Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Is Learning More Important Than Teaching?

I came across an answer to this question on Jim Hancock's site here. His answer, "I believe learning is way more important than teaching." He then asks this question, “Do people learn better when we tell them what to believe and how to behave or when we skillfully engage them in their own learning?”

Great question! I've been wrestling with this throughout the spring as it relates to the teaching of the Word in our high school ministry. I truly believe we need to teach the word of God to our students, but I am wrestling with how to skillfully engage them in their own learning. One of the things God has been teaching me over and over the past two years is that if I am not engaging the text and praying over the text then I am probably not going to engage our students.

I want our Sundays and Wednesdays to be stimulating times for our students to engage the living God. I am learning how to skillfully engage them through PowerPoint, videos, images, sound bites, journals for each of our series, and Q & A. I am excited to grow more intentionally in this area over the next 6 months!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Class of 2010

We are getting ready this week to welcome the class of 2010 to our ministry on Sunday! I am so excited to meet this new class and I have been praying this morning for them by name! It is my hope and desire that all of these students will still be here in four years and madly in love with Jesus!!!!

I am looking forward to walking in front of them and alongside of them as we pursue intimacy with Jesus!

It's going to be a great four years!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Food Coma

Oh man! I am full! I had an amazing weekend of eating. I didn't count calories, but I am sure I hit 10,000!!!!! It's amazing how from party to party you just keep eating and eating and eating. Ribs, dips, chicken, tacos, vegetables, cake, more cake, even more cake, root beer, lots of root beer. I absolutely love going to graduation parties. I love meeting family and friends of the grads. There's nothing like a grandma who is SOOOOO proud of their grad! It's also fun to have little brothers and sisters of previous students in the ministry graduating. I was able to connect with a few students from 2003 and 2004!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Adah's 1st Flight

Adah took her first plane trip this weekend to the state of Washington as Julie was helping out her dad’s parents. Adah scored a cute lil' hat and a scarf that a lady made her. They have been gone since Tuesday so we are excited to see them today!

Teens & Technology

This is a GREAT study to spend some time combing through over a long Memorial Day weekend! I read it last year and broke it out again as we are beginning to transition the class of 2006 out and welcome the class of 2010!

This study is packed full of good information that will help improve the way youth ministry is done. One interesting point I’d like to make that stood out to me again as I read this study.

“The size of the wired teen population surges at the seventh grade mark.” While they did find that 60% of the sixth graders they surveyed were online it jumps to 82% in 7th grade. Having an on-line presence is vitally important for us in our ministry!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Wendy’s – When A Leader Dies

Apparently Wendy’s has bigger issues than a sign being destroyed! I came across an article in USA Today that caught my interest. It’s about how Wendy’s is dealing with the loss of their leader, Dave. They are in a downhill slide and losing millions. "They've lost their Dave-ness," says Chris Mueller, director of the Center for Multi-Unit Restaurant Management at the University of Central Florida. "The emotion went out of the company after Dave died. I think the company is still grieving."

The article caught my interest initially because I wanted to see if I could glean any insight into what Dave didn’t do to transition his company well. I couldn’t find much, but it did make me think that part of the overall success of what I will accomplish in my ministry will be how I leave it. I don’t want to start thinking about it today because I am hoping for many more years of ministry, but I do want to plant the seed that I need to do everything it takes to set the next guy up for success.

After reading the article the interim CEO made a statement that got me thinking, “But leadership is about passion. And I love the Wendy’s brand.”

"But leadership is about passion. And I love the Wendy's brand." Part of my screams “YES!” Part of my screams, “WHAT?” What if you passionately suck? What if your passions are misplaced? What if your passion doesn’t translate into change? What if your passion is visionless? What if your passion doesn’t care for people? What if your passion doesn’t ignite change? I agree with her, but I want her to say more! Leadership is about passion, but it’s about passionately plowing in the right fields and looking back to see if anyone if following.

Goodbye Lelie

Ashley, currently a Denver Broncos WR, sat out of his 8 day camp because he wants to be traded to a team to be the number one wide receiver! Boo hoo! Man it would suck to play with Rod Smith and Javon Walker this year! C’mon Lelie! Trade him!

Hello Brandon Marshall! Pictured on the left in college! This guy from Central Florida is a rock. Champ thinks he could be the next T.O., physique, not attitude!

I can't wait to see the Broncos offense this year. They are going to need they have a tough schedule!

Nascar from Denver

Props to Furniture Row as their car will be racing this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600! Kenny Wallace will be driving!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sex in the Community - Virginity Pledges Can't Stand Alone

Kristen passed this great article on to me yesterday from Lauren Winner that was in the NY Times. Here's her opening line, "THE recent Harvard study that found teenagers' virginity pledges to be ineffective should come as a surprise to no one." To this I would like to say a HUGE "AMEN!"

