I’m pretty sure the man who lives under a rock in a cave on the deserted island of “Nomansland” has heard about the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. I fully support Dan Cathy and his business principles. After reading much about the Cathy family and learning about their heart for people, it is clear that he is a man of deep compassion. I commend Dan Cathy for his comments and his conviction. Based on all that I know of this man and his father, I honestly do not think there was any hatred in his statements. I’m sure he understood that his comments would be polarizing, but that does not equal hatred. I may take a more serious approach to this subject in a later post, but that will have to wait.

Have you ever heard of a Jesus Juke?

You really should be following Jon Acuff on Twitter and checking out his blog, Stuff Christians Like. (It’s got almost as many followers as Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day!) Jon gave the world so many great things like the “Jesus Juke.” According to Jon, a “Jesus Juke” is

“when someone takes what is clearly a joke filled conversation and completely reverses direction into something serious and holy.”

I know the whole ordeal with Cathy’s comments and Chick-fil-A is not a “joke filled conversation,” but I’ve still seen people flip the conversation to a self-righteous circus. I’ve really been amused at the “Jesus Juke” responses that I’ve seen on twitter. I don’t judge these people for their responses because there is truth to their statements, but that’s not the point. People stand in 100-degree heat for hours just to get a chicken sandwich, and then you go and pull a Jesus Juke! C’mon man, it’s just not right.

I decided to start saving some of the top “Jesus Jukes” that I’ve seen from Twitter. Here are just a few that I pulled last night…





I wish we could all order a chicken sandwich, give each other a nice side-hug, and talk about the issue. Until then, keep the “Jesus Jukes” coming!

Did you see any Chick-fil-A “Jesus Jukes” worth sharing?

As children become preteens, they begin putting massive amounts of pressure upon themselves to live up to expectations. As parents and leaders, we must begin to help them understand their failures and face them with confidence.

The new series, Epic Fail, from is a great resource to help talk with preteens about expectations and failures. The series speaks to preteens on their level about how God can use our failures to shape us and the world around us.

Every series I’ve ever downloaded from has been worth the cost, but this series takes it to another level. How is that?

First, each lesson in the series comes with a devotional that preteens can use throughout the week. The devotionals could easily be given to parents to used as a family devotion with their preteen. I love anything that incorporates the family, so this is an awesome addition to the lesson pack.

Second, each lesson in this series includes awesome video elements to use for teaching your group.  I always love using video, but I hardly ever have time to create them. Epic Fail gives you great video content so all you have to do is press play! The videos integrate easily into your own teaching, and they provide a great change of pace for preteens.

Epic Fail has all the great stuff that you’ve come to expect from and even more! You can get this awesome series for only $89 at
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design23Yesterday, I got the opportunity to have a meeting with a future volunteer for our preteen ministry. His name is Sujay. Sujay communicated an interest in serving through our church-wide recruitment, we talked a few times via email, and then we set up a meeting to chat on Sunday morning.

My goal for the conversation was to get a feel for Sujay’s skills and work experience because he had signed up to work in a tech support role. As we talked, we got onto the topic of why he wanted to serve. His answer was amazing.

He shared with me about how he was growing and maturing in his faith while attending our church. He was so excited about everything that he was learning and applying to his life. He decided to serve because he wanted to have another way to worship God. Let me repeat that. He wanted to serve as an act of worshiping God.

This guy has “IT.”  I was ready to sign him up for a lifetime commitment. And just when I thought the conversation couldn’t get any better, Sujay floored me.

He wrapped up our conversation by asking about our plan for training young leaders. He shared his desire to take what he has learned and pass it on to the next generation!

We’re less than a month away from the launch of a new ministry year. I’m so excited to see what God does through an amazing group of leaders just like Sujay.


Last week, I started this series on preteen small groups. If you missed the first few posts, you can catch up “Why Preteen Small Groups Matter” and “What’s the Right Size for a Small Group?”. I don’t intend for this series to include everything you need to know about small groups, but hopefully there will be some thought-provoking ideas that help you in your ministry.

Another feature that affects small groups is meeting space. Big church or small church, your preteen ministry probably doesn’t have a huge space. I know I often feel like I just have to work with what I’ve got. But does it have to be that way?

When it comes to small group space, there is no limit on where they can meet. Preteens need structure in their schedule and consistency from their leader, but they are flexible enough to meet in some of the oddest places! If you’re trying to plan a space for your preteens to meet, let your imagination run wild!

We all know the common places a small group can meet—classrooms, homes, circle of chairs in your large group room, etc. Here are a few unique meeting spaces for preteen small groups:

  • Outside (weather permitting)
  • Stairwell
  • Staff Offices
  • Hallways
  • Inside the Church Van (or the garage that holds the Church Van)
  • Local Park
  • McDonald’s (or In-and-Out for the rest of you)
  • Yo Momma’s House (ok, so that one was a joke. Unless, your mom really loves preteens and would let them come over?)

You get the picture, right?

The point here is that any space is better than no space at all.

Space will likely be a hard to find commodity, but it is worth it to try. I’ve found that parents and preteens will accept some pretty off-the-wall small group spaces. Why? Preteens need to connect with the Bible and with other preteens—even if it is in the boiler room!

Where do your small groups meet?  Leave a comment and share your small group space solutions with the rest of us.