Friday, October 30, 2009


Ryan Conner, dunk tank, Gering Youth Convention

I had a wonderful time at North Central University this week. I took Aaron Bade, Trent Mettenbrink, and Ryan Conner. They are all youth pastors from our state and good friends.

Aaron is from South Sioux City and Ryan is from Friend. They are both members of our statewide youth committee. Can you name what city Trent pastors in?

Have a great weekend. Stay safe.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

Herbie Thompson, MC director, Bellevue, NE

I am up at North Central in Minneapolis, hanging out with the awesome leaders at the school. I brought a few youth pastors with me and they are having a great first experience at the school. If you've never though about NCU before, check them out online, you'll love what you see!

Herbie Thompson, young adult pastor and Master's Commission Director at Bellevue Christian Center, was our Friday night speaker at youth convention in Gering last weekend. He told the story of his mother who would speak into his life as a young boy, telling him that God had great plans for him in ministry. As an 8 year old boy, he was asked to state his goals for his future. He declared that he wanted to be a great preacher.

I had the privilege of working with Herbie as a student at BCC. What an awesome moment, to watch him preach at our district event in front of many students.

Don't neglect the words that God has spoken over you when you were a child. Who knows what God has in store for you - I hope to see you speaking at a district event too!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner - Get the job done

Members of our Youth Committee at the Gering Convention

I was so impressed with my youth committee over the weekend in Gering. Though all tried to make it out, a strong number were in attendance (Cory - BCC, Kevin - Southside, Ryan-Friend, Todd-Columbus, Jay-Grand Island, Brian - Gering)

Brian had most of our setup done before we even got there. The first time I called him out to come on stage, he was late because he was unclogging a toilet in the girls restroom. A good excuse.

Jay sacrificed a major conference at his home church with visiting friends from California
Cory brought his entire MC team on his own bill and spoke twice
Todd spun the GYRO for hours on end
Ryan bussed almost 25 students out and got soaked in the tank
Kevin brought his wife and family (who got strep) and did our foyer interviews in the exhibit area

All in all, they worked hard to get the job done. That's what leadership does. They might receive praise from time to time, but it's worth it. Well done team!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Pastor Brian, in his true colors, welcoming at convention last weekend

Congratulations to PASTOR BRIAN for being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from last Friday's WHERE IS THAT IN NE? Trivia. The center of NE on I-80 is Lexington; that's why it's an ideal spot for our campgrounds. Brian is now up to $8 in prize money. Way to go!

Unfortunately, we don't have a winner from last Tuesday's trivia, so the question will carry over to today:

I was at a Presyter's meetings in Lexington last week and Terry Brown, pastor in Lincoln and our state treasurer/secretary did a great devotion on Paul in his later years. Paul wrote a letter to a young follower of his and had a great example of his character as an elder 'worthy of respect'.

Can you guess which follower of Paul the letter was written to?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons

This past weekend was amazing. We hosted our first ever Western NE Youth Convention in Gering on Friday and Saturday. Then, at church in Grand Island, some interns from Bethel church in Redding, California were visiting and many people were healed. It was awesome.

About a year ago, we started dreaming about the possibility of convention in Gering. In December, 2008, our youth committee met and worked through the details if we could do it or not. In April, we voted and decided to forge ahead with it. We set a goal and made our plans. God did amazing things and we had over 200 people worshipping God and learning what it meant to be RELENTLESS for Jesus.

About 15 years ago, I was a student in Master's Commission. It was the first time I had a chance to visit Western, NE. Several trips throughout my master's years helped me fall in love with the panhandle and its' students. It was great to see an event of this magnitude in a place that has such potential for youth ministry. We hope to continue doing things like this in the years ahead.

You'll never celebrate things you didn't have the boldness to take a risk in. Great acts for God will always take a step of faith.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?

Convention Creative Poster
Gering Convention TONIGHT!!!!


Sorry that I haven't had too many blogs the last few days. We are out in Gering and we are preparing for our Fall Youth Convention this weekend. It actually begins in just a few minutes! Pray for us as this is the first major youth event we've had west of North Platte in our district.

Because of the delay, we'll post winners to Tuesday's Trivia next week on Tuesday. We'll also post the winner to today's trivia, which is this:

I mentioned that this is the first time we've had a major youth event west of North Platte. What city is technically the middle of our state?

