Today’s BIG news isn’t that a congressman tweeted pictures of his underwear or that Bentley was a jerk on The Bachelorette or even that Doug Fields has left Simply Youth Ministry behind and moved over to YS.

Today’s BIG news is that there’s a girl in my home town of Katy, TX, who is in a BAD way and headed down the wrong road. The BIG news is that a teenager in the LA area gave in and joined “the club”…and it ain’t the country club. The BIG news is that regular Joe’s and Jill’s leave work tired everyday, but still head to their church so they can hang out with teenagers. The BIG news is that youth workers EVERYWHERE are all too often dying “on the vine” desperate to connect again to “The Vine.”?

Now that’s BIG news. Let’s get over ourselves, our youth ministry careers, the latest youth ministry gossip? and get back to work, friends.? There are some kids who just might not make it otherwise.

Curious how much you use skits in your youth ministry. Vote in today’s youth ministry poll!

JG



“Slipping through the cracks” is a cliché term used for many things, but unfortunately it’s all too familiar in our churches. Mostly it’s come to define what happens to many kids as they transition out of high school youth ministry.

Ministries intentionally reaching college-age people cannot solve the entire issue, but the lack of them certainly contributes to the drop-off during this transition. Most churches have yet to embrace a ministry specifically to this life stage, leaving them without guidance and often feeling unwanted and detached. They don’t fit in our traditional ideas of student ministry anymore, and they certainly don’t feel like adults.

Means vs. End
The evaluation of whether or not a high school ministry is successful must include how it helps students transition into adulthood. Without embracing this idea, we hinder the growth and maturity of our young people.

Once our kids graduate from high school ministries, many disconnect. Yet our actions scream, “We don’t care about you anymore! You don’t belong in our church! You’re not important enough for us to address your life stage issues!” Of course we would never say that and our heart certainly doesn’t feel that way, but our actions seem to be speaking louder than either.

Is the point of our high school ministry to get students to come, or is it a small part of the life long discipleship process of individuals? Is our high school ministry the end, or is it a means to a greater end? For both questions I hope…[read more]

On Saturday I went to U2- it was awesome and…amazing (I am lacking words to explain how cool the whole experience was…)! We were down on the floor – pretty close to the action.

While standing there I couldn’t help but think about girl’s ministry…(first, 2 of my small group girls were at the concert and they texted and called me plus I am kind of weird about girl’s ministry…I think about it a lot…call me a freak…if you want).

Anyway, about U2 and girl’s ministry…here’s what caught my attention:

1. People want to be where the action is…when we first got to the concert we easily found our place up front by the stage but as time got closer and the excitement of U2 coming out grew, people began to push and fight to get closer to the stage. We want to be where the action is…we want the best seats. As for girl’s ministry…if you have something (anything) happening just for girls…if there is action, there will be girls. If you build a program for them…they will come. Create a specific ministry to girls and watch it grow.

2. Girls care about caring. Part of what U2 does is raise awareness about issues…ONE, Red Campaign, Amnesty International. This year they focused some time on Amnesty International and they had some of of Amnesty’s volunteers/staff walk out during a song holding lights. I couldn’t help but notice that a majority of those volunteers were girls/woman. Girls want to care about something…and if we don’t point them to something bigger, something important than they will care about silly little things that don’t matter and create drama. Let’s point them to something bigger…kingdom living…because they want to care!!

I am sure there was more to learn…it was U2! Have you ever learned a lesson about ministry when you weren’t anywhere near a church? Tell me about it!



 



If you’ve already got the LIVE curriculum for your youth ministry small groups, here’s a sweet new batch of add-on packs you might want to consider for the 2011-2012 small group year. You can choose from LIVE Leadership or LIVE Book Studies. We’re adding both into HSM next year, I’m excited for you to check them out, too! If you’ve never considered LIVE, check it out here. It’s what we use in our high school ministry (and junior high, too) small groups and are super excited about it as we head into year 2.

JG

Cesspool

 —  June 6, 2011 — Leave a comment

Posted By Kurt Johnston

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I really liked Doug Fields revealing blog post the other day about the students in his small group and pronography. Some good stuff over there, obviously up front is the stark reality that our boys are being drawn in by pornography almost universally. Here’s a clip, worth heading there for the whole context:

“I’m just going to assume all of you guys are struggling with porn. If you’re not…that’s great! But, I’m going to start with the assumption that it’s a struggle for everyone. Let me know if it’s not a struggle.”

Every 9th grade boy admitted that it was a struggle in some way. Several made commitments to get the accountability program (XXXchurch.com) installed on their computer. A few even listed me as their accountability partner. It’s an amazing resource.

Last week I got an alert email from XXXchurch.com regarding one of the guys in the group and the inappropriate sites he had been visiting. I forwarded this email to the boy and wrote, “It looks like Thursday was quite a difficult day for you. I’m praying for you right now. If I don’t see you at church on Sunday, let’s talk at small group on Wednesday. I know you can win this battle. I believe in you! I love you.”

JG

Why You Shouldn't Fundraise

 —  June 6, 2011 — 1 Comment

Missionaries fundraise. It’s a reality of life in our world today. To be released for ministry requires funding. Period. Most church planting boot-camps that I know of would suggest a certain dollar amount a planter should raise prior to starting. Mission organizations usually require a certain amount before someone moves overseas and at times before they even enter the training program. These organizations don’t want to negate people from taking steps of faith by raising support, they view it as a part of the faith process. And I would agree.

Many might suggest if you believe in what you are doing and that God is in it, you should ask people to support it. And I would say, yes, sometimes….maybe. But I also don’t think these convictions require you to seek funding.

I obviously believed in what I was doing when I was planting a church because I thought God was in it. But I didn’t meet with people and ask them to support us. I did ask our sending church to provide medical/dental benefits for one year, but I didn’t ask them for any money. The bottom line was because I felt like it was a step of faith God wanted me to take. Period. And if God calls you to the same you shouldn’t fundraise either. I wish more people considered this possibility.

I could literally leave it at that because that really is the only thing that determined my convictions on this issue. But, there were some other thoughts running through my head that I will share because they might play a role in your process. Here are some of those:

  1. I knew I didn’t want to have a conversation with God as I lay awake one night, wondering if the church existed because He was in it or simply because we still had funding to keep it going.
  2. I wanted the people involved in the church, from the beginning, to own it both through their time and financial support.
  3. I know planters that had a chunk of funding upfront, which led them to lose a sense of urgency. In other words, they didn’t have to do anything today because the funding was there for 3 or 5 years. I know myself well enough to know that I could’ve allowed this sense of comfort to lead to laziness.
  4. I knew of planters that ended up spending money carelessly simply because they had it. It’s not that I thought I would fall into the same tendency. But it was something that made me think a bit.
  5. I knew I couldn’t do anything apart from God’s hand, but we also have to work hard. And there is something to just having to make it work that serves as a motivator.

I will say that I know planters that have raised support and stayed motivated, viewed it as a sign that God was in it, that never lost a sense of urgency and that people came behind the ministry with their time and financial support. I would say that’s part of the fun. God does different things through different people at different times. BUT, more people should consider the possibility that God might be calling them to do something without fundraising and having a chunk in the bank. Far too many people think that is the only way to go about it and it is the wise thing to do. That’s clearly not the case.