March 10, 2016


Leaders' Meetings

  • We will have our normal meeting this coming Sunday at 8am. Please text me biscuit orders.
  • NEXT month, we will switch to our new model of meeting in the evenings on the second Sunday of each  month. Our format will be: Potluck Dinner/Fellowship, Take Care of Business, Devotional, Fellowship over Games until we're out of time. I am really excited about this new model and can't wait for next month to roll around. 

Since we're having a meeting this Sunday morning, I'll spare the other updates until then. 


In the last couple of weeks, I've been following a daily emphasis for prayers. I'm copying a dead preacher who had a really good ministry during his life. Can't remember his name right now, but anyway, the daily emphases are as follows:

Monday - Special Devotion. Tuesday - Spread of the Gospel. Wednesday - Kingdom of Christ. Thursday - Self Denial. Friday - Examination & Confession. Saturday - Intercession. Sunday -Church & Outpouring of the Spirit. 

Let's just say this discipline has been nothing less than fantastic, though fantastic has a different definition for different days. Like today, Thursday, Self-Denial day. The 'fantastic' of today can be pretty rough at first, but liberating. Bottom-line, this discipline grants focus. My prayer life is weak often for two reasons: Lack of focus, and lack of direction (which are kind of similar, but different). 

Lack of focus is because we live in an A.D.D. culture where the tyrannical urgent robs us of mental clarity. Prayer is tough because as soon as our minds are calm, some unwanted "to-do" comes in our head and we're sent scrambling out of the prayer closet and into the clamor of another crazy day. 

Lack of direction is when my mind is focused but I end up praying for the same things and sound like a broken record repeating "Father God" and "Lord" a bazillion times because I really don't know what to pray for. 

When I only have one thing to pray about for the day, I have direction. And most often when I have direction, I have focus. 

"Be still and know that I am the LORD." 

I think our greatest need as disciples is to learn the art of being still. We need stillness in our hearts. But we first need stillness of our minds. 

This is my precious little boy looking out an open window this morning. He stood there for ten minutes, wide-eyes full of wonder, as he just listened to the symphony of songbirds on this still morning. 

The Lord desires such a heart in us. 

Feel free to try the daily focus for prayers. I know it helps me. Whatever the case, do whatever it takes to find focus and direction in your prayers. There is nothing like sitting in the presence of our Lord, hearing his gentle and fierce voice speak truth. So be still and listen. 

Be sure of one thing though, in the busyness of this life, you will have to fight for stillness. 

Focusing my daily prayers on one thing helps me to fight. In my set-apart time for prayer, I can focus. I sit in prayer longer. And in through the course of my day, I find myself prayer more often. Whatever you do, find something that helps you fight for stillness. The fight for stillness is the fight for joy. So fight! 

In Christ's Love, 

Quentin Self 

March 4 Leaders' Update

Hello Student Leadership Team! 

I apologize for inconsistency in this update over the past couple of weeks. There is no excuse for inconsistency. You guys deserve better. Anyway, won't beat myself up. Just been trying to do to much and not prioritizing like I should. Oh well. That's learning how to do life. 

No video this week, we'll get back to that later. 

Only a couple of things: 

First, I would like to move leader's meetings to Sunday nights instead of mornings... Woot woot! No 8am meetings. I still need to run this by pastor, but I don't think he'll have a problem once per month. I'm thinking on the 2nd Sunday, we will do potluck at our place. The evening will look like this: Eat dinner, fellowship, take care of any new business, have a devotional, play games and fellowship until it's too late for a school/work night. 

Does that sound good to you? 

Second, we have been running hard with D.I. for over a year or so now. We have learned a lot and we are ready to refine our process and go all-out for the sake of the gospel. I really just want to sharpen, focus, and clarify the whole methodology so that we can have a truly duplicable process where there is enough freedom for real relationships and transformation to occur in the Spirit's own mysterious way AND enough structure for the process to actually be repeatable, over and over again. Success does not need to be a lighting strike, but what characterizes our efforts.

With that, be praying for me. I want to bring some good material into our next meeting so that we can really work on refining the process. 

Love you guys. Thank you so much for your service to Christ and His Great Commission. 

Quentin Self 

January 28, 2016



The theme and passage are set for Winter Retreat!!! We will work through Romans 8. The theme will be: 

Romans 8:5 says, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit."

