In our Christian Life, we are taught many Disciplines that shape us into the person God wants us to be. We learn the disciplines of prayer, scripture reading, hospitality, and service. One discipline that goes unnoticed or overlooked it the Discipline of Thanksgiving. I realized that the discipline of giving thanks is a new concept for me. I would often give thanks in my prayer, but I never considered it a discipline. The discipline of thanksgiving is really more of a state of mind or it may be better to describe it as a state of grace. Our very lives are an example of God’s grace to us. We often neglect the small things in life and forget to be thankful for all we have been blessed with. One example of thanksgiving that really spoke to me is a passage about Paul and Silas. In Acts 16:16-40, we see an example of 2 men who had every right to be angry and bitter over their capture, but instead were singing praises of thanksgiving to God.
This might seem strange, but God tends to speak to me in unusual ways. A couple of years ago, I went to court with one of my students to support them at an Arraignment Hearing. As I sat there and looked around the room, my heart began to sink. I was face to face with the cost of sin as it runs rampant through our world. Charge after charge was read and each person entered his or her plea. Some plead guilty others plead not guilty and wanted a jury trial. For the first time, I could really see how much I have been saved from. The only difference between the people in that courtroom and me was grace. I was given a gift of grace that is open to all who would receive it. My heart swelled with thanksgiving and praise. I walked out of the courthouse that afternoon with a greater appreciation for the gospel than I have ever had before. I
also had a renewed my passion for the lost. There is a lost world out there, and we have been given the
responsibility to share this good news with others. We have been called by Christ to be “transforming salt” and “attractive light” that point people to the saving grace of God. The Discipline of Thanksgiving is a way for us to be reminded of God’s Amazing Grace. This grace is available with no strings attached. If we walk in a state of grace, we will begin to see things through the eyes of Christ. We will love what He loves. We will be heartbroken by the very things that break His heart. Take some time this Christmas Season season reflecting on God’s Grace and how He would want you to share that grace with others. This will transform our world!!!
During this time of year it is not uncommon for people to refer to the atmosphere that is created by the holidays as the Spirit of Christmas. Is there some mysterious spirit that only is detectable during the last month of the year or is it something more.
If we look at the Christmas story we see that the birth of Jesus was announced to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds by angels. These angels were God’s messengers. They were empowered by the Holy Spirit to go and reveal the message of the coming Messiah. We also see that when Mary went to see Elizabeth that the baby in her womb jumped at the sound of her voice. This was a result of the Holy Spirit being present in that moment. The Holy Spirit played a major role in the Christmas story. This was the introduction of the role that Holy Spirit would soon play in the life of every believer.
The Holy Spirit announced Jesus’ birth, but would soon be revealed as the promise that would be given to every believer to guide and direct their lives. We see in John 3 that when Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove. Then a voice from heaven affirmed that Jesus was indeed God’s son. The Holy Sprit always preceded the proclamation of God. After he was baptized, we see that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. As a result, in John 4 we see that he was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert. After he was tempted in the desert, we see in John 4:14 that he returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Sprit. It is interesting to see the progression of how the Holy Spirit works.
First we see that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. We must be totally yielded to God in order to be filled with the Spirit. In John 3:21-22 we see that Jesus was obedient to his Father and was baptized. This was how the Messiah was to be revealed to the world. As a result of this obedience, we see that God wanted to praise the son and even said, “You are my son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life” (MSG). We see that when the Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove that was a mark that separated Jesus from everyone else. When the Holy Spirit controls our lives it marks us a different from others in the world.
Later when Jesus returned from the Jordan now that he was full of the Holy Spirit, He could now be led by the Holy Spirit. When we are full of the Holy Spirit, then we can be led by the Spirit. Too often we are not led by the Sprit but by are led by the flesh. We must constantly be in tune with God and constantly be “filling” up on the Holy Spirit. In order to be filled, we must empty our selves of everything else to make space for the filling to take place. Once filled, then we can be led.
Once we have been filled, and are being led, then and only then can we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. In John 4:14 we see after Jesus was tempted he returned in the power of the Holy Spirit. We often miss out what God has for us because we attempt things in the power of the flesh rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit.
During this Holiday Season, it is important for us to recapture the idea that the Holy Spirit is at work. The holidays cause us to be more generous and helpful than we would be normally throughout the year. It that because the Holy Spirit only moves during the holidays? It may be that we are more sensitive to the Spirit’s leading during this season because we are focused on the meaning of Christmas and therefore are more attentive to its movement. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us year round. Then we will be led to do the things that God calls us to do and then we will be able to accomplish them under the power of the Spirit rather than our own strength.
