Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner - Timothy

Bryson Corey - former leader with me in junior high ministry - current manager of the inflatables at nymrentals.com

1 Timothy 1:2 - To Timothy my true son in the faith
2 Timothy 2:2 - To Timothy, my dear son

Paul wrote letters. Most of the New Testament is full of his letters to churches. Only a few of his letters were to individual people. 1 and 2 Timothy fall into that category.

Timothy was a leader for the church in Ephesus. Paul had raised him up and planted him there to lead the church. Paul was a planter - he would move into a new area and raise up a church from scratch. Then he would put a pastor in charge, and move on to the next new area. Timothy was a pastor he raised up for that purpose. Paul moved on, Timothy stayed put.

Who are you raising up to stay put if you had to leave? If God moved you on to the next place in your life, who have you raised up to take over when you are gone? Too many times I've seen a youth pastor leave and then I had no one left to work with for leadership in the abandoned youth group. Building a work that will last means pouring into leaders who will be there long after you're gone.

Start small. Build a team. Figure 1 leader for every 7 students. Plan regular meetings. Pour into your leaders like you want them to pour into the students. Give them specific tasks (contacting students once a week, providing transportation, room decorations, followup, media roles, birthday celebrations, etc.) Find a Timothy and let them shadow you in all the things you do for your group. Empower your leaders to make decisions. Brainstorm together for new ideas. Reward them for a job well done. Give them the mentor that you had, or wish that you had.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia


Congratulations to Pastor Mike for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Friday's Trivia. He is now up to $2 in prize earnings. It's good to see him comment in again, and thank you to everyone who commented this past week. Here's the trivia for today:

Pastor Mike is now a leader at Trinity Bible College. Can you name a verse in the Bible that mentions all three entities of the Trinity?

One more note - be praying for the city of Norfolk today. They are hosting some school assemblies from a speaker who specializes in speaking on the issue of suicide. Pray that God will open doors for ministry all over the city.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (Come Together)

Brian, roadside pitstop on the bike ride

This past weekend, I enjoyed a conference on the topic of the Holy Spirit. The speaker was excellent in communicating spiritual truths about the third person of the Trinity.

The last session, he took questions. I asked about newer churches and the gifts of the Spirit. I mentioned that it seemed like most newer churches, as seeker sensitive, tend to have little action of a 'spiritual' sense. Though I understand that perspective, I wondered what his thoughts would be about that.

He mentioned that as he has traveled across the nation, some of the more successful church plants he's experienced were both seeker sensitive and spirit sensitive. In other words, they were sensitive to the leading and needs of both, and allowed both to function at the same time. When things were done in a more seeker mode, they would help explain the Holy Spirit's involvement. When things were done in a more spirit mode, they would accomodate with proper training and instruction for the seeker.

It wasn't either/or, but both/and. Rather than choosing sides, the sides can work together for a great result. Sometimes, the answer we are looking for is a combination of the possible choices we have. Sometimes, the best thing to do, is come together!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?


Congratulations to Rebekah on being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Tuesday's trivia. Please let me know where you are at in your winnings - way to go!

The picture above is of one of our pastors - Leroy Wyre. He is also the men's ministries leader for our state, and he's originally from Clarks, NE. Can you tell me what city he pastors in?

Have a great weekend - go Huskers!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

Students Praying at Camp

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting with some of our Omaha Youth Pastors for lunch. Many had great stories of being with students for See You At The Pole, as did others across the state:

- Millard North had a great crowd, and after they prayed, a few students led in worship (2 guitars and a set of bongos)

- Only 1 student showed up at Ralston, but he boldly prayed with his youth pastor by his side

- We had a crowd of about 60 students that prayed at Adams Central in Hastings

- Grand Island had a big Saw You At The Pole event at Northwest High School last night involving many churches, and they used our 7 project sound system.

- Glad Tidings Youth (GRAVITY, youth pastor Jesse Norman) hosted a large event called BOOM, as an outreach to students across the area.

We'd love to hear more stories of what happened. Let us know!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner - SYATP, Campus Clubs

Door Decoration at Kids Kamp 2009


Today is the annual See You At The Pole. Students all over the nation have gathered early this morning to pray together around the flagpole on their school campus'. It's a great way to stand up for Christ and let every other student know what they believe in.

