Thursday, December 27, 2007


This is the score of Noah and Josiah's first Nuggets game that they attended. The Nuggets won impressively yesterday over the Bucks! We had great club level seats and had a great time with Grandpa Larry (my dad)!

We do a "Guys Night Out" once a month. Last month is was Anthony's Pizza and Glow-in-the-Dark Putt-Putt. Josiah calls these nights "Guys At Night!" He cracks me up.

Whatever he calls it, my youth ministry skills are coming in handy being a dad! Next month will probably be Ice Cream and Fat City!

The Teenage Brain

Frontline has a great video,

Inside The Teenage Brain,

that's worth a look and passing on to leaders and parents in your student ministry.

Monday, December 24, 2007 funny

We have a "You Might Be a Redneck If..." calendar on our kitchen counter that has provided us many chuckles this year. I thought the December 15/16 entry was worthy of the blog.

You Might Be a Redneck If...Your pastor had to deliver a sermon titled "Stealing a donkey from the church nativity scene is wrong."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What would you ask for?

Taken from wondercafe.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Emerging Adulthood

This week I read a great article on Emerging Adulthood, Getting a Life - The challenge of emerging adulthood by Christian Smith from my Christianity Today Books & Culture email. Christian Smith is the author of Soul Searching, which is a must read for every student ministry pastor.

He asks two important questions student ministry pastors and the rest of the pastors in their church should answer based on his conclusions, "How does or should American Christianity speak to emerging adults as people and emerging adulthood as a cultural fact? How can the church faithfully speak the gospel to 18- to 30-year-olds?"

I passed this on to our pastoral staff and we are going to address these two questions at a staff meeting in January.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Building Bridges to Your Senior Pastor - 1

Historically, one of the top reasons student ministry pastors leave churches is due to the fact that they are unable to relate to their senior pastor. Not wanting this to be a reason for me to leave my church (hey, I've been here since 1996 with the same senior pastor) I decided to be proactive in my communication with him. For example, every message I teach on a Sunday morning to our high school students, he sees a short outline of my message. I put a copy in his box so he can take a quick glance at it before he files it in the trash (the best filing cabinet in his office).

The brief amount of time that he takes to look over what I'm teaching helps to build trust and potentially opens the door for him to speak into what I am presenting. Plus, if a parent speaks to him it keeps him in the "know" with at least a general idea of what is being taught in the high school ministry.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

State of our Seniors in Student Ministry

After Kara Powell came and evaluated my high school ministry this past spring I've been reading everything she writes. After reading, What Type of Students Are We Developing? The State of our Seniors, I decided to use her questions with my seniors.

I have the data and will report back soon what I find!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A clean desk

I read this blog and it led to this picture. There is no question that the two hours I spent to clean off my desk were two of the greatest hours I've spent in my office. Bottom line...I get more done!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Touching wet ground

I came across this quote this morning from Henri Nouwen and I stopped to listen...I touched wet ground,

"Every time you listen great attentiveness to the voice that calls you the Beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply. It is like discovering a well in the desert. Once you have touched wet ground, you want to dig deeper."

I want our students to graduate having heard this call and then walk into college with the desire to dig deeper. But I wonder how many times our students have touched wet ground when we've gathered on Wednesdays and Sundays?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Southwest Connection Student Ministry Network

Yesterday I met with other student ministry leaders in my community, the Southwest Connection Student Ministry Network. I love being a part of this network. We poured over an article from Kenda Creasy Dean, Assistant professor of youth, church, and culture in the field of practical theology and Christian education at Princeton Theological Seminary, "Getting out of God's Way Freeing Our Inner Theologian" and it started some great conversations. I love her writing. She articulates what my mind thinks and how my heart feels about student ministry. I can't wait to go to Princeton in April.

She is arguing for student ministries to wean themselves from "unreflective pragmatism" and start leading student ministries as practical theologians, "reflection on practices that reflect God."

Here's her summary, "practical theologians approach youth ministry with this question: "Do our actions with young people reflect the self-giving love of God?" This is a very different question from the pragmatic one: "What works to win young people to Jesus (or maybe to us)?" GULP! AMEN!

