from your dyd

may 26, 2020

Pastor Tyler

Continuing our theme of communication from the last two weeks, I want to clarify our channels of communication here at SD NextGen. This will help you, as leaders, to stay connected and also to contribute to the conversation as we do ministry together.

-SD NextGen Facebook Page & Instagram: 
Audience: Anyone
Communication Type: Social
Purpose: Audience engagement around event & cause promotion
This is our "billboard" to the world. For anyone who wants to stay connected and informed about all things SD Nextgen - leaders, parents, students, pastors, anyone. Our SD Fine Arts Festival page functions in the same way, but with a specific focus on FAF and students using their gifts and passions.

-NextGen Weekly newsletter
Audience: All leaders of SD NextGen; written with the ministry leader in mind.
Communication Type: One-way
Purpose: Inform Leaders
This is our best effort at communicating TO you. Dates, deadlines, thoughts from me, and coaching from guest posts. This is your go-to spot for the most updated info, delivered to your inbox every Tuesday.

-Facebook Groups:
Audience: Key leader in each SDAG church's youth & kid's ministries
Communication Type: Two-way
Purpose: create community through discussions on ministry and life
If you aren't aware, we have a private Children's Pastors group and a private Youth Pastors group. These groups allow the key leader from those ministries in each church to connect with their ministry peers for encouragement, resourcing, and advice. Feel free to share your ideas, your ministry struggles, your request for prayer, or a great resource you've found. These forums are for your benefit. This is also where I post updated information on upcoming events or ask for your input on future plans. Please stay connected AND engaged in these groups.

Audience: Team members of SD NextGen
Communication Type: Two-Way
Purpose: Organize & Facilitate Teamwork on Projects & Events
Slack is a great app that you can download for free on any device. Once added to the SD NextGen workspace, you will have access to multiple conversation channels. Each channel represents a team or project (Camp, conference, kid's conference, etc). Some of the channels are open to anyone, while other channels are locked as invite only. When you participate on a SD NextGen team, you will be added to these channels to help us work together in one place across the distance. We are developing and growing our teams to be more efficient with our personnel and to get everyone into their sweet spot. We are also expanding our teams to include non-youth/kids pastors who can help us make SD NextGen better. If you are not on Slack, you can sign up and join our workspace today so you're ready to join a team when you are a part of one. To Join:

Planning Center Online:
Audience: Anyone
Communication Type: Two-Way
Purpose: Event Registration & Giving (additional tools used by our office or certain SD NextGen teams)
As many churches do, we utilize Planning Center Online to host registration for all our events. We also use this for online giving and text-to-give. Most times you will access this from a link we have shared. Optional: PCO has an app called "Church Center". If you log into it, you have quick access to event registration and giving.

NextGen Drive:
Audience: Key Leader
Communication Type: One-Way
Purpose: Resourcing
This is a cloud drive (hosted on Dropbox) that contains resources of all kinds: church docs for events, promo materials, media from past events, STL & BGMC projects, fundraisers, and graphics, etc. There is so much on here and I am trying to add value to this drive each week. Keep this drive saved as a bookmark so you can check back often.

I hope this helps you better understand how we communicate here at SD NextGen. Some of these tools require that you stay engaged with them, while others are simply available to you. Thank you for your consistency in staying connected as a leader in SD NextGen. I believe you will be able to lead better because of it, and that WE will each be better because of your engagement with us.

BONUS Communication Tools: 
Audience: Anyone
Communication Type: Social
Purpose: Audience engagement around event & cause promotion
If you don't already follow our District page on Facebook, you'll want to. This is a great way to identify with our district and to celebrate, promote, and contribute towards our greater District family.

SDAG Ministers Facebook Group:
Audience: All SDAG credential holders & church staff
Communication Type: create community through discussions on ministry and life
This is a newly created group to help our district to communicate and resource each other. Pastor Steve, our District Superintendent, utilizes this group to engage with you and get feedback from you. Make sure you are an active part of this group.


