Thursday, June 27, 2013

Texas Update #6 6/27

I had to look back at the previous post in order to remember which update this was.

We've been here so long to this point that all the days are starting to run together.

5 AM prayer has been a staple of our schedule, and it has been amazing!

After prayer we ate breakfast.

Following breakfast we went to church, only to find that one of the women in the church made us breakfast burritos. Only then to find out another lady brought us in donuts. Only then to find out another lady made us more breakfast burritos!!

We definitely had enough to eat for breakfast.

We cleaned up the church for our last morning work day.

Following work we came back to church for a siesta.

A couple hours later we headed out, amazing race style, by splitting up our groups to do some church visitation.

Afterwards we headed over for a barbecue to end the night.

Check out our flickr gallery for more.

Texas Update #5 6/26

We are officially half way through our week!!

It's hard to believe that! This week has absolutely flown by. But at the same time, we feel as though we've done so much and have been here forever!

This morning started out just like every other morning so far. 5 AM prayer.

It has been such a great way to start the morning. Despite being tired. We have seen the hand of God move because of our dedication and time in the morning.

After prayer, breakfast, and maybe a quick nap we were off to our first ministry site.

Upon arriving at the church students and translators began painting, cleaning, and reorganizing the children's wing.

We worked for about 2 or 3 hours.

Around 11 a group of 7 of us, some natives of Texas, other from UBC went on a visitation.

The woman in the visitation was a newly wed, and was also expecting a baby!!

We prayed for her, and we prayed for her marriage as her husband had not yet made a decision to follow the Lord.

After the visit it was back to church for lunch.

We ate lunch, and then we practiced a little bit for the Wednesday evening service.

Siesta was waiting for us as we arrived back at the hotel.

Wednesday, on the Harvest Trips is mandatory nap day.  Joel, our leader, said he's been on many trips and Wednesday is a key day, and fatigue and tiredness begins to set in, so he requires everyone at least try to take a nap.

I am writing this first half of the blog entry in a dark room with two sleeping students. One of which assured me he would lay still for an hour but, and I quote, "Nick, I guarantee I won't fall asleep." Two hours later he is snoozin' like a baby!!

After our siesta we went to the church's Wednesday night service.

Pastor Joel preached.

We had a part of the service as we performed a drama that we performed this week. Also Jessica and Kenzie shared somethings God has done in their lives.  It was very powerful!

Take a look at the video from the performance and pictures on our flickr stream!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Texas Update #4 6/25

Hello from the great state of Texas!!

Today has been very similar to yesterday. We woke up at 4:45 in order to make it to 5 AM prayer. Due to the fact we were out til about 10 at the fiesta from the previous day, it made prayer very difficult.

I know I was having trouble staying away.

It is very hot today, and has been all week. It is very important that we continue to hydrate ourselves.

After prayer we all came back to the hotel and slept. We didn't have anywhere to be until about 9 AM.

We were back at the church and today we painted the interior of the newly acquired and remodeled children's wing. It looked great and our students worked hard.

Others helped clean out the church kitchen and wipe down toys and cribs that were used in the nursery.

After lunch we came back to the hotel for our siesta.

The evening consisted of a couple of house visits. One group went and prayed for a lady who was ill. The other group prayed and visited a family that has just recently decided to follow the ways of Jesus.  We encouraged them and prayed with them.

The night ended again with very good food, friends, and community as we sat around a table, joked, talked, and prayed for the family who served us our dinner. Not only did they serve us our dinner, but they have fed us lunch each and everyday at the church thus far.

They are a huge blessing to us.

Please continue to pray for us, for strength and for divine appointments to spread the name of Jesus.

Please also pray that this would not just be a spiritual high for our students, but that they would be called to something much greater!

PS: To look at un update on the photos, click here!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Texas Update #3 6/24

Today we had our first experience with the 5 AM prayer. The alarm went off at 4:45 "en la manana" (In the morning).

We went to pray at the church in the pitch black for an hour. The church here believes that the best way to start your day is in the presence of God. How great is that? Do I believe that? Yes! Then what keeps me from praying at 5 AM? On a typical day, my desire to sleep. Kinda convicting.

After prayer we came back to the hotel to eat breakfast and do some devotions.

Following breakfast we went back to the church we painted and hung out with students from their church.

Daniel steam cleaned the carpet all by himself in an un-airconditioned room.  He worked very hard we are all very proud, and glad that he did the job so we wouldn't have to.

A family from church cooked us lunch and we ate, and learned fun facts about the Spanish language and that blue frosting cake stains your mouth.

As lunch came to a conclusion we arrived back at our hotel to take siesta.

As dinner approached we went to a couple a visitations.

First, we went to a family who was older, and in poorer health so we were able to minister to them.

Finally the night ended at a family's house who just recently accepted Christ, they fed us (a ton of amazing food) and we played with other students from the church.

It was a great time.

I'm writing this at quarter to 11 knowing I will need to be up in 5 hours. So at that I am going to sleep!

Take a look at our full picture stream!

