Youtube Video Of The Week!!!

This weeks youtube of the week is a bumper video we did for our stories weekend were students give their testimony. Usually we have someone speak, but at story weekend the students who share their story is the message.



Youth Worker: A Response To Justin Bieber!!!!

No signThis is really nothing new. I’ve seen this so many times where the young star comes out and caters to the parents of young fans by playing the role model part.  When it’s time to grow their career up they start with racy behavior.  Cathleen Falsani who is an award winning writer wrote a blog post to Justin Bieber concerning the recent video of him smoking weed.  I thought it was pretty thoughtful and insightful so I’m sharing it.  Read below and then head to her site for the rest.

“…Last year you reached a milestone when you turned 18. You are living in a liminal state, standing at the threshold between childhood and adulthood, still more boy than man.  Times of transition and change are difficult for anyone, never mind someone whose every move in public is chronicled by relentless paparazzi and other members of the media. You must be gentle with yourself as you navigate these new waters, but you also must be diligent to guard your heart and mind more now than ever.  Whether you’ve partaken of the “sacred herb” just once or burn more cabbage than Tommy Chong at a Furthur show is not the issue that most concerns me. Click here to READ the rest!

Do we talk at all about things like this knowing that our students are buying their music and going to their concerts? I would love to hear your thoughts on how you approach these types of things with your students!!

For Students: 4 Things to Think About!!

blue-add-buttonI would love for you to think about adding and/or reengaging these attributes into your life.  As a Christ follower we are called to live differently.  The world should look at us and see a difference. Not the type of difference that says we are better than them, but they should see the type of difference that says “I’m no different than you, and that I live for an eternal purpose not a temporal one”.  I strive to really make this list a part of my life everyday.

  1. Be KindEphsians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Just think about how your relationships would change if you would intentionally look for ways to show kindness.  Think about the lives you could change. Maybe it’s with the kid who sits alone at lunch or the kid who is mentally ill.  Being kind goes a long way for people who are not use to be being kind to them.
  2. Forgive –  Colosians 3:13 Bear with each other andforgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Life is too short to waste any time being bitter about anything.  You can choose to be bitter or you can choose to forgive. It’s your choice.  Now, that doesn’t mean the hurt will go away over night, but once you take that step to forgive you begin the process of releasing the hurt and rejecting bitterness.
  3. Be HonestProverbs 22:12 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. This verse should not be a surprise to us.  No one likes being around a dishonest person.  I would rather have someone who will tell me the truth even if it may not be what I want to hear.  Real friends will tell you what you need to hear.  If your friends agreed with you 100% of the time, I would really question the authenticity of the relationship.  It gives me peace to know that I have friends who will be honest with me no matter what.
  4. Be ThoughtfulHebrews 10:24 We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things.  This is a trait that separates you from a lot of other people.  By nature, we are all about ourselves and what we can do to get ahead.  By nature, when we are thoughtful it’s in our best interest and not others.  If you feel like your life has been all about you, start being thoughtful.  Be thoughtful towards people you don’t know, and be thoughtful towards people who might not be expecting you to be thoughtful.  That’s where real change takes place.  A thoughtful deed can be as simple as opening the door for someone or bringing an extra water bottle to practice just in case someone is without.  Other acts can include making sure your words are lifting people up instead of tearing people down.

I could add a million more but I believe these 4 things are what we lack the most of and if we could be more intentional in these areas we could change lives in a practical way.  What I had to learn was that this is a day by day decision that we must make to apply these things to your life.  So think about adding and/or reengaging these attributes into your life this year day by day.

hope it helps


Youth Workers: My Child Is Gay!!

respondToday, I got the opportunity to be on The Simply Youth Ministry Show.  We got an email about a youth worker who had parents come and tell him that their son is gay.  While this topic deserves more than 12 minutes, we took it on. I thought I would elaborate more on the topic.

Popular opinion says it’s OK and to each its own and the only people that are speaking out loud in opposition are the people who are screaming God hates gays. Which is completely untrue. I believe that as culture continues to push embracing this life style as the norm, you will have a lot more students with questions.  We need to talk about it.

I’ve had enough conversations to know that there is no easy solution when dealing with students who struggle with homosexuality because every situation is different.  However, I do believe there is a framework that can help you best support and mentor students. As you tackle this hot topic, here are a few things that have helped me tremendously as I support and mentor students in this area.

Knowing the views of your church –  If you haven’t had a conversation with your pastor, elders or who ever does pastoral care with the adults in your church, you need to do it.  It will give you confidence in caring for students when you know the church has your back and supports you.  If you find out that you don’t agree on some things in this area, at least you know where you stand and can start working towards a resolution.  You can also collaborate on a plan on how to best support students. You don’t have to do it on your own.  How you handle this topic is a really big deal.  Remember, since you represent your church, how you minister to gay teenagers needs to reflect your church’s views on the subject.  Inconsistency will only cause confusion in an already tough to navigate situation.

