It’s Not Business, It’s Personal

I recently came across this video after my worship guy recommended it to me. I don’t know the back story of the author (Bob Sorge), but I do know this video makes some great points. Would love to hear your thoughts!

1. “Worship has now become an industry.”

2. “Jesus is not an entrepreneur building a business, He is a bridegroom who is after a bride and He is so jealous for her.”

3. “The last thing you want to do is approach ministry like a business. It’s not business. It’s personal.”

4. “It is possible to preach Jesus and proclaim myself.”

5. “After I have finished serving the Bride, is she talking about me or Him?

Questions:

1. Do we approach Youth Ministry as an industry?

2. Have we made it a “business?”  Is that wrong?

3. Where do we draw the line between business and ministry?

I want to hear from you! Comment below!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Photo-on-2-20-13-at-4.14-PM.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava, Student Pastor at LifePoint Church in Plano, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask, Email David.[/author_info] [/author]

What’s the Big Deal about Theology?

Theology is a misunderstood word in today’s culture. Many times it is used in a derogatory way or because it is misconstrued. To some people, it means a person who is filled with knowledge who loves to debate others. To others it simply means, “the study of God.”

To most, we think of certain “tribes” of people who hold to a certain doctrine. Calvinists, Armenians, premillennialists, amillennialists, and the list goes on and on. Without knowing it, we have put more emphasis into people who wrote about the Bible, than actually studying the Bible.

I’m not a Calvinist or Armenian. I’m a Christ-follower. That is enough for me.

We are all theologians. What? Seriously, Josh? I didn’t go to a specific university or seminary so how am I a theologian? All of us, each day, reveal what we believe. Our actions stem from our beliefs, and where and how those beliefs originate develop a theology.

Simply, theology is the study of God. The implications of studying who God is will have an impact on our lives. Theology dictates what and who we believe in and how we live our life. Eternity hangs in the balance, depending on our theology.

I went to Bible college during my undergrad and went online for my master’s with Liberty University. During my time in Bible college and seminary I noticed that no other word created more fiery debates than “theology.” But what I noticed was that most so-called theologians only wanted to debate secondary issues. The debates I overheard, and admittedly was a part of at times, included a lot of small issues that were blown into large issues.

But each Sunday morning and Wednesday night as I left the dorm room to go serve at a church 45 miles one way, what I noticed was that most of the “theologians” were still in their dorm rooms.

In that moment I realized that your lifestyle reveals your theology.

Anyone can debate, fight and claw to win, but those who actively serve in the mission to seek and save the lost have the right theology.

My friend, if you spend your life trying to find the exact, “perfect” theology but miss the calling to live it out and share Jesus, your theology is dead.

Studying God’s Word is crucial but not just to prepare to win the next argument. Studying God should transform us into the image of God in our humility, passion and love for people. The whole of the Bible could be summed up in two phrases, “Love God, love people.”

Next time you hear the word, “theology,” my encouragement is to stop and think about your lifestyle. Does your theology FIT your lifestyle or does your lifestyle FIT God’s character?

Stop trying to win arguments and start winning people to Jesus by the way you live.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/joshrobinson.png[/author_image] [author_info]Josh is the student pastor at Church @ The Springs in Ocala, Florida (www.thesprings.net). Josh has served in student ministry for 9+ years and has a passion to lead students to imitate Christ and influence the world! He has a personal blog at http://joshrobinson.cc[/author_info] [/author]

Guest Speaker

Surely I’m not the only non-spiritual person who has the tendency to check out of a morning worship service when there’s a guest speaker? At least that’s been my habit. Sometimes I’m all in but most of the time my mind wanders.

“Where’s my pastor this week?”
“What’ll be for lunch later?”
“Why is my fantasy football team so terrible?”

Ok. So maybe I think that when my pastor is preaching too.

This last week we had a guest speaker though who blew me away with a thought that had never crossed my mind:

He said that there have been two times in history when the entire world knew who God was. At first, I was skeptical. How could that be true? Then he hit it: in the garden and after the flood. So at some point, someone dropped the ball. They didn’t pass on the good news. I was so convicted I paid attention during the whole rest of the service!

Thoughts:

How are you ensuring you’re passing on the Good News about Jesus to your family and not dropping the ball?

