Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A WORD soaked home

The past two weeks of being a dad have been awesome. I've started reading the Bible with my boys before they go to bed every night. We analyze the picture before we read the story (of course the fruit on the tree was an apple). We read the short story. We talk about what happened in the story. They each give an example from their own life about how it applies, and then we pray. They pray forever about everything...thanking God for their bunkbed, every animal in their room, every friend, every family member, dinner, the walls, and it's hillarious to hear them pray about the Bible story in their lives!

I've realized recently that my passion for a WORD soaked youth ministry wasn't a priority in my home. It's never to late to start doing what's right.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A WORD soaked youth ministry

Youth ministry needs to be soaked in the WORD! Everytime we meet with students and leaders we need to open up the Word! We celebrated Reformation Sunday yesterday! I am so grateful to have the Word! I am privileged to teach the Word! We opened up Psalm 8 with our students yesterday. The Word went out! Everytime it's opened it doesn't return void! We can't get better odds!

I am excited to read along with Scot McKnight as he blogs on Psalm 119 - HERE! If you need to be encouraged and refreshed to make the Word a priority in your life and in your ministry this is going to be worth putting in your google reader!

Sunday, October 29, 2006


What a game! What a game! I love football! Bottomline - the Colts offensive line was amazing! Darrent Williams got worked. There is no quarterback controvery in Denver...Jake is the man!

I can't wait for next week against the Steelers!

I love football! It cracked me up this morning...one of our senior guys prayed after we read Psalm 8 and he ended his prayer asking God to let the Broncos win...it's wrong...I know...but I laughed inside!

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Season 1...done. Season 2...done. First 4 episodes of this year...done! Now we can go to bed before midnight and we've got one more way to connect to a group of our high school leaders who are completely addicted to this show.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mitch vs. Jake

It was soooo much fun last night in the freezing cold to watch a couple of our students battle against each other in the Bear Creek vs. Columbine game. Jake's quarterback for Bear Creek and Mitch plays on the D-line for Columbine! It was a great game for the South Metro league title which went to Columbine after a 28-21 win!

I love going to sporting events as my schedule allows to connect with students and families, not to mention supporting our students who are playing on the field! I think getting to sporting events, plays, musicals, choir concerts and games are a critical part of doing student ministry in our communities. The challenge is getting to at least one thing each of our students participates in.

Great game fellas!

I'm looking forward to the playoffs!

Thanks Ryan - GO CU!

I want to say “thanks” to Ryan Miller from Columbine High School! I am thanking him for choosing CU over Notre Dame! On Wednesday he signed with Hawkins and the Buffs. I watched him play last night against Bear Creek and he was impressive on both sides of the ball playing on the line! Rivals.com ranks Ryan as the number 16 football recruit in the nation HERE. He’ll be playing offensive line for the Buffs! It’s interesting that he chose not to go to Notre Dame as they have the number one recruit in the country, Jimmy Clausen, who’ll be playing quarterback!

Thanks Ryan!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

God knew them before I did

David recorded these words in Psalm 139, "13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 4 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

God loves these kids more than I do!

Living what you teach

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

This past Sunday as I was praying through my message on Psalm 139 I realized that I hadn't done what I was going to challenge my students to with the above two verses. I had not spent time letting God search me...knowing my heart...testing me...knowing my anxious thoughts...searching for offensive ways in me and crying out to lead me in the way of the everlasting.

As a means of accountability to the students...here's my post to tell them that I spent the time with these 2 verses yesterday before 5 p.m.

I learned this past week that I can't challenge my students to respond to the text if I haven't first repsonded myself before I stand before them. I must live what I am teaching.

You can't give away what you don't have!

If Christ is the head...

...then what are the pastors in a church? And for that matter, where are the people who aren't pastors?

This LINK provides a picture that you can get on a t-shirt.

What do you think of the t-shirt? Is it right?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I can't wait...

...for 24! Thanks to Chris for pointing me here today for the trailer!

I can't wait for the new season!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hiding it?

This week I have been deeply convicted with the sin that is so pervasive in my life. I been reminded by my sons this week how to fight sin. I need to hide God's WORD in my heart. Josiah's memory verse this week is "Don't be afraid...your prayers have been heard!" - Luke 1:13 and Noah's been belting his out and I don't know what verse it is but it has something to do with "Strength and courage is the Lord."

