Posts Tagged 'Highland'

What I’ll Miss About Highland, IL

So as of yesterday, my four year position as youth pastor at Highland Community Church officially ended.  As we gear up to leave town permanently, I think it’s only fitting to post what I’ll miss about Highland.

Here we go.

1. Tropical Sno – According to their website, Tropical Sno is “a ten-minute vacation, an affordable luxury, a bit of self-indulgence, and a retreat from the heat of the day.” I loved going here in the summer to get a sno-cone with the teenagers, my wife, and even our daughter.  It is a great treat and, in my opinion, Highland’s best kept secret.

2. GeNESIS – Some people don’t know this but GeNESIS was built from the ground up.  I remember back in the early days we had one junior high student show up on a Sunday night.  As we finished this year in the end of May we had over 20 junior high students pouring into our doors to hear about Jesus.  We have done so many things with young people in this town that the list goes on for awhile.  I can’t even imagine how much I will miss the staff and community that backed our teenagers and us as they watched, mentored, and contributed to helping teenagers grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

3. The Farm House – Bethany and I moved into “the farmhouse” almost four years ago.  We got a great deal from the guy in the church that moved to California.  While I have always loathed mowing the yard for four hours and other various tasks that go along with a load of land, it has been our home.  We will miss hitting golf balls in the front yard, letting Towzer chase tennis balls around, and watching the forth of July fireworks from our front porch.  Thank God we bought a house in the country in Bremen! We’re country folk for sure!

4. The Community Mindset – There is a lot going on, community wise, in Highland (maybe it’s because of the closeness to the city of Saint Louis). From the PB & J fest to easter egg hunts to the parades.  We love embracing a community that gathers often to celebrate the family.

5. Highland High School – Bethany and I had a good relationship with the people at the Highland High.  We meet a lot of great people/teens that were never a part of our “youth group” or “church” but had a big impact on us.  Bethany accompanied the choirs and coached tennis while I subbed and coached baseball and wrestling.  I will remember speaking at powerhour often and acting like royalty in the Madrigal dinner.  We loved the youth/adults we came in contact with and the way they impacted us.  It’s amazing how many of those people rallied around us when they found out we were going to Indiana.

6. Jonathan David Eckberg – Jonathan is my/our (Bethany and I’s) best friend in the world.  He is seriously a one of a kind guy with a massive heart for Jesus.  It kills me venture to Bremen without him.  I/we always thought God wouldn’t break us apart but it seems that distance will come between our friendship.  Jonathan has played/recorded music with me, held me accountable in my spiritual walk, and watched Bethany and I grow into parents.  If I ever had a brother, Jonathan would be it.

7. “The Hook Up’s” – We’ve had it pretty good when it comes to people helping us out.  Our doctor (Dave) is a friend of our family, our pharmacist (Dan) and his wife (Twila) held our daughter the night she was born, and our dentist (Steve) let the youth have parties at his pool.  We are/were so blessed to have these people take care of our earthly needs while getting to experience their families and growing spiritually.

There is so much more but moving on is upon us…

While we will miss you Highland, we continue to pray for you always.

Here we come Bremen!


Parent Night Video

We used this at our annual “Parent Night” for GeNESIS last night (maybe I’ll blog more about the event later.  It’s a great resource for any youth pastors looking to involve parents in what ministry looks like for youth.).  The video was a great way to open the night and get people in the doors.  We had a HUGE turnout with great success.

Check it out:

What are you doing to incorporate parents in your ministry?


The Weekend in a Nutshell

Fast facts and inside jokes on the 30 Hour Famine we ran at the GeNESIS youth group this weekend (I’ll give you one guess what the catch phrase of the event was after you get done reading this):

  • We had over 25 students attended this years event… just saying.
  • We merged four youth groups from four different churches to make this year a success… just saying
  • People look funny trying to make physical disabilities out of common household items… just saying.
  • It’s a long walk from the Highland food pantry to Highland Community Church at eight o’clock at night… just saying.
  • When more than six dudes sleep in a room the size of my kitchen it tends to smell like a boys locker room after football practice in the morning… just saying.
  • We helped serve two organizations (Highland Pregnancy Care Center and Kids Against Hunger) this morning who are knocking it out of the park, helping our community spread the love of Jesus… just saying.
  • The scavenger hunt around town in the end is always better when the leadership team plays stupid… just saying.
  • I didn’t take a shower for over 30 hours… just saying.
  • I’m still not sure how people can eat that much pizza to close out a 30 hour fast but they do it so well… just saying.
  • You should have been there… just saying.



A little sneak peak at what we’re all about at GeNESIS.

Please continue to pray for our youth. God is doing amazing things with and through these young people!


Bible Resources

I just finished a web page for our church.  It took awhile but it was all worth it.

So what was the project?

Well, our goal this year at HCC is to get our people into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ by spuring them on to read their Bibles more.  We realized that getting into the Bible can be a daunting, intimidating or confusing process, especially if you don’t know where to start. For some people busy schedules, events, and activities don’t give them time to properly time to research finding the right Bible. So we worked hard, taking the grunt work out of finding the proper Bible for our people so they can jump in quickly.

I figured it would be a good idea to post here, as well as on our church website, the resources we gathered.  Below is a list of six great Bibles, their online versions, an audio companion, and six websites with Bible reading plans (we are doing the HCC reading plan in the top right corner of the chart as a family right now).

These are great resources for getting you into the text.  All you have to do is click on the word(s) you are interested in and it will take you to that resource. If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comment section.

New American Standard (NASB) NASB Online NASB Audio Bible HCC New Testament
English Standard Version (ESV) ESV Online ESV Audio Bible YouVersion
New Living Translation (NLT) NLT Online NLT Audio Bible Bible Gateway
King James Version (KJV) KJV Online KJV Audio Bible Our Daily Bread
New King James Version (NKJV) NKJV Online NKJV Audio Bible Bible Plan
New International Version (NIV) NIV Online NIV Audio Bible Zondervan

BONUS! There are two professionally done audio Bibles that I would highly recommend: The Bible Experience and The Word of Promise

What are you waiting for? Jump in and read the Word of God today!


Sound Check

This is what I do when we sound check for video/audio recordings in our church sanctuary.  The best part of this whole thing is that my wife has no clue any of this is going on until I showed her the video.  Now that, my friends, is dedication to playing the piano and being in the zone!

Check it out.



Why I Love the Ministry

If you do nothing else watch the last 2 minutes of this video.

Jesus is not done working yet!


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