- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Carrie said...Have You and Janelle thought of adopting again?
Yes. Praying and taking steps. Trusting His leading.
- 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."
- 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.
- Anonymous said...How does asking "what if" questions help your group to grow spiritually?
- 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.