone?

Sherry Turkle lists five reasons why we need to carefully evaluate the impact of cell phones on our lives and our relationships, and I’ve listed some Bible verses to ponder as well. Continue reading