2014 Summer Calendar



It’s officially summer!

Here is our summer calendar with what each week will look like. For more details on all events please visit rhbcyouth.org/events

MS Calendar



HS Summer Calendar




Next: A Publication of RHBC Student Ministry

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.23.11 PM


The student ministry team at Riverland Hills have made a publication intended to keep parents well-informed but also encouraged about what is happening in the student ministry at Riverland Hills.

We want to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of our students so make sure to read the recap of some of our most recent events. You will also be encouraged as you read quotes from our very own students and testimonies of how God is moving in their lives. Finally, check out our feature article on the meaning of baptism and our parent article on screening movies using IMDB.com. These will help equip you to discuss these topics with your student.

We feel privileged to be a part of such an incredible student ministry and to be on the front lines of watching students grow in their faith. We hope these articles will give a glimpse of what God has been doing and what He intends to accomplish NEXT!

You can find view and download your copy of NEXT here. 

Hard copies are available at the church.

What’s this movie about? IMDb to the rescue



One of the main goals for this blog is to give parents resources that help with things going on in their student’s lives. That is the starting place for today’s post.

My son is currently 5 years old and he is starting to become more aware of movies that are coming to or already in the theaters. He sees the trailers and gets excited about what he sees. Now most of the trailers are for movies that are to old for him, but some like the Lego movie, are something he might enjoy.

What you are facing as the parent of a teenager and movies is something so much greater than my current struggle in this area. With all the movies coming out and your students wanting to see the latest movie, how can you know what your student will be exposed to BEFORE you let the go see the movie?

The traditional way was to go see the movie yourself, then make the judgement. You may still want to do this, but I want to offer you another way.

There is a great website found at www.imdb.com that will you all the details on the movie in question. Details like plot, actors, rating, and can even help you showtimes in our area.

One of the best features is called Parents Guide: View content advisory
(Screen shots will be included at the end of this post.)

This feature breaks the movie or TV show into 5 categories:

Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
Frightening/Intense Scenes

These categories are given a 1 to 10 rating for how little or much the movie contains.
Within each category you will also get a description of why the that category got the number rating it did.

All of the screenshots for this post are for the recent movie Divergent.
You can get this information on any movie by going to imdb.com and searching by movie title.


This is the page that pulls up when you search “Divergent”.


When you scroll down the page you’ll find what the storyline is, some other information, and the Parent Guide link and rating. Click on the link that says “view content advisory”


A new page will open up that looks similar to the one above. From there you can see all the questionable material in the film and can make a decision based on what you see.

My goal is to help you make the best decision for you and your student. My suggestion would be that if your student wants to see a movie that has far to much questionable material, tell them that. Let them know why you feel it is wrong for them to go see it. Be open and honest with them. This will go a long way.

If it’s a movie that is borderline. Go see it together and then debrief when your done. This will provide a way to have conversations about limits and reasonings for not seeing certain kinds of movies.

I take advantage of this site all the time and know that as my children get older, it will help me to make the best decisions I can.

Merge Recap 3/2


Seres: Promise Maker, Promise Keeper (week 3 of 4)
Message in a Sentence: All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Main Scriptures: Acts 17:17-23, 26-33, 38-39

At the beginning of this series I knew for this specific week I want to have a guest speaker. The reason behind this was because we talked about the promise that was fulfilled in Christ. This is the most important message in the series since it talked about Christ being the Son of God, how he died for our sin, and rose again.

Students have heard me talk about this before and sometimes bringing in another voice who brings the same message, but in a different way, can help students make a connection with Christ.

This week I brought in one of our former college students and someone who is considering full time ministry, Travis Teague. He has also done some speaking at Fall Retreat last year.

Travis did a great job presenting the promise of Christ from Acts 13. He also brought out 7 points out of this passage to help see God’s promise in Christ.

