I had an article published on YouthMinistry.com and I'd love for you to check it out and leave me a comment with your thoughts!

The article is called "Swimming Upstream in YM" and you can check it out by clicking right here.

- Tim B.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Good word for ANYONE in ministry today!

- Tim B.
Being in ministry means facing frustration, FREQUENTLY.  Just wanted to let you know you're not the only one...

- Tim B.
This is a great activity you can do with your students anytime of year, but especially at Easter since there it is such an EGG-citing time.  I just can't help myself...

Anyway, this activity leads in to a discussion about what you put your hope in.  I use it around Easter and talk about putting our hope in the One who died and rose again, and how the resurrection is assurance to the believer that our hope is not misplaced but Jesus has indeed triumphed over death!

First, break students in to small groups of 3-4.  Give each group a bag filled with random craft supplies (string, paper, cotton balls, dixie cups, pipe cleaners, etc. - basically whatever's lying around!).

Tell them that they have ten minutes to construct a "vehicle" in which they must place an egg.  The "vehicle" must protect the egg because you're going to drop it from a height (we have a fire escape at our church that works perfectly, a tall step ladder would work fine as well).

NOTE - do NOT give them the eggs before hand.  You MUST be able to put the egg in just before the launch.  Not only will students be able to "cheat" by wrapping up their egg in all their supplies making it virtually indestructible, but you may have egg on your face, literally, if you let them have raw eggs before hand.

Once they're finished, take them OUTSIDE and drop the eggs, one at a time.  It's super-fun to see which ones survive and which ones don't.  Afterward, come back inside and use some of these questions to move in to your lesson.

1. Which design was the best?  The worst?
2. If you were the egg, which "vehicle" would you get in?  Which one would you NEVER get in?
3. What are some things people put their hope in for security, protection, peace, etc. in this life?

And take it from there!  Have fun!!!

- Tim B.
Stumbled on a great site today called Essentials.tv.  The site contains all of the promotional, educational, and illustrative videos from the North American Mission Board.  You can browse through the entire library and download the videos for FREE!

Our pastor is using the video above for his Easter Sunday sermon, and I'm sure we'll use more of the videos in the very near future.

The perfect song for this week!

- Tim B.
This morning Trisha, Grayson, and I drove around to check out various groups from our church serving in our community.  Our students were involved in some of these groups, and they did an awesome job!  Here's a short video I made that we'll use in worship tomorrow.

- Tim B.
Every once in a while I'll pull an old post or article I've written and repost it.  I'd love any thoughts you may have!  This is from an article I wrote for YouthMinistry.com in January of 2010.  Enjoy!

One of my biggest struggles lately has been coming to terms with my inability to birth passion within the lives of students. Hard as I try, I just can’t seem to force passion on them.

Don't get me wrong. I believe that in youth ministry part of our calling is to foster passion within the lives of young people - passion for God's fame, His glory, His kingdom coming, and their story within that Kingdom. I think you could look at it as tending soil, if you're into agricultural metaphors.

The thing is though, you can water the ground all day long but if there's not a seed below the surface, nothing is going to grow there. In the same way, if there are no seeds of Godly passion within a young man or woman's soul, our efforts to inspire them for the sake of the Gospel are, ultimately, in vain.

Even though I know this in my head, I still get heart-frustrated when faced with the spiritual apathy of so many young people, especially the ones who have been in church their whole lives and think that the whole thing is one giant cliché.

At the core of this struggle, there’s a fundamental truth I have to grasp:

I am not God.

Shocking, right?

In John 6:44 Jesus says "…no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him..." I just have to keep reminding myself that God is the One doing the real work in the lives of the students in our ministry. I am, in a very real way, just there to work the soil of their lives. And in the same way that gardening or farming takes time, patience, hard work, and a willingness to wait for the right season to see the harvest, God will, in His perfect timing, plant the seed and cause it to grow.

So here’s my encouragement to you. Let’s keep working. Let’s keep watering. Let’s keep tilling the soil and getting down deep into the lives of young people and praying for the opportunity to witness God-planted seeds of passion take root and break through to the surface of their lives.  And let's remember that when we are frustrated with the blank stares, the apathetic attitudes, and the compromising behavior, this simple truth: we are not God.

But He is.  And He can do anything.

- Tim B.
Excitement... growing.... !
Blogging has been a little slow for me lately as the Easter season is in full swing, AND we're trying to do a small "relaunch" of our midweek Student Gathering.  Hopefully once this all settles down in May I'll be able to provide you all with lots of new content.  Until then, thanks so much for keeping up with me here at YM Stuff - if you're in youth ministry in any capacity, I love you and appreciate what you do for this generation!