Rabu, 30 Desember 2015

stand True Pro-life Outreach: End of Year / March for Life DC and Walk for Life West Coast Schedule

Stand True End of Year / March for Life DC and Walk for Life West Coast Schedule
Dear Stand True Family;
We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and wish you a happy New Year. We want to thank you for all the support and prayer this year, it means so much to us and our work. This is your last chance to give an end of year donation to help Stand True educate, activate and equip this generation to end abortion.
We need your help TODAY! Please donate $25, $50, $100, $500 and help Stand True continue to educate, activate and equip this generation. If you can donate please do so at https://give.cornerstone.cc/Stand+True or on the donate button at standtrue.com
Donations can also be mailed to Stand True – PO Box 890 – Troy, OH 45373 or call 937-570-0671 to donate by phone.
March for Life East Coast January 21-23
On Thursday, January 21st, Stand True will be co-hosting a giant prayer vigil in front of the new Planned Parenthood mega center being built in Washington DC at 1225 4th St NE starting at 9:00 AM. This will take place as part of a large coalition of pro-life organizations and will end with a #ProtestPP event right afterwards.
Every Year Stand True hosts the official March for Life Youth Rally as part of the March for Life in Washington, DC. This year's event will be held on Thursday, January 21st 2-5 PM at the Renaissance Hotel, 9th St NW.
2016 March for Life Youth Rally Line Up
1:30 Doors open with praise band playing
2:00 Opening Prayer – Father Stephen Imbarrato
2:05 Welcome and opening remarks – Bryan Kemper and Jeanne Mancini
2:15 Politics and the Pro-life Movement – Billy Valentine, Tom McClusky and Father Frank Pavone
2:35 Regret and aftermath from Planned Parenthood Abortions – Testimonies Silent No More
2:55 Men’s voices in the pro-life movement Ryan Bomberger, Matt Lockett and Kevin Burke
3:15 Music by Abby McIntyre, Katie Burke and Jerod Lacey. Also Appearing, Shawn Welcome
3:30 Pro-life on Campus – Kristan Hawkins, RJ McVeigh and Beth Rahal
3:50 Key Note – David Bereit
4:10 Pro-life Activism Street, Online and Undercover – Eric Schiedler, Bryan Kemper and Lila Rose
4:30 Closing Prayer – Rev Pat Mahoney
More Info e-mail bkemper@standtrue.com
Stand True will also have booths at:
The March for Life Convention - Jan 21-22
Geaux Forth Rally - Jan 21
SFAL Conference East Coast- Jan 23
We are also excited to be cosponsoring the first annual West Coast Walk for Life Youth Rally with Students for Life of America
Date: Saturday, January 23, 2016
Location: St. Mary’s Cathedral 1111 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA
Time: 5pm – 6:30pm Youth Rally, 7pm – 9pm Voiceless the Movie

Taylor Stearns, 2014 American Idol Hollywood Week Contestant, will welcome you into this pro-life party with awesome music! Then expect to be encouraged by pro-life leaders as we move to abolish abortion in our lifetime!

Speakers Include:
Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Bryan Kemper, Stand True
Kristina Garza, The Vida Initiative
Eva Munson, West Coast Walk for Life
Missy Stone, Students for Life
Timmerie Millington, Life Choices
David Bereit, 40 Days for Life
My Saint My Hero
Thanks to Movie to Movement you can stay after the rally for a special screening of the not-yet-released movie, Voiceless. Be encouraged as one man puts it all on the line to stand for Life at an abortion clinic that moved in across the street from his building. Seating for the screening is limited so please be sure to RSVP to guarantee tickets for the screening.
Stand True will have booths at:
Walk for Life - Jan 23
Walk for Life Youth Rally Jan 23
SFLA Conference West Coast Jan 24
Stand True Pro-life Outreach’s mission is to Educate, Activate and Equip this generation to be the generation that will abolish abortion.
Last chance for an End of Year Donation:
We need your help TODAY! Please donate $25, $50, $100, $500 and help Stand True continue to educate, activate and equip this generation. If you can donate please do so at https://give.cornerstone.cc/Stand+True or on the donate button at standtrue.com
Donations can also be mailed to Stand True – PO Box 890 – Troy, OH 45373 or call 937-570-0671 to donate by phone.

Senin, 28 Desember 2015

Dealing With Your Differences: Make it Safe to Connect

Dealing With Your Differences: Make it Safe to Connect


Close-up of man and woman back-to-back but man looks angry and woman looks worried.
The Genesis phrase "naked and not ashamed" conveys the deepest desire of the heart: to be loved and accepted for who one is, warts and all. "Safe" refers to how you talk to one another and the emotional tone you cultivate when together.
One of the clearest findings in research on marriage is that the ways couples handle conflict are strongly related to how they will do in the future. Because conflicts are a common and expected part of relationships, many couples think that it's their differences that cause the greatest problems in their marriage. Strong differences in backgrounds and viewpoints do make conflicts more likely. But more than 30 years of research tell us that success in marriage is about how partners handle the differences they have, and not just the nature of the differences they have. Differences can be part of what draws two people together and also part of what makes it difficult for them to get along once they are together. Some differences can be especially tricky to handle well. Whatever your differences, the part you have the most control over is how you keep your marriage emotionally safe.
In addition to the three keys, here are two ground rules that can help you enact the three keys when it comes to protecting your marriage from conflict.
Ground rule 1: When conflict is escalating, we will call a "time out" and either try to continue to talk more constructively or agree to talk later, after things have calmed down.
This one simple rule can protect relationships. Why? Because, as Solomon wrote, "A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back" (Proverbs 29:11). Scripture clearly teaches that escalating and venting at one another are foolish and harmful. Furthermore, research on marital health, mental health and physiological health simply does not support the idea that "letting it all hang out" is healthy. In fact, careless venting is deadly for your relationship.
Ground rule 2: We will make time for the blessings of marriage: fun, friendship, physical connection and spiritual connection. We will agree to protect these times from conflict and the need to deal with issues.
You can't be focusing on issues all the time and have a really happy and connected marriage. You need nurturing and safe times for relaxing — having fun, talking as friends, making love — times in which conflict and problems are always off-limits.
There are two points embedded in this ground rule. First, set aside time for these positive activities together. You have to do this very intentionally. For most couples, letting this slide means you will have fewer positive experiences in your marriage. Second, when you are alone together for the purpose of enjoying your relationship, agree never to use that time to bring up issues. And if an issue does come up, agree to table it for a later time. Schedule a special meeting to focus on an important issue later, but don't let problems intrude on the times you've set aside to enjoy one another.
Excerpted from A Lasting Promise: The Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage by Scott Stanley, Daniel Trathen, Savanna McCain and Milt Bryan, Copyright © 2014 by Christian PREP, Inc. Used with permission from the publisher, Jossey-Bass/Wiley.
From Focus on the Family website at FocusOnTheFamily.com. ©2014 by Christian PREP, Inc. Used with permission from the publisher, Jossey-Bass/Wiley.