It hit me this morning...we are walking downstairs for breakfast and Noah is belting out this verse. After breakfast with Noah I woke Josiah up and as we walked down the stairs he was belting out his verse.

Simple, but profound for me this morning.

I need to start hiding God's word in my heart so I won't sin. How can I ask our students to do something I don't?

Monday, October 23, 2006

the Word and the Supper

I had to write this for our staff as a part of our study on the Lord's Supper. I was commissioned to write something about the relationship between the preached Word and the Lord's Supper - why we need the Word when we take the Supper.

What I read about this relationship really moved me.

The preaching of the Word and the Supper are identifying marks of the church. We preach the word because it is living and active and God uses the Word to change people’s lives (Hebrews 4:12). We celebrate the Lord’s Supper when we “eat His body” and “drink His blood” and in doing so we are physically and materially confirming that we are placing our faith in the promises of His Word. The Supper allows us to take hold of the promises of God with our bodies. The Supper incarnates the spoken and written Word we’ve poured over and points us to the original incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.

As a result of our study we're done taking communion only once a month and now doing it twice month! Every other week has been absolutely refreshing for my relationship with Jesus!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Networking in youth ministry

Yesterday I met with men from our community as a network of youthworkers! I can't express the joy that filled my heart - seeing the pastor of students in our community making it a point in their schedules to connect with each other. We had two great conversations around what see happening in our community as it relates to youth ministry and what it looks like to teach the Word with passion. I am excited about the men God has brought to our community to reach students with the GOSPEL!

Networking is a must among youth workers as it is our role to model for the students in our community that we are going to live together forever so we might as well start acting like it here and put away any sense of competition!

Did Jesus die for this?

My friend Charlie pointed me to this here. Here's my response to his blog!

I am so glad you found this board game. I've been reading the New Testament with my five year old and three year old and we came across these verses in Luke 9:23-24Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it."

We then came to Paul's words to the Romans in chapter 8, verse 17, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."So I am thinking about how I can make these verses come alive..you know...so my kids can have there best life now...and then I read this blog!

I've got it! Your Best Life Now - the game! We can sit around as a family and not just talk about these verses, but we can actually play a game that will lead my kids down the path these verses are calling us to follow! NO WAY!Jesus didn't die for your best life now, he died for your best life never...on this earth, but with Him in eternity! Jesus didn't die so we could be happy. He was born to die as a sacrifice and I want to strive for that in life.

Denying self, taking up your cross, sharing in his sufferings...This isn't a prescription for your best life now, it's a prescription to prepare you for your best life never on this earth. It's a prescription to quit making the story about us and shine a light on the Author of the story! It's about leveraging our lives for Him...living out in front of our kids denial of self, sacrifice, and embracing suffering!I wonder how this game makes taking your cross up come alive? Joel's gone to a new level too Charlie - the pulpit has his initials!Whose the story about Joel?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tween/Young teen pastors needed

eMarketer.com has identified four trends that highlight the online transition from tween (8-11 year olds) to young teens (12-14) here.

The four trends are: Socializing, Multi-tasking, Expectation of media anytime/anywhere, and growing influence on family purchase decisions. This quote caught my attention, "The tween/young teen demographic group has great potential for online marketers," says Ms. Williamson. "They are forming brand preferences, and they have comparatively less skepticism about advertising than older teens and adults."

This quote got me thinking that the church had better "belly up to the bar" and start hiring full-time, well paid Tween Pastors. If the marketing world is targeting them with their resources, why do so many churches neglect money and staff to this age group. High school used to be the place to dump money...now it's in the Tweens!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Senior Sneak Relationships

Tacos. Ice Cream. Chips. Pop. Blueberry pancakes. Eggs. More chips. Queso. Grilled cheese. Tomato soup. Clam Chowder. Chicken Noodle. Sitting in the hot tub in the snow. Laughing. Tommy Boy. Louie Giglio. Prayer. Sharing. Football. Downtown Breckenridge. Lots of coffee and Chai tea.

