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GUEST POST: Bossy Circumstances

Who knows that circumstances far too often try to boss you around and tell you how good or bad your day is going to go? Chances are, you know! Do you remember the dirt road my GPS took me down a few weeks back? Well! My GPS did it AGAIN! But this time instead of tensing up, I was praising Jesus the whole way down it. I had my worship music up, speaking out the promises of God and how good He is when, about a mile down the road, my car stopped in a pile of mud. All of a sudden, I had a choice here. I had a choice to cry out, “God, why me?!” Or a choice to continue speaking of His goodness.

I wholeheartedly chose to speak out His goodness, and allow His words to saturate the air. Shortly after, I called roadside assistance and told them I was on an abandoned dirt road, stuck in the mud, and an hour and a half after continually putting me on hold to answer another call and trying to locate me, she tells me my insurance only covers $120 of the tow and that it would cost more than that. Long story short, she did not send anyone out and my phone was about to die.

Still, here I was, speaking words of praise. Because God is bigger than any circumstance, He is in ultimate control. And that’s exactly what I confessed, even though this lady would not help me, I knew my God would. After being out there for 3 hours and no cars driving by, here comes a truck driving by! And you know what, he JUST picked up a tow rope from his house because his work van got stuck in the mud on another road nearby!

As easy as it would have been to MAKE a big deal out of this circumstance, it really WASN’T a big deal. It was only a minor setback, which turned into a crutch for the glory of God, that I had the privilege of experiencing. I call this a privilege because I was able to experience God’s mighty hand at work in other people’s lives, including my own, as I use this as a testimony of His sovereignty and goodness. Therefore, rest assured, God’s plan prevails. He is above ALL and will work all things together for the good.

This week, I challenge you to show your circumstances Who the boss really is! Our great God!

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

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GUEST POST: Helping 5th Graders Become 6th Graders

In June, we will be saying goodbye to our current group of 8th graders and saying hello to a new batch of 6th graders. When students move from kids ministry to middle school or student ministry, there’s typically some anxiety involved— for both the students and their parents. Here is the plan that we (middle school) and our kids ministry have come up with to help make the transition a great one.

  1. Teaching in Kids Ministry – Since February, I’ve started teaching in kids ministry one weekend per month. The goal is to familiarize the soon-to-be 6th graders with me and for me to meet several of them, too. This month, I’m going to start taking a couple of our key middle school volunteers with me.
  2. Special 5th Grader-Only Event – Toward the end of May, some members of our volunteer team and I are going to throw an event exclusively for the incoming 6th graders. Staff and volunteers from the kids ministry will be invited, as well. I’m not sure what the event is going to look like yet… maybe a Nerf Gun War in the worship center (just don’t tell our facilities director)
  3. 6th Grade Connection Night – This will be an event at the beginning of June for incoming 6th graders and their parents. It will take place in the kids auditorium and will give our leadership team a chance to introduce ourselves to students and parents. We’ll also play a game, have the Kids Pastor give a brief message, and wrap up with some kind of dessert (last year we did an ice cream sundae bar). As parents check in, we’ll make sure to get their contact info and put our summer events calendar in their hands.
  4. “Kidnapping” the 6th Graders – The weekend before the students promote, we’re going to send a few of our middle school leaders, armed with water guns and bandanas, to the kids area to “kidnap” the incoming 6th graders and take them to the middle school service. Once they get there, we’ll have a special VIP section set up for them and they’ll get to hang out in our service for about 30 minutes. We’ll play “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” and probably rig it to make sure the 5th grade contestant wins. This is a fun, memorable way to get the incoming 6th graders excited for middle school.
  5. Serving at Vacation Bible School – Our church does Vacation Bible School the Monday through Friday leading up to promotion weekend. One of the members of our middle school team and I will be the leaders of the 5th grade group that week. This was huge for us last year, as we had 15 solid hours with our incoming students days before they joined our ministry.
  6. Summer KickOff BBQ and Pool Party – For the past several years, one of our key volunteers has graciously opened his spacious backyard and pool for the first official event of the middle school summer calendar. It takes place on the Thursday of Vacation Bible School and is for both our current students and our soon-to-be-6th graders. Because the new 6th graders haven’t officially promoted by this point, we welcome them as special guests to get a taste of our middle school community.
  7. 6th Grade Party – On promotion Sunday, we are going to dedicate the final 15 minutes of our service to the new 6th graders. We’ll take them into a different room where they’ll get some kind of treat (last year we did Root Beer floats) and a special welcome by a few members of our leadership team. Afterward, they’ll take turns writing their names down on dry erase boards and then getting their pictures taken, which gives our leaders the ability to study and memorize their names.