Spread the Word: Bring Your Bible to School

Spread the Word: Bring Your Bible to School


Group of six students, all ages, headed to school
Brytney admits that she was pretty nervous about the whole thing. What would her fellow students say? How would they treat her? More important, what would the teachers do?
After all, Brytney is the kind of student who pushes herself academically; the kind of student who doesn't want any C's — much less any disciplinary issues. Would bringing her Bible to school make a positive impact, or would it only lead to trouble?
The 14-year-old from Oregon first learned about Bring Your Bible to School Day when a youth leader at church showed her an event flyer. Brytney was concerned about the potential consequences of participating, but she was also excited. Her youth leader told Brytney she had every right to carry her Bible, and the teenager took a picture of the announcement with her phone.
The day of the event, during her fourth-period class, Brytney and her fellow students finished their work early, which meant they had some free time. Brytney got out her Bible and started reading. That's when a teacher took notice.
"What is that?" he asked.
"It's my Bible."
"You are not allowed to have that at school. . . . It's talking about God."
"Actually," said Brytney, "it's Bring Your Bible to School Day."
That's when she pulled out her phone and showed the teacher her photo of the flyer. Apparently it did the trick.
The teacher went on his way, and Brytney kept on reading.
Bring Your Bible to School Day gave Brytney the opportunity to exercise her religious rights and the courage to express her faith at her public school.

One boy

The first Bring Your Bible to School Day took place Oct. 16, 2014. The annual nationwide event, sponsored by Focus on the Family, encourages students to take their Bibles to school as a way to celebrate their religious freedom and share God's hope and love with their peers.
When Carson's parents showed him the email from Focus on the Family, the 10-year-old from Indiana got right to work. First, Carson and his younger brother, Sam, handed out cards at school to promote the event. Then they made special "Bring Your Bible" T-shirts to wear that day. Their efforts paid off when about 10 kids at Carson's school decided to join in.
"One boy didn't have a Bible," says the boys' mother, Cara, "so Carson gave him one, and he shared another with a friend who has been reading it during free reading every day since then."
Carson says his classmate was eager to have a Bible but didn't have the money to get one for himself. For Carson, the answer was easy.
"When I first told him I was going to give him a Bible, he was excited and happy because he really wanted to participate in the event."

Two sisters

Camdyn and Brighton, two young sisters from Maryland, learned about Bring Your Bible to School Day when their father received the same email announcement. It turns out that Oct. 16 was also the day for class photos at their elementary school.
"It was picture day," Brighton says, "and before we knew it, it was Bring Your Bible to School Day."
The girls were busy picking out their clothes, Camdyn says, "then when we found out about [the event], we really didn't care what we wore. We wanted to get our Bibles ready."
The girls were confident, but the family was new to their school and their parents started to worry. How would a Bible-toting first- and third-grader fit in with their peers? In the end, their father said, it was the girls who modeled bold faith to their parents.
"I thought it was a good way to show people what I believe in — that I'm a Christian," Camdyn says. "We really don't talk about it at public school, so I thought it was really cool."

One girl

After her fourth-period class, Brytney brought her Bible to lunch. As usual, she sat down to eat with her friends.
"Do you guys want to hear my favorite verse?" she asked.
When her classmates said yes, Brytney ended up reading the entire chapter of John 14. Out loud.
"When I looked up, they were all just jaw-dropped."
This year's Bring Your Bible to School Day takes place Thursday, Oct. 8. Carson, for one, wants to have even more classmates bring their Bibles.
"We have to speak up and know the rights we have," he says. "The more people who spread the word about God, the better it is."
Learn more about Bring Your Bible to School Day by visiting BringYourBible.org.

Rend Collective—”Free as a Bird”

Free Youth Lesson Package: “Jesus Wants All, Not Some”

Free Youth Lesson Package: “Jesus Wants All, Not Some”

Youth Lesson - All
Jesus didn’t want half-hearted fans; Jesus was after all-in faith.

Free Youth Lesson Package

From this lesson, “Jesus didn’t want half-hearted fans; Jesus was after all-in faith. Jesus could tell what was holding people back from being all-in—and he directly challenged them on it..”
This lesson package includes:
  • Teaching Slide without title
  • Teaching Slide with title
  • Teaching Outline – Word Doc
  • Teaching Outline – PDF

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How to Lead a Small Group Sex Talk

How to Lead a Small Group Sex Talk

It can be embarrassing, hard or cheesy. But talking about sex with your students is essential. Here are some ways to break the ice.
If you’ve ever tried to have a discussion with high school students about sexuality then you probably have discovered a few things to be true:
1. First, teens care about the subject of sexuality as a default. You don’t need to convince anyone that this is a worthy thing to discuss.
2. Second, they also are bombarded with images, ideas, thoughts and ideologies from all angles— parents/friends/media/religion/etc. They even have a perceived “right or wrong answer” they expect to get in church or from people in positions of authority around them—which has a collective tone-deaf effect on them that is both easy and popular to ignore as irrelevant and ideologically unappealing.
3. Last, knowing what they want to do and actually doing it are two radically different things. This is why simply having students sign a purity covenant or put on a ring rarely changes a student’s decisions, in my experience. They must have a much higher “get it factor” than a ceremony can provide in order to truly own their decisions and say yes and no on purpose.
So, knowing all that, here’s what we did tonight to get our students inside the real issues when it comes to dating, and not just give us a head nod or “Sunday School Answer.”
After a battle of the sexes trivia game just for fun, we split all the guys in one room and all the girls in another. Then we had them sit in their normal small groups around the room (a couple of adult leaders and eight students or so). Then we pulled three students (one from each of small group) and put them in chairs up front for a random panel discussion. If you are instead going to do this with just one small group, you could do this same panel by selecting one or two people to respond first.
Then, I read the panel a series of “it could happen” scenarios and asked their responses before we invited the individual small groups to spend a few  minutes kicking it around. It was so good and really got them talking. I loved the interaction and to see students verbally process their thinking on sexuality with authenticity and even vulnerability.
If you want to have a similar discussion with your own small group, here are some “it could happen” situations I wrote and a few questions to follow. Hope they’re helpful to you.
IT COULD HAPPEN 1: You want to date, but it seems so complicated. You’ve been talking with your friends and you all agree there are all these pressures on you all over the place. Truthfully, you’re not sure which ones to give into and which ones to fight.
• QUESTIONS: What pressures do you feel are on you as a (man/woman) in America today? What are some healthy and not-so-healthy expectations we have placed on the sexes?
IT COULD HAPPEN 2: Your friend just went on a date and loved it. In fact, they told you that they think they have “fallen in love.”
• QUESTIONS: What do you think they mean, and do you think someone can “fall in love”? Argue both for and against the truth of this idea in our culture.
IT COULD HAPPEN 3: You want to date. You’ve found someone who you like and who your friends approve of. But your parents have told you that you’re not allowed to date until you’re 16. Your friends think that’s lame and so do you.
• QUESTIONS: Should age be a factor in dating and to what degree? Besides age, what else would you say should determine if you date or not? When is it good to be single on purpose?
IT COULD HAPPEN 4: You’ve been dating for over a year and you’re headed to your senior prom. You’ll both be looking sweet and love will surely be in the air. Both of you are committed to each other and you’ve even talked about someday maybe getting married. However, you also know the night will pose lots of opportunities to push some of your boundaries.
• QUESTIONS: How will you decide what you do or don’t do on this date? What will guide your choices: both in terms of peer pressure and your sexuality? How far would you say is too far and how will you decide?
IT COULD HAPPEN 5: You’ve been dating for two years. You think you want to get married. You’ve both already “lost your virginity.”
• QUESTION: Should you live together to see if you want to spend the rest of your lives together before you officially get married? How would you make this decision?
IT COULD HAPPEN 6: You and your date have been going out for a while now. But all your friends keep saying that you fight too much. You think they’re being over-reactive and that you guys are fine together. Sure, you fight from time to time, but who doesn’t? Your friends insist that you’re not seeing things clearly and that you’re being manipulated. They tell you that you should break up.
• QUESTION: What are some things that would cause you to break up with a date? What are some reasons that dating couples stay in a dating relationship too long and are afraid to break up, even when they should? Whose advice would you seek if you were trying to decide if your friends were right or wrong in their advice?
IT COULD HAPPEN 7: You just got baptized. You want to follow Jesus and you’re involved in youth group a lot. You’ve been friends for a while with someone who has recently showed interest in dating you, but they don’t share your same beliefs about God and life. You like them and the interest in dating is mutual.
• QUESTION: Is it OK to date someone whose faith is different from yours, and how do you decide what you need to mutually agree on and what you can simply agree to disagree about?