Thoughts control our actions. Every action we take begins as a thought. The truths in this passage are beautifully aligned with all the insight you gave during our last leadership meeting. This chapter of Scripture is exactly what the Lord would have our students hear during this retreat. 

My goal is to have leaders books to you at least one week before the retreat. If I get finished sooner, praise the Lord. 

I love you all! 

In Christ, 

Quentin Self 

January 21, 2016


  • Cost for leaders on Winter Retreat is $25. Thank you all who are going. Seriously. I'm amazed by your spiritual wisdom and commitment to raising up this next generation. 
  • Meeting Sunday Night for WR. Not mandatory for you guys (it is for the kids). If you can make it, great. But if not, no worries. I can get info to you otherwise. 


No video this week. Internet at church is down. I'm at Chick-fil-a. Nobody here wants to hear my leader's update... and it would just be awkward. Will presume the videos next week. 

Okay, this year in Discipleship Initiative, we are emphasizing the relationship. Strong relationships are crucial to effective disciple-making. But sometimes conversations are difficult to start with middle schoolers and high schoolers! You get a lot of "Yes" "No" "Yeah" and "Uh-huh" answers. 

The key to having an active, two-way conversation is to ask the right questions.

So, Carmen helped me devise this ingenious acronym to help get the talks going: 

  • H - Home. Ask about their home-life, parents, siblings, pets, etc. 
  • E - Education. Ask about school, sports, anything related to their school life. 
  • A - Afflictions/Answers. Ask about struggles, trials, griefs. Then ask how God has been responding in their prayer life on this matter. 
  • R - Relationships. Ask about significant others, friends, co-workers, etc. 
  • T - Thoughts. Ask what has been occupying their mental energy. What have they been thinking about the past week? 

Now, don't just ask "yes or no" questions, because you'll only get "yes's" and "no's." Also, this is not supposed to be a rigid list you shake down the students with each week. This is something to help you naturally bring up the topics that will be on your students' "hearts." Yes. Cheesy. Whatever. 

Seriously though, our mission statement is "To make disciples that DESIRE Christ above all and make disciples who do the same." God is after their hearts. Only a gospel-driven, Godward, unquenchable, sin-killing, joy-filling desire for more of Christ will ever produce the goal we're after in discipleship: transformation. 

So, go after their hearts. Talk about these areas. The details that fill these five areas will help get to what occupies the space of their hearts. 

Over the next weeks, I'll take one letter per week from H.E.A.R.T. I really feel that if we weave this into what we're doing, it will help foster true connection and deep relationships between you and the students whom you disciple. 

Love you all! 

Quentin Self 

Oh yeah. I shared these with the parents this week. Didn't want to leave you out.... please don't black mail me with my facial expressions. You'll do anything to make your son laugh.  


January 7, 2016

Hey Leaders, 

I hope you guys have all had a great Christmas season and are rested and ready to go! We have a leaders' meeting this Sunday morning at 8:00 am... Yuck. 

Anyway. Biscuits and coffee make the early morning better, so text me your biscuit orders asap. 


  • Leader's Meeting This Sunday - Items on cue:
    • Winter Retreat
      • Looking at Schedule, and brainstorming together the potential topic for discussion. Be in prayer over what you feel the students need to hear from the Lord. 
    • Discipleship Initiative
      • Trying still to "make it better" every step of the way. Looking at a question filter for having better conversations with the students. And looking at a potential shift in the content for the students' daily devotion. 

Thank you all so much for all you do and who you are! Can't wait to get together. See you bright and early Sunday Morning. 

In Christ, 

Quentin Self 

December 17, 2015


My driving ramble was a little longer this week... just a lot of heaviness in my heart this week. This whole post is longer. My apologies. I just pray it helps you in your journey.  

So, I'm just inviting you to join me in the search for contentment and joy. Psalm 16:11 says: 

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore." 

I know this is true in my head, but I want to feel its truth in my heart. I want Christ's presence to control me. I want him to be so real to me that I can say, "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."

My prayer has been for a while now, "Jesus, invade my life." I knew this was a dangerous prayer, and I expected the dangerousness to be something like "go sell all you have" or "go share the gospel with cannibals." 

He's not told me to do those things (yet), because I could obey those commands and still not give him my heart.  

So, the dangerous place he's sent me to explore for his gospel is my very own heart. The dangerous task he has given me for his gospel is to examine my desires and look my intentions in the eye. I'll be honest... it's painful. It's painful to see how hollow my heart is because of the little space Christ occupies there. 

