Tag Archives: Youth Ministry

The couch – Part 2

Here is the second video from the “Skit Guys.” This one deals with an angry parent and a crazy kid.

This generation of students

It was a great night at Elevate, our student worship gathering at FaithBridge Church. Tonight I realized again that students desire to know God and live for Him with their whole heart. God has begun to reveal to me the importance of praising Him during difficult times. It has been my experience that through the difficult times I am able to see a clear picture of God’s grace. I’m amazed at the lessons I learn from watching 6th graders worship God. I’m blessed to see students weep over the salvation of their parents.

Students many times are viewed as “second class” or “not yet the church”, but I have the privilege to see students to minister to each other. My heart is for this generation to rise up and take their place as servants of Christ.

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

P.S. I love this picture of some of the students!

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Youth camp

I have been thinking a lot lately about youth camp. I’ve been to them every year since I was thirteen, they ranged from the “rough and tough” to the “super flashy-big name speaker” camps.

I’m planning next year’s camp and for me it has become a much more in-depth search rather than picking a date and a camp organization. I remember the year I went to a camp in Shocco Springs, Alabama and I was 14 years old. One night at worship I began to hear God’s call on my life. The memory sticks in mind so clearly today! It was a night of camp where we were challenged to seek God with our whole heart and life. It was that night that God began calling me into ministry…Camp holds a special place in my life because of the environment for students to hear clearly from God away from all distractions.

Camp is powerful and with all of the different options today, I’m left with a few questions to find the very best camp for my students.

What is the purpose of the camp?

What is their philosophy of ministering to students?

Is the camp pastor and band true examples of Christ on and off the stage?

I’m curious out there in “blog-land” if you have any comments to add on youth camp? What made camp exciting and special to you?

Inside Out Series

We kick-off our new Fall Elevate series tonight! I hope that God changes many lives over the next 6 weeks. We will be dealing with a lot of issues that affect the inside and outside of student’s lives and how to respond like Christ.

The central passage is: Ephesians 5:15-17.

Update on life…

Wow, summer is really flying by! It has been awesome being married, it has been almost a month this Saturday!

I’m taking the students to camp this next week to Student Life Camp and I pray that God just invades hearts and brings us to worship Him. I’ve done camp for many years and a hard part of camp is coming home and seeing a once excited group get less excited about the Lord. We are trying a new approach this year with leaders building relationships with the students through specific questions and using it as a way to follow-up with them after camp.

Please pray for salvation. Please pray for surrender. Please pray for encouragement and love that each student experiences. We are taking 53 to camp this year and there’s quite a few new faces so I pray that many lives are changed through relationships, God’s Word and worship.

As for me, I’m doing well. Just got a Xbox 360 and have enjoyed it! haha, its okay…I know I’m a nerd.

As for later today and this weekend…we are supposed to be getting surf from Hurricane BERTHA! Can’t wait to get wet.

As for what God is teaching me right now…Matthew 9:23-27 has hit me hard. A lot of the time I am like the disciples and look at the storms of life and say, “we are perishing!” God continues to show me that no matter what storms of life I’m in, he is able to be the sustainer of my life. I can hear Jesus’ voice, “Josh…why are you afraid, O you of little faith…”

As I learn how much I need Jesus daily…my desire is to have the faith that moves mountains.

He simply is all we need. He is not only the Savior, but the Healer.

Watch this video. The guy who is singing has terminal cancer. So powerful! It brings me to tears each time through the powerful words on the power of Jesus.

Please continue to pray for my brother, Jordan. He is heading with my family to Duke university to receive treatment and help for his battle with cancer.

Heart check

What will it take for youth to realize the truth and love of Christ?

I’m haunted by this question as a student pastor. I have seen so much pain, depression, hurt, and frustration in the past year. I continually try and study youth culture to understand where students are finding “truth” today and purpose.

I was reading a blog today on some trends in youth culture. The whole “Soulja boy” epedemic spreading especially in middle schools today with a dance to this song. Once I found out what the song means, once again my heart breaks for this generation of students. Is it just the music or lyrics that bother me?

To me it is a deeper issue of why this culture is so far from God.

I’ve been reading Hebrews lately and this verse stuck out to me today:

“Pursue peace wtih all men, and the sanctification, without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

The word sanctification in this verse means:

A drawing near to God with full faith and a cleansed conscience, a genuine acceptance of Christ as the Savior and sacrifice for sin.

I have had a heart check today to realize how much students need forgiveness and cleansing from God. I realize that as a student pastor I need to be renewed daily by God’s Word and prayer for the needs of students.

Students need to see Jesus in us. I believe this is where we must stay if we are going to turn the tide of this current culture.

Lastly, I read an article about the influence of music on youth today. I was so disappointed but not surprised at the 138 comments following the article.

What do you think about the influence of music in youth culture?
What is our response to the trends (“Soulja Boy”) in youth culture?

Strong in weakness

I have learned a lot this past year personally and in ministry. This week has been another time in my life where I come to the point of wearing myself out trying to “do.”

I am a “doer”, I love to get into all that i can in my life. My passion is seeing student’s lives changed. It drives me. It consumes me a lot of the time. The weakness I have is that I become so consumed with the “ministry” that I miss out on an intentional, intimate relationship with my heavenly Father. I was reminded this morning in 2 Corinthians 12:9,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

The more I realize my own weakness…the more I realize the areas of my heart that God wants to invade and change into His likeness. I’m so glad that God chooses to use me. I’m simply a dude that is made strong through Christ.

This month’s current series on Identity has been good so far. One of the students last night said, “We are not here for earthly things, we are here to love Jesus, know we are special and loved, and to point all people to Christ.” I believe this generation of students will impact this world like we have never seen before.

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Anybody else struggle with being a “doer?”