Tag Archive: student ministry

We went to Dare 2 Share a few weekends ago.  It was incredibly good.  The new format was really good.  I liked the fact that there wasn’t a “concert” this year.  There was in the sense that DJ Promote was there but it wasn’t like a concert.  This year Greg talked about THE CauseTHE Cause is simply The Great Commission renamed.  Why rename something holy and Biblical?  Because a few hundred years ago missionaries coined the term ‘the great commission’ to help mobilize people for evangelize their friends and those around them.   That’s right – those headings in your Bible weren’t inspired by God.  They were put there by men (along with the chapter numbers and verses) to make it easier to read and find things.  So the people at D2S re-labeled The Great Commission to THE Cause.  Today causes are all over Facebook.  You can now join a cause for anything – and people are.  I am constantly getting invites for a TON of worthless causes.  But what about THE Cause?  How are we doing with THE Cause – Jesus is the Christ…the saving One?

Last Friday I sent out a text to our students asking if someone wanted to go do some street evangelism with me.  I ended up taking two guys and we had a great time.  All in all we got to witness to 3 different people.  We found out one was a believer and the others were not.  While they didn’t except Christ on the spot they are actively searching out the truth of the Gospel.  That’s so great to see.

Last night one of our 7th grade guys came up to me and said,

“Hey see the new girl that came?  I want to go share the Gospel with her.  Come with me!”

So we went over and I got sidetracked by people pulling em aside to talk about some different things.  He came back over and let me know he thought she was wanting to accept Christ on the spot.  So I went over and started talking to her and she realized her need for a Savior.  So I lead her through the Gospel as a refresher and and lead her through the prayer.  What was really cool about it was seeing one of our students stepping out in faith to begin the conversation of the Gospel with someone.  It takes a lot of guts to throw the Gospel out there.  There’s always a risk of rejection.  Fortunately God had something else in store for him last night.

We devoted our night to THE Cause last night.  We are desperately trying to mobilize our teens to go the distance with the Gospel for THE Cause.  How are YOU doing at going the distance with the Gospel for THE Cause?


Seriously.  I think Newell/ Fonda should do this with their buses.  We already have the Macs in the high school and now down through the 5th grade next year.  Why not take the leap and put wifi on the school buses too?  It seems like it works for this Arizona school;

Students endure hundreds of hours on yellow buses each year getting to and from school in this desert exurb of Tucson, and stir-crazy teenagers break the monotony by teasing, texting, flirting, shouting, climbing (over seats) and sometimes punching (seats or seatmates).

But on this chilly morning, as bus No. 92 rolls down a mountain highway just before dawn, high school students are quiet, typing on laptops.

Morning routines have been like this since the fall, when school officials mounted a mobile Internet router to bus No. 92’s sheet-metal frame, enabling students to surf the Web. The students call it the Internet Bus, and what began as a high-technology experiment has had an old-fashioned — and unexpected — result. Wi-Fi access has transformed what was often a boisterous bus ride into a rolling study hall, and behavioral problems have virtually disappeared.

“It’s made a big difference,” said bus driver J.J. Johnson. “Boys aren’t hitting each other, girls are busy and there’s not so much jumping around.

Why not?

This was from halftime last night.  It always amazes me that students get so excited over this.

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i don’t have words…

Last week every time i ran into someone from Bethel they would say things like, “Hey that was a great article on you in the paper” or “You must be really proud” or “You’re doing such a great job.”  Every time I would politely say “Thank you” and wonder to myself, “What is going on?”  Back in November one of my students interviewed me for a paper he had to write at school.  What he didn’t realize was that they would be published in the local newspaper for all to see.  He was almost as shocked as I was.  I can’t find the article online so I thought I would post it here.  I’ve never had this happen before so I think it’s pretty cool and it’s a HUGE encouragement.

People With An Impact by Matt Baughman

A frantic student reaches for his cell phone hoping someone will care about the things he has just gone through. He flips through the contact list for someone who knows what really is going on. He anxiously goes through the list two or three times until a name catches his attention. He empties his heart into the message including the maximum amount of short hand possible and he still doesn’t have room for everything he needs to get out. He thinks about sending another message to get the rest out, but a message comes back almost instantly saying the other person will be right there. The student feels a sigh of relief go through his exhausted body. Finally somebody will listen to him.

