Guest Post, Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, Student Ministry, That'll Preach Sayings, Worship & Prayer

Guest Post: THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING

4 May , 2016  

This was originally written and posted by Pastor Micah Berteau here

Healthy is not a sexy word in youth ministry. If we are ever asked about the status of our youth group we would love to use words like “growing,” “powerful,” “massive,” “explosive,” “game-changing” and then end that sentence with a humble brag like: “but praise God because He’s the one sending the masses of kids to hear me preach!” Don’t flatter yourself. Humility is the breeding ground of revival. Is that one of those one-liners with no truth behind it? False. Think about it. The Bible clearly states how the humble will be exalted. God is moving in places where he gets all of the glory. God is into promoting purity over pride. Which makes it clear that Humility is a strong indication of spiritual health

The word “health” is most likely not our favorite word to describe our impact on culture. The reality is, we get caught up with size instead of health. We must redefine the metric in which we measure a thriving youth group, or any ministry at that. Numbers without health will not sustain. On the other side, healthy ministries cannot and will not stay without growth. Health does not mean taking a picture at that one angle for social networks that make your youth group look like 2,659 students. Health is being huge in spirit before you are ever huge in number. It is the foundation of prayer that starts with the youth pastor. It is reading the Bible for more than just sermons. It is keeping Jesus as the main focus of our entire operation.

What is one of the most effective ways to build a healthy youth ministry?  Copy everything you see on Instagram from other churches. Joking. It’s DICIPLESHIP. Discipleship is showing this young generation the reality of Jesus in their every day lives. Discipleship is replicating who you are. Discipleship is dirty. Discipleship is time consuming. Discipleship is the ultimate Jesus model.

Jesus took 12 nobodies and turned them into some of the baddest people to ever walk on earth. Talk about #SquadGoals. How did Jesus do that? Matthew 4:19 (NLT) states, “Jesus called out to them, “Comefollow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” In this verse we learn the Jesus model of discipleship in three steps.

  1. COME. Allow the students to come as they are, not as you would like them to be. The greatest leaders aren’t born they’re formed.
  2. FOLLOW ME. Students need a man/woman of God to follow as they are on their journey with Christ. Someone to text, call, or message at any time of the day for prayer and guidance.
  3. I WILL SHOW YOU HOW. Our young people no longer need to hear about how they should live, but SEE someone living it out in front of them. Discipleship is more illustrative than it is verbal. Show them how to read the bible. Show them how to worship. Show them how to pray. Leadership is more caught than taught and these young people need to see what a righteous walk looks like.

Understand that everyone you disciple may not make it. Even Jesus had a runaway: Judas. However, do not lose heart because though you may not see the temporary impact, discipleship produces eternal impact.

 

MicahSmileMicah Berteau has grown up in the house of God.  Micah, along with his wife Lindsey, are the youth Pastors of Heart&Soul and Stadium Youth & Young Adult Ministries at The House in Modesto, California.  Micah influences hundreds of young people on a weekly basis.  He has led events with over 2,000 people in attendance and has had the privilege to see thousands of people saved.  Micah is a dynamic, powerful, and enthusiastic speaker. He carries an anointing to speak not only to the youth, but to all generations. His passion and love for God is refreshing and contagious.  Micah has a heart for evangelism and a desire to see the youth and young adults of this generation intimately know Jesus and boldly make him known.

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Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, That'll Preach Sayings

8 THINGS THAT KILL US AS LEADERS

11 Feb , 2015  

chadveach:

1. YOU CAN’T TELL ME NOTHIN
“Pride is the only disease that makes everyone else sick besides the person that has it.”

2. SO INSECURRRR
I know a leader that used to walk into a room and say to himself “everyone here loves me and wants me here”……………… until he was convinced of it.

Sometimes you gotta convince yourself of the truth until you believe it!
#selftalk

3. UNRESOLVED ISSUES
“Sin won’t destroy your life… but silent sin will.”

If you keep sweeping stuff under the rug and not dealing with the issues of life, eventually that stuff will catch up with you.

These are the things that can slow you down in seasons when you should be running hard after what’s in your heart.

