Sunday, January 17, 2010

Believe Curriculum and problems with humanity

Today in Jr. High Sunday School we started the first lesson of "The Messiah" Curriculum that is suppose to lead up to the Believe event we are going to in Tulsa in a few weeks. The first lesson is is titled, "The Messiah as High Priest". One of the exercises is to have all of the students write down one to three examples of what they believe to be the biggest problem(s) facing humanity. Here is how the results of the poll came out:

Economy - 6 votes
War - 5 votes
Obesity - 2 votes
Terrorism - 1 vote
Disease - 1 vote
Obama - 1 vote
Global Warming - 1 vote
Earthquakes - 1 vote
Homeless - 1 vote
Fast Food - 1 vote

After discussion and hearing what people online believed to be the biggest problem, everyone agreed that "greed" was the one of the biggest problems with humanity. Isn't it interesting that economy and war received so many more votes than any of the other topics? The students are in 7th and 8th grade, but I bet their answers would not be too far off if we polled adults. I also think it is a little ironic that one student put down Obama and Global Warming on the same paper.

Monday, September 21, 2009

MOVE partnering with Blood:Water and Active:Water

This past summer at MOVE, all attendees was given a “Kingdom Worker” challenge. It was presented in a sealed envelope and there were approx 50-75 different challenges that the students could get. Two of the challenges read, “1000 4 H20: Raise $1000 (at a job, doing chores, selling your stuff) and donate it to Blood Water Mission.“ and “26.2: Commit to being healthier. Train and run a marathon before next summer. Get started at”

Since then we have seen and heard of some incredible stories of students who have taken the cards and “ran” with them. There was a student who rode his bike across Indiana to raise money and awareness. Below you will see an awesome story about a student named Ian from Kansas who took the task to another level…by adding a couple of zeros to the end.

At Christ in Youth, we have decided to take it a step further and all programs will address the water crisis in the world next year. Next year, with MOVE specifically, we will try to raise enough offering next summer to build 5 wells in Zambia, Africa. Tomorrow, our MOVE programming staff will be in Nashville meeting with Blood:Water and Active:Water about a partnership for next summer. We are looking at possibly creating a film similar to “BAHT” but raising awareness for the water crisis.

I would ask that you would pray for the meeting tomorrow, that the Lord will lead us in the correct direction about this partnership. Also, pray for Ian that the Lord would continue to give him strength and perseverance over the next year.

Here is Ian’s story (email from Ian to Daren of Active:Water):

Hey Daren,

It’s nice to hear from you. I actually heard your story at a CIY MOVE conference. On the last night CIY handed out envelopes to each student. Inside the envelopes were cards describing a different task for the individual to do. But we were only to open them if we were serious about doing it. Now, I’m not going to lie, when I opened mine, my first thought was, “Wow. How am I supposed to run a marathon?” But the more I thought about it, it fits. Now, I’m not much of a runner, but one of my teammates had been training already for a marathon and the other is pretty athletic (and I’m not so bad myself). The more we began to think and dream of what God can do and what God wants to do through us, we’ve decided to raise $100,000 between the three of us. Along with raising $100,000, we also look to travel to Africa to give the people not only physical water, but the everlasting water of Jesus Christ. The race we are now looking at racing in is the Lynn Electric Kansas Marathon in Lawrence, Kansas (they have added a marathon for the April 2010 race).

That’s our story (as it’s developing). Here’s a little bit about me:

I’m 17 years old (18 in a few days) and I’m a Senior in High School in Wichita, Kansas. I had known that there was a water crisis, but never really grasped the depth of it until viewing your site. I’m heavily involved in church and I love being there. The church has become my second home. In fact, I work there everyday at a daycare. After my senior year, I plan on going up to Ozark Christian College to become a pastor. I’m really passionate about people and showing Christ to the world (although I fail at it everyday), so my desire to “deliver” the water myself is pretty strong. If there’s anyway you could help us do that, please do. We would love to run with you.

Thank you for your help.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lane Kiffin made me watch

I watched the UT-Florida game yesterday for really only one reason – Lane Kiffin made me.