May 26, 2020

Pastor Ben Snyder

Assistant dyd, youth pastor Aberdeen First Assembly, onecause youth

When I had just started in ministry my lead pastor would call me in his office just to talk. In these conversations, he passed down some truths he learned in ministry over the years. Nine years later and we still have these meetings. These talks usually begin with, “One day when you’re a lead pastor…” These have been so valuable because not only did I receive some timely wisdom but it communicated that he believed in me.

It was in one of these meetings in my first year where I learned something I will never forget. Pastor talked to me about a disease that has knocked several great pastors out of their churches and even some out of ministry. The disease he was referring to was infection from sheep bite.

So, what is sheep bite? Sheep bite happens when the people you invest in, the ones you are called to lead decide to take a bite out of their leader. When you get into ministry you expect the wolves to bite you, not the sheep. You expect those who oppose you to attack. But when the people you invest in turn on you . . . that hurts. The student you have been praying for and spending extra time with decides to leave your youth group. The parent you are ministering to comes into your office and tells you that you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re not cut out for ministry. The volunteer you are discipling and sacrificed family time for gossips about you. That’s sheep bite, those are bites that leave marks.

When a wolf bites we are good about cleaning that wound and going on with our lives, but when a sheep bites we tend to get bitter and not properly treat our wound. A wound not treated is easily infected. And the scary thing is when the infection is not properly cared for it can reach the heart.

Thankfully there is a cure for sheep bite, really more of a vaccine. In my meeting with my pastor he gave me this prayer to treat sheep bite. “God, give me thick skin and a soft heart.” It’s a prayer he prays every day and one that has been added to my prayers as well.

Proverbs 16:32 says, “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

This proverb tells us that it’s better to be in control of our anger than to exert our strength. It’s our human nature when under attack to fight back. It’s survival instinct.

When experiencing sheep bite with that student, parent, or leader; natural instinct would tell you to yell back or remind them of their sinful nature or to win the argument. There have been many times when I wanted to win the argument, drop the mic, and walk out of the room. But in the end even if I won the argument I knew it meant losing the person.

This proverb tells us that you are a better person when you choose to control your feelings and rather than lashing back decide to take the blows and have thick skin. Controlling your anger is better than exerting your power and authority over someone. When you are slow to anger you are stronger than the one trying to beat you up. It’s our choice whether to have thick skin or respond to every attack.

God give me thick skin.

Unfortunately, thick skin is the easy part, the soft heart is the hard part. When you have thick skin and you put up your defenses you naturally tend to harden your heart as well. But in ministry you can’t lead people with a hard heart. You need a soft heart; you need to genuinely care about the people around you. You need to love your neighbor as yourself. A person with a soft heart is willing to expose themselves again even after they have been bit.

If you’ve ever been hurt by someone our natural response is to avoid that person, to not allow them to hurt you again. You touch the stove once and it burns you, so you don’t touch it again. We’re the same way with people. We get burned once and we know better, we don’t touch them again.

But the proverb says “He who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city.”

When you get hurt a flood of emotions comes in. You experience anger and hurt and everything within you yells, "Attack! Show no mercy!" But this is where ruling our spirit comes into play. What we want and what God wants are in disagreement. I say attack, God says love them. I say win, God says turn the other cheek. So, do you listen to your emotions or God’s Word? It’s a greater feat to win the inward battle than the physical battle. Or, as one commentator puts it… “It is harder, and therefore more glorious, to quash an insurrection at home than to resist an invasion from abroad."

When we rule our spirit and when we have a soft heart, we don’t avoid people. Instead we love people, we forgive people, and we give them a second chance.

God, give me a soft heart.

I can’t imagine how hard it was for Jesus when in one night He received two sheep bites from his disciples, his closest friends. Judas betrayed him and Peter denied him. For 3 years Jesus had loved, taught, and cared for these men and now when He needed them most they decided to take a bite out of Him. Yet Jesus responds to both with thick skin and a soft heart. To Judas, in the act of betrayal, Jesus calls him “Friend.” And to Peter, rather than avoid him (like we tend to do when someone hurts us), Jesus goes right up to him and reinstates him and forgives him.

