The Homelanders Rebellion

Originally published October 15, 2009

A long time friend of mine will be leaving American soil next year for a mission for three years to an undisclosed Muslim country.He will be 40 when he starts this exciting phase of his life, which is not exciting his widowed mother at all.This was causing some considerable stress until he was sharing at her church about his mission.During his presentation he told the story of how his parents always had him pray for missionaries as a child and that made an impression on him.Now he’s getting ready to become like one of those missionaries he always prayed for as a child.My friend told me how he watched his mom’s jaw drop during that part of his presentation.It dawned on her right then that this was her fault.She had raised her son to want such a life even if that meant leaving her.

I am holding this story and some other like stories for my near future.For the last 8 years we’ve been doing a church family-based youth ministry at our church that has the parents and church family quite directly involved with our teens.

A Youth Ministry with Staying Power

Originally published May 15,2010.

High schools don’t have staying power anymore.What I mean more specifically by that declaration is the senior year has become a joke.Some of the education programs have become a joke.Just ask the students.Forty-nine percent of high school seniors want their senior year education to be more meaningful, especially in the area of practical programs and skills that could help them better prepare for college or a job.Twenty-nine percent say their senior year is a waste of time.And interestingly, 59 percent say they would work harder if their school offered more demanding and interesting courses.I have taught seniors when I’m in my role as a substitute teacher.From my view, very few want more demands once spring hits or even before.But I may be wrong.Read more about these numbers at

From that “read more,” here are two comments from high school students that stand out to me:“School does not teach us many practical life-skills.I do not need to learn trigonometry.I don’t need to know how to structure an analytical essay on some boring bit of literature.School is a waste of time.Property development and multi-level marketing is where the money is.”

Parents Are Intimidated--And Not Just By You

If you are like me, you cannot wait until those children from children’ church become old enough to enter the youth ministry program.As excited as you are about those future souls you get to teach and influence is probably no more than the nervousness of those parents who are watching their children become teens.The truth is parents are intimidated of becoming parents of teenagers.There have been too many parents-of-teenagers jokes, news stories, legendary stories, etc., to feed this fear.To add to this fear we now live in this crazy, technological, and fast-paced world—a world which their child is way more adept with than they are.For so many reasons, parents think they have lost what “training up a child” means when their child becomes a teen.