Posts Tagged 'youth ministry tools'

The Rewire

Rewiring is not only essential to getting information and power back to the people; it’s vital to us growing in our spiritual walk with the Lord. Internal rewiring is a concept that consists of going back into our memories to see where negative feelings and emotions have caused pain.  If we can see where our emotions stem there can be great change in the future. While rewiring can be painful, if we are willing to open ourselves to identify internal pain, the freedom obtained will change the course of the future. Imagine being free… Imagine healing and restoration. It’s possible.

Identify the problem can take some time and honesty.

STEP 1: Identification – The first step involves identification of what negative emotion you re actually experiencing.  Is it unhealthy anger, pride, resentment, loneliness, guilt? What exactly is the emotion causing the main issues in your life? If you are experiencing anger, then you need to understand the first and foremost you’re angry. When we’re aware of our emotions and willing to accept that these emotions exist, that is exactly where at a place where God can use this the most.

NOTE: Sometimes we can identify negative emotions and sometimes it takes the voice of another. Identification also means that we are honest with ourselves when these emotions are presented. This means that identification could come from our own knowledge or a result from hearing the same thing from various people in different situations and circumstances.

The rewire can be done alone but it’s better to enlist help.

STEP 2: The Rewire – Once the emotion is acknowledged, we can now retrace or rewire back to where these emotions stemmed. This involves starting at the most recent event or occurrence the emotion occurred and then tracing back days, weeks, months, and even years to how long this emotion has been prevalent.

NOTE: Understand that this is the most effective when these timelines are written down in a tangible format (think journal, piece of paper, etc.). To actually be able to visually see an emotion and how it has taken root in the soul is what ultimately helps us become free.

Find out the trigger that fires the gun and you can stop the bullet.

STEP 3: Trigger – To deal with an emotion and properly run another “clean” wire means that we will look openly and honestly at what exactly triggers these emotions and terminate them immediately.

NOTE: Understand that some emotions can be tied to people, some emotions can be tied to places, and some emotions can be tied to things. When one identifies these people, places, or things that cause these emotional triggers they then can see what needs to be released from their life.

Radical transformation takes radical amputation.

STEP 4:  Terminate – The last of the rewiring is extremely challenging, involving a radical amputation of whatever has caused these specific emotions. In situations that are extreme one may need to move from house, eliminate a relationship (not spouses), or throw out/give away material items such as computers, cars, possessions, etc. We see this a lot with people who smoke cigarettes, as they are encouraged to get rid of their vehicle if they have smoked in that specific automobile. Again, one must understand that this takes either great personal dedication or enlisting the help of someone else.

It’s possible to rewire but understand it takes time, patients, an open mind, and lot of help. You were not born to live with negative emotions from scars in the past. That’s what Christ restores to the broken when they identify, rewire, trigger and terminate what is causing unrest. Allow people to hold you accountable and seek the opportunity to do the hard things to make big change.

You can do it. There is no better time than now.


You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

The first time I remember my father getting angry happened on a snow-covered day in the heart of Pennsylvania. The family had gathered for some collective holiday conversation around the table one evening after dinner while the kids played in their defined space. Everyone was in good spirits until my adolescent immaturity kicked in. I didn’t get what I desired from my cousins in a childhood game so I went on a rampage. Pushing the envelope in a negative direction there was verbal commands given on how to solve the conflict from our parents as the fight raged on. After the parental guidance was ignored, the next memory consists of the word “shut up” protruding from my mouth in the direction of my father.

The world stopped turning for a moment while everything went into slow motion.  Nobody said a word. The man who looked like my father had become a raging bull charging my path. There was a brief moment that escape seemed possible but before the plan could be unfolded, my little body was in the air over his broad shoulders. Arms and legs were fairing as personal decrees of injustice echoed from my cracking voice. Before another punch or kick could be delivered, my feet hit the snow while the front door closed in my face.

I was outside… alone… in my pajamas… in the snow… with no shoes on.

My head raised in disbelief as I saw my father staring at me in displeased with my hurtful vocabulary. I banged on the door in rage screaming at the top of my lungs for revenge. My father waited for a moment, directed his eyes, and then looked into my soul while booming, “You can come back inside when you calm down.”

There is righteous anger and adolescent sinful anger. It is painfully obvious my anger was sinful while my father’s was righteous. His authority over my life dictated a response to my improper behavior.

This guy is angry…

We all get angry. It’s a part of life and a part of leadership. The question is, are we righteous in our anger or living in our sinful state of rebellion? The one thing that sets leaders apart from rebels is leaders seek righteous anger to find resolutions to improper behavior while children bang on doors begging to get in out of the cold.

You can come inside when you calm down.

What’s the last time you experienced anger in your life? Was it caused from not obtaining something personally or was it from an injustice that had a solution? It’s no fun to wake up in the cold snow realizing we personally placed ourselves that dreadful situation.

