Friday, July 17, 2009
Collision of Worlds:
Theme of Camp: “Collision of Worlds”
Prayer Points Over our Theme:
1) Every person going to camp will have the revelation that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins. (vs. 39)
2) The work that God wishes to accomplish in each life represented would be accomplished. (vs.38) Jesus accomplished what He set out to do on the earth and on the cross.)
Prayer Points for Pastors/Speakers:
-Danny and Jamie, Steve and Taunia, J.O. and Raydeane Owens, Doug and Donna Lasit, Joe and Kirsten Tuttle, Stephanie and Trevin, Caleb, Kyle
* Acts 6:5-10
1) Pray specifically that they would have the anointing to break all forms of resistance (vs. 10)
2) That they would all carry a greater level of wisdom and discernment to speak to certain students and change the atmosphere (vs. 10)
3) That the passion they posses would be rubbed off on every person (vs.7)
4) They would be full of faith and power to preach the word (vs. 8)
- Also be praying against sickness in their bodies, that they would be healthy, their sleep would be good, nothing would come up to conflict their schedule,
All Leaders Counselors/Co-Counselors)
1) Ask God to remove any vain spirit from you (Ps. 127:1)
-And that the Lord will build His house, you would just simply be obedient (Ps.127:1)
2) Pray that God would give you a clear vision for your cabin/those students you will be pasturing (Prov. 29:18)
*Don’t just go to camp this year, this is the ideal time to gather people for your small group and see them brought into the church and discipled
3) (Staying w/ the theme of our youth staff meeting last Sunday): We have to have a violence in our spirit to see that these kids live in the perfect will of God (Matt. 11:12, Matt. 6:10)
-pray that God would stir in you a righteous violence to overcome
Ps. 40:3 “He has put a new song in my mouth- praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”
Ps. 50:23 “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright, I will show the salvation of God.”
*God is putting an “aggressive passion” on our worship team. I believe He is giving them an anointing to overcome obstacles that would cause resistance in our kids’ hearts. As they lead us, God will place a new song in the heart of our kids’ that will carry on to their campuses, in to their homes, and on to their friends.
1) There would be a new song put in our mouths
2) That in the presence of God, every person would know that God is in control and He can be trusted with our lives
3) There would be an atmosphere of: freedom, repentance, and deliverance in worship(Ps. 50:15)
4) Pray for worship team members by name
5) The supernatural power of God would be present to see healing (Ps. 30:2, 2 Chron. 7:14, Ps. 147:3)
-Pray for Lorelei, Casey Jordan, and Jonathan Schaffan
-Pray that we wouldn’t have any technical problems, sound issues,that they would be able to adjust quickly to the room, etc.
1) For safety, that we wouldn’t have any broken bones, concussions, etc. (bumps and bruises are inevitable )
2) Pray for organization (specifically praying for Kyle/Trent who are leading)- we need everything to run smoothly to save time
3) Pray that they kids would have the most fun they have ever had at camp!
The NXT/Pulse as a Whole
*Proverbs 14:14 “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above.”
1) Pray for a consistency in our lives after we leave from camp
2) Pray against pride and being filled with our own ways
3) Pray that they would get planted in the house of God and they wouldn’t turn away from church
4) That they would make the choice to live as disciples of Christ
-I believe God is wanting to target those kids with parents who are not saved
*Pray that in spite of what parents would say, they would choose to trust God and believe that what happened at camp can happen every day.
-Thanks for all that you guys do, please be praying over these few points throughout this next week. This year is going to be awesome!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I recently signed up for a program through Thomas Nelson Publishing where they will send books and resources to bloggers for free if they commit to review them honestly on their blogs. If you’re interested in reviewing Thomas Nelson products on your own blog follow this link - http://brb.thomasnelson.com/. So this is my first review of the first resource they sent me.
I finished listening to the Word of Promise Next Generation New Testament on MP3. Honestly, this audio version of the New Testament was not my favorite. It is specifically marketed to children and youth, which was one of the reasons I decided to listen to it for review. All of the voices used for the narratives are young people – mostly teens. This sounded like a cool idea but listening to it was honestly a little annoying.
The most disappointing part of the product was the voice of Jesus. The guy that did Jesus’ voice throughout the whole New Testament sounded like a weak, tired and broken little man. Every phrase sounded like he was about to die on the cross. It just made Jesus feel fake and unbelievable – like he wasn’t a real guy with a normal voice.
Other than the voices everything else is pretty good for an audio New Testament. The background music was enjoyable. The format of the MP3’s on the CD was easy enough to navigate on my ipod. I could find different chapters of the New Testament quickly with no trouble. Most of the expressiveness of the characters were fine…it’s just when the most important character in the whole story sounds like a weak and dying teenager it ruins the whole thing for me.
If you’re looking for an audio bible for your teenager, I’d pass on this one. Maybe the adult version has Jesus sounding like the man he was. Give that one a try.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Matthew 20:25-28 - 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” John 12:26 - If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Mark 8:6 - And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people.
One culture I'm desperate to create in the NXT is a culture of "serving down". Meaning that the older students value and serve the younger. My young adults should be laying down their lives for the high school students. And the high schoolers should be serving the Jr. Highers. This is what really makes our generation model work well. If we were really to establish this culture effectively there's no telling what could happen over the course of a couple years.
Do we as a church give people clear channels to serve the Lord? Do we do well at articulating a vision of serving Him and not merely building our own kingdom? Do we really serve those that need it in our communities? How do we get better? What can we do to create the "serve down" culture?c
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Thought I'd post some more prayer requests for you. Thanks for your continued covering. Prayer literally paves the way for life changing ministry.
- Pray for our sermon series going on right now called "U & Me". We're tackling the huge issue of dating and preparation for marriage. It's a big deal in the lives of young people and I'm believing God to bring alignment in all of our relationships.
- Continue to cover the issue of purity in our young people. Something broke loose in the church last month in this area and it's caused a great deal of work for us pastorally. It's the best though - young people are being set free!
- Pray for our upcoming mini youth conference called "Define". The date is March 25th. It's kind of a last minute thing, but it's going to impact our youth and our region. Pray that Pastor Poncho Lowder is anointed to bring a powerful word to the youth of our city. We're also going to be doing some service projects at Nampa High School that day.
- Pray for Pastors Steve and Taunia. They continue to need health, rest and peace as they fight the good fight of faith and continue to heal from the accident.
- Pray for advancement in every area of the church. We're not in a season of retreat. It's time to advance. Pray for advancement in individual lives and the church as a whole.
- Pray for our new semester of life groups that launches on March 8th. It's going to be the best set of groups we've had so far! New groups include Brian Gorseth's and Calvin Abbott's. I'm really excited about them.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I think one of the most common weapons used by the enemy on Christian is discouragement. As a youth pastor, if there's anything that can slow me down in ministry it's becoming discouraged that my ministry isn't working, that we aren't reaching enough kids, that my leaders just aren't getting it, etc. With the devil working around the clock to bring discouragement, one of the most important cultures we must have in the church is encouragement.
The church should be a place where people can come and be built up and encouraged. They should leave our gatherings filled with hope and faith. I believe there must be a more concentrated effort from leaders to encourage young people in their life, ministries, and their calling.
Romans 1:11-12 - For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
The challenging part is that we're committed to biblical community. So while we want to bring encouragement, love, and hope to people, we're never going to stop preaching against sin and challenging people to change. That would be unhealthy for everyone. We're in youth ministry to transform ordinary young people into radical, world changing disciples.
Our strategy in accomplishing this so far is to have a two pronged attack. From the pulpit, I really preach hard against sin and foolishness. I never apologize or hold back. We bring real, relevant truth to the young people every Wed night. The second part of the strategy is this - there's a youth staff of around 50 young leaders who understand that their main job is to love and encourage young people like they've never experienced. These youth staff minister to students from a place of encouragement and unconditional love.
If both parties do their job, we should be creating a culture that is incredibly encouraging and challenging at the same time. This is a culture where young people can experience real life change. They can't listen to the message preached and stay comfortable in their sin. And when they respond, there are leaders there to walk with them and encourage them that they can and will succeed.
I feel like we are making some good progress with this approach. But I'm always looking for ways to encourage young people more.
What do you think?
What are some things we can do to create a culture of encouragement in the church? (BTW, you certainly don't have to go to FLC to weigh in. I'd love to hear from you wherever you are!!)