4. CAN’T CONTROL YO TONGUE
“Who can control the tongue?” – James

Nothing opens and closes doors for you like the words coming out of your mouth.
#ifyoudonthaveanythingnicetosay #dontsayanythingatall

5. BELIEVE YOUR OWN HYPE
The worst leader is the one who’s more loyal to their gift than what they are a part of.

The leader who’s impressed with themselves is rarely impressed with others.

I’m always listening to the leader who raves about the gifting of others!

6. OPPORTUNISTIC
Don’t ever become the “looking for the next great opportunity” leader.

These leaders are always looking for the #landofopportunity because they’re convinced if they get there… then things will really take off. It never does 🙁

Stay faithful where you’re at and watch God blow you away.

7. CAN’T STIR IT UP
Don’t go stale.
Don’t go dull.
Don’t get routined.
Don’t fall asleep on the job.

Stir up the gift of God within you! Stir up your faith!

8. UNGRATEFUL
To say thank you is to admit that someone else provided this…

Can’t think of anything that pleases God more than the “attitude of gratitude.”

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Guest Speaking, Student Ministry

Preaching @ Crossway Student Ministry in Vicksburg, MS

19 Aug , 2014   Gallery

Me preaching @crosswaystudentministry last week.. #stumin Such a honor to minister the gospel of Jesus to this generation!!! #youthmin (at crossway church)

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Guest Post, Leadership, Randomness, Reflections & Introspection, Student Ministry

Awkward Seesaws (5 Reasons Why There Is More To Student Ministry Than Speaking)

14 Dec , 2013  

Awkward Seesaws (5 Reasons Why There Is More To Student Ministry Than Speaking)

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Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, Student Ministry

The “Conference HIGH” will leave you WOUNDED

18 Mar , 2013  

Over the next few blogs, I will outline 5 things I have learned in leadership. These key things have helped shape my “philosophy” in youth ministry and overall leadership, especially in the church.

  1. Seek GRACE not Title
  2. PASSION Over Production
  3. Wait At HIS Feet – Listening
  4. The “Conference HIGH” Will Leave You Wounded
  5. INVEST In Your Team

The Conference High = When Students & Leaders, go to a conference just to be refueled with no true intentions of living Godly or when the amazing work that God did in one’s life during a Conference wears off soon afterward because THEY DIDN”T nurture the life change.  Amos 5:21-24 (MSG) give us a sharp warning about having meetings for meeting’s sake…

This mentality or state of being is so dangerous as it leaves you wounded, frail and numb, and can even leave you worse off (Luke 11:24-26). If we are honest with ourselves we would realize that at one point or another we too have had that “conference high.” Anytime there is a Godly life change, whether at a regular church service, conference/camp, or on the metro bus… we must nurture & steward the change. This does not mean we are in control of the Holy Spirit and how He moves, but it does allow us to take responsibility for how we will respond to the life change. Often times, youth pastors & leaders are unaware of how to help students nurture this amazing life change. So when the student gets back into the reality of life, with friends they hung with before, they are tempted to go back to the old way of living and for most, this temptation becomes the very thing they fall for. Here are some simple steps to not be wounded by the “Conference High”… Ready, Set, Go:

1. Recognize the moment – Understand what just took place in your life… Salvation, Baptism of Holy Spirit, Water Baptism, etc… If we can’t recognize and understand what just happen, then how are we expected to nurture this moment. It’s okay to not fully understand everything, but you should have the basics of what just happen. Recognize the moment, then seize that same moment.

2. Find Refuge – Get with an accountability partner who is either a leader or an honest friend (older, same-sex) who was there at the camp. It is vital that this person was there at the conference or who is a trusted leader. This will save you a lot of headaches, as you are dealing with someone who understands the life & heart change that has taken place. Submit to this accountable partner and let your heart “bleed” about all that God has done, is doing and will do. Be sure to allow time for prayer and praise. Meet regularly. Begin to distant yourself from that old living (friends, hangout spots, activities, etc.)

3. Surrender to the Leadership of the Holy Spirit – Simple enough but often a critical step we miss. He, the Holy Spirit is the one who has begun the work and change in your life… So it will be wise to allow him the freedom to move in your life. He knows exactly what you need and when you need it. This life-change is a process that will not end until Jesus’ returns. Philippians 1:6 states, ”And I am sure of this, that He [Holy Spirit] who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Surrendering is a sign of devotion and love. He is there to Comfort you, Counsel you, and to Convict you.