I am praying for this change to be even greater in 2008 in our student ministry. What about you and your ministry?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Being fully present in student ministry

How different would student ministry look in the church if student ministry pastors and their leaders were fully present with students during their gatherings? So many student ministry leaders are always talking about who didn't show up and missing who did.

Being fully present means we are not walking around wondering why so and so didn't show up, bummed that our attendance is low, etc... Rather being fully present has to start with thinking about who did show up, and praying that God would open a door for this to be the gathering where they respond to His love. Being fully present means that the students who do you show up get our full attention.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

words of a killer

"You Christians brought this on yourselves, I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill."

"Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don't care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."

- Words from the gunman who is responsible for killing four people this Sunday at YWAM and New Life Church...actually they are almost a direct quote from Eric Harris, one of the gunman during the Columbine shootings.

Chilling. What can our students learn from this? Matthew 10:22 might be a good place to start this Sunday.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Teaching on success in student ministry

According to this poll, "The majority of teens surveyed (71 percent) say they feel fully prepared to make ethical decisions when they enter the workforce. Yet 38 percent of that group believe it is sometimes necessary to cheat, plagiarize, lie or even behave violently in order to succeed."

Our students need to be challenged with Joshua's definition of success,

"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." - Joshua 1:8

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mind mapping in student ministry

A tool I've been using for the past few years to help me me get out of a rut when I am preparing a message or a small group is a mind map. I have a blank piece of paper next to me with colored pencils. When I get stuck in my preparation to communicate an idea, I mind map. This discipline has also benefited me when I take notes, plan elements for a retreat, my own family vacations, etc... It's truly amazing what emerges. This would even be great to have students do during the message you are teaching or the small group you are leading.

Next time you get stuck in preparation for your message or small group discussion, grab a blank sheet of paper a follow these steps. Or you can watch this video for an overview.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry 1

I am loving this book! Here are a few quotes and thoughts from the introduction:

"There is no 'third thing', no 'end' to which the relationship should lead...the relationship is the end. Ministry, then, isn't about 'using' relationships to get individuals to accept a 'third thing' e.g. the gospel, rather, ministry is about connection, one to another, about sharing in suffering and joy, about persons meeting persons with no pretense or secret motives. It is about shared life, confessing Christ not outside the relationship but within it." - pg. 15

I want a student ministry full of leaders who will live the gospel with our students. Furthermore, I want us to wrestle with Andy's words, "Ministry is not about helping these kids be better Christians; it is about helping them be what God created them to be - human. Ministry is about suffering with them in their dehumanization, celebrating their human endeavors and in all things pointing to the true human, Jesus Christ our Lord." - pg. 15

I am beginning to realize that I've failed in my student ministry to point our students to regularly to the true human, Jesus. My ministry has pointed them to Jesus being 100% God, but rarely being 100% man. I want a more incarnational student ministry!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

7 places

Today I realized that if you were trying to find anyone on our student ministries staff you could probably find us in one of seven places:

1. Office
2. Denver Seminary
3. Starbucks
4. Costco
5. Panera
6. Walmart
7. Home


EFCA Mentoring Retreat

Sunday through Tuesday I was in Summit County with with 8 other student ministry pastors for our annual EFCA mentoring retreat at this house! It was awesome! We went to The Mint and grilled our own meat! We spent our time discussing Chris Folmsbee's book, A New Kind of Youth Ministry. Awesome read! This is a must read!!!!!! We got through the intro and first two chapters! Plus, Chris did a 40 minute conference call with us! What a guy! Thanks bro!

I love networking!!!!! My take, every student ministry pastor should be in a network, one in their denomination and one in their community! We are better together!!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

College students on Christmas break

I love Christmas break! We take a few weeks off from meeting on Wednesdays (still meet every Sunday) which allows me time to catch up with our college students when they're home! Most of our grads move out of Littleton. I emailed them last week (the ones that haven't changed their email addresses) and told them to look me up when they're home. Several of them emailed me back and I can't wait to hear their stories. It's important for our students to know that we're still thinking about them and praying for them even though they aren't a physical part of our community.

Fuller's Center for Youth and Family Ministry has a good article with some great thoughts about what kind of questions could be asked as you, or your leaders meet with your sheep who have moved on. Thanks to Kara, Cheryl and Brad for your work.

