Monday, April 30, 2007

Youth Rally: Trash & Consequences

Last night was our area wide Youth Rally. I have to say, it was the first time I've been in the position of hosting something like it. The theme was Trash & Consequences. I was a little nervous about this theme at first, but I had no reason to be nervous. It was a great message. I'm glad I didn't try to change it back when we were planning - that would have been a bad decision.

I honestly didn't know what to expect. I had been told that the last couple years were ok, nothing special. So I wanted to make sure, from the beginning, that this one was the best we could do - not just something to do. Well, all the youth coaches that pulled it together did better than good. It was phenomenal! I was shocked (is it okay for me to say that about something we hosted) at how well it flowed and how the students responded.

We were not sure what to expect with a turnout, but we had more than we were thinking. Even had enough food to feed everyone :). The "food staff" had some trash (not real trash, that would be sick)and trashbags on the tables for decoration. They also served the food out of new trash cans. It was fun and helped add some atmosphere.

The band did a great job, despite the hiccups we faced trying to set everything up. The drama was a homerun (we don't do enough drama around our church). Message was on target and emphasized the theme very well.

Overall, it was an encouraging night. I wouldn't want to do it every week, but I'm pumped to do it more than once a year. I got to talk with a few of the area youth workers and we're going to start working on getting some more area wide events going this year - exciting. I was told that a few people have called the church today to express their excitement about the event and to encourage us.

What I'm most excited about is the response from the students about the "trash" in their life. May they leave their trash with God and let Him clean them up. That's why we did it, life change.

Small Town Youth Ministry

I've been at my church for 10 months now. As the year has gone by I am learning more and more about ministering in a small town. There are some aspects of youth ministry that are very different and some that are pretty much standard across the board. Last year about this time, as we were visiting and waiting I started trying to figure out what would be different with a small town youth ministry. I think I've learned a lot over the last year about the "challenges" and "advantages" of ministering in a small, rural town.

Today I start a series of ongoing posts about small town Youth ministry. I'll be sharing from my experience (both good and bad) and sharing some observations. If you are ministering in a small town and have some advice, please let me know and I'll post it so other ministers can benefit from it.

Before I get going too far, I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on what is different in small town vs. big town youth ministry.

For example, Have you ever had a student ride his ATV to youth group? I have.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Simpsons: 24 Minutes

Promo shot from the season finale of the Simpsons. It will air May 20 (2nd of 2 new episodes that night). Thought the promo shot was cool (obviously its a take on 24)

Hoping for something good to finish up the season before the movie this summer. Maybe they'll do a X-Files type movie where it goes with the storyline of the season (oh wait, they don't have a storyline).

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Office: Jim/Dwight

Has got to be the funniest bookends of the series. Someone was nice enough to put it on YouTube, so here it is for you enjoyment.

Lessons from The Office: Product Recall

WOW. So that's what Creed does - he's quality control. With Creed doing QC, I'm suprised this is the first mishap they've written into the show.

Lessons learned:
1. Never, ever hire a homeless guy (Creed) to be your quality control.
2. Never donate cash to a card being circulated by Creed.
3. People will not always respond favorably to an apology, even if you throw in a novelty check.
4. Some people have a hard time saying "I'm sorry" without adding to it.
5. Identity Theft is serious. It's not funny to pretend to be someone else. No, I'm wrong - it is funny.
6. Never date someone working part-time at a frozen yogurt place.
7. Constructive criticism is hard to give to some people.
8. Am I allowed to take out an ad in your yearbook?

ps. I wish the episode had less of the language in it.

Photo Friday #16

Bocce Ball with friends. What a sport.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pinnacle: Studio MovieBox

I'm looking at getting some hardware to be able to import video from DVD, etc. I'm looking at the MovieBox from Pinnacle. They have MovieBox Plus (I think) which comes with a microphone and green screen for $50 more. Is it worth, for those who have used it, the extra $50 to get some extra stuff?

What experience do you have with it? Please let me know what has worked or not worked to do this sort of video stuff.

The quality of my videos will appreciate it.

YM lessons from Duct Tape

Who hasn't used duct tape in youth ministry before? (can you really pass up taping a kid to the wall?)

