As I am gaining altitude in a jet that seats about 60 people, I am grateful for space.  I am in a two-seat row by my self in the back of the plane.   Good times.  I just left the airport in Little Rock on the first leg of this trip to Germany.  On to Chicago and then to Frankfurt, Germany!  My friends Jens and Steffi will be picking me up tomorrow sometime I hope.  I will be speaking at Teenagerfreizeit Rehe 2011.  I was told there were approximately 90 students from all over Germany attending this annual event that is sponsored by Wiedenest Bibleschule.

I can hear many of you thinking…I didn’t know Dustin spoke German.  Well I don’t.  I can butcher the language with the best of you.  But about 10 years ago I was privileged to make a connection with my friends in Germany while I was a Youth Pastor in Florida.  A pastor that was on staff with me in Titusville, FL had also served in Germany.  An acquaintance of his had a friend that wanted to learn about student ministry in the united states…with a few phone calls and favors being promised to me, batta bip…batta boop, Bob’s your uncle and I had my very own German!  I took care of him and loved him and called him Toby.  Toby stayed with my wife and I for 6 months or so, working alongside me and absorbing all he could about ministry in the USA.  This was the beginning of life long friendships and investment in the next generation of leaders in Deutschland.Continue reading

What an important reminder that youth ministry is happening beyond our own little circle, our town, our state, and even our country!  This is a global thing, and people need to know Christ!

Dustin Sams is now in Germany, and will be speaking for “Teenagerfeizeit Rehe 2011”.  Dustin will be there from July 21st – August 1st.  He is bringing the Word to teenagers throughout the week by way of a translator.

This is an exciting opportunity to share Christ with teens and young adults who desperately need to know Him.  This will also be a great way to inspire those in Germany and introduce new and exciting ways of doing youth ministry.

While teaching at “Teenagerfeizeit Rehe 2011”, Dustin will also be speaking a few times at a local church, and meeting with other student ministry leaders to “brainstorm” youth ministry ideas. Through this they will be able to share ideas with each other, gaining insight about what is and isn’t working.  As any youth pastor knows, building relationships and sharing knowledge with other youth pastors is invaluable.  There is so much to learn from each other.

With all of this exciting news, lets take a moment to pray for Dustin as he speaks to these teenagers and young adults.  Pray that what he speaks will be translated clearly and accurately, and that the Holy Spirit will be the author.  Pray that the students will be receptive to the Word and that lives will be forever changed, that they will become new creations.

Lets also pray for the area youth pastors in Germany, that through meeting with Dustin, they will gain insight about how to better reach their students.  Lastly, pray that though these youth pastors are in Germany, relationships will be built, giving us new people to share our passion and ministry with.

To keep up with what Dustin is doing in Germany this week, be sure to follow him on Twitter: @dustinsams

Stay tuned for more updates as Christ speaks through Dustin, and lives are changed in Germany!

To Save a Life” After a childhood friend’s death, Jake Taylor, an all-star athlete must change his life – and sacrifice his dreams to save the lives of others.

FYI: Depression strikes about one out of eight teenagers www.teensuicide.us , about 1.5 million children experience the divorce of their parents each year, 14%-39% of teens have had at least one incident of deliberate self-injury, suicide is the third leading cause of death among 10-19 year olds

3 Big Reasons to join:

  1. Teens will take ownership…teens are stepping up to power a nationwide grassroots movement bigger than any single youth outreach event before.
  2. Relationships will be built…It’s a movie teens can invite their friends to and be confident that it’s entertaining and authentic.  The can go deeper and dialogue with friends about what matters most in life.
  3. Lives will be changed…on opening weekend, thousands of student groups will gather in theaters with friends and leaders to see “To Save a Life.”  Many teens will experience hope and learn that their lives can count. www.tosavealifeleaders.com

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I had the privilege to attend a pre-screening of the movie “To Save A Life” as a part of the Arkansas Student Pastor Network event a few weeks ago.