I've been mostly miserable most of the time on the inside for a while now, speckled with moments of pure, explicit joy for the gospel. But I want the colors to reverse. I want the speckles of full joy in Christ's presence to swell up and conquer the gray, nothingness of a Christ-less life that now seems to dominate this illustration like the black of the night sky. The vibrant specks that are the moments I find myself in his presence are like the stars. They by no means dominate our view of the night sky, but they alone make it worth looking up. 

The past couple of years I've had a tough burden to bear. My wife knows all the details and her prayers uphold me. A few know some of the details. 

This burden is a weakness, a 'thorn,' and I'm only now learning to value the goodness of being made weak... Christ's power is perfected in weakness. I think if not for our trials, we would walk our whole lives in the gray nothingness of a monochromatic, joyless, Christ-less life (even if we are 'saved') for apart from trials we would never cherish or beckon his full presence. 

So Jesus, come on, invade my life. Walk me through the messiness of my heart and conquer it. Be the King of My Heart. Rule my desires. Let a deep, vicious desire for you drive all that I do. Don't let me be satisfied with anything less than you. I'm grateful for you letting me feel miserable with my idols. I'm grateful for the trials. Amen. 

Can't listen to this song without crying. Enjoy. Worship through it. Pray this song. 

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of Knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness of God that depends on faith - that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and may share in his sufferings becoming like him in his death that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:8-11ish

I love you all. Grateful for your partnership in the gospel. 

Quentin Self 

December 11, 2015

Hello Leaders, do your best to disregard my potentially dangerous activity of "leader-update-video-recording-while-driving." I don't think it's illegal. My eyes were on the road totally. Can't be more dangerous than jamming to T-Swift while driving... am I right? 

Anyway, the video's a little longer this week, hope you find it encouraging. We are aiming BIG with the EVERY 1 Vision, because our God is big. But we will never do this thing by our own might. God has to act  and change hearts. He is willing, but we are weak and easily distracted. 

We are praying together this Sunday morning at 9:30 in the youth room. Please come if you can make it! 

In Christ's Love, 

Quentin Self


  1. Redneck Christmas Party
    • Starts at 6pm. 
    • Remember, we're staying after the worship service to set up. We will have lunch together. Let's do soups and sandwiches 'n such. Don't bring a thing, just yourselves. Thank you for helping! 
  2. Winter Retreat
    • Check this .pdf to see if it's right. I just need confirmation from everybody who's going. Will confirm numbers with the resort and ski place next week. 



December 3, 2015



So, I've been reading this book to help me prepare for preaching this Sunday. I'm preaching from Philippians 2:1-11, and this book is Matt Chandler's exposition of Philippians. This book is incredible. I would highly recommend it. 

Philippians 1:27 says, "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel." Paul makes this command, then through 2:18 explains how to live a life worthy of the gospel. Chandler comments on the passage. It's a long quote, but oh is it good: 

"So what does it look like to live a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ? It looks like walking with, loving with, and doing life with those who are different from you. What binds you together is Christ. It looks like striving together to make Christ known. What motivates you is Christ. And it looks like standing with courage against all oppressors, natural or supernatural. What secures you is Christ.
To live is Christ, and to die is gain. 
Christ is all. Looking at it that way, the implication becomes rather simple. Not easy. But simple. If a mature Christian life, or a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, is a life where you are living deeply with others, regardless of external differences, if you strive for a deeper faith and grow your faith together, pressing into Christ together, chasing him together, and if it is fearlessness in faith... how are you doing? 
Fearlessly face that question. 
Are you living a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Have you found Christ worth living for, worth dying for, worthy casting all away for his sake? Examine your own heart. Do you just hang out with people who are like you? Are you timid and fearful when it comes to any opposition to your faith? In the end, are you growing in God, or are you stagnant and cold?" (p. 46)

I hope this question reverberates into your heart as powerfully as it did into mine. I'm still wrestling with the question. It challenges me personally. But it also affirms what we are doing with Discipleship Initiative, Girls Bible Study, and the Breakout Groups. The concept is simple... but difficult. It's easy to have kids show-up once a week and pretend to listen. To "live deeply with others," striving for a deeper faith together, that's an intimidating challenge. But it's simple. And it's Jesus' method. 

