What Else Would I Teach From?

Reid Kapple – May 27, 2015 7 Comments

ReachStudents Blog

Recently, I spoke at a weekend gathering of middle school and high school students. After my last message, I spent some time talking with students and youth workers. One conversation, that I will not forget, really floored me. A youth worker thanked me enthusiastically for actually teaching the Bible that weekend. I paused for a moment and waited for him to say that he was kidding. When that didn’t happen, I bluntly said to him, “What else would I teach from?”

Then, he told me how he’s attended way too many youth retreats and conferences where the focus of the message is on the messenger and the stories they had to tell. He explained how far too many youth speakers would use the scriptures as a concluding thought or as a supplemental reference. They would throw in a couple Bible verses to ensure that it was a Christian message, but the majority of the content was anecdotal and experiential.

Now, I am guessing that the majority of people reading this post would probably self-identify as Bible-believing Christians who have a high view of God’s word. However, that does not necessarily mean our teaching styles and study habits functionally reflect these scriptural convictions. Here are a four quick diagnostic questions to ask yourself to discern if you are properly handling God’s word when teaching your students: Continue Reading…

ReachStudents Blog

Disciplemaking requires that you adjust your life to share in the everyday rhythms of life with those whom God is giving you favor.

13 He [Jesus] went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. (Matthew 4:13, NLT)

For Jesus, adjusting his life meant leaving the little “one horse” town of Nazareth, where he had spent more than 30 years of his life, and moving to the bustling city of Capernaum. Why? Because in Capernaum lived a few young men with whom the Spirit of God was giving Him favor—namely Peter, Andrew, James, John and Nathaniel. Continue Reading…

Start A Movement. Invest In A Few.

Shane Stacey – May 18, 2015 Leave a comment

ReachStudents Blog

Do you want to start a movement?

Stop focusing the majority of your time and energy on the crowd.

Movements begin with deliberate investment in a few.

Jesus ministered to the masses (Matthew 14:13-21). He had hundreds of disciples (1 Corinthians 15:6). But, He spent the majority of His time deliberately investing in a few and releasing them to do exactly the same thing with others (Mark 3:14-17).

If you want to see a disciplemaking movement…  Continue Reading…

Can I Ask That? (Part 2)

Shane Stacey – May 15, 2015 5 Comments

ReachStudents Blog

The student ministry I served in just used Can I Ask That?, from Fuller Youth Institute, and loved it. In part one of this two-part blog series, I listed WHY a resource like Can I Ask That? is important. In this post, I will recap what we experienced from using Volume 1 and a few things that we may try next time.

OUR EXPERIENCE:

  1. Switching the normal lecture/lab format

Our student ministry normally engages in large group teaching and breaks into discussion groups. For this series, we flipped it and started in discussion groups to let students express their opinions and thoughts on a particular issue. Students loved it. In fact, it seemed that they engaged more deeply in the larger group teaching because they had surfaced their own questions and that of their friends.

  1. Robust dialogue

This series stirred up A LOT of robust dialogue. In fact, it was almost like shaking a bottle of soda and finally pulling off the cap. What this series surfaced was the depth of questions, emotions and conflicting thoughts students have received from all their various inputs (e.g., media, news, friends, parents, church, etc.).

It also surfaced opportunity to help students learn how to express disagreement with one another in a way that shows respect and dignity.

  1. Kitchen table conversations

Several parents contacted the student ministries pastor to let them know that their son or daughter was coming home fired up and asking questions they had never voiced before.   We’ve heard stories of families staying up late sitting around the kitchen table for an hour or more after Wednesday night talking about some of the questions. Most of the parents were thrilled to hear their son/daughter wrestling so hard over such foundational issues of their faith.

One dad mentioned that it woke him up to the reality that his son is no longer a child. He said, “I realized that I’ve not shifted my parenting. [My son] has his own thoughts about his faith and I need to adjust how I come alongside him in this season.”

  1. Exposing their worldview

This series did a great job of exposing what students really believe. It revealed how much they are being influenced by culture. It also helped to expose how many know what they really believe and, more importantly, why they believe it. I would say this series actually has helped us better understand what we need to focus more on in the coming year and affirm where the gospel is taking root and growing.  Continue Reading…

Can I Ask That? (Part 1)

Shane Stacey – May 13, 2015 1 Comment

ReachStudents Blog

Adolescence is the temporary and transitional state between childhood and adulthood. Teenagers are changing; literally changing before your eyes.

