Friday, September 29, 2006

How kids learn

I came across this article on CNN awhile back and it was a good reminder that kids have a primary way that they learn. It’s nothing new to all of us, but it’s been a good reminder the past couple of weeks as I’ve been spending time with my kids and with high school students. The author suggests at least three ways:

Learning by listening, seeing and with your body!

If you’re a parent, what is your kid's primary learning style? In addition, I’ve been thinking about my teaching times on Sundays and making, listening, seeing and body movement more a part of the time to hit each student’s primary way of learning. Out of these three styles I need more movement!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another Shooting

It was almost surreal to surreal to see high school students again on the front page of the paper crying because of a shooting in their school. Today a family woke up with a child either in the presence of God forever or separated from His presence forever. It's a hard day just west of us in the mountains.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thoughts on losing your dad

Earlier this month two of our high school leaders remembered the death of their father four years ago. I'll always remember the day because it's Julie's birthday too. Dave and Jen both have blogs to the right.

Jen posted some great thoughts HERE as she remembers her dad and I thought they were your time. Thanks Jen for sharing your heart with us.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Broncos - Week 3

After a rousing day at Six Flags we got home just in time to watch the Broncos play the Patriots. A few thoughts today about the game. Shanahan did a great job establishing Tatum Bell as the "go to guy" in the backfield. David Kircus is the new Eddie Mac! We must get the ball to Javon Walker. Rod Smith returning punts in the fourth quarter...will somebody please step up? Jason Elam has to be done after this season - the Broncos don't give him a chance to kick a 51 yard field goal? I remember when Jason was automatic from 50-55 yards! We can improve our game even more by getting the tight ends more involved in the passing game. Our defense is awesome! And finally, seeing Patrick Chukwurah puke and then rush the passer was EPIC!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Coaching Dream Teams

Today we spent time with Bill Easum. His message title was "Going from Good to Great Teams." There was a lot of good stuff. We had some good interaction with the youth pastors and the other reps from our Rocky Mountain District. Here are some highlights:

1. Dream teams have permission giving attitudes: in the essentials they have unity i.e. Mission, Vision, Values and Beliefs; in the non-essentials, they have freedom i.e. productivity. But in all things they have love i.e. trust, collaboration and networking.

2. Dream teams are servant empowered. They are more focused on developing leaders than on an actual productivity. They value leadership development above all else. The primary goal of coaches of Dream Teams is the raising up of future leaders, not achieving, not achieving some particular goal. Failure to understand this one point is one of the main reasons Dream Teams are seldom found in any organization.

3. The servant empowered organization is not focused on accomplishing projects, but growing leaders who can accomplish projects. Time invested in growing and equipping leaders is always valuable. Even if there is a temporary reduction in productivity, it is better to invest in leadership development for the long term success of the organization.

A lot of us resonated with #3.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Youth ministry is youth ministry

It's been great today to hear the ministry and personal stories of the different guys around the country. As I've talked to them I've realized that youth ministry is youth ministry no matter where you go! We all teach the Bible. We all have small groups. We all train volunteers. We all have to work with our senior pastors. We all have websites. We all do mission trips. We all disciple. We all want to grow into better leaders. We all want to serve our districts. We all want healthy youth pastors who are leading healthy youth ministries in our districts. We all do retreats. We all are married.

What I am finding is that most of these guys who are part of the National Council have been at their churches at least five years! I am excited to hang out for two more days!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I am in Minnesota until Friday night for our leadership summit for the EFCA. I'll be posting what I am learning! These people are fired up about the Vikings! I got to spend about 30 minutes with "holy most reverend" I call him!

I am looking forward to this time! I miss my family!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Broncos - Week 2

It wasn't pretty, but were not 0-2 this morning! We had a great time at the game with the people we went with! The game was...shall we say, "Uneventful!" This picture was taken just before we sang the national anthem.

Here's one take away from the game. I think the Broncos miss Gary Kubiak. Then some fans started cheering for Jay Cutler. Obviously they were completely drunk because no one in their right mind should be cheering for Cutler during the second game to get on the field. We need Plummer to have a great year. We need to let Jay get comfortable with NFL life and the playbook! 2007 will be Jay's time to get on the field, this is his year to get ready! The Patriots are waiting on NBC Sunday night this week!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Blushing CU Buffs

I've waited to post on my Buffs! Today looks like another bashing. Next week we are at Georgia! The next week at Missouri! We could be 0-5 two weeks from tonight! I think the cartoonist from the paper this morning says it all HERE.

I love this cartoon!

Go Buffs! Take State!

Friday, September 15, 2006


Charlie tagged me on Wednesday. Here we go!

Three things that scare me.

1. My salary 2. Pictures of me in third grade 3. The amount of ear wax in my son’s ears

Three people who make me laugh.

1. Chris Lord 2. Conan O’Brien 3. Cale Brock

Three things I hate.

1. The Raiders 2. The Cornhuskers 3. Sin – And in that order! :)

Three things I don’t understand.

1. Mullets 2. Jake Plummer 3. Why people take a stand against Harry Potter and have never opened a book

Three things I am doing right now.

1. Working on my personal budget. 2. Playing Legos with my boys 3. Making oatmeal

Three things I want to do before I die.

1. Travel through the wine country in California 2. Play Pebble Beach 3.!

Three things I can do.

1. Play golf 2. Clean the bathroom 3. Make people laugh

Three ways to describe my personality.

1. LOUD 2. Crazy 3. Outgoing

Three things I can’t do.

1. Build anything 2. Watch the Cornhuskers football team 3. Stay in the sun longer than 20 minutes without 100 spf smeared all over my body

Three things I think you should listen to.

1. A Youthworkers Passion by John Piper. 2. The Fray 3. Be Thou My Vision by Ginny Owens

Three favorite foods.

1. Denver Ted Cheesesteaks 2. Thai Food 3. Frontroom Pizza

Three beverages I drink.

1. