The Powerful Influence Of Moms In Christians’ Households

in Blog, Youth // written by // on January 11, 2024 // 0 Comments

The Powerful Influence of Moms in Christians’ Households

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on, and I used Homeword & Barna’s excerpt because it just seemed fitting since I just wrote about how my mom still is influencing me as a man of God.

Acknowledging the influence of moms isn’t just the stuff of Mother’s Day cards; it also became a major finding and theme in a recent Barna study of practicing Christians’ homes in the U.S. The Households of Faith report, produced in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries, finds that mothers—more often than fathers, or any other category of frequent participants in households—are seen as the confidants, providers of support and drivers of faith formation. We observe this dynamic in the responses of adults, who esteem and rely on their moms as sources of strength, companionship and wisdom. In turn, mothers still meet a range of needs and provide support for their grown children or, when applicable, grandchildren. But some of the clearest examples of the broad impact of mothers surface in the responses of Gen Z, who offer a portrait of mothers who are present, passionate and faithful.

For all the stereotypes of teens rolling their eyes at their parents, Gen Z are actually very open with and dependent on their mothers. Consider their descriptions of one-on-one time with other housemates. Today’s Christian teen consistently identifies their mother as the principal housemate for almost all activities. From eating meals together (85%) and watching TV or movies (81%), to talking about God (70%) and having confrontations (63%), mothers are the primary activity partner for their teens. They are second only to friendships even when it comes to using their phones for texting (69% mothers vs. 73% friendships) and calling (61% vs. 71%). The only time…


A Mother’s Loving Correction

in Blog, Youth // written by // on December 25, 2023 // 0 Comments

 A Mother’s Loving Correction 

“Mama Said Knock You Out.”  This is straight from LL Cool J.  When my brothers and I were young, I changed the phrase to “Mama gonna knock you out.”  This didn’t happen in our household. However, I was one of four rambunctious boys.  We grew up with a self-sacrificing, strong, and loving single mother. None of us boys wanted to be on the bad side of our loving, redheaded, Irish mom. 

 Fast forward to Christmas Eve this year.   My mom, in a kind and gentle manner,  reminded me that I was a sinner in need of God’s grace.  She gently pointed out something in my life that was not becoming of a man of God.  She spoke softly and she was correct.   I could be defensive about my wrongdoing.  I could live in shame and defeat dwelling on it.  Instead I prayed and asked God to help me work on this in his ongoing process of sanctification in my life.  The good news is I’m not alone in this journey;  my mom and wife will be encouraging to me along this path.

Interestingly, the next day, Christmas morning, my devotional (the Daily Office), reminded me of the hope found in Christ. He comes to sinners in need of a Savior bringing hope.  May this scripture and guide to confession of sin, help us not to live in fear and shame.  God has given us  his gracious gift of faith in Christ alone.  Christ has not abandoned us.  His ongoing process of sanctification by the work of his Spirit in our lives will complete the work he has begun in us.


Fear not,…


Here’s How Youth Groups Can Help Prison Ministry

in Blog // written by // on October 14, 2023 // 0 Comments

Jesus is the great physician, He came to seek and save the lost. God’s spirit even works in the darkest prison cell. I highly doubt that the parents of your youth ministry are gonna allow their kids to go into prison as a mission trip. Not everyone is called serve Jesus in prison, but we can help equip those chaplains for their ministry. Please watch this video and challenge your students to raise money for this mission field that’s in your community. Believe me your youth ministry can have a Great impact. I’ve done prison ministry for many years and one of the biggest needs that the residents have is the need for discipleship material and to have a Study Bible.

It’s as easy as picking a time frame for the fundraising campaign and showing this video.

Just watch this video for a glimpse into the life-changing impact of providing trusted biblical materials to inmates in need.

Mike Liebler



The Holy Sexuality Project Throwing Your Child A Lifeline

in Blog, Youth // written by // on October 9, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Holy Sexuality Project definitely has resources I will be using with our family ministry. I am hoping we can highlight their 12-lesson video curriculum to church leaders for parents next month. I have been in contact with them and here is an email they’ve sent.

Dear Rev Mike,

When it comes to sexuality and gender, our teenagers are facing a tsunami of misinformation and nearly drowning in a sea of confusion. Would you like to stem the tide and teach them biblical sexuality? It’s time to throw your child a lifeline.

The Holy Sexuality Project will help you do the job that God has ordained you to do: disciple your teenager on biblical sexuality. This is a 12-lesson, video curriculum with engaging animation and motion graphics for you and your child. There will be conversation prompts in the easy to follow Parent Guide to help you dig deeper. And all you need to know is how to press play.

The value of this resource is $200-$500, but our team wants every household to have a license. So for a limited time, we are making it available for only $20. None of the revenue will be used for administrative costs or salary. All will go back toward our next project for grade school kids.

Deuteronomy 6 exhorts parents and grandparents to teach our children “diligently.” If we don’t, the world will. Let’s link arms and make the change!

Undeserving of His grace,

Dr. Christopher Yuan
Ministry Executive Director, Holy Sexuality NFP



Book: The Drama Of Scripture

in Blog // written by // on August 19, 2023 // 0 Comments

     The book Drama of Scripture contains a six act structure for understanding scripture. The first act is God establishing his kingdom, the creation story.  The second act is man’s rebellion in the kingdom, the Fall of man.  The third act is God the King choosing the nation of Israel as his own people and leading them to a promised land, initiating redemption.  Act four is the coming of the King, redemption accomplished. Act five comprises the spreading of the news of the King, the mission of the church.  The church progresses from Jerusalem to Rome and into all the world. The final act is the return of the King, redemption completed.


 The authors of The  Drama of Scripture believe that the biblical story is not one of a “religious flea market… full of pious stories…with promises and commands scattered from one end of the Bible to the other… they believe it’s a “Continuing biblical story of redemption… of what God is doing in this world accomplishing the renewal of the whole creation… It’s a story of God acting in history for the salvation of the world” (213).


     The first two chapters of Genesis detail how God, by his spoken word, establishes his kingdom.  God is king over creation (Gen.1:1-4) and proclaims that what he has created is good (Gen.1:31).  Next, in Genesis three, we learn about the fall of Adam and Eve and the effects of sin on mankind and creation.   Genesis 3:15 demonstrates the grace of God; he will restore his beautiful creation by his redemptive work (215). God chooses mankind to partner with him in his work towards renewal and redemption. Later, in Genesis 12 God calls Abraham…


Recent States Bans Transgender Bathrooms At School

in Blog // written by // on March 26, 2023 // 0 Comments

Recent States Bans Transgender Bathrooms At School
Idaho Governor Brad Little signed legislation Friday barring transgender bathrooms at school, making the state the third this year — and this week — to enact such a law. The bill sailed through the state’s GOP-controlled legislature, passing each chamber with an overwhelming majority. Sarah Huckabee of Arkansas and Kim Reynolds of Iowa this week signed similar restrictions into law. Three other states — Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee — have enacted so-called bathroom bills since 2021. “Any student who prevails in an action brought under this chapter may recover from the defendant public school five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each instance that the student encountered a person of the opposite sex while accessing a public school restroom, changing facility, or sleeping quarters,” the law states.