One change is the increase in ability to think and reason. We call this cognitive development. They are developing more advanced reasoning skills, including the ability to think about multiple options and possibilities, and the ability to think about hypothetical situations. This involves asking (and answering) the question, “what if…?” They are also developing the ability to think about thinking. This is called metacognition. This allows teens to think about how they feel about what they are thinking.

All of these changes mean that students are asking—whether they are voicing them or not—questions they’ve never asked before. They are re-evaluating what they think they know.

They are asking questions at a much deeper level than they have in childhood. They are learning to walk around ideas, beliefs and issues. Often, they feel like the first or only one to think and feel about issues in this way.  Continue Reading…

Five Favorite Portable Gadgets

Brandon Early – May 11, 2015 Leave a comment

ReachStudents Blog

Portable gadgets just make life easier.

So, here are five of my favorite portable gadgets:

PlugBug

Twelve South is one of my favorite Mac accessory designers.Their PlugBug is a 2.1-amp USB wall charger attachment for the MacBook power adapter.This is one of my favorite travel companions.

BookBook

Another Twelve South accessory, the BookBook is a fantastic iPad case. This cover makes your iPad look like a vintage leather book. I have one for my iPad Air and my iPad mini. This makes for a great iPad disguise at a wedding or funeral. (Kidding.) They are pricey at $70-$80, but classy.

PowerRocks

I have a portable charger from PowerRocks. I can get 4-to-6 full charges with my Magic Cube. This is priceless when you are not near a power outlet or while you are in flight. You could buy a cheaper battery pack, but you get what you pay for.  Continue Reading…

Why a Gap Year?

Derek Melleby – May 8, 2015 Leave a comment

ReachStudents Blog

Gap-year programs are growing for graduates. In fact, they are a valuable next step for a large number of young people. There are lots of programs out there and it is not always easy to know which ones are worth a young person’s time. My friend Derek Melleby, author of Making College Count, is the director of academics for one of the best gap-year programs in the country.

Below is a guest post from Derek. Check out OneLife’s website and consider bringing awareness to this powerful opportunity to your juniors and seniors and their families. – Shane Stacey, director of ReachStudents.

It’s that time of year. Many students will be graduating from our youth groups and many may not have a clue what they will be doing next year. Listen up, youth pastors. You can be a HERO to parents and students by letting them know about a growing trend: Christian gap-year programs!

David Kinnaman’s book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith, is a must read for helping the church think more deeply about how to reach young people with the gospel. The last chapter of the book features 50 ideas from 50 different leaders. Contributors were asked to consider these questions: How can we prepare the next generation to live meaningfully and follow Jesus wholeheartedly in these changing times? And how can the next generation rise to the challenge of revitalizing the Christian community for our mission to and in the broader culture?

Here was my suggestion:  Continue Reading…

Where Do You Run?

Shane Stacey – May 6, 2015 1 Comment

ReachStudents Blog

“David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God” – 1 Samuel 30:6, NLT.

Life and ministry are filled with unexpected roadblocks. Like David, you will face setbacks that are completely out of your control. The resolve of those that you thought were with you will fade. People will leave. Blame will be misplaced. Team members will wound.

This is all just part of leadership. The question is not what can you do to prevent it, but rather where do you run when you get blindsided by the unexpected?  Continue Reading…

Memory To Go

Brandon Early – May 4, 2015 Leave a comment

ReachStudents Blog

I love having my most important digital files available in the cloud. I most often use Dropbox, but I like storing and sharing documents within Google Drive. But there’s a problem: The free accounts do not allow me to keep everything in the cloud. (SIDE NOTE: “The Cloud” is tech terminology for data that is stored online and accessible through a website or web app).

Since I have more than 20GB of data that I access on a regular basis, I need to find an alternative.  So, I’ve listed a few things I use below. You might benefit from one or all of these options.  Continue Reading…

A New Swag Bag For Graduating Seniors

Dr. G. David Boyd – May 1, 2015 1 Comment

ReachStudents Blog

Spring is here, and many churches are ready, once again, to launch a group of seniors. Parties will be hosted. Pictures will be shown. Bibles will be distributed. Graduation banquets will be held.

As someone who has led many of these events, here is my revised list of what I believe seniors should be given as they leave:  Continue Reading…