This situation is not an uncommon occurrence for a youth pastor. Most youth pastors will meet with a student at any time of the day if there is a situation that needs to be dealt with. Very few can relate to a student’s problems like Chris Day. Growing up as a kid who didn’t fit in with any particular group of kids, Chris was picked on for most of his student life. This background and other events in his life have lead Chris into being an easy person to dump problems onto. There isn’t much that students go through that Chris hasn’t worked with in his ten plus years of being a youth pastor.

Spilling your heart to Chris can be a very uplifting experience. He can hold a lot on his huge shoulders. Having a background in powerlifting has made him physically strong, but things in his past and his strong faith have made him very emotionally strong. Looking at Chris, anybody would think he was a person they do not want to mess with, be he truly dislikes preconceptions about him. While he understands the reasons for people’s feelings, he does not like to hear people have negative feelings about him. When asked if he agrees with the preconception that his feelings are different than someone smaller than him he said, “It is really not true at all. I think judging people on appearances is one of the weaknesses that we fall to within our culture. We always seems to judge every book by its cover, and we do the same with people in general. i think the preconception that because I am a big strong guy and that I don’t have the same feelings as any other person is really too bad for those who choose to not get to know me. Once you get to know me, you find out that I am really sensitive, maybe even more sensitive than most.”

Getting to know Chris this past year, by spending a lot of time with him, this statement is completely true. There have been times where I have seen his softer side come out in heavy doeses. Everytime this happens, the level of respect I have for him increases. He has been the strongest influence on my life since he moved to Newell. Chris has one of the biggest hearts that a person will ever see. When a member of our church is sick or in the hospital, Chris is one of the first people to go visit them and offer encouragement. This is not because he feels obliged because of his job in the church, but he genuinely wants to visit congregation members. “I have always had a deep compassion for people in general. I realized my love/ passion for students when I was a junior in high school. My love for students was finally cemented when I was a sophomore in college and felt the call to go into full-time ministry to students,” said Chris.

After a few hours of getting thing off his chest the student finally feels that someone cares about his problems. He knows that when he has a problem, Chris is just a few seconds away.

I was blown away to read it.  I am humbled and baffled that I could have such an impact.  This is the legacy I want to leave.

changes for 2010

I have been thinking about making some big changes for a while.  More personally than ministry related but still these changes will have an impact on my ministry.  Over the past few years I have felt myself drifting more and more into “social media.”  Social media isn’t bad or evil in and of itself – but when it becomes something that takes half of your time through the day then I think it’s something to address and deal with.  Lets be honest in our culture today everything is shifting to social media so we can be connected.  This really weirds some people out and really excited/ draws others in.  For me, it really drew me in.  Like many others I have an online community that follows what I am doing or what is going on in my life.  Now there are some great pros to this.  I can post a prayer request and have literally hundreds of people praying for different things.  I can get ministry advice in minutes.  But there are cons; it takes time to develop this community and sustain it.  It can take away from your work or life.  Social media is made to enhance our lives but really it can take away from it if we let it.  We can get to the place where we use it to see how much value we have which is a false reality and it isn’t how God values us.

So in 2010 I am making some changes in how I use social media personally.  Starting this week I will begin to ween myself down to one Twitter post a day.   I will also only be making one Facebook status update once a day OR every other day.  From here on they will pertain MOSTLY to blog posts. I will continue to use TXTSignal for our student ministry updates as well as Facebook.

I will also be drastically changing how I spend my time online and through the day.  I haven’t gotten my daily schedule down just yet but this week I will have it broken into blocks for studying/ reading, responding to phone calls/ emails and lesson development.  I will post more on the breakdown of my day as I develop it more.  It will definitely be a structure change I need to make to become more effective as a Youth Pastor.  These changes will not come easy and will be met with resistance but I know it will happen.

What changes do you need to make for 2010?  Notice these aren’t resolutions – they are lifestyle changes.

I got our promo packs done and ready to be dropped off at the post office to be mailed out today. The exciting thing for me is that there will be 70 area churches who will be getting a promo pack full of good stuff. For me the most exciting thing about the pack is the FREE Michael Fugitt CD that is in each one of them. Youth Pastor’s love FREE stuff and this is our way of blessing them with something cool and free BEFORE Christmas. The picks of the packs are below.

I haven’t really done any graphics design since I’ve been in Newell.  I am really limited in what I can do as well.  Today I spent a LOT of time creating posters, bulletin inserts, invite cards, postcards and fliers for our Super Bowl Bash.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  Let me know your thoughts.