What is your transition strategy? I’d love to hear what some of you are doing to welcome your new class of students this year.

Taylor Bird is the Middle School Pastor at Southwest Church in Indian Wells, CA. He has been serving in youth ministry for about five years.

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GUEST POST: A Healthy Spiritual Diet

‘Empty calories’ is an often used phrase today when it comes to dieting and healthy eating. The thought is that we shouldn’t just watch how many calories we eat each day, but where those calories come from and their overall nutritional value.

We all know that students’ physical eating habits can be loaded with empty calories, but what about their spiritual eating habits?

In Matthew 4:4, Jesus proclaims that “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” When we read the Bible and take in the words of God, they are life giving.

But are these life giving words the staple of our students’ (and our) spiritual diet? Or is it comprised mostly of Christian music, Duck Dynasty episodes, and other ‘empty calories’? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying any of those things are evil, but they are not to be our primary source of spiritual nourishment.

A great way to encourage our students to dive into and feed on God’s Word is to provide them with a Bible reading plan. While there are numerous plans available, here is a 12-month plan that we’ve put together. Each month we hand out a bookmark-sized sheet that contains 5 Bible passages to read per week. The students can then store the bookmark in their Bible and check off the passages as they go through them.

We can load up on many spiritual things that make us feel full, but only God’s words will truly give life.

Aaron Zehr is the Pastor of Youth and Outreach at Eureka Bible Church in Eureka, Illinois. He has been working full-time as a youth pastor since 2007. He’s married to Megan and has a daughter Kaitlyn and another on the way! He enjoys softball, golf, running, reading, board games, and attending St. Louis Cardinals games. Check out his resource on DYM right here!

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GUEST POST: Take the Focus Off Yourself

When I was a girl, I was shy. I was afraid to step out and stand up for what I believed in. I was too afraid of what other people would think. As simple as it may sound, I remember a time when I would walk over trash as I was walking down the street wanting to pick it up, but I was so focused on myself, concerned with how I would look if I did.

Well, now I realize that because I was so focused on me, I could not live to my full potential. I could not reach out to others and be a light in this world. God has called me…and YOU to love others in a way this world does not know. We are called to be the ones who offer a kind word to the kid who walks into church looking down. We should be the ones who seek out the broken hearted and lonely child, and offer our time. We need to give love when a child knows no love.

There is no time to sit and look pretty, when there is a hurting generation who needs a ray of hope. We are called to action. “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18) The talk without the walk needs to take a walk because people, the time keeps on ticking. God’s plan will prevail nonetheless, but we still have a responsibility to walk the walk.

Forget, following the crowd! When we choose to walk, the crowd will begin to follow. They will not be following you, but they will be after God’s own heart because it is shining so brightly through you! So let’s be an example of God’s everlasting love to the children we minister to, and point them to Christ!!

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

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GUEST POST: God’s Stamp of Approval

A few weeks ago while I was at a gathering of several hundred people, I could sense many insecurities in the room. The insecurities of these well-established, respectable men and women came to the light in the large crowd and it made me think of how broken and torn the world is. We look to the world for approval when we should be looking to God for His.

Unlike the world’s approval for us, God’s approval remains the same….always! No matter how we behave or the mistakes we’ve made, He knows exactly who we are and who He has created us to be. He created us in His image and we are worthy to be loved by Him. God’s love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18), making us new again! Having the stamp of God’s approval means nobody can stop you from fulfilling God’s plan for your life…not even yourself!

Many of the students we encounter in ministry are broken and torn just like those respectable men and women, and need to hear about this stamp, they need to know that it is there, that it is marked on them! If we get this planted in their spirit now, by the time they are well-established they will be confident in His love for them, without any insecurities.

