Heading To Kentucky For The Simply Youth Ministry Conference

the conference this weekend is one of the major highlights of my ministry year and i can’t wait to be reminded there yet again why ministry to students is worth it. what is so exciting this year is not only that a few of our adult leaders are able to come with me, but that shanna and adelina get to as well! we’ll be gone from 3/2 until 3/5.

if you’re unable to be there this year, what i love about them is that they stream a lot of the conference live for you.  just head over here to get the feed!

 

 

Know Your Meme & Story Time Jesus

we recently had a few guys from my 10th/11th grade small group over to hang out and they introduced me to know your meme. according to the site, they are “a website dedicated to documenting internet phenomena: viral videos, image macros, catchphrases, web celebs, and more.”  the guys in my small group say it’s a way for me to at least attempt to stay current and relevant in today’s culture that’s changing literally overnight.

one of these guys, who happens to be a great friend of mine, and starting a band called static speed, forwarded these images to me that he found on the site. i realize that not every church will find the humor in them, but if it can lighten the mood in the middle of your talk and help people connect (without getting you fired), use em!

Valentine’s Day: A Day To Celebrate Students Choosing God’s Way

it struck me today how many different emotions arise for different people on valentine’s day, depending on their situation and relational history. for many, today is a day to flaunt their “perfect” love relationship and happily ever after stories.  for other people, their facebook posts remind us it can be s.a.d. day (single awareness day).

today i wanted to celebrate our students who are striving to go God’s way in the area of love, sex, and relationships. i love that there are many students in our ministry right now who are not in a relationship because they’re intentionally waiting… or others who are but have put up strong standards for purity and have good accountability around them. we have others who have “taken a season off” to work on their own heart and relationship with Jesus – and i love it!

i just sent this txt to our students – feel free to send it to yours today to raise the value of true love and commitment.

Happy ❤ Day! @ ISM we r so proud of u who r making positive choices 2DAY that will affect ur future spouse & love life. It’s worth it!

I Drove To Church Mad At God Today

yup… it’s true. and don’t judge me – you get that way from time to time as well.

when i went to bed last night i was super excited about the service we had planned for our students this morning. there’s many weeks where i don’t feel like we did enough prep, or involved enough creative minds, or covered every detail adequately (that whole comparing thing).  but this was one of those rare sundays that i felt good about from the start.

and then i woke up and saw the snow.

personally, i don’t care about snow. i’ve grown up with it, it’s all i’ve known, and i regularly visit a chiropractor because of it. if a foot or two drops and i need to run out to the store, it doesn’t change anything for me.

but i know not everybody is like that. and certainly when it comes to church, many times people use whatever excuse they can to not leave home. when i was driving in this morning, to be very honest i was mad at God. i couldn’t come up with a single theological reason why today would be a good day for this much snow.

 

and then God whispered: “sometimes it’s not about the masses… but about the one.”

numbers were lower today. but there were still a few first-timers, one in particular that peaked my interest. i met him at the door; he seemed interested and receptive right out of the gate.  his friends that brought him told me some of his story. how he had it pretty rough lately, had made some pretty bad choices, and needed a strong challenge to go God’s way instead of the world’s. that in itself was interesting, because today’s topic was about exactly that. (we’re currently teaching through simply youth’s ‘happy’ series, and loving it, btw). we try to pursue happiness in so many different ways, but really we have a choice to follow the path that the world presents, or trust God and his promise of happiness when we go his way.

here’s where my theology got challenged. when i was talking with his friends, they were telling me that they were praying all week for some excuse to bring him to church with them today. because he’s from out of town, it’s not practical for him to come all the time, but they knew he needed it today. apparently, he happened to be staying over at their house friday night, and when the storm hit saturday night, his family asked if he could spend another night with them. well he did. and it was because of the storm that he entered our world this morning.

i’m so thankful for the snow, and for God’s reminder to me this morning that i don’t always need to know why He does what He does, but to just go with it.