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.

10.23.17

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.

10.16.17

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

10.02.17

Hi! Happy October!! OCTOBER????? Haha! I am praying for you right now! 
 
Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
Our job is to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child. #elmore
When you feel stretched, it’s a setup for God’s strength. #furtick
Don’t worry about finding your purpose. If you are seeking after God, your purpose will find you. #evans
Being odd for the sake of Jesus is the highest of callings. It’s living an odd life marked by love, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, humility and self-sacrifice. #fields
 
 
FYI:
1. 10 Things to Say When Your Child Says They Don’t Believe in God Anymore…
http://christianmomthoughts.com/10-things-to-say-when-your-child-says-they-dont-believe-in-god-anymore/#more-8114
 
2. Teen Trouble… https://www.heartlightministries.org/2017/09/teen-trouble-take-quiz/?utm_source=CC+Master+List&utm_campaign=70d98c1e72-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5926458580-70d98c1e72-126726953
3. 12 Prayers for when you are anxious by Max Lucado
 
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
4 Passionate Desires of a Good Leader’s Heart by Brandon Cox
Today’s Kids Are Not Yesterday’s Kids by Dale Hudson (Find your age group!! Memory lane!)
Seven Terms That Summarize Generation Z’s Mindset by Tim Elmore
Apps Stirring Up Trouble in Schools by Caroline Knorr (Yikes!)
 

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

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/26201/when-storms-come?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=when_storms_come-2214110&utm_campaign=fp-08/31/2017-2214110
http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/69368/today-we-celebrate?utm_source=Christian%20Song%20Tracks%20(Final)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=today_celebrate-2215209&utm_campaign=fp-09/02/2017-2215209
 
 
Here are 2 just for you:

Great Leaders Live By Strong Convictions by Rick Warren

The real foundation of great leadership is character, not charisma. And one aspect of a leader’s character is the convictions to which he is deeply committed. Great leaders have strongly held beliefs. An opinion is something you’d argue about; a conviction is something you’d die for. Pastors, especially, must define the convictions for which they will endure every kind of hardship, and the only way to stand for those kinds of convictions is to live from a deep sense of God’s calling.

If God has called you to the task of leadership, nothing can stop you. Your identity rests in your relationship with him, not the approval of the people you are leading or the watching world around you. Instead of living in the comparison trap or the fear of what people will think, you must develop your convictions – theological, ethical, and practical – and stand by them.

Believe in advance that your convictions will be tested from at least eight angles:

1. Derision. When you’re in leadership, one of the first ways people will try to get you to deny your conviction is to make fun of you. Your convictions may very well be a punchline at times.

2. Discouragement. One of the enemy’s most powerful weapons is discouragement. Why? Because convictions, by their very nature, require courage to uphold. Discouragement usually comes at the halfway point when you’re halfway done with the project or halfway up the mountain.

3. Dread. Fear is one of the greatest threats to a leader’s convictions. I’ve often said, even when put on the spot by secular media personalities that I must fear God more than other people. It is to him alone that I will answer someday for how I stood by the deeply held beliefs he called me to possess.

4. Discord. Few things will stunt the growth of a movement or a church faster than gossip. One rumor or false accusation has the potential to destroy the reputation of a leader.

5. Division. It’s a big challenge for a leader to keep people together in a movement, but it’s essential. And since leadership is all about getting human beings to work together toward a common goal, this challenge is especially difficult for a leader to face.

6. Distractions. If the enemy can’t divide the people of a movement, he’ll provide distractions. Some of the distractions that cause the most problems aren’t bad things but rather good things that aren’t the best things.

7. Defamation. Paul was hounded by the Judaizers. Nehemiah had to deal with Sanballat. Jesus was falsely accused of blasphemy. It’s the pioneers out front who are most likely to get shot in the back. It’s a side effect of an expanding influence.

8. Danger. The Bible never actually promised believers a life “safe and secure from all alarms.” On the contrary, those who lead and have a voice will also suffer persecution and encounter danger along the way.

The enemy will try to use all eight of these tactics to top you from leading. What do you do in the face of such opposition? Don’t give up! Hold onto your convictions. Be persistent. Endure. When you are committed to your convictions, nothing will cause you to quit. And a “no quit” attitude is an essential characteristic of any great leader.

Heart of a Champion (One of my favorites!)

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”                      (1 Corinthians 9:25-27) (NIV)

There is an old saying: Champions don’t become champions in the ring – they are merely recognized there. Boxing is a good analogy for leadership development because it is all about daily preparation. Even if a person has natural talent, he has to prepare and train to become successful.

One of the most famous quotes of President Theodore Roosevelt uses a boxing analogy: “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause.”

09.18.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! 

Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
If Jesus returns tomorrow, then tomorrow I’ll rest from my labor. But today I have work to do. #bonhoeffer
 
To focus on Jesus as just an example is to reduce him from sovereign Savior to ethical coach and to transform the gospel into law. #keller
 
Bad evangelism says: I’m right, you’re wrong, and I would love to tell you about it. #keller
 
The goal in life is not to be in charge, but to depend on and rest in the wisdom, power and grace of the One who is and will be in charge. #tripp
 
FYI:
1. Communicating with Teens… https://www.heartlightministries.org/2017/09/communicating-with-teens-2/?utm_source=CC+Master+List&utm_campaign=8fa4ead912-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5926458580-8fa4ead912-126726953
 
2. Bad Fad Alert: Hot Water Challenge… https://homeword.com/2017/09/07/bad-fad-alert-hot-water-challenge/?mc_cid=9aeff038c4&mc_eid=759fd44a0d#.WbUwWK2ZN0s
Parents your role really matters… https://homeword.com/articles/parents-your-role-really-matters/?mc_cid=2784de0f84&mc_eid=759fd44a0d#.WbCRt62ZN0s
 
