Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Today was the See You At The Pole. I ended up showing up a little late. I was told the wrong start time. But that is ok, I was still able to be there and get to meet a few new people. I have to say, one of the joys of only having one high school represented in the youth ministry is not having to decide which event to go to. I only had one option this morning :)

I was a little surprised who was there and who wasn't there. Though I should not be because when I asked a couple students if they were going they didn't even know what I was talking about.

I did meet the teacher who lets the FCA use his classroom for meetings. And he invited me to join them each week before school for their meetings. I am actually looking forward to getting to go and interact on this level at the school.

"Be Still"
(or as I prefer, the NASB "Cease Striving")

Monday, September 25, 2006

Promise Keepers

This year's promise keepers was a lot different than last year. Last year when I went I knew I was going to be leaving my church, but hadn't told the congregation yet. We had just a handful of men on that trip and one of them was an elder. So it was an awkward trip to say the least. This year I am at a new ministry and a whole lot better environment for me.

I think, though, that this difference took away from what I took away. Last year I remember taking a lot of "nuggets of truth" from the messages. This year I didn't get as much, if much at all, from the messages. This year I was able to really build on some relationships and get to know some men better (and for the first time). So I am glad I went.

I just thought it was interesting the difference a year makes.

Monday, September 18, 2006

budget time

Around my church it is budget time again. I've not been here for an entire year and now I get to figure out how to budget for next year. I guess, if I am even thinking about doing something next year - so much to start, I better add it into the budget.

I don't like doing these :) :-P

Off to number crunching...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Do you ever feel like its enough?

The last few weeks have brought me some time to think. This last week has been especially open to thinking with my family gone. I think I am bugged by this nagging feeling that I'm not doing enough. I wonder if "my efforts" are going to make a difference. Will my ideas or leadership or encouragement or experience really make a difference in the life of these students? Maybe my wonderings has been brought on by seeing how some of my former students are doing spiritually.

A few have little to no interaction with the local church. Some are in leadership positions, but I am not sure they are living the way they are called to live. A couple have made one or two poor decisions and are now being "outed" by the local church leadership.

I understand that spiritual growth does not happen overnight. I understand students are learning who they are and what they believe. I understand these teenage years are extremely challenging. I understand I can't force them to do the right things. I understand all of this, but I still wonder.

Did I pray for them enough?
Did I challenge them enough?
Did I encourage them enough?
Did I support their family enough?
Did I show them I cared enough?
Did I really know them?
Did I teach them enough?
Did I give them enough opportunities to grow their faith?
Did I only entertain?
Did I ...

No wonder I've had a tough time being "there" when I have been around people lately. I have been putting the weight of people's eternity on my shoulders. I have tried to carry the burden all on my own.

Am I feeling defeated? Maybe :)

Have I wondered if I can be a good YM? Yes, at times. Will I continue to serve the local church in this capacity? You bet.

I know God is working. I know God can take hold of a teenager's life and form it to be like Him. I am aware that no one will be perfect. I try to remember that forward progress will/can include setbacks.

How do you handle times where you question your ministry?

Friday, September 15, 2006

family away

This week has been very different for me. My wife and boys went for the week to visit grandparents and others. Thus leaving me with the dogs. I thought I would use the time to go to a few more games and events than normal. But to no avail - all the vball games this week are away and the one baseball game got rained out. I was able to attend the JV football game and a soccer practice.

It is amazing to me just how quiet the house is without anyone else there. Not to mention the amount of boredom. I have really been working on being present for the boys and my wife when I am home that when they are not there I don't know what to do. I consider this a good thing. :)

Just thought I would post about how cool it is to be bored at home. It is encouraging to know that I enjoy spending time with my family that I don't like it when they are away.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

citywide event

Its been a long time without writing. Some reasons (got new computer at work, only dialup at work, too much stuff to do at work :), and time with family).

I wanted to write about my first "citywide" event. It was one of five 5th Quarters we have during the school year. Since I am the new YM (one of the only YM in the area, if not the only) in town, I was asked to speak at the first 5th Q. I said yes, of course. It was a lot different than I expected. I had been to a handful of other 5th Quarters, but never been in charge or spoke. In a town of 2,000 people - over 400 youth turned out! Let's just say I didn't expect to speak to that many young people (6-12 grade, plus a few college).

I got 10-15 minutes to speak (which was tougher than I thought to put it into that timeframe). The theme was "igniting the fire" so I got to speak on giving your life to Christ and was pumped about that. I wanted to talk about so much more, but narrowed it to the theme with hopes that the next speakers actually speak on their topics.

A few highlights (some might not be considered highlights, but just memorable)
1. Making over 400 young people sit on the parking lot while I talked to them (that's a way to make lots of friends)
2. Before I started one of the guys in the band (local band with teens I know) told me to use this one specific mic. He told me to trust him and it would be worth it. I know this guy good enough to not trust him. It turns out he wanted me to use the mic with the "alvin effect" on it. Thought it would be funny for me to have a high-pitched voice since most of the crowd had never seen me before. Well, after much "work" to get it working, I tried it out. You the response I got, about 6 people laughed. :)
3. I held the mic and that made using my hands a little difficult. It also made holding the notes with Scripture on them a little more difficult.
4. For the first few minutes I kept hearing the "alvin effect" in the speakers. It turns out the mic was still on and kept picking up my voice and coming through the speakers. It was pretty annoying for me.
5. It was dark.
6. At the end I said "I pray you ignite the fire and burn brightly" and then just walked off stage. I guess this caught a few people off guard. Everyone just sat there waiting for me to do something else. When they realized I was done, everyone at once stood up and went back to whatever they were previously doing. A few people commented on it afterward.
7. Got a few chances to hear people's thoughts on said message.
8. Had one of the senior girls (who had to leave 5th Q before I spoke) make sure she saw me and told me she was leaving, but she wanted to stay and hear me. Told me she was hoping I did well and thought I would. It was encouraging to have that support from someone I've only known for 3 months.

I was reminded that I still don't know about 99% of the youth in this area. :)

Friday, September 01, 2006


Tonight is the first home football game of the season. My family is planning on going to the game (hoping my 10 month and 2 year old enjoy it). I expect to see a lot of people I know and hopefully meet a bunch of new people (and remember who they are later).

Today, I went to the school during the first lunch period. For some reason I usually feel awkward going to a high school lunch. Today was no different. None of the youth knew I was coming and so the first question was "What are you doing here?" I still have not figured out if that was a bad or neutral question. It was really good to get to see them and hang out with them for a bit. I got to meet a few new students, hopefully I'll remember them next time. Since it is a small town here, it will be fairly easy to go to the school and visit.

Very little interaction with anyone else on staff today. So, its been very quiet. Just the way I don't like it.