In Matthew chapter 3, we see the story of John the Baptist. He encouraged people to repent of their sins and be baptized. When they went forward to be baptized, they were standing up for Christ and telling the world, 'I'll never be the same again.' A baptism is really a believers first chance to stand up and be a witness. For many students, See You At The Pole is a great first opportunity to stand up for Christ in the current school year.

Though SYATP is a wonderful event, it only happens once a year. There is a way for students to participate in fellowship and prayer on their school campus once a week, with Youth Alive Campus Clubs. Go to this website for more info: http://yausa.com/campusclubs/

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Camp Motivational Poster

Congratulations to THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Friday's Trivia. I was in McCook this past Sunday and we had a great time there.

Tomorrow is the National See You At The Pole event. Students all over the nation will be heading to school a little earlier, and gathering for prayer around their flag pole on the school campus. It's a student led movement that has been in place for many years, and a great opportunity for teens to stand up for their faith in Christ.

Can you name a story in the Bible where people came together to pray like this?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (Friend's Advice)

Riding the Hills on the way to Ogallala

This past Friday, I took my family to a high school football game. I wanted my kids to have some fun around football and I thought Kim would enjoy catching an exciting game with me. We had two choices - Grand Island Senior High VS. Lincoln Southwest - or - Grand Island Northwest VS. Ogallala. I asked my kids, and they thought Ogallala was a cool name so we decided on that one.

I got a text from a friend who asked if we were going to the Senior High game. He had mentioned that it was probably going to be a great competitive game and we wouldn't want to miss it. But we stuck with Northwest, for my kids sake, and because it is most likely the school they will go to later in life anyway.

Though we met a good friend and sat together at the game, it was a disaster. We left as the 3rd quarter just started, down 35-0. My kids never heard anyone cheer because we were so bad, and they got bored real fast, as did my wife. When I checked the scores later on that night for other games, I saw that Grand Island Senior High defeated Lincoln Southwest in double overtime 31-30.

Maybe I should have listened to my friend, a junior high coach in Grand Island. Sometimes, it pays to listen to the advice of a friend.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?

The finish line with the Fab 5 (we rode the entire state)

Unfortunately, we didn't have a winner from our TRIVIA question on Tuesday. The question will carry over to next week (if I can remember it right this time).

This week, I'm going to speak at a church in the southern part of our state, the Republican Valley Section. The youth and children's leader is Jamie Mockry, a former member of our CE committee and the manager of our feeding program at camp in 2008. We started our 2008 NE MISSION BIKE RIDE from this church as well.

What city am I going to?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

Brian Thomas ran into a parked car on the way to Columbus


Tim Lillard, youth pastor at Norfolk has been working with area pastors to help students in their area. Recently, they have had a number of students turn to suicide amidst struggles in their lives. They wanted to do something to help so together, they found Dr. David Cox, an expert on suicide prevention. They are bringing him out for many school assemblies in the area as well as a community wide gathering for parents and students in an evening venue. Way to go Tim!

For more information on Dr. David Cox - www.drdavidcox.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner - Campus Missionaries

Heading out to Oshkosh from Gering, Tuesday, Sept 8

Matthew 9:35-38 - Jesus mentions that they are short on workers
Matthew 10:1-40 - Jesus sends his disciples out to work

We can all look around us and see the need for more Christians impacting our world. We know that there are huge areas of our state, our cities, and even our neighborhoods that need someone to shine a light for Christ. One pastor can't do it all, but he/she can empower their people to reach the masses.

The problem is that we often mention the need to reach out, and sometimes challenge our people to reach out, but then we don't give them specific direction and instructions like Jesus did. We leave them to themselves, and hope they get the job done. When we were on the bike ride, we planned the route, the stops and destinations, the churches who would help us and feed, the transportation to the starting point and finish line, and we even provided an optional training guide ahead of time. Had we encouraged riders to ride, but did nothing to help them, it wouldn't have happened.

When I was the Master's Commission Director, I would challenge our students to do great things for God. But rather than just leaving it at that, I would meet with each student individually once a month and go through a personal report together. We would talk about how they were doing on their studies, how they got along with their homeopeners, their attitudes with other students, their ministry opportunities, their relationships in the church, and any discipline issues that needed to be taken care of. I was able to pull up their report from the month before and compare it and see if they had declined, plateaued, or advanced in progress. It was a lot of work, but much more productive in helping a student achieve the goals I had encouraged them to strive for.

What forms, reports, or accountable system are you using to help your students and followers grow in their relationship with Christ? How are you helping them evaluate their progress and move forward?

