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

06.19.17

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

growingleaders.com

I recently spoke to a university faculty member who told me a student just chewed her out because she “sucks” as a teacher. When the professor inquired as to why the student felt she was inadequate, the student was unprepared to answer. After stumbling over his words, the sophomore replied, “Because you gave me a bad grade after I tried really hard.”

Universities are now reaping the consequences of thirty years of misguided parenting styles.

At the risk of sounding as if I am stereotyping, let’s look at the meta-narrative. Too many parents delivered the following sentiments to their children growing up:

  • “You are special and deserve special treatment.”
  • “If you participate, that’s all that matters.”
  • “You don’t need to let others influence you.”
  • “You deserve the best because you are the best.”

As a parent and a teacher, I believe there is a kernel of truth in each of these statements. Every kid is, indeed, special. Participation is important. Kids need to embrace their own views and they can, indeed, be the best at what they do.

But these are partial truths that lead them to poor conclusions.

  • Kids should not expect special treatment
  • Employers will expect much more on the job than participation
  • Others do play a role in our viewpoints and have an opinion that matters
  • And most are not automatically the “best” on a project, compared to others

These incomplete perceptions have wreaked havoc on a generation of students and they are causing angst in the aftermath. When something goes wrong, some kids go ballistic. Students actually NEED the input of adults other than their parents.

I had a respected educator email me recently with a request. He said:

“One area I would like you to address more specifically is student discontent and the behavior that is sparked when things ‘go wrong’ for them. When they are mistreated (bullied by professors or coaches), I can understand they need to respond. But, when they ‘perceive’ they are mistreated, they will lash out to ‘hurt’ the people or parties they feel are responsible. I have come to interpret that ‘lashing out’ as a way to get revenge, in order to ‘feel better’ about themselves.”

He then offered two examples of this scenario: 

  1. Two students compare grades on a paper in English. One gets a B and one gets a D. Explanatory notes are written on each paper explaining the points taken off (but also points of merit) that explained the grade. The student with the D goes into a rage of sorts and starts trashing the professor through Social Media. This includes making remarks that are irrelevant to the paper and corresponding grade.”
  1. A basketball player gets upset over playing time. When the coaches explain why AND what that player can do in an effort to get more playing time; the player equates effort with promotion. So, after he/she works harder in an effort to get better, the player expects to play more whether he/she actually got better or not. Plus, he/she looks at the player ahead of him/her getting more playing time and comes up with a variety of criticisms against that player.”

“I have seen this happen multiple times over the last two years and have struggled with coming up with effective ways of dealing with it.”

Three Steps We Can Take to Help Students’ Perceptions

1. Explain the difference between reacting and responding.

Students who receive a poor grade or evaluation have a weapon they’re often unready to handle well: social media. They can “vent” at a teacher or coach who gives them a poor assessment and fail to see what’s happening. Emotion usually follows a negative evaluation immediately. Logic comes along later. As teachers and leaders, we must remember these truths when it comes to our students:

  • Sometimes people feel guilty—because they are guilty.
  • Sometimes coaches don’t give more playing time—because a player is untalented.
  • Sometimes students feel like their work is a failure—because they actually failed.

And usually they’ll vent at your feedback before they benefit from your feedback. The best leaders don’t try to remove their guilt if they’re guilty. Nor, tell an athlete they are awesome, if they are not. Or, inflate a failing grade a student earned.

When students want to react, expressing the negative emotions they feel, that is one thing. They’ll never improve, however, until they learn to respond to an evaluation. Reacting is about emotion. Responding is about logic. This means welcoming a third party to help them see an issue objectively. Once the student matures past venting, we can ask them for a logical reason why their paper deserved a better grade or their talent deserved more time on the field. Logic requires rationale, not emotion.

When students are guilty of something, don’t tell them they’re not. If students fail at a paper, don’t lie to them and tell them it was good. We can offer compassionate feedback that is logical in order to help them think logically. The best time to bring this up is at the beginning of a year, before anyone can take it as a personal vendetta.