I was stunned at how they were able to capture high school life with such reality.  It wasn’t candy coated, but it wasn’t over blown either…there was part of me that wasn’t sure how they were going to tackle such numerous plot lines in under two hours…but they did a great job.  I will definitely be promoting it with my students and church.  We have already started the process to see if we can land it locally in the theater.  We are in a smaller community so we might have to bus a bunch of our students and parents over to Little Rock, AR to see it.

There may be some of you that may be hesitant with the PG-13 rating due to some of the themes running throughout the movie, but I hope that it won’t keep you from using this movie for the many teachable moments that are contained within it.  A part that hit me hard was the opportunity that was missed when one of the characters was not “welcomed” as he walked into a youth group meeting…wow, very convicting.  I wondered how many students have done the same thing in our area.  Discussing the movie with my wife she said something to me that really helped put it into perspective.  She said, “High School life is not PG-13…it is R-rated and if we don’t use every tool we can to reach the younger generation…then shame on us.”  Well put.

So I would encourage you to check it out and see for yourself if it could be a tool that you could use locally.  I pray that my students are shaken to their core…with positive results.

Great Resources are available for this film: Check them out.

www.tosavealifeleaders.com , www.tosavealifemovie.com

MattRothacherMatt is currently serving in Vilonia, Arkansas. He is the Pastor of The Valley Church.

“I was always the kid in youth group who paid attention because he was worried he’d miss something funny, so when I became a youth pastor I made it a point to be the kind of speaker that would keep teens attention using humor. I was taught by my spiritual mentor to package the truth in just enough funny that their there for the truth, and that’s something that I try to do each week, I add just enough humor that the Jesus in the story shines through.” -Matt Rothacher
Matt focuses his messages on the truth found in the stories and teachings of Jesus. “I have found that when Jesus said ‘when I am lifted up… I will draw all men unto me’ that He wasn’t playing He meant it, and I’ve seen Him back it up over and over again.”  Topics that Matt has a passion to speak on: Jesus, angels & demons, spiritual warfare, dangers of premarital sex.

Based out of Vilonia, AR

Contact via his Facebook

runks.dknob.72dpi[1]Contact him at www.runks.com

I have had the priviledge to work with Runks during our summer camp stuff. He did a wonderful job and truly loves the students. He was hangin’ with them during lunch and rec time, everywhere. His messages were right on the money and had our crowd of over 1000 locked in. Runks also spoke at our “Live Weak” event that was in January.  He once again did a great job.

Info pulled from Runks’ site www.runks.com “Runks is a crazy guy who has lived a crazy life and is a master at using hilarious stories from his life to illustrate biblical truth with clarity, authority, and depth. More than just a funny guy, he is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and addictions and has an awesome testimony of the power of God in desperate situations.

Runks has a passion to help students discover their identity in Christ, find freedom in their struggles, and follow Christ with all their heart – because they get to – not because they have to. Runks will help your students discover freedom from their pain, hope for their future, and Grace for life!!!

Runks was a Youth Minister for 7 years and in 1998 began traveling the country sharing his message of hope and freedom to teenagers, college students, and adults. He holds a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and resides in Levelland, Texas with his wife Joanna, and their two kids, Elli and Nick.”

Based out of Levelland, TX
Contact via his website www.runks.com

If you are like me…we have all been in that position of needing someone to fill in teaching/leading our students. I am going to compile a living document of people that will do well by you and your ministry. IMG_6325 If you are wanting someone to come in and take up the time and wreck everything you have been working hard at…well then, there are some prisoners on work release that you could probably pick up to fill in. However comma, you most likely want someone you can trust to do a solid job and walk awayCoySamsBand knowing that God has been honored. That is why we will have a category completely dedicated to those available for your events and speaking engagements. These are recommendations that I have compiled through a network of friends and colleagues…by no way shape or form, does it mean that everyone doesn’t lay an egg every once in a while. Keep me posted and

DSams Speaking 1Here in no particular order are guys/gals that I trust and love to work with. We all would love to have unlimited budgets but that is just not the case. I know I would…because I would surround myself with these people constantly and have a fountain machine in my office with Mt. Dew in it just to the right of my computer screen…between it and the printer…or maybe not even a fountain, just one of the those “straws” like they have on the Camelbak Hydration packs…yeah, that would be awesome…and these people in ministry are too!