Day 3 Renew Thoughts  

Posted by Jordan Jones

I read v. Genesis 4:15-16 and remembered a C.S. Lewis quote: "To walk out of His will is to walk into nowhere." But did the reality that God still pursued/loved a murderer change your perceptions of Him a little bit as well?

Day 2 Renew Thoughts  

Posted by Jordan Jones

All sin is rooted in mistrust: that God is holding out on us, that He isn't for us, that He doesn't really love us, that He doesn't want our best, that what He promised us he won't come through on. Collide- please let the reality that Jesus loves you and longs to take you to the fullest life sink deep into your being. He can be trusted.

Have you signed up for Camp?  

Posted by Jordan Jones in ,

I read this quote from Almost Christian by Kenda Dean that reminded me of the immense value of camp:

"Spiritually, it refers to the discipline that some medieval theologians called detachment. Modern psychological theory uses this word to designate damaged relational bonds, but in the Middle Ages detachment was a term used by the church. It simply meant disentangling ourselves from whatever distracts us from Jesus Christ, so all of our attention- and all of our lives- may be fixed upon Him. The effect of spiritual detachment is liberation, freeing us from lesser allegiances so we can entertain new possibilities that Christ presents for us and for the world."

I'm not the begging type...but I hope you realize the unheralded worth of camp. Get your sign-ups in!

Impact Tonight...  

Posted by Jordan Jones in officially canceled. See you Sunday!

Tomorrow Night's Impact  

Posted by Jordan Jones in

Hey all, 

We have received a ton of phone calls about whether Impact tomorrow is still going on. Here is where we are at right now for sure:

  • The Middle School "Ultimate" Event is going to move to Sunday from 1-3 pm. The doors will open right at 1 pm, so please do not expect to come in right after the 11 service gets out. If you typically are around for the second service, you may want to plan to go grab a quick bite to eat with the fam and come back at 1. We will only have snacks at the event...not a full meal. Everything will remain the same as if it was still on Wednesday...Inflatables, games, $2...etc. Please get the word out! (Bring your friends, too!)
  • We are still waiting to make a decision about whether to cancel Impact tomorrow night. If we have Impact (which we are currently putting at about a 5% chance- but you never know with Michigan weather!), it will just be an open gym night. However, you should assume that we won't be meeting tomorrow night, unless otherwise noted. Please check the main page of Trinity's website for the most updated info. I will also update this page if something major changes. 
High School Ultimate Event on Saturday will be unaffected. 
See you Sunday Impact!

Find a Rabbi.  

Posted by Jordan Jones in


This next week at Crosswalk and Impact (Jan. 16 & 19) we will be inviting all students to find a rabbi, to pursue a mentor as we look at the text in which the Rabbi Jesus invites Peter, James, John and Andrew to "follow Him". We believe that the presence of a mentor/rabbi in a student's life is one of the necessities for spiritual momentum. We are asking you to encourage your child in this. 

Take a look at a quote by Reggie Joiner:

Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community (The Orange Series)

“Your children one day will seek affirmation and approval from adults other than you.  Either you can become intentional about enlisting other trusted adults to influence your kids, or you can depend only on your limited capacity.  You can leave them alone to discover random influences who will shape their character and faith, or you can help them proactively pursue strategic relationships for their lives.”

Put it on your calendar Middle Schoolers  

Posted by Jordan Jones in

Middle School Students:

We will be heading over to Holland, MI on April 29 for an overnight conference, Believe. 

Check out more here

We will announce more as it gets closer (price, space, etc.) Registration begins in February. 

Collide 2011 Summer Camps  

Posted by Jordan Jones in ,

Ya, it's weird to start talking about summer camps when we haven't even had our first big snowstorm, but it's something to look forward to, right?!

