Today’s poll – looking for the most impactful part of your summer – vote now!

JG

Dare2Share and Greg Stier are doing a free webinar on “The Missing Link in Discipleship” tomorrow (Tuesday August 7th) that includes a free giveaway of my brand new book “Firing Jesus” to everyone who attends. The goal is to help youth leaders walk away with tools/ideas to become way more effective in equipping teens to share their faith.

  • Tuesday August 7th: 12:00-1:00 PM CST(10-11 AM Pacific, 11-Noon Mountain,1-2 PM Eastern)
  • Tuesday August 7th: 7:30-8:30 PM CST(5:30-6:30 PM Pacific, 6:30-7:30 PM Mountain,8:30-9:30 PM Eastern)

JG



Vacation Bible School is a funny thing: its a week long of insanity in the hopes that you can turn and point some kids towards Christ. Someone recently asked me why as a youth pastor do I get involved with VBS? I am not working with teens, I am working with kids up to my ministry’s age group. These are a few of the reasons I believe I should do it as a youth worker:

1. Anything to further the cause of Christ is worth my time.
- While there are many opportunities to share the love of God that I have to turn down, this is an easy one where I have little prep and I can make a big difference in a lot of lives.

2. It gives a good example of devotion to the cause and volunteering for my students.
- Students don’t want to be just kicked out the door and hear about how serving the church makes a difference. They want to see it tangibly, and this is a way I can show them that I value it in my own life.

3. Its a great time to hang out with my students and work alongside them.
- Some of the greatest bonding experiences I have had with students are during periods of work. It puts you on a level playing field with students and helps to foster a great relationship.

4. Its good for my students to see I don’t have to be in the spotlight.
-Youth workers are often in the spotlight, and we often enjoy it. By just helping out and not being in a “show” role, we show that ministry and life is about a team not about ourselves.

5. This is a great opportunity for me to meet kids who will be coming into our ministry
- Many churches rarely have age groups mix. I often don’t get to meet kids who are not yet in grades 8 and up. By helping out with VBS kids who will be moving into my ministry in a year or two get to see my face and become familiar with me. While I likely won’t remember them all, I will be a friendly face who they can connect with to help their transition.

So if you have time this year and its not to late at your church get involved. See where you can help out; you don’t have to run the show; just enjoy the ride.

Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. You can follow his blog at: kyle.corbin@blogspot.com
or Twitter: @CorbinKyle.

I was a film major in college, which means a few things: I’ve seen a ton of movies, I’m totally pretentious, and I think Orson Wells is a genius. One of the things I studied in film school is the art of a sequel.  Some sequels can stand alone, meaning you don’t need to know anything about the series in order to enjoy it (i.e., The Phantom Menace).  Other sequels are completely dependent on the first film (i.e., The Empire Strikes Back).  Think of this blog as The Empire Strikes Back.  Confrontation is useless unless you first prepare yourself and your heart.  Because of this, make sure you ask yourself the three questions covered in PART ONE.

Confrontation can either lead to reconciliation or destruction, and anyone who has ever dealt with conflict knows that there is a thin line that separates the two.  We need to make sure we take every step we can to approach our conflict in a way that honors the Lord, and that starts with discerning the condition of your heart and the purpose of the conversation.  If, after prayer and consideration, you decide that confrontation is the best option, keep these things in mind:

1. Pray.  Prepare yourself for the conversation you are about to walk into.  Pray that the Lord provides you with effective words.  Pray that hearts are humble and ready for what’s to come.  Pray for peace and reconciliation.  Overall, pray that your confrontation will be God-glorifying!

2. Balance truth and love.  I feel like most of us are really good at half of this.  If you’re like me, you are REALLY good at being truthful (maybe too much so).  Unfortunately, we often attack others with our words, making it impossible for others to embrace our “truth.”  Others are great at being loving, but their fear of hurting feelings prevents them from providing helpful criticism.  We need to balance both truth and love if we want our conversation to be fruitful.

3. Be quick to listen, slow to speak.  The purpose of confrontation is to voice your feelings and frustrations and work towards reconciliation.  It is important to keep in mind that the person you are confronting wants to be heard and understood just as much as you do.  Even if you think you’re right or know you’ve done nothing wrong, make sure you allow the other person the opportunity to give their side of the story.  Remember that you are there to seek understanding, not to voice your opinions.

These are just a few ways to make the most of your confrontation.  What would you add to this?

Colton Harker is the Student Leadership Coordinator at Saddleback HSM.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact him at coltonharker@gmail.com or on twitter at @ColtonHarker.



Fun night trying a new outreach event – lots of new students at church tonight. Part capture the flag part first person shooter, got a bunch of kinks to work out but students had a good time!

JG

International mission trips are a big deal.  They are incredibly challenging and stretching.  I’ve often heard them described as next-level experiences.  In all our years of experience, here are some infrequently asked (but CRITICAL) questions about international short term mission trips.

1) Who do I hope will be changed most by this trip-the students in my group or the people we’re going to serve?
2) How will our group’s service overseas truly help the people we’re going to serve?
3) Does our partner agency have experience hosting American short term missions student groups?
4) Whose insurance will cover what? (i.e. travel, health, liability, auto)
5) How can I ensure that Jesus will be the focus of this experience for me, my partner agency, and my students?
6) Who will take care of me or a member of my group in the event of a crisis and are they truly prepared for the unexpected?
7) How will I prepare my students for and de-brief after the cross cultural short-term mission trip?

If you are preparing for an international mission trip for your group, please don’t leave out these questions as you get you and your group ready for the adventure.

Dave Thornton is the Director of Lifetree Adventures (Group Mission Trips international mission trip ministry) and marvels at what God can do in the life of a student in one short week spent serving on an international short term mission team.



Yesterday my friend Matt McGill was talking about delegation to volunteer youth leaders and said something that really stuck with me:  you need to delegate until it stings. Love it!

  • Delegate: when you could do it better
  • Delegate: when you know someone will fail and need coaching
  • Delegate: when it is easier to just do it yourself
  • Delegate: the little stuff
  • Delegate: the big stuff
  • Delegate: the things you’re not good at
  • Delegate: the things you’re the best at
  • Delegate: the things you love
  • Delegate: the things you hate
  • Delegate: something that will really challenge/develop the other person
  • Delegate: until it stings

JG

Not many people would disagree with this statement: “The Best Fuel for youth ministry is Time Listening for God’s Voice.”

But lots of us (definitely including me) have trouble with that.
Things move so fast. If it’s not my schedule moving fast, it’s my brain. (sure, maybe that’s some ADD… but that’s another issue)

Last weekend, I got to go to a Father/Son camp with my 12 year old. The camp program was ok, the camp facilities were good, and time with my son was fantastic. But one of the best “benefits” of this camp is that for nearly 4 full days, I was out of cell-phone and internet range!

When’s the last time you unplugged for 4 days? It’s been a while, for me.

An obvious highlight was time with my son… climbing rock walls & launching off rope swings into a river. He won’t leave my side since we’ve been back home. ?
But another highlight was the hour every morning when the camp staff organized games with the sons, so that the dads could sit by the river and listen for God’s voice.

I realized that even when I slow down… it’s hard for me to slow down all the way.
And as I sat there by the river, breathing deep, I looked up & saw the clouds slowly drifting by.
They were moving!
You might say “duh” … but I was struck by the fact that I hardly ever notice that.
Mostly because I’m going too fast.

So — since I’ve been home — I’m taking time every day to get slow enough to notice the clouds moving. And it’s been a great catalyst for me to Really Listen for what God wants to say to me.

If slowing down is a challenge for you… give this a try!