From CFP


Flashback: Even Christian Kids Contemplate & Attempt Suicide

in Blog // written by // on October 25, 2022 // 0 Comments

Flashback: Even Christian Kids Contemplate & Attempt Suicide

(As I’m doing research on teen suicide, I found the survey by Christian camp Falls Creek insightful and the Content/breakout session they did with the students. This is part of an article that we posted many years ago by Andy Harrison.)….(I decided to make a list information from previous articles ranging from Walt Mueller to Rooted Ministry )

In the summer of 2017, a Suicide Prevention breakout was offered at Falls Creek. Approximately 1,400 students and leaders attended the breakout, which was held each Tuesday and Wednesday of camp. At that breakout, we surveyed students with a few questions about how closely suicide had affected them. Here are the results:

Suicide Prevention

(1,347 people surveyed)

Do you know anyone who has considered suicide? YES—90 percent; NO—10 percent

Do you know someone who has attempted suicide or taken their life by suicide? YES—77 percent; NO—23 percent

Have you ever considered killing yourself? YES—49 percent; NO—51 percent

Have you ever attempted to kill yourself? YES—21 percent; NO—79 percent

It is absolutely alarming that more than 1 in 5 students indicated they had actually attempted suicide. This is a clarion call for help, to which the church must respond.

Students need to know that their life is valuable and that God created them with a glorious plan and purpose. No longer can the church be content dealing with this issue in the aftermath of death. We must build fences at the top of the cliff instead of continually doing triage at the bottom of it.

Churches must host suicide prevention clinics and seminars to build awareness and train people for intervention. Youth pastors need to build strong relationships and student networks to better monitor potential situations. Church leaders need to partner…


Does Church Really Help My Kid?

in Blog, Youth // written by // on October 14, 2022 // 0 Comments

Does Church Really Help My Kid?

3 Ways to Help Our Kids Tap into Truth

by Jonathan McKee

(Here’s a post that Jonathan sent me, I believe about two years ago that we never posted. My bad)


A few months ago Buzzworthy and TruthTheory each published articles claiming religious kids were less generous. Both articles cited a study of 1170 children, a study cited by over 80 media outlets including the Boston Globe and the LA Times. Everyone wanted a piece of this revealing story—church kids are really selfish snobs!


Only one problem.


The study was wrong. No, not just someone’s opinion—the study literally made a coding error on how it collected the data, and it changed the results completely. Yes, come to find out religious kids were actually far more generous. The study waseventually retracted.


Do you know how many media outlets shared this correction?


Just four.


Let’s face it. “Church kids are nicer” isn’t really a sexy headline. And in a country where only 45% of all adults go to church monthly, who really wants to read an article telling us to do something we’re not doing? (Experts have been telling parents to keep screens out of their kids’ bedroom for decades, but 89% of teenagers take their phone into their bedroom every night.)


So do we really want to know the truth?


We do… when our kids are in crisis. And right now, our world is experiencing an unprecedented spike in the percentage of kids struggling with depression, anxiety and suicide, and parents are desperate for answers.


But are they desperate enough to try church?


Does church really make a difference?


A recent Harvard study sought to find out if the frequency of which a child…


My New Goal For 2022

in Blog, Youth // written by // on January 22, 2022 // 0 Comments

My New Goal For 2022
by Heather Molendyk


The road ahead of me was long.

If traffic was kind, it would be a 9-hour day. The snacks would be plenty, the drinks would stay cold, the CDs wouldn’t repeat, and (most importantly) the battery life on the digital entertainment for the kids would last.

If traffic decided to be a bully, it would be an 11-hour day or more. The road would end with body aches, cranky kids, and an even crankier mama.

“Please,” I begged God, “Let traffic be kind!”

An hour into my journey home, all taillights ahead glared red. Standing on the brake pedal, I demanded my car fall into line. We had reached the first slowdown.

My spirits sank as we creeped and crawled. A 3-legged turtle with 2 bad knees and 1 twisted ankle passed me as i sat in that traffic. The three lanes merged to two. The two lanes merged to one.

The grumbling easily rolled around my brain:
🔹️ This is only the beginning, isn’t it?
🔹️ The batteries are going to run out on the devices and my kids will transform into beasts.
🔹️Now I’m going to have to spend extra money on dinner at a restaurant because we won’t get home on time.
🔹️ (And many other thoughts that shouldn’t be put in print. You know the ones. You say them in your head, too.)

And then I saw the accident that caused a three-lane highway to shut down.

I quickly felt ashamed. I had been complaining about personal comforts. Someone somewhere was receiving a call that they’d never see a loved one again. I had been complaining that I’d have to spend extra money for food. Someone will be spending way more money to replace a totalled-out car.

I had plenty of time to ponder that accident on the long drive home…

I often…



in Blog // written by // on September 4, 2020 // 0 Comments


By Sean Wolfington: (A friend of mine who has one of the biggest hearts for kids.)

Our new film, SOUND OF FREEDOM, starring Jim Caviezell, is finished. It’s the most important film we’ve ever made. Thank you Eduardo Verastegui and Alejandro Monteverde for making this life- changing masteriece and for dedicating your lives to making movies that move people so deeply.
Check out this new trailer and please let me know what you think.
“SOUND OF FREEDOM” is a major motion picture, based on the powerful true story of Tim Ballard, an EX-CIA agent who created a dream team of special forces who conduct covert rescue-missions to save kidnapped children from slavery. Featuring a searing performance by Jim Caviziel (Thin Red Line, Count of Monte Cristo, Passion of the Christ), the film tells the unbelievable true story of Ballard’s first, and most dangerous mission, which took him from California to the war-torn jungles of Colombia, to rescue an 11 year-old girl who was kidnapped and sold to a commander in Colombias’ rebel army.
This inspirational true story will capture your heart and lift your spirits when you see how one man risks everything to bring a ray of light and hope to the darkest corner of our world.
Shot in the U.S. and Colombia, “SOUND OF FREEDOM” is a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience that provides a deeply moving and unforgettably poignant look at the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.
“SOUND OF FREEDOM” was written and directed by Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Eduardo Verastegui, the Smithsonian Institute Award winning film makers behind “Bella”, winner of the Toronto International Fim Festival and the top audience award from Rotten Tomatoes.