The CAMPUS MISSIONARY program through our Youth Alive national office provides tools to help with this process. Students have specific goals to reach in their schools, and an accountable system to report and get help from leaders. I used this program as a way to promote student leaders in my youth group years ago. Check it out: http://yausa.com/campusmissionary/

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Drafting between Lexington and Kearney

Congratulations to PASTOR BRIAN for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Friday's WHERE IS THAT IN NE? Trivia. He is now up to $6 in prize earnings. Way to go!

On the bike ride last week, we encountered a significant amount of wind. Every day, we faced the wind in our faces, which makes the ride much more challenging and difficult. To adjust with the wind, we learned the art of drafting, riding in a straight line and taking turns at the front facing the wind. The other riders would move along without much effort, and we would go much quicker down the road. Working together made it easier.

Can you name a situation in the Bible where drafting, or rather, working together made the situation easier?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (Phantom Rider)

The hills just outside of Oshkosh, 2nd full day of the ride

Yesterday, I finished a week of riding on my bike for missions. We started a week ago, and rode from the Wyoming/Nebraska state line, to the Nebraska/Iowa state line - border to border. It was over 492 miles, and I feel just a bit of every one of them in my legs right now. But we raised money for STL and BGMC and spent some great time with the other riders and the people at the churches we stopped at each night along the way.

I think that everyone should try at least once in their lives to do something that seems a little 'too big'. The last day of the ride, we were looking at our miles and seeing 450+. It was shocking and we felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. We entered the final stretch, 15 miles of rolling hills leading into Blair, next to the Missouri River. On our last pitstop along the road, we looked up and we saw a rider about 100 yards ahead of us. At first, we thought it was one of the pastors that had come along for the first half of the tour. But after a closer look, we realized that it was a lady who must have just come out from her driveway.

She took off before we could get going, and we quickly forgot about her as we started up the hills again. That is my strongest riding point and I moved ahead of the other riders. After a hill or two, the phantom rider came into view again. I continued to edge closer and closer, until I was only about 20 feet away at the top of a high ridge. Then, suddenly, as if waiting for me to get closer, she sped off down the hill, out of sight once again.

It was a surreal moment. After doing the 450+ miles, I felt like I had 'arrived'. But suddenly, this other goal came into view. And just as I was about to reach it, it moved off, out of reach again. We shouldn't rest on the accomplishments on our past. We must celebrate them, remember them, honor them, and them use them to propel us towards future challenges and 'phantom riders'.

Who knows, maybe we'll cross two states next year??????

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?

Volleyball at the camp

We are day 5 into our NE MISSION BIKE RIDE. Yesterday we rode into Lexington, the home of our campgrounds. The church in town, led by Joe Masten, came out and fed us dinner. It was a great stop. Some of our riders finished at this point, and others came to join us for the eastern half. We have finished about 240 miles so far, with another 200+ to go.

Remember, we're doing it to raise money for missions. If you'd enjoyed hearing our progress, it would be great if you would consider giving toward the cause.

Here's our TRIVIA for the day: What are the final 3 destinations from this point on in our NE MISSION BIKE RIDE? (the website will help, www.youth.neag.org)

Finally, congratulations to AARON for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Tuesday's trivia. I would call him Amoson, or something like that. He is now up to $4 in prize earnings - way to go!

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

Chad Hassebrook, keeping us safe at Middle School Camp

We finished another 80 miles yesterday and today we will ride about 77 miles into Lexington, the home of our campgrounds. In Gering, we were talking with the senior pastor and they had a back to school bash and over 400 people came to visit and many received Christ as their Savior.

Another pastor on our ride was telling me that in the last three weeks they've had 25 people receive Christ as their Savior, and many were baptized and filled with the Spirit as well. They work with a spanish pastor overseeing a Spanish congregation in their building and many of these people came from his ministry.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner

We are officially into day 3 of the NE MISSION BIKE ride. We are riding into North Platte today, the home of our campgrounds. With me is a few pastors and youth pastors, and some other leaders as well. At each stop we have met with the churches for dinner and we've been able to give the pastors a STL banner and some other prizes as well. We've enjoyed the ride because it's a physical challenge, we've got to know each other very well, we've seen churches and people in their own territory which most people do not get the chance to observe, and through it all we've also raised money for missions.

Raising money for missions is always important, but when you can throw in the fun and relationships, it makes it so much more fun. Whenever you can take an important thing and make it more fun, that's a win for everyone involved.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Random Art from Fine Arts 2009

Congratulations to REBEKAH for being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from Friday's Trivia. I believe she is now up to $10 in prize money. Way to go.

