All posts in student ministry

Life Quest Curriculum Available!

A new curriculum for Senior High and Single Adult ministry is now available from Striving Together Publications! Life Quest features 13 weeks of lessons taken from the book by the same name. The lessons are focused on helping an older teen or a twenty-something young adult to move forward in a culture that continues to…

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Managing Behavior or Mentoring Hearts?

If you had to quantify your ministry or parenting focus with the following words, which two would be the most accurate? Managing Behavior… OR Mentoring Hearts It’s easy to default to the “Managing Behavior” position—in both ministry and parenting. Why? Because managing behavior is easier. It simply requires a strong hand of authority and a…

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A Wrap Up to the “Saddest Letter”

Several days ago I called the young lady who sent me the letter. We had a great talk and I was encouraged by her spirit. We talked for 40 minutes. (She also commented today on my last response.) One of the most surprising aspects of her letter, to me, has been the tendency of a small…

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Response #3 to the Saddest Letter

I’ve been late in this final post—thanks for your patience. On top of that, I’m sure it will be too long. Several days ago I had a very good 40-minute conversation with the young lady who wrote the letter. Her heart is tender to the Lord and I will share some of that in a…

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Response #1 to The Saddest Letter

Wow! The “Saddest Letter” post provoked a lot of interesting discussion! Since I received it a week ago, I too have been pondering my response, and in many ways, those who commented touched on many of the things that have been on my heart. For reasons of length and direction, I think my response will…

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Saddest Letter I’ve Ever Read

Parents and Pastors—Please Read!! I received this letter from a young lady last week—a Bible college student who grew up in a Christian home and Christian school. I believe it’s the saddest letter I’ve ever read and right on the mark for so detailing the experiences of so many young Christians. I asked her permission…

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Texting and Driving—Powerful Video

A friend emailed this to me today and I thought it worth sharing. It’s a ten minute video about cell phone usage and text messaging while driving—sharing real stories. I will definitely make sure my kids watch it! If you have teens or a youth group, you might consider passing it along.

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Developing a LifeTouch Database

Have you ever wondered who you are ministering to well, and who you are missing? Whether it’s a class, a group, or a church family, it’s easy to minister to many but miss some—especially those who are quiet. Some years ago, as our youth group grew larger, we became burdened about who we might be…

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Ignite Vision in Your Students

If there’s one thing that modern culture, technology, and the evolutionary world view have killed in even our Christian teenagers, it’s a life vision. Today, we desperately need an army of student ministry leaders to awaken vision in the hearts of young people. While some teens have some small form of vision for their future,…

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Things I’d Like to Say to Every Young Adult

Here’s a quick list of things I wish I could say to every young adult! 1. You are of eternal value and significance because God doesn’t make junk. Regardless of who mistreated you, what lies you’ve been told, or how bad your past has been—you have a future and God has good plans for you….

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A Word to Weary Bible College Students

I’ve had five conversations that went almost exactly the same this week. A battle-worn college student says, “I’m not even sure what I’m doing here. I feel like I’m doing nothing and headed nowhere. I’m not where I want to be, and I’m really thinking about what I should do…” The conversations were so similar,…

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Overtime Rally with Michael Redd

God gave us a GREAT weekend—one of the greatest of my life! Here’s the story. A few months ago, the Lord intersected Pastor Chappell’s path with NBA basketball player Michael Redd (shooting guard for Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Allstar, and Olympic gold medalist.) It was a “chance” meeting at an airport. Michael was sitting reading his…

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Announcing the SM127 Podcast for Students

We are excited to announce a new podcast flowing from the ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church—SM127 Podcast, which simply stands for Student Ministry! This podcast will be a part of the free Ministry127.com family of resources and will be for teens. It will feature messages from our ministry events for teenagers—West Coast Baptist Teen Camps,…

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What Teens Ask About Their Parents

A couple times a year we host an anonymous question and answer time for teenagers. They respond well. You can read about these in past posts: Getting Teens to Air Their Questions and The Top 15 Questions Christian Teens Ask. We did this Q&A time again recently, and I was surprised how many questions were…

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Strengthening Spiritual Decisions

As promised, here are a few short thoughts about how to respond to your teenager after teen camp, especially in regards to their spiritual decisions. Begin with the long-term perspective—Our view of spiritual decisions is often just too short. Every good decision of life begins with short-term challenges, but also bears long-term results at a…

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Teen Camp 2010 Recap

Today we completed a wonderful week of teen camp. Here’s a short recap. First, we were able to return to Pine Summit Camp in Big Bear, California. Operationally, this was the best week of camp we’ve ever had. The good team at Pine Summit served our group well with great food, tremendous facilities, and a…

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The Road to Adulthood Gets Longer

New Data on the Growing Distance Between Youth and Adulthood The New York Times ran a fascinating article yesterday entitled “The Long Road to Adulthood Is Growing Even Longer” by Patricia Cohen. The article reinforces a growing body of research, much of which I wrote about in Life Quest: Braving Adulthood with Biblical Passion. The…

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Student Ministry Idea-Gift Planners

Note regarding this post: Part of the purpose of this blog is to share helpful news of resources from Striving Together, and part of the purpose is to share ideas and thoughts on student ministry. This post falls under both of these purposes. Bear with me as this is more than a commercial for a…

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New Data on Church Drop-Outs

USAToday featured an article today that stated 72% of 18-29 year olds say they are more “spiritual” than religious. You can read the original article here, and it’s filled with plenty of discouraging data. But I wanted to draw out two positives that jumped off the page at me. These two things greatly encouraged my…

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Why Young People Stay Faithful

Have you ever wondered what contributes to young people staying faithful to the things of God, while others wander away? What contributes to two kids in the same local church, hearing the same preaching, ultimately going dramatically different directions? Ultimately, it’s free will—everybody makes their own decisions. But what influences those decisions? One of our…

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