Tuesday, August 18, 2009

8 Questions Answered

  1. Jon said... What is one book you think every youth worker should read?
    The Bible. Seriously. I wonder if we're all spending a little too much time reading what everyone else is saying the Bible says, and not enough time reading it for ourselves. I'm guilty.

  2. Phil Strahm said...The discipleship, fellowship, worship, and missions aspects of NMC's youth are fairly obvious on your blogs.Can you shine some more light on evangelism aspects of your ministry as it pertains to your students reaching out to other local students?
    Where we have specific programs that hit the aspects mentioned above (Small Groups for Fellowship, IMPACT for missions, etc.) we have discovered that evangelism aspect does not fit best in a "program". It is almost an all-encompassing emphasis that finds its way into everything we do. Here's a few examples...
    GO Trips: The GO Trip itself has a major emphasis on personal evangelism training... not The Way of the Master/ Street Evangelism stuff, but lifestyle evangelism. Every participant identifies 1-3 lost or spiritually struggling friends, and writes a letter home to them while at the trip. They are encouraged not to be "preachy" in that letter, but instead use it as a launching point to go home and share Christ in both words and actions with the friend.
    Prayer Groups: We challenge and help students as they form prayer groups at their schools. Several of those prayer groups will pray for specific individuals who don't know Christ.
    Wednesday Night: We seek to plan Wednesday Night Gatherings in a way that can allow students to bring their friends into a "safe" environment for "dangerous things to happen.
    Passion/ Platforms/ People: We're constantly infusing into our teachings the need for students to identify these 3 things in their life as opportunities to share Christ. It's especially pushed toward every day life.

  3. Rob said...Who's going to win a championship next out of your beloved teams: Notre Dame football, the Indianapolis Colts, or the Cubbies?
    Let's clear something up first... there are only 2 beloved teams mentioned above; the Colts and the Cubbies. I am a nominal ND fan at best. But, between the 3, I'll take the Cubs (hopeless optimist).

  4. Carrie said...Have You and Janelle thought of adopting again?
    Yes. Praying and taking steps. Trusting His leading.

  5. Anonymous said...I don't have a relationship with my family, so they think I have been a Christian for a long time; however, I didn't make that decision until this past year. Anytime I do something wrong they tell me that if I am going to talk the talk I better start walking the walk. It hurts more than anything because they don't know I am new to devoting my life to Christ, but I love every second of it and trust in that experience. My point is, my family does not live for Christ and are judging me in my walk. How do I respond to their judgment?
    I feel a little like "Dear Abby" on this one. I have no perfect answer to this. I'd recommend some focused time spent in Matthew 5-7. Tons of insight on facing opposition, shining light, and responding to criticism. I also once heard someone say, "An unbelieving world may be looking more for people who repent well then they perfect people."

  6. Ken said...Who was your favorite youth pastor growing up?
    Well Ken, so weird you ask this question. I had a youth pastor named Ken Weeks who was the coolest (and geekiest at the same time) youth pastor a high school guy (and especially a churched-out, over-religious, and missing out on a relationship with Christ) could ask for. In all seriousness, I wouldn't have gone to Bethel College had it not been for a Sunday Night conversation with my youth pastor while playing Super Mario Kart.

  7. Anonymous said...How does asking "what if" questions help your group to grow spiritually?
  8. Anonymous said...Based on texts such as Philipians 1:10, Galatians 2:20, and John 3:30 someone has defined the true church as:"Christ PLUS Peter MINUS Peter EQUALS the church" How do you see this statement if light of the "Dreamer Lab" movement led by Erwin McManus? Are we helping people to identify themselves with the death of Christ (so they can live newness of life) by instigating them to be dreamers?
    Anonymous Questioner 7 & 8, I'm thinking you are the same who asked these questions as they are much alike, and I wish you would identify yourself considering the tone of critique the questions seem to be taking, but I'll move forward.
    I would look at the "Dreamer Lab" (never heard that label before) as completely acceptable and actually beneficial when keeping in mind those scriptures mentioned above. I'm working under the mindset that we are in the process of dreaming and asking "What if" in a manner that ushers in God-given dreams, burdens, and passions.
    As followers of Christ, I believe what the scriptures say in that the Spirit of Christ lives in us (I Cor 3;16; Col 1:27) to be true. I also believe that Joel 2:28 is true today. If young men will dream dreams and see visions, why would we not create an environment to see that happen?
    How does asking "What if" help the group grow spiritually? I'm not sure spiritual growth is the goal, I would say spiritual activism is the goal... yet I believe in the process students grow...
    - in their ability to discern hearing God's voice over their own or the enemies (Philippians 1:10).
    -as they get past themselves and dive into something bigger than themselves.
    - in understanding that God has a plan to use them for HIS glory.
    -about 100 other ways.
    Are we helping people identify themselves with the death of Christ as we challenge them to dream? I think so. If the dreams are from God, they will push students to live beyond themselves, and ultimately help them grasp the reality that the greatest potential is when they are surrendered over to Christ.

    My final thought... if dreaming is the only aspect of a ministry, that would be a huge problem. At the same time, if getting people identify themselves to with the death of Christ is the only (and ultimate) goal, I would say we are significantly selling short the message of the Gospel.


Mauricio said...

Hello, Derry!
Saw the link at Twitter and got curious to see what these questions and answers would be.

I loved your answer to questions #1 and #4.

The quotation in question #8 comes from Stephen Kaung by the way. Have you heard of him?

I didn't have time to ask and I don't know if there's time for one more question, but I became very interested in these "what if" questions. How do you apply them? Where do they come from? Are they kind of standard or do you ask them as you evaluate case by case? I would love to hear some directions and experiences on that.

It became clear to me (based on the "debate" with questions 7 and 8) that your goal is really to lead your disciples "to be envolved in something bigger than themselves". Is it not? That would explain the spiritual activism you talked about.

My love to your family and my beloved NMC church!

derryprenkert said...


Some Answers:

How do you apply them?

In the case of what we did with the 5 What If's we asked at camp, we left the application in the students' hands. The whole experience we did put them in a position to identify the value behind the "What If?" we were asking and then give them ways to consider how God may be leading them to put it into practice. At the same time, we've created opportunities inside the ministry that allow them to apply them.

Where do they come from?

They come out of the mission and values of NMC Student Ministries. As we exist to see students move from Religion to Relationship to Spiritually Reproducing, the What if questions point back to HOW we believe this can happen.

It became clear to me (based on the "debate" with questions 7 and 8) that your goal is really to lead your disciples "to be envolved in something bigger than themselves". Is it not?

Absolutely. And that something bigger really can all be pointed back to the Great Commandment (Love God, Love Others) in Matthew 22:37-39 and the Great Commission (Go and make disciples) in Matthew 28:18-20. This may come very much out of my own spiritual journey as I've found myself most alive in Christ when I'm involved in something significant that lives beyond me.

Thanks for the questions, Brazilian Brother!


Mauricio said...

Loved your answers. I was very touched by the mission of NMC Student Ministries as I was not familiar with it. I have an idea of how powerful it is in the light of the region where you're located.

These "what if" questions seem to be very intentional and very well crafted. I believe that would be one reason why you wouldn't feel 100% comfortable to shoot some of them at Tweeter, would you? ;o) I would love to experience them.

My brother, count on my prayers as you spend your best years in the Lords' field. There's nothing better or more magnificent than to be envolved with Him.

My love to you all. There's a piece of each one of you in my core identity.