Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Well my blog silence is due to two consecutive one-week long trips with our high school students.

One was with a group of students to something we call OGN and is about 200 students from all over the country who join up at Pt. Loma Nazarene University. It’s a week of classes on helping students think intelligently through issues related to things like: what proof is the of the resurrection?, What does Islam teach and how is it different from Christianity?, What are the central doctrines of Mormonism?, What do we do with the problem of evil?, and stuff like that.

We also talk to them about talking with people about God, the power of prayer, turning conversations toward the overtly spiritual, and loving a crowd like Jesus did. They then spend the afternoons putting into practice what they’re learning by talking with people on beaches and boardwalks and parks around the San Diego area during the 4th of July week.

I then took a group of 6 students (3 guys and 3 gals) and my partner in crime, Sarah, to go to Saddleback’s Student Leadership Conference. This is the second year they’ve done this and the second year we’ve gone. Several pieces were different this year, but it was still great. The last day was nothing but student serving opportunities and my group went and randomly collected cans for the needy in front of a grocery store. The end result was like 500 different things donated in 3 hours. Amazing what God does when we trust him. Amazing!!!

I taught a seminar again which was tons of fun and I loved hanging with a really small group of our students for a week when we can do what we want when we want. We also stayed again for an extra day to do some ministry planning for our calendar year. This always generates tons of momentum among my leadership core and gives me renewed zeal for my job. I love dreaming. I’m actually teaching a seminar on that this year at the YS Conference in San Diego. I’ll be sharing the process I go through every year to set a calendar/teaching plan and such. Should be good times.

Anyway… after 2 solid weeks with my students, here’s what I’ve concluded:

  • People really are interested in having spiritual discussions. Even with strangers. And not just the crazy people either. Like everyday kind of people will talk to you if you ask.
  • People like to be givers, but a lot of people are skeptical as to what you’ll do with money or resources they give to you. Trust trumps gifts.
  • If you get within a mile of sand and water, it’s ok, even normal to walk around in underwear and a bra. Men have escaped this pressure or expectation and at least on the west coast of California, they mostly wear shorts and not just their briefs. This is weird to me.
  • If beer is 97% water, then there is HUGE power in the 3% to make people behave differently… especially if you multiply it by about 6.
  • The needs of this World can be found in microcosm in my own backyard. It’s crazy to live in a place where the world visits and even lives. I’ve also never really lived any period of my life in a place where this was not true. I need to open my eyes more. I could learn a lot by talking to the people in my very community.
  • There is a direct correlation between the time you spend with someone or something and the ownership one has of that thing. Ownership cannot be rushed.
  • I love teaching.
  • Experience trumps teaching. Always.
  • Students have an amazing ability to rise to the challenge- especially if an adult doesn’t jump in and save them before they are forced to step up themselves.
  • Never underestimate the power of spontaneous late night bonding. It is essential to youth ministry trips and experiences they never forget.
  • I love high school students- but I need my alone time or I start to question that fact.


  1. hey brian this is aj. i made a blog ( to try to do the quiet times and stuff. ogn & pdym were awesome. see u tomorrow night (halmas x u l).

  2. dude, your last statement is so totally true in my life, too. (the other observations were also awesome.) i had a great week at the SLC, but i found that by friday, i needed some time away from my guys. really really needed!

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