I am a slight UT fan. I have been since I went to college about an hour and half away and I had numerous friends who went to school there. I have been to a few football and baseball games on the campus. I was not even cheering for them yesterday and I don’t necessarily consider myself a Lane Kiffin fan, but I had to watch.

Not too long ago the Florida-UT game was a big game and a big rivalry. From 1998-2006, UT had a record of 4-6 against Florida and Florida had only outscored UT by a total of 204-196 over those nine games. Every game was close and almost every game came down to the wire. Multiple games ended on controversy.

For the last two years this game has been a sleeper. Florida won 59-20 in 2007 and 30-6 last year. Urban Meyer, Florida's head ball coach, had Phil Fulmer’s number and the games were boring.

Enter Lane Kiffin as the new University of Tennessee Football Coach. During his introduction speech, he said, “ I'm really looking forward to embracing some great traditions at the University of Tennessee, for instance the Vol walk, running through the 'T', Singing Rocky top all night long after we beat Florida next year, it’s gonna be a blast, so get ready.” Immediately this game was put back on everyone’s radar. Oh yeah, and then Lane Kiffin accused Urban Meyer of cheating.

There was so much talk, blogs, ESPN College Gameday specials, etc. about this game when in reality the game was the #1 team in the country against an unranked 1-1 team. Would there have been this much hype for the Florida-Vanderbilt game? Not at all. Granted it is still a rivalry, but all the talk was about what Lane Kiffin said 9 months ago. I was one of the ones drawn into watching the game because of the hype. I thought, could Lane Kiffin really be right?

Lane Kiffin was wrong, and the Florida Gators won. Everyone expected them to. But, Florida only won 23-13 and UT played better than probably everyone watching expected them to. And because of Lane Kiffin there were a whole lot more people watching.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Know Sweat Joplin Night 1

Last night was the first night of Know Sweat in Joplin and the nightly session all week is being held at my home church, Carterville Christian Church. Last night was a great night, there were a few small kinks to work out, but it was awesome to watch the session and to get excited about how God is going to move this week through 200 jr. high students in my hometown. Brad Moss (also from my home church) led worship and Johnny Scott (program director of Believe) is the speaker all week. Last night you missed Johnny talking all about his chickens at Scott Farms.

I will be at a week of Know Sweat later this summer in Cincinnati and I wanted to see as much of the adult meeting/first night so I could be prepared next month for when I am in Ohio. The theme for the week is Amplify and last night the sub-theme was to Amplify the Message through service because of Christ.

It is about 7am on Tuesday and the groups are suppose to meet down at the truck to go to their projects in about 30 is currently raining and raining hard. It is suppose to stop in the next couple of hours and the groups should get to their houses by 10. Pray that the Lord will use the students this week in Joplin to amplify Christ through their service.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Possibly the Best Customer Service Ever

A girl ordered a pizza from a Domino's Pizza in Chicago. When the order arrived it was wrong and it took over an hour to arrive. What did she do? She twittered that she had bad service.

Most people would have no idea if someone complained about there business online or through a tool like twitter. Here is the video of how the owner responded quickly.

How does your organization respond when someone has a complaint? Do you even notice? How can you respond?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Believe Tour 2009

We wrapped up our 2008-2009 Believe Tour a few weeks ago in Michigan and now it is time to get ready for the next year. Before I post anything about next year, I wanted to say one or two things about each stop this past spring. Enjoy!

Flagstaff, AZ - Jan 15-16
First Believe Event ever in Arizona. Over 300 kids. Jason Raitz, our speaker, had his house burn down the day before. Crazy and Scary. Johnny spoke instead and did a great job. Also, Shawn Brown got us the hookup from the catering staff!

Anaheim, CA - Jan 30-31
Located across the street from Disneyland. This was the trip where one of vans and trailers didn't make it. We left Joplin, MO after a crazy snow storm and an hour away the van hit a semi truck and rolled on it side. Thank God no was injured.

Tulsa, OK - Feb 6-7
First time our event ever occurred right after a gun show. We found a bullet on the floor, I put it in my bag, tried to get on a plane the next week, and was taken by security to run background checks on me. You can't take bullets on planes. Also, we got the new inflatable that weekend!