Lauren has articulated quite well what I think chastity pledges are missing, the community they are in pledging alongside of them. Here's her summary,

"Perhaps pledges for chastity need to be made not only by the individual teenager. Perhaps we also need pledges made by the teenager's whole Christian community: we pledge to support you in this difficult, countercultural choice; we pledge that the church is a place where you can lay bare your brokenness and sin, where you don't have to dissemble; we pledge to cheer you on when chastity seems unbearably difficult, and we pledge to speak God's forgiveness to you if you falter. No retooled pledge will guarantee teenagers' chastity, but words of grace and communal commitment are perhaps a firmer basis for sexual ethics than simple assertions that true love waits. "

Methodist bishop William Willimon once wrote: "Decisions are fine. But decisions that are not reinforced and reformed by the community tend to be short-lived."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Field Guide to Evangelicals

Oh my! A HUGE THANKS to Trevor Lee, our Young Adults Pastor, for telling me about this. I haven’t read the book but I did read the free excerpt and the book is in the mail. Here's an excerpt to wet your appetite, “What Evangelicals believe, plus a master list of who’s going to hell!” Here are a few things that stuck out to me.

The chart is priceless! You have to read it!

The bands that are going to hell “slayed” me!

The ones in heaven…even “slayed” me more!

The Rapture being the biggest “I told you so” event in the world rolled me off the chair at my desk.

Worship Jamz - Not When I Was a Child

We bought this two disc collection for our boys! It's actually done really well! Noah's favorite song is "Open the Eyes of My Heart." He could listen to it over and over!

It struck me this morning as I was watching Noah mouth the words to this song that he and I are going to have different childhoods. I wasn't singing "open the eyes of my heart" or "every move I make I make in you Jesus." It's not a rip on my parents, I just went to the catholic church occasionally and I don't remember God being a very big subject in our home when I was a kid. The only real memories I have of the catholic church is farting during mass and my mom getting mad at me. It still makes me laugh to this day! I can hear her now, "Daniel!"

I wonder what Noah's new favorite song will be next week! I am hoping Noah will be singing, "Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong, forever God is with us, forever...forever!" I love this song on this cd!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


A big thanks to my sister-in-law for the link to this Article out of the Onion, "Report: More Kids Being Home-churched." I realize this is old news but I just read this today!

Absolutely priceless!

Here's my favority quote, "Tucker said he was inspired to home-church when his 10-year old son Macon returned from Sunday school singing a lighthearted song about Zacchaeus, a tax collector befriended by Christ, and then later recited the parable of the Good Samaritan."

Not only is this pricless, but it's sad. My hearts desire is for the families in our church to know that our church is there to walk alongside of them, partnering with them to help their children become faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

Monday, May 22, 2006

No PRESSURE!!!!!!!!!

This weekend I had the privilege of preaching in "Big Church" as our Senior Pastor was in India. After putting on my microphone I turned around to see Dr. Means. Who is he? The first senior pastor of our church and one of my professors at Denver Seminary. He looks at me, sees the microphone and says, "Oh, your preaching... what's your text?" My reply, "Uhh...Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath." Dr. Means, "Ahh yes, I've preached on that text more than a few times and Elijah is one of my favorite characters in the Old Testament!"

My reply, "Gulp!"

No pressure!

Evolution of Dance!

I'm sure you've seen this, but I just watched it for the first time last night and it is EPIC! It's well worth six minutes. I was in tears!!!!!!!

The Evolution of Dance!

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Starbuckization of the World

I read a great article yesterday in USA Today, "Starbucks aims beyond lattes to extend brand" by Bruce Horovitz. Starbucks is done making coffee their only focus. As many of you know they have been selling music in their stores. They formed Starbucks Entertainment and want to start selling books!!!!!! Starbucks wants to be the next McDonald's!

The Starbuckization of the World has officially begun. They want to reach into every demographic in the world!!!!!!!!!

Two things stand out to me on this glorious Friday in Colorado.

First, the Great Commission principle in business works! Of course businesses aren't really fulfilling the Great Commission, but the principle to go into all of the world and believe you can reach them is a vision worth following a CEO off the cliff for.

Second, I love the fact that there is a company that is hungry to be the next McDonald's! They don't appear to be comfortable. They don't appear to be satisfied. I don't know if all of this hunger is motivated by just simply wanting to make more money, but I have a sense that is more than jut that. It has caused me to stop today and ask myself, "What am I hungry for that is bigger than me?" The answer can't start with more students, bigger programs, better name it! The answer has to start with HIM!