You Make the Call: What College Freshmen Need to Hear from their Youth Pastors

Friday, November 30, 2007


Today I left my task list and went down the hall to hang with Than and Rich, two men I serve with here at the church. Not scheduled meetings just drop-ins. It's great to not make all of our interactions scheduled meetings. Today was a great time to connect about family, leadership issues, planning, raising kids, future of the church, the Nuggets, buying a car, joys in our ministries, etc...

Sure you can have all of this happen in scheduled meetings, but sometimes you just need to put down the task list and head down the hall and say, "What is up?" Drop-ins help create an environment that says our relationship is more than just a working one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


This Sunday in our study of church history we come to Luther.

I just read the 95 Theses he nailed up - here. Whoa! This man had more than just a few things to say! I would love to have heard him read them. Even if you don't read them, just click on it to see how long it really is!

In addition, can't wait to read and listen to A Mighty Fortress Is Our God together! I am wondering what will stick with our students from his life!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Prayer for student ministry

Psalm 100:3 "Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."

I'm praying for a student ministry this week full of students who know and will experience that the LORD is God; that He is the one who made them; that they are His; And that He is watching over them and caring for them like a shepherd would his sheep.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Surgery and relational youth ministry read

I am spending Turkey day recovering from a SLAP tear of my labrum surgery! I just started reading Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry - From a strategy of influence to a theology of incarnation by Andy Root! More to come when I can type with both hands!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Prayer of trust in student ministry

“Abba, into your hands I entrust my body, mind, and spirit and this entire day – morning, afternoon, evening, and night. Whatever you want of me, I want of me, falling into you and trusting in you in the midst of my life. Into your heart I trust my heart, feeble, distracted, insecure, uncertain. Abba, unto you I abandon myself in Jesus our Lord. Amen.” - Brennan Manning from Ruthless Trust

I am envisioning a student ministry in the next few years where more students are praying this prayer and then living it? Can you see it? But then it hit me, if I am not praying this prayer and then living it I can't expect to see in our students.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Right person or Right program?

As our church looks for a new senior pastor I've been thinking a lot about how he'll present himself to our committee and our spiritual community. Will he come in emphasizing that he is the right person or that he has the right program?

I am praying that he emphasizes that he is the right person who desires to build the right programs instead of selling the us a program that worked in his former church. I am not saying I don't want a fresh new vision, I just don't want the smoke and mirrors to get us more bodies, more of a building and more bucks.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


"Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion in you." - Bill Hybels

What's your picture of the future? If it's not producing passion in you it's time to get out clean piece of paper and draw a new picture!

My picture of the future of our student ministry fuels my passion to serve today. My picture of the future of my family fuels my passion to engage them today. My picture of the future of my relationship with Lord fuels my passion to pray and read His Word today.

And when the passion is gone, I'm going to pull out a clean piece of paper and draw a new picture.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adoration in small groups

Last night we had our adoration time in our i2i groups. We are moving some of our adoration times to our i2i groups for a more intimate time with the Lord. In the past, all we've ever done is adoration with a large group before we broke up into our i2i groups around the building.

Last night our i2i groups prayed slowly through the Lord's Prayer together while thinking about each of the words. I am excited to get feedback from my leaders on how it went.

9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'

I mentioned that we could just stop with the first word of the prayer and think on it for a while. It's our prayer. It' not just mine. We are part of a community of people here and around the world praying together with one heart and one mind. Our desire is for them to start soaking in the words they know by heart and praying that the Spirit of God would open their eyes to the wonderful things in His word (Psalm 1119:18). I can't wait to implement more i2i adoration times next semester.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Millennials Are Coming

Michael over at Extra Mile Management, and a good friend of mine, pointed me to this video over at CBS, The Millennials Are Coming. This video is worth 13 minutes of your day. Here are some things that stood out to me:

1. They need coaching instead of bossing.
2. They grew up with Mr. Rodgers telling them they're special, but never defined for what.
3. They suffer from a coddling virus. This one slayed me. At the end of the video, watch what the two Millennials want their bosses to do if they do a good job. I almost fell out of my chair.
4. They will choose their friends and lifestyle over their job any day. The Millennials they interviewed were very insightful here as they talk about watching their parents.
5. How is our economy going to continue to be stable or even get stronger if we are putting Millennials in jobs where they want to just have fun?
6. I laughed out loud when they talked about how to talk to this generation like a therapist.
7. Mary Crane is very insightful in this piece. I laughed out loud when she was talking to them about their tattoos.
8. They are growing up with no expectation to work hard.
9. Who couldn't be happy growing up in a world where there is no failure?