As most of you know, on December 1st, my family and I embarked on a new adventure. I stepped down from my position on staff at a church in North Dakota to pursue a dream that God birthed in me over 7 years ago. In faith and assurnace of my calling, I am starting a new Consulting and Speaking Ministry. I have a burden to help train and develop Youth Pastors. I also want to help Student Ministries in the local church become missional in their approach to reach students. I also enjoy speaking and teaching. I believe that God has gifted me with ability to preach and teach the Word of God in a practical, relevant way. So as I step out into unknown territory, I ask for your prayers. I want to follow God’s leading no matter where that takes me. My goal is have at least 3 consulting clients and 25 Speaking Engagements in 2016. God is beginning to open some incredible doors. I will be speaking and setting up an Exhibit Booth at 3 Recharge Events in January and February. These conferences mainly target volunteer and paid Student Ministry and Children’s Ministry leaders in the local church which will allow me to highlight the ministry options that I can offer. So if you need a Speaker for an event in 2016, keep me in mind.
I am also in the process of finishing my first book. The core message is to equip students with the tools to live a life that functions at “the point of impact”with a personal Savior who wants to give us an abundant life which in turn
impacts the people and community in which we live. There are several Key Points I want cover in this book.
This book will equip students to live out their faith in everyday life and make the biggest impact with the gifts and talents that God has give them. Student will be equipped in the following ways:
I am planning to self publish this book. Self Publishing will allow me to have complete control over the project. I will be free to be creative in the format of the book, the layout, the cover design, and marketing strategy. In order to self publish this book, I will need your help. I am using Kickstarter, a Crowd Funding Site, to help raise the funds to publish this book. Please prayerfully consider giving to make this dream a reality. Click here to support this ministry effort.
We are excited about this new ministry opportunity and the possibilities that it brings. I will be updating this blog regularly on how God’s Great, Grand Story unfolds for this ministry and our family. If you would like to be a Prayer Partner, please email me at email@example.com. I would welcome your prayers. I will be sending our regular Prayer Updates. Thanks again for your love and prayers as we enjoy the journey…
Over the past 7 years, God has been burdening my heart to help students and youth pastors develop a Missional Focus as they reach students in their community. I am also in the process of writing a book entitled Goodbye Ordinary: A Transformational Approach to Missional Student Ministry. One way I have been working on getting that message out is by doing more speaking. Below is some information on that ministry. If you have any upcoming events that need a speaker, keep me in mind. I am currently booking for Spring and Summer 2016. I am available for Spiritual Emphasis Week, Camps, and Retreats. There two events that I am currently doing. The first is a Christian Leadership Event for Church and Community Leaders. The second is a Parent Seminar. There is also information about an optional Youth Seminar. If you would like to book an event or get some more information, please feel free to give me a call, send me an email, or go to our website at http://www.powerhouseyouth.us and check out my blog at http://www.crash-pointofimpact.com. I have also attached my Bio so you can find out more about me. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
Randy Brown’s heartbeat is to relay Biblical Truth to a generation seeking relevant Christianity in today’s world. With a culturally relevant style, Randy shows the importance of understanding God’s Word so that we may show God’s love to an unbelieving world. When the Bible seems complex to understand, Randy shares real-life examples to teach teenagers, parents, youth leaders, and even pastors how to focus on Jesus, and show Christ-like love to everyone around them.
Randy speaks about…
1.) The Importance of a Biblical Worldview
2.) The importance of developing a Missional Student Ministry
3.) The necessity to live a life of discovery by “Transformation”
4.) The importance of understanding the “Whole” Gospel and living it out.
5.) The Importance of Missional Living.
6.) Biblical Approach to Using Social Media
7.) Parenting in 21st Century
8.) CrossCurrent: Developing Student Leaders to Lead and Influence Their Culture.
A veteran Youth Pastor of 25 years, Randy brings life to the Scripture in such a way that every person attending your event senses his deep desire to live life together. The community he desires to build with your leaders is rivaled only by his heart for delivering God’s message. Randy’s heartbeat is investing his life in the hearts and minds of junior high, high school and college students, but there is no doubt his ability to communicate with parents and youth leaders is equally effective.
Interested in more background information on Randy?
FAMILY – Wife, Candace, and three children, Emily, Bethany, and Sarah.
ACADEMICS – Graduate of Columbus State University in Columbus, GA holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Social Sciences; Ordained Minister; Master of Youth Ministry Degree from Wesley Seminary
SPEAKER – Spoken at various Retreats, Summer Camps, and School Chapel Services across the country.
WRITER – Current contributor to the Youth Worker Journal and writes the weekly Crash: Living Life at the Point of Impact Blog.
TEACHER – Former Associate Pastor of Students and Families at Temple Baptist Church in Jamestown, ND. Also Guest Faculty at the University of Jamestown where he teaches an Introduction to Christian Ministry Class. Specific topics include: Missional Living, Worldviews, Apologetics, Creation, Relationships, Arts & Entertainment, American Heritage, Absolute Morality, Understanding Evil, World Religions and Relevant Christianity.
TRAINER – Former President of the Jamestown Evangelical Ministers Association and ND State
Coordinator for the National Network of Youth Ministry.
