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    Society of the 412

    Note to self: When I was growing up I would occassionally hear preaching about going to the next level. Many times it felt frustrating becuase I did not know I to take it to the next level. We started this program to help our students with a desire move to the next level. Society of the 412 We have started a new program called the “Society of the 412”. We firmly believe that God has great plans instore for the teenagers at our church. We believe they will someday become global leaders for the cause of Christ. Today they must...
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    Great Resources…

    I would like to let you know about a few resources I have found very helpful over the last week. “200 Crazy Time Games” by Reno Likens. A good friend of mine Chad Gordan gave me the book and I hadn’t really looked at it until this week. It is full of great, quick, and cheap games to play with your youth group. Life Application Study Bible (KJV) My wife bought it for me for Christmas. I have not had a study Bible for about 5 years. I was told that it would distract me from the scripture. I do not...
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    Ramblings from North Africa

    Description: Project North Africa’s First Year of ministry to muslims. This book will help you see the great need of the gospel in the muslim world. Through this book we get a glimpse of what it is like to live in a closed muslim country. Read of the heart aches and great joys of ministry in a muslim country! I will be taking sometime every Thursday night in the month of Jan. to read a small part of this book to our young people. They have met the author and his family. I believe it will challenge them to overcome...
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    Great Things

    Spurgeon said that “The key to great preaching is great subjects.” Most youth leaders have taken the greatest subjects, hidden them behind the counter and fed their kids junk food Christianity instead. Hosea 8:12 I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. The Bible is so full of great things! Tomorrow we will continue our study in Galatians in our first lesson then I am going to try to show the students what it really means to be “rad” in our second sermon. It is so exciting to share...
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    2007 Year End Review

    I was sent an “end of the year questionnaire” from my pastor. When I saw it in my inbox I thought ..”I don’t look forward to this..” However, when I finished I was really glad I took the time to fill it out. I would challenge you all to take the time to fill it out. Based upon what I filled out I decided to focus on somethings this year. I spent some part of my day, the first day of the year, with everyone of the highschool guys I think want to do something for God. I also called...
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    Great exploits!

    Daniel 11:32 “..but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” I returned yesterday from the Our Generation Summit. As far as we know, there is not another meeting of its kind. My soul was stirred by hearing of the great exploits of our missionaries around the world. I was reminded of the fact that our missionaries do not have a monopoly on big dreams. They do not do great exploits becuase they are missionaries, but becuase they know our God. They understand the importance of dwelling in the shadow of the Almighty before they step out...
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    Kids and parents agree: 18- to 25-year-olds aren’t adults

    Kids and parents agree: 18- to 25-year-olds aren’t adults from Austin’s reading by Austin Gardner The following article is very interesting when you consider that we are in the ministry of training men and women to be leaders for the cause of Christ. What do you think? Are they adults or not? Were you? How does this affect the way we should work with them? By Marilyn Elias, USA TODAY Once upon a time, 18- to 25-year-olds were considered adults. That’s a fairy tale now, say most parents of college students, and their kids agree in a new study that...
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    What a night..

    Tonight “Bro. Aaron” from Project North Africa preached at our church. It was one of the most phenomenal services that I have ever been in. I do not say that lightly. I have been in many great church services, missions conferences, and camps. Because it is late I will be brief. He told about his last year in Morocco. Which you can read about in his new book “Ramblings from North Africa”. You can order one by calling us at the church office, 770-456-5881. Aaron is one of the hardest working servant I know. I have known him for almost...
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    They must be willing to suffer..

    Today I had to great opportunity to sit in a class where there was a dialogue between my pastor, Austin Garder, and “Bro. Aaron” a missionary in Morocco. They both would give personal and Biblical examples of the importance of Christians being willing to suffer for the cause of Christ. It is hard to see if somebody is willing to do something until they are put to the test. I say I am willing and desirous to go to the mission field. However, unless I am called to a field and I answer yes or no I feel like without...
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    Your friends determine so much..