Guy Kawasaki has posted a top ten list by John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide

You can find the post on the essense of duct tape marketing here. I think some of these tips can be applied to youth ministry. We are not selling anything (unless you count those bake sales), but we need to be purposeful about our "marketing." I think we market whether we want to or not.

Here are a few of the 10 tips (with my thoughts) youth ministries can learn from:

1. Narrow the market focus. Create a picture of who you are trying to reach: what they look like, how they think, what they value, and where you can find them.

2. Differentiate. Strip everything you know about your ministry down to the simplest core idea. Make sure this core idea seperates your ministry from the world.

3. Think about strategy first. Take everything you’ve done in steps one and two and create a strategy to own a word or two in the mind of your ideal client and prospect.

4. Create information that educates. You are in the life-changing business, so think of your marketing materials, web sites, white papers as information products. Don't confuse students, be clear.

5. Measure everything that matters. Certain things always matter. The secret sauce is in finding and measuring the intangibles – those things done out of the limelight that add up to changed lives.

6. Commit. Resist the temptation of the youth ministry trend of the week. Know what your goal is and stick with it. Be diligent in focusing on ministry aspects that help you reach that goal - and stand firm.

The Bible = Get Out of Jail "Free" Card

A judge in Ohio freed a man after he quoted Ps. 23. Really, he did. Read it here. Or here it is in its entirity:

Ohio Judge Frees Man After Bible Quiz

CINCINNATI (AP) - A man arrested on Wednesday for allegedly trying to use a stolen credit card at a drugstore got a break from a judge after passing a sort of Bible quiz.

When Eric Hine appeared in court this morning, his attorney described him as a church-goer, hoping the judge would set a low bond.

Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge John Burlew was skeptical and asked Hine to recite the 23rd Psalm.

He did: all six verses. Some in the courtroom applauded.

Burlew was satisfied and released Hine on a $10,0000 appearance bond, meaning he'll have to pay that amount if he doesn't show up for his next court date.

Notice its in Cincy, too. CCU is having an impact. :)

The Office: Product Recall

Tonight's episode should be good. Jim and Drew out in the field working together, it should be good. Michael holds a press conference - classic.

Can't wait. Only 11 more hours :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

to quote someone else: Terry Briley (on forgiveness)

"The very awareness of sin, however, opens the door for forgiveness."

taken from The College Press NIV Commentary: Isaiah vol. 1 by Terry Briley

This is in context of Isa. 6, where Isaiah sees a vision of God and responds by saying he is ruined, a man of unclean lips. There is no hope for him, but this awareness of sin paves way to forgiveness he will receive.

I believe this statement says volumes for our ministries. It is when people acknowledge their sin, then the hope of salvation is able to come in to their lives. Without acknowledgement of sin, people do not want to hear (b/c they don't need it) about salvation through Jesus Christ.


I don't know if you have seen the article or not. Either way here is a link to it. Abstinence students still having sex It comes out of a study ordered by the gov't to see the "effectiveness" of abstinence programs. Its an interesting read.

One that caught my eye was this one:

Officials said one lesson they learned from the study is that the abstinence message should be reinforced in subsequent years to truly affect behavior.

So, I guess that means we should be teaching on sex & purity more than once every 4 years. :) I think they should try the once a month teaching method.

What have you seen in your ministries? Is the ratio of teens involved in sexual relationships affected by your teaching on the subject?

Trivia Wednesday #14

answer #13 - Clue

question #14 - Which "bear" is not in the bear family?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My boys are growing up

Recently I've been reminded in multiple ways that my boys are growing up.

5 signs my boys are growing up:
1. Wes is starting to say a lot more words (isn't "cookie" enough)
2. Wes moved up to a "big boy" bed
3. Nathan went to a birthday party WITHOUT us
4. Nathan turned 3 this week
5. They are really starting to play well together (which may not seem like much unless you have kids and remember that time the older child started actually playing with the younger one)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

cell phone bed

Cell Phone Bed

Lovely Monkey MP3/Cell Phone Soft Boa Bed in Purple Combo

How many times have I dreamed about a bed for my cell phone to sleep in at night?

This might work if you are looking for a gift for some middle school girls, or boys (if you don't like them).