We have, long ago, addressed a need for change in this world. That change begins with me and you! That change begins with your precious students you minister to every week! That change will happen when we put our faith in the truth that God’s stamp of approval is on each of us!

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

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GUEST POST: A Different Youth Ministry POV

felix

One of the highlights of 2013 was Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space. It wasn’t too long ago that Red Bull released an amazing video of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere that was pretty epic.

If you somehow missed this awesome story, Baumgartner (that’s the coolest last name ever by the way) jumped from the record breaking height of 24 miles up and lived to tell the tale. The first video of it was from tons of different angles and showed his incredibleleap from a lot of perspectives. The new video that got released was of his point of view. Helmet cam. Chest Cam. I even think one is a foot cam. It’s uncut so you can fall the entire TEN MINUTES with him.

It’s pretty incredible and you can watch both videos here. And when I saw the new one I got to thinking:

How cool is it to get to see what he saw during that jump?

We get that insider look. The stuff only he saw while it was going on. Complete with gauges telling us that at one point he was falling at EIGHT HUNDRED MILES AN HOUR.

I feel like that needed to be in all caps for effect.

Isn’t seeing something from someone else’s Point of View what most ministers want?

And actually, isn’t being the one with the point of view that’s “better” than ours what we yearn for?

We may be doing well at our church, reaching kids and making a difference, but oh man if we only had Hot Shot Youth Guy’s budget. Or wow, if we could get a building like First Awesome Church down the street.

If we were in the driver seat of those churches who are really “thriving” then we’d be all set and doing well and loving ministry and…

…probably miserable.

Why? Because we’d be in a POV God hasn’t given us. Sure it’s fun to think that seeing ministry like Mega Church Guy down the street is, but hasn’t God placed you specifically where you are right now for a reason?

It’s not that you’re unqualified to do ministry in a bigger, cooler, trendier, more expensive ministry than you are in right now. You may have everything those guys have and more!

But God put you where you are right now for a reason. He’s got you seeing from your POV so that you can make a difference there.

Sure you can benefit from trying to see things from other’s POV cam every now and then: read their blogs, look at their resources, pick their brains. But don’t neglect the view God has given you by always wishing you were where someone else is because it seems cooler. And yes, your POV may help out others, so don’t think you have nothing to say. Get your POV out there by writing your own stuff!

Your students are being impacted by YOU because God put you there to impact them.

So enjoy the view from someone else every now and then, but don’t forget that God has you were you are on purpose.

Do ministry through your own point of view.

Ronald Long has been the youth minister for FBC Lexington, TN for six years. He’s married to Bekah and dad to Sophie and Penny. He blogs a bit at ronaldlong.org and tweets at @ronald_long. He also runs, plays video games, and eats Taco Bell. Check out his resources in the Download Youth Ministry store!

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GUEST POST: Do You Review Your Youth Ministry Curriculum?

There is a room full of students watching a video clip and all of a sudden “ *&%#!!!$^&”
You jump up and quickly hit pause. Embarrassed you now have to teach your whole lesson following those words coming out of that characters mouth.

It happened to me once, and many other people I know. We didn’t review that clip, or perhaps even worse we put on a curriculum that could make you snore.

Many youth workers if not most, have to use curriculum in order to keep afloat. That is a fine place to be, we have tons of brilliant content created by people who have the time and resources to do it.

But if you have been around curriculum for a while, you will probably realize that sometimes you have to sift through stuff to find the right message for the right time.This means reviewing your curriculum.

In our ministry we use video or book curriculums for our small group time. The thing is even though I am using curriculum I need to be ahead. I need to order or download my curriculum. Just today I preordered a book to look at for using September of 2014. I have my self set up through to the summer, The reason I ordered it now is so I can take a read and then know whether or not its what I want to use. Does it meet my objectives? Is it well written for students?

In the past when I have used curriculum that was garbage, it undermined my leadership. People were unhappy, and they were skeptical about my next couple choices of material. When I played a video clip with foul language, I undermined myself by making myself look careless.

So how do you review your curriculum? What makes it work for you or not? Not everything is going to work, but there is tons of great resources available.

