To Glorify Christ – Christ is the true head of the church and we seek to glorify Him and worship Him. (Jude 1:25)
To Reach the lost with the true gospel of Jesus by sharing our story of salvation and the story of Christ’s sacrifice. (Mark 8:35)
To Imitate Christ in every aspect of life and share with him in his sufferings. (Phil 3:10)
To Pursue a life of spiritual discipline and obedience to God’s written word. (Heb 12:8)

(Formerly Gateway International Student Ministries)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

a new, fairly extensive survey of teenagers reports that the top factor in teen happiness, rated by the teenagers themselves, is time with family. amazing.

a couple quotes from the article (the whole thing is worth reading):

Spending time with family was the top answer to that open-ended question, according to an extensive survey — more than 100 questions asked of 1,280 people ages 13-24 — conducted by The Associated Press and MTV on the nature of happiness among America’s young people.


Nearly three-quarters of young people say their relationship with their parents makes them happy.

Me-ology or Theology?

For You, LORD, are good, and ready to forgive,
and abundant in loving-kindness to all who call upon You.
Psalm 86:5

"God is good all the time... and all the time, God is good." That is a popular little phrase that is quoted often in Christian circles. I really like that phrase... but here is the burning question: Do you and I really believe it? Is God really good all the time?


When Paul and Silas preached the gospel in Philippi, a riot broke out (see Acts 16). Paul and Silas were deemed troublemakers, beaten repeatedly with rods and thrown into prison. The jailer threw them in the innermost part of the prison and put their feet in the stocks.

Paul and Silas were bloodied, bruised, hurting and incarcerated. Why were they there... for doing wrong? No!! They were there for doing right and obeying God's call. Yet this is the bad circumstance that befell them as a result of their obedience. Hmmm... do we need to rethink that phrase, "God is good all the time?"


One of the big problems you and I face each day is the problem of inconsistency. The Bible tells us great and wonderful things about God and His care and concern for us, yet when we review the circumstances of our own lives, we can easily start to question the truth of God's word:

"God, if you really are good, if you really care about me, then why did my loved one die?"

"God, if you really are good, if you really care about me, then why am I so lonely?"

"God if you really are good, if you really care about me, then why is my marriage so bad?"

"God if you really are good, if you really care about me, then why am I suffering so much... why is my life in the toilet?"

"God, if you really are good, if you really care about me, then why did this bad thing happen and that bad thing happen to me? What gives, God?"

Me-ology views the truth of God through our own personal circumstances. If you and I allow me-ology to determine our theology, God will not seem to be good all the time, nor will He seem to be a God who loves us with an everlasting love and has a wonderful plan for our lives.


Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"
(John 8:32).
What is the truth? Regardless of what may be going on in our lives, God is good all the time, and He has a good plan for you and me. His word is true and His promises are rock solid. He cares for us... so much that Jesus died a brutal and excruciating death on the cross... just for you and me!!!


What did Paul and Silas do in their bad circumstances? Gripe... complain... quit? NO!!! They prayed and sang hymns of praise. They trusted the good heart of God EVEN in their bad circumstances. And God heard their prayers... and sent an earthquake that opened the prison doors... and the jailer and his entire family ended up receiving Christ as Savior and Lord. WOW!! What a miracle by the hand of a good God.

My friend, no matter what you may be facing today... no matter what has happened in your past, do not allow your me-ology to determine and derail your theology. God works in ways you and I cannot understand. He allows hardships to befall us... not because He does not care, but because He has a higher plan and purpose. You can trust God in any and every situation. He really is good all the time... and He really does care for you!


Jeff Schreve

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
John 17:20-23

It's tough being a Christian student today. We're forced to make a lot of choices about who we are, and who we're not. We're supposed to be deciding on our future, when the present is hard enough to deal with.

We have a lot of dividing lines drawn for us. They're invisible, but we see them clearly every day. The grade we're in, the kind of grades we make, overachievers, underachievers, geniuses, slackers. The groups we hang with--jocks, preps, goths, sk8rs, gamers, or geeks. As a Christian, the church we attend, how we pray, the way we worship, and how we interpret the Bible. And yeah, even in 2007 race can still divide. Many of us are asking, "Where do I belong? Who cares about me? Why don't I fit in?"

See You at the Pole™ isn't about groups, grades, clothes, or churches. It's about praying. It's about all of us coming together and laying aside all the labels for one day, simply to call out to God, just as Jesus did in John 17 and say, "Lord, may we be one in you--whether jocks, preps, geeks, Pentecostals, Baptists, Catholics, freshmen, or seniors--may the world believe that You are real and have sent us to touch other through you, regardless of the dividing lines drawn by a broken world!"

So are you in? Are you ready whatever group you're in, to join us in the circle?

Join your generation of faith on Wednesday, September 26, at 7 a.m., GATHER at your school flagpole, UNITE in the name of the One Who died to save you, and PRAY for your school, friends, and families. COME TOGETHER, just as Jesus prayed we would.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Hauntening

Bwah ha ha ha.

more teens leave church after high school than we thought

usa today reports a new survey by lifeway that shows the number of young adults leaving protestant churches after high school is even more dramatic than we’d previously heard. i’d always thought the percentage was about 50. but this survey shows it’s more than 2/3, at 70%.

most didn’t plan on leaving, when they were in high school:

In most cases, the decision to leave was not planned far in advance. Only 20 percent of these “church dropouts” agree that while they were attending church regularly in high school they “planned on taking a break from church once [they] finished high school.”

here’s why they say they left:

• Wanted a break from church: 27%
• Found church members judgmental or hypocritical: 26%
• Moved to college: 25%
• Tied up with work: 23%
• Moved too far away from home church: 22%
• Too busy: 22%
• Felt disconnected to people at church: 20%
• Disagreed with church’s stance on political/social issues: 18%
• Spent more time with friends outside church: 17%
• Only went before to please others: 17%

and, just as telling for those of us hoping to rethink youth ministry, are the reasons given by the 30% who didn’t leave, as to why they kept attending church:

• It’s vital to my relationship with God: 65%
• It helps guide my decision in everyday life: 58%
• It helps me become a better person: 50%
• I am following a family member’s example: 43%
• Church activities were a big part of my life: 35%
• It helps in getting through a difficult time: 30%
• I fear living without spiritual guidance: 24%

original post/comments by Marko