    This morning I read in 2 Samuel 13 about Amnon and his friend. Growing up I have heard literally dozen of youth messages on this sermon. They were great and helpful. This morning I noticed something different. I noticed how real the emotions Amnon felt even though they were wrong. Amnon was sick over his false love for his sister. Then I read on our church blog on how one of missionaries Chris Gardner got sick over the break up of a girl friend when he was younger. I want to keep this in mind when I hear my students...
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    My writings couldn’t fill an entire Dr. Suess set…

    This morning I listened to John Piper teach for about an hour and half on the life of Charles Spurgeon. He reminded me of the fact that the writings of Spurgeon could fill up an encyclopedia set! He did this in a time without blogs and without computers He did this without ghost writers who would take your sermon, write a book, and call you the author. He did this before Christian publishers came up with the idea that you can print anything regardless of the lack of content as long as the cover will look good on the coffee...
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    I like ultimate frisbee..

    You may think “I like ultimate frisbee” is a silly topic for my blog. If you think so you can get your own blog, they are free you know. I am just joking. I feel silly writing down some reasons I thought that I enjoyed todays activites. However, maybe in the future I will look at this and it will remind me of something I learned today. I liked playing ultimate frisbee with my teenagers on Saturday becuase.. 1. I think it is good for the teenagers to see me act sillier when I am playing a sport then when I am...
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    Conversation with Jake..

    One of my best friends in the whole wide world (I said like a 3 year huh) is a missionary in eastern China. We have tried to make a practice of talking about every Monday morning, it is night time for him. I should really get into the practice of talking to more of my friends overseas. So many of the ministry principles Jake is learning is universal. Also, since we trained and have served together we have the same vocabulary so it makes explaining something we are seeing going on much quicker. We use terms such as “put the ball...
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    Bible Reading Revolution

    I want to encourage you to look at the Bible Reading Revolution blog. It is written by John Pearson, who is a great friend, Bible teacher, and member of our church. At our church we invite people to “discover the difference”. There are many things that we believe make us different, especially when it comes to world missions. However, if their is one thing we would want to be known for is the fact that we are “people of the book”.  We encourage our teenagers to be students of the book and desire that everyone of them would have a...
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    What has happened to us..

    I am sure you all have heard about the latest “Mall Massacre”. Robert Hawkins left behind a suicide note that read, in part, “sorry for everything,” and “Now I’ll be famous.” Hawkins recently broke up with his girlfriend and lost his job at McDonald’s. There are many reasons we see stories like the one above more now then ever. You can blame it on television, video games, the message music gives, the lack of parenting teenagers are getting, the apathy of the church, or one of the other thousand factors that could contribute to the life of this teenager. What bothers...
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    What if I am never the best..

    My friend, Bro. Aaron as he is known in his latest book, told me that I should be more personal in my blog so I will take his advice. Over the last almost 7 years I have received some good advice from him. As a student in college looking for someone to invest in my life and in my thoughts make sure I don’t turn out a goofball in the ministry he advised me to go to Peru. Good advice. The problem, in my opinion, is that I could have went into college a rebellious goof and left college an...
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    Passing the Baton (1of 3)

    Passing the Baton Youth Ministry as a Means to Discipling the Church Eric Bancroft Associate Pastor, High School Ministry  I. Phase One: Fundamentals of Discipleship “Discipleship” is not a new word for many of us, but it often can be a misunderstood word. In an attempt to be clear, let me tell you what I am not speaking about:
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    It’s Not a Game

    My Pastor, Austin Gardner, sent me this article this morning and I believe it is great. I especially like the part about “expository preaching”. It is often said at our church we should be “people of the book”. That is a core value of our church and hopefully every church. For the last month I have been preaching through the book of Galatians. It does not feel like what I am used to in youth ministry. However, it has been some of the most exciting lessons we have had so far. The Word of God knows what teenagers need more then I could...
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    Signs of Life

    Today I had the great opportunity to see my child for the first time. My wife, Stephanie, is 8 weeks pregnant and we had our second doctors appointment today. It was absolutely incredible. I can not say we were as Rachel in Genesis 30 or like many of our close friends who had a very hard time having children. However, we both had a great desire and ask God for the opportunity to have a child. It seemed to be real today. We have known for 4 weeks or so that Steph. has been expecting. It wasn’t deal today that...
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    “post message depression”

    I am experiencing the “post message depression”. I had the great opportunity to speak to the Alpharetta High School football team. I was excited about the opportunity and went in fired up. I had the chance to talk with the coach and students before the FCA chapel. I followed my mental road map, hit my main point, made them laugh, and stayed with inside my time. However, I feel like I did did not allow God to have His way. I acted like it was a great opportunity for me and did not realize it was an opportunity created by...
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    Tweenagers