Sean Wolfington


New Year’s Prayer

in Blog // written by // on December 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

New Year’s Prayer

By George Lockhart

As the new year approaches, here are a few questions I like to pray through:

How did the year begin and how did it end?
Did the course I ran coincide with God’s Will and purposes?
How did I see God at work in and around me?
How did I limit God this year? How did God reveal His limitlessness this year?
What lessons did I learn? What lessons did I teach?
What relationships were strengthened? Which ones need to be strengthened?
Where did I fail? Succeed?
Where do I need to improve? Where do I need to focus?
Where do I need to relax and be patient?
Where does God want to use me? How does God want to use me?
In what way did I resist change? Embrace change?
Which people do I invest the majority of time with over the next year?
What qualities are important for me to develop/God developing in me over the next year?
To where will I travel?
How will I disciple people over the next year?
In what ways can I better use my time, talent or skills?
What new skills do I need to develop to become more fruitful?
How does my personality affect ministry? What can I do to minimize misunderstanding?
How can I improve communication? Organization? Discipline in my life?


3 Thoughts On The Star Of Bethlehem

in Blog // written by // on December 17, 2019 // 0 Comments

3 Thoughts On The Star Of Bethlehem

By, George Lockhart

It was a starry night, like most others, with one exception; there was a super bright star in the sky that was being used to lead some “wisemen” to the newborn King. There are many speculations as to what the Star could have been, from scientific anomalies to a miraculous display of God’s power, but however one looks at it, I believe these three things help us understand God in a bigger and broader way.

The star was not the Star
How often do we make Christmas all about “us”? We make our lists and check them twice…(You know it’s really more than that)! We get disappointed when we don’t get what we want. We set expectations to what Christmas should be, all the while forgetting that Christmas isn’t about what we want at all…Truly it’s about what does God want?

When Jesus was born in the manger, there was a special announcement given:

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,


“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Luke 2:8-14



Helping Families Survive The Christmas Frenzy

in Blog, Youth // written by // on December 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

The Care and Feeding of our Souls

Everybody knows that this is a busy time of the year. Shopping, decorating, concerts, parties, etc.  pile up on us- especially those of us with children in our lives. Pre-Christmas frenzy is too often made worse by the financial burdens we can load on ourselves, and the post-Christmas hangover tends to make the holiday memories a bit depressing.
There is a sane and healthy alternative— if we choose to embrace it. Mother Church has, in the Great Tradition, given us the gift of Advent- a season of quiet self-examination, generous gratitude and expectant hope before the celebration of Christmas. Admittedly, this vision of quiet reflection is in direct conflict with the frenzy of our culture. It is also in direct conflict with the burdens we heap on ourselves- that we should do everything all the time everywhere not just for us but for the “benefit” and approval of whoever.
Here is the fruit of the secular consumerist religion: Dads and (especially) Moms dread the season and end up resentful, burned out and debt ridden. Kids are baptized into the voracious materialism that quickly hollows out their souls. Everybody else either falls into the consumerist trap or wonders what happened to “good tidings of comfort and joy.”
We can, by the grace of God, take control of our spiritual health. Jesus says the greatest commandment is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind.” This commandment is given to us because God knows that if we keep it, we begin to enjoy the “peace that passes all understanding.” But keeping the commandment means making serious adjustments in our lives. If we want to experience the joy of knowing God, we must put to death those things…


God The Original Gangster Wrapper

in Blog // written by // on December 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

God The Original Gangster Wrapper

By George Lockhart

Like Adam and Eve, we try to cover up and hide, but God will not have that. Instead God unwrapped then from their shabby attempt to cover themselves and clothed them Himself. This holiday season, let God unwrap you and re-wrap you in Jesus!             “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:7, 21‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Culture: Overreaction Or Interaction?

in Blog // written by // on November 9, 2019 // 0 Comments
Overreaction or Interaction? Flashback Post…

By Jonathan McKee

“I don’t know why you spend any time looking at pop culture. All you need to know is in the Bible!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that accusation. Just last week I blogged about the number one song teenagers are listening too and received criticism for even bringing it to attention.

Is pop culture something we even need to pay attention to?

The Apostle Paul did. In Acts, Chapter 17, Paul went to Athens. While he was waiting for others, he did his normal routine, walking around the city and learning about the culture of the people he wanted to reach.

As Paul took in his secular surroundings, his reaction is noteworthy:

  1. He was distressed: Paul walked around Athens looking at the idols and listening to the pagan poets; and verse 16 cites “he was distressed” with what he observed. I don’t know about you, but I can relate to that. When I look at what young people are gleaning from today’s music, the over-consumption (dare I say addiction) of social media, or even the way young girls are choosing to dress today… as a parent of three teenagers, I’m distressed! The question is, how should adults respond?
  2. He used their culture as a discussion springboard to get to the Gospel: Some people might have expected Paul to start knocking idols over and kicking Athenian butt. Instead, Paul reasoned with them in the synagogues and in the marketplace. And when he began to talk to the crowds in that famous speech on Mars Hill, he started with their culture, using it to open the door to talk about Jesus. He basically said, Hey guys, I notice you are really religious—I can see that by all the idols you…

The Discipline Of Decreasing

in Blog // written by // on November 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

The Discipline Of Decreasing by George Lockhart

I must decrease, He must increase. John 3:30

God is the only One anyone should be completely dependent upon.always be pointing others to Him. If we are not careful we can supplant God in other’s lives by trying to meet needs that aren’t ours to meet. When others look to us before God there is a problem. When others look to us instead of God there is a problem. When others see us and not God there is a problem. As John The Baptist said: “I must decrease”. Are we decreasing? Some want to feel needed by others when all others really need is God. God will use us most when we decrease and let Him have all the glory.

Our job isn’t to always step in and prevent problems but we can always step in and pray for people in their problems. At times God may allow a set of difficult circumstances to teach someone a lesson. Consequences cannot always be averted. We must be very careful to not play an “amateur God” in someone’s life; let God be God, which means we may have to back off. His way of handling people and circumstances may be very different than our pain free way but His way is always most effective. It is imperative to remember that God loves people more than we do.

He must increase. As we point others to God and allow their dependence and faith to grow in Him, we are actually doing them the biggest favor possible: helping them to see God’s faithfulness and provision. Am I saying that we are to never meet others’ needs? Of course not! What I’m saying is that we must always let God be the one showing us when and how and if that’s…


Infringing Desires

in Blog // written by // on January 31, 2019 // 0 Comments

By: George Lockhart

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:31‬ ‭ESV

There’s no doubt that with all that we encounter on a daily basis that some “weeds of this world” will infringe on the purity of my relationship with God. We must resist and weed out all the cares of this world carefully. These weeds show up in the most basic of realities: concerns of food and water and clothes. Simply think about how much time you spend debating on where you will eat after Sunday service…hahaha.