Cincinnati, OH - Feb 20-21
Largest event of the year, almost 4,000 students and adults. Great weekend until Mark Hand and I had to go to a mechanics shop in Big Bone Lick, Kentucky at 2 in the morning and eat White Castle. Good times.

St. Louis, MO - March 20-21
Got to go up a few days early for vacation with my wife. Had a blast riding my bike on the Katy Trail. Also, Eric Timm had his first child that weekend and had to miss the event. Josh Hall filled in as the inventor.

Kissimmee, FL - March 27-28
Located 200 yards from the Astros Spring Training Facility. Isaac and I got to watch about half of a game on Friday of Believe. First time I ever went to a sporting event the day of our event. Went to 2 more games over the next 2 days after Believe. Planned that right!

Atlanta, GA - April 3-4
Kurt Johnston helped me play a prank on Isaac Schade by wearing his UNC jersey on stage with "Villanova" written on tape across the front. Nova should have won it all. Chick-fil-a across the street - next time you are in there, see how many times their employees will say, "My pleasure". They are trained to say that every time you thank them. Seriously, try it.

Anderson, IN - April 17-18,18-19
Two event in one weekend for the second year in a row. Danny Curry helped us out big time and spoke on Friday night and did great. Doug Price (one of the band members) also played an incredible prank on our lighting director Seth. Seth covered Doug's car in toilet paper and covered the windows....Doug found a police officer and had him write a fake ticket....Doug didn't tell him it was fake for a week...I have never seen Seth feel so bad.

Holland, MI - April 24-25
Last event of the spring. From Robert Pierre to Board Members to Old Comedy Groups to Other Event Leaders, there were a ton of visitors there that weekend. We shaved all of Isaac's hair off before the last session. Holland is one awesome town.

That is about it for the Spring leg of the tour - be looking for updates about next year!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rapha House Gallery Grand Opening

Last night Abbey and I were able to attend the grand opening of the Rapha House Gallery Grand Opening here in Joplin. It was incredible to see the work that has gone into the gallery and different stations set up for you to go through and pray through.

If you are unfamiliar with Rapha House, they are an organization that is dedicated to rescuing young girls from slavery and setting up safe houses for the girls. This past summer, MOVE partnered with Rapha House and made a documentary shot in Cambodia, BAHT, to raise awareness of this terrible movement that is taking place around the world. View the trailer of BAHT below. Yesterday, BAHT had two different viewing during the grand opening.

Rapha House is also our mission at believe this year and the experience station at believe will be a smaller scaled version of the entire gallery.

If you live in the Joplin area or you are in town for a visit, I would encourage you to go by spend some time walking through the gallery. I am going to take my small group of guys from my church over there sometime next semester. If you would like to know more about Rapha House and the amazing things that are taking place, either send me an email or contact them directly at

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Southern California Jr High Network

Last week I had the privilege of going to California and sitting in on the network meeting of Junior High Ministers in Southern California. The primary reason I went was to talk about the Anaheim believe coming up in January, but I really enjoyed the meeting and learned some things that I know will be helpful at my church and my small group back in Missouri.

First off, Kurt Johnston, the junior high minister at Saddleback, did an amazing job leading the meeting and also sharing his experience about believe. He has been one of our speakers for the last couple of years and I truly admire him in his leadership and genuine humility. If you are a junior high worker, or even have a small interest in youth ministry in general, you should follow his blog here.

Some of the main topics discussed was how ministry has changed or is changing with the state of the economy, working with unchurched kids tied together with working with the parents of the churched kids, measuring spiritual growth in students and assimilating volunteers and the volunteer process.

In my small group I have the senior minister's son, one boy who's parent's don't go to church and another boy who lives in a foster home and is up for adoption. It was interesting to hear how they mix the churched and unchurched kids and the goal of "outreach" events.

Also, since I was in college, I have been a volunteer/sponsor/small group leader for 4 or 5 different churches, and everyone of them has done things really well (and could improve on somethings) with volunteers.

