Haiti Summit 2014 – Andover, Minnesota

Reach Students – August 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Are you one of our many churches that wants to consider a short-term mission trip for your youth? As with any ministry, creating an ongoing partnership is extremely valuable. EFCA churches across the country have prayed for and partnered with our Haitian churches over the years – especially since the earthquake in 2010. Haiti is both an accessible and affordable option if you’re looking for an international experience.

At Challenge 2012 in New Orleans, our EFCA students got to experience a ‘Haitian village’ and sent two school buses filled with supplies to Haiti. Last year, church leaders across the U.S. had the unique opportunity to listen to strategic leaders in the Haitian church about the status of working together. Now, it’s time to ask our Haitian brothers and sisters once again to speak to us and assess our progress.

How can we and how should we work together as American and Haitian churches?

Does your voice need to be included in the conversation? Plan to attend the Haitian Summit September 24-26, 2014, in Andover, Minn. Continue Reading…

Small Group Leader or Disciplemaker?

Reach Students – August 6, 2014 Leave a comment

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Titles matter. I can call my child my son or I can call him my kid. Both are true, but the former stirs up greater responsibility, affection and connection than the latter.

I think the titles we give one another in ministry have the same effect. Are you a small group leader or a disciplemaker? I don’t mean to suggest that these are mutually exclusive. They are not. Both can be true. But you also can be a small group leader and not be a disciplemaker.

My friends from Cadre Ministries and I developed this helpful assessment tool together to help identify if our relationships with students (or our spouses, children, co-workers or friends) are reaching their disciplemaking potential. Continue Reading…


Not coming to Challenge? Never have? Not a problem. I get it. Challenge is simply a tool. It needs to fit into your ministry strategy. I get that. But when 240 churches from your movement come together, it’s not a bad idea to be dialed in to what God is saying, what He’s doing, and what initiatives or direction He is mobilizing them around together.

With that in mind, here are five ways you can connect without attending Challenge: Continue Reading…

Parents, Do the Work of an Evangelist

Reach Students – May 9, 2014 2 Comments

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Parenting is hard work. I have three children of my own and I can honestly say that parenting – although full of great joy – is often unpredictable, tiring and requires a great deal of intentionality. In the business of life it is easy for my parenting to turn into behavior modification. But what my two sons and my daughter need most is not to change their behavior. Often times their behavior or their attitude is merely a symptom of a greater need—the transformation of their heart.

So, how do we transform the heart of our child? Well, the first thing we should realize is that we can’t, for this is God’s work. But there are some things we can do to cooperate with God. In 2 Timothy 4:5, the Apostle Paul has a word for young Timothy that is a helpful reminder for parents, as well as how to view the spiritual formation in our children’s lives. Paul admonishes Timothy to “always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Continue Reading…

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Summer often creates a different pace in youth ministry. For many this means less formal programming. This opens some extra space for some great relational ministry. With the open space in your schedule, consider how you can use the summer to build relationship with parents. Here are five ideas for connecting with parents in the summer. Continue Reading…

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Obviously the title was suppose to be a bit provocative. I’m really looking forward to Challenge 2014 but there is a difference to attending Challenge and stewarding Challenge. Without some intentionality you’ll waste a lot of money and time on Challenge. The same is true of summer camp, a mission trip, or any other summer trip. There is the typical way to engage these sort of events and then there is an intentional way that will help you get past a mountaintop moment and move to disciplemaking momentum.

Here are 6 ways to make the most out of Challenge or any of your summer trips: Continue Reading…

transition resources.001During this time of year I get a lot of inquires from churches that are looking for a youth pastor and from youth pastors looking for possible ministry openings.

Because making these sort of transitions is not something that churches or leaders do very often, most do not have a helpful process. For the church, hiring the right staff is a critical decision that can help move a ministry into the future or set it back a few years. For the leader, choosing the right church has significant implications on his or her spiritual, emotional, economical, and family well-being. Continue Reading…

Raising the Evangelism Bar by Lowering It

Reach Students – April 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Evangelism Bar.001I realize that it may sound contradictory, but at times, the way you raise the evangelism bar in your ministry is actually by lowering it. What do I mean by this?

A common way of trying to raise the evangelism bar is with grandiose ideas and a bigger vision. In this model, students are challenged to “reach their school for Christ”. Or another outreach event is created and students are challenged to invite their friends. Or we create a teaching series on sharing your faith. We passionately share what to do and why to do it. By talking about evangelism, teaching on evangelism, and casting a bigger-than-life vision for reaching the lost we “raise the bar”.   Continue Reading…

One of the things I appreciate about our ministry partners at TIU and TEDS is that they are creating pathways for young emerging leaders designed to maximize their training AND minimize their costs. Dr. Bill Donahue leads an innovative pastoral leadership program at Trinity that will equip your students for a life of ministry! In just 5 years – instead of 7 – they can complete their college requirements and graduate with a Master of Divinity Degree from one of the finest seminaries in the world – TEDS!

It’s affordable, focused, developmental, and time-saving. Clearly costs for higher education continue to rise, putting stress on students and families alike. Thanks to some generous donors and TIU scholarship funds – and some very creative thinking – TIU and TEDS have crafted an approach that reduces costs by 60% and gets students started in their ministry career two years early.

I encourage you to go to the TIU website and get the details. As a key influencer in the EFCA and mentor in the lives of your students, Dr. Donahue and the TIU/TEDS leadership believe that you have a good grasp who may be interested in this unique pathway to ministry.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utgf5en0Egs&w=560&h=315]

There are still a few slots open for this year’s cohort. Dr. Donahue would love to connect with any students who you believe would be good candidates. You can contact him at wdonahue@tiu.edu or the Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Jordan Bryant – at (847) 317-7000.

Help Students Think Critically

Reach Students – April 21, 2014 Leave a comment

The Noah movie created quite a splash in the Christian blogosphere. I’ll admit I have not yet seen the movie and am not sure if or when I will.

I appreciated Dr. Brian Mattson’s very informative post entitled, “Sympathy for the Devil,” along with his follow up posts (they are linked to the bottom of his original post). If you’ve not yet read or seen Mattson’s critique of the move and admonition to Christian leaders, I would encourage you to do so. Continue Reading…