3. Loving your hard to like kid… https://www.reviveourhearts.com/true-woman/blog/loving-your-hard-kid/
 
4. Crippling Behaviors That Keep Children from Growing into Leaders… https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2014/01/16/7-crippling-parenting-behaviors-that-keep-children-from-growing-into-leaders/#d1eec775957b
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
10 Steps on Giving Your Volunteers Feedback by Dale Hudson
Criticism vs. Feedback: Why You Must Know the Difference as a Leader by Dale Hudson
Understanding Teens and Their Smart Phone Habits (emarketer)
Is the Bible Relevant Today? by J. Warner Wallace
 

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

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/57201/our-stories
 
http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/69175/a-new-creation?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=spot1-2208619&utm_campaign=nl-08/30/2017-2208619
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
Bouncing Back

Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. –Proverbs 25:11 (NLT)

As a junior in high school, I was devastated when I was cut from the top volleyball team and sent to the second team. I felt disappointed, embarrassed and dejected. That evening, I spoke with a friend who passed on these words of wisdom, “It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce back that matters.” I wrote the quote on my mirror and committed to doing my best for this new team, instead of sulking over my personal loss. Instead of continuing to fall and spiral, I committed to bounce back.

What I learned that day is that what happens to me in life doesn’t count as much as how I react to those things. I had a choice the day I was cut from the team: I could wallow in misery and quit the team, or I could choose to fight through my circumstances and work hard to improve. Each day, choices like these present themselves. When people are cruel, I can choose to accept their apology or let my bitterness grow. When I am treated unfairly, I can vengefully plot a way to get even, or I can seek the Lord’s wisdom and demonstrate patience as He shows me what to do. When I am fired from a job, I can learn from why things did not work or I can blame everyone else around me for my misfortune and never learn, grow or change. When I am congratulated for a job well done, I can either pat myself on the back or thank the Lord for providing me with the skills to succeed.

Life throws different circumstances our way every day, both good and bad. Wherever you are in your life, it is important to remember that people are watching and looking to see how you are living your life. You will long be remembered, not only for what happened to you in your life but for how you handled life’s circumstances. When those circumstances cause you to fall, I challenge you to bounce back!

TAKE A MOMENT (Anonymous)

Recently I took a few moments to reflect on Psalm 139.  The following is my personal, devotional paraphrase of the Psalm that I wrote as in response to that reflection.

Here is my Psalm 139 paraphrase …..

You know my heart – You have searched me – You have gone the distance –taken the initiative – and therefore You know me.

You know what I think–You know what motivates me to action and contemplation because You know my every thought.

You know what I do – what my habits are – You are very familiar with my ways – the ways in which I move through life – from my active and social times to my quiet, somber and restful times – You know me well enough to discern my every habit.  You know me better than I know myself!

You know what I will say – all of it – before I even say it – every word of it!

Even though You know me – You love me.  I know this because Your hand of love and protection surrounds and covers me – You know everything about me – heart, mind, body and soul and yet You still love me that much.

I don’t get it.  This concept is impossible for me to grasp.

I don’t know if I can take so close a relationship – it scares me – I want to hide – but there is no place to hide from You. There is nowhere in the highest heavens or the lowest depths to hide – You are everywhere.

I can’t get up early and try to fly away.  It doesn’t matter how far I travel.  It doesn’t matter where or when I go anywhere.  You will still be there with me, guiding me, holding me tightly.

I can’t use darkness as a cloak – the light of Your presence just melts the darkness away.  You will still see all of me – my heart, my thoughts, my actions, my words.  And I will still be the object of Your love.

You made me – I am Your creation – not some random grouping of cells and DNA – I have a soul – an innermost being – that only You could make –  You gave me my mother – I am no one else’s daughter – I came from her because you placed me – heart, mind, body and soul – within her.

I am unique – tenderly planted and watered from conception – created as others, yet different from them all – I am Your wonderful work – from the depths of my soul, I know that.  I know that I am Yours and for that reason alone I am wonderful.  What a wonderful thing You have done!

I am in Your book.  Somewhere in Your book there is a chapter about me – written when I was only a thought in Your mind’s eye.  You knew what I would look like – I was not a surprise or a secret to You – You thought of me, wrote of me, planned my days for me – and then you knit me together like a perfectly fitting garment – exactly matching the vision You had of and for me.

You are always thinking precious thoughts about me.  Not negative thoughts.  Not thoughts of disappointment.  Not thoughts of anger.  Just precious thoughts!

You never stop thinking about me.  You think more about me that I do!  Even when I am sound asleep, resting my mind – You are still thinking about me.  I couldn’t even begin to count the thoughts you have of me.  There are not enough numbers!

You are so grand.  And, You are so good.  You are the creator who knows everything.  You write it all down in Your book. You can do all of this – so why don’t You stop evil?  I am the object of Your love – why don’t You keep evil away from me? Why did You include those stories in the pages of Your book? They are Your enemies.  They intend to harm You.  They lie about You – hate You – speak lies in Your name.

I hate them!  I abhor them!  They are my sworn enemies – all I feel for them is hated.  They hate You so I hate them.

I wonder what You think of them?  You created them too. Are they the objects of Your love?  Do You love them in spite of their failings – as you do me?  Must I love what You love? Must I love an enemy?  This kind of thinking makes me anxious.