I also met the youth minister from Rock Harbor, which is the same church that Steve Carter (one of the Believe speakers) is going to starting in January. I honestly had not heard of the church till Steve told me he was going there a few weeks ago and since then I have seen or heard about the church a few times.

While I was out there, I also went and took a tour of our venue, the Hilton of Anaheim. I did not realize it until I turned off the highway, but I had actually been there about 4 years ago for a Youth Specialties conference. This location is a drastic improvement from the previous 3 years (Palm Springs, Pomona, Ontario) in Southern California. Also, there is going to be a California Pizza Kitchen and Jamba Juice inside the hotel. Looking forward to January 30-31.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oregon Believe

It is always nice to go to the Northwest. I somehow seem to make it up there 2-3 times per year on different trips. This was the first Believe that actually took place on Halloween. We didn't really know what to expect and not sure how many costumes would be worn. I think we did lose a few students to holiday and events at churches such as "Trunk or Treat" or "Hallelujah Carnival". But what do you expect when church is giving away free candy?

  • Another "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives". Matt Gilchrist and I went to the Byways Cafe and enjoyed some hash and organic blue corn pancakes.
  • Boise Bible College was the sponsor for this event and provided volunteers.
  • On Friday I was able to sneak away and my main venue contact got me into the back of a Dave Ramsey seminar. It was part of his Entreleadership series and I heard him talk about Adding and Subtracting from a Team, Delegation, and Making Decisions. That hour and a half was better than any book I have read over the last 6 months.
  • On Friday, the band didn't wear costumes, but they did all wear ties. Very strong resemblance to The Supertones.
  • Had a great conversation with Steve Carter, and his new direction. He has been a blessing to Believe and to me personally. I am excited for him and his opportunity back in California.
  • We ate Red Robin twice. Probably two times too many.
  • This was the last Believe event for Krystle Fernandez, who has been apart of the Believe Staff for 2 years. She has done an amazing job and as a result she has been promoted to a position that oversees the bookstore for all high school events at CIY.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Omaha Believe

This was our second time to Omaha in the year of 2008 (our first event in Omaha was in May). We moved the Omaha event to the fall because we heard it worked out for schedules of those attending. We did have to move venues from the Qwest Center to the Omaha Civic Auditorium because of the dates we needed. It is a much older venue, and there was good and bad things to compare to the Qwest Center.

  • According to some of the staff that worked there, we were the largest production in the history of the room we were in (I don't think we have heard that before). We had to rig (hang equipment from the ceiling), and I guess nothing had been rigged in the room in over 4 years.
  • Josh Walker, our Production Manager, and Amy Girton, the Stage Manager, had a bet going all weekend to see who could save the most food money throughout the weekend (one of the rules was they had to eat something every meal). The winner would win whatever money the loser had left. Josh lost.
  • A few of us did get to go to another "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." We went to Dixie Quicks Magnolia Room and it was stinkin good. Our whole staff tried to go the night before and we were turned away. They only have seating for about 20 and they only take reservations. While we were eating lunch, I think we saw him turn away about 30 different parties that didn't have reservations. Seriously, YOU NEED TO CLICK ON THE LINK AND SEE THIS RESTAURANT'S WEBSITE. I could teach that guy a thing or two about missed opportunities.
  • Steve Carter, the speaker for the weekend, left the hotel, followed a crowd (which he thought were kids for Believe), and ended up at college hockey game. He then realized he was at the wrong venue.
  • Nebraska Christian College sponsored the event, and they provided a ton of help. One of the volunteers actually collided (head to head) with a student by the basketball goal. The picture of what happened to the volunteer is below.
  • The Adult Meeting Room was kind of a mix between a high school cafeteria and church fellowship hall.
  • Jared Hall did play bass for one song. Picture below.
  • The union staff that helped with load in and load out was by far the best union staff we have ever worked with.
  • There wasn't a single door in the entire venue that actually had a lock. If you wanted something locked up, you needed a chain and a padlock.
  • After tear down all our staff went to Spaghetti Works for all you can eat pasta. I think everyone ate way too much.