Monday, April 2, 2012

Graduation from Church?

Statics show that 65% of high school graduates, also "graduate" from church (no longer attend).  Student/Youth Leaders, what are you doing to decrease this 65%?

Here are some ideas to help decrease this average:

1. Foundation. In Matthew 7:24 Jesus says, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." A students foundation must be in Jesus Christ.  He is our foundation.  Students need to be taught what this means and should be able to look to you (the student minister) for such an example.
2. Stay connected. In the small world we live in, thanks to the internet, we can stay connected.  It is not the same as seeing the students every Sunday and Wednesday, but being connected to former students allows you to continue to encourage and love.  Another way is to introduce students to former students who are already at the university who you know are willing to help the younger student make the transition.

3. Equipping Parents.  You aren't the only influence in these students lives, we must equip their parents for this transition.  Parents should be made aware of the information concerning the "dropout rate" and how to combat it.  Loving students through the storms instead of bashing lets the student know they are still loved even in a time of confusion.

This is not an exhaustive list, but we want to start the conversation.  What you are doing to help decrease the 65%.  Please comment and share your ideas to help our your fellow youth minister/worker.

God Bless.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Family Camp

The theme: we ARE family – and it was definitely felt amongst the families here this weekend. We met new friends and caught up with those who have returned each year for Family Camp. Heath Peloquin took us deep into the word, where we examined ourselves, our actions and our communities. He taught us about drive by prayer in our neighborhood. Simply put, every house you drive, pray for that family. And it does not matter the size of your neighborhood. Pray for the neighbors you know, and those you don’t. Enjoy the fruits that God ripens. We shared wonderful worship, creative family crafts, old-fashioned picnic games and brisket picnic lunch. A campfire under a canopy of stars provided the setting for skits and smores. Everyone was laughing and enjoying the sticky sweet goodness of roasted marshmallows and chocolate. Families then returned to their cabins courtesy of an old fashioned hay ride for a good nights rest. One lesson learned at the fire – if the first bite is not good or hard to chew, keep eating because it will turn to deliciousness. Whether that is about smores, God’s word, or new friends this lesson can apply to our lives in so many instances. We zipped, fished, and did our best at archery. Why would HLC rec staff ask you to put on goggles, a shower cap, and a trash bag to eat a bowl of chocolate pudding? For those brave enough to try the Wild & Crazy games, suffice it to say, it was not just a bowl of pudding, but eating a bowl of pudding with a surprise attack of a leaf blower to your face. As one contestant said, THE NEXT MORNING, I still taste chocolate, and it is still in my nose. Ah good times were had by all at family camp. And the theme will carry on - we ARE family – today, tomorrow and forever. Hope you can join us next year.
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