Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. -Frank Outlaw

In a given day, how often do you think about what you are thinking about? The truth is, most of us do not. We get so caught up in the to-do’s of life and allow our thoughts to run wild. Philippians 4:8 instructs us to fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. It also instructs us to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Without watching our thoughts, that is just not possible. So, with everything going on in everyday life, here are a few ways you can do to remember to keep your thoughts in line.

Set an alarm- Have it go off every couple of hours throughout the day. When it goes off, hear what you were thinking. Chances are, they need to be redirected. Redirect them!

Post-its- Write scripture on post-its geared toward which thought you want to change. Place them everywhere you might see them throughout the day.

Bible app- Download a Bible app for your phone that will send you a notification with a Bible verse each day.

Worship music- Have it on your phone, in your home, on your iPod, playing in your car, wherever you are. Blast it!

Accountability- Have a friend call you in the middle of your day to see where your thoughts are.

Positive influences- Surround yourself with positive people, who choose to see the good in other’s and in situations.

Truth is, negative thoughts will do anything they can to gain control over your mind. To keep them from taking over, you have got to check-up on your thought life as an ongoing, minute-by-minute basis because your thoughts become words and ultimately your destiny. What are you thinking?

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

About 3 weeks ago I ended up deciding on a whim to head to a soccer game. It was at 10pm on a cold night. Three of my 11th grade girls were playing in a game in a women’s league. They were super pumped about joining an adults league so I thought I would go out to support them. During and after the game I was able to connect with all three girls and their parents. It was really a good time and the girls loved it.

Was it worth it?


But the best past of the whole thing was a week later when a father of one of the girls came up to me after church. He shared with me that while I was watching the game from the sidelines a mother had come up to him and shared with him about some of the stresses in life and how she was questioning spirituality and what was going on. In this time he was able to share about his faith and the fact they go to church. When she started asking questions about the church she asked a few questions about the youth ministry and who the youth pastor was. He pointed down the sideline and said thats him over there in the red. She was floored that a pastor would come to watch some students play soccer let alone in the cold at 10pm. She told the dad that she would be interested in coming out to check out the church in the next little while.

Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wonder why I show up at games. Sure people are excited that I show up but is it really doing much? Well that right there was an exclamation point to let me know that it is doing a lot more than I think. If that family makes it to church and has the opportunity to hear the message of Christ, I would stand through a thousand cold, rainy night time soccer games (and believe me it rains here in Vancouver Canada).

So take a look at your schedule. What is a time that you can show up to something? A soccer game, a dance recital, a band concert it doesn’t matter. If you are struggling to figure out how to make time for getting to every kids game because you only work part time or have a huge ministry, pick one or two major things where multiple students are playing against each other or where other students will be in attendance.

You showing up to a simple event could change someones life drastically.

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: or Twitter: @CorbinKyle

When I was 16 years old, I had my first opportunity to preach in a church service. I was nervous as could be. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. For some strange reason, my youth pastor felt it was worthwhile to put me in front of an auditorium full of people and be the main speaker for “Youth Sunday.” The rest, as they say, is history.

Equipping our students to become preachers of the Word not only impacts their future in ministry, but can be a great encouragement to their peers, the youth group and the church as a whole. Most of Jesus’ disciples were teenagers. He believed they could do the work of ministry, so should we.

How do we go about equipping our students to do this facet of the work of ministry?

1. Look for those who may have a calling to full-time ministry.
Guard against just investing in the popular students or those who are in student government at school. Passion for Jesus trumps popularity every time. Plus, you would be surprised how many “diamonds in the rough” are in your church waiting to be discovered. I happened to be the geeky-nerd-hyperactive kid. Pray and ask God to open your eyes to see those students whom you could potentially invite to preach.

2. Invest in them relationally.
Before you just throw them behind a pulpit, spend some time letting them see your heart and passion for Jesus and helping them continue to grow in theirs. Maybe lead a small group Bible study with all the “potential candidates.”

3. Stick with them during each step of the preparation process.
As the student begins to prepare a message to share with your youth group or church, be sure to stay along side them through each step of the process ( This is a crucial part of their equipping. The last thing you want to do is just throw them in the deep end and see if they can swim.

4. Celebrate with them after their message.
Take the time afterward to not only review how they did, but celebrate what God did through them. Students typically need extra affirmation and encouragement – especially after getting up in front of people and communicating the Word of God.

As with any mentoring and equipping that you do with students, remember the age-old equipping process:

  1. I preach.
  2. I preach with you watching the process.
  3. You preach with me alongside you in the process.
  4. You preach.
  5. You equip someone else to preach.

PRACTICAL TIP:  Attempt to schedule having your students take the lead in speaking/teaching/preaching in your youth group or church at least one series per calendar year. This could be in the form of a “Youth Sunday” or a “You Own the Weekend” series annually.

Matt Maiberger has been involved in full-time student ministry for over 16 years. He and his family are currently in the process of moving to Fort Collins, CO where he will become the Associate Pastor of Life Church. Matt is also the founder of Youth Speaker’s Coach committed to the resourcing of youth pastors, youth workers, and youth speakers to help them become better communicators for the post-modern students represented in youth ministries today.

Have you ever walked into a really beautiful building, very neat and organized on the inside with friendly faces greeting you and showing you around, then you make a trip to the bathroom and whoa! What happened here? It looks like no one has touched it in months, this is what’s stinking the whole place up! Someone’s got to be willing to take care of the smaller, less desirable jobs. Otherwise, the bigger jobs could tank.

