Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Building Momentum...

Momentum is a tricky thing... If you've got it going your direction, you're golden. But if for some reason, it's not rolling your way - watch out. I've been thinking a lot about momentum in relationship to student ministry lately. Our students are at a point in life where they're gathering momentum in one way or another. The trajectory of their lives is being influenced by the momentum they're gaining today.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Know God and Make Him Known

It was really cool this morning to see my 8 year old taking his Bible to school. He's not trying to make a statement or stake a claim to some 'right' he perceives himself to have. He just wants to read it. He's liking what he's reading.

Too many times, we in the church become so concerned with staking out our territory in the public sqaure that we lose focus on what's really important. We need to know God and make Him known.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Somebody Turn On The Lights!

It's Homecoming week here in Scottsbluff, so that means several things. Parade... Theme Days at school... The big football game... and the Homecoming Dance...

In light of that timing, I found an interesting article from Jonathan McKee, a youth ministry leader/speaker who was invited to chaperon a recent high school dance. If you're a parent of a high school student, you need to go read the article. This is not coming from someone who wants to make kids miserable or vilify them in their pubescent impropriety, but from a dad who has given his life to helping the next generation. He's worked with teens for years and was caught a little off guard by what he saw.

He asks, "How stupid are we?"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's a Good Parent?

I've been reading Reggie Joiner's Parenting Beyond Your Capacity and came across a description of some Biblical parenting models:

"Noah had a drinking problem. Abraham offered his wife to another man. Rebekah schemed with her son to deceive her husband, Isaac. Jacob's sons sold their brother into slavery. David had an affair, and his son started a rebellion. Eli lost total control of how his boys acted in church."

He also mentions Joseph & Mary's 3 day desertion of their son and Adam and Eve's raising one son who killed his own brother.

Not what you expected at the words 'Biblical parenting models'?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Renovating Reality (pt. 2)

In part 1, I wrote about not liking to work my butt off for only small changes - I'd rather pour myself out in an effort at wholesale renovation. I definitely lean to the wholesale change side of the chalkline.

I'm realizing how that can cause some tension with people who have to work on the same team with me. What if they like to put that last little bit of polish on a project? What if they really value the minor detail that I completely ignore? What if their comfort comes from the familiar piece of life that I'm suggesting we blow up to start fresh?

A recent examples come to mind:

Friday, October 08, 2010

Renovating Reality (pt. 1)

I spent much of yesterday afternoon on a ladder, painting window trim on our house. By painting, I actually mean priming, since we only got the primer done and still have the finishing coat of actual paint left to do. It was not the most pleasant way to spend an afternoon off, but it needed done. I really don't like painting trim, but I realized something about myself as I was perched on that step that says "do not sit or stand" here...

Besides having good enough balance to sit where it says don't sit (and not enough sense to follow the directions of the ladder makers), I realized that I don't like to put a whole lot of effort into incremental change.

Writing Better Stories

I'm stealing some statements from my friend Tory's blog. These are statements from a training video he's used in working on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.  Tory is working through an organization called 3:18 Ministries to bring hope where there is little hope.  These statements are the statements of a generation without hope. This is how so many of the young people in San Carlos view life:
  1. There is no future.
  2. I think I can't.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Why I Love Compassion

We Teach Children How to Dream (check out this post on Compassion's blog)

Poverty isn't just a lack of resources... it's a lack of hope. I love how this article looks into a few examples of what Compassion is doing to bring hope to the hopeless. LuAnn and I have sponsored kids through Compassion almost from the very beginning of our marriage, and this is why. I know there are a lot of other child sponsorship organizations that do a lot of good things, but we've never been disappointed in our first choice. Look into it.

Great Mentoring Picture...

The Mentoring Project - Elephant Musth Cycle from The Mentoring Project on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Fatherless Generation

One of the toughest issues I've dealt with in my years in youth ministry is the absence of fathers for so many of my students. I grew up with my mom and dad and big hairy case of being sheltered, so I remember being pretty floored within my first few months on staff at a great small town church, when I was confronted with the fact that so many of the students I was working with didn't know their dads. Unfortunately, what was foreign to me then has become a theme today. The particular struggles that are associated with growing up without Dad around have become all too familiar.

When I heard about The Mentoring Project several months ago, I was immediately excited about what they're doing.

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