4. Run Tell That – Run tell all that just happen to you… John 4 gives us a perfect picture of how Jesus justifies and gives heart change to a woman at the well and the very next thing she did was to run and tell everyone who would listen. The Bible even records that she left the very thing she was at the well for… Water! More times than not, we forget this important step, but it’s a crucial step of faith to actually “Go and Tell it on the Mountain.” Your testimony is so needed.  A dear friend, Pastor Jordan Sharrett recently said: “Our greatest regrets in life will be the moments we didn’t share the Gospel, that changed us!” Remember, we overcome (the world) by the Blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and the voice of OUR Testimony!!! What’s your story of change and who can benefit from your story of change?

*** Youth Pastors/Leaders – share this with your leadership teams and parents.. they can help the student walk out this life change so that they can have fruit that remains. DO NOT DO THIS ALONE! ***

*** Students – Talk with your parents, small group leader and/or Youth Pastor. They are there to help you as your embrace all that God has for you. Begin to get active in reading your Bible (starting with the book of John, then Romans, then Colossians and next Hebrews!) Get active in your youth ministry anyway you can. YOU MATTER MORE THAN YOU KNOW! ***

*** Parents – Allow students to process what has happen and be a tower of comfort, encouragement, and love for them. Get with their Youth Pastor/Small Group Leader and see how you can be involved. Engage your kids with questions and prayers over them. PLEASE KNOW YOU ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE! ***

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Leadership

Q&A Session Part 1

30 Nov , 2012  

Here is the 1st set of the Q&A session from my community of FB friends, Twitter followers and #stumin/#youthmin followers… Shoot me an email or DM me on Twitter/FB, if you have any questions: corey@awakenthisheart.com or @meCoreyG

Riley C. from TN asks: “Who are some of the voices pastors/preachers) you glean from?”

– Currently, I mainly listen to and glean from these leaders… Judah Smith, Chad Veach, Jentezen Franklin, Francis Chan, Mark Driscoll, Robert Madu and Billy Humphrey (IHOP-ATL Director, former YP). All of these guys (except Billy) are outside my “circle of influence/friends”

 

James F. from South GA asks: “As a Youth Pastor/Speaker, what have you adapted as a Philosophy of Ministry and why?”

– Team, Creative & Parents – ALL For JESUS! More detailed information on this can be found here: Philosophy of Ministry

Colin W. from NJ asks: “I’m trying to encourage my friend who recently got saved, what is the best book of the Bible you recommend for them to start reading first?”

– I always recommend to new Christians to start reading the book of John first then followed by the book of Romans from either the NIV or ESV BIBLE. 3rd would probably be Colossians and then the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, & Luke). These are just personal preferences…

 

Brian S. from GA asks: “I recently was hired at my home church as the new youth pastor. What advice would you give me starting out in ministry?”

KNOW, INVEST, HONOR & PREACH… Know your calling & identity is in Christ. Invest in your leaders, invest in good mentors & honor your pastor & the vision! Preach Jesus – 2 Cor. 4:5


Q&A Part 2
 | Q&A Part 3 are now up also… check it out!

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Leadership

Tag Team Ministry

28 Sep , 2011  

When my brother and I were younger (and even now, somewhat) we were avid Wrestling fans. We (and our cousins too) would imitate all the legends… I mean Sting, Ric Flair, Randy Savage (RIP), Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Triple H, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. We were totally obsessed. And if I can be honest, it was through the grace of God and a praying mother that we are still alive from performing some of the dangerous moves we would see on tv or at live events here in Atlanta.

Disclaimer: When the TV Screen says “DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME”… it literally means that! Word to the wise!!!

Some of our classic matches, the ones that were memorable and dear to use is when we would create or imitate a Stable with our cousins and friends. Now a stable in wrestling terms means a team/group united in vision. My stable was called D-Pac and my brother’s was called Threat. I know… silly, but work with me. My team was united in vision, that as their leader, I was going to become the World Heavyweight Champion and as a team, we were going to become the Tag Team Champions… and YES, for those of you wondering – our team won. Success! I knew that if I wanted to accomplish my goals and become the World Heavyweight Champion and Tag Champs, I was going to have to surround myself with some people, who understood the importance of allying and working together. Some of the most dominant, creative and talented wrestlers were apart of tag teams or stables. As a matter of fact, majority of them improved and were better because of this “elite” group of men uniting for their championship goal.
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This gets me thinking… what if our ministries were like this? Where we as the leader of the team [Student Pastor/Young Adult Pastor] would develop our teams appropriately to accomplish one goal… yet not our goal, but Jesus’ goal. What if we fashion our ministries to work as a team and we really start tag teaming on Satan. What if our World Heavyweight Championship match was Preaching Jesus with authority and passion to this lost generation. And our Tag Team Championship match was teaming up with parents to nurture their students.

