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XBOX Wall Mounts

I am always looking for some cool ways to keep the youth room neat and tidy…so when I stumbled onto this I wanted to share.

HideIt Mounts has the hook up.  I hope it works as good as it looks, it seems to.  The only problem I had is the unsightly power pack to run the xbox will still be visible, but we can’t have it all sometimes.  In our Student Center we have some great diamond plate wall mounted cabinets that were custom-made however comma, the airflow in ours is an issue and we have had more than a couple overheat.  I am now modifying them to get more airflow.  Let me know if some of these work out for you.

 

 

However, this is the one that is going in my house.  Slick with the changeable LED backlighting. Saweet! Case Holder:Raise your Case

 

The following information was taken directly from the website and the linkto the site is below.  Of course they have wall mounts for both sizes of Xbox 360′s, Wii’s, PS 3′s, Apple TV, Cable box, and more.  Check it out.

“Designed for use with the New Slim version of the Xbox 360® game console, the HIDEit XS Mount is designed to store your Slim Xbox® vertically behind your wall mounted plasma or LCD television. Also, it looks great right next to your TV if you want to show it off! Made of clear acrylic, the HIDEit XS Mount is nearly invisible and is a perfect way to set up your newer slimmer Xbox 360®.”

Features: Made from acrylic, your HIDEit XS Mount is lightweight yet rigid enough to support the weight of your Xbox 360. Now, you are able to wall mount your Xbox on either side of your wall mounted flat panel TV. Additionally, the HIDEit XS Mount does not block the power button, disc opening, memory card slots, nor cable ports on your Xbox 360. Since the HIDEit XS Mount is designed so that your Xbox 360 Slim can easily slide out at anytime, you are free to take your Xbox traveling with you on vacation or to a friend’s house with very little effort.

Inside Dimensions*: 10.75 x 10.375 x 3″

Exterior Dimensions*: 11.1875 x 10.375 x 3.5″

What’s in the box? Along with your HIDEit XS Mount, you will also find screws, drywall anchors, and detailed wall mounting instructions for securing your HIDEit XS Mount and wall mounting your Slim Xbox 360!


www.hideitmounts.com

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Eric Pearson – Worship Leader

About Eric Pearson:

I was born in El Dorado Arkansas and after 10 years of living in Conway Arkansas my wife and 2 children and I now live in El Dorado again. I graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a BA in Public Relations (I want my money back.)

I served as a youth minister for several years before retiring in ministry altogether due to working at some tough churches and about 2 years ago I heard the Shepherd call me back to ministry again but with a twist. I had led my students in worship at the churches I served and little did I know music would be where I was headed. Upon moving back to El Dorado I started Worship Together El Dorado (a community worship service a little louder than most churches). Then Immanuel Baptist asked me to lead worship on Sunday mornings. I see the fruit of what God is doing in me and would like to do it more.

If you are a smaller church and have a limited budget (who doesn’t) I would love to come with just my guitar and lead in fun and worship. I also have a very talented band that I can bring if needed.

Thanks for hearing my story and I look forward to working with you! Eric

Contact Information for Eric: phone-501.428.1366, ericplittlerock@yahoo.com

What is being said about Eric Pearson:

My name is Kent Dixon and I have been serving as the Minister of Students at Woodland Heights Baptist Church since 1998.  I met Eric Pearson a few years ago while he was a student at Hendrix College here in Conway.  Eric is a committed Christian and a very talented worship leader.  I have had him come and lead worship for our youth several times over the past few years.  He has a heart for God and a love for people that motivates and encourages others to worship with a genuine and humble spirit. I highly recommend him to any church or group that has a need for a worship leader for any event or worship service.  He can bring a band or come and lead as a solo artist.  Give him a call at 501-428-1366.                                      Kent Dixon, Youth Pastor- Woodland Heights Baptist Church, Conway, AR

Eric focuses on the revelation of God. He understands that when God reveals Himself people will be drawn into His presence. So Eric’s passion is for God to be glorified with excellence, from the selection of songs to the atmosphere created. Worshiping with a new song, Eric is extremely current with a vast knowledge of the latest music. However, his foundation and roots can run deep in the songs of faith. We are blessed to have him leading our students into a profound worship experience every Sunday! Warren Gasaway, Youth Pastor-Immanuel Baptist Church, El Dorado, AR

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Mentoring Feedback: Jens Kehlen

Got a report back from our new friend Jens Kehlen from Germany.  I asked him to write up a report of his trip for me to share here.  If we get to see positive results when mentoring, then it makes it all worthwhile. Enjoy DVS

Nearly six weeks have passed since my wife and I have returned to Germany from Stuttgart, Arkansas, USA.  We had the great opportunity to spend seven weeks with Dustin Sams, the youth pastor at First Baptist Stuttgart.  I really miss the time there, because I have seen a lot of changes in my faith and myself during our stay. The seven weeks in the U.S. were a great experience for us and we will never forget this awesome time.