I want you to search deeper inside me.  No more trying to run and hide.  I want You to know my heart – I want You to examine every part of me.  Examine these disquieting thoughts I have.  If my way of thinking and being is taking me in the wrong direction, lead me in the right one – always lead me in the right way.  May I live my days – heart, mind, body and spirit according to the vision You had for me – the one You wrote in Your book.

Blessings, Kendall

09.11.17

Are Smart Phones Damaging Our Kids by Dale Hudson
relevantchildrensministry.com

Kids are getting their first smartphone at younger and younger ages.  The average age is now 10.3 years old.

Kids spend much of the day glued to their phone.  Here’s what one student had to say.

“I spend most of my summer hanging out alone with my phone.  That’s just the way my generation is.  We didn’t have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones.  I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.” 

Today’s kids are being shaped by the smartphone and social media. The smartphone has radically changed every aspect of their lives.  They are growing up living on their phones.  This brings both positives and negatives.

Today’s kids are growing up content to spent more time alone with their phone than at a party.  On the positive side, this means they are physically safer.  Not going out as much, they are less likely to get in a car accident, get drunk, engage in sexual activity, try drugs, etc.  Today’s 12th graders are going out less than 8th graders did in 2008.  Kids’ social life has shifted from in person to online.  The skating rink, basketball court, local hangout spot, etc. has been replaced by virtual spaces accessed by social media apps.

But on the flip side, there are negative effects.  There is mounting evidence that the smartphones we place in kids’ hands are having a big effect on their lives.

Disconnect from parents.  You would think since kids are spending more time at home, that they would be spending more time with their parents.  But that is not the case.  Rather than talking with their parents, they are in their room…on their smartphone.  This can even bleed over into meal time, holidays, etc.  Rather than looking at their family, their face is in their smartphone.

Unhappiness.  Spending lots of time online has been connected to being less happy.  Kids who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media are 56% more likely to say they are unhappy.  Those who spend 6 to 9 hours a week on social media are still 47% more likely to say they are unhappy.  And the more time kids spend on social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.  Kids who are heavy users of social media increase their risk of depression by 27%.

Loneliness.  Apps such as Facebook on smartphones promise to connect us to friends.  But data shows that kids who visit social-networking sites every day, but see their friends less often, are more likely to say they are lonely.  Feels of loneliness has spiked since 2013.  Whereas kids used to feel left out by not being invited to parties, hangouts, etc. – today they feel left out when not invited into a social media group.

Cyberbullying.  While boys tend to bully one another physically, girls tend to bully one another socially through online social standing and relationships.

Addiction.  Many kids sleep with their smartphone right beside them.  It’s the first thing they look at in the morning and the last thing they see before going to sleep.  They use their phones so much that they can recognize an emoji expression, but not a real facial expression.

This doesn’t mean we should pry the smartphones out of our children’s hands.  It is a key part of our culture, business dealings and communication in a digital world.  But it does mean that we should help them set parameters and usage guidelines that will bring out the positives and decrease the negatives of having a smartphone.

08.27.17

Hi! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!! Lots of classes are training and starting right now!!!! Please pray for each other!!!
 
I am praying for YOU right now! 
 
I am also praying for all those being impacted by Hurricane Harvey!
 
Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
 
Quotes:
Ideas have consequences and bad ideas have victims. #stonestreet
In preaching, the gospel shouldn’t be like the dessert at the end of the meal, but the salt that gives the meal its distinctive flavor. #wax
 
Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.  #chance
 
It is impossible to understand a culture without discerning its idols. #keller
 
 
FYI:
 
1. 10 Ways to tell if you’re a millennial mom… https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/10-ways-to-tell-if-youre-a-millennial-mom?j=5350015&l=512_HTML&u=81290567&mid=7000332&jb=233&utm_source=082517+Default&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly#
 
2. Millennial Moms… http://www.relevantchildrensministry.com/2017/08/3-keys-to-reaching-millennial-moms.html
 
3. Teenage Friendships that result in healthier, happier adults… https://qz.com/1059666/having-a-stronger-closer-friendship-as-a-teenager-predicts-less-depression-as-a-young-adult/
 
4. Homework help apps… https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/homework-help-apps?j=5350015&l=512_HTML&u=81290573&mid=7000332&jb=233&utm_source=082517+Default&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly
 
5. Sunday School Games: 10 Active Indoor Games That Help Kids Grow (below)
 
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
3 Big Keys to Connecting with Gen Z by Dale Hudson (Might give you an idea.)
Turn Up the Volume by Dale Hudson
Five Shifts that Lead Kids from Apathy to Ambition by Tim Elmore
Rescuing iGen: Teens Raised on Smartphones Need an Escape Plan by Eric Metaxas
 

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

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/54495/a-psalm-of-renewal?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=psalm_renewal-2193664&utm_campaign=fp-08/22/2017-2193664
 
http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/68510/exalted-psalm-145
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
Let God Use Your Strengths

 
“But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews . . . proving that this Jesus is the Christ.”  (Acts 9:22)

Psychologist Sheldon Kopp says, “All of the significant battles are waged within the self.” That’s true. The greatest of the battles people wage is against their own flaws and failures. To have an opportunity to reach your potential, you must know who you are and face your flaws. To do that:

  1. See yourself clearly.
  2. Admit your flaws honestly.
  3. Discover your strengths joyfully.
  4. Build on those strengths passionately.
You can reach your potential tomorrow if you dedicate yourself to growth today. Remember, to change your world, you must first change yourself.
 