There was more, but one thing stands out for me over the weekend – relationships. I got the chance to talk to half of our class in a way that wouldn’t be possible in their busy lives. I got the chance to hear their dreams for college, our high school ministry and ending well with their families. This weekend reminded me why I love my job – relationships!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Senior Sneak

This weekend we are heading up to Breckenridge with the class of 2007. We'll be resting, sitting in the hot tub for at least six hours, eating pizza, staying up late, sleeping in...you name it! We're also going to be going through a few things to get them thinking about who they are and what they are going to do with the rest of their lives. We're going to watch a talk Louie Giglio gave at Challenge in 2004 tomorrow morning and it's going to rock their worlds! You can order the dvd of this talk (I think) from Nextstep Resources.

My goal for the weekend is to relax with them and spend individual time with each of them talking about who they are and where they are headed. I can't wait!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Teaching with passion

Seth Godin has an interesting post on teaching that I have been thinking about for a little over a week.

Here are a couple of his thoughts that caught my attention.

“If you teach--teach anything--I think you need to start by acknowledging that there’s a need to sell your ideas emotionally. So you need to use whatever tools are available to you--an evocative powerpoint image, say, or a truly impassioned speech.”

“If it’s worth teaching, it’s worth teaching well. If it’s worth investing the time of 30 or 230 or 3330 people, then it’s worth investing the effort to actually figure out how to get the message across.”

One of the thoughts that’s been going through my mind is how many youth pastors teach the Bible with passion! If a guy selling Oral B toothbrushes to a dentist can’t get enough of his product and makes a passionate speech to a group of dentists to buy his product, how much more should those who get the opportunity to teach the Word of God be filled with passion to impart the living Word into the hearts of students? I'm not talking about screaming to them, I am talking about pouring over the text until it's seared into our hearts so we have something from God to declare. I am talking about teaching from the viewpoint that this Word is so worth your time right now because of what it has been doing in my life all week as I have been thinking about it and praying over it! I am talking about preparing to teach well, not just get through a message or a series!

Students are the most passionate people in the church and they are longing to hear from their leader the passion of the Christ as revealed in His passionate Word. Students are longing to see that the Word we are teaching has first taught us. Students are looking for us to call them to a radical faith worth dying for every time we get the chance to stand up in front of them and teach.

We aren’t selling Jesus. We are simply opening up the GLORY of God revealed in His Word (Ps. 19:7-9), and passionately proclaiming to this next generation that there lives must be first saturated in the Word of God because there is nothing sweeter and no greater reward,

“10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Who I am called to disciple first

I am realizing more and more in ministry that my passion for discipleship must begin in the lives of these three gifts from God. I can be replaced in the lives of teenagers by another youth pastor. These kids only get one dad!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Staying dry at the game

Great call being in the northwest corner of the stadium for the game last night. No wind. No rain! Dry as the Sahara! My take homes from the game.

- Ernster sealed the deal to be our punter!
- Jason Elam still has it…at least for this season.
- Plummer – 6 yards passing in the first half killed me.
- Why do you throw to the guys Champ’s covering at the end of the first half?
- Watching Ray Lewis on the sidelines is worth the ticket – especially what I paid for mine…NOTHING – thanks dad!
- Going with your wife is epic!
- Raiders, Cleveland and the Colts! It would be nice getting to the Colts game at Invesco with only one loss.
- Darrent Williams showed up on punt returns.
- Watching Al Wilson and John Lynch fly around the field was awesome!
- Baltimore’s field position was horrible in the second half – the stadium was going crazy.3-1 after the first quarter isn’t bad!

Monday, October 09, 2006

How bad do you need $2,000.00

Not this bad - Man Eats 247 Jalapenos to Win Contest! He took home 2k for the burn of a lifetime.

You've got to be kidding me. When I first saw this I thought it might be some crazy youth pastor who got one of his cocky senior guys to do a "dare."

Wrong. It was a 62 year old guy.

Here's my favorite line in the article - "Dr. Daniel DeMarco, a gastroenterologist and director of endoscopy at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, said the amount of jalapenos consumed in an eating contest is more harmful than the burn."

NO KIDDING! You don't have to be a gastroenterologist to nail that! I can't imagine having to take vacation days to sit in a bathroom!


I am pumped that it's Monday!

I don't have to prepare to preach in BIG Church this week. Yesterday's sermon was intriguing to study for and I'm grateful for the opportunity to preach...But this is a much lower stress week!

We are back in our i2i groups this week and I'm excited to watch our leaders shepherd their groups.