I could not exactly identify what the reasons were that changed me so much, but i still recognize a new and fresh way of life and an increasing desire for youth ministry.  Maybe it was the influence Dustin had, the daily life with the church family there, or the different culture or all together. You have to know, everyone who spends time with him will never be the same:-)

Dustin became a great role model for me.  How he lives his faith and shares his life with his students, the church members and his family. He is a guy full of a spiritual mindset and he lives a faith that is very attractive for the non churched. He has a lot of experiences in youth ministry and he was a great mentor and friend to me.

I will let you know the most important things I learned and which things influenced me most:

  • The first and most important fact is my spiritual life. I received a new and fresh desire for my ministry and especially for Jesus. I amactually not sure why my relationship with Christ became deeper, but now I love to spend silent time with my Lord.  I learned how dependent on Christ a successful youth pastor has to be in order to lead a group in a healthy way.
  • I found out that the staff of First Baptist live all very jesus focused lives and they always keep praying that God shows them his further steps with the church. And if you ever had the advantage to work with one of them you will agree that they serve and work in knowledge that they are dependent on the Holy Spirit.
  • Beside my spiritual life, I learned a lot of useful tools for creating an impact on students with ministry. For example the use of technology, videos, contemporary worship music,  etc.  These things are  not only a nice accessories.  These are useful things that make it easier to reach the students with the Gospel.

At this point i will share an excerpt from Dustin: “Do not change the bread of life (the Gospel) but you can put jelly, butter, cream, strawberry jam… to make it more appealing for the younger generation.”  But more important than any tool is the relationship with adults and especially with the students.  In my opinion this is the basis for a healthy and a growing youth ministry in a church.  I learned from Dustin to share your faith not only on Wednesdays nights with the students but to actually be part of their lives.

A network with other youth pastors is so important for encouragement and to learn from each other.  I remember one sentence from Dustin which burns deep in my head:  ”Do not only call a friend (or anyone else) if you need something. Call him or her anytime you just think about them and let them know you are still a part of their lives and not only a number in their notebook.”  I am so blessed that God gave us the opportunity to travel to Arkansas for our Internship with Dustin. This was honestly the best summer of my life.

Best Regard, Jens

Hit Jens up on Facebook: Jens Kehlen, he’s pretty much the only one on Facebook named that.

Jens and his wife Steffi are from Remscheid, Germany.  They were married this past summer and Jens is finishing up his degree at Forum Wiedenest Bibelschule near Cologne, Germany.  Steffi completed her degree and now looking for a job. Please pray for them.  It was great joy to have them with us for their Practicum and we look forward to hearing about the great things that God will do in Germany through them.

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Oct 2010
POSTED BY Dustin Sams
POSTED IN

Ministry Resource

DISCUSSION No Comments
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No Lone Rangers…

I wanted to address something that is very important to me. Networking. Call it what you want, I call it survival. After many moons of student ministry, the things that I treasure most apart from my savior, my wife and kids, and my XBOX is my networking relationships with other Youth Pastors on the frontlines of student ministry.

There is a funny illustration that one of my good friends used while he was talking to one of my former students. I am sure he ripped off the story, but it went something like this. “A reporter was at a small paper and wanted to impress his friend by telling him that he had gotten an interview with the town mayor. His friend Bob was happy for him and said, “hey, when you see the mayor, tell him Bob said Hi.” The reporter was obviously disheartened when he found out that his friend already knew the mayor. Sometime later, after the reporter had moved up in the world of reporting…got an interview with the president. He phoned his friend Bob and let him know what he was up to. Bob was excited for his friend and said, “hey, when you see the President, tell him Bob said Hi.” The reporter was disheartened once again. Finally the reporter reached the zenith of his career and landed an interview with the Pope. He quickly dialed his friend Bob to let him know what he was doing in the hopes of impressing Bob. Bob was very excited for him. When the reporter got to the Vatican there was a large crowd gathered as the Pope was coming out to greet the people. The reporter was floored when he looked up and saw Bob coming out with the Pope. He looked at the guy next to him and asked, “hey, who is that guy with the Pope?” The man replied, “I don’t know who the pope is, but that guy next to the guy with the funny hat is Bob!” A funny story. My friend was telling my former student that I was Bob…referring to the fact that he thought I “knew” everybody. I was flattered, but I would like to think that it is because I genuinely try to connect with those that I have blessed to run into during this fun ride called life.