33 Things the Holy Spirit Does
  1. He helps us (Rom. 8:26)
  2. He guides us (John 16:13)
  3. He teaches us (John 14:26)
  4. He speaks (Rev. 2:7)
  5. He reveals (1 Cor. 2:10)
  6. He instructs (Acts 8:29)
  7. He testifies of Jesus (John 15:26)
  8. He comforts us (Acts 9:31)
  9. He calls us (Acts 13:2)
  10. He fills us (Acts 4:31)
  11. He strengthens us (Eph. 3:16)
  12. He prays for us (Rom. 8:26)
  13. He prophesies through us (2 Pet. 1:21)
  14. He bears witness to the truth (Rom. 9:1)
  15. He brings joy (1 Thess. 1:6)
  16. He brings freedom (2 Cor. 3:17)
  17. He helps us to obey (1 Pet. 1:22)
  18. He calls for Jesus’ return (Rev. 22:17)
  19. He transforms us (2 Cor. 3:18)
  20. He lives in us (1 Cor. 3:16)
  21. He frees us (Rom. 8:2)
  22. He renews us (Titus 3:5)
  23. He produces fruit in us (Gal. 5:22-23)
  24. He gives gifts (1 Cor. 12:8-10)
  25. He leads us (Rom. 8:14)
  26. He convicts (John 16:8)
  27. He sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13)
  28. He empowers us (Acts 1:8)
  29. He unites us (Eph. 4:3-4)
  30. He seals us (Eph. 1:13)
  31. He gives us access to the Father (Eph. 2:18)
  32. He enables us to wait (Gal. 5:5)
  33. He casts out demons (Matt. 12:28)
 

Sunday School Games: 10 Active Indoor Games That Help Kids Grow 

These Sunday school games are active, fun and are played indoors. Plus they help kids grow their faith and work out the squirm!

Not going outside can make kids stir-crazy. Stuck inside, they dream of a warmer season when they can run and play with endless energy outdoors. And then they enter your Sunday school classroom, after a week of being cooped up at school and home, with a God-given, wiggly case of the fidgets and squirms. So tap into kids’ natural energy and exuberance with these active indoor Sunday school games specially designed to let kids move while teaching them more about their faith.

Sunday school games: Angry Ping-Pong

Use this game to talk about the effects of anger.

You’ll need a Bible, ping-pong balls, fine-tipped permanent markers, slingshots, and a supply of cardboard building blocks.

Put kids in groups of 10, and give them a few minutes to build towers with their blocks. Then give each group four or five ping-pong balls. Have each person write at least one thing on each ball that makes him or her angry.

Say: Let’s play a game. Your team’s goal is to knock down any other team’s towers. Use the slingshots and the pingpong balls to do this, but stand at least 15 feet from any tower you’re aiming at.

Show kids this distance. Then say: Think about the things you wrote on your ping-pong balls. What things has that anger “knocked over” in your life or in others’ lives?

Read aloud Ephesians 4:26-27. Say: What does it mean to you that anger can be a foothold for the devil? What can you do to deal with your anger in a God-honoring way?

Sunday school games: Elephant Stampede

Use this game to discuss the benefits of teamwork.

You’ll need a Bible and one pool noodle that’s been cut in half.

Choose two kids to be the Elephant, and give them each one of the noodle pieces.

Say: We’ll work as a team in this game. Our Elephant will chase everyone else and try to tag you with a noodle. If you’re tagged, you become part of the Elephant by holding hands with the person who just tagged you with a noodle. The person who tagged you will hand you the noodle piece, and you’ll work with the rest of the Elephant to tag others, handing off the noodle piece to the person you tag. The object is to be the last person tagged.

Check for understanding; then let kids play. Afterward, ask: Explain what you enjoyed more—trying to escape being tagged or being part of the Elephant. What did you do to work as a team in this game? What do you like or not like about working with a team? Read aloud 1 Corinthians 12:20-25. What are the benefits of working as a team? What adjustments can you make to be a team player?

Sunday school games: Cotton Nose

Use this game to practice encouraging others.

You’ll need a Bible, masking tape, petroleum jelly, cotton balls, a table, and paper plates.

Have kids get in groups of five to eight, and put a dab of petroleum jelly on the end of each person’s nose. For each group, set a plate of cotton balls on one end of the table, and set a second empty plate on the opposite end of the table for each group. Then designate a start line and have each group form a line behind it.

Read aloud 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Say: Let’s use this game to practice encouraging others. This is a relay race, and your team’s goal is to get all the cotton balls on your plate to your team’s empty plate at the other end of the table. Only one person can go at a time, and you must use only your nose to pick up the cotton balls. Got it? Check for understanding. This is going to be tough, so cheer on your teammates as much as you can. Shout encouraging words, clap, and chant for your teammates.

Begin the race. Afterward, ask: When it was your turn to race, what encouraged you to do your best? What ways did you notice others encouraging their teammates? How can you apply this kind of encouragement to your life?

Sunday school games: Balloon Bop

Use this game to talk about keeping God’s commandments.

You’ll need a Bible, a beach towel, and 10 inflated balloons.

Say: Pretend each of these balloons represents one of the Ten Commandments. Let’s play a game to try to keep all 10 balloons in the air at once.

Have kids each hold the edge of one end of the towel and stand apart so the towel is taut. Then have the kids shake the towel. Encourage them to continue to shake it as you add each balloon—each time naming one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). Continue for 30 seconds after you’ve added all the balloons, and replace any balloons that fall.

Ask: What was it like to keep all the balloons in the air? Explain whether that’s like or unlike trying to keep all of God’s commandments. Why do you think it’s helpful for your life when you keep God’s commands?

Use this game to teach kids how important it is to support each other as Christians trying to spread the good news about Jesus.

Bible Connect: Mark 16:15Romans 1:16

Stuff: You’ll need candy bars and clear packing tape.

Play: Before kids arrive, tape candy bars onto the wall high enough so kids can’t reach them without standing on chairs.