As I watch this video I am asking myself, "What is the church supposed to do with these 80 million people born between 1980 and 1995?" These next 20 years are going to be a ride!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Prayer for the week...

1 Peter 3:15 "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord..."

This week I am praying that when our i2i groups meet on Wednesday night and our students gather to study church history this Sunday they will make the decision to set apart Christ as Lord in their hearts. A war is being waged for so many other things to be set apart as Lord in their hearts.

One of the things I am doing more of in my preparation for our gathering times is praying scripture. It's been a good rhythm of ministry practice to establish as it's keeping me dependent on the Lord.

Cruise faliure

I failed to gain 15 pounds on the cruise from eating every 30 minutes. Oh well, we had a great time! What a HUGE SHIP!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Anniversary Cruise

8 years ago we decided with our friends, the Hodges, that we would take a Caribbean cruise together to celebrate our 10 year anniversaries. Well, we're halfway through year 11 and they're halfway through year ten so it's time to make the plan a reality. We're off today on the Carnival Legend to the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

many youth dad

The students of this church will one day have another youth pastor. There will be several more after me when I move on.

But my kids will only get one dad. May all of us that get the privilege to shepherd students in the church, who have kids, be reminded that our first youth ministry is at home.

I love these Rockies hats!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Do you ever say, “I am overwhelmed with astonishment to find that the Lord has converted souls through my poor ministry”? Mock humility! Your ministry is poor enough. Everybody knows that, and you ought to know most of all; but, at the same time, is it any wonder that God, who said “My word shall not return unto me void,” has kept his promise? Is the meat to lose its nourishment because the dish is a poor platter? Is divine grace to be overcome by our infirmity? No, but we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. – Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Teaching is tough work

I am reading three books right now on how I can become a better communicator to the students in our community. In Speaking to Teenagers, Fields and Robbins offer a chart that shows what it takes to give a message and have it actually stimulate life-change in a student (pg.17). They got this list of questions from the book, The Human Connection. It's a list of questions that all require the answer of YES to move down the list.

1. Pay attention to the message?
2. Comprehend it?
3. Believe it?
4. Remember it?
5. Behave accordingly?

If you come up with a NO then there is no action and the student cannot move to the next question. We don't want a NO when we are speaking to our students! So before they behave accordingly, they have to remember, and before they remember, they have to believe, and before they believe, they have to comprehend it, and before they comprehend it, they have to be paying attention.

Great stuff to be thinking about next time we sit down to prepare a message, lead a small group, or spend time mentoring a student.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Game 4

Last night was AWESOME!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Out of Control Disciple

I shared this with my seniors on our retreat last weekend. It was awesome to sit around and hear which of these phrases grabbed their heart. I would love to graduate a slew of out of control disciples from our ministry in May!

“I am a member of the Church of the Out of Control. I am an out of control disciple. I’ve given up my control to God. I trust and obey the Spirit. I’ve jumped off the fence, stepped over the line. I’ve pulled out all the stops. There’s no turning back, looking around, slowing down, backing away, letting up or shutting up. It’s a life against the odds, outside the box, over the wall, the game of life played without goal lines other than ‘Thy will be done…’

“I’m done primping and pimping for the overdogs, the wonderdogs, the lapdogs, or even the underdogs. I’m done playing according to the rules, whether its Robert’s Rules of Order or Miss Manner’s rules of etiquette or Martha Stewarts’ rules of living, Louis Farakhan’s rules of America’s least wanted, or Merrill Lynch’s rules of money-minding, bottom-lining and ladder-climbing.

