Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SOS - Shiny Object Syndrome

Karyn Greenstat of Passion for Business writes,

“It seems to be a trend that’s growing: small business owners are getting distracted by too many ideas or the latest fad, going off in a million directions and never completing anything. This loss of focus is costing you hundreds of hours a year in lost productivity, lost hours, lost dollars.”

Shiny Object Syndrome gets defined in this post as "It's more that a new idea captures your imagination and attention in such a way that you get distracted from the bigger picture and go off in tangents instead of remaining focused on the goal."

Could we change "small business owners" to "student ministry pastors"? How are we costing our church? Are we losing productivity? How many hours are we wasting? How many shiny objects are in your view?

Deep Leadership by Kara Powell

I am really excited about what Kara Powell is doing at FYI! I've had the GREAT privilege of interacting with her over the past 15 months! She is getting ready to launch a new training series in September for youth workers and their teams, Deep Leadership, which will be training on-ramps for your leadership meetings throughout the calendar year. Here's a blurb from the website:

If you're like most youth workers, you hold regular meetings for your adult volunteers and small group leaders. And if you're like most youth workers, all too often these meetings degenerate into a string of announcements about upcoming events and fail to lead your team toward deeper ministry philosophies or practices.

Deep Leadership offers you something different: a school year’s worth of training modules that are both easy to use but also geared for heavy contextualization based on the particular needs of leaders, kids, and communities. We've developed this resource to include both a leader's guide and a volunteer journal for your team members to use.

You can download a couple of samples from their website. The Leaders Guide for the Mentoring On Ramp is HERE. And the introduction to the Volunteer Journal is HERE. Check them out today and then head back to the site on September 2nd!

I am really excited to promote this to the churches in our district that don't have paid youth workers, use it in some of our network gathering times with other youth workers, use it when I meet with leaders individually, and use the content as I gather with my leaders as a whole.

Thanks Kara, even if you are a San Diego Chargers FAN! GO BRONCOS!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dr. Mean

Yesterday while we were hanging out at home after church Noah came up to us and we had this conversation:

Noah - "Hey, do you know who was preaching during worship today?"

Us - "Who?"

Noah - "Dr. Mean!" Laughing hysterically.

It was classic! No it wasn't Dr. Mean, but Dr. Means, who was the first pastor of our church. It's pretty special to have the only two pastors in the history of our church still preaching!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Christian the Lion

Okay, I admit it...a tear hit my eye...Aerosmith and this video...I know this is old news, but dude!

Godly affected

“He must first be godly affected himself who would stir up godly affections in other men.”

William Perkins (Puritan)

Friday, July 25, 2008

I never stopped?

Good to Great by Jim Collins is a book I can't get away from poking my nose into once in a while. This week I am reflecting on the example of Darwin Smith who was the CEO of Kimberly-Clark. In retirement, Smith stated something that I will never forget about how he was able to perform like a level five leader.

"I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job." - pg. 20.

I am looking forward to another fall semester of never stopping to become qualified to be the pastor of students at Southern Gables Church.

So it begins...

Training camp starts today for the Denver Broncos. I can't wait for football to start!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I will go

Starfield was the band that led music at Challenge this month in Salt Lake City, UT. I've been listening to their album "I Will Go" this week and I am so thankful that our students were exposed to their lyrics.

I can't wait to incorporate their music into the life of our student ministry as we ADORE God in the up and coming year.

I disagree with this review!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday JOSIAH

I love this 5 year old kid!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday NOAH!

I love this 7 year-old kid!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brain Rules

Brain Rules has been the best book I've read in 2008! You can check it Dr. Medina's website HERE! He states, "If you are in education, you are in the business of brain development. If you are leading a modern corporation you need to know how the brain works." I would add, if you're a student ministry leader it's imperative that you know how the brain works! His twelve rules are very engaging and changing the way I practice and lead in my student ministry. More on this later. The Presentation Zen has a great slideshare about the book here.

Watch this video for an introduction from Dr. Medina himself and short summary of Brain Rule #1 - Exercise boosts brain power!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lunch Bunch

I am so excited to start having lunch once a week with our students. I picked the place and the time and invited "whoever" to show up! This week it's the seniors at Chipotle! I am pumped to spend time with our students outside the walls of the church more this year.

Plus, I love to eat food with integrity!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

2 kinds of people in the end

C. S. Lewis said, "There are only two kinds of people in the end—those who say to God, 'Thy will be done' and those to whom God says, 'Thy will be done.'"

I've been thinking about this quote all week as I prepare to preach the Parable of the Sower from Luke 8 in our summer series next Sunday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Challenge 2008 @ Home

"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." - Acts 17:11

I have found in this week following Challenge that tons of our students are eager to examine the Scriptures and interact with me about Truth. What a privilege!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Incarcerated youth in Colorado

I spent the morning with Nathan Jones and his team to hear about Youth For Christ's Juvenile Justice Ministries at the Mountview Correctional Facility which is located right behind our church building. I've been to Mountview a few times to visit students over the years, but had not been exposed to what YFC is doing. We already do monthly ministry there as we hold a worship service there once a month for the girls who are detained. I found out some interesting stats about incarcerated youth in CO:

- Approx. 10% of youth in CO between the ages of 10-17 are arrested each year.
- 10,698 youth were incarcerated in CO last year.
- 63.3% of incarcerated youth had 1 or more previous incarcerations.
- 23% were between 10-14 years old.
- Incarcerated youth are diverse: 42% White, 38% Hispanic, 16% African American, 3% other...23% Female.
- Over 60% ran away from home in the year previous to arrest believing they were better off.

