I’m always looking for free or low-cost tools that can be easily implemented into our student ministry to save time, money, resources, and increase productivity. When I come across tools that are useful to our team, I love to pass them on. Here are five tools that we’re using that you should definitely look into:
If you’re a youth pastor or leader, how would your students respond if I asked them what the most important thing you want them to know is? There are so many important things you want to teach. So many things you want them to hear, to own, and to hang onto. But I want to suggest something to you. Just something for you to chew on. This is the single-most important thing I tell my students, and I hope every one of them knows that. It’s even more important than telling them:
- God loves you.
- Jesus died for you.
- You need a Savior.
- I love you.
- Love each other.
- Care for the poor.
- Share your faith.
- [insert your favorite thing here]
I don’t know if you’re like me, but whenever I read the Bible I look for the hidden truths. I’m always looking for the part I might have missed at first glance. I was reading a story Jesus told in Luke chapter 15 last week and had one of those moments.
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away.”
He told this story to communicate an important truth to two specific groups of people:
This is not a post about ISIS. I know the title would suggest differently, but this post isn’t about ISIS and it’s not about politics.
See, I’ve been reading a lot about ISIS, and often when I read an article online I check out some of the reader comments below. I’ve read so many comments full of hatred and anger. The sad part is that so much of it isn’t even directed toward ISIS, but toward other readers, but hey, that’s for another blog post.
A week or two ago, I read an article about the 21 Christians that were beheaded on the beach and one of the comments, apparently written by a believer, struck a chord:
“I just keep telling myself that this must be part of God’s plan.”
Since then I feel like I’ve read or heard that same thought echoed by a lot of other people. Maybe I’m just noticing it more now that I saw it once. But I’ve been thinking about that. When bad things, terrible things, the absolute worst kinds of unthinkable things happen to good people, is it part of God’s plan?
I spoke at First Christian Church this past Sunday about God’s love that has overcome everything to draw us close. Here’s the video.
By the way, this whole series was incredible. If you’d like to watch video from the other messages, you can find them here.