“I am not here to please the dominate culture or to serve any all-show, no-go bureaucracy; I live to please my Lord and Savior. My spiritual taste buds have graduated from fizz and froth to fire and ice. Sometimes I’m called to sharpen the cutting edge and sometimes to blunt the cutting edge. Don’t give me that ‘old time religion’ or even the new time religion. Give me that all time religion that’s as hard as rock and soft as snow.

“I can’t be bought by personalities or perks, positions or prizes. I won’t give up, though I may give in…to openness of mind, humbleness of heart, and generosity of spirit. In the face of adversity, I will no longer simply hang in there. I will stand in there; I will run in there. I will pray in there;

I will sacrifice in there. I will endure in there; in fact, I will do everything in there but hang. My face is upward, my feet are forward, my eyes are focused, my way is cloudy, my knees are worn, my seat uncreased, my heart burdened, my spirit light, my road narrow and my mission wide.

“I won’t be seduced by popularity, seduced by criticism, travested by hypocrisy, or trivialized by mediocrity. Just because the show must go on, whether in Hollywood, Washington, Nashville or Denver, doesn’t mean the show is worth watching.

“I am organized religion’s best friend and worst nightmare. I won’t back down, slow down, shut down, or let down until I’m preached out, teached out, healed out or hauled out of God’s mission in the world entrusted to the member of the Church of the Out of Control, a mission to unbind the confined, whether they’re downtrodden or upscale, overlooked or under-represented.

“My fundamental identity is as a disciple of Jesus—but even more, as a disciple of Jesus who lives in Christ, who doesn’t trek through history simply ‘in His steps’ but seeks to travel more deeply in His Spirit.

“Until he comes again or calls me home, you will find me not killing time so that one day he will pick me out in the lineup of the ages as one of His own. And then, it will be worth it all to hear these words, the most precious words that I can ever hear: “You are my beloved son, in whom I am well-pleased. Well done, thou good and faithful…out of control disciple.”

Friday, October 26, 2007


I just started reading the book unChristian.

Here's the website for the book.

Here's the link to buy the book.

Here's an interview with the author.

Can't wait to get through this one!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The World Series

Today begins the Rockies journey toward their first World Series win. I am so sick of hearing how we are going to get swept or only win one game.

My prediction...Rockies win the World Series! Offense, defense, and bullpen will do it for us.

They will not be stopped. Everyone thought the Phillies were going to roll them...Bring home the hardware boys. Show everyone on the East coast who sleeps during our games who we really are. A legit contender.

Oh, and it's not going to be snowing this weekend! The weather is going to be awesome!

GO ROCKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


At our leaders meeting last week I was strongly encouraged by Jen to get on Facebook and start getting a life. So, after her kind nudge I am on Facebook. I am still learning my way around it. I want to learn how to throw a sheep at someone! is the real value for me, I now have a gateway to keep in contact with students who have graduated from our church! It's so exciting to see the names of students pop up on my Friends list that I had the privilege to shepherd!

So to Jen...thanks for the nudge!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Do you...

This quote from John Piper led off our Senior Sneak this past weekend. I am praying that our seniors will let these words soak into their souls!

Do You…

Do you love the thought that you exist to make God look glorious?

Do you love the thought that all creation exists to display the glory of God?

Do you love the truth that all of history is designed by God to one day be a completed canvas that displays in the best way possible the greatness and beauty of God?

Do you love the fact that Jesus Christ came into the world to vindicate the righteousness of God and repair the injury that we had done to the reputation of the glory of God?

Do you love the truth you personally exist to make God look like what he really is—glorious?

I ask again: Do you love the fact that your salvation is meant to put the glory of God’s grace on display?

Do you love seeing and showing the glory of God?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Broncos and Rockies tickets

I was giving the gift of a Club Level seat last night for the Broncos game. Here is the view from the seat. My friend Larry Stair from Trak-1 technologies hooked me up with a ticket. We went to Colorado Christian together and then he served in the EFCA in the Rocky Mountain District before he left and went to Trak-1. We had a great time!

Now on to the 10:00 a.m. today tickets go on sale and we are hoping to snag tickets for Game 4.

Now back to the Broncos...the Packers come into town on Monday night and we can't wait to see Favre live!

