Archive for the ‘Epic’ Category

CORE students get some help priming the Youth Room for the big update! #leadership

CORE students get some help priming the Youth Room for the big update! #leadership

Basecamp” is about preparing for a journey. ¬†We have been preparing for CORE Youth Ministry’s big journey this summer merging with 7th and 8th grade students; until now our preparation has come in the form of brainstorming ideas (remember the white tiger idea?), cleaning the youth room and planning the new room design, and discussing lesson plans.

This past Wednesday, the students of CORE turned the preparation inward.

One important factor when beginning a journey is leadership.  We have all been a part of a group with natural-born leaders; other times we are a part of a group with weak or reluctant leaders.  One thing we can learn by reading both the Old and New Testament is that we serve a God who loves to show His leadership through the most unlikely people and situations.  Perhaps one of the most profound examples of this can be seen through the journey of the Israelites from slavery into the Promised Land.

Moses and Israelites-003

Even though the lines of this picture have become a bit faded (click the pic for a closer look), you can see that the Israelite’s journey is full of ups and downs. ¬†When you read Exodus (for the sake of the narrative, you can skip the laws of Leviticus and the census info from Numbers 1-10), Numbers 11-25, Deuteronomy, and Joshua you see an action and adventure-filled drama that is almost as unbelievable as the storyline of Twilight. ¬†Almost. ¬†(I haaaave to believe that God parting the Red Sea is more¬†believable¬†than a world where a vampire and a werewolf are both in love with Kristen Stewart. ¬†Maybe that’s just me…)

This journey shows us good (and bad) leadership on the part of Moses, Aaron, and Joshua. ¬†This journey also shows us the good (AND BAD!) example of God’s beloved people, the Israelites. ¬†Read the story (Exodus – Joshua) and follow along on our slides [Leadership 4:6]. Ask yourself:

What are the lessons learned by the Israelites?

What lessons do we learn from the Israelites?

What great leadership qualities were displayed by Moses?  Aaron?  Joshua?  What poor leadership qualities were displayed?

What does this journey reveal about God?  What does it reveal about the Israelites?  What does it reveal about ourselves?

How can we be strong leaders in our new journey?

My prayer for you is that the God who delights in showing His powerful leadership through the most unlikely of people and situations would reveal Himself to you this week.  As we see through this journey to the Promised Land, our God hears the cry of His people, and He responds in powerful ways.


Basecamp: The place where you prepare for a journey.

By now I am certain you have caught on: we are preparing for EXCITING changes at CORE Youth Ministry.

I am proud to announce that the huge journey we are preparing for is a new addition to our Wednesday night programming!

Smallest LogoBeginning Wednesday, June 5 we will expand to include 7th and 8th grade students.  We.Are.Psyched!

Much of our “Basecamp” preparation revolves around dreaming and planning for a summer of super-sweet activities. ¬†In honor of the epic launch of “Merge” we are kickin’ our summer off in style: A trip to Valley Fair!

Valley Fair Trip-001Let the anticipation for an AWESOME summer (full of games, growth, and adventure!) begin!

Series GraphicI’ve been pretty hyped about our new series, “Basecamp.” ¬†You may be asking yourself, “Whattheheck is a basecamp?” ¬†Basecamp refers to the place where, say, a mountain climber prepares for his journey. ¬†Basecamp is the place where he rests, trains, and prepares for his journey ahead.

You guessed it! ¬†At CORE Youth Ministry we’re about to begin a journey. ¬†But that journey does not begin until aaaaaafter we train up at “Basecamp.”

It is my personal belief that before beginning a new, uncharted journey it is beneficial to look back on the events that brought you to this point.  Last night we remembered mission trips, theologically dense series, and hilarious kung fu movies.

We talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly things we’ve experienced together over the past three years. ¬†We brainstormed the things we need to accomplish before beginning our new journey this summer (…like getting a white tiger for the youth room. ¬†Wouldn’t that be sweet?!) ¬†We began to dream about the things we need to accomplish at “Basecamp” before the summer journey begins.

I can’t help but think about Moses and the Israelites leaving slavery in Egypt for the Promised Land (Exodus). ¬†There was a lot of fear and¬†uncertainty¬†(and complaining!), but there were also AMAZING demonstrations of God’s power and provision.

In the coming weeks we will explore this biblical example more closely as we prepare for the adventurous journey that lies before us. ¬†In the mean time, I’m going to research the cost of feeding a white tiger.

Chicken n WafflesSometimes you just need a fun night. ¬†A night where you kick back, eat ridiculous food, and laugh with your friendy-friends. ¬†That’s what the students of CORE Youth Ministry did last night.