And

What was something a guest speaker at your church said that really hit home?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/RonaldLongpic.png[/author_image] [author_info]Ronald is a follower of Jesus who’s married to Bekah, father to two beautiful girls and a chronic writer. He blogs at ronaldlong.org and tweets from @ronald_long. When’s he has free time, he plays with his kids, goes for a run, or plays video games. If you’re interested in some of his bible study material, check out 128ministries.org. [/author_info] [/author]

Are You On Social Media?

Are You On Social Media?
Are you ENCOURAGING your PARENTS to be on Social Media?

If we want to impact the student’s world, we have to get into their world! Just like we get on their turf by going to their games, we need to get on their turf when it comes to social media.

We can influence them greatly by being on social media! If you haven’t noticed these days, students are always looking down at the CELL PHONES. They are always on their phones.

We have an opportunity to IMPACT their world! It is crucial for an Instagram, a Twitter account, and for us to have a Facebook…still.

We should LIVE LOUDER than we PREACH!!

Let them see your family and a glimpse of your life! Use social media to encourage them to read Gods Word or to follow Jesus to the fullest! Encourage your parents to be on social media or at least to check their student’s social media accounts.

Encourage the parents in your student ministry to challenge their students to use social media for the GLORY of GOD! We must be INTERESTED IN, what they are INTERESTED IN! We must CARE about what they CARE about! By us not having social media we lose credibility, trust me on this one.

“When we have social media, they begin to realize He/She gets me or knows my world.”

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Michael-Hux.png[/author_image] [author_info]

Michael Hux is the Student Pastor of Team Church in Matthews, NC.

Connect with Michael on Twitter or Instagram: @_Hux

 

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The Best Is Yet To Come

My senior pastor Ted is an amazing leader. He’s been a faithful shepherd and preacher at our church for over 30 years. A year and a half ago he decided that he would up his game and start meeting with a few others to sharpen his preaching skills. This is a man who has preached over 1,300 sermons…1,300. As a man in his 60’s he said “I have yet to preach my best sermon.”

My pastor’s example lit a fire under me. I’ve been in middle school ministry for 15 years and I can be tempted to believe that I have it all figured out. I could rest on my experience and believe that there’s not much left to learn. I could believe those things, but I would be wrong. Ted’s humility inspires me to believe that I have not arrived. I am still a work in progress. The older I get the more I realize that I have so far to go. This thought doesn’t leave me defeated it fuels my fire to learn and hone my skills.

I get older and I get complacent
Ted has every right to sit back and say, “I’ve reached my peak.” No one would blame him for preaching sermons the same way that he’s been doing for years. He’s earned it, right? Wrong. Ted understands that ministry isn’t a destination that you arrive at. The moment you stop growing and learning is the moment your effectiveness diminishes. All of the great thinkers and practitioners in Christian leadership grew better as they got older because they never stopped learning and growing in their skills.

I get older and I get defeated
There are days when I don’t feel as relevant as I once did. There are days when I wish I knew all of the current bands and played all of the new video games. My ability to be on top of the culture must have been connected to my full head of hair because both are long gone. There are days where I feel out of touch and because of that I believe that I am no longer as effective in student ministry. What Ted has taught me is that I can be confident that my relevance is not connected with my effectiveness in ministry. Ted isn’t culturally savvy, but he is a great pastor. His longevity has produced wisdom, character and strength that isn’t present when you’re young.

In the same way, my age in student ministry isn’t a liability. It’s an asset. I don’t know the latest bands, but I can relate to parents a lot better. I may not be as cool as I used to be, but I’m more comfortable in my own skin. Because of these things I can see the horizon and know that my best days are yet to come.

Having a desire for continued growth keeps me from being complacent. Having an appreciation for my age allows me to see that my time is not done. My best days of ministry are not behind me.

In a seminar talking to veteran (read: old) middle school pastors, Scott Rubin and Kurt Johnson said that your best age of ministry is whatever season you are in right now. They meant that it is important to always look at the relative advantages of the season of ministry you are in. In other words there are no “glory days” of the past. The glory days are ahead of you if you keep growing and learning.

Fill in the blank “I have yet to do my best ____________!“ Is it a lesson, event, training or idea?  Fill in your blank and then pursue excellence in it for God’s glory and His kingdom.

Stay humble, stay hungry, stay hopeful. Your best years of ministry are ahead of you. I know mine are.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LibickHawaiiChristmasPhoto.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick[/author_info] [/author]

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

We want to continually move towards a student ministry OF students, not just TO them. As we create a movement rather than a program, we need to think beyond the school years. Let’s be honest. A lot of time in student ministry is spreading the seed and tilling the ground. We are spending a considerable amount of time planting seed and hoping to see one or two sprout in front of us. Our ultimate goal should be to help equip students to become leaders.

