My friend Dave from Australia has been working with the Australian Bible Society on a new project and it just recently released to rave reviews. It is called Jesus’ Epic Story and it is a visual and video study through the book of Mark – also included is an eBook, discussion projects and more!

You can check it out yourself by clicking the website screenshot or get more details on the project from Dave’s blog, too!

JG

Comforting Teens in Crisis

 —  September 7, 2012 — 1 Comment

We decided to give out a great little book to our volunteers we just discovered called Comforting Teens in Crisis. I don’t know how I’ve missed it in the past, looks perfect for our life group leaders!

Failing grades. Pregnancy. Addictions. Cutting. How do you even begin to help teens through their greatest struggles? What if you make things worse? This go-to guide gives you the confidence to share God’s love and comfort! Includes:

  • Counseling advice
  • Tips on what to say and what not to say
  • Real-life scenarios
  • Scripture connections
  • Resources for reaching out in love

JG



POLL: Why Do You Buy?

 —  September 6, 2012 — 3 Comments


Quick survey today to satisfy my curiosity – what influences you most when you buy youth ministry resources? There are so many great resources from so many different authors/organizations – was wondering what influenced you the most – vote for a couple!

JG

I was just checking out the Simply Youth Ministry website and ran across this closeout deal on a mission trip resource from LeaderTreks that looks super promising called Prepare Go Live. Of course, I’m a sucker for a good deal, too! Anyhow, might be something you would be interested in, too!

JG



Simply Youth Ministry is running a back to school bundle sale that is pretty incredible – for $59 you get:

Not sure how long it lasts – but a good deal for sure!

JG

Tyler Braun is a pastor from Portland, Oregon whose first book, Why Holiness Matters, just released. Learn about an exclusive offer for purchasing the book. You can find Tyler on Twitter or his blog, manofdepravity.com.

What inspired you to write the book?

Almost two years ago I began to think about what I lost in not valuing my innocence throughout my adolescent years. I began to think about how Christian culture places such a incredible focus on authenticity and brokenness about sin that we can easily have people believing they need a past in order to fit in.
From there I had a conversation with an author who told me she was concerned about my generation’s lack of desire for holiness. I immediately drew the connection between my lack of innocence to my lack of holiness. And I saw how my own life story of not valuing innocence, getting comfortable with sin, and then waging a war with my shame, was really a story about holiness (or lack thereof). This is what inspired the book.

What has been your experience in the church personally and what are your hopes and dreams for what it could become?

Having been a pastor’s kid my entire life, all I’ve ever known is going to church and being involved at church. Whether it be Sunday morning service dramas where I had to wear make up or the endless amount of youth group all-nighters, I’ve done almost every crazy thing there is to do at the local church level. More than that though, I’ve grown up in the church growth movement where focus was given toward how to do church rather than why to do church.
My dreams for the church are to continue getting the why down right before we ever consider how to do church. The church is the hope of the world as long as the relationships within lead closer to Christ. We need churches that continue to sacrifice themselves for the sake of allowing those without hope to have hope.

What is most frustrating to you about the faith of the Millennial Generation?

We want to do a lot without being anything. I think we’ve gotten the Christian life flipped around. We focus so much on activism and being engaged in the world around us that we can forget who has sent us out. Church becomes unnecessary when the entirety of faith is about what we do. And we’ve seen this reflected in the gaping hole most churches have between the ages of 15 and 35.
Someone recently told me regarding our cultural engagement efforts, the fruit looks great, but we’ve lost the vine, which is Christ.
Allowing Christ’s love for us to push us out into loving others can often become a human effort where we love others in order to impress them and God. Rather than seeing where we messed this up, we instead blame the church for being out of touch. We must come back to Christ and begin by allowing His love for us to shape us.

Tell us an authentic story about yourself to prove you’re not a robot.

In college I played intramural basketball with a bunch of my friends and during one game the other team had a girl who decided to guard me. She told me just to play my normal game. I’m a competitive guy so I didn’t think anything of it. I was going to make the team pay for putting a girl on me.
I went off in that game. I’ve had some hot shooting streaks in my day but nothing like this. I made 11 three-pointers that game. It felt as if I was playing NBA Jam circa 1998 in real life. But more than all those made shots I remember this girl guarding me tough when I was in the corner. I weaved the ball around and my elbow just clipped her nose. In the midst of the best game of my life I managed to become the schmuck who elbowed a girl in the face. I think I apologized to her 25 times that night.
But it worked out because that girl became my wife 3 years later.

I assume a follow-up book is planned or you’ve got something coming up next. Fill us in!

I’m going to be releasing an ebook on mentoring tentatively titled, “How to Find and Thrive With a Mentor.” The set up is my own story of going mentor-less for over 5 years, and then I provide some needed principles for a Millennial to seek after and then find someone to speak into their life. I think it’s a practical but needed guidebook for many based on tons of conversations I’ve had with others who want a mentor but can’t find one.

Beyond that, I’m kicking around some ideas for a 2nd book to follow up Why Holiness Matters, but nothing is set in stone right now. I’ll continue to serve diligently at my church, and write as time allows. I believe God calls us to speak into the vast emptiness of our world. That work never ends.

Thanks, Tyler. Looking forward to reading your new book!

JG




Congrats, Marc - you just scored $100 in free stuff from Simply Youth Ministry. That is how it is done! By the way, that one hit a little close to home. As always, stay tuned to more contests and giveaways in the near future.

JG

Rick Lawrence’s great little book 99 Thoughts on Jesus-Centered Living is on sale today (Saturday) only for 50% off!

As you read the pages of this book, you’ll encounter habits for changing the way you relate to Jesus, ideas for pursuing a dependent relationship with him, strategies for moving away from our culture’s false ideas of him, and questions to chew on as you realign your life into a Jesus-centered orbit.

When your life truly revolves around Jesus, the people around you will find rescue from pain and worry and hopelessness and emptiness and loneliness and purposelessness. Instead of a boring, predictable exercise, life will become a grand, breathless adventure. And if your orbit comes so close to Jesus that you can see him and taste him and smell him, watch out—your world will change forever.

JG