Texas Update #2 6/23

Today was Sunday. Church day.

We woke up, ate breakfast and headed off to church.

Church was really good. The worship  music was incredible! And the spirit in the room was very full, people were very into the music, clapping, and dancing. Even some of us got into the groove!

The service was completely in Spanish (see, told you this was a cross-cultural experience!)

After church we ate at an authentic Mexican restaurant, CiCi's Pizza (that was sarcasm), nevertheless, it was delicious!

After that we had a siesta time. Some napped, some swam, others, like myself, went to wal-mart to buy snacks.

After we went back to the church to get a rundown for the week, and the ministries we would be involved with.

Finally, a member of the church was having a birthday party at a local park, so we went to that.

We all found out very quickly that volleyball is not a sport that God has blessed us with abilities to play considering during every round-robin tournament we were the first team eliminated. We still had fun.

It is really cool to get to know all the people from this area! They are incredibly helpful and hospitable.

We were there until it turned dark, we ate food, had drinks, and cake.

It was a good day.

Monday morning begins with a 5 AM prayer time followed by a morning of construction and work at the church and an evening of in home Bible studies.

Please continue to be in prayer for our group!

We appreciate your support.

To see MANY MORE PHOTOS check out our flickr feed.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Texas Update 1

Just ready to be there!
I'm laying here in my bed at 11:50 pm Saturday, night. Exhausted!

But, we made it!

Are we there yet?
For those of you who don't know, we left Dayton at 6:00 (ish) am on Friday morning and our destination was 13 hours away in Mt Pleasant, TX. Then we took off the following morning from Mt Pleasant at 5:30 (ish) am. We arrived at McAllen by 4:15 pm.

So after 22 hours of driving ad close to 1500 miles we made it!

Our students were really good, and understanding travelers. We made limited restroom stops, and we were able to drive pretty much straight though.

Upon arrival we went out to dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant. We could either have tacos (delicious) or a twice baked potato.  It was incredible. Tasted a little bit different than Taco Bell!

WooHoo we made it!
After dinner, and a Kmart run, we swam in the pool.  We splashed cannon balls and took pictures with our faces resting on the pool side (you'll have to wait to see the picture from Beth Sohn, I know it makes no sense, Kenzie and Sabrina's idea).

After a little while a cute little girl from Mexico came up and asked us something, however our only problem was that we didn't speak Spanish. We kinda pushed her aside, said, "Lo Siento" and went on doing our own thing.
Aww yeah!

Then we bumped into her again a few minutes later, and Jessica Sohn, Daniel Williams and I decided to try our hand at communicating with this little girl and her friend by utilizing the limited amount of Spanish in our repertoire. Reis tried to pull out his French. You'll have to ask him how that went :) Finally our translator for the week, Enrique, showed up, and he helped us out.

We found out they wanted to play 'tag' so we played with them. When you're it, you are "La Traea." So we ran around the pool with little Leon (6) and Natalie (7).

It was a great time!

We haven't even technically started our ministry yet, but it is amazing to already see God's hand at work.

Please continue to pray for our team, our attitudes, and our unity.

Thank you already for supporting our team!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


As this blog has mentioned endlessly, Summer is crazy!

Mine is absolutely no exception.

Our worship pastor and his now new wife were married on May 12th and that started this incredible domino effect of weekends in the life of my wife and I! Every weekend since then has had something scheduled. Between worship nights, landscaping, vision meetings, grad parties, and weddings our lives hare full.

Don't get me wrong, we've absolutely enjoyed everything!

This upcoming week (June 21-30) I will be taking our high school ministry, titled Impact, to McAllen, Texas to embark on some missions work.  I am very excited about this trip! I can't begin to describe how much time, effort, energy, and planning has gone into this trip, and we are finally about to experience the fruits of that labor!

I wanted to let you know that, because this blog will soon become mission trip headquarters.

I (hope to) blog frequently throughout our trips to keep people abreast of our progress, give parents a place to read about, and see things their students are working on, and just create an overall awareness of our mission work.

I hope that you continue reading, commenting, reposting, retweeting, and liking things as we are away!

Things will be less structured, a little more random, but all the while we will be doing the work of God in McAllen Texas!

Thank you for your support.

ATTENTION YOUTH LEADERS: Don't miss out on this giveaway of over $80 worth of youth ministry/discipleship products!!

Friday, June 14, 2013


For June we are giving away over $80 of youth pastor resources. Books, curriculum,  and resources just to name a few.

Make sure you tweet out the link from this page.
(include @nickclason in the tweet so I see it)
Like us on facebook or follow me on twitter
And Join this Blog Site (on the right side of the page).

You can enter as many times as you'd like, but only one entry per day.

Contest ends on June 30th.

Share it with your friends!

For complete "giveaway" guidelines check out our page here!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fighting with Mediocrity

Youth ministry is a such a week in and week out grind. It's easy to become complacent and put the ministry on cruise control. It's especially easy when you're not full time. When you have another job, family requirements, a life outside of church, and you're not always focused on doing youth ministry.