From the beginning of following Christ until the day we die, we are on a mission for God’s glory. Our ministries should be incubators of faith in our students lives that helps them see that we are raising the bar of expectation. We are not going to succumb to the low expectations of the culture around us and instead have reckless faith. But how do we do this practically in our ministries? What does it look like for students to step out and be the light of Christ to the darkness surrounding them. What does it look for a freshmen in college to be prepared to enter their campus on a mission instead of trying to find one.

As we spend time building relationships, teaching for transformation and more, we have to keep the big picture in mind. We are another voice into the lives of the students. Their families have the most influence on their lives. We have to remember that we are simply God’s messenger. The pressure is not on you to be all things at all times to all students. We need each other. We need to equip others. We need to rely on God’s strength. We need to avoid tying our worth into the outward numbers and size of our buildings.

See beyond the outward exterior of your life as a leader.
Are you influencing other people with the gospel?
Is there any space in your life where you and I are leading our spouses to love Jesus?

First we must set the example. If we want our students to be influencers, we need to be leading them to influence. It is a picture of naturally living your life and using all of your gifts, platforms and goals to influence other people with the love of Jesus Christ.

Second, remember that influence comes from imitation:

What you and I focus upon is what leads us. If we are imitating Jesus in our daily lives it will spill over into how we lead others. 

Remember today what Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/joshrobinson.png[/author_image] [author_info]Josh is the student pastor at Church @ The Springs in Ocala, Florida (www.thesprings.net). Josh has served in student ministry for 9+ years and has a passion to lead students to imitate Christ and influence the world! He has a personal blog at http://joshrobinson.cc[/author_info] [/author]

 

Ministry Made From Scratch

My mom can cook better than your mom. Now I’m sure we all think this about our moms, at least I hope so… But seriously, my mom is a culinary ninja. I remember waking up Saturday mornings to her wearing an apron dusted in flour because she was making biscuits from scratch. She would have nothing to do with canned biscuits. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on a package of canned biscuits? It’s like a mile long. Sure, they’re quick. Sure, they taste fine. But deep in our hearts, we know that there is a better way to go. How many ingredients are in my mom’s biscuits? Five. Just five.

For the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to make a student ministry from scratch. My church is launching their very first multi-site and I have the privilege of being the Student Pastor. The first few weeks on the job I looked for a canned ministry that I could pop in the oven but I couldn’t find anything that would work. I can’t tell you how many emails and calls I made to other student pastors, how many churches I visited and websites I surfed. I spent countless hours looking for the ingredients of someone else’s biscuit. The recipes I found looked tasty but I couldn’t figure out how they were made. I came to the conclusion that there is not a canned student ministry. Why are we distracted by someone else’s programs, strategies and philosophies when they ultimately won’t work our context? If I was going to bake an effective ministry I needed to go back to basics. I needed to cook the way my mom taught me. Simple and made from scratch. Here are the five ingredients that must be found in every ministry:

A generous amount of the BIBLE.
Our ministries must be biblically focused. The Bible alone is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. Our best ideas are not. Therefore, we must base our preaching, teaching, ministry and counseling — everything — on God’s Word.

A bowl full of RELATIONSHIPS.
Our approach to discipleship needs to be relational. Life change doesn’t happen by simply transferring information. It happens by knowing and being known. We want our students to move from being spectators to being personally-engaged followers of Christ. Students need to connect with people, not programs.

A dash of MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES.
Our gatherings, events and experiences must be memorable. Whether it’s unforgettable because it was powerful, unique, meaningful, convicting or funny, our aim is always to offer the very best to our students. We want to draw them back (along with their friends) because we have the greatest news in the world to offer them!

A big scoop of UNITY.
We need to remind ourselves that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. Our student ministries exist within a church. We need to make decisions and plan in a way that unites with the church at large. If your student ministry is teaching a different gospel or pursuing a different vision, stop cooking and throw your dough away. Ask your senior pastor or elders to critique your recipe.