Tell kids the object of the game is to reach the candy bars without the help of furniture or other people.

Let kids try to grab the candy bars. Once they’ve given up, have them form groups of three and work together to reach the candy bars. Two kids can form a step by locking their hands together and lifting the third person high enough to reach a candy bar for all three.

Cool Down:

Ask kids to compare their first attempt to reach the candy bars with their second. Ask: What ways do you tell your friends about your faith? Why is it important to work together and support each other as Christians? How can you support a friend this week?

Sunday school games: Protect Me

This game teaches kids that it’s important to surround themselves with good influences for protection from temptation.

Bible Connect: 1 Corinthians 10:132 Corinthians 6:14

Play: Ask for two volunteers-one to be the Tempted and the other the Temptor-in a group of no more than eight kids. The object of the game is to protect the Tempted, who’ll stand in the center of the group’s tight circle. The Temptor tries to tag the child in the center by reaching through the circle. Kids in the circle can maneuver to keep the Temptor out, but they must stay locked arm-in-arm. When the Tempted gets tagged, new kids get to be the Tempted and the Temptor.

Cool Down: Ask: How have you been tempted this past week? How does having Christian friends’ support help you resist temptation?

Sunday school games: Snowball Fight

This game reminds kids of the power of God’s grace.

Bible Connect: Isaiah 1:18

Stuff: You’ll need newspapers, masking tape, a timer, and disposable wipes.

Play: Form two groups. Divide your classroom into two equal-sized areas with a masking tape line. Give each group an equal amount of newspaper. On your signal, let kids make newspaper “snow” balls and quickly throw them back and forth at the opposing team for two minutes. The object is to get more “snow” on the opponent’s side when time’s up.

At the end of the game, have kids collect the newspaper and place it in your church’s recycle bin. Have kids clean their hands with disposable wipes.

Cool Down:

Ask: How did your hands look after the snowball fight? How is the newspaper like sin? How are the wipes like God’s grace?

Sunday school games: Sock It to Me

Just as socks protect our feet, kids will discover that God protects us.

Bible Connect: Psalm 91:14-15

Play: Ask kids to sit in a tight circle and remove their shoes. Choose two kids to be It. They’ll sit on their knees in the center of the circle. The rest of the kids forming the circle must stay seated with their feet in the center of the circle. The object of the game is for the It kids to take off the circle kids’ socks before those kids can get the It kids’ socks off.

Cool Down:

Ask: What kinds of things are you exposed to in the world? How are socks like or unlike God’s love? How does God’s love protect you from inappropriate things?

Sunday school games: Belly Laugh

This silly game reminds kids that God loves a joyful heart.

Bible Connect: Psalm 9:2Psalm 28:7

Play: Have one child lie on his or her back. Then have another child lie with his or her head on the other child’s belly. Have the remaining kids lie down with their heads resting on another child’s belly.

Choose one person to start the game by shouting, “Ha!” The next person will shout, “Ha, ha!” and each child continues to add a “ha” as they work around the group. Sooner or later the group will burst into laughter, with heads bouncing off bellies with joy.

Cool Down: Let kids take turns telling a funny story or joke. Tell kids that God wants us to experience joy every day through fun and laughter.

Sunday school games: Pressure

Getting “pushed around” by others in this game lets kids think critically about peer pressure.

Bible Connect: 1 Corinthians 10:13Ephesians 6:11

Play: Form groups of eight. Have seven kids form a close circle with their arms on each other’s shoulders. One child stands in the middle, crosses his or her arms, and tries to keep his or her feet firmly in place on the ground while the circle presses in. Kids in the circle work together to force the child to give up his or her ground. Give every child a chance to be in the middle.

Cool Down: Have kids discuss how they experience peer pressure at school. Kids can brainstorm how they can work together to tackle negative peer pressure. Talk about the importance of relying on God when the pressure is on.

Sunday school game: Unlocked

Use this game to encourage kids to be patient and listen for God’s instruction.

Bible Connect: Isaiah 30:18

Stuff: You’ll need two combination locks, two colored dot stickers with matching paper, candy, and a kitchen timer.

Play: Before kids arrive, place one sticker on the back of each lock. Hide the locks in the room. Print the corresponding combination numbers out of sequence on the lock’s matching paper, but keep both correct combinations with you.

Form two teams and give each team the scrambled combination numbers. Tell teams they’ll race each other to find their corresponding lock and figure out the correct combination. The first team to return with an open lock will get a reward. But first, teams must choose one of two strategies they’ll use to win:

  1. On “go,” a team will race to find its lock. Once they find the lock, they have to work together to decipher the correct combination using the scrambled numbers on the paper.
  2. Or, on “go,” a team will delay their search for 30 seconds (giving the other team a head start), but you’ll give them the correct combination to their lock. That way, all they have to do is find the lock and open it.

Once teams have chosen their strategy, give the signal. No matter which team returns with an open lock first, reward everyone for their efforts with the candy.

Cool Down:

Ask: How did your team’s strategy work? Why did you choose that strategy? How is this game like or unlike being patient and listening for God’s instruction?

Sunday school games: Focus

A new twist on this favorite game shows kids that God’s blessings are everywhere-all they need to do is look.

Bible Connect: Matthew 7:7; Romans 2:7

Stuff: You’ll need paper, pens, and a tray of theme-related items such as office supplies, candy items, or craft supplies. You’ll also need an assistant.

Play: Give each child a piece of paper and a pen. Tell kids your assistant will walk around the room with a tray of items. Kids’ task is to write down what they see (be precise with your wording here). Have your assistant walk around the room with the tray, allowing ample time for kids to write down the majority of items on the tray.

