In this newsletter:
  • Thoughts on the news this week

  • A dad's privilege: my son's home runs and a mission trip story

  • Great job opportunities

  • Stay connected
<<First Name>>, I wrote some thoughts about the news on social media that I'd like to share with you below. You're invited to friend or follow me on social media.
I taught in an African-centered public high school in urban Kansas City for a year. I learned more than I taught. Some days I was harsh on those who discriminate. Other days I was ashamed of my own prejudices. But I’ll never know what it’s like to be "just black in the wrong place," as Ms. Castile said about her son after he was fatally shot in Minnesota last week.

I grieve this injustice and the resulting violence in Dallas and elsewhere. I cannot fully understand racism because I have not been its victim, but I choose to bear witness to this harm. I pray for healing and hope for change.

This week I’m partnering with a church in St. Louis that wants to make a difference in their community by creating a youth center. It is a small church, mostly white, in a diverse neighborhood north of Ferguson. I’m honored to help, and I love this church. I have some ideas of what can be done - and hopes about what can be accomplished. Their work is vital and faith-driven, but it will be hard.

I would value your thoughts on how to help this community.

– Matt Vaughan

Amy and I have two boys who love to play baseball. They both hit their first home runs in back-to-back nights a few weeks ago. Jack is 11 and hit a grand slam to deep right field. Sam is 14 and hit a 275-foot dinger over the fence. It was an exciting moment for them – and for me!
Sam made an important decision the week before he hit that home run. He chose to miss two days of his high school baseball camp so that he could go on our church's middle school mission trip. He knew that he'd miss two days to make an impression on his upcoming coach before tryouts. He knew that he'd miss some valuable coaching tips to help him with the game.

Why did he do it? He said, "it was more important to make a difference" (photo below: the Omaha mission trip crew... Sam's in the upper left corner).
It did make a difference to the people with whom Sam and the youth group served. It also made a difference to him. While Sam already loves baseball, this trip helped him experience Jesus' love. And, according to a University of Pennsylvania national study, youth who participate in faith-based activities are less likely to be involved in risky behavior. A 2014 Baylor study showed similar positive results.

Please contact me if you know of a church that could use some resources, support, or training. Our enrollment retreats for training are August 29-30 and September 19-20. I also offer free phone support and affordable coaching – it makes a difference.

There are NINE youth ministry jobs in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska on the job board on our website. Wow!

Plus, two other churches are about to post youth ministry positions, so check back again soon, and please share the link or this newsletter!
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