in pursuit of jesus
a blog about student ministry, multimedia ministry, and leadership


Here are my notes from listening to a message called, “Seasons” by Pastor Mike Shroades:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up; ”  Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 ESV

Everything has a season.

Another word for purpose in verse one is desire.

Everything we do should leave a mark for the glory of God.

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”  Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV

We all have an appointment with death.  Unfortunately, we don’t know when our time will be.  What will God’s sentence for your life be?  Eternal life or eternal death?

Given the main text, this song came to mind:


My notes from Pastor Mike Shroades’ message on 4/29/12:

“7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends.”  1 Corinthians 13:7-8a ESV

4 Ways of Walking in Love:

1.  Love bears all things.
Believers should help each other through challenges that we face.

2.  Love believes all things
Love makes you look for the best in people.  Believing in someone causes you to build a trust with them.

3.  Love hopes all things
Lack of hope causes you to be miserable.  Hope is an eager expectation.  We need to encourage each other.

4.  Love endures all things
Selfless love can endure hardships and transgressions that otherwise would destroy relationships.

For more info about Christ-Life Church:


Check out the Christmas story here:  Luke 2:8-20 (NKJV)

Verse 17 says that the shepherds made widely known, that is they told others about this amazing Jesus who is the Messiah, the Savior of the world.

We are called to be HOPE DISPENSERS to a world that lacks hope.

Antibacterial soap claims to kill 99.9% of all germs.  God forgives 100% of sin that is confessed to Him.  You can never escape His love.  He offers hope until the day that you die.  Jesus is the ultimate hope.  There is no sin too great!  He forgives the murderer, the abuser, the disobedient, the rebellious.  You name it, He forgives it!  Jesus is the ultimate hope.
If you have accepted Jesus into your heart, you have this hope inside of you.

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  Romans 5:5 (NIV)

Just like the shepherds, once you have received the hope of Jesus you have responsibility to dispense this hope to a lost and dying world.

20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:20 NKJV

How do we dispense hope?

We can share the gospel with people.  We can give gifts to those in need during the holiday season.  We can give food to the hungry.  We can be a friend to those who seem alone.  Get creative and share the hope that you have found.

When you find a great thing, you should be willing to share it with others.  Jesus is the hope for all, past, present, & future.  He has enough hope for all and it’s our responsibility to dispense this hope to all.

Will you be a hope dispenser for Jesus?


In ministry, there are two extremes that we sometimes gravitate to:  Gun-shy and trigger-happy.

Gun-shy is when we are scared to pull the trigger.  We can go through times of spiritual stagnation, where we can’t seem to hear from God.  We also may experience so much failure that we don’t want to try new things.  Or, it may just be laziness.  Although we have the ministry knowledge, we may be too lazy to put the effort into the ministry.  Once we’ve been a Christian for a while, the gun-shy extreme becomes a danger.

The trigger-happy person energetically tries new things.  They start new ministries or outreaches.  Sometimes, they lack planning or forethought and fizzle out.  The idea may not even line up with our vision.  They also may take any idea that they have and try to make it work.  Younger Christians are more likely to fall into the trigger-happy extreme.

I have personally experienced both of these ends of the spectrum.  As we mature in our faith, we need to find a balance between the two extremes.  We should put enough planning into our ministries to know whether an idea would help us accomplish our goals.  If it does not, then we need to put the idea aside at least for the time being.  However, when we know it will help us accomplish a ministry goal and especially if we think that it’s from God, we should be ready to try new things and take a risk for God.


Over the course of a few weeks, our teenagers submitted some great suggestions for names.  We decided to name our youth ministry 4:12.  This comes from 1 Timothy 4:12 which says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Our goal is for our core youth to set an example “in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”


For the last 11+ years, our youth ministry has had the name, Direct Impact Youth.  It’s time for a change.  I have thought & prayed a ton, but I still don’t know what we should call it.

Much like our church, our vision is to create a place for teenagers to meet Jesus.  I would like a one word name, that is easy to say, and original (if possible).

$10 goes to the person who comes up with the name.

$10 also goes to the person who comes up with the basics for the logo.  Keep it fairly simple.  It will need to translate easily on print, web, video, t-shirts, etc.

Here are some of the suggestions so far:

  • Alive
  • Front Line
  • Amplified
  • God’s Youth Ministry
  • Big Fish
  • Unite

Feel free to add your suggestions via comments.


I have often tried to read the full Bible through the course of a year.  Although I have read through the Bible several times, this is the first time that I am on target to finish it in 1 year.

Here are a few things that I’ve done differently this time:

  • I started on January 1st.
  • I have a written plan.
  • I am reading an easy to read translation (New Living Translation).
  • I am trying the Blended Reading Plan (some New Testament & some Old Testament daily).
  • I am being flexible.  Some days I read in the morning & sometimes I read at night.
  • I catch up or read ahead if I know that the next day is going to be really busy.

Are you reading through the Bible this year?  Or, are you doing a different organized study method?


If we’re not careful, we can get caught up in our own comfortable world – our job, our family, our church, etc. and totally miss the needs of the people that we come into contact with everyday.  I started reading Servolution by Dino Rizzo about a month ago.

Now, as I do my ordinary daily tasks I am so much more aware of the people around me.  Do you notice the person in front of you in the grocery store that comes up a few dollars short?  Do you ignore the homeless guy by the side of the road who needs a hand up?  Are you aware of the single mother who serves you in the restaurant?  Do you see the teenager who is getting picked on?

It’s been amazing how many times in the last few weeks that I have had the chance to meet a need, or encourage someone, or pray for someone.  The needs have been there the whole time, I just wasn’t paying attention.  Are you?  If not, ask God to show you the needs and to give you the courage to act.


This is one of my favorite videos.


Love should motivate us to give.

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to the Lord.  Why?  Because he loved God that much.

Jacob agreed to work 7 years so that he could marry Rachel.  After all of that work, he marries the ugly sister, Leah.  He marries Rachel as well and agrees to work an additional 7 years.  Why?  Because he loved her.

Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors.  Why?  Because he loved Joseph.

In Luke 7:36-50, a woman poured out expensive perfume on Jesus feet.  She washed His feet with perfume that cost a year’s wages & dried them with her hair.  Why?  Because she loved him.

Love motivates us to give.  Rick Warren says, “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

If you truly love God, you will give to Him.  Give your time, money, talents, energy, whatever you have give it to God.  If you love people, you will give.

1 John 3:16  16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

If you are not giving like you should, maybe it’s a love problem.  Maybe, you need to examine your heart and ask God to restore the love that you should have for Him.  Maybe, you have not been loving your fellow man like God wants you to love.  Ask God to restore the love that you should have for Him and for others.