It’s not that food or water or clothes are wrong in and of themselves but that we spend so much precious time concerned about them; time and money that could be used for other eternal transactions. Simplifying options, trusting that God cares more about our basic needs than even we do, will free up mind space and time for us to focus on other eternal matters. God has made promises to meet our basic needs but we must trust Him. When we allow these infringing desires to spring up they will choke out our spiritual passion and leave us with an empty heart. We must fix our attention not on our needs and wants but on Christ who will meet every need and want in our lives.

What infringing desires do you sense creeping in?

What spiritual weeds are popping up in your life?

How can you simplify some of your choices and our life?




God Don’t Make junk

in Blog // written by // on November 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

God Don’t Make Junk

By George Lockhart

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalms 139:13 ESV)


God, you are the One who made me, inside and out. You put me together, piece by piece in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I was made precisely by you. You take delight in me!


God doesn’t make junk. Everything God does is good and intentional, even when it comes to making me. From my personality to the color of my eyes, the shape of my nose to my toes, God’s hand formed me. Because God delights in me, I shouldn’t ever look at myself with disdain. Of course I am not perfect but God doesn’t hate me. Instead He loves me dearly because I am one of His creations. I shouldn’t ever mock, ridicule or make fun of anyone because they too are someone God made with His own hands and He loves them as they are. No more, no less. God doesn’t make junk and He made me. Therefore, I should give thanks for my personality, my gifts and abilities, even my appearance because what God sees when He looks at me is a one-of-a-kind.


God doesn’t make junk, therefore He loves each and every individual because He made each person.

Because God loves others, I should love and treat them with respect and honor.

Be thankful for who I am and how God made me. I am a one-of-a-kind.


How do you view yourself?

How do you view others?

Do you make fun of or treat others poorly? Why?

What part of you do you not like? What part of you are you thankful?

How can you become more thankful for all of who you are?


Give thanks for your personality, your abilities,…


Fruit Connection

in Blog // written by // on September 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

Fruit Connection

George Lockhart

A Christian is meant to stay connected to Christ just as a branch is connected to the vine. There is much fruit to having such a connection with Christ. Take a moment and consider your connection with Christ…how much fruit is your life bearing?

Upon further reflection in John 15:1-11 it is easy to see some of the fruit that comes from a vibrant relationship in Christ:

We are made clean v3

We bear fruit v5

We have prayers answered v7

We glorify God v7

We experience God’s lovev10

We have joy v11

Galatians 5:19-26 details a list of the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Take a few moments a read that passage and consider the fruit in your life.

Which fruit is more evident in your life?

How connected to Christ are you?

Are you trying to produce fruit in your own power?


Everyday Worship

in Blog // written by // on September 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

Everyday Worship

By George Lockhart
God sees us all the time and everywhere we are is training ground for the work of The Lord. Don’t be lazy or slack in your training; for your everyday life is full of opportunities to not only learn but serve. It’s easy to think that just because we are not “at church” that what we are doing doesn’t matter but it is quite the contrary. Everything we do matters. Our private worship affects our public worship. The relationship we have with God “under the tree”, affects the life we live everywhere else. Worship isn’t just an activity but a lifestyle.

Many may fall into the belief that when the time comes they will rise to the occasion but it’s not really true. If we are lazy awaiting a “time”, the time will never come. The time is now. The opportunities are all around. There’s nothing wrong with leisure but it lures us into self-indulgence and we become more concerned with consuming than contributing. Then when a crisis arises we are not ready nor able to handle it properly because we have been already consumed with less meaningful things. We all worship something but all things are not worthy of our worship. Only one is worthy and He is the God who sees you wherever you are. The question is do you see Him wherever you are?

How is your private worship time?

Do you see every aspect of your life as an area to worship and glorify God?

How is your leisure time spent?

Have you ever submitted your recreation time to the Lord? What would that mean for you?


Parenting Middle Schoolers

in Blog, Slider // written by // on March 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

More Than Just Surviving This Transitional Phase


How We Can Reach Students In A Post-Christian Culture

in Blog, Youth // written by // on February 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

How We Can Reach Students In A Post-Christian Culture

By: Steven Kozak
My guess is that, like me, you have been there. That time when a student—maybe your own kid—asked you a question that you couldn’t answer. Now I don’t mean a question about calculus, thermodynamics, microbiology, or even who the 11th president of the United States was (It was James Polk, and yes I looked it up). I am not talking about school subjects. I am talking about the questions that are considered to be some of life’s most important, most fundamental questions. Or maybe in a shining moment of brilliance, you eloquently and perfectly shared the truth of the gospel only for it to be met with frustration and accusations of narrow-mindedness and hate.

We have all had those moments. A student finally opens up and dares to ask the hard question about their faith or expresses doubt and you have nothing. Not a coherent sentence, thought, or even a word to offer them; or what we do say is so easily dismissed. Yes, there was a time, when the advice to read the Bible, spend time in prayer, or even to ignore doubts altogether might have been sufficient. And yes, there was a time when it was enough to simply declare the truth, objective morality, and timeless biblical values. That time has long since passed.

For the first time in U.S. history, students are growing up in a post-Christian culture. The largest and fastest growing religious identity is now made up of those who pledge no religious affiliation at all. And according to Barna the younger the generation, the more post-Christian it becomes. Students of Generation Z are confronted with issues earlier generations never imagined. Many of them are standing at the crossroads between a church that appears completely out of…


Soul Provider

in Blog // written by // on November 27, 2017 // 0 Comments

Soul Provider

Youth Doing Ministry

I believe that it’s our desire as youth workers to see and encourage our students to do ministry. As Timothy Eldred says we want to see “youth in ministry.” Recently one of our students revealed to us a burden that God has placed on her heart.

I would like to encourage parents and youth workers to help this little girl out in her ministry. Below is a short snapshot of how she is trying to fulfill God’s calling in her life.

“I just want to help out kids who don’t have shoes.  When I heard about the little girl who still has a pair shoes our ministry gave to her two years ago it touched my heart”

At age 12, I, Ashley Diane, am going Barefoot with a Cause and giving up shoes to raise awareness for those who don’t have any shoes during the next year.  Many children in Ghana do not own even one pair of shoes.

I might not be able to change the world but with your help we can change the lives of many children in Ghana. With your assistance, we can provide kids with protection for their feet and provide them with the message of Jesus to bring comfort to their souls.

How can you help me? Consider a financial donation or a donation of slightly used shoes to Soul Provider.  All financial donations are tax deductible and all monies will go towards providing shoes to kids in Ghana.

Please make checks out to: V2H (memo Soul Provider) and mail to V2H 2046 Khyber Pass Snellville GA 30039.

Slightly used shoes should be mailed to:
V2H c/o New Vision Church 479 Inman Road Fayetteville Georgia 30215


Mike Liebler
President Of The Youth Culture Report


RIP Joel Stigale: Youth Ministry Legend

in Blog // written by // on August 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

Well done, good and faithful servant!

