Here is a short video telling the Christmas story through the eyes of Palestinians –some Christians, some not.
Here is a look at our most viewed blog posts from 2012.
1. 1982 to 2012 Teen Comparison – March 2012
2. 10 Questions to ask Seniors – March 2012
3. A Disciplemaking Dream for 2012
4. 8 steps to creating a great senior transition plan
5. Lost in Translation: Why students need an “Alongsider”
One of the harder choices a youth pastor makes is picking a curriculum for the student body. Finding a well written, theologically solid, and exceptionally practical curriculum can be a struggle. In my experience, a lot of the curricula I have purchased required some level of theological filtering. Without intending to, they seemed to be heavy on “HOW to act Christian” and weak on “WHY we act Christian.” Put into theological terms, they were heavy on imperatives and weak on indicatives. Put yet another way, we got all the “what to do” without the “what is true.” But throughout Paul’s letters we see that he puts an equal emphasis on the indicatives and the imperatives. Often the first half of the letter is the indicative (this is WHO you are in Christ) and the second half of the letter is the imperative (this is HOW you are to behave as a Christian). I was searching for a curriculum that would follow that biblical model. I found it in The Gospel Project.
We have been using The Gospel Project this year with our students and I have become a big fan of it. The Gospel Project represents itself this way, “The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story, the story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. And it’s our story, too.” This is the practical message that I want my students to ingest and be able to take back out into their world.
One of the benefits of this curriculum is that I’m not having to consider on a weekly basis what the overall scope and sequence for our next teaching series should be. Instead, I get the benefit of using material created by people who are much smarter than me. These authors understand that I (like other youth pastors) am looking for a theologically driven, gospel focused, and mission directed curriculum. By utilizing the one story concept, the grand narrative of Scripture is clearly identified throughout the series, allowing teenagers to see Christ’s death for sins and his resurrection as the focal point of Scripture.
It is my desire that the gospel would go deep in and be spread wide by our students. If you share this desire and are looking for a great tool to help make it happen, check out The Gospel Project at www.gospelproject.com. You can download a sample lesson, read the blog, find out how other youth leaders are using the curriculum, and view a video endorsement by Matt Chandler. Next month I will write more on how to use The Gospel Project with your students.
Jeremy Krause is the Pastor of Student Ministries at First Evangelical Free Church in Wichita, Kansas.
One of the best decisions I made in 2012 to help my walk with God was saying “yes” to a friend who invited me to read through the Bible chronologically with him and a few others.
Reading through the Bible was great. Reading through the Bible with friends was rich on so many levels. My wife and I enjoyed it so much that we want to do it again this year.
I want to invite you to join us in creating your own study group (face-to-face and/or online) to read through the Bible chronologically this year.
If you’re like me, you’ve tried to read through the Bible in the past but fallen off the reading wagon some where in the midst of Leviticus (It’s probably the same reason why we never saw a sequel to Princess of Egypt –just saying.) Or, getting behind in a reading plan is a HUGE de-motivator. In the end, you just feel guilty or like a lousy Christian. Am I right?
There’s got to be a better way. Good news — there is! Let me introduce you to the “GUILT-FREE read through the Bible Chronologically in a year” adventure.
Here is a short video telling the Christmas story through the eyes of Palestinians –some Christians, some not.
Hello from Minneapolis! I am honored to serve as Administrative Assistant to the ministries of ReachStudents. I am the face behind your phone calls & emails. Let me know how I can be helpful – I’m here for you!
Here is a little bit about me…
Name: Kelly Zuehlke (think Zul-key)
Home church: Hope Community Church, Minneapolis. We have been there since July, 2010.
Spouse: Drew – some of you may know this red-bearded man I have the privilege of calling my hubby. I am blessed. He works at Hope CC as the youth guy & media specialist.
Background: My BA is in education, but have spent time in camping ministry, youth ministry, substitute teaching, project managing, bank telling, painting, & sitting at the aqua massage booth at the mall. All of these seasons have amazing stories (just ask!) & some crazy experiences that have brought me to this place today, as ReachStudents Assistant. And I couldn’t be more excited.
Favorite past times: I am a sports girl at heart– I especially love convincing my husband to watch some football or college basketball with me. I also like books, trivia, movies, baking, and attempting to be crafty.
Quirks: I have a loud laugh, nod a lot when I’m listening, talk with my hands, like to have my books & movies alphabetized, and can be quite competitive when playing games.
I am thrilled to be part of the team here with ReachStudents. Let me know how I can be most helpful to you and your ministry! email@example.com
What made you into the leader you are today?
In session one at Rebound 2012, Larry Lindquist identified three key questions that leaders need to know an understand about themselves:
1. Boundary Events
What are the “boundary events” (i.e. significant events, scripture, employment, impact events, crisis of faith, milestone moments, relationships, etc.) throughout your life that have significantly shaped you?
Based on your family history and past experience, where are areas of weakness that Satan would most likely attack you?
Where are you refueled? Where do silence, solitude, simplicity and surrender come into play in your life as part of your replenishment cycle?
