On Sunday night the teens that went to CIY had the opportunity to get up in front of the church and share about the week. It’s really cool being a part of a church that cares about the teens.

I was able to get up and share a little about CIY and the different ministries they perform. If you are hearing about them for the first time click here and you can head over to their webpage. Then the floor was open to each of the teens to talk about their week and we opened it up for the adults to ask questions.

The part of the trip everyone was most interested in were the Kingdom Worker cars.

CIY has a passion to help young people grow in their walk with Christ. They desire to see life change happen, not just at their events but long after each of the kids have left the conference. They encourage everyone to take steps to advance the Kingdom of God.

One way they get the ball rolling is by giving everyone a Kingdom Worker Card. This card comes sealed in an envelope. On it, is some way the teens will be challenged to trust God and advance His Kingdom. The teens know if they open the card, they are committing to doing whatever is inside.

Want to know what was on the cards that have been opened so far by our group?

Read 1 chapter from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John everyday for the next school year.

Adopt a widow or widower from the church to invite over for holiday meals for the next year.

Lead 4 lessons over the next year in youth group.

Tutor a group of Jr. High students in a subject or activity you are good at.

Raise $2,500 to help 10 non-churched friends to go to CIY next year.

Isn’t that incredible?! Each of these students has quite a challenge ahead of them. Each of these tasks will require commitment to complete, and each will have an impact on their lives as well as the lives of people around them.

They have decided to leave the pew sitting “Christianity” behind and trade it in for an active faith. They want to change the world for Christ.

One girl, before getting a card, told my wife she wants to raise $2,000 to Central India Christian Mission to help send a guy through Bible College so he can plant churches in India.

Another girl, before getting her card, said she wants to share her testimony with a group of people. She wants the opportunity to share about how Jesus has changed her! She knows it will be hard, and maybe even scary, but none-the-less wants to do it.

These teens are an inspiration, and they are everywhere across our country, and even the world! They are serious about their faith and want to reach others for Christ.

If that does not get you motivated, I don’t know what will.

Christ has called us to more than going to a 9-5 job, coming home and watching TV until it’s time to go to bed. He’s called us to more than just going to church on Sunday’s and maybe Wednesdays.

We are called “for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10b). We are called to trust in our creator and go into our world, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is amazing that these teens have the desire to make a difference. It’s not so they look amazing, or even because the tasks are all that glamorous, because in some cases they are not.

They want to do this work because they love God and have come to salvation and want to see the same change happen in others.

As an adult, that drives me to live out my faith a little more. If a teenager has the faith and courage to pursue a walk with Christ in his everyday life, what is stopping me?

Who can I share Jesus with today?

How can I serve someone?

What needs can I meet in the name of Christ?

What about you?

What can you do to make a difference for the Kingdom?

How can you be a Kingdom Worker?


Getting Away From the Norm

September 10, 2012

I’m not the most creative person. I know for some of you that may be hard to believe. You have given into the misconception that all people who work in Youth Ministry have a special part of their brain that is constantly coming up with new games or creative ideas. There are those who fall into that category.

Unfortunately, I am not one of them. It would be convenient if I was, but I’m not.

Most of the time I find myself getting in a rut. I go to the office everyday at right about the same time. I get studying done, visit with those who come through the offices and plan. But sometimes I find myself staring at my notepad and all of a sudden it is 4pm. I look down and the only new thing on the paper are the slight indentations from my elbows (and sometimes a little drip of drool).

I write this, not so the elders who have hired me can read this and wonder why they are paying me, but instead because I’m guessing I’m not the only one who sometimes comes to a roadblock.

Most of the time we manage these frustrating situations in the wrong way. Instead of sitting there and continuing to do nothing, change your situation.

Today I grabbed my laptop, a couple Christian Standard magazines, and my Bible and I left the office. I went to sit in the sun at McDonald’s. I ordered a coffee and have gone to work.

I almost immediately felt a change in my attitude and my thinking process. Sometimes all that has to happen is a change in scenery. It can really get the brain working.

Being physically active can help. Going for a walk or a run. If your workplace has a gym, maybe shooting some baskets. It creates a break from the norm and will help you feel refreshed when you come back to the task at hand.

I am not here telling you to procrastinate. What I am suggesting is taking some sort of break from the norm to help the creative juices flow.

I’ve seen it help in my own life and I am convinced it will help in yours.

God Stays the Same

September 6, 2012

Over a year ago, my family and I moved to the boot-heel of Missouri. I began working for a congregation full-time as the Student Minister.

There were new people all around. We had new parents to get to know, new students. I even had to change some of the ways I was getting my work accomplished.

Our son was continuing to grow and change. Then we found out we were going to be having another baby. Change seemed to be all around, and it still is. That line “the only constant thing is change,” continues to ring true, and I’m sure that it is not just true for me.

Chances are, you are facing some sort of change in your life. It could be a new job, or a new addition, or loss to the family. Perhaps you have recently changed schools, or at least changed grades. A change in diet, friends, hairstyle, clothes (hopefully this one happens regularly), are all things we encounter at some time in our lives.

Change can be something in our lives that causes a lot of stress. It brings about the unknown and a feeling of uneasiness. Isn’t it comforting to know that we have a God who is always the same?

James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Our situations may change. To be honest, we may change. But God stays the same. He has promised to be with us, and He keeps that promise. He is always pure, good, Truth, and love. Our perception of this unchanging God may change, hopefully for the better as we know Him more, but He never does.

It is comforting for me to know that I can always trust God to be exactly who He has always been and to do just as He has always done. I need that constant in a world that is always changing around me.