2. Help them separate performance from performer.

We must enable students to separate who they are (as the performer) and what they did in their recent performance. A failed assignment does not mean the student is a failure. Failure is not a person. It’s an experience that can change. Martin Luther King, Jr. received a C- in public speaking while in college. His skill simply needed to improve. Thomas Edison was asked by his teacher to not return to school as a student. He had to learn on his own. And he did. Too many American kids have grown up ill-equipped to handle negative feedback. This is criminal on the part of the adults who raised them. We must teach them to seek growth, not affirmation. Affirmation usually follows growth quite naturally.

This is a vital step our young must learn to take to help them grow. We must relay to them that we believe in them and their ability, but that their recent work did not reflect their potential. It’s actually a compliment. We are saying to them:

  • “You are better than this.”
  • “I have high expectations of you.”
  • “These critical comments are because I believe you’re capable of more.”
  • “And because I believe in you, I refuse to dilute the standard due to a bad performance.”

Once again, the answer is not to dilute the truth. A truthful response, communicated with empathy and concern is what enables them to mature.

Far too many young adults are unable to separate “performance” from “performer” and hence, they take every comment personally—as if it is a personal attack on them. We must enable them to get past this or they’ll never be able to keep a job or keep a relationship in tact.

3. Play a game with them called: What’s it like to be on the other side of me?

Too many students (and adults for that matter) struggle with self-awareness. I believe becoming self-aware is step one on the leadership journey. So why not sit down with your upset student and play this little game where both of you relay to the other what it feels like to be on the receiving end of their communication and style? My friend Jeff Henderson calls this game: “What’s it like to be—on the other side of me?” It’s a brilliant set up for honest conversations where I can both listen to my students assess my style, but also share with them how they’re being received by others. Once I have conveyed my evaluation, I will often say: “I’m pretty sure you don’t mean to come across this way.”

I received a phone call from a former intern, who I let go before her internship was over. It was hard for both of us. The phone call, however, was a positive reflection of her time with us. She left angry but was now grateful. We had both shared “what’s it like to be on the other side of me.” To put it simply, it was eye-opening for her. This young woman called to thank me for being honest, and for turning her “misperceptions into meaningful perspective.”

I believe that’s one of the leader’s primary jobs.

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 Undo Our Biggest Mistake in Leading Students by Tim Elmore

growingleaders.com

Today, we hear from Andrew McPeak. Andrew is a next gen researcher, speaker, and author for Growing Leaders. 

I’ve been reading a lot about brains lately.

Did you know that our brains rewire themselves based on activity or inactivity? This can happen in a relatively short amount of time—just a few weeks, typically.

Did you know that “we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986?”

Did you know that, due to digital immersion, most of our brains don’t allow us to read from left to right? We skip around the page, looking for pertinent information.

Daniel J. Levitin of McGill University has been studying the traits of today’s typical brain and has found something pretty interesting. There are two “dominant modes of attention” according to Levitin. These modes are called the “task-positive network” and the “task-negative network.” The task-positive network is used “when you’re actively engaged in a task, focused on it, and undistracted.” It is something like what we would call “executive function.” The task-negative network is used “when your mind is wandering; this is the daydreaming mode.” These two networks act independently of one another and, in fact, cannot be active at the same time. They are “like a seesaw in the brain.”

Upon first glance, it would seem like our task-positive network would be the more helpful of the two, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While our task-positive network allows us to both stay on task and accomplish projects, it is our task-negative network that allows for creative thinking and problem-solving. In other words, when our minds are wandering we also find that our creative juices are flowing. Do all of your best ideas come to you in the bathroom? You now know why.

So what does this have to do with our students?

Stressed Out

Just the other week I sat down with a group of 9th grade students at a fairly large-sized school in the Midwest. During the focus group, I spoke with the students about the realities they are facing, the questions they are asking, and the problems they are seeing. When we got to the subject of stress level, I asked everyone to rate the level of stress they feel they are under by picking a number between 1 and 10. As I went around the room, only a couple were below a 6. Most were between 7 and 9, and in fact, one girl boldly diagnosed herself, “11!” Remember, these are 9th graders.