It is important to recognize the events that have shaped us to be who we are today, but we also need to be aware and mindful of taking time to refuel. Rebound is designed to allow you (and your spouse) to retreat together. Interested in Rebound 2013? Click here.
We are in the process of revamping the ReachStudents Blog. We don’t want to move forward without your input because want to put together a blog that serves you well.
Here are two ways you contribute to the shaping of this blog:
1. Top 5-7 Questions
Use the comment section below to answer this question: If you could sit down with some of the brightest youth pastors and leaders in our day, what are the top 5-7 questions you’d want to pick their brains on? (To say it another way, what are the 5-7 issues that you are interested in when it comes to ministering among young people?)
If you are already blogging in the realm of youth ministry or are an avid writer who would be interested in being considered to be a guest writer on the ReachStudents blog please send your contact information and current blog /sample of your writing to Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was intrigued over the Thanksgiving weekend as I saw that Hulu has posted a short film entitled Hurricane Sandy: Caught on Camera. The description stated that it was a documentary on the hurricane.
“It’s only been a month since the hurricane hit. How can they possibly have a documentary out already?”, I thought to myself. With curiosity now peaked, I clicked.
The content of the film was fascinating as it gives first hand experience of Hurricane Sandy through the lens of cell phones and the silent voices of Facebook and Twitter.
But the film has far more to teach us beyond the power of a hurricane. Here are a few things I’m mulling over after viewing the film:
People are not looking to institutions for their primary source of information. They are looking to their friends. In these days, we need to spend a major part of our ministry efforts equipping students to be able to articulate and apply the gospel in the context of conversations as they engage with their believing and unbelieving friends. More than ever, people are going to their friends for answers and help in the crises of their lives. Just as many didn’t flip on the weather station we’ll find that in this culture when people are in crisis they don’t turn to a church. They turn to their friends.
I was amazed to see that emergency services were tracking social media in order to identify needs and respond in real, tangible ways (i.e. sending a helicopter, rescue workers, etc.). As youth workers we need to do more than just be sure we utilize social media as a tool to promote and connect to our students. We need to equip students to live missionally within the field of social media. Many of us have probably trained students to use social media in appropriate ways but have we equipped students how to read posts and identify needs? How have we equipped them to respond to those needs? Have we encouraged them to share not only their lives, but the gospel as well (a little twist on 1 Thes. 2:8)? Could it be that disciplemaking students in the 21st century are ones who use social media as a tool to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in responding to the real needs expressed from their peers on social media in very practical, tangible, high touch ways?
Many of the faces in this film are young. Teens as well as adults were part of getting word out in the midst of the crisis. Some were seeking to be helpful. Others had no idea until after the fact how their contribution was helping. I love that the BBC tracked these teens down and wanted to hear the story through their point of view. They wanted their voice in the documentary. Would we be able to say the same of our churches? In the story of our churches, does the whole congregation hear the real time stories of the young and the old, celebrating and learning from both? How can we make this more a reality and priority?
Much of the film has a “home movie” feel to it as it utilizes the shaky, amateur cell phone clips from dozens of people. I totally overlooked this because of the power of what I was seeing. In fact, there was an unpolished authenticity to it all. Stories are powerful. A picture or a brief video can add a lot to the stories. We need to help students in our ministries share the stories. Think of students sharing a picture of them and a friend they’ve been praying for and talking to about Jesus, or a picture of a coffee shop, an image of a verse in their own bibles that stood out to them, or a place or conversation that stirred some doubts or questions in their minds. The possibilities are endless.
Watching the video also caused me to see the vastness of the devastation to a whole new level. You can partner with the EFCA TouchGlobal to help Sandy Victims. The EFCA’s crisis response ministry is on the ground working with our churches in the New York & New Jersey area. Stay up to date with fresh stories through the TouchGlobal Blog.
What do you see in this film? I’d love to glean from your insights.
I had the pleasure of preaching from Psalm 78 a few days ago. As I studied it, I was overwhelmed with how the Author arranged the Psalm. The first eight verses are an introduction that essentially hammers home the doctrine of Multiplication (or as we say, Being Disciples that Make Disciples). The Psalmist takes the first eight verses to clearly communicate this idea: Remember God’s story, share the story with your children and teach others to do the same.
Perhaps you’re reading this thinking “Wow Captain Obvious, that’s really incredible! Where did you ever discover this concept that we should share our faith with others?” Okay, jerk-face, give me a break. I haven’t gotten to the good part yet. Read the rest of this entry
There are lots of resources on prayer. Here are 10 I’ve personally found helpful both in my own prayer life as well as seeking to cultivate a prayerfulness among students.
What I appreciate about this book is how it helps take the over structure (i.e. ACTS acronym) out of prayer and keeps prayer in a very relational realm. As I read this book, I felt some of the guilt I often feel about my prayer life lift.
This book is a bit dated but it provides some great ideas in creating a prayer team as a ministry leader and specifically as a pastor. I’ve had a prayer team for over a decade.
This little book is one of the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality tools. It is a small, refreshing tool to invite God not merely into a morning “devotional” time but carving small moments through the day to interact with the Father. Read the rest of this entry