Networking with others is essential in this thing we do called student ministry. We cannot think that we have it all figured out. We don’t. We don’t always have the best ideas. The moment I realized that I can learn much from colleagues, mentors, and friends…that is when I began to figure it out. Here are some tips for expanding your network and by default, expanding your influence and the influence others have on your life and ministry.

· Be humble. Be the first to pick up the flag of another individual with great talents and ideas and wave it high. This is the same if they are youth pastors in other towns or even in your own community. If they feel you are genuinely interested in them and their success, it makes it easier to work together and squashes any “turf” issues from the beginning.

· Stay connected. Don’t let the only time you call/text/message that person to be when you are “pimping” your own stuff or events. Get to know their families, let them know that you are accessible and available to swap ideas.

· Pray for them and their ministry. Rejoice in their victories and encourage them in their “bumps” in ministry. I know I appreciate it when a friend that really “gets” what I am doing shows his/her support. Sometimes this is a thankless job and to know that others have an idea what we are going through really helps.

· Be Real. At the end of the day, we have all had a tenth grader we have invested in for months or years decide to just check out and try their hand at the world, throwing to the wind everything you feel they have learned in your ministry. It is a tough job. So be transparent in your dealings with others and they will feel more comfortable networking with you.

· Be sensitive for God’s timing. I can’t tell you how many times I have met a fellow youth pastor and it has been just what we both needed at the time. God has a way of bringing the right people together to swap ideas and encourage one another to further His kingdom. So keep your eyes open for “resources” that He puts in our paths.

· Don’t be discouraged if you don’t “click” right away. Sometimes the closest friends in ministry may start rocky. My best friend in ministry, Scott Quimby, told me that he didn’t like me very much when we first met.  I am not sure why, maybe it was because he is an only child, but our differences have helped our friendship strengthen over time.  Sometimes youth pastors are  hesitant to engage with other ministries. Maybe you or the other have been “burned” by some 6 month flame-out and they are licking their wounds.

· Pick up the phone. Call around and see who is working with students in your area. Have lunch and share passions for students. Don’t worry if they are in a different denomination. The majority of us have the common ground of Jesus Christ. So start there first. Find out why they do what they do and then see the first recommendation above. Don’t wait for others to call you. Make that first step out in faith and see what God has planned.

· Use these connections to share your concerns and/or “vent.” We often have to be careful sometimes in ministry by being perceived as “complaining” by members of our own churches. I get advice and bounce ideas about situations with my colleagues without getting into a gossip session. It helps a ton and I am a better youth pastor because of it.

· Share resources. I have many friends that are in churches that may not have the budget that I have. We have all been there, trying to stretch a budget. So give freely when you are blessed. Loan books, share props, large ticket items, and resources. Don’t be afraid to ask either. Take interest in their ministries and I have found they will take interest in yours. Recently, I have had several conversations with guys/gals that have struggled with tragedies in their ministries. This is a great time to share resources, experiences, and wisdom that battle scars from years of ministry leave us with. It is a blessing in the end, it doesn’t seem like it when you are going through a church split, firing, or the wisdom we gain from laboring through the loss of a student’s life in your community and ministry. We all have “I will never do that again” moments and if that wisdom helps someone else from making the same mistake, then that is a win-win situation.

· One final thought for now. Go to conventions and conferences. Even ones you may not necessarily want to. These are great places to network with like-minded people. The network of youth pastors that I have now have been my shoulders to lean on during my ministry time. Some of them have grown into wonderful mentors that can speak wisdom into my life and ministry. Give them the freedom to do just that, have a few people that you can rely on to speak the truth into your life…even if it hurts sometimes. We all need our card pulled sometimes and it is much easier coming from someone that you have a close relationship with and not just someone taking pop-shots at you from the peanut gallery. Networks of friends help you make it through the peanut gallery days.