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Parent(less) Meeting

If you have a parent meeting and no parent shows up, can you still put it on your elder report?

I'm supposed to be in a parent meeting right now, but no one showed up. Man, is this frustrating.

But I get to go home early and hang out with my family. So, its not all bad. :)

Today is Nathan's birthday party! He turns 3 on Monday.

Friday, April 20, 2007


My church is now officially on board. There is not much up about our church yet, but we are a part of ArkAlmighty.

Ark ALMIGHTY is a good deeds program that matches up the needs in your congregation with the talents and skills of the members of your church. Gathering the needs of your attendees, these requests are compiled on a Craigslist–type website administered by your church. Then, the members of your church can easily search through the needs and find ways they can help.

This is a campaign connected with the upcoming movie EvanAlmighty, starring Steve Carell (from NBC's The Office).

Our youth ministry will play a huge part in our efforts, but it will be much more than a "youth" event/program. I'm hoping this will encourage more interaction between the generations and spur people to start doing more. I'm really excited about the kinds of things that will be done across the country on behalf of this "campaign." Not to mention, the impact it will have in this community.

I'll post more in the next few days.

Photo Friday: Flashback

I've been trying to clean up some of our old pictures on iphoto lately. And yesterday, I came across this awesome picture. Here's the brief story. We were at a '05 Jr. High Believe, in Atl, eating lunch at the mall. Some of the "on stage" people were also eating lunch at the mall. One of the girls in my group wanted to go over and get Daren Streblow's autograph. Since she was already going over, I asked her to take the rest of my pizza and have him sign the bottom of it. And he did!

No, I don't have the pizza anymore - if I did you would be finding it on eBay.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Top 10 students in the country

After years of research and anticipation. Here is it! The list of the top 10 students in the country. Yes, this is a legitimate list that can be used to measure your students by.

How did I put this list together? First, I selected the best youth groups in the country. Second, I found the top student in each group. Third, I ranked those top students in order. Finally, if a student is #11 or below they did not make my top 10 list.

Each student will be listed by first name (which may or may not be their real name). I will also list one brief statement about why each student made the list.

top 10 students in the country:
1. Mike - has been to every youth event since birth, including the "clean the toilets overnighter."
2. Melissa - has Ps. 119 memorized in Hebrew.
3. Shea - always laughs at youth minister's jokes.
4. Timmy - never speaks out of turn.
5. Amber - reads her Bible each morning and evening.
6. Roberto - has led prayer before class three years straight.
7. Raul - writes youth minister's newsletter articles, so the youth minister can have more time for relationships.
8. Jessica - kissed dating goodbye.
9. Dwight - best assistant to the youth minister.
10. Ralph - has a heart for the underdog. "Go banana"

I hope one of your students made the list.

Jesus' Tomb - it may not be that Jesus

I haven't heard a lot of buzz about this lately. Seems the great debate has evaded the southern part of IL, at least after the first few days. Haven't thought about it much lately, but I ran across some interesting news the other day. Apparently some of the scholars are starting to "rethink" their positions.

I found this post over at Seldom Wrong, Never in Doubt.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

top 20 youth ministers? really?

A month or so back, I ran across a list of the top 20 youth ministers. I was a little shocked and saddened that someone would attempt to put together a list of the "top 20" youth ministers in the country. I mean, really, who can decide which youth minister is able to be crowned best. Then, as I was looking over the list I realized all of them were from "big/megachurches" and thus what is being said is that only megachurch ministers can be the most effective.

I was a little offended by the list and was going to post about it. But, for some reason, I never did. Then today I ran across a post by Kurt Johnston (#1 on the list, by the way) concerning this list. He answers some of my questions and validates some of my assumptions about this list.

I feel better after reading what Kurt himself said about the "award."


Apparently, there are a lot more "religious" websites out there that use a popular website as their basis. Here is a link to the story from USA Today.

I thought the last line was interesting...

Other faiths, too, can be expected to soon embrace Web 2.0 forms. And it's rather refreshing to see something online that isn't all about "you."

I found out what the Hokey Pokey is all about

Today, while participating in the Jr. High Christian Club, I was able to learn about the hokey pokey is all about. How? I discovered through what was called the "Christian" hokey pokey. Its the same as the hokey pokey, except for the "that's what its all about" part. That is replaced with "we're happy we're Heavenbound."

So that is what the hokey pokey is all about - being Heavenbound. Next time someone asks to sing the hokey pokey, make sure you let them know what its all about.

(that has to be the most # of times I've written hokey pokey, ever)

Trivia Wednesday #13

answer #12 - Rubber

question #13 - Which board game was made into a movie?
(sorry, no clues this week)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Gotta love jr. highers

Last night, during youth meetings, we played a game called "Act it Out Tag." The basic premise is that everyone gets a piece of paper with a scenario on it (ie. You are Batman talking to a therapist about your day). Two people are on "stage" acting out one of the scenarios. Only the person with the scenario actually knows what is going on at the beginning, the other person has to try to catch on. They act out the scene for a bit and then someone in the audience yells "freeze" and takes one of the actors places. Then that person starts to act out their scenario.

Well, last night, one of the cards said "You are a mime performing on the street."

So this is how this jr. higher started the scene. (And keep in mind mimes are not supposed to talk.)

"I'm a mime acting. I'm a mime."

No actions, just talking. :) It was hilarious. Gotta love jr. highers, you never know what you are going to get. I almost forgot this detail, this student volunteered to go first.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Good Idea, Bad Idea: DVD Usage

Good Idea: Using clips from shows or movies to help illustrate a point. Previewing the clip to check for any inappropriate content. Setting the clip before class, thus avoiding showing the inappropriate content during class.

Bad Idea: Using a DVD player, without knowing that it shuts off after a certain amount of time and when turned back on will actually go back a few seconds on the DVD. Also TV's do not stay on "mute" if you turn them off and on again. All of which results in some of the class hearing Homer use a bad word.

Lessons from The Office: Safety Training

Another great episode last night.

What I didn't like:
1. Andy...I mean Drew... saying he was in anger management for 5 weeks (last week he said he did it right on time, which would have been 10 weeks).
2. The interaction b/w Kelly & Sea Monster just seemed weird.

What I loved:
1. The b-storyline was the best one I can remember. (the potato instead of apple, the explanation of netflix). I DO NOT PROMOTE OR THINK GAMBLING IS OK!
2. Shun, un-shun
3. Toby's safety training.

So what did we learn?
1. Never leave a car engine in a bailer or you won't get it back.
2. Even safety training can be turned into a game.
3. Always, I mean always, have a sweater or cardigan near you in case of a draft. (long sleeve shirts and jackets are also acceptable)
4. It can be difficult for people to accept a change in a person. (Not sure if changing your name helps or not)
5. It is never ok to pretend you're going to jump. Especially if your intention is to get people to respect you more.

Photo Friday #14

(wow, almost had post #13 on Friday the 13th)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Office: Safety Training

Tonight: Safety Training

After last's weeks episode (back to The Office standards), I am extremely excited about tonight's episode. We'll just have to see if Andy adds to the flow or causes a bump in the show tonight. I've actually gotten used to him not being on the show. Though the pepper spray to the face at the end of last week was great!

Only a few more episodes left before the season finale. Will this season end with a Karen/Jim cliffhanger? Will Toby and Michael get along?

All I know is that I'm looking forward to a good laugh tonight.

Youth Coach Event Tips

What do you say to your youth coaches before an event? Will I remember to say everything to everyone? Did he hear me remind them to not label the students? I have always struggled with making sure each adult is ready to go for an event. So I tried to come up with 10 things I wanted them to remember. Then I wrote them down and hand them out before each trip/event. This way they can have a reminder throughout the event of what they need to be focusing on. I've also included a "post-event" section to give them some ideas of how to continue reaching the students after we get back home.

Youth Coach Event Tips
1. Pray for the entire event.
2. Remember the age and developmental stage of the students. (They aren't adults)
3. Take a deep breath.
4. Pray for individual students.
5. Take time to listen and talk to multiple students throughout the event.
6. Encourage, encourage, encourage.
7. Be a positive part of their event.
8. Forget any preconceived beliefs/opinion about the students at the door.
9. Trust that God is working in their lives.
10. Affirm who they are in Christ and remind them of God’s love for them (doesn’t have to be those exact words).

