Helping Leaders in Student Ministry

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The end of the tape

So apparently cassette adapters have an end. Who knew?

Made me think about the brevity of life this morning.

Lord, teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

Didn’t expect it. Didn’t know it was possible. This time I had a fix. Maybe not next time.

Make the most of the time that you have!

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Mini Blog Vacation

So I haven’t blogged in a long while, but I’m writing more than ever. I’ve been away on a mission trip in Peru and have had a great time of reflection. 

Couple things I’ll mention as a challenge to you before sharing some new plans with you.

1. Disconnect

I turned off my phone for 6 straight days while I was gone. It was the most reflection I’ve done on my own life for a long time and it increased the amount that I missed my family. 

Couldn’t check out what they were doing or hear from them everyday.

We actually had to share what we did during the week rather than just check the news feed and it was awesome!

2. Write

I miss writing for myself. Not that I don’t love writing this blog, but my love for writing started with journaling my life for my consumption. 

I miss that. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have the time for both. But it increased my desire to journal and not share it with the world. 

So I really challenge you, disconnect. If that doesn’t make sense for your regular lifestyle, then schedule an international trip or vacation and force it to happen.

Write, write and write some more. It’s the best therapy that I’ve ever had and nothing makes me feel more comfortable with myself.

Looking forward to sharing more about what’s ahead!! 

Move Series

This week we started a new series in Crave. It’s entitled MOVE from XP3. It’s a series about serving others. 

We had a great start to the series last night.

Really cool story. A student came up to me last night that will be going on a misison trip in a couple of weeks. She was so pumped. She shared with me that she had been waiting on this particular trip since she was in 5th grade… Why?

Because her dad leads this trip. She sees pictures, hears stories, and sees her dad serving others every year.

This stuck out to me because I think parents need to remember that children are watching you. If you want your students to develop into people that put others before themselves, then you must model it for them.

This daughter has been waiting to take a step with her dad for more than 5 years! Imagine the amount of anticipation and the things that God has been planning for her for that amount of time.

Parents, this week take some time to model service to others. Mow someone’s grass. Buy dinner for someone. Allow your student to see and participate as you show them what it means to serve others.

Investing in the parents of high school students

father and son

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

One of the cool things about this past week was connecting with families. I’ve only been doing the high school gig for a short time and connecting with parents is so much more difficult than when I was with 5th and 6th graders.

Parents seem to be set in their ways and don’t want to hear or experience help. Some also seem like their relationship with their children is beyond repair. But the community of parents is something that can’t be replicated.

So we have a few things we are gonna try this next year.

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Photo Credit: LeonArts.at via Compfight cc

This past Sunday Night, we honored the graduating seniors. It’s incredible that every year I’ve been a part of ministry their have been some incredible students and families that I’ve been able to watch grow and develop into what I believe will be the leaders of the next generation.

One of the things that I talked to them about was the value of relationships.

I was able to show a video of Jared Patrick, the former high school pastor, and was able to share in some celebration with him as he congratulated the seniors on what they have accomplished.

It was great for me to be able to share that you’ve been impacted by someone because God desires for relationships to be meaningful in your life.

So I just want to encourage you as a leader in student ministry. Make those relationships count. Make them stand out.

Invest fully and pour out your life for others.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25


Most people in America, when they are exposed to the Christian faith, are not being transformed. They take one step into the door, and the journey ends. They are not being allowed, encouraged, or equipped to love or to think like Christ. Yet in many ways a focus on spiritual formation fits what a new generation is really seeking. Transformation is a process, a journey, not a one-time decision.

-David Kinnaman, unChristian

Insights from our Parent Panel

We had a parent panel last night as we honored the graduating class of 2014. I thought I would share some of the great insights and encouragement that they gave to our high school parents.

Don’t grow old, stay young

Their world gets bigger, get bigger with it.

Stay involved with their life even when they fight you.

Be the home where your kids invite friends.

Treasure the conversations and moments with your children.

One time my son made a mistake and he deserved punishment, but I felt God say take him out for ice cream. I shared that he deserved punishment but just like Jesus I was giving him a present instead.

Adam and Eve had a perfect parent, they still made mistakes.

Your child’s mistakes don’t define them and they don’t define you as a parent either.

Take care of yourself so that you can help your children face tough issues.

Show up

There are few things that gain you more momentum with families than showing up outside of your normal “job responsibilities”.

I got the opportunity to take a graduation tour over the last few days and it was a blast. I didn’t get to make all of them, but every time I showed up there was visible appreciation from families and students.

Make sure you are showing families you care more than you are telling them you care. 

I hope that families see me caring for their student more than they hear me trying to convince them that I care for their children.

So go show up for some students this wekk.

Thank You Note

Got a thank you note from a 6th grader today. Isn’t it amazing how these always make you feel good.

Reinforcing what my parents taught me a long time ago about thanking people. Note form is always nice too!

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Parent investment

Yesterday I was having a conversation with high school students and we were discussing the importance of parents discipling their children. 

I asked how they thought their parents were doing (very bold but I was mining for gold). 

One student said this, “If I ever have a question, my dad is there for me. He used to be closer and would tell me stuff. I just wish that I didn’t have to ask him all the time. I wish he would just mentor me.”


It wasn’t that his dad was doing a bad job or that he didn’t believe that his dad could do a great job. He wanted more. 

We don’t often believe our high school students want this, but they crave it.

I hope if you are a parent that you are challenged by the above conversation. Don’t just wait for the golden goose opportunity. Invest in your kids even if it seems small and insignificant to you. It matters to them.

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