It was an honor to work with Joel for so many years with Miami Youth For Christ and to have the privilege of supporting his ministry. Joel was a Legend, He was Jesus in the flesh to so many.

The following is a social-media snapshot of what others are saying.

Mike Liebler: President of The Youth Culture Report

Joel David Stigale, born November 6, 1974, was called home and received ULTIMATE HEALING at 8:56pm on the Lords’ Day, Sunday, August 14th. He was surrounded by his family & friends and went into the arms of Christ peacefully as the warm afternoon sunlight streamed into his hospital room window. It truly was beautiful and God’s presence was felt powerfully.

Today is 9 months 1 day since Joel’s lung transplant and I feel like he was reborn in heaven today with a perfect body that will never get sick & will never die again.

It’s hard to find adequate words to express my gratitude to you all for being on this journey with us. Vivian Stigale

My heart is in anguish over the loss of my friend, Joel, but I mourn with hope for beyond what I see & feel. Joel did gang ministry back in the day & that led him to share that when it comes to trusting Christ… “It takes a minute to pray and a second to die.” Praying many kids… old & new… will take that minute to pray through the ripple effect of Joel’s life & physical death. Thank you for praying with me for him this last year. Now it’s time to#‎prayforCATALYST & his family.   April Lovins

My friend,my partner in…


Join Us At The First Ever Open Atlanta Next Month!

in Blog // written by // on March 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

April 9th

@ Candler School of Theology

Hear George Lockhart from The Youth Culture Report talk: “Creatively Communicating Christ”

What is Open Atlanta? Open Atlanta is part of a movement of youth ministry events created to celebrate practical, front-line, local-to-local youth worker idea sharing and training.

Why is it so crazy cheap? “If it’s only $25 per person it can’t be any good, can it?” For the past five years Open events have happened all over North America (and a couple in France) for just $25 per person. How? No one gets paid. The speakers don’t get paid. We borrow space. We ask a small group of ministry partners to help us cover any other expenses. And we at The Youth Cartel donate our time. Even when these events are profitable we give the money away to a local youth-oriented charity. We believe everyone wins when it’s not about money. That’s why Open is so cheap. (And it’s always free if you’re in college or seminary.)

Interesting. Where can I learn more? 

Here’s the Open Atlanta homepage. Here’s the schedule. And here is where you register. And here’s a Facebook event if you’re into that kind of thing.

Questions? Email me –

See you in Atlanta in a few weeks!

Adam McLane (and the organizing team– Sam, Andrew, Joel, Jack, and Mike)


How Is Your New Year’s Resolution?

in Blog // written by // on January 22, 2016 // 0 Comments

New Year’s Street Wisdom

by Victor Manuel Labrada

Some New Year’s street wisdom for y’all from someone who lost 75 pounds, gained 40 then lost 50 then gained 25 over the last decade:
1) Make resolutions that are measurable. Anything that is abstract, “be more creative,” “read more,” “lose weight” is likely to stay in the abstract. Resolve instead to “paint 20 paintings,” “read 40 books,” “lose 30 pounds.”

2) Use math to divide your resolution by 12. This sounds obvious, but you’re likely not going to read 40 books or lose 30 pounds in one month, or even six. Don’t listen to people who brag about accomplishing all of their goals in some boast-worthy time period; let them write a book about it, but don’t make their schedule yours. So divide by 12 and set a schedule. Where do you have to be February 1st so that you can achieve your goal by December 31st? Keep track of your progress.

3) Welcome accountability. If you could do it “on your own” you would’ve done it already.

4) Understand that you are resolving to form new habits, which is only slightly less difficult than changing the color of your hair through sheer willpower. Habits are difficult to re-form because you’ve spent decades forming the ones you already have, whether you know it or not. “First you make your habits, then your habits make you” only gets more true over time. So behind every resolution, think about what habit you are trying to re-form. What does that habit look like at 7am, what does it look like at 10pm? Will-power is like physical energy, most of us have more of it in the morning than in the evening, be aware of that as you are trying to form and eliminate habits. It takes about 66 days…


Back To School Basics

in Blog // written by // on August 27, 2015 // 0 Comments

by George Lockhart


A sermon from a couple years ago but the principles still apply. Hope this helps students to live as #ONESENT as they enter a new year of missional living.

4 Back To School Basics Sermon


How To Reduce Teen Sexual Activity

in Blog // written by // on December 1, 2014 // 0 Comments

How to Reduce Teen Sexual Activity

Jonathan McKee


A Baptist, a pediatrician, and an executive from Planned Parenthood walked into a bar to try to resolve how to reduce teen sexual activity…

I guess the first sign that this is a joke is the fact that a Baptist actually walked into a bar. Sadly, this has to be a joke, because everyone knows that there is no way that these three would ever listen to each other… even though all three of them would probably agree on the one practice that could reduce teen sexual activity.

It’s true. There is one habit parents could employ that would truly make a difference in the lives of teenagers today, equipping them to make better decisions in the area of sex and intimacy. It’s the one thing every expert agrees on.

That’s the funny part—agreeing on something. I spend anywhere from three to ten hours a week reading research and opinions about today’s teens and tweens. And when it comes to parenting practices, especially in the area of preventing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections… no one agrees!

Except about one thing.

Last month Planned Parenthood supported research published in the Journal of School Health titled, Protective Effects of Middle School Comprehensive Sex Education with Family Involvement. The thrust of this report was simple: talk with your kids about sex.

Sure, Planned Parenthood thinks these conversations should probably be something like, “Since we know you can’t help yourselves and you’re going to have sex, then consider wearing a condom to protect yourselves.”

This, of course, gets conservatives all upset… so upset that they miss the kernel of truth in this approach: communication.

If we look at the polar opposite opinion of Planned Parenthood, you’d find abstinence educators like Pam Stenzel. Pam educates young people about the risks of sexual activity,…


In Life And Death…Give Thanks

in Blog // written by // on November 27, 2014 // 0 Comments

In Life And Death…Give Thanks


“The boat is on fire!!  Do you see it?” That is what I told my wife as we were driving over a bridge on our way to a church a fews weeks ago. All that could be seen was a small cloud of smoke billowing up from one of the sailboats anchored in the harbor. My previous experiences with boat fires are that the boat quickly becomes an inferno which may be accompanied by an explosion.  I immediately cut across the other car lanes and pulled into aparking spot.

