Livefor: Students

Live

We live in a generation fascinated with one of the silliest creatures known to man… Zombies. We are fascinated with the idea of the living dead, and it got me thinking about the LIVE DEAD program that has been started in countries like Egypt and other places halfway around the world where the word of God is never heard of and Christians are persecuted daily for their faith. Now some of you are thinking, how does this apply to me?”  My response to you is : it’s time to adopt the idea behind the Live Dead initiative. The missionaries in the Live Dead program have made the choice to lay their own lives down and to serve the Kingdom of God daily. They wake up each morning dead to themselves and know they might lose their lives preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s time that we adopt that lifestyle as we walk into our schools everyday and die to ourselves and have the great commission at the forefront of our minds and focused on allowing Jesus to work through us in order for him to save our school, so that they can might be able to embrace their loving God. We are always saying how we want to be like Jesus but, wasn’t he the first zombie? Now I don’t mean to suggest Jesus was a mindless dead body. But think about this: Not only did he actually rise from the grave, but he lived everyday as the son of God and dead to his flesh and let Gods power flow through his worldly body. It’s our responsibility to follow the example Jesus Christ has set before us and to do that on our campuses. We need to walk onto our campus knowing we are dead to ourselves and able to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly and powerfully to our peers.

Live We live in a generation fascinated with one of the silliest creatures known to man… Zombies. We are fascinated with the idea of the living dead, and it got me thinking about the LIVE DEAD program that has been started in countries like Egypt and other places halfway around the world where the word of God...

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Hitting the Wallfor: Students

When I youth pastored in Philadelphia, I rode my bicycle to the church most nice days. You would too if your other transportation was a 1985 Ford LTD Crown Vic with no air conditioning. We lived in the Lower Roxborough section of the city, on the border with Manayunk, and the church was in Upper Roxborough. The “lower” and “upper” descriptions are no joke. It was a 30-minute uphill ride to get to church, and about a 15 minute ride downhill to get home. As I pedaled day-by-day, my body adapted. I lost weight and grew muscle. I loved riding my bike to work!

We lived just a block away from where the famous Philadelphia International Cycling Championship entered and left our neighborhood. One of the centerpieces of the race was called “The Manayunk Wall,” a very steep hill in the middle of the neighborhood that separated the men from the boys. One of my personal goals, as I rode to work each and every day, was to eventually make it up the wall without stopping. The first time I tried, I had to get off my bike and walk up. When I tried it again, a few weeks later, I made it up easily. Training made all the difference.

Almost every Campus Missionary and Bible Club I know hits the wall, at least temporarily, about halfway through the year. The school year starts out strong, and we are loaded with vision and dreams of what God can do in our school. But as the year progresses, we may get tired out, or find that our efforts were not as successful as we hope they were. Sometimes we just get overloaded with the concerns of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, our jobs, and balancing life. The end of the school year is nowhere in sight. Almost everybody hits a wall.

But hitting the wall doesn’t mean your progress has to stop. The key is finding a way over, around, or through that wall. It means moving past the stalling point and progressing further towards the goal of praying, living, telling, serving, and giving on your campus for Jesus Christ. So…how do you get over the wall?

A great way to get over the wall is to do an outreach, serve your school, or hold an event. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. For example, Valentine’s Day is approaching. What if your Bible Club, or just a group of you and your fellow Campus Missionaries, created hearts with scripture on them that tell about God’s love? You could put the hearts on every locker, or just hand them out with some Valentine’s candy around school.

Whatever you do, don’t walk away from the race! Get over that wall!

When I youth pastored in Philadelphia, I rode my bicycle to the church most nice days. You would too if your other transportation was a 1985 Ford LTD Crown Vic with no air conditioning. We lived in the Lower Roxborough section of the city, on the border with Manayunk, and the church was in Upper Roxborough. The...

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GIVEfor: Uncategorized

Giving… It’s not something we hear to often these days. Taking… that’s a word we are more familiar with as a culture. Jesus says in Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; GIVE without pay.”. The verse in it’s entirety has so much power, Jesus calls us to perform miracles in the first part of this verse. Now also notice that Jesus didn’t stop there, but he also said to GIVE. Jesus puts, performing miracles on the same level as giving. Jesus said that we were given our lives with no price, so he tells us to do the same as our Holy Creator had done for us by giving us life.

God calls us to represent him on our campuses, in every way. And that includes the giving up of our time, and money in order to spread the hope of Jesus Christ and tell others about his beautiful sacrifice he made for us. SO… You are probably wondering how can I GIVE anything if…

1. I don’t have a job.

2. I don’t know what to give.

3. I don’t know what to give to.

Okay, so God wants us to GIVE our time, and money. As well we are supposed to GIVE what he asks of us, and to wherever he asks. Just listen for an answer. God wants to take your resources and to spread the gospel.