5 Myths About Youth Pastors

5 Myths About Youth Pastors

Some are funny, some less so. But here are some popular misconceptions about youth leaders.
I have been a full-time youth pastor for seven years. I have also been a youth intern for three years before that. One thing that I have noticed is that youth pastors get a lot of the jokes. Some of them are pretty hilarious, but the majority of them are false. Here are the five greatest myths about youth pastors:
1. Youth pastors are on vacation when at camp and mission trips. I cannot tell you how many times I have actually taken a real vacation and heard jokes, “Weren’t you just on vacation at camp with the kids?” Look, any time teens are present on your trip, it is NOT vacation. I would love for the ones who joke with youth pastors to make camp and mission trips their vacation for one year, and see if they have the same ideas that it is a true vacation. No, basically, you are working all day every day while at camp or on a mission trip. Church members, lay off this joke, because it is a myth.
2. Youth pastors are lazy. I would be rich if I had a dime for every time I heard, “You have nothing to do, you are just a youth pastor.” Now, I am sure there are some youth pastors out there who give the rest of youth pastors a bad name by being lazy, but the majority of youth pastors I know are not lazy. In fact, they usually work as many or more hours as any other staff member at the church they work at. Youth pastors have required office hours like the other pastors, but most of the ministry that takes place in youth ministry involves evenings or weekends. Also, youth pastors usually get called into other ministries in the church to serve, because many actually think that youth pastors have all of the time in the world. Youth pastors tend to wear so many hats other than youth ministry in the church. Youth pastors also have to give up many weekends for their ministry, so let’s lay off calling them lazy. Let’s commend them for their hard work.
3. Youth pastors are not smart. I am sure you have heard this one: “You couldn’t get a real job so you became a youth pastor.” Really? Youth ministry is an art, and it takes creativity. Many of the youth pastors that I know are really smart, and this myth is a knock to the kind of intelligence it takes to pull off youth ministry.
4. All youth pastors do is play games. Yes, youth pastors play more games and do more “fun” stuff like mission trips, camps, amusement parks, baseball games and more, but what people seem to never notice is the difficult moments of youth ministry. People never seem to notice the discipline that takes place in youth ministry or the difficult conversations that happen in youth ministry. How about the difficult sermons that need to take place? How about the long all-nighters? Look, all-nighters may seem like all fun and games, but as a married man with two kids, I think I could think of some better things to do with my family than staying up all night, but youth ministry demands this. Youth ministry is so much more than the fun and games that people summarize youth ministry up with.
5. Youth ministry is not a real job. This one got me the most. I heard it all of the time, and many of the myths already mentioned kind of go along with this one. Look, youth ministry is arguably the most important position in the church because you are shaping the future leaders of the church you work in. Youth pastor, what you do is important, and sometimes this myth can make youth pastors feel less important!
So, let’s stop already with these myths, church members.
And to the youth pastors reading this: Stay in it, and do not allow these myths (jokes) to get you down. You are doing a great job, and what you are doing is important! Hats off to you for your hard work!

Heavy metal music draws unchurched in Finland

Heavy metal music draws unchurched in Finland
By Mark Ellis and Hasset Anteneh, Special to ASSIST News Service
Heavy Metal pastor in Finland Mark EllisSOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS - September 30, 2015) -- In Finland, where heavy metal is mainstream, a movement melding the lyrics of traditional hymns with the snarl of hard rocking ‘Metal Mass’ is drawing sinners through churches’ doors.
In 2006, Haka Kekäläinen, a pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, decided with four other heavy metal aficionados to do the unthinkable: wedding their passion for rock with their love for the Rock.
“We didn’t change the lyrics of the hymns,” says Kekäläinen, a 50-year-old with a ponytail who drops his leather clothes for priestly garb on Sundays. “We only changed the musical arrangements to fit the rhythms of metal music. The hymns contain some very cruel words. It fits with metal music.”
Metal band in Finland Mark EllisThe first “mass” where metal hymns were played was packed by 1,300 in the Temppeliaukio Church of Helsinki, Kekäläinen, according to the website This is Finland. More than 100 similar Metal Masses have been offered throughout Finland since then, and all 8,000 copies of the subsequent album Metallimessu were snapped up. The recording hit #12 on Finnish billboard charts and stayed in the top 40 for three weeks.
“It was really good,” Akseli Inkinen, a 17-year-old with long, messy hair, told The Washington Times. The pews get packed with teens who pump the air with fists while the lead singers mosh around the stage.
Mika Mäkinen, a 30-something man with his blond hair in a ponytail, eschews normal church services. But since his first Metal Mass, he’s become a regular to the services, the rock and hearing the Word of God. “This is my ninth time,” he told This is Finland.
Finland’s state Evangelical Lutheran Church, has been largely silent about the mixing of the sanctity of the mass with a music genre that was once widely seen as “the devil’s music.”
Maybe it’s no surprise that Metal Mass would hatch in Finland. In 2006, the ambiguously-Christian band Lordi took Eurovision’s Song Contest by storm with its “Hard Rock Hallelujah.” It was the first time the prestigious award was won for Finland.
Another metal band in Finland Mark EllisLordi, which also sings “Devil is a Loser,” are not tie-wearing Christians for sure, but band leader Tomi
Putaansuu in an interview with Blabbermouth.net disavowed any links to the devil: “We have nothing to do with Satanism.”
Meanwhile, the unchurched are going back to church, drawn by the music they love. “It’s nice that there are slightly different church services compared to the usual ones,” 15-year-old Teea Pallaskari told The Washington Times.
Kimmo Kuusniemi, who produced a documentary about heavy metal in Finland, considered Metallimessu important enough to conclude: “For me, Metal Mass was a surprise. Metal music and church did not fit in the same room.”
Not only metalheads attend these masses. “We show them that it is possible to have fun in church,” Kekalainen said.
Photo captions: 1) The man behind metal mass: Pastor Haka Kekäläinen combines his love of God with his enthusiasm for heavy metal. (Photo: Tim Bird) 2) Metalimessu. 3) Messuporissa.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net).
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Sabtu, 26 Desember 2015