When I spoke with the students about the sources of their stress, the conversation always came back around to one problem: “I have a lot going on.” Many of these students skip school, to practice, to a social event only to get home at 9 or 10, without having even touched their homework.

To put this in Dr. Levitin’s terms: the requirements on a typical student’s time mean that they are often using task-positive brain function, but rarely, if ever, getting sustained periods of task-negative space for their minds to unwind. Instead, they get their task-negative time in short five-minute bursts as they check social media throughout the day.

Correcting Our Mistake

So, what is our biggest mistake? We’ve over-planned our student’s schedules. Our kids are doing too much.

Levitin’s research showed that the more often a person switches between these two modes in the brain, the more energy is being drained. “Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend, is competing for resources in your brain with important things.” Because we haven’t planned time for task-negative activity, our kids are stretched too thin. Should we be surprised to see that both stress and anxiety are on the rise?

Now before I go on, I understand that there is a problem with what I am saying. If you are a teacher and are held to standards beyond your control, then you may not have the luxury of deciding how much your students are doing. Maybe you can’t plan task-negative activities because you have too much to get done. If this is you, I encourage you to leverage whatever you have (even if it’s five minutes) to help with this problem. Don’t feel bad if you have to start small.

So, what can we do to right the ship? Levitin’s research suggests a few ideas:

  1. Schedule time for task-negative thinking. This is why having sustained periods of quiet throughout the day can be so helpful—especially for a student’s developing brain. Consider having intentional quiet time in your house for 30 minutes after your kids get home from school. Or set aside a period of time during the school day for quiet reflection.
  2. Organize their day into projects. The research shows that focusing on a single task for a sustained period of time, rather than jumping back and forth between tasks, can be very helpful. Maybe teachers can introduce a problem in the classroom on Monday and inform students that they will be working on this project all week during class. Perhaps parents could make sure their kids only have one primary focus each evening during the week. Parents might also plan a half-day on Saturday to focus on task-negative activity like hiking, swimming, or a going on a picnic.
  3. Let them listen to music. Many of our partners at schools across the nation say that students are constantly walking around with headphones. My guess is this is because their day is so stressful, they need an escape—something they can control. Music “turns out to be an effective method for improving attention, building up self-confidence, social skills and a sense of engagement.” Let them have a little time to unwind with their favorite song.
  4. Encourage them to take naps. While sleeping is frowned upon during the school day, the science behind naps is solid. Studies show that a “nap of even 10 minutes improved cognitive function and vigor, and decreased sleepiness and fatigue.” Parents, a nap right after school could be the difference between stress and peace for your kids. I met a teacher years ago who lets her students with difficult home lives take short naps in the morning, often because they didn’t sleep at all the night before. This might be a part of the wave of the future.

Tony Robbins once said, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”

Let’s raise students who know how to direct their focus. We’ll need them to be focused adults in the future.

06.05.17

Hi! Happy June!! I am praying for you right now! 

Daily Prayer Email: Please send any prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
Preaching is not only explaining the text but also using it to engage the heart. #keller
 
God put you here to glorify Him. That is why you’re here. And there will come a point in your life when you will realize that life is more about significance than it is about success. #laurie
 
Someone will always have better coffee, music, facilities, and speaking. Showcase Christ and his gospel. No one can improve on that. #wilson
 
FYI:

1. Connecting with college students over break: they’re bringing home more than their laundry…. https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/connecting-with-college-students?utm_source=E-Journal+%2F+Parent+Update&utm_campaign=19db082c32-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e88a54a953-19db082c32-312895925

2. Your kids actually want you to talk to them about sex… http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/24/health/sex-parents-talking-to-kids/index.html

3. What Screen Time and Screen Media Do To Your Child’s Brain and Sensory Processing Ability… https://handsonotrehab.com/screen-time-brain-sensory-processing/

4. 45 AWESOME DROP OF THE HAT ACTIVITIES (Below)
 
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
How to Teach Junior Highers Without Losing Your Mind by Kurt Johnston
Social Media Making Millennials Less Social by Uptin Saiidi
How We Got Here: Spiritual and Political Profiles of America by David Kinnaman
7 Deadly Sins of Student Ministry Volunteers by Chase Snyder
 

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

http://www.videosforyouth.com/mini-movies/65332/searching-for-truth
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
Courage by Chuck Swindoll
 
Someone once wrote, “Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap your character. Sow your character, reap your destiny.”