All wrestling aside… we are in an epic struggle [battle] were the familiar faces of our generation are fading away & lost. And if the statistics are true, only 4% of this generation will be Bible-believing Christians willing to stand firm on their faith in Jesus. We need leaders, who will get out of the way, stop trying to do ministry alone and team up with other people/ministries and fight [contend] for these young people. Leaders that will get before God and beg him to send them men & women who have His vision, His heart, and His grace so that His Kingdom is built, Jesus’ name glorified and people set free to live abundantly.

3 simple things to remember… Pray for a Team, Build the Team, Invest in the Team

Pray For A Team: Carve out time to wholeheartedly pray and seek God for the leaders who would be on your team. Begin searching for those who would add to the team, making it better.
Build The team:
When God reveals the leaders for this team, begin to place them in the right area. Look for their gifts & talents. Ask them about their passions!
Invest In The Team:
Pour into them your time, resources, prayers, and energy… making sure they are well nourished. – *more information

Throughout the Bible, God always used team ministry to further his Kingdom… Adam/Eve, Moses/Aaron, Joshua/Caleb, Elijah/Elisha/Jehu, Jesus & His Disciples (and even with the 12, Jesus still had an inner team of 3 with Peter, James, John) Paul/Silas, Barnabas, Timothy and so on. We were not called into ministry to act alone. I’m not talking about so-called “Youth Pastor friends” you only see when the latest “Big” conference is in town… but an authentic relationship with people in YOUR ministry that are willing to sacrifice and dig the trenches with you in your community.

Look at what Solomon had to say about being alone in ministry & life:

7 I turned my head and saw yet another wisp of smoke on its way to nothingness: 8 a solitary person, completely alone-no children, no family, no friends-yet working obsessively late into the night, compulsively greedy for more and more, never bothering to ask, “Why am I working like a dog, never having any fun? And who cares?” More smoke. A bad business. 9 It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. 10 And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! 11 Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. 12 By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 MSG

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Leadership

Offense of the Gospel

9 Jul , 2011  

Sometimes, I think about the condition of a person heart, soul and spirit as it relates to the things that motives mines. I have noticed lately, especially in the church that we have pacified and sugar-coated the Gospel (the Bible) to some mediocre story that makes us feel good and leaves us excited without revelation. This in return, leaves us a corrupted Gospel nonetheless.

The Gospel is penetrating and can even be scolding as it sculpts away our own hearts intentions. [Hebrews 4:12]  We as humans should be offended by the Gospel.  Moreover, as Christians we should understand that the most scandalous act in history – “A loving Father (God) sending his perfect Son, Jesus Christ (fully God and Man) to pay a debt/price he didn’t owe so that we may become God’s sons [through “Grace/Faith” salvation – Spirit of Adoption] and shine with his Righteousness [through the Holy Spirit]” is very offensive. [2 Corinthians 5:21] The whole of humanity should be offended that we killed an “innocent man” for our own “selfish & wicked behavior.”

The Bible was never meant, to be just a bed time story we read to our children or something we dive into when we want answers. It was meant first and foremost to recount Jesus as the King and Savior of the world and our lives and then as an in-depth guide to living a righteous and holy life – in love towards God and people. When we read the Gospel as it really is, it should provoke change in our lives and penetrate us so much, that we want others to experience this life change. My prayer is that the Gospel will offend us so much that we pursue and hunger for Jesus and embrace his grace/love. That every time we read the Bible, we will also live it out.