Having a job is not a bad thing, it just makes what we do in youth ministry harder!

There are a few areas in which I believe you must fight the mediocrity urge in order to be most effective when ministering to students.

1. Attendance- if you start having a consistent core of students showing up on a week in, week out basis, it may become easy to get complacent. Anytime you've prepared a night for youth ministry anyone who walks through your door brings you excitement.  I remember when I first started as a youth pastor. about 30 minutes before start time I would have this internal argument in my head. It would go something like,

"I've put an hour into setting up, I hope people show up!" 

"No one's really going to come, a few students at best" 

"No! I think this week is different, they're even going to bring a friend or two" 

"They never bring friends, who are you kidding?!" 

And this dance would go on and on swirling around in my head. I would literally rejoice when I started to build a solid core group of students for a Wednesday night event.  It is easy to get locked into that number because any number of students is a success. The consistent core of students is safe, and there is not danger in stepping outside of that group to reach un-churched friends.  Student ministries are most effective when you are reaching out. Never stop that. Fight the urge to be mediocre in your attendance.

2. Teaching- since life is busy. It is hard to sit down and prepare a solid week-in, week-out teaching.  The urge would be to put this area of Student ministry on "cruise control" and just talk about something. I mean who really ever remembers a teaching, or a sermon? Does how the room looks really matter? Do videos, powerpoints, and games really matter? It is only going to be the same few kids anyway! YES, all of these things are important! Because students can tell when there is only a "half-way" effort put in. They are not proud of the product, and therefore, the aforementioned "attendance" area dwindles. Youth group is kinda lame, and everyone knows it, but they still go out of obligation. However no one new will be checking it out anytime soon. Don't become complacent in  your teaching! (Of course if you need help, browse our database).

3. Your Spiritual Walk- this one is the most important one. If Christ is not the center of your own life first, everything is out of whack!! You can't take students to a place that you are not regularly going yourself. God's love will spill out of the overflow of your heart. Make spending time with him on a daily basis a priority. Don't substitute your youth ministry prep time for your own personal devotions. Time is the most precious commodity in our lives. Make sure God is getting the best, most important, most precious portion of your time. He deserves it.

Always fight for excellence in your student ministry. If we are offering this program up to God as a spiritual act of worship, it better be something that we will be proud of. Something we've done our best on. Something that isn't mediocre. Something with a hint of excellence.


We are having an enormous, youth worker give away. Click the image below for details!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy Wednesday

It's officially summer time in youth ministry. now

Summer is a crazy time in youth ministry. It's one of those times that makes a part time youth worker definitely feel full time! It's insane! There is some much going on it's hard to keep up on all of it!

During the school year we have two separate groups that meet. A middle and high school group. During the summer we're smashing them back together to relieve our leaders and give them a breather from the weekly grind of youth ministry.

What are you doing for the summer?

Many of you may already have missions trips planned. Summer camps. Service projects.

Comment below and let us know some of the creative ideas you have for summer.


We have some AWESOME things going on this month, check them out below!

Don't forget about our giveaway going on right now through June!

Also don't forget about our Youth Ministry sermon database!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ultimate Youth Worker Giveaway!

Hello Readers!

Starting this month we are having a giveaway of astronomical proportions! The ultimate youth worker package includes:

These books and resources are all incredibly useful books that I have used in my ministry, and/or books that I have read that have shaped my thinking of how to accomplish ministry.

This is over an $80 value, all yours for free!

In order to be entered into the drawing for this package here are the rules:

1) You must follow me on twitter and/or like our page on facebook.

2) You may only enter once per day, but you may enter as many times as you'd like up until the contest ends on June 30th.

3) Click 'Join this site' on the right side of this blog to follow "Balanced Student Ministry."

4) You must share this post on facebook or twitter

Good luck and happy sharing!

Friday, June 7, 2013


We all experience failure in life.

I know I sure have.

I recently quit my other job so I could focus more time on my work at church, and better myself.

I set goals for myself, and gave myself a detailed written schedule so that I would work hard to maintain the time management structure that I put in place.  I even color coded it!

Since I quit, I think I've kept that schedule two days.

Yeah, I've royally failed at it.

And every morning when I wake up at 7:15 instead of 6:00 I immediately feel like a failure, and I begin to rush around, and get nothing done that I originally hoped for.

I mean I want to get up, but rolling back over to sleep for an extra ten minutes seems so enticing!

When I used to work my other job I was forced out of bed by a pesky alarm at 4:15 AM. Now I have flexibility. But with this flexibility I've seemed to lose my discipline.

How about you? Do you ever set goals, or have intentions and they just not happen?

Tell me about them!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Duck Dynasty Night

Last night at our student ministry we had "Duck Dynasty Night"

We set up posters all through out the church so people could have their pictures taken in front of it.

We also had nerf guns (terrible idea, trying to keep track of darts with students is a crazy chore)

We had shirts, mugs, cups, and books to give away all Duck Dynasty themed.

We played games

Watched episodes.

And made beards.

It was a great event.

Check out some pictures from it:

Junior High:

Senior High: