December 27, 2012

Book Release: Letters to a Youth Worker

Really honored to have gotten the chance to contribute to this new book edited and organized by Mark DeVries and published by The Center of Youth Ministry Training.

The book is a collection of 24 letters written by youth workers about what we have learned over our years in ministry and what we would advise young workers just getting started. For me specifically, I talk about lessons learned about setting boundaries to avoid burnout and what it takes to create a healthy ministry environment.

The collection also includes letters from Walt Mueller, Kara Powell, Andy Root, Mark Matlock, Duffy Robbins, Jim Burns and many others. All of our letters also touch on one or more of the 44 assets identified in theExemplary Youth Ministry Study.

To pick up a copy of the book, head to

December 19, 2012

Sermon 12/16/12 - Waiting Expectantly

Waiting.........not many people enjoy it very much. Especially in a culture that says to do everything now, as fast as you can! Christmas though shows us the importance of waiting expectantly because we know a God who ALWAYS keeps His promises and ALWAYS comes through.

December 12, 2012

Sermon 12/9/12 - Dealing With Anxiety

Every person deals with anxiety on some level, but as Jesus followers should we? Paul tells us to "be anxious about nothing," so is it wrong to be anxious if we know Christ? How do we deal with life when we are anxious?

I also HIGHLY recommend this book: The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith

December 4, 2012

Sermon 11/25/12 - Science Versus Creation (audio only)

Can Darwinian Evolution and Creation co-exist? What about the big bang and creation? Science and religion are two topics that have been debated for centuries. How do we answer these tough questions?

My students and I had a really great discussion on these questions! Enjoy.

November 16, 2012

Sermon 10/28/12 - How to Handle Life's Hurts

No matter what, we will always find hurt playing a role in our lives. Whether we are the one's hurting or whether it is someone around us, Jesus did not shy away from pain. How should he deal with our own hurts as a Jesus follower? And how can we help other's who are hurting?

November 9, 2012

The Biggest Marriage Killer

Just posted a new blog for Holymess of Marriage: what is the biggest marriage killer and how do we overcome it?

November 2, 2012

Four Wheeling or My Family?

What does it mean to really put your family first? Lessons learned from going about it the wrong way but yet being blessed anyways: New blog at The Holymess of Marriage

October 25, 2012

Sermon: 10/21/12 - Handling Finances

Teenagers have the most disposable income of any age. Therefore, it's important to figure out how Jesus wants us to handle our finances even in 7th grade! Where should money fit into our lives? And how do we know if we are giving enough?

October 17, 2012

Sermon 9/20/12: Small Groups

What is a small group and what's the point? In the midst of everything going on in my life, why should I even make time to be in a small group?

September 26, 2012

Sermon 9/23/12 - Prayer

Prayer is one of the bigest common denominators among world religions making it familiar to so many yet it still has a ton of questions that surround it. We look at what prayer really is all about, how to do it and whether or not God answers every prayer or not.

September 19, 2012

Sermon 9/16/12 - How Do I Read the Bible?

Reading the Bible doesn't have to be so overwhelming. This sermon provides some helpful tips for choosing a Bible that works best for you and how to understand what you read.

Resources for Reading the Bible PDF:

Sermon Outline PDF:

September 14, 2012

Sermon 9/9/12: Who Is God?

How we answer this question is insanely important to living out any kind of relationship with Jesus. We explore 1 John 4 together and his response to this question that, "God is love."

September 3, 2012

August 16, 2012

Good News in the Neighborhood

Got to write a review about the fantastic new curriculum from The Youth Cartel called Good News in the Neighborhood. It's definitely worth checking out!

August 6, 2012

Could Being Shrewd Help Your Marriage?

Just finished Rick Lawrence's new book called Shrewd and wrote a blog about how that character trait could actually greatly help your marriage. Check it out here:

August 2, 2012

How to Plan a Teaching Calendar - A Response

Got to do a response piece to Kurt Johnston and Josh Griffin's piece this week on the Simply Youth Ministry Today emails.

Here is Kurt and Josh's piece:

Here is my response:

July 23, 2012

Book Release: Heart for the World Volumes 1 & 2

Just released two new books, one written with one of my high school students. Heart for the World Volumes 1 and 2 provide a seven day devotional for mission trips.

Each day's entry provides Scripture with enough space in the margins for notes, questions and thoughts. Following the Biblical text, is a devotional to help shed some light on the text. Then are three questions with journal space to take things deeper.

Each day also includes an Unreached People Group profile from and then two pages of journal space for the end of the day.

Volume One
Volume Two

June 28, 2012

The Age of Arrested Development

A cool aspect of Relevant's new website is that their print content is now much more available online with a digital subscription! They just put up a piece we did for the March/April issue on adulthood: when does it start, is adolescence extended and how do you become a full adult.

It's currently a free preview online:

If you are seeing this after the free preview is over, a digital subscription is well worth it!

June 25, 2012

Sermon 6/17/12 - Calling and Vocation

What does it really mean to be called by God? 
Does it mean we just sit around until God tells us to do something? 
Or is calling something special that only pastors or missionaries get?

June 14, 2012

Sermon 6/10/12 - Hold Your Tongue

Does watching our mouth simply mean avoiding a certain list of words?
What does it really mean to curse?