1) God is faithful even in our disobedience 
2) God’s promises are fulfilled in His ways and His time
3) God makes His promises for our good and His glory
4) All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ
5) God promised Jesus would come, be broken, and be killed
6) God promised Jesus would be raised and seated at God’s right hand
7) The promised of God rest on His grace

All of these points are illustrated in the main passage.

Travis also set up a promise that is made to us when we receive Christ: This is the promise that he made to us–eternal life. 1 John 2:25
With that eternal life come forgiveness of sin and the opportunity to be with Christ forever! What a great promise that God makes to us through Christ.

We encouraged students to accept Christ if they haven’t yet or to find comfort in that promise that they have if they have accepted Christ.

As everyone left we handed our cards that had different links for smartphone wallpapers. I’m excited for these because they provide a reminder of God’s promises to our student and can be a conversation piece for their friends who might not know Christ.

I want encourage you to download them for you smartphone or tablet.


Sex and Dating Week 2



Series: Sex and Dating (week 2 of 2)
Message in a sentence: God, as the creator of sex, has a specific design for it that differs greatly from what the world say sex should be.

Last Sunday morning we concluded our look at sex and dating. As I mentioned in last week’s post my goal in this series to give them God’s view point on sex. He is the one that created sex and He also created the boundaries for sex. We talked about his original plan for sex and how that should play out in our lives.

As you will see if you take a look at my notes, we started the morning by defining what purity is and why it’s important that we remain pure before marriage and after we are married. We did something that I have never done before and that read a ton of scripture over a group a students. I came with 5 printed pages that all dealt with purity. It was a great way to start off the morning.

One of my favorite things we talked about what that we can glorify God with how we handle ourselves in regard to sex. When we live as we God intends, it’s an act of worship.

Included below are my notes and additional resources that I found to help me on this topic. Please take a look and consider how you will use them to have further conversations about sex with your student.

Zakk’s week 2 notes
Purity Scriptures
Pornography Stats
Online Safe Guards
Conevant Eyes-Accountablility and filtering resources that help protect your computer, cell phones, and tablets

Sex and Dating Week 1


Series: Sex and Dating (week 1 of 2)
Message in two sentences: God’s plan for our lives includes our dating and married life. We need to ask ourselves some questions to make sure we date in a way that pleases Him.

On Sunday morning we kicked off a series looking at sex and dating and what God has to say about it. I enjoy talking with students about this because they are getting blasted with all kinds of messages about how to date and how they should view sex in 2014.

My goal in this series to give them God’s view point on sex. He is the one that created sex and He also created the boundaries for sex. We will talk about his original plan for sex and how that should play out in our lives.

This week we looked at dating and asked 7 questions we need to ask ourselves  about dating.

For this series I will be providing my notes. I think it will be a little easier than trying to do a full recap and it will save you some time.

My hope is that this will help you have conversations with your student about sex and dating. Gone are the days when a single talk about sex will work. It has to be an ongoing conversation between you and your student.

As always we are available to help in any way possible.
One way I want to help is by compiling some resources that will help you talk with your student. Next week in addition to my notes I will include several items that will help you navigate these waters.

One thing I mentioned yesterday that I would like you to try is date your student. When I was in middle school and early high school, my dad would take my sister out on dates and my mom would take me out. My dad took my sister out to demonstrate to her how a guys should treat her on a date. My mom took me out to help me to learn how to treat a lady. Obviously my dad and I had conversation about this also, but it was great getting a female’e perspective. This is something easy that you can do and will help strengthen  your relationship.

Zakk’s Week 1 Notes 

Something for Families

Merge Loops WS.033

One of my main purposes for this blog to help equip parents. I want you to be better Christ followers, be better parents, and better disciple your students. So I’m on the hunt for resources that will help in at least one of these areas.

I recently came across today’s resource and it is amazing! After listening to it once, I thought that this is something that would be good to listen to yearly as a reminder to stay on task and serve as a reminder.

Follow the link below to listen to it. If you are having any trouble, please let me know. I want everyone to have access to this. The one I want you to listen to is called Family Matters.


Family Matters