Is Youth Ministry a Good Idea? (Part 1)

Reid Kapple – November 1, 2014 6 Comments

ReachStudents blog

“Modern Youth Ministry, a 50-Year Failed Experiment”

This was the title of an article, written a few years ago, that both critiqued the effectiveness of youth ministry and questioned the biblical mandate for it. Much has been said in recent years of modern youth ministry and some have argued that it has created more harm than good. Now, while the subject is far beyond the scope of this blog, I do think that some things can be said to bring some balance to the conversation.

  • Have there been some poor practices in youth ministry over the years?
  • Is there a stigma of youth pastors being nothing more than glorified babysitters and trip advisers?
  • Are youth pastors known more for their high energy than their theological acumen?

In most cases, I would say, yes. But the solution is not to throw the baby out with the bath water.  Continue Reading…

What Makes B.U.M.P. Unique?

Shane Stacey – October 31, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

For the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population is urban.

Nearly 180,000 people, per day, are moving into cities around the globe.

Millennials are moving into the city in high numbers, driving gentrification forward in many urban areas. Often, this means the under-resourced in a community are dispersed and forced to relocate. Therefore, urbanization begins to affect communities around our cities, as well as the neighborhoods. Maybe you’ve experienced some of this in your own community.

We need to raise up more disciplemakers in and for the city. We need those who moved by the gospel are moved and skilled in ministering holistically in multicultural environments.

In the last few years, we’ve worked hard to retool BUMP (Bridging Urban Mission Partnerships) in an effort to connect three passions:

  1. The gospel motivating a disciplemaking way of life.
  2. Students.
  3. The urban context.

Here are the values that we believe make BUMP unique and shape the week-long experience:  Continue Reading…

God Tools App

Shane Stacey – October 29, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents Blog

Looking for an easy way to share the gospel with those around you?

God Tools puts four of Cru’s effective gospel-sharing booklets in one convenient app.

As noted in the app store description, “included in the app are four booklets created by Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), one of the largest Christian missions organizations in the world.”

  1. Would You Like to Know God Personally? (target audience: general/college student)
  2. Connecting With God (target audience: high schoolers/teenagers)
  3. The Four Spiritual Laws (target audience: general)
  4. Satisfied? (target audience: general)

Continue Reading…

Making Great Slide Shows

Brandon Early – October 27, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

We take tons of pictures at retreats and events. It’s great to create buzz about our events with these pics on social media, but don’t stop there. These photos make great slideshows that are a catalyst for energy and community as we re-live those moments on a ministry night. I made slideshows with PowerPoint for years before finding software that made creating a presentation easy and more visually pleasing. Here are four you should check out if you are looking to make better slideshows in less time. (see also

What software are you using to create slideshows for your ministry?

The Bible and Millennials

Greg Strand – October 24, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

Evangelicals affirm sola Scriptura and absoluta Scriptura, the Scriptures alone are the absolute authority, the norma normans, the norming norm, of everything we believe and profess/confess. We affirm this in our EFCA Statement of Faith, Article 2: “The Bible – We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.”

Ever since the fall, God and His Word have been questioned, undermined and denied. The serpent, the deceiver, the liar asks Eve a question: “Did God actually say?” (Gen. 3:1b). The serpent did not ask this question of Eve because he was unsure. Underneath the question was a denial of God and His Word. It was a subtle, but certain way of questioning and undermining both. Eventually, it ultimately led to outright denial: “You will not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). Contrast this with what God said earlier, “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). This denial undergirded the initial question, but the deceiver made the ultimate denial incremental so it was not so abrupt and did not appear to be so blatant.  Continue Reading…

TIU 360 Conference

Shane Stacey – October 22, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

Trinity International University is serious about developing emerging leaders. If you are in the Midwest, I highly encourage you to get your student leaders to the 360 Student Leadership Conference. For an incredibly affordable price, your students will get quite a lot:

  1. Teaching: Top-notch teaching from a TEDS alum (Manny Scott, former Freedom Writer) and excellent workshop speakers.
  1. Vision: Space for students to be challenged deeply on what the Bible teaches about leadership.
  1. Empowerment: Student-led workshops where proven emerging leaders are training emerging leaders.
  1. Catalyst: Opportunity for youth leaders to supplement training for their student leaders.
  1. Community: A true look behind the scenes at the TIU college community and opportunity to experience it firsthand.
  1. Fun: Time to connect with other emerging leaders from both high school and college.
  1. Bling: Overnight stay with TIU students, 4 meals, a conference t-shirt and a CAUSEGEAR bag!

Continue Reading…

Your Method and Message Need to Match

Shane Stacey – October 20, 2014 2 Comments

ReachStudents blog

The way that you deliver disciplemaking is the way it will be multiplied.

