Welcoming College Students Home for Christmas Break

Dr. G. David Boyd – December 10, 2014 1 Comment

ReachStudents blog

While emerging adults will be home for Christmas, don’t expect them to come pounding on your door to talk. Aside from endless family gatherings and catching up with high school friends, many of them will work to make spending money, or to stay relevant in their old job.

So, how do we make the most of the holiday season when it comes to ministering to college students? (Other than asking those who are musically skillful to fill into our holiday rotations, which often speaks louder to emerging adults about what and who we value than we would care to admit.) Here are a few thoughts to get you started. Continue Reading…

5 Great Student Leadership Resources

Brandon Early – December 3, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

If you are leading or developing a student leadership team, one or more of these five resources might be helpful. I pick and choose different things from each of these items (I’m not sure I’ve used 100 percent of any one resource). Don’t feel like you always have to create your own content. Something here might turn out to be a great resource to help you spark other ideas or you might use them differently than their intended use.

99 Thoughts for Student Leaders

I am a nugget guy. When I am reading, listening to sermons, or sitting through a conference, I am not trying to get everything. I try to get something that I can work with. This little book is filled with nuggets for student leaders. You got to love short chapters.

Help! I’m a Student Leader!: Practical Ideas and Guidance on Leadership

This book is packed with practical tips that help you drive leadership ideas home.

Leaders are Learners – Student Edition

These six audio trainings come on CD and MP3. It’s a great price for a product that you can reproduce and hand or email to every student leader. Continue Reading…

Asking Better Questions

Brandon Early – December 1, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

I don’t know if asking great questions comes naturally to you, but asking great questions is really hard for me. It’s a skill that I’ve had to develop over time. I was in a training years ago with Rick Lawrence, editor of Group Magazine, when he shared something that helped shape how I ask questions. He said something like, “the best discussion questions are always surprising, specific and personal. The more surprising, specific, and personal, the more likely you are to start a really good conversation.”

Let me break this down…

  • Surprising means you want to catch your participants off guard. We all know “yes or no” questions are not great questions, but questions that don’t make us think are also not great questions. I want to include something in the question that is surprising.
  • Specific means get narrow. Not narrow-minded or leading, but stop being so broad. Focus on one distinct target.
  • Personal means get personal. Responses will be better if it means something to the participant. I am not looking for a theoretical response. This helps participants share their heart, not just what they know or think.

Continue Reading…

Is Youth Ministry A Good Idea (Part 3)

Reid Kapple – November 28, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

This is the final installment in a three part series entitled, “Is Youth Ministry a Good Idea?” You can check out the first two posts here and here. In this post, we are going to shift gears a bit and look at practical tips on how we can bring students into the life of the church, for the sake of creating disciples for a lifetime. I would like to do this by sharing one tip or example in three different categories: programs, people and process.  Continue Reading…

ReachStudents blog

B.U.M.P. bridged a neighborhood man to Payne Avenue Evangelical Free Church in St. Paul, Minn., where he found Christ, family and reconciliation.

When Othalee McDonald moved from his Mississippi childhood home in 1977, he never imagined a journey that would lead him to B.U.M.P. at Payne Avenue EFC in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Payne Avenue EFC’s vision of “Loved. Set Free. Changed.” perfectly describes McDonald’s path after growing up in the days of Martin Luther King Jr., “making a lot of people unhappy,” as McDonald put it. He and his brothers worked all day, frequently absorbing racial epithets, and so hatred became a natural outflow of the times.

The pay his mother received for their labor would be whatever the employers felt like; anything but fair wages. He never wanted to work picking cotton, or whatever crop was in season, knowing how he would be treated. “I can’t talk about it. It makes me sad,” McDonald said at the emotional memories.  Continue Reading…

Ministering to Generation Z

Shane Stacey – November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

Are you aware that the students you are ministering today have already been given a new name? Generation Z is the name marketers are using to describe those who are currently under the age of 18.

The message of the gospel is unchanging, but our world is constantly changing—faster now than ever before. One way we know change is happening even faster is that generations used to span 20 years, but now we’re needing to create sub-groups within generations. Generation Z (those born 1995-present) is really the last segment of the Millennials.

ReachStudents blog

Obviously, generational studies are sort of like the Proverbs. They are not promises, but principles and insights that are generally true. Marketers spend millions each year researching and studying young people–what they value and what has shapes them. Let’s take a look at what’s been found so far.  Continue Reading…

ReachStudents blog

What are the biblical truths that are foundational for ethics and morality? What are the biblical truths and principles that guide you in making moral and ethical decisions? How do you train others in the realm of ethics and morality, both through instruction and modelling?

This issue was raised regarding entertainment. The question the author asked: “How can guys training for the ministry watch (that show) together for entertainment?” I have deleted the specific program about which the author raised the question. It could be any number of shows or movies. I don’t want us to get off-center by focusing on the benefits and/or detriments of such a television sitcom/show.

Rather, it is vital that we have established the biblical truth and the principles by which we apply those truths, apart from a specific thing in mind. Once that happens, we are often able to assess it more objectively. Granted, most of the time we must make these sorts of ethical and moral decisions once we are in the situation. This does not mean we succumb to situational ethics. But we ought to have a biblical framework centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation from which all of these decisions are made.  Continue Reading…

The Gospel From 30,000 Feet

Dan Jester – November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

What does the gospel look like from the ground and from the air? Sounds confusing right?

It was to me until I read, The Explicit Gospel, by Matt Chandler and Jared Wilson. I hope to give you a new perspective on sharing the gospel, in light of the thoughts of these two pastors!

First of all, Chandler and Wilson describe the gospel in two ways. The “Gospel on the Ground” pertains to “the biblical narrative of God, Man, Christ, Response.” The “Gospel in the Air” refers to how, “Paul connects human salvation to cosmic restoration in Romans 8:22-23.”

I love the picture Chandler uses to describe the specific view of New York City from the middle of the city and then from a plane at 30,000 feet. Both perspectives, from two different people, would claim and be right that it is New York City, but each would have a vastly different perspective on the city. This causes me to rethink the way I teach evangelism to others and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Continue Reading…

10 Simple Ways To Connect With Your Leaders

Brandon Early – November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

This is not out-of-the-box thinking as much as it is a quick reference to a handful of ways I connect with my leaders.

When I care for my leaders in these ways, I am doing three things: Trying to love them like Jesus, building them up, and modeling what I want them to do with students.

I hope you find this list refreshing, useful or something that will help spark ideas that you can use on your leaders. Continue Reading…

Affordable Theological Training

Shane Stacey – November 14, 2014 Leave a comment

ReachStudents blog

I often hear youth workers, interns and college students talk about wanting further theological education. Seminary seems like the only option. But, for many the time, cost and access does not make it a viable reality.

EFCA GATEWAY was originally created to help bi-vocational ethnic leaders get further education.  But it has expanded over the last several years to be a helpful, affordable and accessible option for a much broader audience.

Continue Reading…