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Archive for March, 2008

I’ve compiled a list of videos found on the Internet that can be used to illustrate concepts, open up a discussion, serve as a breather to an otherwise lengthy session or emphasize a point. These will be most useful for GYMN trainers during seminars IF they have access to the Internet there (I collected them for this purpose). But youth leaders can also use these clips for teaching times with their youth. (more…)

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Each month we place a spotlight on places in the world where GYMN is operating and hope you would join us in praying for the concerns there.

Our prayer focus of the month is GYMN-Asia.

GYMN-Asia started when a senior pastor from Cebu City, Philippines felt the need to have training for youth ministry for the churches in Cebu. He started searching the internet for any help. He came across the website of GYMN.

From there and then, GYMN trainings have spread out not only in the Philippines but throughout Asia as well. To date, we have trained 3383 youth leaders, impacting 67,660 youth yearly. And have held trainings in 12 countries throughout Asia.

The Philippines being the hub of GYMN in Asia is now multiplying the trainings not just to other parts of the country but even beyond. Other countries amidst restrictions, discriminations, dangers and hardships are now on the same track as well.

Here is the Asia map marked by places with GYMN training:

Legend is as follows:

  • Yellow Globe: Praying/Preparing for GYMN training
  • Orange Globe: Training Ongoing (Level 1)
  • Red Globe: Ready to have Trainers (level 2)
  • Green Globe: Has Trained Local Trainers (Level 3)
  • Blue Globe: Can Send Trainers Outside Their Own Country

Please help us in praying for the following:

  1. That trainers will be able get visas for restricted countries
  2. For protection of the churches in countries where Christians are the minority
  3. For funding to be raised in order to materialize the trainings this year
  4. That what has been started and invested in may bear fruit especially in the youth of Asia today.

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Calling all GYMN graduates of our seminars…we need your help.

The form in the link below is a survey on the GYMN seminars. As much as we do trainings, we also need feedback from participants. We’d really love to know how the training has helped you and your youth groups. This will also help us to improve the seminars. If you’ve attended any of our trainings (Level 1 or Level 2) we’d really appreciate your help in completing this survey.

To take the survey now: Click Here.

This is the first time we’ve tried this online and we hope it will be more convenient and less costly on your part. If you do decide to take this survey, we thank you in advance for your time.

May God shower you and your youth ministry with blessings.

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A dog says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, YOU MUST BE GOD.” A cat says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I MUST BE GOD.”

Well, this article is not about your favorite pets, this is actually about the concept of Bob Sjogren, the author of Cat and Dog Theology whom we had the chance to hear talk live last February 20. His concept is best stated in the above anecdote.

We were invited to his lecture in a mall in Manila where a Presbyterian Church is located. We had a 15-minute conversation with him just before the session started (see, we were an hour early) and the three of us (Benette, Alvan and me) were sort of awe-struck. He asked us about GYMN, what we do, questions about statistics, and we were just stunned and said ummmm, ahhhhh, and more ummmm… We were not really ready when he approached us and introduced himself as Bob! People around were not even aware that it was the speaker. When we got over our surprise, we were able to talk to him like normal human beings.

Bob is simple and down-to-earth yet he speaks very powerfully. He is a real advocate of giving God the greatest glory in everything we do, anywhere we are, and in any situation we are in. He told us “I am not an original thinker, but I communicate ideas in an original manner, that the majority can relate to”. Oh boy, you’ve got to hear him speak and see his audio-visual presentation. It is biblical and yet so entertaining.

cat-and-dog-book-cover.jpgBob talked about being Cat and Dog Christians. To be a cat is to focus more on the self than on God, to focus on the gifts and blessings instead of on the GIFT-GIVER Himself. Cat Christians accept Jesus as Savior because they are avoiding and afraid of Hell, but Dog Christians accept Jesus with open arms and heart because they see His beauty and wonder.

I wished that the conference could have been better promoted so that a lot of youth would have been able to join and listen, not because of the author, but because of the wonderful truth behind the analogy of Cat and Dog. We had this book way back in 2005, as a gift to Alvan in one of the GYMN trainings in Cebu. He required our youth leaders to read it. We bought other books as gifts for some of our friends and we eventually had a camp in 2006 patterned on that concept.

When Bob asked us what brought us to the seminar, the three of us chorused “Your book!” We are highly recommending it, as it keeps us reminded that we do not live for ourselves but for GOD who deserves the highest glory!

That meeting was funny, memorable, at the same time an unexpected one!

GYMN with Bob Sjogren

Bennette, Bob, me and Alvan after the seminar.

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This post is part of the Youth Connection, articles sent as follow-up to GYMN trainings.

Basic Tools

Several recent events in my life have forced me to be reminded of what is foundationally important in youth ministry and even in our life apart from ministry. Allow me to share them with you along with the back to basics lessons I learned. See if any of these three are areas for you to revisit in your life.

Lesson #1: Slow down to listen.

Interestingly all of these insights occurred in times when I was able to sit in on other ministry events; one was a gathering of thousands of youth ministry leaders, the other at a gathering of 80 pastors. Both gatherings were places where I was not in charge or asked to have major speaking roles. Although I do think that God can minister to us while we are ministering to others, often times these find us speaking about Him more than listening to Him. (more…)

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