Giving… It’s not something we hear to often these days. Taking… that’s a word we are more familiar with as a culture. Jesus says in Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; GIVE without pay.”. The verse in it’s entirety has so much power, Jesus calls us...

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Servefor: Students

SERVE

Jesus says in Matthew 6:24 “No one can SERVE two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be to the one and despise the other. You cannot SERVE God and money.” Jesus explains that it’s our mission as followers of our amazing Creator to SERVE God and His mission, but nothing else. We are not asked to serve ourselves or our selfish wants. In Matthew 10:45 Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to SERVE, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

As Campus Missionaries we are called to fulfill God’s will on our campus through SERVING others and their needs. We are also called to SERVE and start Campus Clubs for the purposes of evangelism. What does that look like? Evangelism can be as simple as showing God’s Love to those around you in little ways. There are tons of ways to SERVE your campus, and that includes walking in your faith everyday. In order to share your faith in God with others in every way possible, consider setting some goals and working towards them. So what are your goals to SERVE God and His Mission?

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

-Start a Bible club

-Buy someone lunch

-Share your faith with an unsaved friend

-Invite a friend to youth group

-Carry your bible around school

-Do a school project based upon your faith

SERVE Jesus says in Matthew 6:24 “No one can SERVE two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be to the one and despise the other. You cannot SERVE God and money.” Jesus explains that it’s our mission as followers of our amazing Creator to SERVE God and His...

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TELLfor: Students

A normal human being will speak at least 10,000 words a day. Thats a lot of words!  But what do we say with these words? Matthew 12:36 states “I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak.” So every word counts! What are you saying to those around you with the thousands of words you speak every day.

We are challenged as Campus Missionaries to TELL our story, the story of how God radically changed our lives. In order for our friends to come to Jesus, we must show Him in every action we perform, every word we say, and every attitude we display in all situations. TELL your story and see what happens…see who is impacted…see what God truly has for you! In Revelation 12:11 it says “They overcame [the enemy] because of the Lamb’s blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn’t love their life, even to death.” Our Testimony is the culmination of our experiences, adventures, and situations we faced before and after we met our Lord God, and accepted His Son as our Savior… So by our testimony and the blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we have overcome the advesary. With See You At The Pole taking place yesterday, people may be asking questions. Get ready to TELL them about a God that is so caring and loving that He sent His Son to die upon a cross for us. Share the good news and your testimony!

A normal human being will speak at least 10,000 words a day. Thats a lot of words!  But what do we say with these words? Matthew 12:36 states “I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak.” So every word counts! What are you saying to those around...

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Breaking the Threshold: 3 Simple Ways to be Present on Campusfor: Youth Leaders

My wife and I were watching a TV series on near-death experiences one night, and we heard the story of a hiker who got lost in the woods. He wasn’t that deep in the wilderness, he was only about three miles from the nearest road. The problem? He was hiking in circles. Unwilling to break away from his current track, he hiked the same circle over and over again. Soon, the sun began to set, and with no phone, no shelter, and no survival training, this young man died of hypothermia. He was alone in the woods, just a short distance from civilization.

In youth ministry today, this same story is being lived out in the lives of youth pastors and their students. We believe that if we just keep pressing forward, we’re going to eventually get the results that we’re looking for, but that’s not promised to us if we’re not being intentional about the direction in which we take our ministries.

One crucial way of being intentional is being present on the high school campus. I once heard Preston Centuolo say, “Students are in two places; their schools and social media. If we’re avoiding those venues – we’re not doing youth ministry.”

Ryan Sharp from www.everyschool.com writes “Don’t retreat back to the safety of the church and convince yourself that campus ministry isn’t for every youth pastor. It simply isn’t true.” I would echo his words with the call for youth pastors to make themselves personally present! Youth pastors belong on the high school campus.

Schools are communities within themselves. Once you’re in – you’re golden. But as an outsider, it can be uncomfortable at first. Here are 3 simple ways to be present on your campus:

1) Sponsor a Campus Ministry – Some schools already have strong clubs going. If that’s the case, see if your students are part of the club and have them invite you out to be a sponsor. If your students aren’t present, connect with the club and ask if you can be of assistance. Find out who’s currently sponsoring the club and invite them out for coffee (even if it’s a teacher – teacher’s like coffee too!)

One of the biggest excuses I hear from leaders is that their students aren’t interested in doing campus ministry so they can’t get on the campus. This just isn’t true. A friend of mine in ministry just ran into similar circumstances. His students weren’t attending the club because it wasn’t “hip”. So he took the initiative himself and started serving in the club without his students. Within a few weeks, his students started attending the club as well (this is called leadership). By the way, you’re “hipper” than you think!

