The Weekend

Benny and I have had a great weekend. I decided to pack my video camera around to document the fun.

We're looking forward to mom coming home.

Guy Time

This weekend is now being declared Dude's Weekend! Robin just left for the weekend for our church's women's retreat. I'm sure she will have a great time. I'm thinking we just might have a better one!

Time for some good guy time! Me and the boy. Father and son. I suspect we will spend quite a bit of time at the park. Sure glad it's right across the street. There will also be lots of running, laughing, tickling, chasing the cat, you know...all the stuff of a 21 month old!

I sure appreciate Robin. I'm sure my appreciation of her will be much greater by Sunday!

I'll let you know how it all goes. Gotta run!


In the words of Kip Dynamite, "I love technology." I love the ability to quickly find information and the ability to quickly shoot off an email, text message, or instant message, to communicate with someone. I wonder though, has technology begun to get in the way of the real sense of community that God desires of His people?

In a recent research study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on the communication of teens, it was discovered that 59 percent of teens prefer the phone, 26 percent like instant messaging the best, 7 percent enjoy text messaging, and 5 percent prefer email. Here's the grabber...only 2 percent indicated that they prefer in-person communication.

This certainly has implications for those of us that minister to students. What is your preferred method of communication? Has technology enhanced your relationships or decreased them?

I am thankful for technology and hope that it will only enchance and not impede the community that we all need and desire.

Jesus Camp

This movie is disturbing to me for so many reasons. Are we as Christians, and children in particular, called to be this militant? Does Christ calls us for political reason? Is the world going to want to have anything to do with the church after viewing this movie?

In fairness, I have not yet seen the movie. What I have seen though, scares me and concerns me. What are your thoughts?

Youth Pastor Retreat

Aaron and I leave tomorrow for a two day youth pastors retreat. We will be joining with other youth pastors from in and around the Portland area to discuss and consider strategies to effectively reach and minister to students in the current era in which we live. I look forward to thinking through, and discussing together, how the church can do a better job of ministering to, and with, students.

Not only will the converstion be good, but so should the rest. Go here to check out where it's at. Beautiful!

I hope to come home with new ideas as well as friends.

A Sad Goodbye

We learned yesterday that Oscar Silvestre the little boy that our ministry has sponsored for six years has moved beyond the reach of Compassion International. We are saddened. What a joy it has been to be a part of his life over the years. Through prayer, giving, and letters, he has played a big part in our student ministry.

As a ministry we have had the privilege of sponsoring five children as well as help sponsor a Breakfast Program in Ensenada Mexico. As a family we also have the pleasure of sponsoring Lizbeth Merced Martinez Alvarez of Honduras. How cool it is to be used of God to be a blessing to those that would otherwise not be able to enjoy the necessities of life that we so often take for granted.

Last night as I watched my son carelessly splash around in the bathtub, as he does most every night, I was struck by the fact that so many in this world do not even have the means to enjoy a tub full of warm clean water. The family we built for this last summer certainly did not. I am so thankful that that is not a concern of my son, and that he does not have to worry about where his next meal is going to come from, or where he will sleep at night. I am blessed to be able to provide those simingly simple necessities.

2 Corinthians 8:9 has been rattling around in my head over the last few months. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." I am thankful that Christ gave up so much so that I might receive so much. I am moved to consider what I might give up so that others might experience the riches of this life and the life to come.

Youth Ministry Revisited Pt. 2

In my ongoing rethinking of how we approach ministry to students, I have come across a great article written by Walt Mueller, the President of The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding.

Read the article here.

In it he gives 13 ways to effectively reach today's postmodern youth culture, many involve changing the ways in which it has "always been done." I appreciated his calling to continually evaluate our approach.

He states, "While the content of the Word always remains unchanged, the way we do ministry should be constantly evaluated. There is no room for sacred cows. If the message isn’t getting through because of dated methods, new ones should be prayerfully sought and adopted in order to effectively communicate the Good News. However, we must adopt only those methods that are faithful to the unchanging Word. And we must never assume that methodologies can do what only relationships can."

