Rooted starts up soon. This Sunday is our informational meeting for students who are interested in participating. I’m excited about it. Last year we looked at Philippians and we had a great time working through the book together.
This year we’re going to be working in the Psalms. In specific, we’ll hit these:
- Psalm 1 // Torah
- Psalm 119 (selections) // Torah
- Psalm 73 // Wisdom
- Psalm 95 // Praise
- Psalm 74 // Lament
- Psalm 84 // Zion
- Psalm 32 // Thanksgiving
- Psalm 116 // Thanksgiving
One of the joys of Rooted is that we get to work through the Bible in more depth than Sunday School and really dig in. It’s also an opportunity to teach kids how to study God’s Word. I’m looking forward to another great year in God’s Word with our youth.
If you’re in High School (or your child is), the informational meeting is this weekend after church. It won’t be very long—maybe 30 minutes at most—but it’s useful in helping students decide if they want to participate.
I had the opportunity to send some thoughts to Concordia Publishing House recently through my friend Nicole. As I thought about what they could do better, I’m drawn back to the idea that any curriculum (and almost any teaching resources) I purchase needs to come in digital format. It could come in both print and digital, but digital has to be there. I don’t use anything “out of the box” these days. Everything I use is edited to fit our needs. Simply Youth Ministry does it that way. Others should follow suit.
1:21 2:12 a.m. We’re just wrapping up the debrief (and party ). We’re all a little tired and ready for bed, but energized at the same time. I’ll post more thoughts when I get home, but for now, enjoy the following tidbits:
- Kutless rocked out.
- Venti Jesus is coming to town.
- Our church is blessed.
- This was the best conference I’ve ever been to.
- I think it’s because I came with a team.
- Our church is blessed.
- Kutless rocked out, but our small group leaders rocked more.
- We didn’t make it to be before 1:30 once this week.
- Believe it or not, we were mostly focused on what we learned while staying up late.
- We laughed a lot this weekend.
- We didn’t win the sack chair. Too bad for us!
- Our church is blessed.
- Our small group leaders rock.
- We want to be Jesus-Centered.
- We want to help hurting kids.
- We loved our time here, but we’d love to get home quickly tomorrow.
As requested, I give you some pictures:
We had dinner at Champp’s tonight. It took an hour to get our food. Someone should write them a letter. It was comical by the end. I feel like I should write more angry/nasty/awful things about that, but it seems like such a little deal after our great last evening together.
And now, we bid you adieu from chilly Cincy. We return home later today.
Basic overview so far:
- Doug Fields welcomed us to the conference. He’s a funny guy.
- We got to play with interactive live voting devices. Cool stuff for the tech-dork in me.
- Tony Dungy, the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, spoke with us.
- Sara Groves shared some music with us.
- We participated in late-night activities. Phil and Paul watched a video highlighting research about the faith life of teens. Heide, Alicia and I went to watch the Simply Youth Minsitry Podcast broadcast live.
Some of our Quick-Hit Thoughts:
- Tony Dungy missed part of the NFL Scouting Combine to be with us this evening. Football fans realize how significant that is. I’m impressed.
- Skit Guys were here, but only in video. Kinda disappointing. Or really disappointing. They’ll be here on Sunday night live.
- Tony Dungy encouraged us to Learn, Connect, and Recharge while here.
- Tony Dungy mentioned that the family was key to passing on God’s Word. 4 out of 5 NFL prospects come from one-parent households. We need to help families nurture their kids. Yay Sue, Wendy, Carlin, Pam, Marsha and everyone else involved with Everyday Faith.
- Tony was honest when he admitted that sometimes his devotion to football got in the way of their family. We shouldn’t let our ministry get ahead of our family.
- Youth workers should not be afraid to tell the kids some pretty direct stuff. Don’t be afraid of alienating the youth short-term and miss their long-term best.
- We need to plant seeds and have patience, waiting for them to grow.
- According to the video, the most important impact on a kid was their relationship with their parents. If the parents have a strong faith life, the kids are much more likely to have one as well.
- The church needs to get serious about reaching kids with disabilities. Someone wrote into the SYM Podcast asking for advice about working with children that have severe disabilities. Saddleback, a church that worships 25-30,000 people each weekend, has 3,000+ kids in their student ministry, has only 6 kids with disabilities. They were at a loss for what advice to give. We need to figure this out.
- We need to have a plan for the special needs kids that will be coming up into our ministry. And what about the kids who fit in “mainstreamed” but don’t at the same time? What can we do to let them know that they are special to God and loved by Him?
- When do we really get on the kids’ level and ask them what they really believe. What about sitting down with kids and asking them what they really believe in? Possibly do interviews with some kids on a regular (yearly?) basis to see how their faith grows? Maybe we do a 1-on-1 interview with kids and a group discussion as well?
- A button response system allows us to find honest opinions from kids without putting them on the spot. And it would be real time.
- Sara Groves realized that there was more for her to do in life after her trip to Rwanda. How can we duplicate that in our church with the youth? How can we achieve spiritual renewal in our kids? Do our service events really deliver that feeling to our youth? What service project would help facilitate that renewal?
- Rick Lawrence said, “My daughter was waiting for years to be baptized.” How sad. I love that we offer baptism for infants. Do we need to look at early Communion for kids? Are parents the ones that identify when their kids are ready for it and then they come for instruction? Why does Confirmation have to be 8th grade? Hmmm…
- Remembering a student’s name can make all the difference in their life. They are looking to connect with someone.
- Tony Dungy said, “The Indianapolis Colts make our organization better by asking what we can get from draft picks and new players. The church is made better by focusing on what we can give.”
We start a new series with the Crossroads group this weekend titled Hooked. I’m looking forward to investigating temptation and how we can resist it with our youth and small group leaders. We get the basic curriculum from Simply Youth Ministry and then modify it for our needs. I love SYM because they give us all the digital copies, making my editing process much easier.