*Shameless plug here-> Check out DYM’s store for good curriculum.*

Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years and blogs exclusively here on LoveGodLoveStudents.com. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. Hit him up on Twitter @CorbinKyle

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GUEST POST: Empty Dirt Roads

As I was driving, following my GPS’s commands today, I was led onto what was not even a back road. No, this was a dirt road. A 3 mile long, empty dirt road that seemed to never end. I noticed myself tensed up, radio down, wondering if I’d ever make it onto pavement again and playing scenarios in my mind about all the possible reasons I might not. My tire might blow out, then what? I’m in the middle of a dirt road, looked like the desert really, nobody will ever find me, what will I do?! And if I don’t have a blow-out, this is bound to be where the serial killers camp out, waiting for pretty girls like me to drive down the road so they can block the road and trap me…I’m gonna DIE!!!

Not long after catching myself doing this, I thought to myself, “No I will not live in defeat.” I cranked up the radio with some worship music and opened my heart to what God was saying in this situation. I believe He was showing me that He is speaking all the time! He speaks through situations, He speaks through His word, He speaks through the Holy Spirit, and He speaks through people. He speaks to me and you all the time. It is up to us to hear it.

You can listen to all the noises of the world and soon start to believe ministry is becoming a drag because finances are not there and no one seems to care that you cannot fund more space for the kids that’s been needed for years. Or you can listen to the noise of God’s sweet voice and soon start to see that His voice has been there all along. Choose to hear God when finances are low, you need more space, and you will see where He has been leading you all along! He will guide you right where you need to be.

As I started to realize this, I heard God speaking this message into me. Even when times get rough, do not place hope into what things seem to be. When you do, hopes become shattered because nothing of this world will stand forever. God and His Word DO stand forever! We are called to put our hope in Him and the things He says. He says He will protect us from evil, restore our finances, and He says He will speak to us! Are you listening?

Where is God leading you on your empty dirt road? Comment below!

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

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GUEST POST: Knowing Where You Come From

Do you know where you come from? And no, I’m not talking about your mom and dad or even what city you are from. I am asking if you know where your church comes from.
I am currently in the midst of a course on Baptist History and Thought that has shaped the Baptist denominations here within North America. As I have been engaging with the material, I have quickly recognized things that make up who my church is, and why we do things one way or the other. I grew up in a variety of churches of all shapes, sizes, and styles. But now I pastor within a Baptist church in a suburban community. But that church was shifted and shaped by it’s past. Our people react to things a certain way because it’s engrained within our culture. We take part in ordinances like Communion and Baptism a certain way because of the theology we have taken up which was shaped by many men and women of faith.
As I begin to recognize these things it is giving me ideas on how to better to engage in my church community. Where have we come from, and where are we going? Even if you are apart of a para-church organization such as Young Life, you have history which has shaped you. You do that thing you do, because it has been done like that since a certain time for a certain reason.
I am starting to believe that if I learn more about the past, I will be able to better steer us into the future. I will understand our trajectory and will be able to either keep us on it, or hopefully help us avoid some possible bumps along the way. This may be especially important to those of us who weren’t part of that church from our birth. If you move ministries chances are you have moved to a place with a different identity and DNA that make ministry in that place unique.
How much do you know about your organization/church? What are you doing with the knowledge? And how are you going to use it to better steer your ministry?
Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years and blogs exclusively here on LoveGodLoveStudents.com. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. Hit him up on Twitter @CorbinKyle

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GUEST POST: Whatever is Lovely

I had a wakeup call from my Pastor this past Sunday. For 8 years, I have focused on personal growth and self-improvement. Each year I grow stronger than the last. I grew up mentally and verbally abused, while resulted into anger and a low self-esteem. Into adulthood, I hung with the wrong crowd and got involved with some things I shouldn’t have. Now, I am involved in church, volunteering for causes I believe in, am chasing my dreams, FREE from anger and low self-esteem!! Praise God!

For this reason, I thought I understood CHANGE. Although I have heard Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is lovely…think about such things,” I never saw it in the light of change. I am always so focused on what needs to be changed, when I should be focused on things that are lovely and those things will change naturally. And although I have experienced change each year, I have experienced so much exhaustion doing so that way.

I now understand how to let God change me. It’s pretty simple actually. Think on whatever is lovely. See things through His eyes. Spend time with Him. He will overflow from my heart as I let more of Him in.  There’s no more pressure on me to pay attention to what area needs improving.