Is There Room in Your Heart?

Is There Room in Your Heart? (Writer's Opinion)

By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – December 24, 2015) -- “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”—Luke 2:7(KJ21).
With a few exceptions, most babies today enter the world in our country in sanitized surroundings at a hospital. However, over 2,000 years ago, a young couple named Mary and Joseph didn’t have that choice. Expecting the birth of God’s Son, they were even turned away from the inn.
No Room at the InnEven if you’ve never read the Bible, the story of Jesus’ birth in a stable is familiar to most. The scene of Christ’s entry into this world was not sanitary. The stable would have been dirty and the smells unappealing. According to scripture, His bed was a wooden feeding trough for animals.
While most nativity displays depict a quaint, pastoral scene, the reality is our Lord Jesus was actually homeless that first Christmas. There was no room at the inn.
About 25 years ago, two friends attending a Christmas party in Camarillo, California, were discussing their varied collection of nativity scenes. As they talked, they realized their vast collections could be used to benefit others, especially the less fortunate. Remembering the first Christmas and the homeless couple expecting the birth of their firstborn Son, they decided it would be appropriate for the proceeds to go to the homeless.
Out of their discussion, “No Room at the Inn,” was born. However, due to family health problems and their busy careers, it was more than 12 years before the two women were able to implement their idea. That first year, the variety of nativities ranged from the very simple, inexpensive ones to the more elaborate and costly. While some were tiny, other displays depicted figures two feet tall or more.
Today the nativity scenes come from a variety of places, including Mexico, Alaska, Germany, Spain, Italy and South America. They’re constructed out of porcelain, clay, wood, metal crystal, cloth, and even seed pods. Since the first “No Room at the Inn” display, over $330,000 has been donated to programs for the homeless in Ventura County. This year alone, more than 1,000 people, representing 53 countries, viewed the 638 versions of that first Christmas.
After a 1999 article about the two women, whose idea sparked the yearly fundraiser, appeared in a national magazine, people from across the country made inquiries about starting their own “No Room at the Inn” displays. According to the group’s website, their mission is to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by focusing on the humble birth of our Savior and to help those for whom there is also “No Room at the Inn,” the homeless.
It’s no mistake that Jesus was born in a stable, surrounded by noisy, smelly animals. His humble beginnings, orchestrated by His Heavenly Father, should be a reminder to us that the King of Kings never sought earthly wealth. His purpose for being is reflected in the simplicity of His holy birth.
There was no room at the inn. Is there room in your heart?
Photo captions: 1) No room at the Inn (http://img.deseretnews.com). 2) Carol Round
Carol Round use latestNote: I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to email me with your thoughts at carol@carolaround.com. You can also visit my blog at www.carolaround.com.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net).

Kamis, 24 Desember 2015

Free Youth Lesson Package: “The Critical Component”

Free Youth Lesson Package: “The Critical Component”

Youth - Critical
This insightful study focuses on the ups and downs all friendships face, but especially friendships in teen-dom.

Free Youth Lesson Package

From YouthMinistry.com, “Everyone makes mistakes in their friendships. This insightful study focuses on the ups and downs all friendships face, but especially friendships in teen-dom. It’s brought home for teenagers as they try to beat the clock in several games that require ‘perfection.’”
This youth lesson package includes:
  • Teaching Document in Word & PDF formats
  • Title Slide
  • Teaching Slide

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MercyMe – “Christmastime Again” (Lyric Video)

How to Get Parents to Pick Their Kids Up on Time

How to Get Parents to Pick Their Kids Up on Time

It’s an annoying and all too common problem. Here’s how to at least get parents to pick up their kids CLOSE to on time.
When I started Smarter Youth Ministry, it was because I wanted to help youth workers deal with their biggest frustrations.
Usually, this meant the BIG stuff.
Fundraisers, volunteer recruiting and management, burnout and stress, out-of-control time management; you know, that stuff.
But when I ask youth workers what’s frustrating them, sometimes they say unexpected things …
… and lately, they’ve all been saying the same thing over and over again:
“It drives me nuts when I get to the end of a very long Sunday and a parent is an hour late to pick up their kid!”

First things first: It is totally OK to be frustrated by this. I’ve read pieces before that say we should celebrate when this happens because it’s extra time to connect with a student and to be in ministry with them. When you put it that way, it seems almost sinful to be frustrated when a mom is 45 minutes late.
But those 45 minutes might mean you don’t get home in time to tuck your own kids in. It might mean making you late for whatever’s next on your schedule.
In our ministry, our child protection guidelines are clear about the fact that I’m not supposed to be alone in the building with a teenager. So if it’s just one student who’s waiting on a ride, I’m either grabbing a volunteer to make them hang around with me …
… or I’m waiting in a compromised situation.
That was reason enough for us to address our problem of late pickup, and imagine my surprise when I learned that the primary problem was me.
Why late parents were kind of my fault
Imagine yourself in this scenario: It’s 8:45. Youth group ended at 8:00. Dylan’s mom finally rolls into the parking lot. She is so apologetic.
I am so sorry, she says.
What do you say next?
Here were my lines:
“Oh, it’s no problem. Have a great night.”
“That’s OK. We had a good time hanging out and playing Exploding Kittens.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m glad I had the time to get to know Dylan a little better.”
I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to say, right? The church is a grace-filled organization, and it’s not like you can just start ranting:
You know what? You should feel sorry! Because of YOU I missed bedtime with my kids. Because of YOU I’m going to have to stop to pick up fast food on the way home because I missed dinner and when the inevitable affects of all that processed junk finally catch up with me, I’ll send YOU my medical bills.

So, because we know grace, and because we’re kind people, we tend to brush off the need for an apology. The problem is this:
If we tell parents it’s “OK” for them to pick their kids up late, they’ll pick their kids up late.