Friday, January 30, 2009
Special thanks to Brent Earwicker, Evan Earwicker, Lorelei Williams and Caleb Brown who put in the time to figure podcasting out and get us rolling. It'll be fun to hear how God takes the messages and spreads them.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
It's been a while since I've read the book so the details are a bit blurry. But I've been thinking a lot about how to create culture since coming on staff at Family Life Church. It was really interesting starting the NXT Youth Minsitry from scratch and having a huge part in creating the culture. It was an amazing thought for us when we realized that anything we did not like about the culture of our youth ministry was up to us to change. As youth pastors, we are cultural architects.
A couple weeks ago, Pastor Steve challenged his pastoral leadership to create culture in the church focusing on 10 specific areas. I thought I'd do a series of blog posts on the list and start a conversation about creating culture in each area. I'd love to know your thoughts, ideas, experiences, frustrations, rants, dreams etc. as we explore church culture over the next few weeks. Let's get some discussion going!
Culture #1 - Inclusiveness
The church in America has come a long way in creating a culture of inclusiveness over the last 10-15 years. But I think we need to go beyond just welcoming visitors and making services feel more comfortable and understandable. I believe that trend has run its course. God wants this to run deeper in our hearts.
It's a common complaint among young people that our churches have too many cliques. There's always a sense of competition and popularity when you're gathering a group of young people together. But the culture of inclusiveness can be created.
I remember being in high school and visiting different youth ministries in our city. The difference in the inclusiveness was one of the first things I noticed. As as new person, some groups cared that I was there and some didn't. I ended up making some of my best friends through the youth ministries where they had an inclusive culture. Why? Because they reached out and loved me - and I in turn responded to that. Pretty simple.
In our youth ministry we have a "connect team". Their responsibility is to connect with new students on Wednesday nights, set up coffee with them or something, and see how they can help get them involved in Family Life Church. But I really believe we need to do much more than just have a team of people who take this responsibility on. When inclusiveness becomes a robotic and starile or a delegated responsibility we're not truly acheiving our goal. I appreciate all that our connect team does, but I have a deep conviction that every member of our youth ministry should be on the team. In fact, I see a day where we don't need a team because it's just who we are. We include everyone.
I believe that inclusiveness must become a culture throughout the youth ministry and the whole church. I believe that God has called us to do supernatural things. And I believe it is supernatural to get young people to stop thinking about themselves, let go of insecurity and think about how new people can be included. I believe it's possible and I believe it's something that God wants us to focus on this year.
Time for you to chime in -
How do we as leaders create a culture in the church where everybody is welcome?
Friday, January 9, 2009
17 And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”
It's not just sin that we need to lead young people out of. We need to lead them out of agony, depression, loneliness and pain. The toll that our culture has taken on the lives of our youth is astounding. Someone has to hear the Lord calling out and speaking to them - "lift up the lad".
It's our job as youth leaders. We're called by God to lift up a generation of young people who have a destiny in God that remains. He's the God who sees, as Hagar found out. He sees them right where they are at - desolate and wandering without direction or purpose. God hears their cry for help in desperation - wonderful, simple unorthodox prayers. Sometimes just tears...
I'm praying that there will be a whole army of leaders that hear from God and answer His call to bring hope, purpose and restored vision to this wandering and hopeless generation. I'm praying for an onslaught of leaders to arise and take a generation by the hand and lead them to the source of living water that is just around the corner.
The movement has begun...are you a part of it?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I've always struggled with the character of Lot. 2 Peter clearly calls Lot righteous. But what was he doing living in a city of such depravity and wickedness? Highly suspect. Lot certainly was righteous (in a right place with God), but he was also entangled.
Genesis 19:15-16 - As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
He lingered. There was something in his heart that just wasn't ok leaving. There was something that longed to stay in the midst of the wicked culture. I believe that same thing was in his wife's heart...and Lot lost her because of it.
What are the things that cause you to linger? Linger at the party when you know its time to be home...linger at the boyfriends house when it's really getting late...linger on that website when you're clearly convicted by the Holy Spirit...linger in that conversation when its obviously going in the wrong direction. You feel me?
What hit my this morning was this - God's mercy was grabbing Lot and his family by the hands and dragging them out of the city. We usually preach the "Holy Spirit is a gentlemen" message. Apparently not this time. The angels grabbed them and forced them out of the city before it was destroyed.