No longer do I have to think about what needs to be changed. No longer do I have to think about improving my study skills. No longer do I have to think about being a better friend. He will change me for me. His way of change leads to peace and a better me.

Who else just received this wake-up call? Comment below!

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

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GUEST POST: God’s Love Brings Permanent Results

There is NOTHING like LOVE. Things may heal us temporarily, money can buy us happiness for a short period before we want more of it, and cupcakes may put smiles on our faces…until they are gone. As I once heard, permanent results do not come from temporary change. Permanent results only come from permanent change. These things are only temporary. The only thing that is permanent is LOVE. God is love. Love is the only thing that heals from the inside out…PERMANENTLY!

When I was living the way I wanted to, when I wanted to; I hung out with people with a like-mind. They didn’t want what was best for me or try to build me up. We encouraged each other to do things like cuss and steal, breaking each other down. Neither one of us had direction, how could we lead the other? Living for yourself, with others who do the same, leads to destruction and does not produce love.

That’s why it is so important for us to love people who have no direction, because they have not experienced love. Love will affect their lifestyle choices and change the way the see life. When I first experience God’s love, I was at the lowest point in my life. I walked into the church I am at now for the first time, and people chose to reach out to me. There were people who wanted the best for me and who built me up with the power of love. Through them, I could see it wasn’t over, there was hope, and God had a plan for my life. Only because I could sense the change that was happening on the inside of me, all because of the love God’s people chose to share when I was at my lowest.

Never underestimate the power of love. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4:18) And where there is no fear, people are empowered and free to do all that God has called them to do!! Let’s be so filled up with God’s love that His love comes out of the overflow of our hearts and into the lives of those who need it most! Let’s bring on some permanent change!!

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

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GUEST POST: Stop, Drop and Roll

stop-drop-roll-300x277Do you remember the instructions you got in elementary school about catching on fire?

  • Stop
  • Drop
  • Roll

As much as we talked about that I really thought I’d be busting into flames a lot more often in my life.

On a drastically different note, the other day we were having our MS Christmas party. I was running around trying to get things set up and ready. A few students showed up early (happens at every event ever).

So as I was running around, there were about five to six students who were goofing off and playing around.

One of the students told me about a surgery that was upcoming. I knew about it and so just asked how they were feeling about it.

“I’m kinda nervous. I don’t like surgery.”

My reply was to just say, “You’ll be fine!”

“You’ll be fine!?”

Seriously?

Youth ministry fail.

That was my moment to stop, drop what I was doing, and pray with that student who was nervous about an upcoming surgery. Instead I kept rushing around trying to get everything ready for…ministry?

In doing that, I forgot one very important part of ministering to students: praying with them in their time of need.

Don’t miss opportunities. When a student shares something with you, stop, drop what you’re doing, and pray with them right there.

That other stuff can wait.

Ronald Long has been the youth minister for FBC Lexington, TN for six years. He’s married to Bekah and dad to Sophie and Penny. He blogs a bit at ronaldlong.org and tweets at @ronald_long. He also runs, plays video games, and eats Taco Bell. Check out his resources in the Download Youth Ministry store!

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GUEST POST: Viewer Optics

“I feel like everyone online is a national speaker, best selling author and social media guru, am I the only one who’s not.”*

I read a line similar to that on Twitter about a week ago, and it resonated with me. I look at everyone’s bios on twitter or blogs and every time I read them I feel a little inadequate. And then I looked at my bio, am I bragging here? Is it more than just factual, does it give a sense of reality?

I also had a conversation with an old friend I haven’t seen in a couple years who mentioned that he felt angry that I had “the perfect life” at least as it appeared on Facebook. This shocked me; I certainly don’t have a terrible life but; my life isn’t perfect.

These hit me because it made me question what my students see when they look at my online accounts. Is it more than links to DYM, cute photos of my family, and Biblical or leadership quotes? When a student sees my page will it make me more approachable or less?

When I went through I realized perhaps there was more I need to do in order to make me more “user friendly”. I am not changing who I am but I am actually trying to show who I am.