You might be from the south, thinking that chicken ‘n waffles is a totally acceptable meal. ¬†However, we are from the midwest, and the thought of this meal shocked us. ¬†Then it excited us. “Let’s try it!” ¬†And try it we did.

In my extensive research (because I’m a very thorough Youth Director) I learned that people eat this meal two different ways: covered in syrup, or covered in white gravy. ¬†I wondered which would taste better: sweet or savory. ¬†So in my quest for an answer, I prepared both.

In the predictions round, students and leaders thought the syrup was going to kick the gravy’s tush. ¬† Can’t you hear the “Rocky” theme music?

ChickenWaffles PredictionsGoing into the taste-testing, syrup was the predicted winner with 7-1 odds. ¬†Yikes! ¬†it was not looking good for the gravy. ¬†Buuuuuut, as we tasted both, some of our minds changed…








…wait for it…








ChickenwaffleswinnerI can’t believe it! ¬†By only one point! ¬†I guess all the blood, sweat, and tears I put into the gravy paid off! ¬†Well, not quite since savory did not win, but I’ll count it as a victory allthesame.

Since the camera battery was dead we don’t have any pictures from playing “Dance Yo’ Socks Off,” “Human Battleship,” “CandyBall,” or “Catch Phrase.” ¬†But trust me: we laughed a lot.

All in all, it was a much needed night of fun.





holy week

Here we are in Holy Week, the most life-changing events for God’s people. ¬†We have spent seven weeks preparing our hearts for what is about to take place. ¬†Last night Manchester United Methodist Church taught on Matthew 26:1-4, 14-16, which is the plot to kill Jesus:

When Jesus had finished saying all these things,¬†he said to his disciples,¬†2¬†‚ÄúAs you know, the Passover¬†is two days away‚ÄĒand the Son¬†of Man¬†will be handed over to be crucified.‚ÄĚ ¬†3¬†Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled¬†in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,¬†4¬†and they schemed to¬†arrest¬†Jesus secretly and kill him….14¬†Then one of the Twelve‚ÄĒthe one called Judas Iscariot‚ÄĒwent to the chief priests¬†15¬†and asked, ‚ÄúWhat are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?‚ÄĚ So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.¬†16¬†From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (NIV)

What a slime-ball, right?! ¬†Judas was in Jesus’ posse, did everything with Him for 3 years, witnessed miracles, heard teaching, knew Jesus to be the Savior King…

…and he betrays Him? ¬†For 30 piece of silver?! ¬†REALLY?!

I can’t believe that’s all it took for Judas to betray Jesus. ¬†It breaks my heart. ¬†It makes me mad. ¬†How could he do that to Jesus?! ¬†How could he?! ¬†I asked this question to the students of CORE Youth Ministry and realized the cold, hard truth:

I am Judas. ¬†And I’m willing to bet you are, too.

You see, this Sunday is in danger of becoming¬†jussanothaday if we don’t see ourselves as sinners in need of saving. ¬†Otherwise, what is there to celebrate? ¬†If we are “good enough,” we don’t need Jesus to break the curse of sin.

But we do need him. ¬†Desperately. ¬†We are just a despicable as Judas. ¬†We betray Jesus with our words and actions. ¬†We rebel against our Heavenly Father with our heart and mind. ¬†We grieve the Holy Spirit with our sin. ¬†We will never be “good enough” on our own. ¬†We.Need.A.Savior.

And our Creator God knew this. ¬†His love for us is so deep–so unfathomably wide–that He implemented the most scandalous rescue mission of all time.

Enter: Jesus.

This Easter, as you reflect on the betrayal of Maundy Thursday (Matthew 26:17-75), the perceived hopelessness of Good Friday (Matthew 27:11-66), and the celebration of Resurrection Sunday (John 20-21). I invite you to fully engage with the events of Holy Week.  Let the realization of your sin remind you of your desperate need of a Savior, and let your desperate need for a Savior make your celebration that much sweeter on Sunday.

He.Is.Victorious!  Oh happy day!

This lesson was based on the Lenten sermon on March 27, 2013 from Senior Pastor Mike Druhl of Manchester United Methodist Church.

Mission Info


My office will be open on Mondays from 3:30-5pm to research and explore ways we can serve. ¬†Feel free to join us then, or research on your own. ¬†Not sure where to begin your research? ¬†Check out the amazing organization @coreyouthmin follows on Twitter, or take a look at some organizations on Kels’ Ministry Resources Board on Pinterest.

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