June 8, 2012

Fundraising for Mission Trips

Just had a piece go up on the NNYM page about some creative ideas about fundraising for summer mission trips.

You can check it out here:

June 1, 2012

Going Deeper Still With "Life Under the Big Top"

Had the privilege of writing a response piece for Immerse Journal this past week. You can check out the article, other responses, and join in on the conversation yourself here:

May 31, 2012

Sermon 5/27/12 - When We Disagree

Got to preach last week with my buddy Nich Colbert. Follow him on Twitter @st_nich

As Christians, it's not a matter of if we disagree with someone we know, but when.
What is the right way to disagree? 
And does it matter if they are a Christian or not?

May 28, 2012

Do We Really Need That?

Finally getting back to the series on finances that my wife and I started a ways back. Part 4 of 5 deals with how do we figure out what we need versus what we want. Check it out here:

May 24, 2012

Sermon 5/20/12 - The Way of Wisdom

Most of the choices we make today WILL affect tomorrow.
How do we learn and gain wisdom in our lives to help avoid unfavorable consequences?

May 14, 2012

Sermon 5/13/12 - Hope

Is it possible to have hope apart from Jesus?
What do we do if we are feeling hopeless about a situation or life in general?

May 9, 2012

Sermon 5/6/12 - Do This In Remembrance of Me

What did Jesus mean when he said, "do this in remembrance of me?" 
Was it really just about eating a wafer and drinking a thimble of juice?

April 26, 2012

Sermon 4/22/12 - Salt of the Earth

What does it really mean when Jesus called His followers "salt of the earth?"
What does that look like for us today?
How should that impact our lives?

April 19, 2012

Honoring Your Seniors

Just wrote a piece about how to send off high school grads feeling loved by the church! Check it out here:

April 7, 2012

Sermon 4/1/12 - Everything You Need

What is the difference between needs versus wants?
Why is it so important to understand that difference?
What did Jesus mean in Matthew 6:33 when he said he would give us "everything we need?"

April 2, 2012

It's All About Perspective

Just wrote a new blog about the importance of seeing life from one another's perspectives, espeically in the midst of tension. Check it out here:

March 30, 2012

Sermon 3/25/12 - The Pursuit of Success

What does the Bible really say about pursuing success? 
Is it wrong to pursue material success as a follower of Jesus?
Is there a way we can guarantee success in our lives?

March 16, 2012

What's Your Leadership Style?

What's your leadership style? Do you value tasks more than relationships, or do you care more about people than getting the job done? The answer could say a lot about how you lead and how others perceive your leadership. We all naturally value one over the other; it's not wrong, it's just how we are wired. However, it's important to know which way you lean so you can make adjustments to become a more balanced leader.

Youth workers who understand their leadership style are in tune with how their leadership impacts parents, students, adult volunteers and other church leaders. When you know your leadership style you can craft your interactions with key people in more intentional ways and you're more able to achieve key goals.

My friends at LeaderTreks just released a brand new FREE tool to help youth worker think through this issue. Check it out below:

Youth Workers Leadership Style Assessment

March 9, 2012

Baby News

The wife and I did a joint blog talking about some of the things we have been learning with our recent foster-to-adopt placement. You can check it out here: 

February 29, 2012

How Old Should You Be To Marry

The wife and I (@marriageismessy) just wrote a new piece for about the right age to get married. Check it out here:

February 14, 2012

Our Kids and Sexuality

I led a parent workshop about two weeks ago on the topic of teenage sexuality. The workshop covered three sections:

1) Some current statistics about sexuality and students.
2) Some helpful tips on how to talk about sex with your kids.
3) How to answer some of the tough questions about sex that kids are asking from a Biblical perspective.

To check out the workshop, click here.

Worship in the Presence

February 8, 2012

Taming the Ministry Tongue

The wife and I just had a new piece go up on called "Taming the Ministry Tongue." Check it out for some great tips on how to bring some balance to how much work and ministry is discussed at home.

February 7, 2012

January 24, 2012

Answering the Tough Questions About Sexuality: Now Available on Kindle!

My book, Answering the Tough Questions About Sexuality is now available on Kindle and for the rest of today is FREE!

Check it out here:

January 23, 2012

Book Review: Combo Preteen Devotionals

Got to do a combo review of these two books for Youth Worker Journal:
Truth & Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Girls and Triple Dog Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Boys. Check out the review here:

January 17, 2012

Below the Surface

Wrote a new blog about understanding what our fights are really about. So often in our relationships - marriage, dating, friendships, parenting, etc. - our fights are not really about the things we are arguing about. Instead, there are things going on beneath the surface that we really need to understand if we are ever going to truly resolve our issues.  You can check out the blog here:

January 16, 2012

What You Need to Know if You Ever Want to Get Married

Had the privilege of running a workshop this past weekend at Monadnock Bible Conference in Jaffrey, NH.

It's been bugging me for a little while that marriage is a topic often forgotten when it comes to teens and youth ministry. The only things that happen more than marriages in our culture are deaths and births...yet we don't really train people for marriage until 6 months to a year prior. Yet, they have years of subconscious lessons about marriage to combat the quick lessons!

If you want to check out the workshop, you can click here to download the MP3 or head over to my iTunes podcast by clicking the link on the right of this page.