That’s why, before you implement any of these other strategies, the first thing you’ve got to do is find a polite and grace-filled way to tell parents to pick their kids up on time from now on.
Four (easier) ways to get kids home on time

End your programs on time
Here’s why: If your program regularly runs late, parents will start showing up late. It’s hard to be upset with a parent who doesn’t show up at 8:00 if the last three times he showed up at 8:00, he sat in the parking lot and waited.
Post a large sign with the end-time at student drop-off
Parents need this not-so-subtle reminder, especially if your events have irregular end times. In my first year of ministry, I ran a calendar with random events that happened at random times and at random places. Expecting parents to always remember when an event ends at 6:30 versus 7:00 or 7:30 is impossible.
Make it (a little) boring for students who are left late
You don’t need to make them sit in silence until they’re picked up, but if you let them play in the gym until their parents get there, then your students will be the ones encouraging their parents to arrive later and later.
(When we posted our large sign with the 8:00 end time, I heard from at least one mom who was sure it ended at 8:30. Why? Because her son told her it ended at 8:30 simply because he didn’t want to go home yet.)
Give students a 10-minute warning
Ten minutes before your program ends, sound a bell, play a video clip, make an announcement or do something that instructs ALL of your students to text their parents that we’re almost done. Even if your program ends at the same time every week, there are some parents who are waiting for the text from their teenager that says, “Done. Come get me.”
Having students send that text preemptively instead of waiting until they’re done saying goodbye to all of their friends 10 minutes after our posted end-time helped more than anything else.
What else do you do to make sure students get picked up on time? Leave a comment below.  

7 Tips for Preaching to Teenagers

7 Tips for Preaching to Teenagers

Make your messages work best for your students.
Preaching to teenagers can be extremely challenging but extremely rewarding.
After spending years working as a youth pastor, I have learned a few things about preaching to teenagers.
These lessons were hard-learned through trial and error. Mostly error.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything you need to know. But hopefully these tips will help some of you not have to learn the hard way like I did.

1. Be Authentic

Be yourself. Don’t try to be cool. Don’t try to act just like a teenager or use all the same slang they use. Students have a built-in poser detector. They can spot a fake a mile away.
We have all met the 40-year-old youth pastor who is trying way too hard to be “hip.” Don’t be that guy.
We have also met the 20-year-old youth pastor who tries way too hard to be a hipster. Again, don’t be that guy.
Teenagers want to know: Do you really care about them? Do you really have an authentic relationship with Jesus? Do you really practice what you preach?
Authenticity is the one of the most important things you can have as a speaker. It doesn’t matter how polished your sermon is, if you aren’t authentic they won’t listen.

2. Be Interactive

How are you involving the audience?
Take a poll by raising hands. Ask them to shout answers to a question. Pull a few people up on the stage for a visual illustration. Ask the audience to stand, sit, jump, close their eyes, look at something, make a noise, act something out, play a game, dance …
Whatever you do, teenagers love interacting with a message. It is always better to have some level of involvement from the audience than just making them sit still, shut up and listen the whole time.

3. Tell Stories

Jesus is the best preacher ever. He told a lot of stories. You should too.
We live in a world obsessed with stories. Every TV show, book, movie and video game that a teenager spends hours of their day with proves that stories are powerful and important to them.
Good stories grab their attention. Stories help them discover a truth for themselves before you directly say it. Just be careful not to tell a story just for the sake of telling stories. Have a point.

4. Be Funny

Are they laughing? Not at you. With you.
You don’t have to be a comedian. You don’t even have to have the best jokes. Just have fun. Teenagers want to laugh. Give them a reason to.
Laughter breaks down the walls of the hard to reach students and brings students back for more. Laughter also eases the tension in the room after a few hard words.
The best communicators know how to get the audience rolling with laughter one minute, and listening intensely the next.

5. Get to the Point

How long do you talk? I don’t buy the idea that messages for teenagers can only be 15 minutes. Teenager can sit through a 30- to 40-minute message. But it has to be engaging and keep moving.
If you tell a story that takes too long to get to the point, you will lose them. If you speak really … slow … the … entire … time, you will lose them.
Nothing is worse than listening to a youth pastor ramble for 15-20 minutes without ever getting to the point. This is usually a result of poor preparation.
After you write the message, relentlessly cut out  details that aren’t necessary. Eliminate anything that is too repetitive. Avoid tangents that distract from the main point.

6. Stay Focused

What’s the big idea?
The messages that impact teenagers the most are not the ones where you preach a 52-point sermon on everything they need to know about life. The best messages are laser-focused on one specific point.
Hammer one point until it is ingrained on their foreheads.
If you cannot summarize the entire message in a single sentence, you aren’t yet ready to preach it.

7. Use Examples

Give practical examples throughout the message.
Many teenagers, especially in their early teens, have trouble with abstract thoughts. Teenagers need concrete examples to help them understand what you want them to do. They need specific action items to help them apply the message to their everyday life.
If you are talking about serving, talk about how someone faithfully serves. If you are talking about loving enemies, give an example of how they could show love to their annoying little brother or the school bully.
Think about their world and give them some simple, practical ideas for how they could apply what they learn.

Preaching to Teenagers Checklist:

In review, here is a quick checklist. Ask these questions to evaluate your next message.
1. Does anything feel inauthentic?
2. Where will they interact?
3. What stories am I telling?
4. Is anything funny?
5. Is anything too long, repetitive or unnecessary?
6. What is the single point of this message?
7. How am I challenging them to apply this?  

Senin, 21 Desember 2015

In Defense of Worship as a Concert


In Defense of Worship as a Concert

“Worship should not be a concert.”
It’s a common sentiment in many of the circles I run in, and in many ways I couldn’t agree more. The loud music, the blinding lights, the seamless transitions and, God help us, the smoke machines. It can be a bit ridiculous, and not just as a matter of good taste, but as a matter of good theology. It feeds the ideology of the market and the religion of the consumer. It can condition people to be observers of a show instead of participants in worship of the triune God. None of this is good. Many churches that were once on the cutting edge of modern church worship have realized this and are moving back toward more measured and intentionally liturgical expressions of worship. And to all of this I say, Amen!
However … I would like to speak a few words in defense of worship as a concert.
A few days ago I went to see U2 in Chicago. I love U2. I think they’re the greatest band in the world. I think there are two types of people in this world: people who love U2 and people who suck. Our tickets were in the pit, because while observing a U2 concert from a seat is special, experiencing a U2 concert in the pit is a riot. We had a riot. Singing “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” with 30,000 other people at the top of your lungs. It is sacramental stuff.
Not too long ago, I went to another concert and the experience was, well, different. For whatever reason, the band decided they wouldn’t play any of their best songs but would instead play a whole set full of obscure stuff no one knew. They also failed miserably to bring the audience into the concert. Some bands know how to do it and some don’t.
Which brings me back to worship as a concert.
It seems to me that worship doesn’t need to be less like a concert so much as it needs to be less like a bad concert and more like a good one. Because if you think people don’t participate in concerts, I suspect you’ve never been to a great concert. At a great concert you get immersed, you lose yourself, you feel connected to the people around you, you feel alive. It’s like you’ve stepped into a different world. And that’s what worship is too: an excursion into God’s real world of revelry, peace and joy; an excursion that reminds us that behind the veil of things, God’s real world is always at hand.
I think there are all sorts of ways to do worship right. I can dig the high liturgy of my Catholic and Episcopal friends and I try to learn from it and incorporate it into the worship at my church. I grew up in a church with a huge, traditional choir and love hearing the swell of voices unaided by instruments. I have deep concerns with the worship of churches that barrage people with thoughtless light shows and smoke machines.
But when it is done with scrupulous intention and generous accessibility, I think worship could do much worse than be like a concert. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that many would benefit greatly if our worship was more like a great concert instead of less like one.