Standing tall when tested takes courage—constant, relentless, never-give-up courage! You can be sure that the old flesh will fight for its arousal and satisfaction. All it takes is a little rationalization—just a little. Just look the other way. Just shrug it off. Don’t sweat it. And before long you have a rattlesnake in your sleeping bag. 

First: Standing tall starts with the way we think. It has to do with the mind. As I’ve said so often, being a person of inner strength is really a mental factor. It has to do with the way we think about God, ourselves, and others. Then it grows into the way we think about business, the way we think about dating, the way we think about marriage and the family, the way we think about the system that is designed to destroy faith and bring us down to a lower standard. 

Second: Standing tall calls for strong discipline. This has to do with the will. Disciplining the eyes, the ears, the hands, the feet. Keeping moral tabs on ourselves, refusing to let down the standards. People of strength know how to turn right thinking into action—even when insistent feelings don’t agree. 

Third: Standing tall limits your choice of personal friends. This has to do with relationships. What appears harmless can prove to be dangerous. Perhaps this is as important as the other two factors combined. Cultivate wrong friendships and you’re a goner. This is why we are warned not to be deceived regarding the danger of wrong associations. Without realizing it, we could be playing with fire. 

Sow the wind and, for sure, you’ll reap the whirlwind. Eagles may be strong birds, but when the wind velocity gets fierce enough, it takes an enormous amount of strength to survive. Only the ultrapowerful can make it through the whirlwind.

 

The Five RE’s to Remembering names:

1. Repeat Names

Repetition builds memory. This is why your math teacher assigned you 50 of the same math problems for homework every night. The more you repeat a person’s name, the better chance you will have of remembering it later.

When you meet a person for the first time, say their name as much as possible. “Cool, Austin. Glad you are here, Austin. It was nice meeting you, Austin. Hope to see you next week, Austin.” The more you say it, the more it will stick.

2. Read Names

Read a person’s name in your mind. Visualize it. Spell it in your head. If you meet someone with an interesting name or a name that could be spelled multiple ways, ask them how they spell it. Then spell it in your head along with them. This may seem weird, but it works.

I can remember the names of hundreds of NFL athletes even though I have never met them or seen most of their faces without a helmet on. Why? Because I read their names every day on my favorite NFL news site.

3. Record Names

Keep a church database, or an app with people’s names on it. After the service, write new names down as soon as possible. Add little notes like “Natalie – married, two kids, husband Jeff, works at…”

Quickly review your notes once a week and picture the people in your mind. If you have a church database with people’s pictures, that is even better!

4. Relate Names

This is the most powerful memory tip on the list. When you hear a person’s name, find an image to relate it to.

In the fascinating book, Moonwalking With Einstein, Joshua Foer writes about his experience transforming in one year from an average guy who was bad at remembering names to winning the US Memory Championship. This is a competition where you have to do things like look at a list of hundreds of names and faces, then remember all the names of each face.

“The secret to success in the names-and-faces event—and to remembering people’s names in the real world—is simply to turn Bakers into bakers—or Foers into fours. Or Reagans into ray guns. It’s a simple trick, but highly effective.” ~Joshua Foer, Moonwalking With Einstein

Our brains remember images, not words. So turning a person’s name into an image is the best way to instantly recall it. The more vivid and bizarre the image, the better.

5. Remember to Remember Names

I know, “Thank you captain obvious!” Just hear me out.

Most often, the reason that we don’t remember names is simply because we do not consciously make an effort. We hear the name, but we are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next. Maybe we are preoccupied with the stress of the service or what we have to do later. Whatever the reason, we don’t intentionally listen to the name and make a conscious effort to store it away.

If you are intentional about remembering people’s names, you will remember them.

Hope these tips are helpful for you.

 

HERE ARE 45 AWESOME DROP OF THE HAT ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN EASILY ADD TO YOUR YOUTH WORKER TOOL-BELT.