Post-Event Ideas
1. Follow-up the event with a note or call. Mention something positive you saw them do or a conversation you had with them.
2. Continue to pray specifically for them.
3. Share your event pictures with them.
4. Help them follow-up, as needed, on any decisions they made.
5. Share with parents something positive you saw in their child.

turkey calling

A few nights ago I went turkey calling. It was my first time. So, why do you go turkey calling? So you can go hunting the next morning, of course. We were staking out a place for him and his dad to go hunting the next morning (at 4am). He originally asked me to go hunting with him, but it turned into just the calling. Phew!

Allow me to take you through the evening:

6:30pm - go with student to his house
6:45pm - tour of room (including lesson on shotguns)
7:00pm - drive out to turkey calling spot to listen
7:40pm - finally hear turkey
7:43pm - confident we heard it, leave for home
8:15pm - back at my house

It literally took 3 minutes to actually do the turkey calling. So, what did we do with the rest of the time? Talk. I got to listen about his life, hobbies, friends. It was great. That hour of waiting and driving were a great chance to build on the relationship I have with him.

Would I want to start turkey hunting? No. But will I continue to go with students around here (a lot of hunting goes on around here)? You bet I will. If that is what they like to do and are willing to let me tag along, I'll take the time to build relationships and get to know them better.

Some of the most effective ministry I will do is out in a field, listening to turkeys. It is not always going to happen in the classroom on Sunday. Ministry is about living life together. Listen to how Paul puts it:

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well." 1 Thes. 2.8

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Twitter - over a week of collecting virtual dust

It has been over a week since I got myself a Twitter account and starting randomly typing about what I was doing. Has anyone noticed the Badge on the side of the blog? Have you been following my every move? :)

I'm curious as to whether or not Twitter is getting noticed. If you would be so kind as to comment about your thoughts/comments on the whole issue. I would appreciate it.

ps. I've been toying with the idea of putting random quotes, thoughts or verses on Twitter.

Youth Ministry Thought: the students in the back

Do you have "those students" in your group? The students who show up every week but no one talks to them. What are the words we use to categorize them? Quiet. Unpopular. Awkward to be around. Bitter. Sarcastic. Are there days you avoid them because you don’t want to use the energy needed to carry a conversation? Are you the only one who might talk to them on a given day?

"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favortism." James 2.1 (NIV)

In youth ministry it can become easy to focus our attention (and inadvertently train other adults) on the “easy to minister students.” Youth ministry can be stressful and frustrating, so we want to make our time with the students fun and easy. This is the time where real ministry happens, right? It is natural to, without thinking, spend most of our time with certain students.

Naturally we all gravitate to people who have a similar personality to ours. We have friends who are a lot like us. Many youth workers carry this into the youth ministry realm. Is it wrong? No. We can spin a lot of ministry tires trying to connect with a student who just will not ever connect with us.

It is wrong, though, to neglect the students in the back. These students might be neglected everywhere they go. They might not connect with others at school, at work, or even at home. The one place they need to be able to connect with someone is in the Church. (Church as a body of believers, not a building) These are the moments where are actions can be much more effective than our words.

Make an effort to connect with that student in the back. God wants them to know He loves them.

Trivia Wednesday #12

answer #11 - Chevy Chase

quetsion #12 - Which important material is both man-made and natural?

Monday, April 09, 2007

5 things I wish I could magically remove from youth ministry

I wish I could magically remove...

1. the thoughts of "I'm better than anyone else" in teenagers.
2. bad language from media that is used at church. (ie. TV clips)
3. room limitations.
4. parents who do not care. And replace them with parents who do.
5. people who are more concerned with tradition than Jesus Christ.

Yeah, #2 can be taken care of with video editing. But not all of us have a good video editing set-up. And some times the DVD player doesn't start right at the same spot you paused it after it shuts off.

The others are issues that can be addressed and dealt with. My wish is to be able to magically snap my fingers and its done. An easy, simple fix. Yeah, that's what I want today. But tomorrow I'll remember tha quick fixes are never really fixes at all and will opt for the time-consuming slower "fix."

