Spiritual Health > Safety

A few months back, my team and I talked about this statement, “We provide programming that is physical, emotional, and spiritually safe without making it experientially safe.” What chords does it strike you? I simply want to get you thinking on this topic and share a bit of what we talked about as a team. […]

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How to Move Students Into a Deeper Relationship With Jesus

Sometimes I think we think it’s only about the physical stuff we need to do with our students or for our students in order to move them into a deeper relationship with Jesus.  When, really, I think the initial step starts with us, as their small group leader, peer, or friend. Building that trusting, open, […]

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Add Grit to Your Ministry

One of my favorite passages is from 2 Kings 3. At this time the Kings of Israel, Judah and Edom have tried to do everything on their own to lead their armies to attack Moab. As they realize they don’t have any options left and will not likely be able to win, they desperately ask […]

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Minister Within the Mess

Every week following our youth programming, I clean up a mess.  Papers, candy wrappers, pens, and pen pieces are scattered on the floor all over our worship area.  Chairs that depict the creative artistry of some of our students are pulled aside for additional cleaning. About a month ago, the morning following our youth programming, […]

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Chasing Truth – Surrendering Sexuality

Read Part 1: The Creator Conflict Read Part 2: Backing Up The Bible Read Part 3: Why Jesus Read Part 4: The Reality of the Resurrection Read Part 5: Explaining Evil   *Be advised, this article takes a conservative approach to the topic of human sexuality.*   “As long as you are happy does it matter […]

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Chasing Truth – Explaining Evil

Read Part 1: The Creator Conflict Read Part 2: Backing Up The Bible Read Part 3: Why Jesus Read Part 4: The Reality of the Resurrection I have two children, a nine year old and a seven year old.  When we are riding in the car together listening to the radio, I often turn it down […]

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The Creator Conflict

My friend Walt* is an agnostic. He thinks he is being very sophisticated using this label; I think he is just being lazy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all agnostics are lazy – just Walt. Walt is a smart guy, he is well read and quick-witted, with a great sense of humor, he […]

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Rising From the Ashes – A Response to Burglary and Arson

Destruction happens so fast; building takes a long time. In our work with students across America, I’m reminded of this truth. In just a few minutes, our office building for Never The Same was burned and destroyed by arson. This building took much, much longer to build than it did when it was destroyed through […]

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When Subtracting Prayer from School means Multiplication

It has been quite a month. As I walked down the hall as the FCA(Fellowship of Christian Athletes) huddle leader of a local middle school in Grand Rapids, MI, I felt angry, cheated, hatred, but mostly dejected. This was the last time I would walk down this hall. For almost five years, every lunch time […]

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5 Things to do About Spring Attendance Drop-Off

“We count people because people count.” One of the churches I was formerly employed at had this in their weekly church handout. The cynic would say this is a cop-out, a cheesy motto that reinforced that it wasn’t about people; it was about the bottom line…measuring success by attendance. And some pastors measure success this […]

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