One person cannot do it all
It takes a team to get things done. So if you think you are just the guy who stands-by keeping an eye out for anything that may go wrong or just the girl that cleans the bathroom, stop right there! You couldn’t be more wrong. Without you, the guy in the spotlight wouldn’t be so lit up. The nasty bathroom and the fight in the back of the room would steal the light.

Do it willingly
Put more value on what you are doing, it’s not so bad. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23) You are right where God wants you to be. You are not working for the people; you are doing the Lord’s work. You are building up His Kingdom so disregard the value the world places on your position and work with joy in your heart knowing it is for a greater cause.

No matter how small your job may seem, it is a BIG in the Kingdom of God. So keep scrubbing that toilet and do it with joy in your heart and when the Lord comes, you can look forward to Him saying, Well done, good and faithful servant!

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

  • Run the youth ministry- Check
  • Run Student Leadership- Check
  • Plan a missions trip- Check
  • Create Website Videos- Check
  • Write some new Curriculum- Check

If you are like me at all, you will take any chance you get to serve for leading. We all hear about saying no when the time comes but will we actually do it. The problem isn’t saying no when I am maxed out. I recognize that being pushed to capacity is a problem and will burn you out at the office and at home. But what if you can juggle another thing and do a good job with it?

Recently, I was asked by my lead pastor to join our discipleship team. Then my worship pastor asked if I would come up with some theological videos for our website. Our denomination president asked if I would step up and do some speaking. To all of these things I said yes.

Then I was I was challenged by my supervisor to think about where I am investing my time in ministry. I was getting pulled in a lot of directions. The problem wasn’t doing a good job; I have the ability to do all of these things; it was whether or not these things will benefit my ministry.

I had to pause, I wasn’t at maximum capacity. I have some room for some stuff on my plate in this season, but is the new stuff feeding the need I am trying to fulfill. Some of those new things are and some aren’t. So currently I am working on a list of requirements that things that a new request has to meet.

They are:

  • Is this request God honoring?
  • Will this be a benefit or detriment to my family?
  • Does this fulfill my mission/ministry purpose
  • Do I believe in this cause/purpose/initiative?
  • Do I have the time/resources to give?

While this list is working, I am still looking to add it. What are some of the things you require before taking on something new?

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: or Twitter: @CorbinKyle

Who or what inspired you to enter youth ministry?

For me I was inspired by a great pastor who invested time in me. I became quick friends with his son, but in addition to being my friends father, he took plenty of time to teach me about life, ministry and integrity. He is one of the 3 men I most admire in the world.

When we look to Barnabas in the Bible we see a great encourager who brings Saul into the fellowship of Apostles. Think about the fact that without Barnabas we might have missed out on some of the impact of Paul on the world.

If you look at the survey results coming out right now, it is obvious less and less people are interested in working in ministry. Can you blame them? I know I don’t see a lot of pastors who live inspiring lives that make you strive to be like them. And that is where I come in. Just the other day I was talking to a missionary and my lead pastor and they asked me what I thought about this issue, and I began to ask if it was because Sr. leaders aren’t all that inspiring to be like. Sure there are some who are excellent, I think of someone like Francis Chan and go Wow I wish I could live like that.

So I began to ask myself if I am living in a way that would inspire my students and those around me to want to aspire to ministry. The sad fact is the answer to that question is probably no. I am a good role model, and I believe most of my students look up to me. But I don’t know if I am doing more than inspiring a Christian lifestyle.

While our primary role is to encourage people towards faith, we do have a role to bring up future church leaders. What ways are you leading others towards entering ministry?

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: or Twitter: @CorbinKyle

So God created human beings in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27) God has made each of us beautiful even with our imperfections. Imperfections enhance our beauty when they are embraced. Seeing the beauty in your imperfections comes by seeing you as God sees you.

  • It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
  • I have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13).
  • I have been washed in the blood and all of my sins have been forgiven (Ephesians 1:7).
  • I have been made right with God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
  • I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I do not belong to myself (1 Corinthians 6:19).
  • I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
  • I receive the free gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
  • I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
  • I have the peace of God which transcend all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
  • He who lives in me is greater and mightier than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
  • I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
  • I have been chosen by God. I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4).
  • I have stripped of my old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. I put on my new nature and am renewed as I learn to know my creator and become like Him (Colossians 3:9-10).
  • I receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God and the eyes of my heart are flooded with light so that I can know and understand the hope to which He has called me (Ephesians 1:17-18).

This only briefly touches on the many wonderful words God speaks about you. Speak these words, believe them, and you will live them. There is power in agreeing with what God says about you.

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.


When you are faced with struggles in your ministry, are you motivated and encouraged to find a solution? Does the struggle you are facing renew your creativity and drive you to make a greater impact than before? Then you are engaging yourself in lifelong learning and opening yourself to growth; to being the best you, you can be!

Open to growth:

  • Eagerness to respond to God’s guidance- He is guiding each of us. Are you listening?
  • Network with others in the same line of ministry- We are all in this together. We are meant to learn from each other. Through the downfalls and victories, share them!
  • Accountability- Who are you accountable to? Share with someone you trust your deepest concerns, your weaknesses and strengths, and let them hold you accountable. Let them help you up when you fall down and celebrate with you when you are up.
  • Attend conferences/training courses- They enrich you and your ministry. You will leave refreshed, with new ideas, and creativity to bring into your ministry.
  • Reading- You can do this on blogs like, in books, magazines, the Bible. Reading enriches the mind and helps you gain helpful insight.
  • Experiment- Step out! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone is a way to growth.
  • Keep your focus on Jesus- If it is not in line with God’s word, it does not deserve your focus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Apply these daily long after your ministry days begin and you will see growth not only in areas of your ministry but in your personal life, your career, your spiritual life and the list goes on. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6).

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.