I am praying that our church and other churches in our area can be places where these students can land to be in spiritual community once they are outside the fence. I am really excited for what God is doing through these men and women to live out the Great Commandment and Great Commission to these youth.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Worlds Largest Kazoo Choir

At Challenge we sang "Amazing Grace" in the record setting Kazoo Choir! Check it out! It actually starts 4 minutes into this video!

Front row seat @ Challenge 2008

We made it home from Challenge 2008 in Salt Lake City. I am overwhelmed with the amount experiences I've had in since Sunday morning. One of the greatest privileges I had was that God gave me a front row seat @ Challenge 2008 to watch Him move in the hearts, minds, souls and bodies of our students and leaders.

It was unbelievable! I watched Psalm 107:9 come to pass in some way for all of us who attended, "For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." I can't wait to see the ripple-effect in our lives over the next weeks, months and years!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Snoop Dog and Homeless Dave

Yes, there is another Snoop Dog story to tell. Homeless Dave is the nickname of the bass player in Starfield. Homeless Dave heard Snoop Dog was in town so he took a Starfield CD to him. He went up to the penthouse and was greeted by two body guards. GULP!

After explaining that he was a musician in town with our conference he asked the door guards if they would be willing to give Snoop Dog the CD. They looked at each other and said, "Well, do you just want to give it to him?"

So Homeless Dave walked in to find Snoop Dog playing Playstation. He got up, took the CD, they had some conversation, and then Homeless Dave left.

What a great story!

Challenge '08 Rewind #3

Here is the video for Day 3. You'll be able to see the process we went through to make the meals for Kids Against Hunger.

Vintage Fritz Dale

We had a great time with Fritz on Tuesday night during our debrief time after the evening Rally. It was quite a site to see Fritz sitting in our circle of 29. He was the youth pastor at our church for 17 years. I was so excited that our students got to spend some time with Fritz. It was a special time for all of us leaders (Dave, Kelly, Carey and myself) as Fritz was our youth pastor!

We experienced Vintage Fritz. After he told the students the story of Julie and I getting lost with him on a backpacking trip while we were in high school, he asked our student this question, "Where have you seen God working in your high school ministry?" He then asked each leader a specific question about their relationship with Jesus. It was awesome! My question was, "Dan, what question do you have for me?" Whew...I got off easy. I asked Fritz to speak to our students about the one thing he would want them to walk away with from our time with him.

He told a very personal story from his life about a time tough time he went through and he was longing for a vacation to get away and relax and refresh. He believed that getting away from Littleton would help him overcome the trouble. While he was doing the dishes one night he felt Jesus was impressing this question on his heart,

"Am I enough?"

Despite the tough circumstances you'll face in high school, "Is Jesus going to be enough for you high school students?" It was a PRIVILEGE to have Fritz with our group.

After we were done Fritz stayed around to sign the student's Bibles...just kidding!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


We've got some pictures up on our site of Days 1, 2 and 3 at Challenge!

Check it out HERE!

Guiness World Record Kazooing

Today at Challenge we broke the world record for Kazooing! This video is the previous record which had 3,500 participants. We had over 5,500 people Kazooing this morning in Salt Lake City, UT! Stay tuned for the video! It was amazing! We Kazooed "Amazing Grace" for four minutes! It was unbelievable!

Zach Hunter - The Teenage Abolionist

Zach Hunter was with us at Challenge on Monday. He spoke in the morning rally and did a question and answer seminar. He spent the whole day interacting with his peers on how they can "Be the Change." I am wondering how Zach's story will be translated into the lives of our students. How will they "Be the Change" in their families, schools, community and the world?

Zach's written two books:

Be the Change: Your Guide to Freeing Slaves and Changing the World

Generation Change: Roll Up Your Sleeves and Change the World

To find out more about Zach and his passion you can read this article or watch this video, as CNN did a special on him in their "CNN Heroes" series.

Here's a blurb about him from the article

"Fifteen-year-old Zach Hunter is just like any ordinary American kid. He likes listening to music, reading, and running after what he is passionate about. By the age of 12, he had a specific passion. It was to ‘be the change’ and abolish slavery, just as William Wilberforce did 200 years ago. Having launched the ‘Loose Change to Loosen Chains’ programme in the seventh grade, Zach raised thousands of dollars with the intention of rescuing victims of slavery.

As the global student spokesperson for The Amazing Change, a social justice campaign launched in conjunction with motion picture Amazing Grace, Zach continues to encourage people to become modern day abolitionists, and to take after the steps of Wilberforce."

Challenge Rewind # 2

Here is a compilation video of Day 2! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Samartian Woman - J.D. Greear

Each morning at Challenge we are hearing messages preached from the Bible. This morning we heard an OUTSTANDING message from J.D. Greear, lead pastor at The Summit Church in North Carolina, as he spoke from John 4.

You can check out J.D.'s message HERE!

Snoop Dog @ Challenge?

Last night while I was meeting with three friends of mine in the lobby of the Hotel Monaco Snoop Dog walked right past us with his entourage.

I looked for him this morning and didn't find him anywhere at the rally!

45K, 1,700 students & 30k

Last night we took an offering and the 5500 students gave $45,000 on top of what was raised before we got here to support Kids Against Hunger. That translates into 250,000 protein rich meals which will be sent to either Haiti or Africa. Today, our students helped prepare 50,000 of these meals!

Students are praying! Over 1,700 students joined the prayer army last night!

2,700 students went out into Salt Lake City to serve today!

Yesterday, as the students were serving, a business man stopped and asked the students what they were doing. After hearing about the service project they were doing for the Dream Center (one of our outreach partners) he wrote a check for $30,000 for the Dream Center! Can you believe it? Praise the LORD!