Friday, July 24, 2009

CIY 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CIY Updates:

    follow me on Twitter

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Recap Videos!

    Middle School Camp at NEICSC from John Mulholland on Vimeo.

    Mission Kansas 2009 from John Mulholland on Vimeo.

    Eastview Parent Weekly, July 19-25

    It's that time of year...our summer break is half over. 3 out of 4 summer trips and events are past. Our final trip, CIY's summer conference is right around the corners, just 6 short days away, and then...September. The weeks of August will go extremely fast. Our ministry team met on Saturday to talk about Jesus, to talk about youth ministry, to talk about Eastview and how those three things should be aligned. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. At this point, I want to get through the next 6 weeks and start.

    While the notes from our ministry team meetings are available for all to read (at right), here are some highlights from this past Saturday:
    • It was officially decided that beginning this Fall, our youth group will be "split", with grades 9-12 meeting on Sunday nights and grades 6-8 meeting on Wednesday nights. Specific times and more details will be out in mid-August.
    • Small Group Leaders for 2009-2010 school year:
      • Middle School-
      • John Mulholland
      • Rob Frederick
      • Steve Novak
      • Monna Kreher
      • High School-
      • John Mulholland
      • Megan Clark
      • Betty Dickerson
    • Curriculum Plan for Fall/Winter
      • Middle School
      • “Scary, Gross and Weird Stories from the Bible”
      • High School
      • Gospel of Mark-The Person of Jesus
      • What it means to follow Him
    In the meantime, I hope that you'll be praying for those going to Carbondale next week. I'm anticipating God working in a big way (which He does here) in the lives of those going. Pray from open hearts and minds, for sleep and rest and patience and encouragement.

    As with our recent Kansas trip, you'll be able to follow along using the Twitter feed to the right starting next Sunday, at Noon.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Some thoughts from the past week

    We've had a busy two weeks here at Eastview Student Ministry.

    I spent June 29-July 3 with 6 middle school students and 2 adults in Florence, Kansas at Morning Star Ranch. It was a great time for work, fun and fellowship with those students. We met daily and talked about the 10 Commandments and their application for today. I was blown away by the questions these 11-14 year old students asked. There was an incredible amount of depth and spiritual hunger behind them.

    I spent last week, July 5-11 with 86 high school students in Bristow (Big Enough to Accomodate, Small Enough to Appreciate!) Iowa at North East Iowa Christian Service Camp. In addition to co-deaning (which means that Hannah did all the work), I taught a class on media discernment using Britney Spears' "If You Seek Amy" as our media to review, and was a Family leader with a student from Ozark Christian College. We played a lot of dodgeball, ate some great food courtesy of the Huskey's, got eaten by mosquitos, heard some challenging messages and did some service projects. I got an inside view into the lives of 10 high school students. While there were moments of great discussion, the vast majority of the spiritual discussions that we had were shallow.

    I learned a few things over the past few weeks:
    1. Most of the high school students in my group had no idea about why they were baptized. There was no ability to articulate their faith or to integrate it into their lives. Additionally, they had no idea how to study, much less read or apply, God's Word into their daily lives.
    2. Students are hungry for God's Word. They are spiritually dry and will turn to anything that provides them the slightest bit of satisfaction, no matter how temporary or fulfilling.
    3. My guess would be that the parents of these students are completely un-engaged in both the lives of their children and their own relationship with God.
    4. Our churches are doing a lousy job at discipleship, both to adults and students. On the final day of camp, I visited with some girls from another church. While they could not agree on the specifics, they guessed that their church was made of of 25-40 people. But, their high school youth group would be about 8 in numbers. Last year, this church cancelled their Wednesday night youth program because they were "too small". FAIL! 8 high school students is WAY above the 10% rule (if your high school group size is 10% of your congregationsize, your youth group size is average). Here is what this church has communicated to their high school students: "You are unimportant. We don't care". No doubt this church will lament the loss of these students over the next few years as the walk away from both the church and Jesus. They will likely point to culture, temptation, all the usual suspects, but they will never, never, look to themselves.
    It would be so easy to leave it there, but it's not that simple.