Minggu, 20 Desember 2015



1 Korintus 9:16

"Karena jika aku memberitakan Injil, aku tidak mempunyai alasan untuk memegahkan diri. Sebab itu adalah keharusan bagiku. Celakalah aku, jika aku tidak memberitakan Injil."

A. Pendahuluan

Abad 21 adalah abad ketika ilmu dan teknologi menjadi perhatian dan prioritas utama orang-orang postmodern. Teknologi yang semakin canggih membuat manusia, mulai dari anak kecil sampai orang muda, memberikan dirinya untuk dibentuk, dipengaruhi, dan dipersembahkan untuk mengikuti arus globalisasi. Kecanggihan ilmu dan teknologi secara sadar atau tidak sadar memengaruhi pola pikir iman Kristen kita. Sebagai contohnya, anak-anak TK pun sudah memakai gawai yang sangat canggih seperti iPad, atau iPhone 4s yang baru diluncurkan tahun lalu (yang terbaru adalah iPhone 6s - Red.), atau demam K-Pop (boys band/girls band) di kalangan anak muda sekarang ini. Kalau tidak mengikuti perkembangan zaman atau gawai seperti itu, mereka disebut ketinggalan zaman. Artikel berjudul "Pemuda dan Tantangan Misi" ini akan kita pelajari sebagai anak Tuhan/pemuda yang mau mengerti rencana Tuhan dalam anugerah keselamatan-Nya.

B. Isi

Misi adalah sebuah kata dari bahasa latin "missio" yang artinya utusan. Jadi, kata ini berbicara tentang mengutus/pengutusan atau yang diutus, misi adalah karya Allah atau tugas yang diberikan kepada siapa? Di dalam misi siapa yang diutus dan apa yang disampaikan?

Alkitab menjelaskan bahwa Allah mengutus nabi dalam Perjanjian Lama dan rasul dalam Perjanjian Baru untuk menyampaikan pesan yang Agung yang disampaikan kepada setiap orang untuk memperoleh anugerah Allah, yaitu karya Allah untuk menyelamatkan dunia dengan terpusat/fokus kepada Yesus Kristus. Jadi, misi identik dengan seseorang yang diutus untuk menyampaikan berita Injil.

Kalau kita perhatikan ayat ini, memberitakan Injil adalah keharusan dan kewajiban. Mengapa? Sebab, berita keselamatan bukan dimonopoli demi diri sendiri, tetapi dibagikan kepada orang lain. Apalagi kita yang mengaku Kristen dan murid-murid Kristus, kita seharusnya menjalankan amanat agung yang terdapat dalam Matius 28:19, "Karena itu pergilah, jadikanlah semua bangsa murid-Ku dan baptislah mereka dalam nama Bapa dan Anak dan Roh Kudus."

Generasi ini adalah generasi yang bengkok hatinya, generasi yang tidak lagi mencari Tuhan, generasi yang tidak memedulikan Tuhan. "Masa bodoh terhadap Allah. Dia boleh ada, boleh tidak ada, tidak ada urusannya denganku," inilah yang secara sadar maupun tidak, sedang diserukan oleh zaman ini. Betapa menyedihkan! Tantangan zaman jelas semakin besar di depan mata kita, semakin besar jugakah api di dalam hati kita? Semakin besar jugakah semangat perjuangan kita sebagai anak Tuhan/pemuda?

Mungkin kita pernah mendengar, "Untuk apa membicarakan misi?" Ungkapan itu sepertinya arogan karena menganggap agama kita lebih baik dari yang lain. Biarlah orang mengikuti agama apa saja yang penting baik sehingga kita tidak perlu terlibat dalam misi. Misi sudah berakhir puluhan tahun yang lalu. Itu 'kan berhubungan dengan kolonialisme, membuka hutan, melayani orang-orang pedalaman, "Tidak mungkin mengirim misionaris". Kebutuhan gereja sangat besar, seharusnya misionaris yang datang dan melayani pelayanan di sini bukan mengirim ke tempat lain, "Gereja 'kan sudah melakukan misi". Lihatlah, kami juga punya pos-pos dan membangun gereja baru. Mendengar komentar-komentar inilah membuat misi tidak dapat berjalan dan tidak relevansi sekarang ini. Sudah seharusnya sebagai pemuda, kita peka dan sadar menghadapi tantangan-tantangan misi yang membuat gagalnya pemberitaan Injil.

Mengapa tidak bermisi/memberitakan Injil? Ada beberapa hal orang tidak bermisi/memberitakan Injil:

1. Misi adalah tugas Pendeta/Penginjil.

Penginjilan selalu dikaitkan bahwa pendeta/penginjillah yang seharusnya mengabarkan Injil, bukan tugas pemuda/orang awam.

2. Allah telah menetapkan orang-orang pilihan-Nya untuk diselamatkan.

Jikalau Allah berdaulat untuk menetapkan orang untuk diselamatkan, buat apa memberitakan Injil. Oleh karena itu, tidak perlu lagi tanggung jawab orang Kristen untuk menginjil. Hal itu adalah pandangan yang keliru dan salah total! J.I. Packer dalam bukunya "Evangelism and the Sovereignty of GOD" mengatakan -- seharusnya orang yang mengerti tentang kedaulatan Allah yang benar, akan memberikan dorongan dalam dirinya untuk memberitakan Injil, bukan sebaliknya menghalangi niat memberitakan Injil. Allah berdaulat menetapkan umat pilihan-Nya dan pada saat yang sama Allah memerintahkan agar orang Kristen yang telah menerima anugerah Allah melalui karya keselamatan Tuhan Yesus harus memberitakan Injil.