A. North Platte
B. Lexington
C. Kearney

See ya next week

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner - Credentials

Gering Convention, 3 days away, register at

The past two days I was involved in Presbyter Meetings at our campgrounds in Lexington. The top leaders of our state got together to interview potential ministry candidates and discuss vision and business.

I was excited to have a few of our youth and children's workers at the interviews. Kevin Libby, Brian and Julie Korell, Kandy Paulson, and Trista Jaeger. Each interview went very well and it appears that they'll move on from their current level of ministry.

Good leaders always try to get better. They are always striving to grow and learn. Paul, one of the most admired leaders in the New Testament, was a lifelong learner. Near the end of his life, in a letter to his young follower Timothy, Paul requested, "when you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Tim 4:13)

Paul was old enough to forget his jacket somewhere, but he still wanted books to read. He never stopped learning, and neither should we. If someone has reached a place where they think they no longer need to learn anything, it shows how truly far away from that place they really are.

Check out the leaders lounge at convention this weekend in Gering to further the discussion...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Gering Convention only 4 days away.

Well, unfortunately we didn't have a winner from Friday's WHERE IS THAT IN NE? trivia. Make sure to chime in this weekend as we will carry that question over to this week.

I am at Presyter's meetings in Lexington today, and yesterday Terry Brown, pastor in Lincoln and our state treasurer/secretary did a great devotion on Paul in his later years. Paul wrote a letter to a young follower of his and had a great example of his character as an elder 'worthy of respect'.

Can you guess which follower of Paul the letter was written to?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (Watch what you say)

Convention Graph
Conventions start this weekend. Go to to register

This past weekend, Lincoln North Star came to Grand Island for a Friday night football matchup with the Senior High Islanders. They only had one loss, and looked to be the favorite. Grand Island wasn't that bad either though, with only 3 losses, so it looked to be a close game.

Bruce Riddle, youth pastor at Rock Solid of Christ's Place in Lincoln, and Byron Riddle, Chi Alpha Director at UNL, both support North Star. Byron helps coach, and Bruce videotapes the games. They travel with the team. We were hoping to meet up in GI, but two of my children had strep throat so it was hard for me to get out to the game.

Texting back and forth, I mentioned this to Byron, and put on the end 'Go Islanders!' In fun banter, Byron responded back, 'we're going to hang 50 on you tonight'.

Well, I didn't get to listen to the game on the radio, so I forgot about it. The next morning I picked up my phone and saw a late text from Byron that mentioned he had never seen his team play so bad before. I looked up the score online, and sure enough, Grand Island had won by about two touchdowns.

It was all in fun, but it was a good example that we need to watch what we saw and make sure we can back it up with action. Oh, and ... Go Islanders!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Worship at Convention '08
Register for Conventions '09 at

Congratulations to REBEKAH for being the correct comment chosen at random to be our winner from the Bible Trivia on Tuesday. She is now up to $16 in prize earnings. Hope to see you at convention so you can redeem those earnings!

Tonight begins the women's ministries conference at the campground. Tricia Murrish is our women's ministries director and this is her first conference at the helm. Tricia and Scott are an incredible couple who minister in a variety of ways across our district. Their most recent position was at Kearney New Life as the children's pastors. In what city did they senior pastor before that:

A. Columbus
B. Plattsmouth
C. Fremont
D. Blair
E. Beatrice

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

Convention 2008 in Kearney
2009 Conventions start in one week!!!

- My brother Corey was able to graduate from a ministry school at Abundant Life Christian Center. He is now leading the jr. high ministry at the church and interested in pursuing credentials down the road.

- Last night, I spoke at River Rock Youth Group, out of River of Life Community Church in St. Paul, NE. Trent Mettenbrink is the youth pastor and he does a great job with the teens in that area. I spoke about Speed the Light and we handed out promise cards for them to consider making a yearly promise. I believe they will do great things for STL this next year!