Read that statement again slowly.

It is a critical equipping principle. People will not only run with your message; they will also run with your method. Therefore, your method and your message need to match. Continue Reading…

List Your Disciplemaking Convictions

Shane Stacey – October 17, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents Blog

Do you have a list of your disciplemaking convictions?

Earlier this year, I sat down and wrote out as many disciplemaking convictions as I could in 15 minutes.

Here is what I came up with:

  1. The result of Jesus-like disciplemaking friendships must be more Jesus-like disciples and disciplemakers. (John 17; 1 Timothy 2:2; Acts 17:6)
  2. Disciplemaking is a supernatural endeavor involving dependence on and cooperation with the Holy Spirit. (Mark 4:26; Acts 1:3,8; 16:6)
  3. Disciplemaking requires intentional time together. (John 3:22)
  4. Disciplemaking requires the constant balance of inflow + overflow (push + pull, invitation + challenge). (Mark 1; Matt. 4:19; Mark 3:14-17; Luke 9:1-3; 10; Luke 10:1; 17-23)
  5. Authentic friendships are not merely an ingredient, but are the very conduit for disciplemaking. (Genesis 2:8; Mark 3:14-15; Acts 2:42-47: Hebrews 10:24-25)
  6. Disciplemaking is a slow work that often starts small, but bears much fruit. (Matthew 13:31-32; John 15)
  7. The role of structures/programs is merely to support disciplemaking priorities. When structures become the focus, disciplemaking fruitfulness is hindered or even dies. (Luke 4:16; 22:39; Luke 8,9,10)
  8. A Jesus-like disciplemaking way of life is our disciplemaking bulls-eye. (1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 John 2:6)
  9. The Bible –God’s Big Story– is the primary text for disciplemaking. (Mark 12:24; Hebrews 4:12)
  10. The primary context for disciplemaking is out in everyday life–rather than a classroom or other artificial environment. (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 8, 9, 10)
  11. The result of disciplemaking is an obsession with Jesus. (Luke 2:17; 5:15; 7:17-23; John. 6:68-69 and many others)
  12. Disciplemaking begins in the home, but it cannot stay there. (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; 1 Timothy 3:1-5)
  13. Disciplemaking friends engage in learning together—wrestling over the scripture and its application for each person’s life. The goal is obedience and not merely knowledge. (Proverbs 27:17; Luke 2:46; Mark 12:18-34; Acts 2:42-47; Titus 2:1-5)
  14. Disciplemaking balances information and imitation. (Mark 3:14-17; Luke 8 & 9; Acts 4:13)
  15. How you deliver disciplemaking is how it will be multiplied. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 17:2)
  16. Disciplemaking is more concerned about our sending capacity over our seating capacity. (John 20:21; Luke 8, 9,10)
  17. Disciplemaking is an “all people” endeavor –not segregating age, race, class or gender. (John 4; Matthew 18:19-20; Acts 1:8; 13-15; 19)
  18. If you can’t name names, then it is doubtful that any real disciplemaking is taking place. (Mark 2:14-17; Romans 16; 1 Corinthians 4:17)
  19. Show-how learning is critical to the developing others. (Luke 8)

Continue Reading…

Use the Word

Dr. Greg Carlson – October 15, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog


Recently, I sat in my course, Integrated Field Experience, and listened to guest speaker, Ron Hardy, of Send International, who has discipled students in the U.S. and Japan for 30 years. Every fall, during Global Christian Week, TIU highlights a week of focus upon God’s heart for mission. The topic of the day was, “Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing!” I was pleased when he shared that when doing discipleship with students, we should focus on the Bible. Discipleship guides and books are great (he’s written some himself), but they can distract us from letting the Bible do its work.

When leading my Teaching the Bible class, I often hear myself say, “Don’t get lost in your creative methods or normal lecture rut! Make sure you let the Bible do its work! Hebrews 4:12.”

So if we are going to teach and disciple using the Scriptures, what translation should we use?  Continue Reading…

Theology and Taylor Swift…Kind Of

Reid Kapple – October 13, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

We are all susceptible to the subtle messages that are portrayed in music, film and literature. However, I believe that our teenagers are perhaps even more susceptible because of how impressionable they are. Now, while it is true that theology isn’t everything, we must see that all things are theological in some way. That is why I would like to share a few ways that we can help students think theologically about music. I am going to use Taylor Swift’s song, Shake It Off, as an example. Now, I am going to use a variation of some of the same questions that I put forth in my last blog about movies and we are going to ask them of T Swift’s hit single and see what we come up with.  Continue Reading…