My question to you is, what image does your online presence give? Some of you are international speakers, best-selling authors or social media gurus, but is this the image you want to give your students? If it is then good, if not then change it. Ask yourself, if a friend or student who is struggling saw my profile would they be angry that my life is better than theirs? Are you proud or humble? Is your life perfect or just blessed?

So that’s the challenge, take an honest look at what you are portraying and see if it is really who you are. If not, what are you going to do about it.

*I honestly don’t remember who wrote this, if you know let me know so we can give credit.

Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years and blogs exclusively here on LoveGodLoveStudents.com. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. Hit him up on Twitter @CorbinKyle

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GUEST POST: Fake Friends, True Friends

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I saw this picture re-tweeted by one of my former students and it echoes a lot of what I’ve been seeing in the news concerning teenagers on Facebook.
According to this article, over 3 million teens have logged out of Facebook over the last three years. While that has implications for the business model of that particular social media giant, it also changes how youth ministers do ministry.
Now you may be ahead of the game and have been hearing from your students that they have been getting off of Facebook and instead posting on Twitter, or Instagram, or any other social media websites. Or they may not be posting to social media at all for the public to see but instead using private chat apps which are also popular. The oversharing of information teens did on Facebook is slowly going away and they are, instead, posting in more private forums, like Snapchat.
The point I want to make is this: as youth ministers we have to be doing ministry where our students are. That may mean posting to Twitter instead of Facebook, or it may mean sending lots of picture announcements over Instagram instead to the church website.
Remember when MySpace was cool? Or Xanga? Or Yahoo messenger? No student minister uses MySpace to connect with students. Well, OK, it’s possible. It’s so easy to claim we are doing ministry when we are on these websites, when really what we are doing is wasting time doing what’s fun or beneficial for us but irrelevant to our students. We have options when it comes to doing ministry and using current technology as a tool to help us:
  • We could spend all of our time trying to be cool and relevant and only post to those websites which our students are on and using.
  • We could use only those social media websites and tools that we personally like even if our students are no longer using them themselves.
  • We could flee all social media and claim that nothing good can come from it and keep sending e-mails.
  • Or we could try to balance using the technology our students are using in order to encourage them and spread the Gospel message.
Let’s not forget that our goal is not to be the coolest social media savvy hipster who also does youth ministry.
Instead, let’s do what Colossians 1:28 tells us to do:
We proclaim [Jesus], warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. (HCSB)
Even though it doesn’t seem like it right now, there will come a day when Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are no longer relevant to teenagers. But for now, we don’t have to run from those sites because students are, to some degree, are using them.
So let’s use them while they are relevant and not become so fixated on them that we forget the thing that will truly stand the test of time: the Gospel.
Ronald Long has been the youth minister for FBC Lexington, TN for six years. He’s married to Bekah and dad to Sophie and Penny. He blogs a bit at ronaldlong.org and tweets at @ronald_long. He also runs, plays video games, and eats Taco Bell. Check out his resources in the Download Youth Ministry store!

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GUEST POST: Reaching out to the Introverts

Even in our small group of 25 kids on average, it can be hard keeping up with all the kids. The easiest ones to spot are the ones who are right there next to us wanting to help with whatever we are doing or the ones who just want to chat. The quiet ones who keep to themselves are the ones who tend to slip away from getting much love and attention. It’s not that we don’t want to love on them, it just happens!

We get so caught up in the moment with high energy children pumping up the room every Wed night, that quiet kiddos could easily fade into the background UNLESS we make a conscience effort to NOT let that happen! We’ve got to be thinking of little Johnny before he makes it into the room. That way when he does get in the room, we are prepared to greet him and be ready to get to his level and ask him what’s new.

Introverts need to know that we appreciate them like they see us enjoying the extroverts.  During the lesson, take time to include little Johnny by giving the team points for little Johnny being respectful as he sits listening quietly. Or ask them questions they’ll know the answers to. Questions that require more than a simple yes or no. It could be about the lesson, about their life, or about their pet. Get to know them!

Everyone’s personality is different. We should celebrate our differences by including everyone and not let them fade into the loud noises of kids jumping and shouting all around them. Church is where screaming and shouting is welcome. It’s also where prim and proper is welcome too. Let’s not forget that!

How do you reach out to the introverts in your group?

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

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