Jesus is sooooo much bigger than me!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Super Columbine Massacre RPG

Yes, this is actually the name of a video game and it's causing quite a stir in our community! I found out about this game in the Rocky Mountain News in this article on Tuesday. Apparently the creator wants to create "real dialogue" on the subject of school shootings!


This is how the game begins, "Welcome to Super Columbine Massacre RPG! You play as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold on that fateful day in the Denver suburb of Littleton. How many people they kill is ultimately up to you."

You've got to be kidding me?

I find it fascinating that creating real dialogue has to come as a result of playing a video game by being Klebold and Harris. Last time I checked, dialogue, included another person. What saddens me about the creation of this game is that somehow getting into the minds of Harris and Klebold and playing this game is supposed to help me deal with my pain.

I can't wait for my kids to grow up in this culture. I can just see the video games coming - "Walk through your parents divorce and the fate of your family is ultimately up to you!"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Fine Art of Letting Go

The Fine Art of Letting Go which appeared in Newsweek this week and was written by Barbara Kantrowitz and Peg Tyre is a great read on how the parents of the boomer generation has wrestled with the fine art of letting their kids grow up into adults!

I fine this topic absolutely fascinating! I've seen several families over the years in our church walk this fine line with great success and others that have crashed and burned. Letting go of your kids is a fine art! No doubt about it. I can't imagine my young children driving, going to movies late at night, dating, and someday graduating! They need us so much right now, so I can see how hard it is for parents to let go!

A guy I think has done a good job with this is Jim Hancock in his book Raising Adults! I love his title and I think it's a good reminder for Julie and myself about what we are doing right now. We are raising our kids, we are raising adults!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

M I 3

I saw this movie last night and loved it!!!!!!!


No this isn't my salary! It's the number, I read in this article in USA Today, that represents what it cost a middle-income family to raise a child from birth to age 18. According to the research, the bulk of these expenses came during the pre-teen and teenage years!

YIKES! This article is packed full of useful statistics, great ideas, and I think lays out some of the challenges that parents are facing today as they decide what to pay for and what not to pay for when it comes to their kids.

Here are a couple of highlights for me. First, I just realized as I was reading this article that I am not proactively teaching my boys about money. In fact, I can't remember any conversations surrounding money and its uses! That's going to change starting this week.

Second, this article really helped me realize all of the expenses the families in our student ministry have with their teens. I want to make sure that what we do isn't sucking the life out of our families financially.

Finally, I am realizing that my wife is going to have to start working more when our kids get older!

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Great Weekend!

Here are the highlights:

- Julie Olson's Wedding - What a joy it was to attend Julie's wedding this weekend! We still remember her going on Jr. High Summer Camp!

- Green Mountain after prom! I checked in seniors and had a great time! I ran into students who used to come to our church in Jr. High! It was a great time of contacting students, meeting the administration and serving in the community! Not to mention it's the school I graduated from!

- Denver Seminary Graduation - I've been to the last 7 graduations and I really enjoyed this one! A student I have been mentoring (Tyler) graduated along with our Jr. High guy's wife!

- Den Sem Grad Party - Tyler's parent threw him a party. We consumed LARGE amounts of pasta and Tyler's dad got some good Adah time during the meal. I ingested about 8,000 calories and will not eat again until Wednesday night! Cool side note, Tyler's dad played for the Braves. He's one of only a handful of guys to hit four home runs in one game! I asked him about Barry Bonds...let's just say he got fired up when I asked him about it!

- Tanner's Baby Dedication - I had the privilege of doing my nephew's baby dedication. All of the immediate family was there and we had a great time!

- Mother's Day - We had a great day as we saw my mom, mom-in-law and step-mom!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day Julie! Words can't express how well I think you care for our three kids! I came across a video I can imagine Noah and Josiah filming one day for you!!!!!

I didn't grow up with a brother but here are two brothers trying to take a picture for their mom!

It's absolutely PRICELESS!!!!

Brother's Mother's Day Video!!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fox Goes to the Megachurch!

Hank and Peggy on King of the Hill are looking for a new church home! They decided to go to the mega church after they visited the churches of some of their friends.

Not only is this absolutely hilarious, with some great one-liners, but it gives us a picture of one perception of church shopping in America!

Check it out!


Jeans - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus?

This week I have been preparing to speak to our students on the body and soul of a young woman. I came across this picture above as I was doing some research.