Once kids have viewed the tray, have your assistant leave the room. Then tell kids they can use their notes or memories to answer questions. Ask questions related to the assistant such as: What color were his shoes? Was she wearing earrings? Was he wearing a watch?

Then call your assistant back into the room to reveal the answers. Kids will realize their focus on the tray contents was so narrow that they missed the obvious.

Cool Down: Ask kids to discuss things they focus on, such as fear, jealousy, or grades. Challenge kids to name things they may miss out on when they focus on one thing or only on the negative. Remind kids that when we focus on God first, we’re able to see all he’s blessed us with each day.

Sunday school game: A Hill of Beans

Use this “hill-of-beans” game to teach kids how lies destroy trust.

Bible Connect: Proverbs 12:22Ephesians 4:25

Stuff: You’ll need pint-size Mason jars with lids, food-service gloves, and plastic tablecloths. You’ll also need one pound of each of the following dried beans for each group of five: black beans, red kidney beans, barley pearls, pinto beans, Great Northern beans, navy beans, lentils, yellow split peas, green split peas, and black-eyed peas.

Play: Form groups of five and give each group a pound of each bean type. Place the tablecloths on the floor for each team’s workspace. Have kids wear food-service gloves and on your signal, work together to build the largest hill of beans in five minutes. When time’s up, kids can gather the beans and fill the Mason jars. Attach this recipe to the jar for kids to donate to a local food shelter.

Cool Down: Kids can discuss how building a hill of beans is like or unlike telling a lot of lies. Talk about what happens when lies pile up and how lying has negative consequences. Talk about how lies break trust, and ask God to help kids be honest and trustworthy.

Sunday school game: Apples and Oranges

This crazy game will help kids discover everyone is important in God’s family.

Bible Connect: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Stuff: You’ll need an apple and an orange.

Play: Form a circle. One child will pass an apple to the right around the circle. Another child will pass an orange to the left around the circle. The key to this game is that kids can’t pass the fruit with their hands. Kids can use their feet, elbows, or knees to pass the fruit. If someone drops the fruit or it touches the ground, the child must close his eyes to continue playing. Play continues until only one person with his or her eyes open remains.

Cool Down: Ask kids to talk about what was easy or difficult about the game. Ask kids what it was like to play with their eyes closed and how that affected the game. Help kids make the connection between this game and God’s family. Celebrate everyone’s contributions and emphasize everyone’s special role in God’s family.

Blessings, Kendall

08.27.17

Five Shifts that Lead Kids from Apathy to Ambition by Tim Elmore

growingleaders.com

This month, I have spoken to thousands of teachers and parents, as schools kick off another year. One phrase I have heard as much as any other is:

“I just wish we could get these students to be more ambitious.”

Ironically, while so many faculty, staff, coaches and parents desire this outcome, we are often the culprits that prevent it from happening.

What do I mean by this?

I have written in the past about an idea that’s been the topic of teacher training for the past few years. In a word, it is “metacognition.” Metacognition (thinking about thinking) is the “secret to and the driving motivation behind all effective learning,” says the National Academy of Sciences. It is all about the teacher or leader transferring the ownership of what’s happening to the student. Instead of prescribing each step of the process, it means enabling them to figure it out themselves. But, alas, most adults in this generation don’t want to take that risk. It wouldn’t be safe for the students and it wouldn’t make us look good. The truth is, however, “students learn better when they ‘own’ the work themselves.”

The Equation

Consider this fact: People are never more incentivized to care for something than when that “something” belongs to them. If it’s something they paid for, somehow the value goes up—their cell phone, their car, their clothes, their learning. Now transfer this concept to a classroom, where a project is assigned. The more a student “owns” their learning, the more they learn. By encouraging students to own their learning:

  • We decrease apathy in the young person.
  • We increase ambition for learning and growth.

What hinders metacognition? An over-functioning teacher or parent who is the only one doing the metacognition and owning the issue:

  • EX: Mom asks her child to do a chore, but he doesn’t do it or doesn’t do it well, so she steps in and does it herself. The son assumes it’s Mom’s problem.
  • EX: A teacher who loves to instruct, so he consumes most of the class time talking. In the end, students grow lethargic and disengaged.

We live in a day when adults are consumed with child safety and insuring our kids get the best advantages possible. So, we control everything. Kids are in supervised activities most days. While this makes us feel better, it often decreases their “ownership” and certainly diminishes their ambition.

Make These Shifts in Your Leadership:

1. Don’t think CONTROL, think CONNECT.

Control is a myth. What’s more, the more we seek to control the environment, the less kids own what’s happening. Instead, seek connection with students and engage them at the heart level. This is how trust and ambition are built.

2. Don’t think TELL, think ASK.

By asking questions, you foster ownership in the conclusions and the subsequent application in students. As they age, students require us to lead them by asking questions instead of imposing our ideas.

3. Don’t think PRESCRIPTIVE, think DESCRIPTIVE. 

We do too much for kids. It’s why so many are unready for adult life at 18. Instead of prescribing each step of an assignment, prepare students to create the path themselves. Describe the goal, but let them determine the steps.

4. Don’t think RULES, think EQUATIONS.

Life is full of equations: If we do this, that becomes the consequence. If we do that, this is the benefit. Few students like rules. We can help them own choices by insuring every decision is an equation with positive or negative outcomes.

5. Don’t think DO IT FOR THEM, think HELP THEM DO IT.

The bottom line is this: Students support what they help create. We must let young people actually do the work themselves. Parents—stop doing your child’s homework. Stop negotiating their grades with the teacher.

