The Abishai Anointing
We all want an Abishai in our life like David had...an armor-bearer who is fiercely loyal. But the question is, "Who are you an Abishai to?"
So many times, we want to be a David more than we want to serve the Davids that Jesus has put in our lives. How easy is it for you to serve other people, to work really hard to make their dreams come true?
In this Youth Leader's Coach, "The Abishai Anointing," we'll examine Abishai's life and discover what's at the core of his being. Hopefully, we'll find it to be contagious!
May your love and commitment not be to the palace, the perks or the position but to the person. May Hell regret that you ever came to serve the Davids in your life.
In the spirit realm, unforgiveness always emotionally chains you to the person you are not forgiving. The truth is that forgiveness is hard. It's easy not to forgive because we don't feel like we can or we think it lets the person off the hook from what they've done. In reality though, unforgiveness is like drinking a cup of poison and expecting the other person to die from it.
In this month's Source, "Who Are You Chained To?" I'm sharing with our students five practical ways to unchain yourself from people who have wounded you. I promise you, for your students and your adult leaders alike, this will be an incredibly helpful message.
Taking off the chains,
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I once heard someone say that a word of encouragement after a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after a success. This is the core of our teaching in this Source. Christians are quick to say many things but I want us to focus on what we are not saying.
We would all like to think that we are encouragers but the truth is, we are mostly complainers. We are called to take care of each other, to be friendly and hospitable, but how well are we really fulfilling this calling? If we believe the Lord's return is approaching then let us throw off whatever is hindering us from lovingly encouraging weaknesses and strongly encouraging strengths in our brothers and sisters.
As leaders, we are expected to be encouragers, but I know that it is easier to be encouraged than it is to encourage. As you make encouragement a habit in your life you will find your heart being changed and your attitude uplifted and remember, whatever gets rewarded gets repeated! As Celeste Holm so wisely stated, "We live by encouragement and die without it." Listen in as we talked about "One Of Christianity's Most Ignored Messages."
Still finding ways to encourage,
There's not much more of a current way to approach the topic of friendships than Facebook. It's a social networking phenomenon! However, it's going to take more than Facebook and imaginary cyber-space friends to fill the chasm in our hearts for authentic friendship.
Through multiple methods of creative communication, in this issue of the Source, "How Many Facebook Friends Do You Have?," we address one of the top things that can rob a person of their destiny and purpose...their choice of friends. Not only do students come away challenged to examine their friends, but also to evaluate how they, themselves, measure up when it comes to the friendship factor.
So, grab a cup of coffee and listen in on the skit, stories and Scripture that I use to challenge my students to take their friendships to a whole new level of intentionality. As always, know that I'm eternally grateful that you're a part of our Source family.
All great leaders go for the ASK (Always Seeking Knowledge). So, ask yourself, "Do you have any crazy people in your ministry?" In this General Session, Ed Young, Lead Pastor at Fellowship Church, gives us 15 character qualities of crazy people to help us recognize them, then gives us tips how to keep them from taking too much of our time away from those that really need it. Listen, as Ed takes a look at the life of Daniel and learn from Daniel's wisdom as he dealt with the crazy people in his life.
There are a few repeating themes in youth ministry that you, as a leader, need to focus on over and over again. In this Source, "OVERBOARD: Disconnecting From Fatal Friendships," we'll hit on one of them...relationships!
Through the story of Jonah and the whale, we dial in on the impact of letting the wrong people get too close. Using stories, illustrations and other creative elements, the negative friendship cycle is exposed in hope that students don't get pulled in and swallowed up by it. For it's been proven time and time again, you can't live in Jonah's boat and avoid Jonah's future.
After over four decades in youth ministry, without comparison, no other area is more easily and often used of the Enemy to unravel students spiritually than negative friendships. Frequently, when their lives begin to come apart, all you have to do is look around and see what friends they have recently "brought on-board."
One of your greatest fans,
Whether or not you liked him or his music, the death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, hit the world hard. His life was not only marked by incredible amounts of fame, but was rocked with turmoil as well. As his life story gets retold in the headlines, the glaring evidence of two open wounds seemed to have drained the life right out of him - the wounds resulting from his father's lack of approval and his secret sin. No plastic surgery or prescription drug could mask Michael's pain.
The "father wound" is a big deal, but often times goes unaddressed. It's hard-wired inside of all of us to want the approval of our parents, Michael was no exception. In this Source, you'll hear him tell you the sadness and sickness it caused him for years. The pain and sorrow, however, went beyond Michael's "father wound," but seeped into his "secret life" as well. The choices he thought he was making in private did not go unnoticed.
Whether he ever fully grasped the longing of his heavenly Father to heal, forgive and make whole will never be known this side of heaven. Regardless, both aspects of Michael's story make a perfect bridge for us to discuss the Father's heart with our students. If his story can prevent the Enemy from getting a foothold in our students' lives in similar areas, the impact of the King of Pop will have reached beyond his music and into eternity.
You should love me after this Source! This is an original full-length outreach drama, entitled "Fade Out Again." It focuses on the pain of splintered families, with an ending that makes a salvation invitation very easy.
Jonathan, a struggling young teenager, finds it difficult to fit in at school or at home. He chronicles his pain in a treasured journal of poetry. A couple of "sub-themes" in the drama that prove to provide powerful prayer points include suicide and self-mutilation.
Yes, outreach dramas like this are a lot of work. But I've cut your efforts in half. So take the time and invest yourself in a night like "Fade Out Again." As you watch the large group of visitors pile in your doors and then later linger during closing prayer time, I'm sure you will think that your efforts were well spent.
In this Source, "Fatal Friendships," I return to a subject I frequently discuss with my gang. It's hard to overstate the influence that friends have in your student's lives.
We use Jonah as an example of the dangers of keeping too close to the wrong type of friends. We take it further than just showing them the risks - I end with a powerful small group time of communion where I challenge them to pursue positive friendship circles through effort and not by chance!
You'll enjoy this one! We've provided two optional skits to use with this message (you choose which one you want), an overview of the small group communion time, an additional small group outline, leadership materials and more.
Lovingly your biggest fan,
You're going to love this message. Based on a series of commercials from a few years ago, we've titled this Source, "WASSUP!"
This was my attempt at calling our students to "iron sharpens iron" relationships. It is crucial that your students begin to have friendships that keep them accountable. We've talked before about eliminating negative friendships, now we're pushing our students to make positive ones. If you can influence the friendship pattern of your kids, you'll change their entire walk with Christ!
Lovingly your biggest fan,
As American pioneer on human behavior, William James, said: "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." It's interesting to note his choice of words. He didn't speak of the "hope" or the "desire." He referred to the "CRAVING" to be appreciated.
In this Youth Leader's Coach, I focus on the vital area of affirmation. It's a crucial topic that impacts every area of your youth ministry...from student discipleship to volunteer mobilization. So as you listen to "The Art Of Affirmation," may you be encouraged yourself to "raise the bar" on your purposeful appreciation of those around you. In all honesty, it may well be one of the most crucial youth ministry commitments you will ever make.
Lovingly your fan,