I have 3 new things to tell you about camp for this next year that are noteworthy:
  • Each of the first 50 Trinity students to register for a Collide Summer Camp will be entered into a drawing to have all camp fees waived!
  • For each additional family member that registers, camp fees drop by $50. (For example, first child is $220, second child is $170, third child is $120, etc.) We know what kind of burden this can have on families, and we hope to at least lessen the blow with this price adjustment.
  • The cost for "unchurched" friends that you invite to camp is $176, which is 20% off the Early Bird Price of $220.  
You're going to hear us talk a lot about that last one a lot this year. Our initial vision for camp was that it would be a natural place for you to bring friends that get antsy at the thought of coming to a church building, but are open to things of faith. There is no environment quite like camp for these type of students. But we have wandered from this original vision, and we want to get back on to propel us toward this reality even more, we thought that discounting these students' price by 20% would help a little. However, it's on you to invite the friends though!!!

For a HS Camp Packet click here.

For a MS Camp Packet click here.

Collection for Bingham Elementary  

Posted by Jordan Jones in , ,

The Bingham Community Outreach Ministry is collecting children's outerwear to be given to families who come to the Christmas Journey. Boys' and girls' items in toddler through sizes 14-16 would be appreciated. Most needed are coats, mittens, hats and boots. Look for large black bins in the atrium in November. We also need volunteers to help organize and hand out the clothing (event is 12/4/10). Contact Steve or Angie Berg at

Collide Student Ministries will be collecting this outerwear during our November gatherings. Look for the colored bins!

Tonight at Crosswalk  

Posted by Jordan Jones in ,

This is a copy of an e-mail I sent out to parents this week...

Hey Parents,

I wanted to send you an e-mail to inform you about our topic of discussion at Crosswalk this coming Sunday night, as we wrap up our "You Asked For It" series. Pastor Marvin will be speaking on the true nature of sexuality, how sex was created by God and how its original design was beautiful to its core. In addition, Pastor Marvin will also pursue the reality that sin and the Evil One have attempted (and have often succeeded) to trash this beautiful gift that we have been given . So how do we treasure the beautiful nature of sex in its proper context, while being well aware of its ravenous tendencies when pursued in wrong contexts? We can’t just celebrate sex for what God made it to be; we have to fight what sin turned it into.

The reality is: Sex is serious. When we say that, we aren’t trying some kind of scare tactic on you or your student. Sex is serious because that’s how God created it. It just is. It brings pleasure. But it also is more than physical. It’s emotional and spiritual as well. It’s why sex ties you to another person even if you both walk away and no one knows what you’ve done. We will pursue this holistic picture of sex in the Scriptures on Sunday night.

Some of you might be concerned about the taboo nature of this topic. We understand your concern, but also believe that Satan hasn't been quiet about this issue and is pursuing your students to walk outside the rhythm of purity that God desires for each of their lives. The church cannot be quiet any longer. This topic was rated #1 by students as the issue that they desired for us to pour truth onto for a reason.

If you have an issue with your student being a part of this topic, please refrain from sending them to Crosswalk this Sunday. Either way, please join us in prayer for transformational discussion and that the Scriptures would reveal God's ultimate plan for sex in each of our student's lives.

You are loved and appreciated,

Jordan Jones
Student Ministries Director

Trinity Church

Pausing doesn't stop now...  

Posted by Jordan Jones in

I know we are done with the Pause series, but our finality for the series doesn't mean silence and breathing should disappear from our radar. Check out this quote I read this past week:

"God is not real to most of us because of the condition of our consciousness. He is closer to our minds every moment than your own thoughts. He is nearer to our hearts than our own feelings. He is more intimate with our wills than our most vigorous decisions. If we are not aware of him, it is not because he is not with us. It is, in part, because our consciousness is so under the sway of other interest that it cannot turn to him with the loving attention which might soon discern him."
 - Edward Albert Day

Series at Impact and Crosswalk this October  

Posted by Jordan Jones in

October at Crosswalk (HS):

Last school year we asked what parents and students what they wanted us talk about the most in 2010. The response was resounding and the month of October will see us journeying through each of the three most requested issues: how to grapple with temptation (Oct. 10), what a real friend looks like (Oct. 17) & the true nature of sexuality (Oct. 24).