MISSION – “. . . to change the course of a youth culture in America.” With a passion for the youth in America, Randy has walked with teenagers and their families for 20 years in order to teach young people how to imitate Christ in a world longing for answers. “…Love God…Love your neighbor…what else is there?” (Matthew 22)
As Leaders, we must constantly be growing not only in our own personal walk with Christ, but we must also be growing in certain Leadership Skills and Competancies. I believe to do so, we must be avid readers. Below is a link to an article that lists the 16 books that have changed the face of ministy as we know it. So check this out Your Reading List just got bigger!!!
Because in the midst of all the laughter, putdowns and puns, what Stewart was trying to do was something very serious. He was trying to tell the truth.
My daughter Emily is embarking on a incredible and life changing adventure this fall. She will be taking part in the 2015 / 2016 KIVU Gap Year. It is a dream come true for her to be able to embark on this journey. She is going to spend eight months in service to others while learning more about herself and the world. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this post so that I can give you a clear picture of what Emily’s Gap Year will look like.
From August 2015 through April 2016, she will join the KIVU Gap Year Program as they travel to four continents to serve and learn alongside those living in the margins of society.
• Urban America Experience: Shewill live in urban Denver or Philadelphia for three months as she discovers the challenges facing the urban poor through internships throughout the city.
• Caribbean Experience: For 2 weeks, she will be joining relief and ongoing development programs in the Caribbean.
• East Africa Experience: Shewill be living in Kigali, Rwanda for 5 weeks as she observes the progress and challenges of vocational work in a developing African nation. There will be opportunities to serve in education and business as she works under the direction of a variety of local non-profits in the city.
• Holy Land Experience: Shewill spend a week walking in the footsteps of Jesus and seeing the places where he conducted his ministry while here on earth. She will also be living in Amman, Jordan for 2 weeks as she builds relationships and breakdown stereotypes between Arab and American youth.
• Southeast Asia Experience. For 4 weeks, she will live among the poorest of the poor (50 cents or less a day) while being given outlets to serve alongside an amazing organization providing poverty alleviation through the vehicle of the local church. This portion of the program is in partnership with International Care Ministries (www.caremin.com.)
It is my hope that you will visit www.kivugapyear.com and learn more details about the program and read some of the blogs of current students.
This incredible opportunity is not without a cost. She is raising support in order to contribute to the overall program fees to be a part of this program. This includes everything from food, lodging, travel fares. In addition to financial support, I am asking for your support in prayer for Emily and those that she isgoing to serve in the next 8 months.
I am asking you to prayerfully consider being a part of this opportunity to serve others in urban America and across the globe. Your gift of $50, $100, $200 or $500 would be a tremendous blessing! All donations are tax deductible and all contributors will receive a receipt from KIVU Gap Year that may be used for income tax purposes. You can make a one time gift or choose to support her monthly. If each of you would consider just giving $10, the entire cost of this awesome ministry opportunity would be covered.
If you are not able to give financially, I would ask you to consider being on Emily’s Prayer Team. She sill be sending out regular updates and writing a blog to share her experinces with you.
Checks should be made payable to KIVU Gap Year. You can also donate online at www.kivugapyear.com.
She could not do this without your prayers or financial support. Her goal is to raise her portion of the costs by August 1st, 2015.
If you want more information, you can email Emily. I have also included a video to provide you more information about this great opportunity.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations can be made online at https://secure-q.net/donations/CampKGY/1502 or checks made out to KIVU Gap Year (with her name on the memo line) can be mailed to:
KIVU Gap Year, 9658 County Road 501, Bayfield, CO 81122
Thanks and God Bless
As Leaders, we walk a fine line between Leadership in the Spirit and Leadership in the Flesh. Thom Rainer points us to 10 Lines of Tension in Leadership that help us determine which side of the line we are walking on. Let me know what you think about these lines of tension. Also reply and let me know if there are any additional lines of tension that you have felt in your Leadership Role.
As Leaders, we all feel the pressure of ministry. We buy into the lie that success is all about numbers and that some how our worth and purpose is wrapped up in the number of butts in the seats and amount of money in the Offering Plates. We have got to change our metrics. God view of success is much different. God wants us to be excellent not successful. We need to begin measuring the effective of ministry through a different lens. Check out this video and post below. Casesar Kallinowski and Hugh Halter shed some light on this new metric. We all want to finish well and not buckle and fold under the pressure of a misguided view of our call and purpose. This video will help you to recalibrate your thinking and give you some pratical tools to finish the race and not tap out!!!
God’s Story began in Genesis and still continues today. Do you know God’s Story? Do you know that God has very unique role in this Great, Grand Story? The video below introduces you to the Story of God. You will see from this 8 minute video that God began sending his love out from the moment of Creation. God then sent his Son to earth to personally enter the story in flesh. God the Father and Jesus the Son sent us the Holy Spirit. Now God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Sprit send us into the world to be a “Blessing People”. I hope you will find this video encouraging, challenging, and inspiring!!!