Even from a distance the smoke was getting visibly thicker and the flames growing bigger.  As I was running through the backyards of the houses along the water, I saw a mom on the boat.  She was screaming “My boy! HELP HELP!” The dad was bravely trying to enter the cabin of the boat but the flames were burning up towards his face. One of the houses had a dock and a woman stood at the end of it crying in disbelief as the horrific scene unfolded. She gave me a brief assessment of the situation and I dove into the water. Even though I was in shape my blue jeans were weighing me down as I tried to swim toward the boat.  I felt like someone might need to rescue me.  Off went my jeans  as I continued to swim as hard and fast as I could.  As I approached, two men in a small dingy boat were yelling to the couple “Get off the boat; it’s gonna explode!”  I was able to feel the heat and smell the smoke from the flames. However, I knew the mom and dad were feeling more pain than smoke inhalation and burns can ever give. Finally, when all hope…


Changing The Trajectory Of Your Youth Ministry

in Blog // written by // on October 7, 2014 // 0 Comments

Changing the Trajectory of Your Youth Ministry:

From a ministry to students, to students having ministry to the world.

by John Vandervelde


In 1994 Doug Franklin, a youth pastor in Wheaton, IL, launched a non-profit organization called LeaderTreks in his basement.  That summer Doug and a small staff ran 4 mission trips for churches that were looking for something more out of their annual summer trip.  These youth workers were looking for more challenge, deeper discipleship, intense spiritual growth, and real leadership development for their students.  LeaderTreks delivered those things then, and we continue to deliver them today, in fact, 20 years later we’re still working with those 4 original churches…as well as over 3,500 more.


Today LeaderTreks runs leadership development focused mission trips and wilderness trips all over the world for youth ministries.  We lead unique, experiential leadership-training events at churches, colleges, and high schools.  We’ve created Refuel Retreat, a youth worker training event unlike any other because we love and care for youth workers and we want to help them be the best they can be as they lead their ministries.  We produce over 150 different curriculum resources designed specifically for youth ministries.  We have resources for Disciple Now events, mission trips, bible studies, mentoring relationship, small groups, and just about every other topic you can think of in youth ministry.


We run these programs and offer these resources because we love students.  We love it when they come alive and lead.  Because we love students we also love the youth workers who are in the trenches with them 52 weeks a year.  We are passionate about youth workers succeeding.


In my work at LeaderTreks one of my favorite questions to ask a youth worker after I get to know them a little bit is, “So…



in Blog // written by // on September 23, 2014 // 0 Comments



By Walt Mueller


I think I’m your average looking fifty-six year old man. That might be why I get so many funny looks when I go to the mall. The cashiers and people in line behind me either think that I’m a crazed middle-aged maniac, some kind of creeper, or a terrible father. On one mall excursion several years ago I stood in line at the book store to purchase a stack of magazines including YM, Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, Teen, Rolling Stone, and Tattoo Savage. When I catch people curiously glancing back and forth between me and my armload of goodies I quickly utter what I’m sure comes off sounding like a pretty lame excuse – “I study youth culture for a living.” I can always tell what they’re thinking – “Yea, right.”


But is it really that important to know today’s youth culture? And why do I feel it’s so important to convince you as a youth worker to do the same? The answers are many. Here are four.


First, there’s a divine given that is non-negotiable. Youth workers have no option but to go into the world of their children and teens. Jesus said, “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life. . . instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20, The Message). Today’s youth culture is a cross-cultural mission field that groans for redemption. While youth culture is a mission field that’s near (right in our own churches and homes!), it is also far – far from what we ever experienced or knew when we were passing through our own adolescent years. Our initiative must include the resolve to go…


Bold Parenting: Book Review

in Blog, Youth // written by // on February 10, 2014 // 0 Comments

Bold Parenting: Book Review By Mike Liebler

Lars’ goal is to help parents focus on the meaning of “bold” faith and
reevaluate their cultural priorities in order to pass on life-
sustaining faith to their children. “Our own faith journey is probably
the most important thing that needs to be worked out in order for us to
pass on bold faith to our children.” Despite being a veteran in youth
ministry and a parent, he is willing to be honest and transparent about
his own personal faith and parenting weaknesses. His book is a guide
for parents who need to know they are not alone in this faith journey.

If I were to boil the book down to one word it would be modeling.
Lars writes about the importance of parents modeling faith to their
children. He also discusses the negative impact of poorly modeled
faith. Unlike bold faith “living for and with Jesus,” parents teach
moralism devoid of the gospel and a God who is not viewed as
omnipresent and omniscient.

His second section covers encouraging children to take steps of
faith boldly. Parents must believe and act upon a true and living God
taking steps of faith boldly before the eyes and ears of their
children. Next, Lars provides practical tips to help children
experience and express their faith and provide opportunities to help
them own their faith.

Most parents do not have the time to read all the latest studies
and books on developing faith of adolescents and children. Dr. Lars
Rood has done the heavy work for parents. He understands the issues
hindering children from having bold faith and provides parents and
youth workers with practical…


The Growth of Global Youth Ministry

in Blog // written by // on October 7, 2013 // 0 Comments

Terry Linhart

The Growth of Global Youth Ministry

The growth of Christian youth ministry around the world has been nothing short of phenomenal. In regions where strategic ministry to youth barely existed 20 years ago, you’ll now discover well-organized ministries with established histories of effectiveness. Where none existed ten years ago, a group of adults works to establish a steady presence among the young people in a community. A quick Internet search will reveal a growing number of international conferences (like The Youth Cartel’s Open Paris) and regional summits on youth ministry, often coordinated by significant cross-national support networks (like Especialidades Juveniles and Global Youth Initiative). Universities and seminaries are developing courses related to global youth ministry and the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry continues to flourish and expand its service for these academic initiatives.

Randy Smith of Youth Ministry International once said, “97 percent of the world’s formally trained youth workers live and work in the United States, ministering to less than 3% of the world’s youth population.” In 1992 it was an accurate assessment and used as a refrain to encourage North American youth leaders to invest in youth ministry overseas. However, the remarkable and exponential growth of youth ministry around the world over the last 22+ years has caused many to recognize that this stat has changed significantly. And that’s exciting.

The youth of the world present one of the greatest challenges and opportunities for the church today. Half of the world’s population is under the age of 25, a percentage that will grow before it gets smaller. In some countries, more than 70 percent of the population is younger than 25, and 90 percent of those live in developing countries. Despite its size, it’s not an economically powerful group. More…


Miley…She’s A Wreck…And So Are We!

in Blog, Youth // written by // on September 18, 2013 // 0 Comments


Things I’m learning from Miley Cyrus and about myself.

Here’s a bit George Lockhart wrote for The Youth Culture Report.

No one would debate the fact that there has been more than a hurricane of hub-bub over Miley Cyrus during the last several weeks. Her appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards catapulted her to more than water cooler conversation in a matter of minutes! Since then, her newest release Wrecking Ball (viewer discretion advised) has garnered more than 95 million views on VEVO, earning her the top spot for the week of September 8.