RANDOM FUN

  • Beanboozled. Russian Roulette with candy. Maybe you will enjoy a peach-flavored jelly bean or maybe it will taste like barf. Yum.
  • KAP IT. Water bottle flipping game, but with objectives and boundaries!
  • HEADS OR TAILS. A coin flipping game where kids guess by putting their hands on the head or tail. Guess right and stay in, guess wrong and you’re out!
  • HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, CUP! Follow the instructions and be the first person to grab the cup.
  • Minute to win it! Sixty seconds to complete takes using random items from around the house. HERE ARE 30 EXAMPLES.
  • Giant cup stack. Play the cup stack game but consider giant cups or buckets. Fastest stacker wins.
  • Mannequin challenge. Have the children freeze in place while you play a worship song and capture the video.

TEACHING OR REVIEW

  • TRUE/FALSE CHAIR. Think musical chairs but with true and false questions!
  • Books of the Bible team challenge. Books are listed on craft sticks in baggies. one for OT one for NT. Challenge each team to put one set in order the fastest.
  • Globe beach balls. Pass the ball around and wherever your thumb lands, pray for them.
  • Tic tac toe review. Divide the class into 2 teams. Ask questions, team 1 tries to answer. If they are correct, they get the x, if wrong, the question goes to team 2. The first team to get 3 in a row wins.
  • Family feud. Play with whatever you were talking about in large group.
  • Review game or Bible trivia. Get bean bags that you toss and the kids race to pick up the bag and bring it back to you in order to answer the question.
  • Share missionary stories. Update the kids on what the church is doing overseas.
  • Bible drill.

GET THEM MOVING

  • Freeze dance. Play music while the kids dance and when the music pauses all the kids must freeze in place. If they take too long then they have to do 10 jumping jacks.
  • CHICKEN IN THE HEN HOUSE. Partners will make shapes using their body. Last to complete are out!
  • Impossible shot. Create a very challenging challenge for students to take turns trying.
  • SHIP SHORE. Very similar to Simon says but directionally focused.
  • Musical chairs.
  • Four corners. Use a mega dice or colors to switch things up!
  • Simon says / Jesus says. Follow the directions and the more the leader laughs the more fun this game will be for the kids.
  • Red light/green light or wax museum. Don’t let the game leader see you moving! 
  • Crows & cranes. The leader calls out either “Crows” or “Cranes.” This lets you know if you are the tagger or the person being tagged.
  • Indoor snowball fight. Either buy fake snowballs or wrinkle up paper and throw them at each other. Consider adding a twist like capture the flag or protect the president.
  • Hip hop to it! Have all the kids hop on one leg while playing Christian hip-hop. If they stop they are out, if they switch feet they are out. The winner is the last one hopping.

GET THEM QUIET

  • SILENT BALL. Leader counts down, “3, 2, 1, silent” and passes the ball to another person in the play area. Drop the ball, make a bad pass or make a sound and you’re out.
  • Guess the time. Choose a time like 60 seconds and everyone tries to guess how long that is. Start the timer and kids hop up when they think 60 seconds is over. Time doesn’t stop till last kid stands. Note time when first kid stands just to get reactions.
  • SLEEPING LIONS. The room of kids go to sleep and the lions try to get them to wake up by telling jokes or being silly. Anyone who wakes up becomes the lion.
  • DOGGIE, DOGGIE, WHO STOLE YOUR BONE. Similar to heads up seven up but with an object that the kids go get.
  • The Quiet Game. Teams have to sit absolutely still and quiet for a timed period. Anywhere from a minute to five minutes.

COMMUNITY BUILDING

EASY CLASSROOM GAMES

  • Pictionary.
  • Hangman.
  • Parachute games.
  • I spy.
  • Rock, paper, scissors and creative variations. Egg, chicken, eagle.
  • Relay Games.
  • Feather blowing competition. Kids try to blow one another’s feathers off a table using a straw.
  • Juggling contest.
  • Keep the balloon up.

Consider using lesson review words or phrases in these games.

