“The Butterfly Circus”

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages. You are invited to view a spectacular feature! A short film that has surprised several audiences with its heartfelt messages. A story of doubt, hope, change, and love. A glimpse into the heart of Christ himself. Ladies and gentlemen, without further hesitation, I present to you, The Butterfly Circus!

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VBS: A World of Tape and Cardboard

Today, is the last day of our VBS (Vacation Bible School). The theme is Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus. The kids learning that when life gets rough or scary, Jesus is there with them, and he will rescue them. It may not be in an instant, but he will save them.

It’s been a pretty neat week, with lots of laughs and smiles from the kids, with evidence of how cool it is when a project is put together by many people with different skills and talents, and with many opportunities that the teens have taken to step up and to ‘Do Hard Things.’ Continue reading

Jesus: The Original Youth Minister

5124omQ9aVL“If you have a group of twelve kids who don’t understand your illustrations and one of them wants to kill you, you have a youth group like Jesus.” –Mark Yaconelli

If you just think of this quote on the surface level, for it quickly gets dark if you dive deeper, it’s a funny analogy. I came upon this quote while reading Sustainable Youth Ministry: Why Most Youth Ministry Doesn’t Last and What Your Church Can Do About It by Mark DeVries. At first, it made me chuckle, for I have one teen who jokes about using nukes against me whenever I challenge him to a wrestling match . . . and win. And another who has watched way too many crime shows and claims to know how to get away with hiding a dead body. . . .

But after my chuckling, I began to think about Jesus and his disciples, how he may have been the first youth minister and what his youth group would have been like. Continue reading

Heroes: Black Panther~The King of kings

Black-Panther-Poster-CroppedLast weekend, I got to see Black Panther with a group of friends–and it was well worth the wait! The story was solid, the sites were stunning, and the action was awesome! I also enjoyed how there was representation with many women and black characters; however, they represented without making the white men look dumb–Agent Ross still had a very important part to play at the end. Nevertheless, my biggest complaint, is that there were no elephants. I mean, we were in Africa, and I didn’t see a glimpse of my favorite animal, which makes this movie a nine out of ten in my book. (The sandy elephant you see in the intro story doesn’t, doesn’t count–it’s not a real elephant.)

Like I said, it was another good movie produced by Marvel. Other than the popcorn and getting to share this experience with a group of good friends, my favorite part of the movie, was the wisdom that King T’Chaka shared with his son, “You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be a king.” Continue reading

The Life of a Youth Minister

Eight months.

It has almost been eight months since I graduated from Harding University and dove into full-time youth ministry. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed so quickly. But looking back, I feel this is truly my calling. However, though I have greatly enjoyed what I do, that doesn’t mean it’s been an easy ride. . . . I mean, I’ve been to three funerals since I’ve started . . .

A lot has happened during my time serving. I can easily write a book about all these experiences, such as a mission trip to Texas, the time spent at Little Prarie Bible Camp, fasting for thirty hours, and cheering at numerous sports events. . . . But one thing that does stick out which I can write a blog about, is that I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked, “So, what do you do all day?” I even have a teen in the youth group, let’s call him Michelangelo, who teases that he works harder than me since he goes to school five days a week, while I only work two [Sunday and Wednesday]. I know Michelangelo says this out of good fun, but there are people who believe this–that youth ministry is one of the easiest jobs in the world. That youth ministers don’t need to work too hard, that they’re just big kids who get to hang with the teens. Or that youth ministry is just a stepping stone into pulpit ministry–that’s where the real work begins.

There’s a lot of crazy ideas out there, but hopefully I can shed some light on what it’s like being a youth minister, by sharing some of my own thoughts and experiences. (Though I won’t share all of them; I can’t give away all of my trade secrets.)

Continue reading

What’s Most Important?

I’ve heard this song on the radio during the last few weeks. And though it has a catchy beat, and I get what it’s trying to say, I wish it wasn’t being played–that there was more “Joy to the World,” or “Away in the Manger,” instead of “Christmas with a Capital ‘C'”.

The reason I say this, is because I believe there is too much time and energy spent on arguing and debate, rather than on sharing the Gospel. And heated debates being made, without one knowing all the facts. I say this, for though I am a Christian, and I believe we should talk about Jesus daily, I have no problem with saying, “Merry Xmas”, or “Happy holidays.” Why? Continue reading