I recently saw a news report about Olivet Middle School in Olivet, Michigan. Students on the football team came up with an idea for a play in one of last year’s games. Keith was a teammate, but was a special needs student with social issues and a lack of boundaries. However, his fellow players decided they wanted to show him he was important to the team, so they chose to help him score a touchdown. And they did. They set up the play, surrounded him and insured he got into the end zone. Keith later said, “It was awesome!” The part I think was awesome is—no adult prescribed this activity. It was all student-driven, student owned. And everybody won. Hmm. Sounds like metacognition to me.

08.21.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! 
 
I know most of you are super busy right now (training and kicking off your classes…) so please be praying for one another!!!! 

 
Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
 
Quotes:
The power that raised Christ from the grave is the power that resurrects hope in our hearts. #lucado
 
Without the gospel we hate ourselves instead of our sin. #keller
 
The only way into the presence of God is from where you really are — not from where you wish you were. #furtick
 
Until Jesus is enough for you, no person or thing will ever be. #furtick
 
 
FYI:
4. Six Prayers to Pray for Students as School begins… (below)
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
How Gen Z is Changing Television as We Know It by Dale Hudson
New Survey: Millennials Learn More from Technology Than from People by Tim Elmore
Real vs. Fake Relationships by Leneita Fix (I have been reading so much about this lately… good for us to help them navigate.)
Four Gifts Every Student Needs From You This Year by Tim Elmore

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

 
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
God’s Leaders Have a Higher Standard

 

Priests… must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the offerings made to the LORD by fire, the food of their God, they are to be holy.   Leviticus 21:6

Ministers of the Gospel submit to a higher standard and answer to a holy authority. There is something special and fearful about being a vocational servant of Jesus Christ. This is not a role to be undertaken lightly or to be chosen casually, as some secular career paths. God places eternal expectations on priests, pastors, and ministry leaders. Leaders in the church have the Lord as their baseline for behavior. Deviant behavior is unacceptable for those who lead on behalf of the Lord. 

The leader’s character is his greatest asset. Someone cannot determine acceptable behavior based on what he wants when the Bible and church history have already defined the standard. How hypocritical and foolish to think leaders can flaunt immoral behavior when church members are disciplined for the same sin. Double standards may be for the uninformed and the unaccountable, but not for faithful and educated followers of Christ. How surreal to need to declare that character in the church matters! A church or ministry leader cannot practice immoral living and still lead the Bride of Christ. They cannot practice homosexuality, adultery, stealing, or lying. They cannot practice unfaithfulness in any of its destructive forms. 

“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly o the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Titus 1:6-9).

There is a holy obligation for leaders to model and teach holy living as defined in God’s Word. Holiness is not a creation of culture but defined by God. Leaders of God’s church and ministry are to be holy as He is holy. Therefore, you can’t say you are a leader on behalf of Jesus Christ if you embrace and endorse the very sin for which He died on the cross. It would be the epitome of hypocrisy to do so. . 

Holy leaders do make people thirsty for God. They shine their light of holy living on the Lord. Embrace His higher standard, and expect the same of your church and ministry leaders. Elect men and women of the cloth who behave biblically, whose character aligns with Christ’s, and who model faithfulness, not perfection. They are not conformed to this world but transformed by God’s truth. 

The Bible is clear: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).

The Brave Friendship of God

 

Oh, the bravery of God in trusting us! Do you say, “But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing good in me and I have no value”? That is exactly why He chose you. As long as you think that you are of value to Him He cannot choose you, because you have purposes of your own to serve. But if you will allow Him to take you to the end of your own self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him “to Jerusalem” (Luke 18:31). And that will mean the fulfillment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.

We tend to say that because a person has natural ability, he will make a good Christian. It is not a matter of our equipment, but a matter of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a matter of natural virtues, of strength of character, of knowledge, or of experience— all of that is of no avail in this concern. The only thing of value is being taken into the compelling purpose of God and being made His friends (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-31). God’s friendship is with people who know their poverty. He can accomplish nothing with the person who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not here for our own purpose at all— we are here for the purpose of God, and the two are not the same. We do not know what God’s compelling purpose is, but whatever happens, we must maintain our relationship with Him. We must never allow anything to damage our relationship with God, but if something does damage it, we must take the time to make it right again. The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the surrounding influence and qualities produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to give our attention to, and it is the one thing that is continually under attack.

Six Prayers to Pray for Students as School Begins

Like many other families, we are trudging back into school this week after a great summer. For our part, our kids seem neither despondent nor over the moon, but somewhere in the middle. They’ve had a great summer, but they’re also ready for a change, and ready to get onto the new possibilities this year in school will bring. So here they come – a rising 7th grader, 5th grader, and 2nd grader.

Here are some of the prayers we are praying for them as they begin this year:

1. Free these children from the idol of popularity.

Oh, how seductive is this idol. I still feel the pain of knowing when someone doesn’t think well of me for some reason, and even as an adult I feel the tug toward compromise if it means being well-liked. Even while feeling that temptation, I remember well the intense desire to be invited to the right lunch table or the best birthday party. I’m praying that our kids would, by God’s grace, find their worth and identity in Jesus rather than in the “likes” they receive from others.

2. Guard their hearts from materialism.

It’s inevitable that kids are going to come in contact with others who have different brands of clothing, whose parents drive different cars, and who live in different sized houses. The love of money is fostered and nurtured from a very young age, most of the time through comparison with others. We are praying that the Lord would guard these growing hearts from this and instead would help them to learn a sense of gospel-centered contentment in any situation.