Needless to say, I won't be encouraging our young women to pick up a pair of these missional jeans!!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Our Team

Last night I spent time with all of the leaders in our student ministry. I can't express enough gratitude and praise to God for who He has provided to shepherd the souls of the students who attend our church. As I was standing in front of them last night all I could think about was how unbelievably blessed the families in our student ministry are to have these adults serving them.

I am excited that our team wants to grow. I am excited that our team wants to tighten up our small group ministry. I am excited that our team is excited about summer camp. I am excited our team wants to be making a difference in the lives of our students for eternity!

I am excited to have the privilege to lead them for another year!!!!!

I'm so bummed...

I know it's shallow, but when Chris got voted off American Idol last night I was in shock!!!!!!!! I woke up this morning bummed. I know, I am a loser, but I wanted him to win. NO I didn't vote for him. I read an article today and the guy had a great take. He said something to this effect, "We were all in shock, especially Simon, as he was thinking about how he is going to market the actual winner!"

You gotta love this show!!!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Avs down 3?!

It just goes to show you that turn about is fair play!!! The Avs are now down 3 with what was the luckiest overtime goal of the season. After the puck was handed to the Ducks the puck barely hit Clark's stick and it deflected the puck down and it went through the five hole.

The puck barely hit his stick and it changed the direction from going up to going down, hitting the ice and bouncing in!

Black Wednesday cometh?

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Brand Called You

I came across this article this morning and found it to be very insightful and challenging. It was written by Tom Peters and published in Fast Company. He is challenging us to start thinking of ourselves as a brand instead of just a sales manager, or janitor, or marketing director, or project manager. He says, "To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You." I found this quote to be very challenging.

How do we market ourselves with humility? How do we not run over people marketing ourselves? How do we tell authentic stories about who we are to market ourselves? How do we shine a light on God and make much of Him in our lives while still becoming the best at what we do? Where's the balance of us getting better and God getting all the credit? How do we maintain our brand and not forget who made us?

I think part of his challenge is true. I want to always be raising the crown above my head to grow up into it. And in so doing, I am becoming all that He wants me to become and made me to become! I have to play a role in responding to who I was made to be.

Friday, May 05, 2006

How Many Steps Ahead Should You Be?

I have been reading The Big Moo here and there to stimulate my thinking over the past few months and I came across a great challenge.

The author of the chapter I read last night suggests that you should be three steps ahead. One step isn’t enough because once your done working with your idea it’s too late. Two steps is tempting as it means everyone’s understands your idea, but it’s those that are three steps ahead that win.

“Three steps changes the game. Organizations that think three steps ahead are groundbreakers and pathfinders. They’re the ones inventing the next generation…”

This is the year I want to start thinking three steps ahead! What new ground do we need to break? What new paths do we need to travel on? What do we need to invent, create, or re-create to reach the next generation with the gospel?

And this doesn’t just apply to my ministry! What about being three steps ahead as a husband? What about being three steps ahead as a father?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Urge to Merge

This past Sunday we started our new series on sex, dating and marriage! I need to thank my close friend in ministry, Gary, who works at Calvary in Boulder for the logo and the title of the series!

We are going to spend two weeks on dating and marriage! Give one week to talking about guys and one week to talking about ladies! We are then putting up a panel of our leaders who are married, single and dating for a question and answer time!

Our desire is to communicate to our students from Genesis that God placed inside them the urge to merge with the opposite sex. It is our desire that students would start viewing everything they do with the opposite sex as either preparing them for a healthy marriage or an unhealthy one. We want our students to know that God's Word is the guide to developing healthy relationships with the opposite sex. The bottom line for us in this series is that we want our students to know and experience the unconditional love of God first and then merge second!

We want students with the urge to merge to do it "in Christ!"

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Importance of Baptism in Salvation!

This past Sunday Pastor Nelson delivered a strong message on the importance of baptism in the life of a person that has placed Jesus Christ as saving Lord of their life! You can access the audio off the front of our website here, and the printed text is here.

He traced the gospels for us to see the connections already made between water baptism and repentance, water baptism and forgiveness, and water baptism and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

He concluded his sermon by focusing on the relationship of water baptism to four essential aspects of what it means to be a Christian:

First, water baptism indicates the forgiveness of our sins.

The second is that water baptism indicates our union with Christ in his death and resurrection.

The third essential aspect of Christianity to which water baptism is related is the gift of the Spirit of God.

The fourth essential aspect of Christianity to which water baptism is related to our initiation into the church, God’s new society, the body of Christ.

He passed out cards and we found out, of the 500 cards turned in, that there are around 15 students who have a relationship with Jesus Christ as saving Lord of their lives and desire to be baptized! June 4th is going to be a great Sunday in the life of our church as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday and baptize a BUNCH of people!