Rockies Sunday (?) and Broncos Monday could be epic!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Laughing together

Last night I met with my amazing leaders who serve alongside me in our high school ministry. Something happened that wasn't on the outburst of laughter! After our meeting we busted out the fortune cookies to top off an amazing night of eating awesome homemade Chinese food. We read the fortunes and added the proverbial "in bed" after each one and I lost it. We all lost it. There was an uproar of laughter. At one point I was in tears!

We built community last night through laughter. It was time to laugh!

Ecclesiastes 3:4 "A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Relaional Youth Minsitry

Andy Root has a great MP3 on Princeton's new Cloud of Witnesses: An Audio Journal on Youth, Church, and Culture. It's free. I am sharing this with my high school leaders tonight. He has some very important things to say about how to make relationships the priority in our ministries. In addition, he clearly explains how many of us in the past have given lip service to the fact that we are relationally driven in our ministries, only using relationships as the instrument to get students to our events. His four hallmarks of a healthy theologically grounded practice of relational of ministry with youth is worth discussing with your leaders. I can't wait for tonight's discussion.

Check out the MP3 here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Game 4 - SWEEP!

Here is the view from my seats last night! I can't wait for the World Series!

My wife, her mother and sister were decked out!

Senior Sneak

This weekend is going to be AWESOME! We are taking our seniors up to Breckenridge to spend some time with them. We will eat together, play together, pray together, cry together, wrestle with our purpose in life together and many other things. I've prepared a booklet for them filled with all kinds of stuff. Among several things I will share with them are these unbelievable words from Chuck Swindoll,





Monday, October 15, 2007

A kick in the pants

This past week I realized something about my teaching. It needs a kick in the pants. After being gone from fulfilling this role and having stepped back into it, I realize I am rusty. I need a kick in the pants! So, I have these three books on my desk and I am going to devour them in the next two weeks.

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The Big Idea: Focus the Message-multiply the Impact by Dave Ferguson

Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, & Deliver Effective Messages by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins

Anyone read any of these?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Parents of our students

Wednesday of this week I met with several of our high school parents to pray and talk through some things while their kids were in i2i groups around the church. It was awesome! They were engaging, full of ideas, their prayers for our ministry were thoughtful and I think we all walked away with this one purpose:

We are a team that needs to be working together to help our high school students become faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

We've got a great team!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sharing our humanness with students

Larry Richards said, "To communicate the reality of God we must share our humanness...that inadequacy of ours which made us need Him."

We don't just simply meet for the sake of meeting on Wednesday nights in small groups. One of our goals is to get to know each other, hopefully at the deepest levels.

And this begins with our leaders modeling for our students what it means to share their humanness...their inadequacies, within appropriate boundaries based on the maturity of the group.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tickets to the NLCS

Random thoughts about tickets and the NLCS.

- All NLCS Rockies games are sold out. If you want to go you will pay HUGE money from a scalper.
- As of last night the Diamondbacks still had 12,000 tickets for Thursdays game. What?
- I have tickets to Sunday's and Monday's games at Coors Field!
- I am officiating a wedding on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. which means I can't use my ticket to the game on Sunday night. :( AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- I will be at Monday's game no MATTER WHAT!
- My father-in-law, who bought the tickets, has to travel on Sunday and Monday to Arizona. He can't go to either game. Oh man, is he bitter!
- Monday I will be at the game with my wife, her sister and her mother. Not to mention the Guido will be there.
- Who will be the two lucky people on Sunday night to go to the game?
- Who will be the lucky person on Monday night to go to the game?

Prayer walk

Last Wednesday night our students participated in a prayer walk for our adoration time. Our i2i groups walked around the building praying for our search for a new senior pastor, their high school leaders, that their passion would grow to live for Christ in their schools, and for their friends who do not know the power of the resurrection. And these are just a few of the things on the list. I am excited to move more of our adoration time from the large group setting to the small group setting.

One of my hopes and prayers is that this prayer walk will translate into them praying while they walk around their schools. We want a group of students who are learning to walk with God in the daytime and hear his song at night!

Psalm 42:8 "The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Eagle Scout Ceremony

Yesterday I got the privilege to pray at the beginning and end of the Eagle Scout Ceremony of one of our students and two of his fellow scouts. It was an awesome ceremony. Harrison's (right) project was to build a garden at Chatfield State Park.