    Today I have spent some time recording some information I know about my students. I am recording more then just information such as address, email address, and school. I am logging information about what sports they like, what subjects they are most likely to bring up, and anything else I can to help me know more about them. As I was working on this project I noticed some of the differences between by 7th graders and 12th graders.  We have a good amount of 6th graders who will be moving up to our department next summer. I am thankful to have a man...
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    Reveal don’t Create

    Tonight I tried something new. Definitely something that wasn’t new to Christianity or new to preachers, just new to me.Tonight instead of trying to making sure my exciting, entertaining youth program had an adequate amount of Bible so I knew I wasn’t wasting my time or theirs. I tried my very best to show them how exciting the Bible is. I taught Galatians 1:1-10. I decided that I do not need to “create excitement”. I simply need to “reveal the excitement” that is in the Word of God. Tonight my neighbor accepted Christ! If I would have chosen a subject of my...
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    You better believe in the guy you follow into battle…

    Judges 1:2,3  And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. (v.3) And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him. Judah had a promise that the land would be delievered into his hand. Judah ask Simeon to join him and knew it would be beneficial for him. I know the Pastor I work for has some promises given to him. Not just becuase he has...
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    “Short Yard Specialist”

    This afternoon I watched some of the Georgia/ Florida football. I say I watched some of it because our Senior/Lead Pastor reads this blog on occasion and I don’t want to admit I have watched every minute of it!  I heard a term that I believe I have never heard before. They referred to one of the GA players as a “short yard specialist”. The Bulldogs were at 3rd and 3 and they gave the ball to the “short yard specialist”. They have a couple of guys they normally hand it off to who can average 7-9 yards a run....
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    Preach “all the counsel of God”.. that includes us!

    Every Friday I have the great opportunity of participating in a class in the Our Generation Training Center, the missionary training department of our church. Today we came to a discussion about preaching the “full counsel of God”. It is apparent from reading Criswell’s sermons and books that he had a great affinity with Charles Spurgeon He noted that Spurgeon preached over four thousand sermons that covered almost every verse of the Bible. While their preaching style was different the effect was similar; they both preached the whole Bible and preached the whole Bible as true. In his book, Why...
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    Law of First “Instance”

    Even though I have not been a youth pastor very long I already have a long list of regrets. One is that I did not maximize the “Law of First ‘Instance’” Meaning that I started many things poorly and they still suffer from it today. A couple of examples that you might relate with… The church announced work days and I did not emphasis the importance of the students being there. I announced a visitation program and did not get it going well for them on Saturdays. I gave a “read the Bible daily challenge” and did not follow up...
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    Fish grow according to their tank.. do you?

    Two days ago I received a 8 inch oscar for my 40 gallon tank. I love it. However, my wife feels like the fish is to big for the tank. Which in someways may be true. The fish would have never grown to that size in that tank. He was raised in an outside fountain. So when he, referring to fish, was put in the tank he didn’t really move much because he felt like he was to big for his tank. This reminded me of the verse in Jeremiah 12:5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they...
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    Youth Pastor.. don’t let them put us in a box!

    During short vacation last February I was flipping through the tv and saw a cartoon called King of the Hill was talking about church youth groups. It was called “Reborn to be Wild” and was nominated for an award by The Writers Guild of America. Which is amazing how Christians adults can not talk about Christ at school because it will offend students but they will go home and watch 4 hours of television that loves for Christianity to be its punch line. I tried to find the video clip and couldn’t but I did find a good junk of...
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    “Show and Tell”

     On Wednesday I have the opportunity to go to South Forsth High School and talk about South America. Last night, Zach the history teacher from the school was at our home. I was running around showing him all kind of cool souvenirs I have picked up during my travel. This led us into a discussion about “show and tell” at school. Remember when you wanted to take the coolest thing to school for show and tell. However, you only had like 2 cool things and you had “show and tell” every Friday in school. I remember being bummed out that...
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    FOCUS: #1 What do we know about God?

    What do we know about God? Nothing affects you view of life and the afterlife then your view of God. With a proper view of who God is and what He has done will allow you to see yourself for who you are and what you can do in this world. Many times when we think about God we focus on all the things we do not know about Him. Many of us have laid in bed, sat in class, or even ask some one… “Where did God come from?” or “What does God look like?” Instead of focusing on...
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