Take an evaluation today of the things that make you angry. Righteous anger has solutions if they are evaluated properly while sinful anger demands repentance. If you are focusing on yourself, repent and ask Christ to open the door to come in from the cold. If you are righteously upset, look for a solution and help from other people who are actively seeking solutions to the problem using the proper avenues.

It will set you free.


Erasmus 22 Principles (Revisited)

Desiderius Erasmus was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, monk, and theologian born in Rotterdam in 1466. He was committed to his work and held strong to doctrines such as free will. In the year 1492, poverty forced Erasmus to become a monk, and although he was offered many positions of honor and profit through the academic world, Erasmus declined them all, much rather wanting to stick with the sufficient, though uncertain, rewards of independent literary activity. Many great works were sold by Erasmus, including a certain Enchiridion militis Christiani, which is one of his most influential works. The title means “Handbook of the Christian Knight (or Soldier).” In it are values to follow and principles to help the mending of your evil, or wrong, ways. Generally speaking, a literary work on how to improve your life. I revisited his principles with applicable scripture. Interesting to say the least. Imagine the implications of a world that lived half of this list out…

  • Principle 1: Increase Your Faith – Even if the entire world appears mad.
  • May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
  • Principle 2: Act Upon Your Faith – Even if you must undergo the loss of everything.
  • In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17
  • Principle 3: Analyze Your Fears – You will find that things are not as bad as they appear.
  • He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
  • Principle 4: Make Virtue The Only Goal Of Your Life – Dedicate all your enthusiasm, all your effort, your leisure, as well as your business.
  • For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8
  • Principle 5: Turn Away from Material Things – If you are greatly concerned with money you will be weak of spirit.
  • If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” 1 John 3:17
  • Principle 6: Train Your Mind To Distinguish Good And Evil – Let your rule of government be determined by the common good.
  • Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 1:11
  • Principle 7: Never Let Any Setback Stop You In Your Quest – We are not perfect–this only means we should try harder.
  • For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
  • Principle 8: If You Have Frequent Temptations, Do Not Worry – Begin to worry when you do not have temptation, because that is a sure sign that you cannot distinguish good from evil.
  • Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walk in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26
  • Principle 9: Always Be Prepared for an Attack – Careful generals set guards even in times of peace.
  • Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
  • Principle 10: Spit, As It Were, In The Face Of Danger – Keep a stirring quotation with you for encouragement.
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  • Principle 11: There Are Two Dangers: One Is Giving Up, The Other Is Pride – After you have performed some worthy task, give all the credit to someone else.
  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
  • Principle 12: Turn Your Weakness Into Virtue – If you are inclined to be selfish, make a deliberate effort to be giving.
  • Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.” James 3:13-15
  • Principle 13: Treat Each Battle As Though It Were Your Last – And you will finish, in the end, victorious!
  • I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
  • Principle 14: Don’t Assume That Doing Good Allows You To Keep A Few Vices – The enemy you ignore the most is the one who conquers you.
  • Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians 5:3
  • Principle 15: Weigh Your Alternatives Carefully – The wrong way will often seem easier than the right way.
  • Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14
  • Principle 16: Never Admit Defeat Even If You Have Been Wounded – The good soldier’s painful wounds spur him to gather his strength.
  • The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum 1:7
  • Principle 17: Always Have A Plan Of Action – So when the time comes for battle, you will know what to do.
  • Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
  • Principle 18: Calm Your Passions By Seeing How Little There Is To Gain – We often worry and scheme about trifling matters of no real importance.
  • Do not be anxious about your life…”Matthew 6:25
  • Principle 19: Speak With Yourself This Way: If I do what I am considering, would I want my family to know about it?
  • He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms.” Proverbs 13:20
  • Principle 20: Virtue Has Its Own Reward – Once a person has it, they would not exchange it for anything.
  • For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue.” 2 Peter 1:5
  • Principle 21: Life Can Be Sad, Difficult, and Quick: Make It Count For Something – Since we do not know when death will come, act honorably everyday.
  • I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
  • Principle 22: Repent Your Wrongs – Those who do not admit their faults have the most to fear.
  • In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15



Prayer Cards

Prayer Cards Explained:

Hearts – A prayer of thanks
Clubs – A certain personal request
Diamonds – A praise of God’s attributes
Spades – A confession/asking of forgiveness

King – A prayer for a male
Queen – A prayer for a female
Jack – A prayer for you
Ace – A prayer for the church


Penny Prayer Illustration

Blessings to you!


Easter Testimonies

A few testimonies shown at our Easter Service this year at Community Gospel Church.

Jacobs Story.

Brandi’s Story.

Mike’s Story.

“I may be weak, but Your Spirit’s strong in me!”

God is alive!

How was your Easter?


A Discipline Story

The following is a video we played for our teenagers demonstrating what spiritual discipline looks like in my life and how I implement it.  It was a powerful illustration that the teens really latched onto.

How are you spiritually disciplining yourself?


Velocity: New Series (VIDEO)

We utilized iMovie trailers for this upcoming series on James.  Looks pretty sweet! Can’t wait to roll it out and get our teenagers into the Word of God.