2) Seek Opportunities to Serve – The needs on a high school campus are innumerable! Use your imagination. Young Life, a parachurch ministry,  compiled a list of 33 different ways their leaders are serving their schools in Indiana. Some may not apply to your context, but I bet at least five of them do.

3) Attend School Events– There is no substitute for longevity and relationship, but you can accelerate the process of earning trust with your school by being present on a consistent basis at events open to the community (sporting events, art shows, musicals and concerts, etc.). I try to find events where I can support multiple students.

If you see them, be sure to say hello to the principal, the assistant principal, or anyone in leadership. Politely and appropriately make your presence known. They’re probably not going to remember you at first because they meet thousands of people. That’s okay.  Once you approach them several times, they’ll put two and two together, that you’re someone important from the community and that you care.

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Being intentional takes time and effort, but honestly, is there any other path to take except the path that leads us to our destination, and to results?

The story of that hiker still grips my heart. It’s doubly important that we take the right path, because you’re not the only hiker on this trail. You’re students are following you. Lead the way, leader!

My wife and I were watching a TV series on near-death experiences one night, and we heard the story of a hiker who got lost in the woods. He wasn’t that deep in the wilderness, he was only about three miles from the nearest road. The problem? He was hiking in circles. Unwilling to break away from...

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Making Your Campus Club a Place Students Want to Be (Advance 2012)for: Podcast

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5 Things That Will Help You Start a Campus Club in Your School (Advance 2012)for: Podcast

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Let’s Have a Cup of Coffee…Leader to Leaderfor: Youth Leaders

For the next few minutes let’s act like we are sitting together at the local Starbucks;  you drinking your favorite drink, and me mine—a Grande Carmel Frappe light with two pumps of coffee!

Now that we are relaxed, let’s delve into our leader-to-leader discussion: Why leaders should get involved in campus missions.

A prevailing cause would be there are students in your youth ministries that God wants to raise up to be a witness in their schools.  They need you and I to stand with them as campus coaches to resource them.

Ps 71:17-18 “Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.  Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”

Friends, we find ourselves called to lead students while living in a post-Christian nation.

Christianity is no longer providing the consensus for our society. (consensus  is an agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole)  And Christianity is no longer providing the consensus upon which our law is based. That is not to say that the United States ever was a “Christian nation” in the sense that all or most of our citizens were Christians, nor in the sense that the nation, its laws, and social life were ever a full and complete expression of Christian truth. There is no golden age in the past which we can idealize – whether it is early America, the Reformation, or the early church. But until recent decades something did exist which can rightly be called a Christian consensus or ethos which gave a distinctive shape to Western society and to the United States in a definite way. Now that consensus is all but gone, and the freedoms that it brought are being destroyed before our eyes. We are at a time when humanism is coming to its natural conclusion in morals, in values, and in law. All that society has today are relativistic values based upon statistical averages, or the arbitrary decisions of those who hold legal and political power. (p. 47).

Written by Dr. Francis Schaeffer, a widely recognized Christian author, speaker, and thinker. Dr. Schaeffer wrote this in the same year in which he died – 1984.

I find this interesting because almost 25 years ago Schaeffer declared America a “post-Christian” nation, yet so many have yet to hear it. I believe that when American Christians realize that we are missionaries in a dark land our expansion efforts will improve greatly. Too many believers are interested in changing laws instead of hearts. Too many believers are focused on the White House instead of God’s House. Too many believers want to protest instead of pray. Too many believers want to complain about taxes instead of tithe. Too many believers want to legislate morality instead of demonstrate morality. Too many believers want to ignore schools instead of getting involved.

But we are missionaries here. Think about it. Missionaries don’t go into foreign lands to change the government. They change nations by demonstrating the love of Christ one person at a time. So it is that that we must be on the campus to support our school administrators, teachers, coaches and students with the love of Christ as Campus Coaches.

We will see cultural change when Christians get out of the pews and into the streets. We will see laws change when Christian love prevails. We will see Christ change lives when the world around us sees Christ in us.

We as the church must take off our “sender of missionaries” t-shirt and put on the “we are missionaries” t-shirt.

So, what do you think?  After all, we are at Starbucks where ideas can be launched if only acted on…

For the next few minutes let’s act like we are sitting together at the local Starbucks;  you drinking your favorite drink, and me mine—a Grande Carmel Frappe light with two pumps of coffee! Now that we are relaxed, let’s delve into our leader-to-leader discussion: Why leaders should get involved in campus missions. A prevailing cause would be...

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