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The challenge is preventing summer camp from being a one-week “adrenaline rush” experience. How do we take one of the best tools in our ministry toolbox to the next level? We need a plan for building on the decisions and the experiences to extend the benefits? Summer camp plays a vital role in the overall strategy of any student ministry.…

The graduation buzz is everywhere! Graduation invitations are arriving like political mailers during the presidential election. Depending on your region of the country, you may be winding down from or gearing up for graduations. The hotel I’m staying at this weekend in New Hampshire is overrun with graduates and parents preparing for graduation ceremonies. Last Wednesday I spoke at the…

This...is the generation that seeks Him, that seeks Your face. Psalm 26:6 Why do students give up sleep, leaving the comfort of their beds every week to join friends for prayer before going to school? They come together to “watch and pray” as the scriptures command. After a brief time in the scriptures, they focus on praying for friends, teachers,…

Live long enough and you will discover many things in life are cyclical. I was reminded of this concept the other day in a discussion with a youth pastor about “skinny jeans.” Relax. There is no danger of my purchasing a pair; we were just discussing student fashion. I told the youth pastor a story about my uncle questioning me…

Directing a youth camp is a little like running a three-ring circus. There is always activity in one arena or another captivating your attention. You have the rapid movement of students from one event to the next and, like the circus, not all the animals cooperate. It requires a special type of person to be a camp director. This week…

The timing between waves was erratic, definitely not an exact science. The ocean would swell—anticipation would ebb and flow as the right wave would fail to materialize. Occasionally an impatient surfer would launch out on an imperfect wave simply from boredom. Watching the surfers from the distant shore was intriguing. Their commitment to the task was obvious by the cost…

There are advantages to living forty miles from the nearest large city (“large” being a relative term). We do not have smog, stoplights, or traffic jams. When I leave my office, waiting on more than three cars to pass so I can pull out onto the state road seems like an eternity. Being located in the heart of the Adirondack…

2017 is upon us as are the perennial New Year’s Resolutions. I applaud the attempts made through this holiday tradition to bring about change, but many are temporary. Students need more than holiday resolutions as they face challenges for the New Year. Now is a great time to invest a little extra time helping them think through those challenges. While…

There is no “Secret Formula” for bringing Generation’s Y and Z to Christ. However, there is a “Gospel Magnet” for attracting them. This may sound contradictory but hear me out. There is a difference in a “Secret Formula” and what I refer to as a “Gospel Magnet.” A formula suggests “X easy steps” to salvation or perhaps some procedure that…

Few things are more powerful than a generation of students awakened to prayer. History is replete with examples of young men and women in prayer groups under haystacks, and in churches or school rooms. Most were armed with nothing more than burdened hearts and a belief in God. It is not pushing a point to draw lines of correlation from…

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