So press on my fellow warriors! This week do two things: 

  1. Cherish Christ more deeply than ever. He is everything. 
  2. Cherish those who have been entrusted to you more deeply than ever. Sharing life may be messy and difficult, but that's the only thing that will lead to lasting life change.


  1. Leadership Team Meeting this Sunday the 6th at 8:15am, we'll be talking about the Redneck Christmas Party (woot woot... or yee yee!... whatever rednecks yell). Reply to the text message with your biscuit orders. 
  2. Breakout Leaders brainstorm lunch, following church services this Sunday the 6th. 
  3. Redneck Christmas Party Sunday December 13th. 
  4. Winter Retreat February 12-14th, if you want to be a leader or chaperone, be sure to sign up. 

November 28, 2015



Wow... did I eat a lot. I hope you all had a great thanksgiving break as well! Food is my enemy now. Jk. Sill have leftovers to work through. 

Here's what the Lord taught me yesterday: 

Psalm 131 says, "O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my should within me.

A weaned child with his mother is a child at peace, a child at rest. He's not there with the intention of getting anything out of his mother (pun intended). The Psalmist has apparently been wrestling with the Lord, or at least trying to get answers. And in this prayer, he agrees to just stop asking questions. He has "calmed and quieted" his soul. 

This is true rest. This is the Sabbath Jesus gives us. This deep REM-cycle of the soul is what we ought to experience when we draw near to the Lord. I find myself, especially in the ministry, coming to God's Word trying to suck something out of it. I treat my time with God as if I'm a mercenary.

Pray for me to "calm and quiet" my soul and just enjoy the presence of God. "In your presence there is fullness of joy" Ps. 116:11. I will pray the same for you.

Let's all pray this for our students. Nothing will make them true disciples apart from soul-healing-and-filling experiences with Christ through the Scriptures. Let's pray that Christ would so infiltrate their existence that they can't help but be totally desperate for him, totally dependent on him, and totally devoted to his mission. 

I love you all, 

Quentin Self 


  • Next Sunday 12.6.2015 - Leadership Meeting @8:15, biscuit orders will be happening :) 
  • Redneck Christmas Party 12.13.2015 - We'll talk about this at the leadership meeting
  • Winter Retreat 2.12-14.2016 - If you want to be a chaperone, let me know ASAP. 

November 19, 2015




  • DECEMBER 6th at 8:15am is our next leader's meeting. We had planned to move the meetings to the second Sunday, but the Redneck Christmas party is on the 13th and we need to hammer out the details for that event. 
    • December 6th is also Biscuit Sunday, but don't worry, I'll still get your custom orders for the leader's meeting. 8:15 on a Sunday is custom-biscuit worthy ya know... Jeremy, still no hotcakes. Sorry bro.  
    • December 6th is also my Sunday to preach the main morning service. I won't be doing a student message on that day. Too scatter-brained to do two separate texts on one Sunday... I'd start preaching on the Apostle Moses and the thorn in the golden Fleece or something... geesh.
    • For breakout leaders, what that Sunday will look like: Extended fellowship over the golden mann of the South (biscuits, duh) // Worship (at 10:00am) // Focused intercessory prayer for the lost in line with Every 1 vision // Reverse breakout groups - I'll give you the manuscript for my message in the main service and some suggestions for the discussion. 
  • WINTER RETREAT - is coming up quickly. Deadline for $25 deposit is on November 29th. If you want to go as a leader or chaperone, please sign up in the youth room. 


Seriously, YOU are what make the ministry happen at Bethlehem. Push forward. Press on. If students are slacking in D.I. remind them of two things:

  1. This is the MINIMUM for a faithful follower of Christ.. It's reading the Bible and memorizing Scripture for crying out loud. 
  2. They made a commitment to GOD... like the one who made the universe. Don't mess with him. It's not like breaking a promise to your mom.... and believe me, that can be painful enough. 
  3. Christians are getting their heads cut off in other parts of the world and would GLADLY trade places with you... don't give me this "I'm just sooooo busy with school and sports and stuff...." Wait... I said I had two things. Sorry not sorry. 

And if you need more encouragement, here's a picture of Jack giving you the Winston Churchill "Victory" sign after he demolished his cake. 

Seriously, we've won the victory because Christ has won the victory. We are "more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). Death can't stop us, Satan can't stop us, distractions can't stop us. Here's a good song for motivation.... if you're into Christian rap, and can tolerate a little bit of a cheesy music video. 

For the Gospel, 

Quentin Self