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

05.22.17

‘Adult’ is Not a Verb by John Stonestreet

breakpoint.org

There’s a new word touted by Webster that exposes a crisis in our culture of generational proportions.

It’s been called a lot of things: “Peter Pan Syndrome” or my favorite, “failure to launch,” but whatever the term, the phenomenon is undeniable. A record number of young people today are getting stuck in the transition between childhood and adulthood.

Despite attending college in record numbers, millennials seem to struggle to move on to the next phase of life. Just a decade ago, a healthy majority of young adults were able to successfully fledge. Now, those who’ve managed to leave the nest are a minority.

Of course, the recession and a sluggish job market are factors. Millennials do have tougher career prospects than their parents did. But the economy isn’t the only explanation, and the language young people use to talk about adulthood makes that obvious.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse announced that Twitter had turned the noun “adult” into a verb. “#Adulting” is what kids post on social media to congratulate themselves for the rather ordinary feats of paying the bills, finishing the laundry, or just getting to work on time.

“I adulted!” goes the saying, as if fulfilling daily responsibilities is somehow above and beyond the call of duty. “Adulting” has become so universally recognized that the American Dialect Society nominated it for the most creative word of 2015.

“To a growing number of Americans,” writes Sasse, “acting like a grown-up seems like a kind of role-playing, a mode of behavior requiring humorous detachment.”

This isn’t just the complaint of a crotchety old man about young whipper-snappers. What we’re witnessing today, insists the senator, is a trend toward “perpetual adolescence,”—a “coming-of-age crisis,” that shows up as a real and measurable reduction in the difference between 10-year-olds and 30-year-olds.

But if our kids don’t know what it means to be adults, parents, we should be asking ourselves, are we teaching them? Isolation in peer groups of the same age, widespread complacency toward history and ethics, unbridled consumerism, and even those infamous participation trophies have all contributed to this crisis.

We’ d do well to remember what C. S. Lewis wrote in “The Abolition of Man” of those who “remove the organ and demand the function,” who “make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise,” who “castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Senator Sasse offers steps to reverse the trend of perpetual adolescence and to help kids from an early age understand the meaning of adulthood. Teach them the difference, he says, between a “need” and a “want,” embrace hard work together, travel meaningfully, and read widely. These are all important steps to forming mature citizens.

Older generations must start investing in the lives of young adults. Summarizing relevant research in 2013, The Boston Globe reported a staggering statistic: Only a quarter of Americans 60 and older had discussed anything important with anyone under 36 in the previous six months! Exclude relatives and that figure dropped to a mortifying 6 percent. How alien this would have sounded to the Apostle Paul, who in Titus 2 urges older men and older women to teach the younger.

Only by connecting and investing in their lives can we reasonably expect our kids, our grandkids, and their peers to understand that “adult” is not something you do. It’s someone you are.

05.22.17

Teenagers Seeking Purpose by Mark Gregston

heartlighministries.org

You want your kids to fulfill every bit of their unique purpose in life. When you first hold your newborn, the future and its possibilities flash through your mind. Will she be a doctor? Will he be a lawyer? I want her to do well. I hope he is like his dad.

As your children grow, you are able to direct their dreams for a while. Life is good. Then something happens. All of a sudden, seemingly overnight, everything changes. The once amiable child is now a teenager and is no longer following your road map! He seems to have developed his own direction, forsaking what you had imagined for him. How did this happen?

As kids mature in the teen years, they begin searching on their own for meaning in life, a purpose for living, something that makes their life worth living. And that may not at all match what Mommy and Daddy thought it should be.

Why Am I Here?

One of the most important life questions your teen will begin asking and wrestling with is, “Why am I here?” or “What’s my purpose on this Earth?”  Without a purpose, life becomes motion without meaning; trivial, petty, pointless, and founded upon whatever the culture offers up as the latest “must have” material thing or “must do” activity.

“The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder—a waif, a nothing, a no man.” –Thomas Carlyle

Pastor Rick Warren calls this pursuit for meaning the drive for purpose. In his blockbuster book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” Warren offers the answer; “You were made for a mission. You aren’t here just to wander around lost. And you aren’t here simply to live for yourself.”