Sometimes as youth pastors and leaders that's our job. Sometimes we reason, sometimes we plead, sometimes we pray. But I believe there are times when we're literally supposed to drag young people out of their entanglement in sin. Certain judgment is on the way. It may seem a little forceful, it may be a little uncomfortable, it may be awkward. But Lot was sure glad in the end that they dragged him out. Being a vessel of God's mercy doesn't always mean being mild and gentle - sometimes force is required.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Hey All -
One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was establishing the discipline of reading the Bible every day. I'd list it in the top 5 choices of my life. Bible reading is something that is normally encouraged in church but often given half-hearted effort or ignored all together. One of the reasons people struggle with Bible reading is because they do not follow a plan. People tend to read the Bible with a shotgun approach, randomly selecting what they'll read each day. This is a really difficult and confusing way to approach the Bible.
When I started reading the Bible systematically through a Bible reading plan, my whole perspective on scripture, God and all of Christianity changed. At first I felt a little "unspiritual" or mechanical because I felt I wasn't necessarily reading exactly what God wanted me to for that day. I felt it might not as spirit-led. What I didn't realize was that as Christian that professes to believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and absolutely true, I am responsible to know everything that is in the book. I believed the whole book...but hadn't even read the whole book. And the reason I hadn't read the whole Bible was because I was a shotgun Bible reader.
The other thing I learned as I grew up in Christ was this -
Hebrews 4:12 - "The Word of God is living and active"
God's Word is alive. Every word of it. I used to think I needed to read a specific part of the scripture in order to hear what God wanted to speak to me. I now understand that God can use literally any part of the Bible to speak to me and adjust my thinking and my life. He is able to breathe on any scripture and bring revelation that is unexpected and exciting. This makes reading the Bible an adventure worth taking every single day - in a systematic way.
Bible reading plans have been around for 100's of years - they're nothing new or notable. But what keeps changing with technology is how easy it is to follow them. I'm not sure how you feel about digital Bible reading, but I'm down with it. Some people really like to turn their gold leaf pages and all, but I believe it's the words that are powerful, not the leather or the special feeling pages. I do still read my bible out of a leather bound book a lot of the time. But I'm also a fan of reading it on my laptop and most recently on my cell phone from a mobile website.
I found a tool this morning that I thought would be worth sharing with you. It's a pretty awesome list of Bible reading plans from the English Standard Version of the Bible. But the coolest part is that it gives them to you in several different formats - Web, RSS, Email, iCal, Mobile and Print. Meaning you can get your bible reading plan in whatever format your most likely to use it - on a website, in your RSS reading (I highly recommend google reader by the way), in your email, on your calendar, on your cell phone or even on good old fashioned paper. It even offers an audio version for you to listen to that you can podcast to your itunes and ipod. There's something for everybody.
Check it out here.
Why don't you make a resolution to read more of God's Word this year? It's easier than ever.
Happy New Year!!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Questions to Investigate the Worship in your Lifestyle
- How do you make your decisions?
- The basis for your decisions points directly to the god you worship.
- How do you spend your time?
- Look at the things that take up most of your free time. There’s a good chance you’re worshipping there.
- What are the meditations of your heart?
- What are you thinking about? Writing about? Reading about? What consumes your thought life? It will be the thing you’re worshipping
- What do you dream about?
- In your sleep and during the day…
- How do you spend your money?
- Jesus said, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Remember whatever really has your heart is your god.
- How do you choose your friends?
- The friends you picked probably give a good indicator to what god you’re worshipping.
- What clothes do you choose to wear?
- Your dress communicates what you value. Often times it’s an obvious indicator of what you worship.
- What music do you listen to?
- Music was created to carry the spirit of worship. All music is worshipping something. Something is being exalted through the message in the song. Usually you can find an idol in the midst of someone’s music collection.
- What stirs the most passion in you?
- What is it that you burn for? What is the thing that just set’s you on fire? Your affections will flow toward the god that you worship.
These are some questions that are worth asking ourselves due to the deceptive nature of idolatry.
What would you say the biggest idol in youth culture is?
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We quote verse 7 all the time in the church. We did a whole series on this verse last year at Family Life Church. We preached against fear. We unpacked power, love and a sound mind. It was an awesome series with some incredible revelation. But for some reason the two verses never really tied together in my mind.
The fact that God hasn't given us a spirit of fear is in the context of the gifts He's given us.