The one thing that stuck out to me throughout the entire ceremony was the community that was in the room. Everyone knew everyone. Stories were told of each young man and everyone laughed like they knew that would have been true of them.

I want to be a part of a high school ministry of students and parents that know each other that well. I want to be at the Senior Salute every May and have that same kind of community.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

joy & pain

Rockies = joy

Broncos = pain

Thursday, October 04, 2007


The Rockies are on FIRE!!!!!!!!!! Early reports tonight are possible snow showers for the game on Sunday if we don't sweep the Phillies on Saturday.

The fever has spread all over our student ministry. As students were gathering last night the buzz was around the Rockies. Several of them watched the game in their classes. Others had to sneak into the choir room.

This is awesome!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gates vs. Jobs

The Presentation Zen has a great post on what we can learn from the presentations of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. It's really fascinating to see the difference. I want to present more like Jobs.

At the end of the article he makes this statement, "If your ideas matter, then the presentation matters, right?"

For student ministry leaders the answer is YES! For me it's YES! I am back in the saddle this week after not having prepared a message since July 1st. The ideas I am presenting from the first installment of our study of church history matter. This challenges me to consider not just what ideas I am going to present, but how I am going to present them. This is especially true when it comes to using PowerPoint slides, audio and video. Hey, it's one more thing to do to get ready, but I truly believe that this is a skill more of us should develop. Subscribe to the Presentation Zen's blog today to keep getting encouragement and skills to help you further this skill!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Rockies 9 - Padres 8

Monday, October 01, 2007

Worship as Evangelism

Worship as Evangelism is a great read and worth a discussion among leaders in your student ministry.

Sally writes, "Can the W-word [worship] be saved?" Saved from the definition that it's just what goes on inside the tent? From the lie that worship is a place you go, not what you do or who you are?"

How are we in student ministry contributing to the right definition of what worship is and what the wrong definition of what worship is with our students?


Today the Rockies play the Padres for a chance to go to the playoffs.

I am going to the game! My mother-in-law called Chris and I last night and said she wanted to take her son-in-laws to the game.

Tear. Rejoice!

78 degrees at game time. It's going to be crazy!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

86 years old

Today was a great day in the life of our spiritual community of high school students. Our guest speaker was John Nelson. He's 86 years old and he is the first speaker in our series, Faith of our Fathers, which will run 3 to 4 times throughout the year. I've had a burden to get those in our church who have walked with the Lord for decades in front of our students to share their journey with Jesus. Today was filled with laughter and tears. I think it's imperative for the students in our church to hear the faith stories of those who have come before them. Several of our students don't have a relationship with their grandparents so it's a great chance for them to hear the story of a faithful follower of Jesus.

I can't wait for the next one this winter!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

20 ppt slides...then sit down

This article, from Wired, is a must read if you ever have to get up in front of a group and give a presentation! I have never heard of the pecha-kucha (Japanese for "chatter") method, but I am going to implement this next time I have to give a presentation.

You create 20 slides which show for 20 seconds. Then sit down! This is a great method for short presentations.

For me this method is going to prove to be very beneficial when we do Discovery, our Welcome to Southern Gables lunch. Each pastor and director gets up in front of the new people in our spiritual community and gets to paint a picture of who they are and what they do in the church. We only get 5 minutes so that will translate to 15 slides.

In the article there's a really good video example by Daniel Pink that will give you a feel for what it looks like.

I wonder how this could transform Sunday mornings in student ministries? Do we start viewing our messages in 6 minutes and 40 second intervals? Hmmm...?

All I want for Christmas is my two...

...front teeth. Josiah had surgery yesterday to extract his two front teeth that got destroyed when he slipped on a set of wood stairs and landed on his face.

It took the doctor an hour to sedate him. What can I say? He's my son!

Jell-O, Gatorade, Ice cream sandwiches, chocolate marshmallows, chicken noodle soup, pixy stix...not a bad recovery diet! I want to give PROPS to our children's pastor for coming down to pray with Josiah before his surgery. I am so glad my children are under Than's care!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Students with strong souls

Psalm 138:3 "On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul." - NAS

Students gathered to pray two days ago all over the world. They called out to God. He is going to answer. He is going to make them bold with strength in their souls, to live for Christ and His kingdom on their campuses. He's going to do it the rest of their lives.