3. Memberitakan Injil adalah pemaksaan/mengganggu privasi orang lain.

Sebuah survei yang dilakukan di Wheaton College, sebuah sekolah Kristen di Amerika, menunjukkan bahwa 60 persen dari responden mengatakan bahwa mereka tidak mau mengabarkan Injil secara verbal karena tidak ingin dianggap memaksa orang lain. Hal ini ditegaskan juga oleh temuan Barna yang kalau boleh dibilang mencengangkan adalah bahwa di tahun 2009 hanya 45% anak muda yang mengatakan mereka pernah menceritakan tentang iman mereka kepada orang lain dalam waktu 12 bulan terakhir. Bandingkan dengan survei tahun 1997 di mana ada 63% yang menyatakan hal serupa. Dr. Duane Liftin, mantan presiden Wheaton College mengatakan bahwa telah terjadi perubahan filosofi dalam budaya kita. Saat ini, bagi banyak orang Kristen adalah kurang ramah kalau kita secara verbal menceritakan Injil kepada orang lain. Banyak orang hari ini yang akhirnya merasa lebih baik untuk menunjukkan saja Injil dalam tingkah laku kehidupan sehari-hari tanpa perlu memberitakannya.

4. Tidak merespons anugerah dan panggilan Tuhan.

David Brainerd adalah seorang misionaris Amerika yang memberitakan Injil kepada orang Indian Amerika. Rentang waktu hidupnya sangat singkat, hanya 29 tahun 5 bulan dan 19 hari. Hanya 8 tahun dari kehidupannya yang dijalani sebagai orang percaya dan hanya 4 tahun sebagai seorang misionaris. Semasa hidupnya, ia bukanlah orang yang terkenal. David Brainerd telah menjadi sumber inspirasi dan kekuatan bagi banyak orang Kristen. Bahkan, secara khusus, misionaris-misionaris telah dipengaruhi oleh perjalanan iman seorang David Brainerd. Namun, pertanyaan yang sangat menarik tentang dirinya adalah bagaimana hidupnya yang pendek dan diwarnai oleh beragam kesulitan memiliki pengaruh yang begitu besar?

Menurut John Piper, jawabannya adalah karena kehidupan Brainerd merupakan sebuah kesaksian yang kuat dan gamblang tentang sebuah kebenaran bahwa Tuhan dapat memakai seorang yang lemah, sakit-sakitan, sering kecil hati, kesepian, dan penuh pergumulan, yang menangis di hadapan Tuhan siang dan malam untuk melakukan hal-hal yang menakjubkan demi kemuliaan nama Tuhan. Brainerd adalah seorang yang terus-menerus bergumul dalam kelemahannya. Brainerd adalah seorang yang terus-menerus bergumul tentang imannya. Bahkan, bagi kita yang mengaku diri sebagai orang beriman pun, Brainerd mungkin bukan ideal kita. Akan tetapi, realitasnya adalah Tuhan dapat memakai seorang yang "kecil" untuk menyatakan kebesaran-Nya.

Beberapa hal di atas inilah yang menjadi penyebab mengapa orang orang tidak bermisi, bagaimana jadinya kalau kita terpana dengan hambatan-hambatan ini, tidakkah kita memiliki kepekaan kasih bahwa masih banyak orang di dunia ini yang belum mendengar Injil dan memperoleh keselamatan! Kalau bukan kita, siapa lagi! Karena kita inilah penerus gereja yang memiliki semangat masih muda, semangat 'fighting spirit' (menantang zaman). Alkitab mengatakan dalam Roma 10:14-15, "tetapi bagaimana mereka dapat berseru kepada-Nya, jika mereka tidak percaya kepada Dia? Bagaimana mereka dapat percaya kepada Dia, jika mereka tidak mendengar tentang Dia. Bagaimana mereka mendengar tentang Dia, jika tidak ada yang memberitakan-Nya? Dan bagaimana mereka dapat memberitakan-Nya, jika mereka tidak diutus? Seperti ada tertulis: 'Betapa indahnya kedatangan mereka yang membawa kabar baik!'"

Dengan bermisi, kita juga mentransformasi seluruh aspek kehidupan menuju hidup berkelimpahan di dalam Yesus Kristus. Pemuda sudah seharusnya memengaruhi dan mentransformasi zaman dalam segala bidang yang ada entah dia seorang pelajar/mahasiswa, pekerja, aktivis, politis, ekonom, hukum, scientis atau bidangnya masing-masing untuk dibawa ke dalam hidup seturut dengan kehendak Allah di dalam Yesus Kristus.

C. Kesimpulan

Dengan demikian, sebagai pemuda Kristus sudah menjadi keharusan bagi kita untuk bermisi. Mari kita semua bermisi, memberitakan Injil untuk kemuliaan Tuhan bukan untuk kemegahan diri sehingga kita mengerti maksud dan rencana Tuhan. Siapa di antara kita berkata dan berdoa, "Tuhan, ini aku, utus aku, jadikan aku alat-Mu untuk memberitakan Injil agar setiap orang mendengar Injil. Walaupun kesulitan, tantangan yang dihadapi, aku tetap setia menjalankan perintah-Mu." Orang-orang seperti inilah yang berkenan di hati Tuhan, memiliki hati yang peka terhadap sesama dan memiliki jiwa yang tulus bahwa keselamatan adalah anugerah Tuhan, yang bukan hanya dimonopoli atau dimiliki sendiri, tetapi juga harus dimiliki orang lain. Dengan demikian, sudah seharusnya pemberitaan Injil diberitakan kepada siapa saja. Kiranya ini menggugah dan menggerakkan hati kita untuk semakin giat bermisi dan mengabarkan Injil. Amin.

Diambil dan disunting dari:
Nama situs: Sola Scriptura
Alamat URL: http://backtobible-reformed.blogspot.com/p/pemuda-dan-tantangan-misi.html
Penulis artikel: Tidak dicantumkan
Tanggal akses: 25 Juni 2015

Free Youth Series: “Social Media Me”

Free Youth Series: “Social Media Me”

Youth Lesson - Social
Download this timely 3-week series to share with your youth ministry.

Free Youth Series

Download this timely 3-week series to share with your youth ministry.
From YouthMinistry.com, “Address social media and its effects with students as you dive into these topics:”
  • Week 1: What Social Media Reveals About You Week
  • Week 2: Be True to God Week
  • Week 3: Be True to Yourself

