Sex in a box.

sbThat’s the premise of a new reality TV show premiering on WE tv on Feb. 27.

These “troubled” couples of all orientations will spend time together in a soundproof shelter while a panel of experts talk about their relationship. Then as the couple emerges from the sex box, they share all about the experience and their relationship in front of a live studio audience.

MTV offered, “Gear up, guys: This may be the pinnacle of reality television.” summarized, “Is this America’s most risqué reality show yet?”

Time Magazine believes, “The real problem with Sex Box is that it’s boring.”

Before you add your two cents, consider the other side of sex box… the ancient Jewish version… sort of.

Consummating a marriage in the ancient era was believed by many to have been a part of a typical public wedding ceremony. After the events that took place under the Chuppah canopy, the bride and groom would be escorted to the Yichud Room. Here, they spend at least eight minutes alone, with the door locked from the inside. Sexual consummation could occur here, for the party waited until the couple emerged. What typically happened was the couple engaged in holy activities – from breaking their fast, to speaking a blessing.

There is obviously a huge difference between these two intimate shelters. The former seems to be more about the spectacle of reality television, while the latter may not even be a sex box at all… it could be, but what is clearer is that it’s meant to be a God-honoring moment of marriage.

What do you think about any of this?

The new reality TV show Sex Box has eyebrows raised. Does it bear any similarity to that ancient Jewish wedding custom, though?

P.S. If you’re looking for a great curriculum on this theme, I’d suggest the Pure Sex materials by Craig Gross and Cris Clapp Logan.


Hey #YMNation!!

In spirit of the week before the Super Bowl, wanted to let you know about an awesome video to show your students or just watch yourselves.

NFL athletes and coaches share about their faith and football!!

Watch it here:


While you’re at it, check out Super Bowl posts with tips, tricks, and challenges from our bloggers:

Shifting Our Mindset: From Obligation to Opportunity


2015 Super Bowl® Party – SUPER STREAM SUNDAY


Pros/Cons of a Small Church Superbowl Party


Are you having a Super Bowl party with your youth ministry?? Let us know!

– Amber and the SYM Team

A guest post by Aaron Kirkpatrick at offers this compelling thought against involving youth in “service projects”:

ssp_photoA project is a job.
A project is an assignment.
A project is something that must get done, regardless of whether you actually want to do it. Cleaning the bathroom is a project. That fifteen page paper your seniors have been putting off doing is a project. My honey-do list is full of projects.
But we’re calling our students to serve people, and people are not projects.
When we refer to these times of service as “service projects” we immediately cheapen what our teens are doing, we limit the ministry our teens will do, and we hinder our students’ ability to be transformed through the experience of serving. At best, our words frame their service in terms of what they do instead of who they touch, and at worst they cause our teens to view people in an impersonal way that removes the love and compassion that is at the heart of Christian ministry.

What do you think?

Is there a line we should be aware of in making sure students are more than task-focused in serving?

Or… does any good deed have value?


What Sin Are You Hiding?

 —  January 28, 2015 — 4 Comments

umbrella1I realize the title of this post is a bit invasive.

It assumes you’re hiding a particular sin. 

I once worked with someone who thought this way and spoke out often on the subject. He’d say to just about anyone, “I really have a hard time believing that you’re not hiding something sinful.”

Can you imagine what it was like for our leadership team to hear that all the time?

Then again, his candor rallied against the apathy most Christians seem to have toward one another’s secret sins. It almost seems like we have a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in church circles when it comes to the things we struggle with.

Maybe we fear if we hold someone accountable to their secret sins, they’ll hold us accountable to our own.

Again, assuming you have any secret sins.

John MacArthur said, “Those who sin secretly actually intensify their guilt, because they add the sin of hypocrisy to their offense.” Others have added that who you are when no one is looking is who you really are.

That may all be true, but all those statements seem to do is pile more guilt upon an area of your life that you may already feel guilty in.

Again, assuming you have any secret sins.

isawthatHere’s what I’ve observed:

  • It’s easier to live life compartmentalized versus integrated: One of our youth leaders mentioned how a particular carload of teens that came each week had two CDs in their car: one CD was labeled, “Wednesday night” and contained Christian music; the other CD had no label and contained songs riddled with with profanity, sex-talk and more. We could assume this is true of students, but the truth is most get their cues on a duplicitous life from us.
  • Intentional sin is more common than we care to admit: In every prayer circle, we hear people generally ask for support with their “struggles.” Seldom (if ever) do we hear someone say, “I plan on sinning this week, despite what God says about it. Here’s what I’ll be doing and when.” I wouldn’t assume (like my former co-worker did) that everyone is out to live like this, but wouldn’t you agree that it’s probably more the case than we assume it to be?
  • Nothing will collectively change unless someone individually models something more authentic: Present your own life on display as someone who is letting God work in areas that you’re likewise resisting Him. Talk about why between the two choices you’re still erring on the side of God’s best versus your mess. You may need to filter some of what you share to students, but make sure there are some peers who know the whole story so they can hold you accountable.

