Be Real

Be Real

AndyBAndy Buckwalter served as a FUGE Bible study leader at Ridgecrest last summer. He currently serves as the Director of Youth Ministry at Crux Youth Ministry. Andy and his wife, Leann, reside in York, Pennsylvania. He has a degree in Youth ministry from Messiah College. Interesting fact about Andy: He once punched a fish underwater because it bit him!

 

Some of us have lived it. All of us have dreaded it. I’m talking about an all too familiar scenario. You are in Bible study, or youth group, and a teenager in the back raises his hand and asks “that” question. The question you went to great lengths to avoid during this Bible study, the one you have been avoiding like the plague for one simple reason. You don’t know the answer.

Now, as the room temperature steadily increases, you have several options. Option one, you can come up with some weak “Sunday school” answer and try to fake your way around it, without actually answering the question and get back to what you wanted to talk about. Option two, disregard their question by saying it is off topic, and say, “we can talk about that another time,” with no intention of doing so. Option three, you throw a bunch of big words at them that you are sure they do not know what they mean (and neither do you). Or option four, fake a heart attack.

But there is another option, and it is one we often forget: Just be real with them. It is ok to say, “I don’t know”. Believe it or not, not knowing everything there is to know about God will not cause you to lose their respect. In fact, being so open with them will gain more respect from them. A technique I have used in the past is to say, “That is a great question. I don’t have an answer for it. What do you guys think?” Turn the question back to the group. Let them discuss it. Feel free to say what you think, but listen first. Be real with them. Some of my best evenings with youth have started with a question that I could not answer, and ended with them dialoguing together about our Lord. Isn’t that what we want?

So the next time this happens, let’s not worry about our pride and how intelligent we look, but rather look to the opportunity God has presented us with.

When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say – Luke 12:11-12

Ministry Tip – Games: POLE-ish Olympics

Ministry Tip – Games: POLE-ish Olympics

Today, we bring the first posting for Ministry Tips in the form of a game to use with your student group. This game comes from my days as a student in my church’s youth group. A few of my friends and I were goofing off and unintentionally created a game that proved to be loved by our group for the remainder of my school years.

We’ve included a video to explain the game and give some visual aid.  Enjoy.

- Jonathan Espy

Ministry Tips – POLE-ish Olympics from Fuge Camps on Vimeo.

Rearranging Death

Rearranging Death

 

Too often we settle for rearranging death, while Christ is offering abundant life.”  - Jaime George

The cruise control on my car is broken. In fact, it hasn’t worked since I got the car. At first, this felt very inconvenient. Every few days, I would click the cruise button just in case it suddenly started operating correctly again. But now, after having my car for several years, I don’t even think about cruise control– I’ve gotten accustomed to not relying on it.

I wish the same was true in my spiritual life.

Switching  into cruise mode with Jesus is often easy for me: I spend time with Him only when it’s convenient, I don’t take the time to acknowledge his grace, and my prayer-life is practically non-existent. And as a result, I am less considerate of others, more selfish with my time, and content with stagnancy.  This, friends, is not why Jesus came.

Jesus stepped down from the right hand of the Father NOT so we could casually follow Him. Jesus took on flesh NOT so we could make idols out of cheap imitations. Jesus became sin itself NOT so we could chase the American dream.

Jesus became the defeated to meet the defeated. Jesus became poor to be with the poor. Jesus laid aside his rights to be with the ones who have lost their rights.  Jesus came to raise the dead to life – a life that is abundant.

Like the prodigal son in Luke 15 who squanders his father’s fortune, we often settle for much less than we were created for.  The Savior of the world is calling us to something more; He’s asking us to leave behind our small ideas of what our life should be like and embrace his extravagant plan. Rather than settling for rearranging death, let’s embrace life abundant. It will require great sacrifice, and daily denial of self, but there is no better ambition in life than to follow hard after Jesus.

Diagnosed For A Purpose

Diagnosed For A Purpose

 

Rachel Patton bio thumb

Rachel Patton served as a FUGE Bible study leader for two years: 2010 at Carson-Newman and 2013 at North Greenville. She is currently working on master’s degree in Christian Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rachel loves the Phoenix desert, Sonic diet coke w/vanilla, and being spontaneous.

 

Watching God work through my life is by far my favorite part of working camp. As a Bible study leader for two summers, I saw God use my story and my past experiences to impact the lives of students, relate to students, and open doors for great conversation. When I was ten years old, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It has been a struggle over the last 15 years but has taught me so much about relying on God and his provision. I always knew that I had been diagnosed for a purpose. God has a bigger plan than my own and it has been so cool to see that unfold.

While working FUGE in 2010, we had a diabetic student one week and I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with her. Throughout the lunch, it became apparent that she had blamed God for her diagnosis and was angry with Him. I was humbled by the opportunity to talk with her about God’s plan and purpose for her life, the truth that He knows what is best and that trusting Him will far exceed our expectations. I got to listen to her, share life with her, and pray with her. Later that week, her youth pastor approached me and said that she opened up and shared her struggles with her youth group that night.

I was able to have similar experiences my second summer working FUGE in 2013. Students with diabetes in my Bible study, having one on one conversations, speaking with adults and parents of kids with diabetes, and simply sitting down to check my blood sugar with a student so they wouldn’t feel so alone. God had a plan when I was diagnosed with diabetes all those years ago, and it has far exceeded my expectations. I am so grateful for the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of these other diabetics and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Isn’t it good to serve a God who knows what He’s doing?!

Ministry Tips

Ministry Tips

As a part of the FUGE Camps Blog, we will include posts called Ministry Tips. These posts will be focused on assisting leaders in student ministry. This will allow student ministers, or others involved in leading, to find useful tips for leading in ministry.

These tips will cover a variety of areas.  Here are some examples of the categories of which our posts will consist:

Ideas for activities

    • Themed nights
    • Creative organization

Game Options

    • Small group, large group, from stage
    • Will include debrief questions

Creative worship experiences

    • Prayer experiences
    • Scripture readings

Words of wisdom from other ministers

    • How to equip and involve leaders
    • Student involvement
    • Writing/using curriculum

Bible study/ small group options

    • Selections to help further students’ spiritual growth

Student fellowship ideas

    • Ways to get your students together outside of the normal meetings

Effective options for weeks you may be gone

    • In case you need time with your family, have an emergency, or have other reasons you may be out
    • Feel confident missing without leaving students empty handed

These posts will be focused to help set you up for success.  A new tip will be posted regularly, so check back for these Ministry Tips posts to find ideas to assist you in student ministry.