Realizing this I've come to a conclusion: The number 1 reason that people choose not to stir up the gift of God in their life is fear. Fear is what binds people up in routine and religion. It's fear of the unknown. Fear of what people will think. Fear of being wrong. Fear of failure. All kinds of fear. And all of that fear is not from God.
God instead gave you the Holy Spirit. The giver of the gifts. He has given you the ability to stir up and employ your gifts in incredible ways. They are meant to be powerful and miraculous. They are meant to be used in love to build people and bring comfort. They are meant to be used strategically and in a way that makes sense.
Next time you are headed to church make this commitment to the Lord. "I will stir up the gift of God that I've been given. I will not let fear stop me from functioning. Somebody needs my gift."
Tomorrow I will step on stage for another 2 services of leading worship. I have the choice of staying in the box and singing through a list of songs or really letting the Spirit of God lead the church freely in fresh worship. You know what tries to keep me in the confines of my list? Fear. Every time. I get afraid that it will be awkward. I fear that the band won't follow me. I fear that Pastor Steve will be unhappy. I fear that it just won't work and I'll fall on my face in front of everyone.
But no more. Tomorrow I will choose not to receive a spirit of fear from the enemy and instead stir up the gift of God that has been given to me. I'll operate in power, love and a sound mind. I'm believing God for an incredible day in His house. And as for me, my gift will be in operation.
The revelation for me in these verses is so simple yet radically life changing. We don't have to wait for the right moment, atmosphere, or worship song to move in our gift. We actually just reject fear and choose to stir up the gift - then go minister it. It's really that simple. God never takes the gifts away. There are always accessible for use to build the kingdom of God. Why don't you decide not to go another week without stirring up your gift? The world needs it!
Any stories of the gifts in operation? Feel free to drop a comment...
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
- Pray for continued healing in young people's bodies, souls and spirits. We've had some major healing take place lately on many levels. Pray that God would continue to pour out His healing power and touch hearts and lives.
- Pray for more leaders to step into leadership. We're in a season as a youth ministry where more leaders are required in order to go to the next place that God has called us to. Pray for young men and women who are faithful.
- Pray for the grace of God in the area of organization and administration. We're doing more work at a higher quality than we ever have before and need help from the Lord to administrate it all. Pray for help with accomplishing our tasks in a timely and organized manner and for excellent communication within the team.
- Pray for grace to start new ministries in 2009. We're going to be taking major steps forward in several of our ministries and starting a couple brand new ones. Especially target campus ministries. But there will be major upgrades in the areas of worship, small groups, prayer, pastoral care, video, events, and discipleship. We're really excited about our plans in these areas but need grace to stay tuned in to the will of God in every area. Pray for right timing, right leadership, and excellent implementation as the ministry moves forward.
- Pray for supernatural provision for Family Life Church as a corporate body as well as for the individual members. God is our source and provider and we're full of faith that as we ask Him to meet our needs that He will. When God brings a vision, He will also bring the provision.
- Pray for the activation of the gifts of God in the life of the youth church. Many young people are coming to our gatherings on Wednesday nights, in small groups, and other times. We need young people to stir up the gift of God that was given to them (part two of that post is coming soon), and activate their gift to build the local church and reach a lost and dying generation. Pray for the ability to identify their gifts, be equipped and trained in their gifts and to activate their gifts.
- Pray that young people would have the faith and determination to slay personal giants in their lives. We're in a preaching series right now called "Giants in the Land". We're attacking the giants of rebellion, idolatry, apathy, sensuality, immorality, pride, and insecurity. I'm believing God to empower young people to slay these giants in their own lives and then go after them in our youth culture at large. We need a revolution!
- Pray for our Christmas Party this Friday night (12-12-08). It's going to be awesome. Our preparations are in order. We need students to desire to come and bring many friends. Also pray for deep relationships to be established and souls to be saved.
How about printing out this blog and praying through these things right now? It's as good of a time as any. Bless you!
Friday, December 5, 2008
So I'm trying to get into the video blogging trend. My new flip video camera is making that easier.
Check out these videos from Pastor Mark Thornton's concert at Living Waters Coffee Shop in Nampa. We had a good time and it was great to see people from all over the Valley show up to worship and support Mark and Capital worship team.
Mark Doesn't Apologize from Danny Schulz on Vimeo.