What are you studying?


Six Questions for Staff

When looking for youth staff (or any other staff for that matter), I tend to ask, in various forms, six questions to help gauge the hearts of our leadership.

Here we go…

1. How do you keep your “eyes” on Christ? In other words, I’m looking for an answer that reflects how our leaders are seeking direction from Christ in their lives before making a decision.  This is such an open ended question and honestly, it’s intended to be.  The important thing is to let that person talk and just listen.

2. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest have you been this week? For the most part I am not around these individuals in the week (we deal a lot with volunteers).  Therefore, it’s important that they are honest with me about how truthful they are in their workplaces, families, and other situations they encounter throughout the week.

3. How would you define a “tender heart”? We desire to see people who have a passion for Jesus and people.  Sometimes you have to define terms to see what direction a person will go and make sure they are on pace with you.  For example, one time I had an individual think a tender heart was a person that was constructive and militant in discipline.  While that may or may not be true, in our youth ministry, we are not out to discipline our students.  That’s mom and dads job (which we try to help with as best as possible).  Overall, this question helps me see a person’s sensitive side.

4. Name three things you are passionate about (and you can say Jesus or the Bible)? This question helps us see what our staff is passionate about.  It’s awesome to see people who have interests, hobbies, and pastimes.  For example, I love the Chicago Cubs.  Why is that important?  Living in Saint Louis means I’m engrossed in Cardinal country.  Therefore, when I encounter youth that love baseball it’s a great “starting point” to get a conversation going that we would pray would eventually turn to a conversation about Jesus.

5. What are you reading right now in the Bible and outside the Bible? We want people who want the word.  If leadership refuses to read their Bibles daily, it could be a huge problem later.  We also want people who are reading outside the Bible.  Remember, readers are leaders.

6. What was the last problem you solved and the last problem you started? It’s amazing how many people solve problems but aren’t willing to say they started one as well.  In this question I’m looking for honesty.  I know we’re not perfect.  It’s important to us that our staff know their a work in progress as well.

How do you gauge your staff?


10 Basic (ministry) Principles

10. Show Your Cards Constantly: The ministry is not about holding out on the other guy to elevate yourself. The knowledge inside your brain needs to be released.  The key to Christianity is making more Christians (See/study Matthew 28).  If you have an idea, a concept, a plan, a criteria, a curriculum, some knowledge, etc, break it out and tell as many people as you can.  Jesus said that He was giving His disciples the the keys to the kingdom so they could do great things.  Think what would have happened if they would have kept their mouth shut.

9. Be Honest With Your Moves: In the business world there is a tendency to hide from mergers or startups.  People have a tendency to never let other people in on what’s occurring in your life.   While you don’t always have to spill all the beans to everyone on where you feel God is leading, there are people around that would love to pray with you regarding your  thoughts to merge, departures, plant, etc.  Spend time with those individuals pouring out the direction God is laying on your heart and leading you.

8. Trust: This is something pastors don’t do very well.  Trust is a weakness we all need to work on.  Listen, people are going to hurt you in the ministry.  It happens.  However, regardless how bad you have been burned in the past, you need to trust people in your congregation, other pastors in the community, and those around you over and over again.  Not everyone in this world is, “out to get you”.

7. Buy What Your Selling: Seriously. If you don’t believe in Jesus, “GET OUT OF THE MINISTRY RIGHT NOW!”.  Christianity is faith in Jesus.  I have met so many “pastors” who seriously doubt what their teaching their congregation.  Scary.

6. You Home is Always on Limits: A pastor friend of mine once told me that a pastors house is a place that should resemble the kingdom of heaven.  In that statement he meant that your home is a place that you prepare for people to come and feel welcomed.  You prepared this place for them and it was given to you by God so you could minister in their lifes.  Have people in your home often.  Welcome them freely.

5. Credit Means Nothing: I don’t care if Rick Warren is your Grandpa, Billy Graham lived in your house back in the day, or Billy Sunday did your great grandfathers funeral.  Name dropping gets you nowhere.  You can quote guys all you want but at some point you need to start making things your own.

4. Ministry is Life: There is no separation from family time and church time.  The ministry is twenty-four seven.  Your wife needs to be a Godly women and your kids need to love the Lord.  People are watching and waiting for you to set the standard. Do it!

3. Carry the Word (Your Bible): I can’t tell you how many guys don’t have a bible on them when they travel.  They just quote scripture and expect people to believe them.  When you use the Word of God (the Bible), open it up and show people where you’re finding the help they need for their lives.  I promise it does wonders.

2. You are not over Authority: In the ministry we are here to be a help, not a hinderance.  How’s your relationship with the police, the hospitals, the town hall, etc?  The governing authorities work more in your favor if they like you and what you’re trying to accomplish.

1. People Always Come First:  The ministry is people.  No more, no less.  If you’re not involved in the lives of people, you’re not a pastor. Without people, you have no ministry.  If you spend more time staring at a computer screen than your congregations eyes, there is a problem.

Think about it.


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