As I’ve been listening to and reading through more than a few articles about Miley, I thought I’d take some time and see what could possibly benefit us all from her recent activities and direction in life. As I did I looked at her songs as windows into culture as well as her soul. They are her way (as for all artists) to bear her soul, philosophy and belief system to a world that is groping for the next new thing.  As you read, you may be surprised by what you hear and see not just about Miley but yourself…just like I did.



Please click on the title below to read more..

Miley…She’s A Wreck…And So Are We!


George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as student pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA






Why Readers of The Youth Culture Report Should Attend The Summit

in Blog // written by // on September 9, 2013 // 0 Comments


Mark Oestreicher


Let me be blunt about this: I totally dig The Youth Culture Report. I’m constantly recommending it to youth workers. I use the web version, the iPhone app, and the iPad app. It’s become one of my favorite and most reliable places to browse content that can and should be forming my ongoing thought development about youth ministry.


And I can easily imagine the type of youth workers who also use YCR. They are (you are!) thoughtful. They are open to inputs from a variety of sources that will cause them to think in new ways. They crave ideas, big and small.


And that sort of youth worker is who The Summit was created for.


Of course, youth workers need skill training. There are other events for that (and other websites).


Of course, youth workers need game and event ideas, and curriculum suggestions. There are plenty of other sources for that.


But TYC specializes, as does The Summit, in sparking imagination and provoking thought. That’s why YCR’s partnership on this event makes such good sense.


You might be asking, so what IS The Summit? Well, if you’ve ever watched a TED talk online, you would have an idea of what this event is like. We have 18 presenters all giving laser-focused, intentionally provocative talks, all aimed at helping you to think in new ways. We say it’s like rocket fuel for your imagination, and last year’s inaugural event proved that to be 100% true (based on the response from those who attended). On top of that, The Summit has the most diverse group of presenters I’ve ever seen at a youth ministry event.


So: if you like having your imagination ignited and your creative thinking about youth ministry sparked, then we really hope you’ll join us (The Youth Cartel, The Youth Culture Report, and a…


Celebrating The Capabilities Of Early Adolescence

in Blog, Youth // written by // on August 27, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Adam McLane

YouthWorkers Lessons From The Little League World Series


It’s the bottom of the 5th inning, the score is tied at 4, and with one swing of the bat Japan takes an insurmountable lead against the American team from Chula Vista to become champions.
It is, of course, the Little League World Series. For a few weeks each summer cable sports is dominated by 12-13 year olds fighting for their chance to be world champions.


It’s a fascinating cultural phenomenon. For a few weeks each summer millions of people sit in front of the television to watch 7th graders compete. Why do we do that? And what can we learn from watching them that’ll help us engage with the 7th graders in our own lives?


  1. Early adolescents are physically capable. Of course, not all early adolescents are as capable as the boys in the Little League World Series. But the LLWS is a great reminder of the strength and fine motor skills that early adolescence brings. Even though the players are sometimes vastly different sizes they can still throw the ball 70 miles per hour, hit a homerun 230 feet, or pick off a runner at home plate from left field. Don’t underestimate what the middle schoolers in your life can do physically.
  2. Early adolescents are mentally capable beyond cultural expectations. When I talk to youth workers who don’t really like being around middle schoolers they have a tendency to underestimate what middle schoolers can handle. These young men play smart baseball! Emotionally, when you watch the boys play in the LLWS you are seeing them deal with pressure, joy, sadness, being a part of a team, and a whole lot more. But you can also see that it’s not quite adult-like. One of the things we all love about watching them…

Growing Pains of the Achy Breaky Heart

in Blog, Media Entertainment // written by // on August 26, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Dan Istvanik


“Growing Pains of the Achy Breaky Heart and 4 Other Thoughts About the VMAs


What must Alan Thicke (the father “Growing Pains” and the father of Robin Thicke) and Billy Ray Cyrus (the father from “Hannah Montana” and Miley Cyrus)have been thinking as their two children took the stage last night at the MTV Video Music Awards.  Miley taking the stage in her immodest teddy bear outfit twerking it for all she thinks she is worth.  Robin then joining her on stage to further “blur the lines” of censorship, appropriateness and what is and is not music.

The worse question for us in youth ministry is what were our students thinking and what are they thinking now as the highlights of the night blow up the media world.  As we work with the young women and young men of our youth ministries going through the “growing pains” of spiritual maturity, will this just further “blur the lines” of who God has created them to be in His image.  I know for me as a Jr. High/Middle school youth pastor it just breaks my heart for both my students and for a world that needs hope.

Thinking Outside the Box, Inside the Box.

In her effort to continue to be artistic and edgy, Lady Gaga tried to think outside the box by literally starting off the show in a box…at least her head.   Quite honestly, that is pretty much sums it up, Lady Gaga once again kept her head “in the box”.  Her tired, worn out dance routines and simply, ridiculous on-stage wardrobe changes as she started off the night were just unfortunate.  Staying true to form she kept the most ridiculous outfit on, a shell string bikini, the rest of the night as she sat in her seat watching the rest…


Popular Teen App Spotlight:

in Blog, Youth // written by // on August 26, 2013 // 0 Comments

By:Dave Rozman


In elementary school, I remember being tapped on the shoulder and handed a note. The note had my name on it and had been passed anonymously from someone in the room. Opening it up it read something like this: “Do you like A) Christina, B) Sally or C) Jen?” I was to circle who I liked and then send the note back.

As I moved into middle and high school, the same style of anonymous questions continued. But now they were often asked by a peer who had been sent on a secret mission to figure out who I liked for their friend.

I remember two distinct feelings during these situations. First I would usually blush, get embarrassed and a little giddy inside thinking that someone may like me more than just as a friend. My second feeling was that of uncertainty and fear. “What if I circled a name and it was not the person who sent the note? Would they be upset? Would they tell the person whose name I circled that I liked them?”

These experiences, although somewhat anxiety ridden, felt more like a childish game than anything else.

Times have changed since I was young. Youth’s ability to utilize technology and social networking sites causes these types of encounters to be more secretive (as far as who is asking the questions) and more public (who can see the questions and answers) through apps and websites.

A few years back, the website Formspring (now going by was all over the news. It is a website popular with teens that allowed users to ask each other anonymous questions. It quickly got on the radar of all parents and youth workers because of the harassment that was occurring on the site.

Now a new website and popular app called


3 Things Boys Must Know About Sexuality: Part 3

in Blog // written by // on June 12, 2013 // 0 Comments

By  Aaron Buer



For the last two days I have been writing about how to talk to boys about sex.   Be sure to check out the previous two posts.

Unfortunately, parents and youth workers need to talk directly about pornography because it is everywhere.  It isn’t enough to repeatedly tell them, “NO!”  Pornography is so compelling and pervasive that boys need further understanding on why it is dangerous because everyone else is telling them that it is fine and actually good.  Here’s how I have talked about it with the boys in our student ministry.


