Friday, October 31, 2008

Teen Perspectives

Today I'll be interviewing

Colin Conn

He likes to play guitar, ultimate frisbee, and eat
at buffets

Let's see what he has to say:

What three questions do you wish your YP or youth workers would have asked the teens in your youth group?
    • Questions that pin-point where a teen’s faith lies – holding them accountable to
      their walk with God. Like, “What did you read in the Bible this week?”
    • “What can I pray for you for?” It’s great to know someone’s there for you.
    • Also, so many teens have questions they want to ask, but they don’t feel comfortable
      asking them. There are so many things we’d like answers to – like dating, family
      problems, etc. If YP’s or youth workers just simply ask, “Do you have any
      questions for me?” it would open the door for the teens to ask those
      uncomfortable questions.

What is one thing YP’s don’t understand about public high school today?

The academic standards are set so low. Nothing is expected from even students like me who are in honors courses. We aren’t pushed to a high work ethic. I wish my teachers would have set a higher standard for me.

I didn’t go to public school all of my life, but I switched so I could be around more people. And once I got there I realized that I wasn’t surrounded by any solid Christian friends. The academics were such a waste of time too.

What is something you want YP’s to know?

Youth Ministry is so important! Keep sacrificing! I know what you guys do is
hard, but keep going. If you don’t, you’re going to wish you sacrificed more. My
generation is lost, and you’re their only hope to know the Lord. The teen years
are really the prime time for you to save souls. There’s such an open door that
so often gets closed after teens graduate from high school.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boys Adrift by Dr. Leonard Sax

This book is a must-read for any father or leader of young men/boys. It was referred to me and as soon as I got my hands on it, I devoured it. The meat of this book comes when you gain insight into what is happening with today’s young people. This generation of young boys has grown up de-motivated and underachieving in many areas of their life. Dr. Leonard Sax gives some startling information that is bound to shock you to action. He discusses the five factors leading to this emerging generation of slackers:
  1. Video Games
  2. Teaching Methods
  3. Prescription Drugs
  4. Endocrine Disruptors
  5. Devaluation of Masculinity

My favorite chapters delved into the topics of Video Games, Teaching Methods, and the Devaluation of Masculinity.

Sax shares the statistics that 1/3 of 22-34 year olds are still living with their parents. The question I ask myself and all of you is this: What are you doing to help motivate the young men in your care to action and a vision for their lives? If you are not sure, I would encourage you to read this book. Prepare yourself to be provoked to do something with today’s generation of young boys.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This is funny

This is another video that made me laugh and think what the music we listen to today is going to sound like to people 25 years from now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Penn State vs. Michigan

Two weeks ago I flew up to Penn State College to watch the Michigan Wolverines vs. the Penn State Nittany Lions. My wife's father played for Penn State, so I try to fly up and watch one game a year. Zach and I had a great time at the game. The only thing that got us down was Michigan’s loss. Penn State demolished Michigan 36-17.

As I was sitting next to my son Zach, I started looking at the 108,000 people at the game. As I surveyed the wide variety of individuals there, I began to wonder what kind of relationships they had with their sons. I will continue to cultivate the relationship I have with my son at a deep level, football being one of the ways I’ll do that. I enjoyed being at that game with my son, but enjoyed tucking Zach in bed last even more. Here is how it went:

Me: Zach, what do you want to pray about tonight?
Zach: Ummm? Well, I want you to pray that I will not struggle with fear. But, if I do, I want you to pray that I will push through that fear and that Jesus will be waiting for me on the other side of fear smiling at me.
Zach: What about you daddy?
Me: Zach, you can pray that daddy will be the best husband to mommy.
Zach: Ok, daddy. Can you pray first?

Penn State vs. Michigan - Priceless.

Praying with my Son - Legendary in my mind.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Miss those times in the 1980's

While watching this video I thought, "What will people say about what we are doing twenty years from now?"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Separation of Church and Money--Part II

In my last post on money, I talked about why we separate love for God and passion for Him and do not include the way we handle money ideals.

I want to address how do you create a culture of financial training in your youth ministry or in your youth culture. As we can begin this discussion, we first must look at the glasses we currently look through in regards to money. These questions listed below will you see what perspective you personally have on money that will determine a lot on what you focus on with the teenagers in your care.

1. What is your personal philsophy when it comes to money? Do you invest it? Study it?
2. Do you personally give a portion of your money to your local church, charities, para-church, etc?
3. Do you believe in tithing?
4. Do you regularly ready finance journals that continually educate you? Money, Kipliger's, the Economist, Investor Business Daily, etc are a few ones that could get you started?
5. Do you have a budget? Do you adhere to the guidelines you established in that budget?
6. Do you have a long term plan when it comes to money management and money education?
7. Do you have a financial mentor that you can talk to and bounce ideas off of? One that can raise the intellectual bar of money edcuation in your life
8. When you see someone in need, does your compassion usually dictate that you provide for them financially.
9. What is your favorite "money" book?

The answers to those questions will determine what kind of culture you are going to create in your home of youth ministry. Please go back and read those questions and spend some time filling them out. Discuss these with your spouse or your family.

Next week, we will walk through some of the answers to these questions and what are the next steps to creating this money culture in our youth ministry that is not cut off from our love for God.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Great Quotes

"Christianity is a shared life experience. God is sharing His life with you."

--Dr. Bruce Bickel

Monday, October 06, 2008

Call for Free Financial Advice

If you are unsure of what is happening with the world's economy, specifically your investments and where you are headed. Call the number below to talk to a certified planner.

Members of the Financial Planning Association will also be available Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET to take your questions about how to keep your money safe and your investment goals on track. Call 888-216-8178.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Although I do not plan on reviewing very many movies on this site, I went and saw one with my wife that I thought would benefit many people.

The movie was Fireproof. I would recommend every husband and wife to watch this movie together and see how they are doing in their marriage. It is a great image of what a marriage can be when their is sacrifice and commitment to be unselfish and serving your spouse.

For those that are single, you may want to check out this movie and see if you have any patterns in your life that mirror the characters in this movie.

I would give this movie a 10 in regards to storyline and a 8 out of 10 for an overall movie.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Separation of Church and Money--Part I

I was talking to a young man yesterday (18yrs old). I asked him if he had anyone train in him in money management, money leadership, investing, etc. He said no. I asked him how long he had been going to a church. He said all of his life. I said you have had no training on money from the church he said No. I said, "I'm sorry that the older people have failed you in this critical issue."

Why don't we as older people in the faith teach and train our young people to master the concept of money? Why don't we teach on it in our family? In our Sunday School? At least somewhere when believers come together. Why do we wait in some churches to only teach on it with the older people?

If you are reading this, you can make the change for every teenager you have some influence on. If you are a YP, begin a series on this starting in January. If you are a concerned parent, talk to your YP and ask him when he is going to start a discussion on money. If you are a pastor, begin to mandate that all of our teenagers are going to be going through a training on money.

I think the main reason we don't train on money is because of ignorance and even more importantly, because we don't think it will stir up our fire for God or draw us closer to Him. We think teaching on money should be reserved for economists while our teens are piling up credit card debt. We think teaching should be done only in the schools as our teens walk blindly into college taking out massive college loans. We think teaching on money should be done in the home, while our church kids live for the now while not thinking how they are going to pay in the future.

It is time we stop separating church and money and hit it hard with our teens. In Part II, I will cover how you begin to create a culture in your youth ministry or home that begins to honor God with our money and trains our students in practical ways.