We are going on our Senior Sneak this weekend in Breckenridge. We get the seniors away for a weekend to rest, relax, sleep, eat WELL and we spend a little time walking through who they are and how that fits with what University they are heading to! I can't wait for this trip.

Finally, the Broncos are playing tonight and Julie and I are going!!!!! My prediction for the game - Broncos 24 - Ravens 17. The Ravens 4-0 isn't that impressive with "squeaky wins" the last two games! Plus, it might snow a little!

Friday, October 06, 2006

The next 50 years in youth ministry

Christianity Today ran an article What's Next: Youth Church Reconnect: What evangelical leaders say are the priorities for the next 50 years in youth ministry.

A couple of things from the article that caught my attention:

- This book is a must own, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. The authors found that religious teens in America hold their beliefs as "moralistic therapeutic deism."

- Anything Kendra Creasy Dean has written is worth reading at least twice. I loved her quote in the article about making theology a bigger part of youth ministry, "The more theology you get, and the more you understand about your tradition, the better chance you have of having a sustainable faith language you can pass on.”

A Few thoughts for the weekend regarding this article.

- Getting youth pastors to think about the next 50 years, yeah right. I’ve got friends in ministry who don’t know what’s happening in November, next spring summer or even the fall of 2007! Getting them to talk about youth ministry in 50 years would be a hoot!

- One of the big complaints is that more and more students are “leaving the faith” when they get to college. I find this statistic funny since youth ministry is more “professionalized” today than it was 40 years ago. How can this be?

- The one thing I notice lacking in youth pastors is an understanding of theology, especially in the area of salvation. How many youth pastors have an ordo salutis? Heck, how many of them even know what that means? It’s not a rip, but a reality that we can’t just be about only loving students, we have to know how to think theologically about programs, conversations, retreats, missions, outreach…you name it. Love for God and others (students) must be our foundation but the first columns built up from it must be theological ones!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Being there in the fight

Last week I ran into one of our former students at Club USA. We had a great time catching up on how her family is doing and what life has been like in college. She mentioned that she was going to a church in our area now with her mom and they are seeking to know the will of God in their lives! What's interesting about this young lady is that she probably came a total of 15 times in four years to our high school ministry. She considered our church her home church. She remembered being a part of our Sunday morning program for the most part, but it was something else that she said that has grabbed my heart this past week. She told me how much she had to fight to be there. She told me that getting to church was a fight. A fight in schedule. A fight with skiing. A fight with sleeping in. A fight with getting her siblings motivated. A fight inside her own soul - a spiritual one. She reminded me that every Wednesday and every Sunday, whether you come 15 times a year or 50 times a year, I and the rest of my leaders, need to be there for the fight. Next time you see a student who hasn't been there in awhile ,don't forget to consider that they've been in a battle for a few weeks and don't need guilt, but love!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The five dysfunctions of a team

A HUGE thanks goes out to my PAL Charlie for getting me to read this book! I know I am behind the curve, but hey, I am dysfunctional! All I can say is “Bless you my child!” I absolutely loved reading this book and I can’t wait to start implementing the principles I learned in this book with my student ministry team and pastoral staff team. I want to start being part of great teams in our church!

The five dysfunctions are:

Absence of trust
Fear of conflict
Lack of commitment
Avoidance of accountability
Inattention to results

I’ll post some thoughts as I start working through this with my teams, but here’s the big take away for me: To start functioning right we’ve got to find out where we are dysfunctional. And getting everyone on the team to start identifying the dysfunctions isn’t going to be easy! I am ready to roll up my sleeves! I am excited to take the test and start working! If you’ve read the book, share your biggies that I shouldn’t miss and what helped your team. If you don’t have this book click HERE and buy it NOW!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Compa Food Drive

I am thrilled that our students are sponsoring a church-wide food Drive to support the largest faith based food bank in Colorado – Compa Food Ministry. My friend, Phil, whose dad works for Compa and goes to our church, pointed me to this interview this week in the Denver Post! It has been exciting to watch a large group of our students promote this drive in our adult communities on Sunday mornings and see them excited about getting food for the 200,000 people that Compa helps feed. As a side note, The Broncos wives food drive is coming up at the end of the month! I think we can collect more pounds of food than them! :)