I grew up in a time and home where people believed that God had a plan for each of our lives. I was taught that each person is as unique as the fingerprints stamped on their digits, and that God wanted a personal relationship with me.  I learned that I was uniquely created, fearfully and wonderfully made, and that Christ died for “me.” I was told that I was precious in God’s sight.

So, why are kids so lost today? Are parents no longer passing on these same values to their children? I am convinced that if more kids knew their purpose, they’d have fewer struggles in the teen years. They’d feel a sense of meaning; they’d know where they are headed and concentrate on getting there.

When I look back at my own life, my work, and my happiness about fulfilling God’s purpose for my life, I get excited all over again. It all started from a point in my life when I felt hopeless, lost, and not knowing where to turn. At that point I started asking questions about my own purpose in life, and I started listening to the answers God was giving me.

Showing Your Teen How to Find Their Life Purpose

A good place to begin the search for purpose is to understand that purpose is woven into every strand of the fabric of our lives. It has to do with God-given talents, the experiences in our life, and those things which give a person “goose bumps” or a tear to their eye when they think about them. Moreover, purpose has to do with using those talents to serve God and others, not one’s self.

“Between this day and the next you will give your life to something. The decision on what that will be will shape your destiny.” –Rick Warren

So, has your teen ever taken stock of their talents and gifts? Are they a great talker, or a great listener? Are they skilled at building things, or are they good with people? Is their talent more cerebral or more physical? I suggest they make a list of the things and activities that interest them and those in which they excel. There are a number of places on the Web that they can take online Spiritual Gifts Tests. They can also ask themselves, “What’s the one thing that I do better than others?” This can clue them in to their God-given purpose.

The gifts God gives us need to be tested in fertile soil, so it’s important for a teen to get a wide variety of experiences.  As they do so, certain talents will sprout and blossom, others will wilt and die. Through these new experiences, God will reveal more about who they are and how God has called them to serve Him and others. One experience can literally change their life.

Unlike the Field of Dreams premise “If you build it they will come,” teenagers shouldn’t get stuck on developing just one purpose, even if for the moment they are convinced it is their true purpose in life.  It is far better that they continue to experience new things. So, a better plan for finding life purpose is, “As they experience it, it will come to them.”  And keep in mind that they may have difficulty finding their purpose in the classroom or from books. So a parent should provide plenty of “field experiences” for their teenager.

Take a Simple Life Purpose Exercise

For teens (or parents) who have already had many experiences in life, and are still confused about their purpose, here’s a good exercise. Take out a blank sheet of paper and write at the top, “What is My Life Purpose?” Then, have them begin writing answers. They should write any answer that pops into their head. It could be a word or two, or a sentence. Repeat until they write the answer that makes them cry – obviously not a sad cry, but a joyful one. Yup, if it makes a tear come to their eye, then it’s a sure bet that this is their purpose, or at least associated with their purpose. They should do it in private and without any accompanying music or other distractions. It may take 100 or even 200 lines of potential “purposes” to hit the one that makes a tear come to their eye, but encourage them to keep at it until they do.

Helen Keller said it best, “Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

When God begins revealing their purpose, remind your teen that it may not be reached tomorrow, next month or even in logical steps. Instead, they may need to take some initial steps to get there and there may be detours along the way. But knowing the destination will help them build strength and courage to get there – often much more than we might expect they’ll have.

It’s a Lifelong Journey

Finding purpose is a lifelong journey. God doesn’t give all the details at once, nor does He promise it will be a smooth ride. Instead, He often provides just enough information to help us move another mile down the road. It helps us to trust Him as our Navigator. As you progress along the road of your life’s purpose, pay attention to the road signs He provides along the way and listen to Him speak to you.

Nothing matters more than your teen knowing God’s purpose for their life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing it. Knowing their purpose gives meaning to their life and each step along the way. It motivates them to prepare for their purpose, to save themselves for that purpose, and to avoid anything that might get in the way. Knowing their purpose simplifies their life and removes confusion.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” –Robert Byrne

On the other hand, without a clear purpose, they have no foundation on which to base decisions, allocate their time, and use their resources. Without a clear purpose, they’ll keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches, or other externals—hoping each change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in their heart.