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Leadership, Randomness, Reflections & Introspection, That'll Preach Sayings

I’m Weak… And That’s Okay

8 Jun , 2011  

Ever since I could remember, my greatest weakness & fear was of the big R – REJECTION. Yep, you heard it right… as great, funny, cool and popular as I was and still am – my number one struggle was Rejection. I was scared people wouldn’t like me, that I wasn’t funny enough or even cool enough to be in the “popular in-crowd!” I guess the jokes was on me. This weakness and fear allowed me to not be as bold as I wanted to be in High School. Missed opportunities, missed and failed relationship/dating experiences, emptiness and neglected jobs… all of these things happened because of my fear or weakness of Rejection. Thinking back on it now, I realized how great my impact and influence would have been if I wouldn’t have been scared of what others would say.

At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. [2 Corinthians 12:8-10]

I’ve learned something over the last 3 years that really has guided me when I feel rejection trying to creep up to the #1 spot —‘Even in my weakness, if I’m surrendered to Jesus, he still makes me Strong & when I’m in him, he never sees my weakness!’ Man, what a thought… Are you telling me, I can struggle with my weakness and Jesus still approves me? Good question, the answer is a great big YES // And he gives me strength in the midst of my weakness? YES, and better yet, He will help you overcome this weakness!

I have learned that in some areas I am weak. That in some situations, I am broken and frail. And guess what… I am okay with that. I know that Christ is my strength, therefore I can be weak. As a matter of fact, if I am in Christ, He has to be strong. Because my weakness would’ve killed me or depleted me to the point where I would have been taken out of the race.

Recently I had as situation where I thought I was the “the one,” but in actuality wasn’t chosen. The very minute the news broke, the mindset [spirit] of rejection tried to set me back with what God was doing. Immediately, I found myself in intense prayer over the situation and taking my mind captive to the negative thoughts. Needless to say, I was actually okay with the decision and am content in it. Here, I took another rejection situation, but instead of allowing it to beat me for a few days – I focused on the positives and Jesus’ strength in my life.

I’ve developed a joy in leaning on Jesus’ strength, especially when it comes to ministry and preaching/teaching. When I started in full-time ministry, I used to be afraid of networking with other youth pastor I didn’t know or preaching before large crowds. Now, that my joy in the strength of Jesus outweighs my frailty in my weakness… I like and enjoy networking with other pastors/leaders and speaking to the large crowds. It literally all boiled down to this – I rather be rejected before man.. then to be rejected by God.

Take a look at your life and see where you are weak! It’s in your weakness, the Lord is trying to accomplish the greatest victory for your life. YOU ARE WEAK, But because HE IS STRONG… YOU STILL GET THE VICTORY! I love how the message translation puts the scripture above.. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. This simple means, that His strength and power is made perfect when we are weak and rely on him alone. I’m weak… and that’s okay cause my strength is not in me but in Christ!

Bye Bye Weakness Hello Strength

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Leadership

Who’s Next: The Invitation

25 Feb , 2011  

Had an awesome privilege of speaking at theExchangeYA’s Leaders Meeting a few Tuesdays ago. Spoke briefly about how God is looking for Leaders to have a “What’s/Who’s Next” heart! Share two scripture with the leaders – Psalms 22:30-31 and Luke 14:21-23

30 A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, 31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, That He has donethis. – Psalms 22:30-31

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “‘Sir, the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. – Luke 14:21-23

As a leader, YOU have been marked with such an incredible calling. If Jesus is your main focus, how are you recounting Jesus to the Next Generation? As a Christian leader, at any level – your job is to invest in the next generation. Our response as leaders should be like the servant in Luke 14:22 — Master {Jesus} I have done everything you have asked of me… but there’s still more I can do. Our job as leaders is to always make sure we are doing everything we can to bring people to Christ and allow them to encounter/experience his Love & Grace. We are to compel [captivate] them in such away that it draws them to Jesus, ultimately allowing them to compel their friends.

Parents, what’s the legacy you are leaving for your kids? Is it a legacy of having a passion for Jesus and recounting His glory or a legacy to achieve personal gain and fun?

Youth Pastor/Leader, how are you compelling your students to Jesus? Is it in your lifestyle or just your youth talks?

Jesus’ glorious name will be famous… and his banquet [house] will be full – will you play your part in accomplishing this?

You have been invited to the greatest feast in the history of the world. Will you give an excuse like the 3 men did or will you be like that servant who invited everyone he could find?

“Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” – Revelations 19:9 “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” – Luke 14:15

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