3. Help them see our home as a safe place.

In classes, on the court, in the band, and most other places the kids will encounter a spirit of competition in which they will not only be tempted, but encouraged to be the best, whatever that means in that particular environment. But, please Lord, may our home be a safe place. Help them to see that at home, they can be themselves, with all their insecurities, fears, and hurts they could never show somewhere else lest they be considered weak.

4. Create in them a desire to communicate.

“Fine.” That’s the dreaded, but common, answer that often comes when a parent asks their children about their day. We continue to pray that our kids would go past this stock answer – that they would communicate honestly with us about the real things that are going on in their lives. We continue to pray that, because our home is safe, our children will confide in us the things they aren’t willing or able to say anywhere else.

5. Teach them perseverance through their studies.

With each grade jump, the homework seems to grow more and more intense. While I’m still able to help our second grader with his math, our seventh grader has moved beyond my capacity. That’s a difficult thing for me, but it’s an opportunity for them to learn a greater lesson for life. The perseverance to keep at it, though it means hard work, will prove (I think) even more valuable in the years to come than their mastery of the quadratic formula.

6. Help them understand more deeply the greater purpose of education.

I remember the tunnel-vision of the teenage years, how you can only focus on what is immediately relevant to you at a given moment. Those were the days when life seemed to begin and end with each test or game or whatever. But in education, as with all things, there is a greater purpose for those who know Jesus. That greater purpose is to honor God through stewarding the resources He’s given us, including our brainpower. Education is a means to love the Lord our God in yet another way and glorify Him through the effort we bring to the task in front of us. We are praying that God would, by His grace, begin to expand our children’s vision for this greater purpose.

These are not the only prayers to pray as this school year begins, but it’s a start. And while we’re on the subject of prayer, here’s an extra one that I’m praying for myself and my wife as we get going in another fall:

Help us, Lord, to represent your kindness, compassion, discipline, and forgiveness that you perfectly display in the gospel through the way we parent our children.

May it be so, Lord.

Blessings, Kendall

08.21.17

How Gen Z is Changing Television as We Know It by Dale Hudson
relevantchildrensministry.com
I remember the days when TV’s were part of a large, cabinet-like console.  And there was no remote control.  I was the remote control.  I had to get up and change the channel by turning the knob.  Which wasn’t too big a problem, since there were only 3 to 4 channels.  Maybe 5, if the weather was right and I titled the rabbit ears that had aluminum foil on them just the right way.  And TV went off at midnight.  They played the national anthem and then it went static until the next morning.  As TV’s progressed, they moved out of the furniture console and stood alone.  But they had a big back and weighed a ton.  Especially the large screens, which were large, but clunky.  Standard definition was the only option.

Later HD was introduced and TV’s began to get thinner and thinner.  Kids who saw an older TV would ask what was on the back of the TV….not knowing that TV’s used to be very thick and heavy.

Today, TV’s come in ultra thin sizes and the screens continue to get larger and larger while the clarity gets better and better.  There are hundreds of channels to choose from.  And if you miss a show, you can always watch it on-demand.

Yes, TV has changed.  Both physically and programmatically.  But the changes are just getting started.  When you consider factors like evolving technology, relevant programming and the rapidly expanding internet, it is obvious change is continuing to accelerate.  Futurists say by 2020, TV may not look like TV as we know it.  The viewing habits and expectations of Gen Z are set to shape the future of TV.

Here are 3 ways Gen Z is changing television as we know it…and what children’s ministries should do as well.

Interaction.
Gen Z expects to interact with TV in a way their Millennial parents didn’t.  In apps like Minecraft, kids create worlds from scratch.  With Musical.ly, they create their own videos.  They participate in choose-your-own adventures, explore in virtual reality and customize their apps and video games.

Kids don’t have the opportunity for control in much of their life and they love the control and creativity these formats allow them to have.  As they grow up, they won’t let that go.  They will demand content that they can give input into and help create.

Children’s ministries that want to connect with Gen Z and reach them with content, must shift toward interactive lessons that provide kids with the opportunity to give input and help create the lesson agenda and flow. 

Fresh Content.  

Gen Z expects fresh content.  Their favorite YouTubers post weekly, daily and even hourly.  Information comes and goes by the minute and in many cases, by the second.   Once Gen Z kids move past their preschool years, they have a very low tolerance for reruns.  Gen Z is also very aware of current trends and know when content is outdated.  Which can happen rapidly.

Children’s ministries must stay up-to-date with what is happening in the culture and provide relevant and fresh content.  Up to this point, we have made references that something is outdated in the church world if it is from a decade ago.  It’s time to rethink that and realize something from a month ago may be outdated.  

This doesn’t mean we change our message.  We are anchored to the truth of God’s Word.  But we must also be geared for the times.  The timeless message of God’s Word must be presented with timely methods.

Diversity. 
Gen Z is the most diverse generation ever.  They are diverse in ethnicity, family make-up and much more.  Content that captures their attention must reflect diversity.  It must be a mirror of how they look, act and feel in this area.

Children’s ministries that want to be effective must be diverse as well.  Places where all people are welcomed.  Places that mirror the group that will gather at the throne of God one day.  Kids from every tribe, nation and language.  

In many instances, television content is a reflection of the culture as a whole.  The 3 insights above give us a good picture of the changes Gen Z is bringing to not only television, but to the culture as a whole.  Ministries that will continue to be effective will be those who adapt as well.

Here are some questions to talk through with your team:

  • Are we giving kids the opportunity to participate and give feedback in our lessons?
  • Are our lessons interactive?
  • How can we give kids the opportunity to help create and plan their experience at church?
  • What are some ways we can keep our ministry fresh in kids’ eyes?
  • Does our ministry reflect the diversity of Gen Z?  How can we improve this?