I decided to get a part-time job this summer and make some more income.  Alright so that’s not entirely true.  I make a decent income  doing what I do here at Bethel.  I was asked to umpire behind the plate this summer for our little league games.  Last night was my third game behind the plate.  I’m actually having a lot of fun doing it.  It’s not too stressful and hey and extra couple hundred bucks at the end of the season is alright with me.  I’m thinking of using the extra money to get a new tattoo…maybe start a half sleeve.  Just kidding mom!

I have been reminded of some things about working alongside of parents over the past three games and I think they apply to student ministry as well.  So here there are;

Parents will rip you apart: Unfortunately this goes along with some church parents as well.  i can honestly say that in my first year here at Bethel this hasn’t happened to me yet – but I know it will.  In some ways I welcome it.  I’m not perfect and I make mistakes like everyone else.  Iw ill always be the first one to acknowledge that upfront.  I like constructive criticism.  When a parent comes to rip you apart remember that there is something valid in what they are saying.  Sure maybe not everything is factual or correct but dig through what they said and see where the truth in it is.  I have found that everytime a parent comes to me there is at least 1 small thing to take away from the interaction.   Be loving and generous even in those difficult conversations…you may even win a new fan to your corner.

Be ready to help a student out: While calling balls and strikes behind the plate I am able to help ‘coach’ (in a limited capacity) the kids from both teams whether they are at bat or playing a position on the field.  I am working with 1st-6th graders so I am reminded that i have to be gentle with them and do my best to help make them better students of baseball – it’s a huge learning process.  The same is true in student ministry.  We are here to help our students along and soemtimes even call balls (close calls) and strikes (pointing out times when they are blatantly not following Christ).  It gets ugly but we need to do so lovingly.  It’s our job to come alongside of the parents and help them coach their students through their faith.  Just like, as the umpire, it’s not my job to coach the kids on my own but to help the coaches help their teams abide by the rules in the book – so it goes with us as youth pastor’s/ leaders.

Humble pie: I have made some questionable calls in my first 3 games – there is no doubt about it.  Some of the coaches and parents have let me know as well.  I have ate some humble pie over a few of my calls – but I let the call stand.  When is the last time you had to eat a good ‘ole piece of humble pie in ministry?  I bet it was pretty bitter and hard to swallow wasn’t it?  As youth pastor’s/ leaders it is essential for us to recognize times when we need to take a huge bite out of the pie of humility – sometimes even when we know we are right.  Sometimes we have to lay aside our pride and save the relationship as long as it doesn’t hurt or tarnish our integrity.  How are you at being humble?  When is the last time you apologized to a parent or student?

We’re on the same team: As an umpire I want to help both teams play to their best ability by enabling the rules in a fair way for both sides.   As youth pastor’s/ leaders we are on the same team as the parents in our churches.  Do we act like it?  Do we interact with them and let them know that we are wanting to help them coach their student along in their faith journey?  Even as I write this I know there are parents I know I need to interact with better so this is a good reminder for myself as well.  How are you doing with your parents?  Maybe it’s time to eat some humble pie and restore that relationship with those you may not get along the best with.

I think these are 4 principles that can help us in youth ministry.  Sometimes ministry isn’t easy or glamorous – but then again if you’re looking for ease and glamor in ministry maybe you aren’t in the right calling.


About a month ago we were in our staff meeting and Jay (our pastor) asked Gary and I  if we would mind preaching in series with him as we are going through Ephesians.  I really liked the idea so I agreed to it.  He then told me I would be preaching on Ephesians 2:4-7 on March 8.  So I jokingly said “We should just make it a youth lead service.”  Everyone agreed and the panic set in for me.

That week I began getting the word out to the youth that we would be leading the service in everything.  They were pretty excited and nervous about it – but they all signed up to fill spots to help serving in the service.

Our youth service was this past Sunday.

I was so prooud of our students.  Everyone showed up and filled their spot and did a great job.  They greeted, ushered, did the call to worship,  announcements, the prelude music, the offertory, lead worship with a full youth worship band.  I did the sermon.  It was funny to hear comments from the older people as they came in, “Wow.  It looks like they are doing everything this morning!”  We didn’t announce that this was going to happen so no one really knew until they that the youth were leading in everything.  It was great to see the reactions.

After the service we went to Godfathers and had pizza as well.  All in all it was a blast.  The kids did a great job.  I am very proud of them.