One of our phenomenal volunteers and future staff wife Allison took some pictures at The Element last week. This was the final week of our REBELLION series. Enjoy.
Today is apparently my "That's just not right" day on the blog. The video I posted earlier has created quite the reaction from some of you. Well, I came across the picture below and and video from the last post on a blog called Boing Boing. Most days I don't read every post they put out but today has been a gold mine. I understand the sentiment behind what the Christians photographed below were doing but man, have some common sense. YOU'RE PRAYING OVER A GIANT IDOL!!! It's people like this that lower the intellegence average for Christians at large.
This is disturbing or awesome or something else all together. I can’t decide. What are your thoughts?
Right now I'm…
Jeremiah in the Bible, Tribes by Seth Godin
listening too: Closer To the Start from Fellowship Church, Lecrae, We Are Alive from Elevation Church, Across the Universe soundtrack, Orthodoxy by Eddie Kirkland, Phil Whickam, Nichole Nordeman, Viva la Vida by Coldplay
watching: Heroes, Notre Dame football, The Office, Saturday Nigh Live, Dirty Sexy Money, Seinfeld reruns, NFL football, did I already mention Notre Dame football?
doing life with: Anita (wife), Savannah Grace and Rylee (daughters), 11th grade guys @ Northwood Church, NSM staff
surfing: typepad, sitemeter, facebook, google reader, steep and cheap.com, project playlist, youtube
looking forward to: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, St. Patrick's Day, My birthday, 10th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!!
Tonight as we gathered to pray before The Avenue, one of my high school students prayed and pointed out what many would consider a coincidence. She remarked at the fact that in Shift (she's a small group apprentice for our Middle School Ministry) and in our main service we taught on fear. There isn't any coordination between what we teach on main service and what we teach in student ministry on a regular basis. So you could say it is in fact a coincidence. But as Andy Stanley puts it, "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."
Little did I realize just how much I needed to hear that God is trying to get our attention. Tonight I felt a feeling I hadn't felt in a while. The way I explained it to our leaders is that I just felt disturbed or stirred up. I had a couple of conversations after The Avenue that helped me realize that I'm in the middle of some spiritual warfare. It's been a while since I've felt it this heavy. I believe the enemy is extremely mad that our church is advancing the kingdom. He's even more irritated at what we've been able to accomplish in the past few months at NSM.
So my response, as hard as it will be for me, is to trust in the promise I've received. I won't give the enemy a foothold. I'll press into God's Word. I will "make every effort to keep the spirity of unity." I will stand strong knowing that I do not have to be afraid. I thank God for the encouraging people God has placed in my life. I praise Him for the amazing team of staff and volunteers He has brought together. I'm eager to see the great things He will accomplish as we move forward because we will be bold and He will be faithful!
I had the opportunity to speak to the Introduction to Youth Ministry class at Charleston Southern University. I graduated in 2000 with my Youth Ministry degree and have learned quite a lot (mostly by trial and error or from mistakes) about ministry. I decided the most important thing I could say to a group like this was clear. Here is my outline:
I. The Easy Stuff
– Programming: The nuts and bolts of what you do.
* Production – The connection to your audience.
– Creative Elements
– Large Group Teaching
– Large Group Worship
– Technical and Media aspects
* Groups – The community that your audience needs.
– Small Group is where life change happens.
– You must have the right people on board.
– If you do this well, everything else will work out.
II. The Hard Stuff
– Parents: The determining factor in consistent participation from students.
– You must communicate better than you do anything else with parents.
– The can be you most valuable asset.
– Parental trust determines student participation.
III. The Painful Stuff
– Pastors: The difference maker in the commitment your church has in your ministry.
– According to 1 Peter 2, our first responsibility is submission.
– There is nothing like working for a leader that trusts and believes in you.
– God always works through authority and never blesses rebellion. (Thanks Andy!)
Obviously that's not all there is to ministry but it was what I felt like I wish someone had taught me in the beginning. Well, odds are someone tried but I didn't listen. Here's hoping these students learn it quicker and less painfully than I did.
I have a bad habit of technorati-ing myself. It's really Steven Furtick's fault. I had never heard of Technorati before he wrote a post swearing off technorati. Crap, I just did it to you didn't I? Anyway, today I looked myself up and found this. What kind of a demented world is it when I'm being quoted as a reference of Pastors. I guess I'll have to get used to it. It's a little weird, but kind of cool.