Last week, we had a Bible Trivia question that received no comments. We'll carry it over to this week. I like to make nicknames with people's names and combine them with a book of the Bible that closely resembles it: my name is Toby, nickname - Tobadiah. My sister is Jenny, nickname - Jenesis.

What can you come up with for your name?

Last night, we came to Gering to start our NE MISSION BIKE RIDE. We immediately set out to the Wyoming/Nebraska state line and rode 27 miles back to the church. We had pizza and sodas with Phil Parker and his family, and then stayed at a Comfort Inn. Today, we'll head out about 7am, and go about 70 miles towards Oshkosh. See ya tomorrow!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (Adapt)


This past week I took my dog Buddy in to the vet for a haircut and some shots. The pattern is that we drop him off in the morning, and then we come to pick him up later in the day. When I came in to pick him up, a saw a computer repairman at the front desk. He was working on the computer and it looked like he was stumped. Just as he leaned forward to do some more work, a cat jumped up on the desk and sat right on top of the keyboard. A worker nearby moved the cat away, but just as the repairman started working again, the cat jumped up and got comfortable with the keyboard again. I could tell that it was inconvenient for the repairman, but what do you expect, he's at the VET!

There are certain things that might 'inconvenience' us which just come with the territory. Working with students will be full of prank jokes, first time crushes, and fights. We'll eat tons of pizza, chili, and all the soda available. Get used to all nighters, long road trips, and students learning the art of personal hygiene. And through it all, we'll be part of changing a generation for God. The reward far outweighs the inconveniences. They just come with territory - what do you expect?

Tomorrow we start our 450 mile bike ride across the state so make sure to get your comments in quick for the trivia from last week. I'll post the winner early in the morning.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?


Today was a special day for my boss, our superintendent Dwight Sandoz. We celebrated the life of his father at his funeral in central NE. Many people came and filled up the small church where P. Dwight grew up. The McCarthy's and the Loutzenhiser's came back to town as well. Even our own Ryan Conner, youth pastor in Friend, grew up there as well. What city was I in earlier today for the funeral?

A. Burwell
B. Bassett
C. Ord
D. Taylor
E. Broken Bow

Unfortunately, we didn't have a winner from our Tuesday Trivia. We will post it again next week. Have a great weekend

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies


Years ago, Kevin attended a Bible Quiz event at First Assembly of God (now Gates of Praise) in Lincoln, NE. He was a young boy, and he had brought his teddy bear with him. He accidentally left his bear at the church, and was crushed for a few weeks afterward.

About 3 years later, he came back to the church for another Bible Quiz event. He went to the nursery and as he was looking through the container of toys, he found his old teddy bear! It was dirty and scarred up, but he was still happy to find his old friend! He took it home, and has it with him (in storage) to this day.

Some lessons we can learn from this: Bible Quiz can help you find things; Teddy Bears don't fare too well in nurseries over the years; the church is a great place where lost things can be found; and Kevin Jacobs loves Teddy Bears.

(Kevin also happens to be a new member on our state youth committee team!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner

Rob Conner, pastor at NE city

1 Samuel 14:1-14

This is the story of Jonathan and his armor bearer. They climbed up a mountain and attacked an outpost of Philistines, killing 20 men. When Jonathan looked at his armor bearer before the attack and asked if he would join him in battle, the armor bearer responded 'I am with you heart and soul'. He was a hero and a true teammate of Jonathan, and we don't even know his name.

Later in life, Jonathan had a friend named David. Though David wasn't of royal blood, it was obvious to all that he was in line to be the next king, taking it away from Jonathan and the house of Saul. Jonathan could have been angry, jealous, or competitive, but instead he chose to stand behind his friend and support him 'heart and soul'. Where do you think he learned how to do that?

A nameless armor bearer had an impact on the son of a King, and helped him etch a reputation in history as one of the best friends a guy could ever have. Don't neglect the impact you can have on others when you set a good example on how to live and act appropiately.

Who are those around you watching and learning from your actions?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia


Congratulations to LARISSA for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Friday's Trivia. She is now up to about $10 in prize money. I'm excited, because this coming Friday I can finally do a different trivia question!

Yesterday, we did a life lesson about how important it is for us to step up and serve, especially when there is an emergency and we are the last minute option. Can you think of a time in the Bible where someone stepped up at the last minute to serve God?