* Series begins Sunday, Oct. 10

October at Impact (MS):

We all want friends—even if we don’t want to admit it. We all want someone to hang out with, someone to talk to, someone who knows us. But friendship requires something from us. It’s not just what we get or what makes us feel comfortable or happy. There’s a smart way to do friendship, a way with intention, a way that will draw us closer to God’s heart—if we surround ourselves with the right people. That doesn’t mean our friends have to be clones of us or that we avoid the outcasts that we are called to love that surround us—but it does mean that we don’t enter into friendships for the purpose of selfish gain.

* Series begins Wednesday, Oct. 13

Mudfest is TODAY!  

Posted by Jordan Jones in , ,

We want to see all of you out at Trinity today for our Collide Fall Launch!!! It's looking like a beautiful day that compliments our nasty day yesterday- the mud is nice and soft and ready for Steal the Bacon, Dodge Ball, Freeze Tag, Tug of War Wars, etc. 

Middle School see you there at 3 p.m. 

High School see you there at 5 p.m.

(P.S. We will stop doing AMP events like MudFest the very day you stop inviting your friends to these events. It's why we created them!! These events are not solely for you...who are you bringing?!)

Main Website  

Posted by Jordan Jones

We've updated our main website, check it out here:

Getting away  

Posted by Jordan Jones

“As often as possible Jesus withdrew to the out-of-way places for prayer”
~ Luke 5:16 (The Message)

For the past year, I have been taking one full day away from it all every 1-2 months… days with Jesus, filled with solitude, study, and prayer.  Honestly, it has completely revolutionized the way I see the world around me and has helped me survive the demands of ministry and life.  This reality may seem impossible for you to embrace because of the demands of family, work, school, etc. but take one more look at Luke 5:16 (above). Of all people, Jesus had demands. People who needed him. Truth that needed to be shared. But He recognized something most of us don't: Solitude transforms us. 

Check out this quote from Dallas Willard:

"Solitude is a process of inner transformation, a conversation initiated by God and leading, if we consent, to divine union. One’s way of seeing reality changes in the process. A restructuring of consciousness takes place which empowers one to perceive, relate and respond with increasing sensitivity to the divine presence in, through, and beyond everything that exists."

So here’s what I do if you are interested (adapted from what an old friend passed on to me!):

Before you go think through the following questions:
1) What do you need to experience with Christ during this day away?
2) Where have you been in the Word in the past couple of months and weeks, and where has God been speaking to you?
3) What are you “wrestling” with in this season of your life (specific circumstance, sin, relationship, etc.)?

During the drive to wherever you’re going:
Pray that the Lord would give you direction (Scriptures, a book to read, format for the day, etc.)… remember this is a “dynamic, fluid” day with Christ… not a rigid, hyper-formatted day.

When you get there:
1) Get the environment the way you need it… coffee, temperature, noise reduction (if there’s a clock that ticks really loud, it’s annoying, so remove the battery or move it to another room), and find the best place to really meet with the Lord… where you can stretch out in prayer, with books, etc.
2) Here’s a tentative time schedule that I use (once again, not too rigid)
7:30 Arrive and get situated
8:00 Prayer 
I ask God to clear the noise in my head and heart, and in my life.  It actually takes me about 20-30 minutes for this noise to clear… so be patient (this fruit of prayer does not yield itself to the lazy).  I ask the Lord to meet with me… to give me a “vision” (not hyper-charismatic, but a picture or image of what He wants me to experience today… one time it was an open meadow in the mountains that represented His freedom… one time it was a picture of my father who truly represented faithfully the love of the Heavenly Father).  I also ask the Father to let me know where He wants to take me today… Scripture… prayer… reading, etc.)
8:45 The Word.  
I listen to Jesus or sometimes pick a Scripture to reflectively study and meditate upon.  Typically the Lord has led me to something and I spend the next 2-3 hours studying it, reflectively meditating upon it, journaling through it, praying through it.  The point is to find an expression of this time with the Lord.  Perhaps for you, write a chapter of a book, draw a landscape, write a song, write a poem, write a movie scene… whatever you need to do to integrate this is in with your passions and calling in life.
11:30 Prayer.  
I spend some more time on my knees with the Lord asking Him to “cement” this into my heart and life.
12:00 Lunch and a drive to process more