Kim - Holy, Holy, Holy from Danny Schulz on Vimeo.
I Will Bow Down On My Knees from Danny Schulz on Vimeo.
Yeah. Pretty sweet. I'll be trying to capture more video of what's going on here in Nampa with the youth minsitry, the whole church and of course the wonders of raising two boys. Look forward to more!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
2 Timothy 1:6 - Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
I’m convinced that if each disciple of Christ kept their gift stirred up we would see the supernatural power of God flowing in and out of the church all of the time. Imagine your church operating like this. Every time you get together you could regularly expect prophecy, words of knowledge and wisdom, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation, miracles, etc.
I think we would all enjoy our gatherings more if they were filled with Holy Spirit activity. Why doesn’t this happen more? Either God meant for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be active today or He didn’t. I think we are often waiting on God to move when He is waiting on us to stir up our gift. It’s an interesting thought – that the gifts of God become active when we choose to stir them up. Or conversely, the gifts lie dormant because we choose not to stir them up.
As a worship leader, I think sometimes I can hide behind the “flow of the Spirit” card. You know – “The worship goes with the flow of the Spirit. Sometimes He moves, sometimes not”. Truth be told, our most prophetic and anointed worship times occur when we as a worship leaders and team members choose to stir up our gift. We don’t like to admit it because it brings accountability. But I’d say it’s true. Sometimes God surprises us and moves in spite of us, but I think most often He’s waiting for us to use the gifts that He gave us.
I’m all for waiting on the Lord – but I think that it’s the difference between actively waiting on Him and passively waiting on Him. When we “wait” biblically, we actively listen and expect Him to give instruction for how to function in our gifts. I’ve found that God is leading and speaking all the time in the context of my gift – He’s just waiting for me to stir it up and exercise it.
When is the last time you stirred up the gift of God and functioned during a gathering? When’s the last time you stirred up the gift of prophecy? Faith? Discerning of Spirits? Miracles? Sundays, Wednesdays, small groups, outreach, at work, at school, etc? I think we could make life a lot more interesting if we’d keep the gifts stirred up. I also believe that many more people would come to Christ and get planted in our local churches.
Stay tuned for part two…
Monday, November 17, 2008
I just finished reading a great book by Larry Stockstill called The Remnant.
It's a wonderful book. Pastor Larry gave the book out to all of the pastors that attended this year's international MFI conference in Portland. I believe that this book is a simple prophetic word from an apostolic father to the American church. I would highly recommend this book to any pastor, leader or anyone aspiring to lead in the kingdom of God.
In the first part of the book, Stockstill brings a great perspective on the necessity of the five fold ministry in the church and its reflection in society. We're indesperate need of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. A challenging thought that Pastor Larry brings is that we should, as leaders, strive to function in every one of these roles to some extent. We can function apostolically through encouragement, affirmation and fathering. We can prophetically correct those under our sphere of authority. We can reach and disciple people and bear fruit in the kingdom. We can heal and pastor whether we have a title or not. We can know and teach the word of God from scripture. I need to grow in all 5 areas of leadership.
The last 10 chapters of the book are Larry's "10 Commandments of Ministry". If the spiritual leaders of America would take heed to Larry's commandments, we would have a future that God can bless. Here are the subjects Stockstill touches breifly on in each chapter -
- Bible Study
- Spiritual Warfare
In a world where ministers are continually finding themselves doing foolish and embarassing things, Larry Stockstill brings a powerful and prophetic challenge. I'm recommending this book to every ministry leader I know.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Ephesians 2:19-22 - Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Doctrinally, I believe this scripture means that the church is built upon the writings of the apostles and prophets – meaning the Old Testament Prophets and New Testament Apostles (i.e. the scriptures). In addition, Pastor Steve consistently applies this scripture to how we are building
Pastor Frank Damazio functions in the ministry of an apostle over
Pastor Jack functions in the ministry of the prophet. He’s definitely one of the most prophetic people I’ve ever been around. He can see where God is taking our church and comes with the Word of the Lord to challenge us to rise to the next place that God has for us. Our church is literally in a different place after this weekend. Jack’s prophetic words to the whole church and over the worship department have shifted the attention and focus of our church body.