  1. Dangerous Days

I am convinced that there has never been a more difficult time in the history of the world for a guy to protect his sexuality.  Our culture is obsessed with sex.  Sex is used to sell everything from clothes to deodorant.

But the greatest threat to purity isn’t what’s found in commercials but rather what is found on private screens.  If you have a smart phone you can access pornography anytime, anywhere, for free.

  1. You Are Not Alone

According to the research I’ve read, 98% of American males, middle school age and up have viewed pornography.  It’s next to impossible to grow up in our culture and not see pornography.

If you are a parent, this means you must change your approach to pornography.   Instead of creating boundaries and hoping he never makes that bad choice, you need to prepare for the inevitable.  What will you do to help your son process what he has seen?  And how will you help him untangle himself from the grip of pornography?

  1. Consequences

Because we as guys are designed by God to be fascinated with the female body and because we, especially as young men have a powerful sex drive, pornography is incredibly dangerous.  Research shows that 50% of us are addicted to…


3 Things Boys Must Know About Sexuality: Part 2

in Blog // written by // on June 11, 2013 // 0 Comments

By  Aaron Buer

Guys Crave Respect

Yesterday I began a series on how to talk to boys about sex.  Boys need much more than a one time talk or a once a year teaching on sex.  They are constantly being bombarded with cultural messages about the nature of sexuality.  If we as parents and youth workers remain silent we are condoning what they are hearing.

Today, I want to share something that all guys need to understand about sex:  It’s isn’t actually sex that you really want.  It’s something else.  This is why many guys remain unsatisfied even if they experience a lot of sex.  Want to know what it is that you really want?  Keep reading.

  1. Significance

As guys, we want our lives to matter.  We want to be significant.  And, this is the way we approach relationships.  When it comes to a relationship, we want respect.

What is respect?  We want the woman we love to be proud of us.  We want to be considered worthy of her loyalty and love.  It’s really that simple.  If you think about it, that’s all we want out of life.  We wanted our dads to be proud of us.  We wanted our teachers and coaches to be proud of us and we want our girlfriends and wives to be proud of us.

If you are a woman, understand this:  If you show your man that you are proud of him on a regular basis, it will revolutionize your relationship.  All men have a little boy inside of them that just wants someone to be proud of them.  Most of what we do is designed to make you proud.  As childish as it sounds, the more you think of us like a little boy who needs a pat on the head and a proud smile, the better.  Praise…


3 Things Boys Must Know About Sexuality: Part 1.

in Blog // written by // on June 10, 2013 // 0 Comments

By     Aaron Buer

God Invented Sex

Most parents are terrified to talk to their boys about sex.  Some don’t even try.  Those who do try often have one extremely awkward conversation about the mechanics of sex and then consider the job done.

In this over-sexed culture our kids need multiple conversations and they need far more than just the mechanics.  The good news is that research shows that boys would still rather learn about sex from their parents than anywhere else, including friends.  In other words, if you’re a parent, he’s waiting for you to speak up!

Over the next three blogs, I’ll like to share a bit of how I talk to boys in our student ministry about sex and how I plan to talk to my sons.  I hope you find it helpful.


  1. The Best Idea Ever

God invented sex.  No, for real.  At some point God called his angels around and said, “I just had an idea.  A really good idea.  No Gabriel, way better than volcanos.”  OK, I know that’s not how God actually works, but God did invent sex.  It was His idea and it was an awesome idea—probably the awesomest idea ever.

I grew up in extra conservative churches.  We took our fundamentalism pretty seriously.  Growing up, all I ever heard about sex was that you shouldn’t do it before marriage and if you did you were basically a horrible person.  And what about sex after marriage?  Well, I guess that is OK but you better not ever talk about it you sicko.

One day I had the realization that God invented sex and it existed before sin and I’m pretty sure Adam and Eve were having a pretty amazing time before they ate the fruit.

  1. Better than Rainbows 

Growing up I always felt dirty for being…


Is Warning Teens About Dangerous Stunts Effective: Rachel Blom

in Blog, Youth // written by // on May 15, 2013 // 0 Comments

By     Rachel Blom

Just today I read an article about the so-called ‘cinnamon challenge’, where teens have to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon without water. It’s becoming a bit of a trend, with many YouTube videos more or less promoting it. Doctors are warning about the dangers though, which include breathing problems and even the risk of a collapsed lung.

As a youth worker, my first reaction to news like this is: I have to discuss this with my teens, I have to warn them about the dangers of this cinnamon challenge to make sure they never participate in it. But you have to wonder: is warning teens about dangerous stunts effective?

Research shows it is, when you warn them the right way.

We all know that teenage brains aren’t fully grown yet. That doesn’t mean teens can’t calculate the risks of their actions though. As a matter of fact, teens tend to overestimate the risks of their actions compared to adults.

The big difference between teens and adults however is that teens have far more tolerance for the unknown and for unknown risks. Research shows that when the risks are known, teens take fewer risks than adults, but when the risks aren’t clear, teens will go for the new experience despite a general risk.

A second difference is that for teens the ‘rewards’ weigh completely different than for adults. Especially young teens have trouble weighing the risks against the rewards, because they value new experiences and the thrill (meaning dopamine release) so much.

It is effective therefore to warn teens about the risks of dangerous behavior, for instance this cinnamon challenge, or other trends that have come along. But this warning is only effective when the risks are clearly communicated in terms teens can understand. Statistics don’t mean anything to them, but…


Overreaction or Interaction?

in Blog // written by // on January 25, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Jonathan McKee

“I don’t know why you spend any time looking at pop culture. All you need to know is in the Bible!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that accusation. Just last week I blogged about the number one song teenagers are listening too and received criticism for even bringing it to attention.

Is pop culture something we even need to pay attention to?

The Apostle Paul did. In Acts, Chapter 17, Paul went to Athens. While he was waiting for others, he did his normal routine, walking around the city and learning about the culture of the people he wanted to reach.

As Paul took in his secular surroundings, his reaction is noteworthy:

  1. He was distressed: Paul walked around Athens looking at the idols and listening to the pagan poets; and verse 16 cites “he was distressed” with what he observed. I don’t know about you, but I can relate to that. When I look at what young people are gleaning from today’s music, the over-consumption (dare I say addiction) of social media, or even the way young girls are choosing to dress today… as a parent of three teenagers, I’m distressed! The question is, how should adults respond?
  2. He used their culture as a discussion springboard to get to the Gospel: Some people might have expected Paul to start knocking idols over and kicking Athenian butt. Instead, Paul reasoned with them in the synagogues and in the marketplace. And when he began to talk to the crowds in that famous speech on Mars Hill, he started with their culture, using it to open the door to talk about Jesus. He basically said, Hey guys, I notice you are really religious—I can see that by all the idols you worship. You’ve been even worshipping an…