Saturday, January 10, 2004

G-Man's Friday Questions

1. How's the weather? COLD COLD COLD! SERIOUSLY COLD LIKE -17 degrees COLD! But as long as it is not snowing, I am okay with that!

2. What book are you currently reading for enjoyment? A Bend In The Road By Nicholas Sparks

3. Any good youth ministry books you're reading? In between ministry books at the moment.

4. What do you see as the latest trend? In my church a return to the traditional and I am not so into that!

5. What are you doing different that might help other youthworkers? Not sure. Just trying to keep my head above water for now!

6. Do you cancel events, due to lack of attendance? Money? Weather? Lack of attendance --- Not usually. Money --- not cancel but I do stay away from some events because they are too costly. Weather --- our church has a policy that if our local school closes for weather our children and youth activities will cancel as well.

7. Is it harder to do youth ministry at an older age or a younger age?
Younger I think because you are not at a point where you have learned from your mistakes much.


A. How many nights a week (on average) are you gone out to do ministry? 2 Nights out twice a month. 1 Night out the other two weeks. Also, I have a guys small group that meets at my house every Tuesday night. I am not sure how that qualifies.

B. What are some goals in 2004 you have for your ministry? Love God and love people.
For yourself, personally? To continue to get more organized and to keep my office as clean as it has been the last three months!

You are NEMO!
What Finding Nemo Character are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

My beloved Rams have bit the dust. I am so angry at Mike Martz. I believe he should be fired immediately! It is very bad! The worst part is not so much that we lost this game but that I don't live in St. Louis and tomorrow I have to go to church and hear from EVERYBODY how poorly my team played. I think I am feeling a football related illness coming on!

I suppose in my heart of hearts I just really don't care. Football is not my life. But here (since the awful 2002 Superbowl) people do nothing but give me a hard time about liking my hometown. It can be very frustrating.

Also, this week we found out that we are definitely going to have to move out of our apartment by this summer. This is very hard for us as we have a great set-up that has been such a blessing to us from God. For one big reason that would take a lot of time to go into here, we must move. No hard feelings are part of this. We love the people we rent from and situations beyond all of our control have led to this decision.

That being said I am not sure that we want to stay in Maine if we cannot stay here. We have not been happy here pretty much ever. Living here has been the best part of being in Maine. I know that God has a plan and I am (for the most part) at peace about all this. I think God is getting ready to do something here. It is my desire that he will move us closer to home AND to a church that is purpose driven with a heart for authentic worship and evangelism. Maybe that is a lot to ask for but I believe it is not beyond his abilities. I am asking for prayers to assist us as we seek what our next step should be. I am reluctant to go the send out the resume route because we just got back from a very bad experience with that. However, if the right church came along, I would be perfectly willing to move toward seeking ministry elsewhere. SO I am praying that God will open a door there very soon.

Is moving from our apartment a good enough reason to experience this desire for change? Well I believe that God works in many different circumstances to draw us to His will. In the end I desire his will above all else for our lives. I am just praying that somehow God's will and our will can come together.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Youth Pastor Example Vital

My friend Mykel Pickens posted this to the YP Listserve and it really spoke to me. It is an article by Mark Riddle. My only question is, if I realize the truth to this article (and BOY do I) how do I make it better?

The Future of Youth Ministry

The future of youth ministry as we know it must have it's first change in the way the youth pastor lives.
It is easy for youth pastors to fall into the trap of their ministry being exclusively to youth, but this is not healthy for the youth pastor, or the students in which she serves.
Youth pastors want kids to develop friendships with people who don't follow Jesus, they want students to be in church every week, they want students to be in small groups and to have mentoring relationships with older adults and they want them to be submissive to the authorities in their lives.. namely their parents.

The problem is that most youth pastors are paid to go to church, they don't know anyone their own age who's not a christian, they don't like small groups they participate in, they lack a real mentoring relationship with an older adult and they struggle with submitting to the authority of their church.

For healthy ministry to happen to and with students in the future, youth pastors must begin in this place. It's easy for youth workers to point their fingers at churches and tell them where they are going wrong, where they lack community, or Godliness, or passion or whatever. It is far more difficult for them to do the hard work of the personal issues.

My new friend Mark DeVries in Nashville calls this "making peace with mama".

I call it coming to terms with the reality of the church and having the humility to see that you can't change it.

Character of the youth pastor is the beginning of a healthy youth ministry.

so .. Youth pastor
are you committed to placing yourself in environments where you develop relationships with people who are not following Jesus? People your age.

Are you committed to biblical community for yourself not just your students?
So you wouldn't attend this church if you weren't paid to go. Quit whining and create a community that does make sense that you can fit into. You are a follower of Jesus, you tell your kids that's what they should do... why won't you?

Are you committed to kids or programs? Are you willing to have programs if it means reaching kids? Are you willing to abandon programs if it means you will be more faithful?

Are you willing to take the hits that will come your way when you desire change? Will you have a humility to allow the church to be God's and not yours? Will you be ok if it doesn't go your way?

Summary of the above.
Be the church first, before you ask your students to be it. that what integrity is.