May we never get so trapped in our methodology, and even traditions, that we fail to see that continued evaluation is needed.

Do you agree with the article? If you are a student reading this I would especially be interested in your feedback. What do you see as the greatest needs of students today?


My recent post, Youth Ministry Revisited has been published as an article at the Youth Ministry Exchange site. Read it here. There is also a forum set up to discuss it's implications. I invite you to join in the discussion. You will need to register with YMX to post on the forum.

If you minister to youth and have not yet discovered Youth Ministry Exchange, I encourage you to check it out. It is a great site with some great community going on as well as resources, articles, etc.

Extended Version

Here is the extended version of our Mexico Outreach video from this summer. It consists of an additional 3 minutes of footage and music in the second half of the video.

I'm ready to go back.

Church In The Suburbs

The Oregonian recently did a story entitled, "Commuting to Church In The Suburbs" and included our church in the story, along with a few others in the area.

It was a fair and realistic assesment of suburbia and the need for creating a strong sense of community within it's churches.

Check it out here.

Think On This

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
- C.S. Lewis

My King!

Dr. SM Lockridge's famous "My King" sermon put to video.

That is my King.

Youth Ministry Revisited

I have been in youth ministry now for over 20 years. It has been a great 2o years and I have seen many lives changed and have seen God do great things! As great as it has been, I see a need for change.

Over the last year God has been showing me that we need to re-think how we do ministry. I believe we have in many ways alienated students from what God desires of the church. We have in essence created a church within a church. A church in which we temporarily attract students, and then ask them to leave upon graduation. This is not right.

For many years we have used an entertainment model of ministry designed to keep students engaged and happy. This model of ministry inspired by parachurch youth ministries from the 1950's is the chief model in which most youth ministries are built on. Through this attractional model we have atttracted many students, but are they really following after Jesus and engaging with the church as God desires? Sadly many, dare I say most, are not. There is someting wrong when we see statistics like this:

  • According to Dr. Gary Railsback up to 50% of evangelical college freshman will forsake their Christian beliefs by their senior year of college.
  • According to George Barna (in Third Millenium Teens) 2 out of 3 Christian teens will evacuate the church after they graduate from high school. In addition 63% of our teens don’t believe Jesus is the Son of the one true God, 58% believe all faiths teach equally valid truths, 51% don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead and 70% don’t believe an absolute moral truth exists. (Taken from
I am also bothered when I read the honest thoughts of this high school student who wrote a post on her blog entitled, Why I've Given Up On Youth Group. I agree with her. Students want to go deeper with their faith; students deserve to go deeper. We must get away from the "entertain me" mentality that has defined youth ministry for so long and get back to what Jesus desires...sacrifice. He desires that we fully and completely seek after Him and serve Him with our lives (Romans 12:-2).

Mark Yaconelli puts it well in his book Contemplative Youth Ministry when he says, "While such ministries may keep youth entertained, they often keep youth distracted from the deeper rhythms and practices of the Christian faith. Programs and activities are chosen based on the level of excitement that's generated. No one wants to act like an adult for fear of scaring the kids. Leaders become hesitant to engage youth in any activity that is in contrast to the consumer culture. Prayer, spiritual exercises, theological conversation, and spiritual disciplines that challenge the status quo are dumped out of fear that youth may cry 'This is like school!' or 'You're just like our parents!' or (worst of all) 'This is boring.' So the ministry never addresses the deeper needs of youth, never challenges them to explore the alternative way of Jesus. Like children's television programming that seeks to keep kids attentive so they'll watch the commercials, our ministries of diversion respond to young people's most carnal appetites so we can slip in a five-minute Bible study or parade them through the church building." (p. 45)

Should youth ministry be fun? Absolutely! Should it attract others? Absolutely! The question is what are we attracting students to...entertainment or ministry? It is my prayer that the church begins to closely evaluate how we are ministering to students and thus begin to develop models that draw students into a lifelong love relationship with Jesus that is producing fruit for the Kingdom of God.

Funny Audio

This makes being late to work worth it! Very funny!

HT to Marko