Monday, April 23, 2007


Hey parents,

Here's a MUST READ article you should grab a beverage and some undivided time to look over with your son or daughter. It is well worth the read on what should, and should not be, posted on the internet or myspace or a blog or whatever. It also has two VERY effective commercials imbedded in it you should watch together.

The website the above article is on looks good to me. I'd recommend you give it a look and a regular read... especially with this internet savvy generation.

Working with you to raise Godly, wise teens...


Thursday, April 19, 2007


Just last night my 9 year old ran into a news cast about the Virginia Tech shootings. He responded like a 9 year old. More amazed by guns than aware of the tragedy. We had to debrief this event together in light of what he'd seen and heard at school.

High school students will have a very different response with a variety of emotions. If you find yourself struggling with what to say, this might help. Our middle school pastor, Josh, posted a link to a great article on our junior high ministry website that will fit with students of all ages. You can find it here.


We had a great Spring Retreat last weekend. We took about 30 guys to the desert and about 35 girls to Coronado. The guys went through a book called, "Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes" by Brennan manning and the girls went through a book called, "The Sacred Romance" by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge. If you want to read what we talked about, both books are written and applicable to adults and students alike.

As a quick summary, we challenged the guys to be Real, Secure, and Devoted. We challenged the girls to realize that they are Loved, Called, and Complete. It was a spiritually moving time for both groups.

In addition to that, the girls got their nails done, hung out at the beach, enjoyed the Coronado sights, went on a ferry ride, and even saw Gwen Stefani shopping!! The guys built a trebuchet (huge thing that throws big rocks like 200 yards), went hiking, had huge bonfires, and learned how to safely shoot a gun and explode stuff. Great memories all around.

Here's a picture of the guys trip. We'll add one from the women soon.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


EASTER.... we have main church services at 7:30, 9, and 10:30 am. HIGH SCHOOL WILL ONLY BE MEETING DURING THE 9 and 10:30 hours.

NEXT WEEKEND.... We're on our spring retreat. SO, THEREFORE there will be NO ENCOUNTER on Sunday the 15th.

We'll be back in full swing with SMALL GROUPS ON WED. THE 18TH and on WITH ENCOUNTER ON SUNDAY THE 22nd.


This last Sunday in Encounter we had an all Q and A morning. We were finishing our dating/relationships/sexuality series that we do once a year for our high school students. This year it was called, "He loves me, she loves me not." It was the final of 4 weeks.

We had a grip of questions that were turned in on cards from the weeks before. I answered every one of them in a booklet we gave the students that morning which we encouraged them to read and use as a follow up bible study during the week. One of the few mornings where my outlines didn't fill the trash cans!!

I offered some of those same written thoughts- verbally- to hopefully spark some interest in them to read the whole thing later at home. Instead of a formal adult leader panel discussion up front on these same questions, we had leaders speak from their table where they were in the room to the entire group as Sarah and I facilitated the discussion. We were trying to engage their questions in a conversation with them. Not preach our dissertation to them. I think it worked.

I also interviewed a girl in our ministry who has been coming every week during this series who is 8 months pregnant. You could have heard a pin drop. It was both hard to hear her story and a GREAT testimony to the grace of God for a young woman who is trying her best to turn around mistakes she says she's made and some that others have made around her that have HUGE consequences for her. I was SO proud of her. I was so PROUD of our students for clapping in support of her keeping this baby and staying in youth group. It took GIANT guts to share what she shared and in her own words- no notes- just her heart, which allowed me to share mine with our group and remind all of us to create and embody a place where ALL students are welcome to seek Jesus and embraced here by God's people.

It was a day where I was proud to be a youth pastor. I felt like we touched on real needs, challenged students to consider where God can meet them, and let their voices be heard.

Here's the questions they asked. They speak volumes about the world teens live in today. We broke them up into 3 categories: Relationships, Sexuality, and Christian dating. [If you want the answers I wrote to can come by Encounter this Sunday and pick them up.... or just look at the contact info in the sidebar and shoot me an e-mail and I'll send you a PDF of them... it's too much to post here (18- half page's worth). ]

  1. In the 7th and 8th grade my best friend ever was having an intense sexual relationship with a senior in high school. I was there for her through all the pain. Every night she would cry to me on the phone about their problems and how she loved him. I suffered a lot of pain through their relationship and I can imagine many people are going through or gone through this. How can you help out a friend who is going through this and help yourself?
  2. Why do you think people cheat?
  3. Best way to get over a guy/girl?
  4. How do you stay proud to be single when all your friendships are in “relationships”
  5. How is it that people don’t realize that relationships, at this point in our life, are just NOT NEEDED?
  1. If we have already had sex, should we stay out of relationships till we’re married because we might be too tempted to have sex again. Only if I wanted to stop!
  2. Is it true that it is harder to be pure when you’ve had sex before than it is when you’ve never had sex before? Why? -Curious.
  3. How do you tell your homophobic grandma you’re bi or maybe homosexual? This may not go with the lesson, but I would like help.
  4. I’m a girl. So is it immoral to want to have sex, and possibly fall in love with another girl?
  5. If I was raped when I was 14, am I still a virgin?
  6. If you are raped and get pregnant, is it ok to get an abortion?
  7. After being raped, I have never really gotten the help I need. What are some things I could do to overcome this pain, anger, and frustration?
  8. How far is too far?
  9. If you say no to sex, is it wrong to say yes to other things?
  1. What does equally yoked mean? And when do you know two people are? The person I’m dating became a Christian a couple of months ago. We both have prayed about dating and we both didn’t get clear answers.
  2. When or how do you know you are equally yoked? I find it hard to be serious and pray with my girlfriend but we are fine praying alone about whatever… any advice?
  3. Why is sexuality in our society so twisted by the media?
  4. I always hear the bible verse, “do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” How do I know when it desires?
  5. How do you glorify God while dating?