Again, assuming you have any secret sins.

What have you learned about this area of Christendom that we overlook – sometimes on purpose?

Any thoughts?

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 7.00.33 PMI am awful at remembering little things like tasks, appointments, and pants. Well, maybe I remember pants. But my life literally changed “in the year 2000” when I purchased a Visor PDA. It became my memory, reminding me to be places.

I like my reminders app built in to my iPhone and I use OmniFocus to GTD but I still need to enter those tasks in my app.

I recently saw the “Minutes App” drop to the price of FREE and grabbed it. I am willing to try just about any productivity app. Plus, free ain’t a bad price.

When you open the app it is easy to…
• Click the “+” to start new minutes.
• Title your meeting.
• Add attendees.
• Start taking note. And when you come to action items…
• Assign follow up actions to people in your meeting (using their email address).

When your meeting is over click “Send Minutes” and your minutes and actions will go out to your team. So simple!

I will be using the Minutes App at my next few youth staff meetings. Minutes App has calendar, contacts, and OmniFocus integration…wow! Check out their site for all the details and to download.

If you are not an iPhone user but would like to take digital minutes and send those minutes to your team, watch this video from and check out their free web service. It is a slimmed down version of Minutes App but gets the job done.


shoutI recently spent some time with the band Everyday Sunday after they led a worship concert at our weekend services. They had a few words of encouragement to share with you, so (if you’ll pardon the simple camera phone capture of their words) here’s a shout-out for you from the guys in the band:

Thanks for serving!

Remember, it’s all about relationships.

– Tony / @tonymyles


You can talk about this until you’re blue in the face. Still, a large majority of teens and adults see nothing wrong with it:

“Our only way of being alone was to do it over the phone.” – one teen, about why she began sexting

It doesn’t help that people students look up to find a reason to justify such pictures, even in the midst of public embarrassment. Consider Jennifer Lawrence’s response after pictures of here were leaked online last fall:

“I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”

Toss in a variety of other behaviors…

texting while driving…

pornography online…


all of it is contained within this infographic:

So what do we do?

What about using curriculum, like the Pure Sex materials?

Have you found this can help?

Feeling like throwing in the towel on sexting and more?

Have you had any successes or failures in addressing this with students?


Are you, your ministry, or your small group(s) hosting a Super Bowl® Party this year? Did you know that Super Bowl XLIX will be available FREE via Live-Stream from NBC Universal? You could stream the BIG game directly into your party. XLIX will kick off with pregame coverage at 12:00 p.m. ET on Feb. 1. This streaming service is a gift from NBCUniversal.

Following the launch of NBCUniversal’s first ever TV Everywhere consumer campaign titled “Watch TV Without The TV,” NBCUniversal is creating “Super Stream Sunday” on Feb. 1, providing consumers with an unprecedented ability to enjoy 11 continuous hours of NBC streaming content without having to log-in, designed as a way for consumers to trial NBC’s TV Everywhere content offering. “Super Stream Sunday” content will include NBC’s presentation of Super Bowl XLIX, Katy Perry headlining the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, the Super Bowl XLIX pre- and post-game shows, and NBC’s post-game presentation of The Blacklist.

This is great news if you have “cut the cord” or do not have cable/satellite service where your party will be held.

In addition to a room full of students and great stadium shaped foods you might choose to do a special halftime show. If so, LifeChurch.TV is pulling through with another great FREE resource called Football Sunday. Football Sunday is…

A 30-minute sermon-replacement video hosted by ESPN’s Trent Dilfer and presented by Featuring exclusive interviews with active and retired NFL players, as well as players from both Super Bowl Teams (yet to be determined, naturally), this production highlights how the increase of Christ and the decrease of self (John 3:30) has played out in their lives; sometimes through experiences that are unique to pro football players, but more often through experiences that are common to all people and thus extremely relatable.

Check out the FAQ section from this link (FootBall Sunday) and download free resources to promo your event at this LifeChurch.TV link.

In addition to these great resources check out this Super Bowl® safety link from 2013, “Are you Having a Super Bowl® Party?