If you want to last in ministry, make this a daily prayer.

God, give me thick skin and a soft heart.

The RonA Report!

may 19, 2020

Pastor  Jake  Koenes

Youth Pastor, Crosswalk community church-SF, crossFit youth ministry  

This just in… Relationship is still key!

As we continue to do youth ministry in compliance with CDC and local government restrictions know that our primary objective has not changed! We as youth pastors are called to partner with parents to make disciples. Young men and women who choose to live counter-culture and follow after Christ. Making disciples isn’t about programs and events, it is about relationships!

Many of us are huggers and high-fivers. Seeing a group of students and leaders compels us to interact with some form of touch, fist bump, side hugs, chest bumps, hand shakes, and the like. Today we get to be creative and engage our students and leader in the way they interact with each other: Snapchat, InstaGram, Tik-Tok, text and Face Time.

One of my favorite phrases I’ve heard during this pandemic is that God was asserting Himself to the place we focus, engage, and perhaps are addicted: our phones! I know that even before the pandemic started as a way of getting God’s Word to our students as a daily engagement we started a verse of the day on SC and IG. Our kids will open SC and IG multiple times a day and at least once they will get the opportunity to engage God’s Word.

We can as youth leadership teams engage our students in the same way they are already engaging each other. We encourage our youth leaders to send out text messages to encourage, pray for, and converse with students that they lead in our small groups. The message never changes, the method is adjustable. We are still engaging in discipleship through relationship, allowing students to see our lives and the way we pursue God.

Our students live on their phones! We need to find a way to engage them through their phones. There are many great resources available on their phone but if they don’t open the Bible app, or follow godly accounts on InstaGram, or see snap stories of people who are pursuing God, the phone will do little to encourage their walk with God. Ask yourself: How can our youth ministry be a part of the daily interaction our students have with their phone? A verse, a video, a challenge, how can we be engaging our students in their place of focus, engagement, and perhaps addiction?

Our verse of the day is simply a verse taken from one of the several devotions I personally am doing through the Bible app. Some of the students get the Bible verse more than once because they are joining me in doing the devotional plan on the Bible app. Invite students to join you on your journey. Help them download the Bible app and invite them to do a devo with you. Pick one that focuses on a subject that they are interested in, or something that they are dealing with.

We have a small group that has been meeting on ZOOM outside of our Wednesday night “service”. The small group is using a devotional book and meeting once a week to talk through what they are being challenged in. I DON’T EVEN JOIN THEM!!! I have a youth leader who has a passion for leading small groups and for helping teens engage scripture. She asked permission to start the group, we advertised to the group, and I checked in just to let the students know that I was proud of them… But this group is volunteer led.

How can you engage your student? How can your youth ministry be on the platform of your students’ and leaders’ phone? A generation is living their lives online. We can not dismiss the relationships that can be built in this time under these circumstances.

Online is not the only way to engage your students though. Sending mail is a lost art! I know I’m guilty. Our visitors get a postcard a few days after they come but that is as far as our youth ministry has gone with mail. During the rona we had written cards to each student that we could track an address for. We made them personal… It took time! But the snapchat thank-you’s let us know that the students loved the card! You can also do a drive by delivery! Each week we have a competition online and we have winners, winners get prizes, prizes get delivered!!! It’s fun to show up on the front porch of a student and deliver a treat of their choice.

Don’t let the rona destroy the relationships that are used to engage in discipleship. Take the relationship to the platform of your students. That looks different for each group. Not every kid has a phone… every kid does have an address!

We are called to partner with parents to disciple students let the parents in on your SC or IG so they can see how you are helping them raise men and women of God!

Until the hugs and high-fives are resurrected… Keep the discipleship relationship alive from a safe distance!