Season everything in PRAYER.
Apparently it’s rude to season your food before you taste it. Pray through every big decision you make. No matter how stressed or anxious you are, pray about it. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Prayer is our direct pipeline to the Living God. Don’t make the mistake of serving your biscuit without seasoning it first.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Johnny-Farr.png[/author_image] [author_info]Johnny Farr works in youth ministry at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Forth Worth, TX. He is in the process of launching a student ministry for a new multi-site! Follow Johnny on Twitter: @JonathanLFarr

 

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Free Walk-in Hype Music

Need some walk-in or hype music? Download this song FREE and play it on Sunday as your students enter! Adrian is one of my Sophomore students who loves Jesus and has a gift!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Photo-on-2-20-13-at-4.14-PM.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava, Student Pastor at LifePoint Church in Plano, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask, Email David.[/author_info] [/author]

Rejoice Always

Can I tell you something personal? I hate airplanes. I love to travel, and would do it all the time if I had the time and means, but I hate flying. If you think about airplanes, they are essentially busses, strapped with jet engines, that weigh 875,000 lbs, that travel at 600 mph, 39,000 feet off the ground, filled with people and highly flammable jet fuel. That’s why I get a little anxious when flying. I will NEVER let this prevent me from traveling, but I get a little nervous. Flying is a situation in which I am NOT IN CONTROL!

Did the pilot barely pass his flight school? Did he get a good nights sleep? How many moving parts are there on an airplane? It’s not like I got to interview this guy before I put my life in his hands…

But the reason I will step on an airplane, despite knowing all these facts, is because I believe that GOD IS IN CONTROL. The theology word for this is SOVEREIGNTY. God is sovereign which means “in control.”
Which leads me to ask this question: Do we understand and live like God is IN CONTROL? Do we believe that God is involved in and concerned with who we are, and what we do, and what happens in this world?

This is what brings us to Philippians 4:4.

“Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, again I will say, rejoice.” What I love about this verse is that it makes being joyful a command. To rejoice means to exude or show joy. And here we find Paul, remember he is in prison when writing this, telling us to rejoice or be joyful ALWAYS. He didn’t say, TRY and be joyful. He didn’t say, rejoice when it’s convenient, but rather “rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice.”

But even before we get caught up on the word rejoice, I think it’s important to note what is in between the command to rejoice always. It doesn’t just say “rejoice always.” It says, “Rejoice IN THE LORD always.”

This is the acknowledgement that The Lord is in control. To rejoice or be joyful IN THE LORD, means to continually identify that if HE is in control, then you don’t have to be. If HE is in control, then there is no need to be anxious, frustrated, or fear.

We tend to feel anxiety, frustration, and fear when we are NOT in control. Jesus being in control does not mean that my plane won’t fall out of the sky, but it does mean that if that is how He choses to call me home, He will take care of my family, and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” His ways are BEYOND our understanding.

I’m not going to lie. Even though I know God is sovereign, I still get nervous on airplanes. It’s hard for me to rejoice on airplanes. So instead, I rejoice IN THE LORD. I spend the whole flight declaring how great, and awesome, and worthy of praise He is.

Where do you need to trust in God’s sovereignty?
Where do you need to surrender control?
Are you terrified about your ministry?
Are you frustrated with your students?

Great News: You are not in control. He is. So rejoice in Him, and serve faithfully.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Photo-on-2-20-13-at-4.14-PM.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava, Student Pastor at LifePoint Church in Plano, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask, Email David.[/author_info] [/author]

His WORD won’t RETURN VOID

Isaiah 55:11 “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me void (empty), but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Write this down on your music stand, podium, whatever you preach from so you don’t forget this!!
Before you get up remind yourself that GODS WORD wont RETURN VOID!! It’s the inspired Word of God that you preach from!!

The WORD you PREACH every week is having an EFFECT!!! Don’t ever think it isn’t!!
You may not see it at first but it is working in the lives of people!!

GODS WORD is and will ALWAYS be the BEST MESSAGE we could ever PREACH!!
Gods Word does what God wants it to!
Gods Word will not Fail!
God is a Promise Maker and a Promise Keeper!! He doesn’t need to pinky swear.
Gods Word is alive and active! (Hebrews 4:12)
Gods Word sets people FREE!!

Remember Gods Word CAN CHANGE HEARTS so always make GODS WORD come ALIVE because that’s what will TRANSFORM their LIFE!!
Someone once said, “The greatest sin in ministry is to bore people with the Bible!”

Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever!”

Keep preaching Gods Word!! You cant go wrong!!

It’s Monday, you could be preparing your message and remember Gods Word changed your life and it WILL CHANGE your students LIVES!!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Michael-Hux.png[/author_image] [author_info]

Michael Hux is the Student Pastor of Team Church in Matthews, NC.

Connect with Michael on Twitter or Instagram: @_Hux

 

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