The Comfort of Knowing God’s Purpose

Isn’t it comforting to know that God has a bigger purpose for each of us? If you believe it, then step in front of a mirror and look for areas in your own life that need to grow. Perhaps you’re not following your own heart in finding God’s purpose in your life.  Aim this year to make some changes – with God’s help.

“A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.”–Proverbs 11:28 (The Message)

As for me, I stand on His promises, I’m assured of His presence, I love His involvement, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am living in the center of His purpose for my life.

“What’s my purpose?” is probably the most important and empowering question you or your teenager will ever ask in this lifetime. So help them uncover their talents, their strengths, their values, and their passion. Help them experience new things and develop a plan – any plan, even if it is just a first step. Find ways for them to live life with intent. This year is a great time to help your teen – and maybe even you – begin a quest for purpose.

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

05.15.17

Bullied in 5th Grade, Prone to Drug Abuse by High School by Valerie Earnshaw
consumer.healthday.com
Victims may develop depression, fueling risky behaviors, study suggests

A child bullied in fifth grade is more likely to show signs of depression in seventh grade, and abuse substances like alcohol, marijuana or tobacco in 10th grade, researchers say.

Their study of more than 4,000 kids in Los Angeles, Houston and Birmingham, Ala., suggests a dangerous trajectory between not-uncommon childhood abuse and worrisome behavior in high school.

“Our study suggests that it’s important to take peer victimization seriously,” said study co-author Valerie Earnshaw. She’s an assistant professor in human development and family studies at the University of Delaware.

“There’s still sometimes this idea that peer victimization and bullying are a normal part of adolescence and that lots of kids will experience it, so it’s fine. But, this study adds to a growing body of evidence that peer victimization and bullying are not fine,” Earnshaw said.

To explore the associations between bullying and its negative effects over time, the research team collected data between 2004 and 2011 from almost 4,300 children in the three cities. Participants were split evenly between boys and girls, and the results indicated that the effects of bullying were the same, regardless of gender.

Even though the researchers hypothesized that peer victimization would be associated with substance use over time, Earnshaw wasn’t prepared for the results. She said she was surprised to learn that the effects of peer victimization in fifth grade were so lasting that it was associated with substance use in 10th grade.

Other experts were less surprised, however.

“This victimization leads to youth feeling not as hopeful about their lives, youth feeling sadder, and youth feeling they are not as worthwhile,” said Andrea Romero, director of the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families in Tucson, Ariz.

The study doesn’t directly show cause and effect. Still, “those negative emotions may be associated with future risky behaviors like substance use,” Romero said.

Children who stand out because of obesity, sexual orientation or chronic health conditions are even more likely to be bullied, leading to depression and substance use, according to the study.

“For youth living with stigmatized characteristics, some of them recognize that if they are being bullied for their race or because they are living with a chronic illness, this isn’t something they’re going to grow out of,” Earnshaw said.

“Maybe they are seeing this as something they will continue to experience throughout their lives and that may be part of why it’s harmful. It’s cutting at an aspect of their identity in a way that more general peer victimization does not,” she added.

The researchers said pediatricians need to play an important role in identifying and supporting children who are bullied. They recommended that pediatricians screen “all youth” for peer victimization, depressive symptoms and substance use.

Schools are an obvious starting point, too. According to Romero, schools have received the bulk of information about preventing bullying and creating safe school climates. But, nationwide reductions in public school funding have caused a decrease in counselor and social worker positions.

“The caseloads of those staff end up being higher so it makes it harder to implement those anti-bullying programs and provide the kind of screening services that young people might need in relation to peer victimization or depressive symptoms or substance use,” said Romero.

Earnshaw added that it’s important for parents, teachers and pediatricians to remember that kids who appear “different” in some way are more likely targets.

Moreover, “it could have a more harmful effect on them,” Earnshaw said. “It’s even more important to take those experiences seriously and intervene.”

The study was published online May 8 in the journal Pediatrics.

More information

For more on bullying and how to prevent it, head to stop bullying.gov.