    A few weeks ago, we graduated 4 students from our program who have remained engaged throughout high school, and while it's WAY too early to tell, I think they'll be sticking around. We celebrated this. It is right to.

    Remember January-April of 2002? The Taliban were defeated in Afghanistan. With a few dozen Green Berets and the Northern Alliance we toppled a government.

    How about May-December of 2003? Iraq was invaded, Saddam Hussein was captured and we had relatively few casualties.

    2004-2008 were grim years in Iraq. IED's wounded, maimed, and killed thousands of American soldiers. Innocent civillians were killed by the thousands. It took 4 years to create a strategy that is only now bearing any fruit.

    In case you missed it, we're in the process of sending at least 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan, and they aren't cooks and PR people. These are battle-hardened troops, taking with them what they learned in places like Fallujah and Anbar.

    These 4 students are an anomaly. They are not the norm. When I go through the names of the graduates next year, and the year after, and so on...I'm not so sure of what I see.

    I fear that the battle has yet to begin.
    • I see an insurgency being created and strategies being formed. I see students who were baptized years ago not equipped for battle because other things have gotten their attention.
    • I see little compromises in their lives, and frankly, I see parents doing nothing about it. Students who have no business dating, are. (Reminder: dating leads to one of two things...break up or marriage. At 14, do you really think your daughter is going to marry her current boyfriend?) Students are downloading music and movies illegally online on their computers. Students clothing is getting tighter on the girls, necklines are falling and shorts are rising. The excuse "I can't find anything else" is both lame and a lie.
    • Students who are interested spiritually are squashed because their parents do nothing to encourage it. There is no scripture reading in the home, either private or corporately.
    • Students are left home, for hours at a time by themselves. So there they sit, ears consuming all the best Beyonce and Nelly have to offer, eyes taking in all the internet has for them. No filters, no guidelines, no guardrails. Why? "Because we listened to bad music when we were kids and we turned out ok."
    • We are "cultural christians". We speak of faith and Jesus, but we just talk about them. We say that Jesus meets all of our needs, but we'll work like He has no clue what we need.
    • We have a "culturally christian youth ministry". As long as our kids leave our youth group with the intent of being good citizens who can take care of themselves, raise a family, will not get into "too much" trouble, and attend a church maybe even a Christian college, we're ok. After all, we just graduated 4 of them. And look how good we feel about ourselves.
    Hmm. As we plan for the Fall, with all of it's challenges with a split youth group and a facility situation, we're going to war. I'll let you in on a little secret. Jesus already won it.

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    At High School Camp-NEICSC

    Follow the goings on at the right!

    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    Mission Kansas, Tuesday-trip end


    Tuesday, we spent the morning and afternoon putting more primer on the walls and ceiling at the third house on the top of the hill. Later that afternoon, we went swimming in the pool. That evening, we had a campfire and grilled brats, hotdogs and made s'mores. Afterward, we hung out together as a group, plying games and chatting until bedtime.


    The work project done, Wednesday was our first relax day. The morning was spent doing a little cleaning and playing games, and the afternoon was spent on the high elements course there at the Ranch. At 3:30, we went to spend more time at the pool as a group. That afternoon, several of the guys at the Ranch involved in their discipleship program, tagged our trailer with our church name. It was pretty cool to see it come together from a sharpie outline to fully painted. The night, we had a meal with many of the interns and counselors at the camp, then made a campfire and had devotions there. One of the discipleship program students joined us and shared his testimony which was really cool.


    We left MSR for Kansas City and Worlds of Fun. It was raining when we left, so the day was a little in question, but by the time we got to Kansas City, the clouds were gone and the park was open, with not that many people there. We rode many of the rides, ate some food, and then left the park for our hotel by 5:30 that afternoon. We went swimming at the hotel and then went to Waffle House for dinner. We returned to the hotel for some group time, and went to bed around 10:30pm.


    Friday morning, we awoke at 6:00am, had breakfast at the hotel, and then left for Cedar Rapids. We arrived back in CR at 12:15pm. We had a GREAT trip. The kids were fun to be with and worked hard. Cathy and Rob worked well with our students and it was fun getting to know them better.

    You can see ALL of the pictures taken on the trip by clicking here. Enjoy!