1:00 This is the fluid part of the day.
Sometimes the Lord simply wants me to pray more… especially intercessory prayer.  Sometimes I’ve prayed for the concentric rings outward from my life (Family, Ministry, Staff and Elders, specific people in the congregation).  Sometimes I read a book.  Sometimes I strategically plan ministry stuff.  Sometimes I take a nap.  Sometimes I go for a run or go on a hike. Whatever happens, I always feel that it’s very effective because I’m really connecting with Christ at this point… very actively and experientially… as if He’s right there with me (which He is through the Spirit).
I also typically leave with an “action plan” on things the Lord has impressed upon my heart that day… where to take it when I return to “reality” with family, ministry, life, etc.
I review these days away (and action plans) frequently to see how I’m doing with the things the Lord laid upon my heart during my time with Him that day.

4:00 Prayer for God to continue to integrate this more deeply into my life.

4:30 Pack up and drive back to home

Remember, this is not a formula… it’s a dynamic relationship. Hang out with Jesus! Remember to journal and write these things down… when you begin to get 2, 3, or even 4 days away over a year or two, it’s really cool to go back and see how Jesus is transforming you into who He desires you to be.

Collide Fall Launch  

Posted by Jordan Jones in , ,

The big day is fast approaching! Our big kick-off day with mud games (including tug-of-war, mud football, mud dodge ball, muddy steal the soap, yard games and snacks) is Sunday, Sept. 12 for both middle and high school students. Middle school will be at Trinity from 3-5 p.m. and High school from 6-8 p.m. Bring every friend you can grab!

Note: Please wear messy clothes. Please bring a change of clothes & a towel.

Mystery Bus  

Posted by Jordan Jones in

Middle School: Wednesday, August 25
High School: Saturday, August 28

You will board the bus at 9 a.m. (so be here at 8:30!) without any clue to where you will spend the next 12 hours.

Sign up by August 22. Cost is $20 and includes all meals and activities. Eat breakfast before you come!


Posted by Jordan Jones in ,

I might cause a little stir with this just a friendly reminder that these views are solely mine and can not be applied to those of Trinity Church. 

O and one more disclaimer...I am not trying to convince you of anything. That is not my role, but the Spirit's. I am merely outlining the turmoil that has existed in my heart for the last two weeks. 

I have never had quite the experience as I have had the last 12 days. 

We took 12 students & leaders to Bethlehem (actually a town right outside Bethlehem called Bet Sahour) which are both cities that are officially a part of Palestine, an occupied territory of the state of Israel. I have to admit...for how much history, geography & politics I like to pride myself of knowing, I was completely ignorant to what is going on in Israel right now. 

I was unaware of the wall that has been constructed by Israel (labeled the "Separation Wall" by Palestinians and the "Security Fence" by Israelis), not on the border between Israel and Palestine, but as much as 20 km into the Palestinian border. The wall stands as tall as 25 feet in certain areas. In addition to the concrete wall and fencing materials used in the construction of the structure, sections of Israel's Separation Barrier additionally include electrified fencing, two-meter-deep trenches, roads for patrol vehicles, electronic ground/fence sensors, thermal imaging and video cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sniper towers, and razor wire. If Israel carries out it's current plans for the continued construction of the wall, this separation wall will be four times as long as the Berlin Wall and twice as high in some parts. (Click here for a picture)

We visited one home that was completely boxed in by the wall- their house literally stood 15 feet from walls on three sides. You could see bullet holes that dotted their rooftop...they will be shot at if they ever set foot on their roof. Why? Because they will be standing at the same level as the top of the wall. I think the residents just wished they were told this instead of having to find out on their own...