Get Download Now

Resource provided by YouthMinistry.com

5 Regrets I Have From My Time as Youth Pastor

5 Regrets I Have From My Time as Youth Pastor

A former student ministry pastor reflects on what he wished he’d done while he was a leader.
My position has recently changed and evolved quite a bit. I accepted a family pastor position after serving as a student pastor for seven years. This was a very difficult decision. It was tough for my wife and I, but we are confident that this was the plan that God had for us.
Now that I am technically somewhat out of the traditional “youth pastor” position, I look back over the last seven years and wish that I could do things a bit differently. Experience helps you so much. The longer you serve, the more you learn. I have entitled this post “five regrets I have from my years in youth ministry.” I have wrestled with the word “regret” when writing this post, but I finally settled on it. Now, I am not sitting up late at night agonizing over these things at all. In fact, I am totally over them, because you have to move on after you recognize mistakes. So, these are things that I would have done differently if I knew then what I know now about youth ministry.
1. Listened to experienced leaders—When you first start out right out of college, there are times when you think you have figured it out. You think you have arrived and you have the answers to the questions in student ministry. If I could go back and start over, I would for sure listen and have regular conversations with more experienced leaders in youth ministry. I would not just listen to them, but I would heed their advice and implement more of their ideas.
2. Acquired a love for reading sooner—One thing that grows your leadership development is reading. When I was growing up, I hated reading. When I first started in youth ministry, I still did not care for reading that much. Now, I love it. I wish that I had started reading consistently sooner than I did.
3. Demonstrated more grace to students—Sometimes in youth ministry, our expectations for students become so high (not always a bad thing) that we begin to become frustrated if the development of our students is not up to par with where we think they should be. In this case, we struggle to demonstrate grace to them. I wish I had of acted out of more grace at certain times in youth ministry. Jesus always demonstrated grace, and He is the model.
4. Balanced fun and seriousness more effectively—In youth ministry, everyone knows that students need to be able to have fun with you as their leader. The difficult part is balancing fun and the serious time. For example, if you are always fun and crazy with them, when the time comes where you have to discipline them, they will struggle to take you to seriously. Begin to balance this and make each time (fun and serious) very obvious to the students so they know when it is time to have fun and goof off and time to sit up and be serious! This also helps them recognize and look to you as their leader in serious times rather than just their friend.
5. Connected students into the local church—Like it or not, it is very easy for students to become disconnected with the local church. They are connected to the youth group, but not the local church in many cases (especially if their parents do not come to the church). I wish that I had connected them and had more of a strategic plan to connect them to the local church when I began in youth ministry.
Is there anything that you would add to the list?  

What’s the Best Order of Service for a Youth Meeting?

What’s the Best Order of Service for a Youth Meeting?

How should you structure your gathering times?
There is no perfect service order. But I do believe that the perfect order does exist—it’s just a case-by-case basis. Sure there are similarities in the order in which our ministry does things, but we like to see every program like it is its own monster. We first write out every element that we want to include in the service, and then we put it together. Our average service contains these elements: a message, a funny video, an announcement video, an opening song, one-minute meet and greet, worship songs, a game and a welcome/announcements.
This is the order that we would most likely put it in:
• Opening Song (cover of a popular song or song that relates to the message)
• Funny Video (either one we made or one we ripped from YouTube)
• Welcome/Announcements (two to three announcements max/sometimes done through video)
• Announcement Video
• Game
• One-Minute Meet and Greet
• Two Worship Songs (usually these are fast and fun)
• Message
• Two Worship Songs (slower and more reflective/pray and dismiss)
That is our basic order of service. When putting our order together, we always keep a few things in mind:
You always want to try to avoid any awkwardness during your services. Some of the most uncomfortable moments are when you are getting to the next element, like switching from band to announcements or announcements to game. We use program elements to serve as natural transitions. For example, we use the videos as time to switch people and sets on and off stage, same for the Meet and Greet. Bad transitions also happen when you make a sudden change in energy. Try to avoid going from a high energy moment right into a serious one. Ease in.
Is it too long? Too short? Always plan out roughly how long your service will be. We are usually generous with our estimations because things usually take up more time than we originally thought. But stay somewhat true to your timetable. You never want your service to drag, so remind the people involved to keep it interesting but tight.
Every innovative idea started with a risk. If we aren’t taking programming risks, then we we’ve settled. If you do the same order every time, your students will get bored and you will too. If you aren’t inspired by your program, they won’t be either.
Mix it up, have fun, keep it tight!
JG & Colton  

We Need Your Help

We Need Your Help Today! We have two weeks left and we are almost halfway to our goal to recieve the $4,000 matching grant. As of today we have raised $1,870 towards the $4,000 goal, can you help us get this matching grant?
Every Donation Received in November is being DOUBLED, up to $4,000 by a generous donor.
As winter creeps up on us, it is more and more expensive for us to maintain the Stand True Missionary House with heating bills skyrocketing. But once again a generous donor is giving Stand True Pro-life Outreach a $4,000 matching donation and will double every donation we receive through November up to $4,000. For the past five years this Stand True supporter has given this amazing challenge to help us raise the money we need to close out the year.
This donor knows the importance of the work of Stand True and wants to make sure we continue to be a major force in our fight to bring an end to abortion and build a culture of life. They are committed to making sure that Stand True is able to house, feed and equip these full time pro-life missionaries and send them out to spread the pro-life message and proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
We need your help TODAY! Please donate $25, $50, $100, $500 or any amount and see it INSTANTLY DOUBLED and help Stand True continue to educate, activate and equip this generation. If you can donate please do so at https://give.cornerstone.cc/Stand+True or on the donate button at standtrue.com
This has been an amazing year for Stand True and our full time missionaries. Stand True’s summer mission team traveled thousands of miles and reached hundreds of thousands of people with the pro-life message this summer through our outreaches, generating a massive pro-life buzz on the streets and online. We just finished our 11th Annual Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity which was a huge success.
Stand True and our missionaries played a crucial role in exposing Planned Parenthood this summer by helping to generate social media for the release of the videos showing Planned Parenthood selling baby parts. We also hosted one of the huge #ProtestPP rallies as well as designed the "Defund, Shutdown and Prosecute Planned Parenthood" t-shirt.
Stand True will be once again organizing the official March for Life Youth Rally in Washington D.C. as well as traveling to the West Coast to host a booth at the West Coast Walk for Life. We will also be helping with a giant prayer rally and activism at the construction site of the Planned Parenthood Mega Center in Washington, DC the day before the March for Life.
We need your help TODAY! Please donate $25, $50, $100, $500 or any amount and see it INSTANTLY DOUBLED and help Stand True continue to educate, activate and equip this generation. If you can donate please do so at https://give.cornerstone.cc/Stand+True or on the donate button at standtrue.com
Donations can also be mailed to Stand True – PO Box 890 – Troy, OH 45373 or call 937-570-0671 to donate by phone.
Just think:
If you donate $25 it instantly becomes $50.
If you donate $50 it instantly becomes $100.
If you donate $250 in instantly becomes $500.
Your investment in the important pro-life work of Stand True will double instantly; what other investment can promise you that?
Stand True Pro-life Outreach’s mission is to Educate, Activate and Equip this generation to be the generation that will abolish abortion. This matching grant donation will help make sure we are able to fulfill our mission and expand our outreach.
If you have ever considered donating to Stand True or any pro-life ministry, this is the best time to do so, as your money will instantly double and the resources we can provide will double.
Please help us reach this goal of $8,000 this November and see it made possible by this amazing matching grant donation.
We need your help TODAY! Please donate $25, $50, $100, $500 or any amount and see it INSTANTLY DOUBLED and help Stand True continue to educate, activate and equip this generation. If you can donate please do so at https://give.cornerstone.cc/Stand+True or on the donate button at standtrue.com
Donations can also be mailed to Stand True – PO Box 890 – Troy, OH 45373 or call 937-570-0671 to donate by phone.