Archive | Youth RSS for this section

Transition: College

by Cary Van Kampen

Our son, Charlie, graduated May 4, from Evangel University with his degree in Psychology. His friends were all bidding farewells and transitioning on to the next phase of life through moves in location and commencing careers and so on. Charlie expressed mixed feelings as he completed his degree on Friday. He is preparing for more classes to begin on Monday, since he is already partially into his master’s degree in counseling. Not a big transition for him—more of the same. Daughter Emily, however is maneuvering the big transition Charlie pioneered last year-moving out of the dormitory for the last time and preparing for married life this summer. This was somewhat bittersweet for us as parents.

As our time of college kids in dormitories comes to a close, we had a few thoughts to go out to those who will be making the transition of high-school students going to college. Here is our list:

  1. Pray for a first floor dorm room.
  2. Learn how to text.
  3. Pray for those advising them for classes.
  4. Be patient with their time schedules, refer to #2.
  5. Pray for their tests, papers, mid terms and finals.
  6. Assure them they are still part of the home family.
  7. Pray for their health.
  8. Keep them appraised of family life and activities, refer to #6
  9. Pray for their future spouse and life-long friends they will discover.
  10. Encourage them to maintain their Biblical principles but to adapt to new opportunities God brings for them to explore.
  11. Pray for their instructors.
  12. Set up a time to skype at least once a week.
  13. Pray that they will handle their new freedoms properly.
  14. Send them stuff in the mail-even a couple of dollars!
  15. Pray for connections to occur for them to be involved in areas other than academics.

As you peruse the list, you may notice the emphasis on prayer. College is not only a time of transitioning for students, but for parents as pray-ers as well! And remember, “Rejoice in the Lord, always!”


Transition: The Slow Fade

The statistics are staggering. As many as 90% of students who attend church in high school will not attend church by the time they are in their twenties. Most churches are set up to view graduation from high school as the finish line for youth ministry. How can the church change to help students transition into college, career and beyond? Reggie Joiner (who will be joining us September 28-29 for Merge) has co-authored a book with Chuck Bomar and Abbie Smith with this transition in mind.

Learn more about The Slow Fade here.

Video Friday: Transition

For those of you who are parents, you understand that kids seem to grow about as quickly as in this video. A dad filmed his daughter each week until her twelfth birthday and this is what he came up with:


Kids grow up very quickly! As parents, pastors and leaders, we have a unique window of opportunity to invest in our children and students. Celebrate each transition!

Flourish in Strength

by Heath Adamson

I recently finished reading the book “I Blew It” by Brian Dollar, the children’s pastor at First Assembly of God in Little Rock, Arkansas. Managing 150 volunteers and reaching 600 children every week has taught him a lot! He speaks candidly about the mistakes he made and how he is learning from them. For anyone who is raising children, around children, ministering to children, or knows a child, this book is for you! I found myself this morning picking it off the shelf and perusing the pages one more time for a quote.

One of the chapters in his book deals with the topic of allowing our greatest strengths to become our greatest liabilities.Reflecting on spending a weekend together at the Red Culture Leadership Conference in January and delving into the Strengths Finder, I am reminded of the caution we must take when leading through our strengths. Brian writes,the solution isn’t to deny or minimize the strength, but instead, to use it in the right context with the right motive.” Paul writes in Philippians 4:5 “let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.Moderation has nothing to do with being at a stand still in leadership but everything to do with wisdom and circumspection.

Most of us are in the middle of personal growth plans, reading the Bible, focusing on our strengths and may have started the year off with a fast. We anticipate great moments with God for our families and ministries this year. As we continue to grow and change and flourish in the goodness of God may we all be reminded to remain reliant on God and not merely reliant on our strengths. In this, we can bloom where He plants us.

75 Area Churches Partner to Reach Community

This Saturday, over 1,000 volunteers from over 75 area churches and community organizations along with youth from the Red Culture Fall Conference partnered with Convoy of Hope to reach out to nearly 5,000 people in need in Des Moines. Guests received shoes, groceries, haircuts, family photos, help finding jobs and much more during the event at the Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines.

Volunteers getting ready for the outreach

A snapshot of events on Saturday.

At the 2010 Fall Conference, youth from across Iowa packed meals to send with Convoy of Hope across the world to help those in need of food. This year, Heath Adamson and the Red Culture team organized the outreach to coincide with the 2011 Red Culture Fall Conference. The Red Culture team hopes that students and leaders will be inspired by the work done in Des Moines this weekend and will begin to reach out to their communities, eventually partnering with Rural Compassion.

Red Culture youth and adults working together to pass out groceries.

Volunteers packing groceries to give away.

To learn more about the outreach over the weekend, you can read this article from the Des Moines Register or watch this story from KCCI News.


Think. Dream. Invest.

During the RedCulture Fall Conference on Saturday, November 12th, we will take an offering and make a commitment to our missionaries around the world. Here are a few of the projects we are currently working on:

Stuart German (Asia Pacific)              Video Projector                 $825.00

Andy Reed (United Kingdom)             Next Term Vehicle            $35,000.00

Colfax Teen Challenge (Iowa)            Vehicle Grant                     $25,000.00

OneHope (South Africa)                     BOH Package                   $49,036.00

Richard Lang (Russia)                        Next Term Vehicle            $35,000.00

Richard Lang (Russia)                        Media Equipment             $20,000.00

Chris Mann (Jewish Ministries)          Stateside Vehicle              $20,000.00

                                                             Total:                            $184,861.00


How will you be relentless?

Ever wonder how boys learn?

If you’ve spent much time in elementary classrooms, you’ve probably noticed that boys and girls tend to behave a little differently in class. A big component to the difference in their behavior is simply that boys and girls learn differently.

If you’ve ever wondered what those differences are and how these differences impact the way we teach in church, tune in today for a live Q&A with Mark Entzminger (one of our e2 Conference Speakers and Senior Director of Children’s Ministries for the Assemblies of God) and Doug Marsh (National Royal Rangers Director) as they talk about how boys learn best.

The conversation will begin at 2PM today at You can join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter (use #MinistryDirect) or e-mail your questions to