- Convention registrations have been coming in like crazy. Convention in Gering is only one week away. We'll have Bellevue's Masters Commission with us, a bonfire after the Friday night service, the Gyro and a Dunk Tank, etc.. Go to to register

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner - Speed The Light

Jeff Baker (pastor of Flatland Church) and David Ellis (2008 STL student of the year)
At Youth Convention in Kearney, 2008

Tonight, I'm speaking at a youth ministry in St. Paul, NE with Trent Mettenbrink. We're going to talk about STL (Speed the Light). Speed the Light is the missions giving/fund raising arm of the youth departments in the Assemblies of God denomination.

My passage is from Matthew 27, where Joseph of Arimathea cares for Jesus' body after his death. He asks Pilate for the body, then wraps it in a clean linen cloth and places it in a tomb that he had cut out of a hillside for himself. He:

1. Stood up for Christ - by not running away like the other disciples at the crucifixion
2. Was Bold - by asking Pilate for the body, the very person that had Jesus killed
3. Gave his Best - by using a clean new linen cloth to wrap Jesus' body in
4. Sacrificed - by giving his own expensive tomb to Jesus

Joseph of Arimathea is mentioned as part of the greatest story in history because of his gift. He never realized his gift would be so important and be used in such a great way. That's the same with STL - it goes so much further than we ever realized it could go before.

Giving to STL encompasses these 4 traits as well. It's standing up for Christ, being bold, giving your best, and sacrificing as well. All of these traits are things we desire in the youth that we lead, and in our lives as well. STL should be a part of all of our lives.

Incidentally, I just communicated with one of our recent church plants. We funded them through STL years ago, and they purchased some sound and video pieces that they've been using till this day. We are borrowing their rear projection screen to use for a massive stage setup for youth convention in Bellevue. When we give to STL, God gives back to us in return.

More info on STL?:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Friday night service, Fall Youth Convention, Kearney 2008
Fall Youth Convention 2009 (Gering - Oct 23,24; Bellevue - Nov 6,7)

Congratulations to LARISSA for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Friday's Trivia. She is now up to $22 in prize earnings - way to go! Hope to see you at convention so you can pick something up with money (

Last night, during my devotions with my kids, we read about the life of John the Baptist. He had the great distinction of being the man God chose to baptize his son Jesus. While baptizing him, John saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove, and he heard the audible voice of God. Those are things that not too many people get to experience on earth.

What natural relationship did John have with Jesus? How were they 'related'?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (Longevity)

Students and leaders arriving to Fall Youth Convention 2008
Fall Convention 2009 (Oct 23,24- Gering, Nov6,7-Bellevue)

This weekend was a wonderful time of sports for me. Three of my favorite football teams (Huskers, Hawkeyes, Broncos) all won against tough competition. The MLB playoffs took off in full force, and 3 series are already finished. One series that was completed was the New York Yankees vs. the Minnesota Twins.

Last night, the Yankees advanced to the next round. Their closer Mariano Rivera, pitched the ninth inning and shut down the Twins. He saved the game for the starter, Andy Pettitte. This is always a great moment in sports. But what made it more great was the history behind it. Ten years ago, October 1999, Mariano Rivera closed out another playoff series win for Andy Pettitte, advancing the Yankees to the World Series. The Yankees have been one of the most dominant teams in the last decade, and a large part of that is due to the longevity of key players in strategic positions.

Longevity can contribute greatly to excellence and success.

The latest average statistic I received on the average length of a youth pastorate was 9 months, barely the length of a full baseball season.

Imagine if Mariano Rivera had left after that 1999 season - do you think the Yankees would be as strong today?

Imagine if more of our youth pastors would stay 3, 5, 10 years in their current positions - would our youth ministries be stronger today because of it?

Friday, October 9, 2009


Golfing at the STL Pastors Summit

Congratulations to REBEKAH for being the correct comment chosen as our winner from Tuesday's Trivia. Way to Go! You are now up to $8 in prizes. Great job.

Here's today's trivia: Last night was a wonderful football win for the Huskers over the Missouri Tigers. Ndamukong Suh, a defensive lineman, was outstanding. What state is he from?