"Thank God You're Here"

Tonight is the premier of a new show on NBC. Its an improv comedy show where celebrities guest star. It looks to be a funny show. But there is one thing. At the beginning of every skit (and the title of the show) one of the actors says: "Thank God you're here."

My wife brought up some discussion about whether or not this should be considered cussing or saying God's name in vain. I'm curious as to what you (whoever might read this post) think.

Does that phrase cause you concern?

Kids Carnival

Saturday we went to a kids carnival. Despite the cold, it was a good afternoon. We got to talk and see some people. We listened to some good local music. The boys got to play in a bounce house and eat lots of candy :). Wes got to ride on a little train ride and Nathan walked with me next to it. Nathan got hit (somehow) while in the bounce house and was bleeding pretty bad. But after we got him cleaned up he wanted to go back in. That's big.

It was a good day spent with the family. Oh, and Nathan got to pick up his pass for the pool for the summer - he is a little excited.

Friday, April 06, 2007

new business cards - with printing

Today I got them. Business cards with actual printing on them. Last week I posted about getting my business cards with nothing on them. So now I have 500 cards, 1/2 useful and 1/2 bookmarks. Thanks vistaprint. Now, I just have to find people who want a card with my info on it. :)

Photo Friday #13

Easter Egg fun with the boys. Silly squirrel wouldn't let go.

Family Week has ended

A little bit ago my family headed back home. Thus bringing an end to family week. It was a good week.

No more sleeping on the floor.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

to quote someone else: Erwin McManus

“Authority can shape what a person does, but influence shapes who a person becomes.”

Taken from Seizing Your Divine Moment by Erwin McManus

I’ve been wrestling with this concept a lot lately. In my ministry, are the students just doing what they are told or are they becoming who God wants them to be? I think it is easy to get caught up in “behavioral modification” in youth ministry. Who doesn’t want their students to “look good” and act right? As we’ve been planning an upcoming youth rally, I’m struck by the desire for getting the students to act better. I have nothing wrong with wanting a student to stop bad habits or sinful behaviors. My struggle is with how we go about it. I am struck with how much some of the parents just want to “change” their kids on the outside. I've been seeing this for years, no matter where I am in ministry.

My struggle lately has been with trying to figure out how to help parents affect their children from the inside-out, not the outside-in. Because of my authority or the authority of a parent or a teacher, we can get a student to do a certain task. But that does not change who they are. Once the authority is gone, the outcome will be different.

I encourage you to focus on the influence, not the authority. Helping students become who God wants them to be is not about forcing them to do the right things by authority. No, its about being an influencer in their lives, showing them the truth of God's Word and God's character by living life with them.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

youth room, working with what we have

This past week I finally took the time to clean out our high school classroom (way overdue). A few things about the room. It is too small for our class. We have no other options to move to another class. We are in the process of a building expansion, which will give us a new classroom (but that is months away). The room was never intended to be a classroom, it is the "choir" room behind the stage in the sanctuary. The first door on the right goes outside (pic 1). The far door on the left goes to the children's minister's office (pic 2). The other door on that wall goes to the underneath of the baptismal (pic 2 & 3).

Sunday, just about every student mentioned the room was clean or moved or different. It seemed to help with the feel of class. Though not having enough space still hampers that feel (and much growth). We don't have any more room to put seats up. I've been trying to figure some idea out. What to do until we move rooms is a big issue for the class. The location and size do not lend themselves to doing much besides discussion oriented classes. When its warm outside we can go outside in the grass or walk around to another part of the building (but you can't do that every week).

It's been tough to teach in the room without using the same format each week. I've tried a few times to do something different; like break up into groups or have some "active" participation. But these attempts are not always good due to the room restrictions.

Any good ideas/thoughts on how to better use our room? We've been having 20-25 HS teens in there ever week on average.

Jesus Camp - thoughts

Wow. I had heard a lot about the movie, but I was not ready for what I saw. I have never been a big fan of causing people to make emotional decisions about their life with Christ. Yes, I know part of faith is emotional and you cannot have a completely emotionless-based faith. I have seen too many teenagers make emotional decisions and never stick with them long-term. So watching this movie brought up a great amount of thoughts and feelings about the whole subject when it comes to working with children (younger than the age group I am currently working with).