I obviously do not believe any sort of reconciliation can happen when a wall of this magnitude is created. Taking away even that factor, I cannot support the blatant disregard of UN resolutions and the Oslo Peace Accords by creating a wall, not on an agreed-upon border but smack in the middle of Palestinian lands. I was also dismayed to see Israel blatantly disregarding those two agreements by continuing in their practice of settlements in the West Bank (Palestine). Settlements are when Israelis forcibly remove Palestinians from their home to build a mini-community/city of just Israelis. These settlements were outlawed based on UN Security Council Resolution 446 in 1979: 

"Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

I know what some of you might be thinking: Aren't the Jews God's chosen people? And weren't they promised this land?

I think there are doubts in my mind regarding the legitimacy of the Jews still being labeled "God's Chosen People" since Jesus' presence and sacrifice here on Earth. I am wrestling with this issue based on several key themes in the New Testament, including:

 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 
But God found fault with the people and said:
   "The time is coming, declares the Lord,
      when I will make a new covenant
   with the house of Israel
      and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
      I made with their forefathers
   when I took them by the hand
      to lead them out of Egypt,
   because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
      and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
      after that time, declares the Lord.
   I will put my laws in their minds
      and write them on their hearts.
   I will be their God,
      and they will be my people.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
      or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
   because they will all know me,
      from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness
      and will remember their sins no more."

 By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8)

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:18-19)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:28-29)

For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16) 
* I do not believe this is referring to all Jews, but it is further evidence that Jews don't just have a "free" card to exert themselves in God's name. 

The reality is, I haven't come to a conclusion on this issue (and probably won't). I do know that Scripture clearly outlines that God's chosen people are those who belong to Christ, whether they were once Muslims, or once Jews or agnostic or whatever. 

But I also know that God deeply moans for justice. His Scriptures are dotted with His heart toward it. He demands it. And so why are the people that He created to be the "light of all nations" (if that's the title they desire to maintain)...why are they trampling on the God-given rights of others? What happened to loving our neighbor? I just can't believe God cares more about the dust and pavement of land more than the flesh and blood of his creation that he "made in his own image". Israel has become obsessed with the land (yes, that was promised to them), but at the mercy of people who God desires to bring back to himself. I am seeing a whole people group trampled on by the "people of God" and it turns me inside out, because I can't help but think that it is hurting the chance to reach them with Jesus. 

I met Palestinian after Palestinian who weren't plotting the demise of Israel...just loving people who wanted to be able to go to the beach, who wanted to go the movies, who wanted to be treated as humans. People who immediately treated me as family. I pray that they see that God is running after them so hard and desires for them to be re-united with Him through the blood of Christ. 

Here's the biggest stinger for me: Modern Israel is not a theocracy!!! Anytime God made mention of the reality of the state of Israel, it was always in the context of a theocracy. Modern Israel is nothing short of a humanistic, capitalist nation. There is not a Scripture that I have seen that denotes that this was God's desire. 

A couple of websites that I am might push you to: and

You might mention the fact that my post is heavily one-sided. I would actually agree. Because I think most of us have heard decades of the other side...I just wanted to add a little more to the story.

Despite all of these hard realities that were pushed into the forefront of my mind and heart, it was glorious to see the Western Wall, Jericho, the birthplace of Jesus, the Dead Sea, and so on. I know countless Christians who will never have this honor...I don't take it for granted.

Wow...I could probably write for 2 more hours. But if you are still reading to this point, I am shocked and amazed at that! Thanks for reading the achings of my heart. I hope you venture into this issue with me as well. 

Pool Parties Tomorrow Night  

Posted by Jordan Jones in

Don't forget...Pool Parties tomorrow night at the Bytwerk's house (just east of Willoughby and Hagadorn). MS from 6-7:30 p.m. and HS from 7:39-9 p.m. 

This is a change from the original summer schedule. 

Don't forget...  

Posted by Jordan Jones in

Family Outdoor Movie Night (both middle and high school) is TOMORROW night from 9-11 p.m.

The movie is a surprise, but I promise it will be cool for all your family (and they are ALL invited!) It will be outside right next to the volleyball courts.