Literally, my job is going to be different in the next 6 months because of this weekend. Jack brought a word about the sphere of our ministry expanding and growing. He said God was calling for an increase in responsibility and that God was bringing an ability to match the responsibility. Today I met with Pastor Steve about how to practically apply the word. My schedule is going to change, my focus is changing and expanding. Most of all my capacity must increase to take on all that God is calling me to do. I need more grace for the coming season. Also, I need the leaders I am training up to take the upgrade as well and step into pulling more weight in the youth ministry.
The thing that comforts me most about the ministry that took place this weekend is that it’s in the flow of what God has already been speaking. God has been speaking to leaders and they have been stepping up. God has been stirring our heart to really press forward in the worship ministry. God has been stirring up a passion to go after youth on the school campuses in the
I feel refreshed and invigorated. I’m seeing the building plan for the next 12-24 months in great clarity. This morning I realized there are some things that God has been asking me to do for 5 years, but I haven’t really responded to Him. I wasn’t in rebellion and resisting the Holy Spirit. I just didn’t fully believe that it was Him. Maybe my circumstances quenched my faith. Maybe my passion to do other things kept me distracted. Whatever the case, something in the prophetic ministry that took place this weekend brought a clarity about the will of God that I hadn’t seen yet. My life is changed.
And I can’t help but have the thought – How many churches are wandering without the ministry of apostles and prophets? How foolish it is to embrace a doctrine that doesn’t believe in these biblical ministries. Pastors don’t understand how bad they are ripping off their churches. How horrible it is to succumb to the fear of false ministries and decide to stick with merely relating to pastors and teachers. The ministry of the apostle and the prophet are so critical to healthy growth and forward movement, I now can’t imagine leading or growing a church without their ministry. Yet most churches in
Lord, help us to raise up the next generation of leaders that will function as 5 fold ministers. Help us grow young men and women who will function as apostles and prophets in your last days church. They are needed in these important times.
Let’s open up some discussion on this one -
What is your experience with prophetic and apostolic ministry?
Monday, November 3, 2008
I've been asked a few times who I'm voting for tomorrow on election day. I guess it's important for a youth pastor to weigh in on the politics of his nation. Honestly, I don't believe that politics is the answer for America. I truly believe that the local church is God's plan for building the kingdom of God - not Obama or McCain. I believe that Jesus is the only savior, not a presidential candidate.
I do believe politics is important though. I do believe that we need to line up the values of those running for office with the scripture and cast our vote accordingly. And when it comes down to it, I am a voter that chooses his candidate on the basis of how they value the life of the unborn.
The decision has been pretty simple for me this year...
A vote for Obama means a vote for the most pro-abortion candidate America has ever seen. There's just no room, with a clear conscience before God, to vote in a president who will legislate the murder of countless souls. That's simply all there is to it for me. It doesn't matter how the other issues factor in - I'll never vote for a pro-choice candidate unless I backslide. And then, my friends, you have my permission to punch me in the face, drag me to the altar, and pray for my heart felt repentance. I'm not going to freak out if Obama becomes president. I do not think he's the Antichrist. I think America is going to move forward regardless of who wins tomorrow. But, without a doubt, if Obama is elected president, he will let some things into our nation that we, as the church, will have to go to WAR against. Be ready for the battle.
This post isn't really all that articulate or convincing. Truth be told, I'm not really the most educated on the political campaigns of each candidate. I have read some great posts over the last few months. Please read a couple of these. Please pray for each candidate as our nation is in a very critical spot right now. Please go to the polls tomorrow and vote.
Blog posts I have enjoyed in the last few weeks -
Jamie Schulz (first of course) - http://jamieschulz.blogspot.com/2008/11/choosing-life.html
Bo Stern - http://bostern.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/america/
Brent Earwicker - http://thefieldexperience.blogspot.com/2008/11/speechless.html
Eric Parnell - http://ericandlindsayparnell.blogspot.com/2008/10/lets-talk-politics.html
Brett McCracken - http://stillsearching.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/why-i-cannot-vote-for-obama/
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Do you really know the difference between a gala, honeycrisp, and a janagold? They look the same...but how do they taste? Is the honeycrisp apple really worth the extra money?
The winner is for me............
Monday, October 13, 2008
I recently signed up for an account on Twitter – yet another social networking tool. I’ve known about twitter for about 10 months but resisted signing up until now. It took me a long time to understand why I’d ever want to use it. But this thing is really growing on me and I thought I’d share a few thoughts with you in case you’re thinking about opening an account.