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The Crowd: Matthew Ashton

Got this sent to me from a friend of mine. Great stuff. Good use of video. Hope you enjoy and it brings focus to your life today. DVS

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Call to Duty Conference W/ Charlie Hall 8.28.2010

Hey friends…don’t miss an opportunity to be at this back to school conference on 8.28.2010.  It is well planned, cheap, great personalities, and local!  Here is the info.  Several tracks that I know you would like to have your adults and students plug into.  We all look for quality events to strengthen our local ministry and this is one of them!  Check it out for only $20.   DVS

You are a student leader for a reason. Maybe you chose to be, maybe someone else chose it for you—no matter how you got here, God has a plan to use you in ministry.

You and your youth worker know that you’re new at this thing. You have leadership abilities, but you’re still a student—so how do you do it? (more…)

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Great resource Video to promote YouVersion Bible App

  • Another great resource from the guys and gals at YouVersion!
  • Whatever we can do to get more people (young and old) to read more scripture…this is a great resource.
  • You can download this video and play for your students or church-wide.

If you’re interested, you can download the video in various formats here.

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Youth Specialties: Top 20 Youth Ministry Blogs of 2010

Even though it is just June… the wickedly cool Youth Specialties Blog has come up with a list of the top Youth Ministry Blogs out there in cyberspace.  There are more and more YMBlogs out there now and I would consider us all friends…even though most of us have never met.  Several of them are new to me and I wanted to pass the list along to those of you that may not have YS Blog on your “things to read” list.

*side note on tracking info about your blog:  I love looking at the data from my blog. I use Google Analytics and it gives a ton of stuff that I use and a whole bunch of stuff that I have to get my friend David Summers to explain…but my favorite is the humbling “Map Overview”.

The “Map Overview” gives me a peek at the locations of those that click on my Blog.  It kind of brings to light exactly how small the world really has become.  Other quick looks at unique visitors and what content is drawing the most interest is the bomb.  You may want to check it out if you are looking for ways to track your info.

I am glad that YS spent some time stalking some of the best blogs out there and helped compile a list like this…it cuts my time down considerably when I can just add these blogs to my Google reader.  Top Drawer my friends.  I don’t think of it as a competition thing and I don’t even need the info broken into other categories…just the pooling of resources is great.  Good things happen when we challenge one another to do a better job at sharing our faith and living it out right in front of our students.  It can get overwhelming though, I even got cheesed recently when I read something on Jeremy Zach‘s blog, it made me mad and I was about to write a comment or send him a note on Facebook when I realized that I agreed with him…whew! Near miss there.  I realized that I needed to take a break and go kiss my kids.  Keep up the good work and keep spreading the good news around.  DVS

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XBox Live and Student Ministry

Launched in 2002 with the XBOX, XBOX Live (XL) made the incredible XBOX even better.  Many moons ago, I locked down my gamer tag…dustinsams.  It is no yellowdogzoom3000 or something like that…but it makes it easy for my students to find me.  Basically they can find me on twitter, skype, and even at dinner by just using my name…I think that is pretty accessible don’t you?  I didn’t do much with it, I never played one single game with online friends or anything like that.  As a youth pastor my life was busy enough as it is and we were fortunate to have a multiple XBOX gaming area at our church with consoles linked up.  So anytime I wanted to hang with students and play, that is where it was at.  In 2005, the Microsoft debuted the XBOX360.  XL has been updated and upgraded ever since.  Membership has blown up and as of February 2010 there were 23 million subscribers.

I give you a little taste of XL history just so you can impress your friends.  I wanted to give some of you some ideas for using XBOX Live to connect with some of your students.  This is not for everyone and some of you will see no reason to continue…but there are a few of you that may be liberated by knowing that you can actually do some good while playing Live.  To speed things up, I will be using CODMW3 as an example.  I was recently locked in virtual battle  online with 2 other youth pastors in my home state, 3 former students (1 in AZ and 2 in FL), and a student in my current ministry…crazy.  Talking to them while playing, as if they were sitting right next to me…so much fun.  I personally have developed relationships with and have been able to speak into the lives of students that normally wouldn’t have given me the time of day. Since I have the talking point of CODMW3, many defensive barriers are immediately taken down and a connection is made.

So if you have an XL account, here are a couple of tips.  If you are an avid gamer, you no doubt have discovered most of these already.  Let the connecting and noob-tubing begin.