Educate yourself   It’s one thing to know the scriptures stating that homosexuality is wrong; it’s another thing to support someone and mentor someone who is struggling with it in their life.  You must know more about it than just what Leviticus says when it comes to mentoring and supporting students who are struggling or questioning their sexuality.  Read up on both sides of the topic.  Simply Youth Ministry has a new resource written by Shawn Harrison Ministering to gay teenagers.  There is a free sample of the book you can read and check it out.  There are plenty of websites and articles that are pushing a popular opinion driven agenda that you can read up on.  You need to know what they are hearing from culture concerning homosexuality.  Just as important, you must know what the bible says about it.  So do some research because students need to know you care and the more you know the more you are able to be passionate about reaching out and supporting them.

Allow God’s word to guide you   There is a bible verse that speaks to how we should approach sharing the truth of God’s word. Ephesians 4:15 talks about speaking the truth in love.  Paul is saying we as believers must do two things.  One, we must always speak the truth.  We are not called to sugar coat it or hide it in some politically correct lingo.  We are to speak the truth of God’s word.  With that being said, we must also handle God’s word of truth correctly (2 Timothy 2:15), so that we don’t speak truth in a way that misrepresents God’s position.  Secondly, We are also called to speak the truth in love.  That means:

I hope this gives you some type of direction and if nothing else something to talk about in your next staff/leader/volunteer meeting.  Allow God to put a burden on your heart for these students if you don’t have one already.

If you need someone to talk some things through regarding the topic, feel free to email me at  Praying for you all!!!

hope it helps



For Students: God Which College Should I Go To?!?!

woman praying silhoutteChoosing the right school becomes a huge concern for a lot of students right around this time.  I’m sure God gets this question a lot, so don’t feel like you are alone if this has been on your mind.  I do think scripture gives us insight on how God views our lives on earth.  I believe scripture shows us that God is more concerned with where He is in our life, than where we are in life.  The bible says in Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  A lot of times we are seeking out where we want to be in life.  God is saying, “if I am where I’m suppose to be in your life, you will be where you’re suppose to be in life”.

praying-1bThe bible also tells us that God definitely has a purpose for our life.  Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  So if it’s your hearts desire to be used by God, He will use you, no matter where you go.  Allow God to be God and He’ll take care of the rest.  So put God where He’s suppose to be and you will be where you’re suppose to be.  Here are three things I apply to my decision making process.

  1. I commit the process to God. – Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.  You must understand that college is not the end; it’s a means to an end.  College will be a part of the story of your life.
  2. I trust God through the process. – Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  
  3. I trust him with my choice. – Romans 8:28 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.

hope it helps



For Students: Michaela Coon – Crazy or Stupid!!!

Student guest post #4 is from Michaela Coon, a Senior at Tesoro High School. Michaela is a part of my youth group and has a huge heart for people.  I asked her to share 6 ways in which she shares her faith at school.  Most people think the people who share their faith are either crazy or stupid.  Crazy because their approach is weird and stupid because you are putting yourself out there to be rejected. Michaela really gets you thinking with her list, so my prayer is that you will apply the things she talks about to your life. Check it out!!

  1. Be aware and Intentional.- Knowing the needs of your high school is the best way to communicate your faith.  Ask for God’s eyes to look beyond just walking from class to class.  Make it a goal to be selfless and personal in the way you talk to your peers.
  2. Know you have influence.- Whether you believe it or not, you have influence.  People are watching how you live.  This is a great responsibility but a great privilege as well.  However, there is a difference between this knowledge and the way you exert yourself.  Oswald Chambers writes, “In the Christian life, godly influence is never conscious of itself.  If we are conscious of our influence, it ceases to have the genuine loveliness, which is characteristic of the touch of Jesus.  We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.”
  3. “Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary.”- When someone is filled with the Holy Spirit, His overflowing love is beyond undeniable.  The way you constantly love is a direct testament to Jesus. It is the little things that count.  For example, what if sticky-noting your campus with encouragement changed your school? A favorite quote of mine is by Mother Teresa:  “Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
  4. Build Relationships.- I cannot stress this enough.  Building trust in someone’s life and creating networks is critical.  When someone values your opinion, they will listen and retain.   Be willing to break barriers!
  5. Be BOLD. Shine your light.- What if you added in something positive in a gossip-filled conversation?  What if you readily forgave? Be uncommon. Care uncommonly.  During finals week, I passed out little notes with Bible verses and everyone loved them, even non-Christians!  It was a little scary, knowing others’ beliefs, but Jesus totally worked in their hearts!  Expect Him to come through.
  6. Love, love, and love even more!

hope it helps