Lets encourage them to keep praying the rest of their lives.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


My daughter reminded of something that I need to start practicing more around our students and all the people in our church. Saying, "Hi!" Every time I come home the first thing out of her mouth is "Hi!" It's not an informal greeting, rather it's spoken out of a smile and a sparkle in her eye. When I see her smile and hear that word I truly feel welcomed home. Not to mention she's adorable! Sometimes she will say, "Hi daddy!" She knows who I am!

I've forgotten the power of a smile and saying the simple word "Hi" to someone. Every time a student walks through that door from the parking lot to our spiritual community I want to create a culture where there's an expectation that there is going to be someone there who will be smiling saying, "Hi!" And if we know their name, letting that be the second word they hear, so they know we know who they are.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cool Milk?

Anastasia points us to milkmedia and their passion to help make milk "cool for kids" in schools through advertising artists on their milk cartons. My oldest son is now attending elementary school and I am dreading him growing up in a world where everything he consumes has to "be cool." Milk doesn't have to "be cool" or "blue" to drink. It's good for you. That's why you drink it.

This leads me to wonder and imagine what student ministry in the church will look like for these kids who are growing in a culture where milk now isn't part of a healthy diet, it helps out your social status.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Love and sent

"O Father, thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me." - The Valley of Vision.

I have been praying this prayer for our seniors this week. When I look at the names of these students who have less than a year left in our spiritual community, my prayer is that they would know that God loves them and that he sent Jesus to redeem them. There's a lot of things I want them to take with them when they graduate, but these two are indispensable. It's my goal to have a conversation with each senior about this prayer before January 1, 2008. I can't wait to hear the stories from the lips of the class of 2008. I am going to get started tomorrow night before our gathering at 7:00 p.m.

Shanahan's glasses

Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was wearing glasses at his press conference yesterday. It was hilarious. Was that Brian Bosworth doing an interview? Here's how he explained the shades,

“When it’s fourth-and-5 and you’re at your 9-yard-line with four minutes left and you go for it and you come home and your wife hits you,” he joked. It turns out there's a cat running around his house that he is allergic to and his eyes were swollen. Hey, me and Josiah have some in common with Shanny! Oh I keep playing the Daniel Graham drop in my mind!

My Broncos are 2-1 with Indianapolis this week. GULP! At Indy. GULP! GULP!


Monday, September 24, 2007

four-year-olds on crystal meth

That's the phrase one person has used to describe the 79 million Millennials in this country. This is a great article written by a Millennial. In it she gives her thoughts on what needs to be true of an ad campaign to reach her and her peers. I think we've got something to learn about how to do student ministry from this article. Here are the steps and you've got to read the article to see her explanations.

Step one - Get our attention - Non-intrusive interaction.

Step two - Get them interested - Have a conversation, get viddy with it, blogs are best, focus on tools not networks.

Step three - Take the lead - Keep them updated, give them feedback, speak their language.

How does this change the way we lead Sunday mornings and weekly small groups? How does this change the way do retreats and large group events?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

All my heart

Psalm 138:1 "I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart..."

Today is my first Sunday back after sabbatical. This verse grabbed my heart this morning and is my prayer for our spiritual community of students and me. Not just on Sundays, but on Monday at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday at 11:23 a.m, Thursday at 9:40 p.m., Friday at 11:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:13 p.m.

I think part of getting our minds around what it means to praise the LORD with all of our hearts is giving him praise throughout the week and not just making it a Sunday morning exercise from 9:00-10:10 a.m. or Wednesday night exercise from 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Let me learn by paradox

This quote from The Valley of Vision has guided my prayer time this week.

Let me learn by paradox:

that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

I want a spiritual community full of students and adults who are learning by paradox. Amen.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Columbine Memorial

Today the Columbine Memorial will be dedicated at 4 p.m.

To God be the Glory.

The Books of the Bible

I can't wait for my new Bible to come today. My copy of The Books of the Bible is going to arrive today.

I can't wait to read The Story of God in a fresh way!

I'll get back to your periodically with thoughts.