(keep in mind XBOX Live is now available in some form or another on every game that is released, I would love to hear if you have had similar run-ins with students in a favorable way. Gaming is not for everyone and this was not an article to debate gaming violence or whether it leads to someone car-jacking the church van, simply another avenue to connect with students where they really are.)

  • Be aware of foul language.  A student sent me a message on XL the first time we met in a “party” and said, “Dustin, I just want to warn you, there are some that cuss a lot.”  I laughed and thanked him for thinking that I had never heard those words before.  This is a place where you and 23 million plus individuals hang out.  Quickly learn how to “mute” offensive players and encourage those that play a “clean” game.  I regularly thank those in the room for not spewing filth, whether we like it or not, there are many children that are playing the games that they are not even allowed to buy by themselves.  Also, take advantage of “rating” players.  You can mark another gamer with higher rankings (more of a possibility to be matched up in the future or on the flipside less likely for those ranked lower).  This isn’t VBS, you are in the real world where people cuss.  So be warned.
  • Send messages to those on your friends list.  This is easy to do and use it often to encourage, comment on their games, ask questions and join up in private matches where the conversation can wander freely.
  • You can search on XL for friends that play via Facebook and email addy’s.  I recently tried to add a Youth Pastor friend of mine and he was maxed out on the friends list…very nice.  I politely told him to bumb some seventh grader off his list so he can add me.  Cause that is how I roll.
  • Fill out your bio.  If you put on there some information, I have found that others do look at it.  I do, especially when in a room for any length of time.  I comment on there game play, where they are from, etc.
  • Don’t wear you feelings on your sleeve.  The first time I heard “dustinsams? that is a gay name” I could have pouted about why my mom named me that and how come I didn’t have some cool name like “Gunner”, but it didn’t happen that way.  People that don’t know Christ act like people that don’t know Christ. Period.
  • Don’t Team Kill.  If you are on a team, don’t kill your teammates.  This just burns me, so I thought I would throw that in.
  • Apologize if you accidentally Team Kill.  Names don’t always pop up fast enough before you fire…”my bad.”
  • Use moments to chat with your students that have taken the time to invite you into their world.  I ask about grades, family life, girlfriends, what “class” they use…etc. Anything to generate connection.
  • Set up times to “meet”.  If you get enough friends to join up to play in some private matches or as a “clan” do it.  It is fun and the conversations are great.  I have visited with other Youth Pastors about their youth groups, adult leaders, families, and have been encouraged myself.
  • Make sure your wife knows what is up.  I tell her that I am playing video games with some students for a little while and she loves it.  Also keep in mind that when you talk to your wife that your voice is audible in the game.  I once made a cutesy comment about my wife and the whole room exploded with laughter…kind of embarrassing, but I played through the pain.
  • Don’t waste you life.  I play a few hours a week and stay current.  But the conversations with students during our mid-weeks services have been great.  Discussing new games content.  If they struggle with making friends or even how much time they spend in prayer or reading the Bible compared to how much time they spend shooting a virtual ACR.  That is a tough question to ask anyone.  Have fun and share Christ!
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Social Media Revolution Updated + YouVersion Live

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Updated.  If you are not using social media to further your ministry you are missing some great opportunities.  The social media footprint that you and your ministry has, needs to be examined on a regular basis.  For example, our student ministry used to have a myspace page, not anymore.  Not because myspace is going away (it is not) it is just because the demographic of our student ministry is less impacted by myspace than it is with Facebook.  But there are tons of ways to connect with students via social networking.  To better use your time, try this…print up a quick survey for your students and ask!  Crazy, I know…keep it simple, we all know that the combined user totals for twitter and Facebook are over 600 million (if you didn’t know that, now you do) so you don’t need to ask how many use what…just ask which they prefer.

Some questions you may want to ask:

  • Would you rather get info about (your name here) from Facebook/myspace/email/twitter/ning.com etc.
  • Do you have a smart phone?
  • What apps do you use?
  • Would you be interested in YouVersion Live? (see below for video explaining this wicked cool feature) I am finding more and more students using their cell phones during our teaching time to follow along with the scripture that I am teaching from.

Just get a feel of what communicates to your students the best and spend your valuable time on those.  Your students still may be the type to want a postcard.  I have students that don’t have access to internet unless it is at school, so I just have them on a list to mail calendars to.  There are not many, but I don’t want to exclude those students that cannot afford the Inet at home.

Feel free to add your thoughts of questions to ask students…

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