There are so many moments in Jesus Camp where I wanted to step into the scene and just stop what was going on. Some were purely personal preferences, like when the campers were not allowed to tell stories before going to bed. (Though I do not know what time it was or the context of the situation since all I saw was what the filmmakers wanted me to see.) Other moments were theological in differences, like the scene where all the kids are speaking in tongues and falling on the ground.

It was amazing to watch the kids consumed by the experience. To see the level of commitment and desire the kids had for God was akin to the level of commitment and desire I’ve seen kids have for sports or video games. My biggest question has to do with what will these kids be like in 10 or 20 years. Will they have the same zeal? Will they be leading others to know God? Will they walk away from God?

The part of Jesus Camp that really got me thinking was listening to the commentary. Listening to the commentary was challenging. It was challenging because the directors spoke about the experience they had making the film. The commentary reinforced that people who are not believers will see this movie and assume all Christians are like this. The people are real, nothing was staged and still I find it hard to imagine this camp occurring each summer.

(sidenote: the directors’ commentary confirmed what I thought about Ted Haggard’s clips in the movie. He came across as arrogant and slightly annoying and apparently that is the feeling they got from the experience too. His sermons were the only part of Jesus Camp, besides the interviews, where the people talked to the cameras. He just couldn’t seem to act like the camera was not there while he was preaching.)

My advice - watch it & watch the commentary!

Family Week Transition

Today is the transition day. Amy's family leaves this morning and my family should be getting here by lunch. :)

Trivia Wednesday #11

answer #10 - B (Judges 16.7)

question #11 - Which Saturday Night Live star was in the film Fletch?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Third Day - Chronology: volume one

Just picked it up today. Listened to most of the tracks (its been a busy day with family here, so not a lot of time to listen). But I did watch a good bit of the videos. Awesome. Gotta love the vintage footage from mid-90's.

My first thought is: a good buy. Yeah, its a "best of" album. They've rerecorded a few of the songs and pulled out some rare tracks from some old ep's. Which we already have (since I've been a fan from the beginning). I would say its worth the money to pick it up. Can't wait to listen more tomorrow. :)

Monday, April 02, 2007

5 things I learned at the YM Summit

I know I already posted a recap, but that ended up being pretty general. And I was looking over my notes and I didn't post on any of the great stuff I learned. So here it is, the "what I learned post"

5 things I learned at the YM Summit
1. Our mndis are cazry tihgns. Rcaehersrres at Crmbdigae did a sudty on wrods and ltertes (how pploee raed) and fuond smoe iretnietsng suftf out. We olny need the fsirt and lsat lteter in a wrod to be in the rgiht sopt to raed and usadetnrnd taht wrod. If the rset of the ltteres are meixd up, our biarn wlil sltil cpheormned the wrod. (now tihnk of the acpiaptolin to msitriny wehn Jseuss syas He is the Aphla & Ogmea)

2. Longevity in youth ministry (or ministry in general) does not mean you always have a great place to minister. Longevity is dependant on "You" and how you respond to various ministry situations; good and bad. God calls us to be faithful to Him, not a specific ministry location. (I was reminded that other youth ministers are currently going through what I went through last year. See numerous posts about what happened.)

3. From Les Christie's chapel sermon (on Daniel 1): There is a big difference between drawing a line on personal preferences vs. drawing a line on God's precepts. (Too often we do the former in our ministries and this usually leads to a mess)

4. Also from Les Christie's chapel sermon: "You can't experience the power of God if you don't put yourself in situations where you need it."

5. It is easy to get kids fired up for God, the hard part is to keep the flame burning. (man, that is so true. I think ministers have a tendency to spend most of our time getting the fire started and spend very little time on keeping that fire going. It is just easier, isn't it?)

(here is #1 posted again, spelled correctly)
1. Our minds are crazy things. Researchers at Cambridge did a study on words and letters (how people read) and found some interesting stuff out. We only need the first and last letter in a word to be in the right spot to read and understand that word. If the rest of the letters are mixed up, our brain will still comprehend the word. (now think of the application to ministry when Jesus says He is the Alpha & Omega)