What is Twitter?
Quote from the twitter website – “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”
When my brother-in-law Joe first told me about twitter, I couldn’t even imagine why anyone would use it. It seemed like another online time waster (who needs anything else to update?). I wasn’t interested at all. Honestly, I thought, who wants to know what I’m doing throughout the day? Who cares about that?
What eventually turned me on to twitter was opening up a facebook account this year and seeing all the “status reports” updates. This has been a really fun part of the culture in our youth ministry. Most of the young people we pastor use facebook in addition to or instead of myspace. And after every youth service or event, one of my favorite things to do is check out facebook to see the response from all the students in their status reports.
“God really moved tonight”
“I’m believing in faith and crossing into my promised land”
“My body hurts, but I had the time of my life at the mudfest”
It’s great to be able to see the influence of your life on so many people…instantly and personally. But that’s facebook and this blog is about twitter.
So twitter is like just doing the status update part of facebook with one key difference – it’s made to operate and interact with your phone through text messages instead of just the internet. That is the powerful difference of twitter. While many people use the internet every day, many do not. And many are only on at certain times. Cell phones, on the other hand, are so wide spread that virtually everybody I know has one and uses texting. People keep their phone on them all the time. It’s immediate connectivity.
But the question remains – “Who cares what I’m doing all day?”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this question as a pastor. I think many people use social networking tools to say a virtual “look at me! Pay attention to me! Like me!”. If this was the purpose of using twitter I wouldn’t be writing this blog post about it. But I’ve come up with a few reasons why I think every leader should open up a free twitter account and get people to follow them on twitter. Here they are…
- Twitter can be used as an influencing tool.
I made a decision years ago that I want to be an influencer. I don’t want to just let life happen to me, but I want to use my life to influence people all the time with the message of the gospel. Part of what I use twitter for is sending out influential reminders to all of my “tweeps” (twitter’s word for friends). I think it’s a very powerful tool to have the ability to influence dozens (someday hundreds and thousands) of other people’s thoughts with one text message.
I got a twitter message from a tweep last week that said this –
Peter makes in plain in Acts 15:11- "We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of Jesus"
Sending out a unique “God thought” on a regular basis is a simple and quick way to influence many lives.
- Twitter lets people get to know me.
This is the amazing part of the whole social networking trend. You read someone’s thoughts online and you feel like you know them. Even though you haven’t spent one minute of actual time with them, you have a window into their mind and heart through what they write.
As a pastor of a rapidly growing youth ministry, I simply do not have enough time to invest into intimate relationships with all of those who attend our youth church. I’d love to go out to coffee with all of the 150 students in the youth church every week. There’s just not enough hours in the week and the church keeps growing.
It is important though, that the young people I pastor get to know me. When a young person feels like they know me, they are far more likely to receive from my preaching, teaching and pastoral ministry. They are far more likely to trust what is coming their way from the pulpit.
It’s amazing to me – but twitter and facebook help accomplish this task without really spending time with people individually. I’m not saying that social networking should take the place of real relationships – but I am saying it does help move the process along when there’s simply not enough time for everyone.
- Twitter helps my friends and leaders know how to pray.
Pastor Jack Louman recently spoke at a men’s ministry meeting at our church and gave us a challenge to take a step up in the area of personal intercessors. He told me that God is going to bring people to specifically intercede for me, my family and my ministry.
As he was speaking I had the thought, “Twitter is perfect for that”.
The Apostle Paul encourages us to “pray without ceasing”. Having a tool that can simultaneously text message everyone who is committed to pray for me is a wonderful thing. It’s instant prayer covering when you need it. Oh the wonders of technology.
My good friend Brent is a missionary in
Twitter has many other uses. People are using it for all kinds of things in the marketplace. These are just the benefits I’m noticing in my first month. I want to encourage you to set up an account, follow me on your phone (you have control of which people twitter texts you about) or online, and start tweeting away. God is raising up a tight knit network of believers to change the world. I believe technology has got to be a part of that.
Ready to check it out? -- www.twitter.com
My twitter name is daschulz.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
We'll do just about anything to get young people to come to Christ. Yes - even dress up like a butt rocker. Did any young people get saved as a result of this costume...probably not. Did they have fun at Retro Night at Camp? Absolutely.
What will you do to reach a generation?