I work with the most dangerous demographic of people on the planet. No other group of people has more potential to shape, damage, improve, impact or create the future than teenagers. In light of the tremendous responsibility to lead and guide these individuals toward God I make decisions that may not make sense at first. When I speak I’m very transparent. It does a tenth grade boy no good for me to pretend that I don’t deal with the temptations and pitfalls he faces. He needs to know that just like him, I’m fighting for purity, self control, integrity and an intimate relationship with God.
My staff is young. Including me there are six of us on staff with Northwood Student Ministry. At thirty I’m the oldest. Last week I made a decision to take precautions based on statistics. During my brief time at Elevation Church one of the things that challenged me as a leader was their decision to protect their male staff. It’s believed that one out of every seven Pastors in the United States is addicted to pornography. At Elevation every computer has Covenant Eyes loaded before it is given to male staff members.
Last week I created a Covenant Eyes account for each member of my team including myself. I’m sure there are several companies out there but I’m very impressed with Covenant Eyes. This is not a filter program but simply an accountability system that sends your online activity to your selected accountability partners. I didn’t ask my team’s permission. I’m not interested in their thoughts on this subject. I care too much about them, their future or current spouses, and as much as I can effect it their walk with Christ.
There are things in life that we can pay the price financially, relationally or emotionally to deal with before a problem starts or escalates that if we fail to deal with will guarantee a much larger price tag in the end. Take the time to speak with your spouse, student, friend, coworker today about your sexual integrity. Our impact on the next generation is at stake.
After all the insanity of last week and the difficulty that awaits me this week at least I’m not this guy.
http://view.break.com/545222 – Watch more free videos
I’m back and feeling as though I’ve let you all down. Unfortunately I had no access to the internet while we were on our trip last weekend and even if I did, there would have been zero time to blog. At any rate, today I’m spending my day with my family. I think they still remember me. I have a couple days at home before I’m taking my staff away to a lake house for a couple of days to do some serious conversation about what the future holds for Northwood Student Ministry.
Here’s a little recap of our adventure to Florida. I’ve done a lot of student trips in my time but this was one for the books.
Thursday: 5am – Everyone is on time except for the bus and it’s driver. Bus arrives about ten minutes late.
Thursday: 1pm – Arrived safely in Florida however our four houses aren’t ready to be checked into. five hours later we move in but one of our homes is a bedroom short of what we booked leaving us to scramble for places for everyone to sleep. Bus driver complains about our schedule and that he’s staying in a hotel ten miles away (even though it’s the nicest hotel in the area).
Thursday: 8:30pm – At Boggy Creek Airboat rides with a check for more than our balance. Wait for 30 minutes while our swamp boy friends figure out how to handle it. End up having a fun time on the Florida swamp.
Friday: Spend the day at Islands of Adventure. Great time, no complications. Bus driver complains once again about our schedule and what time we are heading home the next day.
Friday: 10:30pm – The two ladies’ homes discover that while we were gone all day their homes were broken into and around $500 and six or seven iPods have been taken. Police are at the homes until 12:30am.
Saturday: Bus driver complains about cleanliness of the bus to a student prompting a frustrating conversation with him from me. Spend the day at Universal Studios. Almost no complications except for the Jaws Ride being so lame and having to go to guest services to retrieve two students who had gotten separated from our group.
Sunday: 12:15am – Arrive back in Charleston safely. Relieved that this trip is finally over.
All in all it wasn’t the worst trip I’ve ever been on but it was one of the most unique. The kids were safe and well behaved. We didn’t have to go to a hospital. I had a great time getting to know some students. I’m excited to see what we walk away with from our retreat this week. I’m quite sure we’ll never have a trip like this one again.
Big thanks to my staff and volunteers for all their hard work and flexibility making this trip happen. I’d also like to thank the Sheriff’s Deputies that patrolled our homes all night Friday. Let’s hope that’s the last time we have fingerprints taken on our trips.
I’m not sure if that’s the appropriate phrasing but I’m feeling guilty for my slow pace of blogs lately. I do however have good reason to have such lack luster performance on the world wide web lately; work has been busy. I’m very excited about what lies ahead but there is so much plan, cast vision, prepare for and then finally actually begin doing. Not to mention that tomorrow at 5am I’m leaving on my first trip with my new group of students and leaders. We’ll be in Orlando and if I can, I’ll blog with pics about our adventures. Hopefully I’ll capture some video as well. Anywho, sorry about the slack blogging and I’ll try to do better soon.
This is my life today. Trip in three days, environments to get ready, staff to lead, family to see, desk to clear. I’m sure I’ll pull through eventually.
Reunited and if feels so good.
Tonight I’ll be with some of our Student Ministry volunteers watching what looks to be THE movie of the summer. I’m so excited about seeing Heath Ledger in what people are saying is the most amazing performance of his career. Sad to see him gone.