A. Hawaii
B. California
C. Oregon
D. Washington

Have a great weekend. Stay out of the snow?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

Kevin and I, at the STL Pastors Summit

I was in our Tri-City sectional meeting earlier this week and I heard a great testimony. Tim Rust, director of church planting in Nebraska, told us the story of a lady from Bartlet. She had helped raised a significant amount of money for a Christian Concert in their area and was a great support for a possible church plant. When asked why she was getting so involved, she mentioned that years ago, the Assemblies of God had done a regional youth rally in her area. At that event, she gave her life to God, but walked away shortly afterward. When the people with the concert came to her area years later, it reminded her of her previous commitment to Christ at the youth rally. She decided to give her life to Christ again, and make it real this time around.

Sometimes, we do tasks or events that we might feel haven't really made much of a difference. Sometimes, we are planting seeds that will bloom later, down the road. Though we can't see the results today, we can trust God that results will occur in His time.

Thank God someone did a youth rally in Bartlet years ago. By ministering to that lady, they had a chance to be a part of a church plant in the area years later.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner - Accountability

Praying for each other at camp

2 Samuel 12:17 = The elders of his household STOOD BESIDE HIM to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

David was mourning and fasting because his son would die due to his sin. He was desperate and hurting. But his friends, the elders, STOOD BESIDE HIM. They wouldn't let him go through his tough time alone.

Lesson 1 - Stand beside someone in tough times. No one should go through tragedy and face difficulty by themselves. Who are you standing beside like this - and who is standing beside you?

Lesson 2 - The elders watched out for David. Even though he was King, and the most powerful man in the country, the elders still looked out for him. They were older, with wisdom and experience, and they helped the younger David to stand strong. Do you have someone younger that you are mentoring, and do you have an elder watching out for you?

Suggestions - Try to get together with pastors in your area regularly for coffee and updates. Make sure to attend the monthly sectional gatherings. Have your students join in with the NYM facebook group page. Raise up Campus Missionaries who send in monthly reports to the national office and our youth alive director, Brian Korell.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Brian Korell, NE Youth Alive Coordinator, never stops worshipping

Congratulations to THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW on being the correct comment chosen as our winner from Friday's WHERE IS THAT IN NE? trivia. Great job - you are now up to $2 in prize money (I think?)

Here's today's trivia: today is a TriCity sectional meeting for Assembly of God pastors, in Grand Island. All the credentialed people from the region are invited to come out and share a time of connecting with each other and supporting one another in ministry. We also go out to lunch as well.
Can you name a time in the Bible where regional leaders came together to connect in the same way?

Happy Searching!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons (Stronger Together)

Cory Demmel, youth pastor at BCC

I had the wonderful privilege of being in church at Bellevue Christian Center this past weekend. My brother-in-law was visiting from Toledo, so we brought our family into the area to hang out with them and go to our old church.

Pastor Gary Hoyt preached a powerful message as part of a series on community. We are supposed to 'watch' each other as we grow in Christ, 'wrestle' with each other to become stronger together, and 'wage war' on behalf of each other.

He used a great illustration, telling the story of a man who asked someone to break a bundle of sticks in half. He tried to break them by pulling on the ends, hitting it against a tree, even stepping on it while it was propped against a ridge in the ground. Nothing worked.

The man took the sticks back and showed him how the task could be done. He simply untied the bundle and snapped them apart easily, one at a time.

The lesson is powerful. When we choose to go through life on our own, without the support of others, we're much more vulnerable to defeat. But when we stand together, it's harder to be broken when life gets tough. Who are you standing with today?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday - Catch up!

Hello everyone. Sorry that I didn't blog the last couple of days. I was at a STL golf summit in Miami with a couple of my NE pastors and we were outside of decent internet coverage.

1. Congratulations to PASTOR MIKE for being the random correct comment chosen as our winner from Tuesday's trivia. His passage was appropiate, and how amazing that so many people commented the same passage right after him! Great job.

2. Here's a quick STL/BGMC testimony from our youth pastor in Westpoint, Kevin Libby (also a frequent comment participant in trivia challenges) -

Toby, just thought I would let you know that we raised over $800 today for STL and just under $400 for BGMC today. We had a meal and pies for sale...some edible, some throwable. Total STL raised since end of July, just over $1100! Gotta love it when teens get behind something and give like that. They are already talking about next years goal.

3. Here's the WHERE IS THAT IN NE? trivia from yesterday. I brought two wonderful pastors with me to the STL Golf Summit at Doral Resort in Miami. Their pictures are above - can you tell me their names or what city they pastor in?

Have a great weekend!