Here's an article I wrote for this month's edition of our church newsletter - enjoy!

Last week Trisha, Grayson, and myself had the awesome opportunity to spend a week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Being on vacation with a six-month-old is an interesting experience.  In the past one of my favorite parts of vacation was being able to go to bed without setting an alarm clock and having the chance to sleep in till 10 or 11 if I wanted to.  Well, I have a feeling that those days are long gone!

My wonderful son "provided" me the opportunity to get up several mornings to see the sunrise.  As we sat on the beach together watching the sun break over the surface of the water, it was a great chance to pray, reflect, and seek God's heart for my own life and also for our ministry here at FBCCS.  In those morning hours I really felt God impress upon me two things.

First, He reminded me that there is much work to be done here.  There are so many things He wants to accomplish in our midst!  I have a renewed heart and passion to see young people give their lives to Jesus, to see families restored and renewed with a passion to grow in their faith together, and to see our youth make a difference in their schools, their community, and their world!

I was also reminded that to achieve God's will both in life and in ministry, we've got to remember the simple truths that we are so often distracted from.  The most important things an individual, a church, or a ministry can focus on is to:

GROW together.
GO serve.

These are biblical values (see Matt. 20:27-28; Mark 12:30, 15:16; Acts 1:8; Hebrews 10:25; and many, many others) that we have been working on imparting to students for the last five years.  My hope is that over the next several months we can recapture a passion and a heart to live out these values in our everyday lives and in our efforts as a youth ministry.

It's back to the basics, and I'm excited for what God wants to do in Youth Ministry here at FBCCS!  Will you join me in praying for, and possibly serving, the youth of our church and community?

Renewed, rededicated, refreshed,

- Tim Blake
Youth Minister, FBCCS 



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Here's one of my favorite articles I've written for  Enjoy!

I’m troubled by a thought that crept into my head the other day:  In my youth ministry is Jesus the Master or the mascot?

First, let me explain the difference.

When Jesus is the Master, our youth ministries look like this:

-         Teenagers are coming to Jesus and being baptized.
-         Worship is exciting and is at the forefront of our time together.
-         The Bible saturates our conversations and is preached with conviction.
-         Love is both in us and flowing out from us as we are serving others.
-         Things just feel right (not always happy and shiny, but right).

When Jesus is the mascot, our youth ministries look like this:

-         The baptismal is dry as a bone (and has been for a while).
-         Worship is a musical time-filler.
-         The Bible is an afterthought – a quick footnote thrown in after a game of four-on-the-couch or dodgeball.
-         Gossip, anger, and hurtful words are present in our group.
-         Things do not feel right – we as youth ministers have a lack of peace and feel uneasy in our ministries.

When Jesus is moved from the center of our activity to the sidelines – when He ceases to be Master and becomes mascot – our ministries suffer for it.  This is what I’m challenging us to do:  keep Christ and His cross as the beating heart at the center of our ministries to teenagers, pumping life and new blood into our veins.  Let’s not let preaching, worship, and discipleship become afterthoughts in our ministries, and let’s not be tempted to replace faith with fun.  (But by all means, keep the fun!)

How does your ministry look?  Is Jesus the Master – or the mascot?  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1.   Break down the time you spend with students during the week (most youth ministries only have 3-6 hours per week with students – a sobering thought itself).  How much of your time is spent doing the following:

a.   Bible study/teaching
b.   Worship
c.   Serving
d.   Playing games
e.   Just hanging out
f.     Nothing structured at all

Hopefully most of your time is spent at the top of that list – otherwise, Jesus might be the mascot of your youth ministry, not the Master.

2.   What about your daily routine?  As the leader of your ministry, how much time do you spend each day reading/studying the Bible, praying, or worshiping personally? 

If your answer to any or all of these is little to none, Jesus may simply be the mascot of your ministry – or worse, your life.

3.   Could you, right now, tell me several specific stories from the last month of how God is moving in the lives of your students?

If not, Jesus could be a mascot and not the Master of your youth ministry.

I’m praying for you and for me and for all of us in this adventure called youth ministry today – praying that we would see Jesus as our Master and put Him at the forefront of all we do in ministry.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or ways you’ve made sure that Jesus didn’t become the mascot in your youth ministry.  Comments are free!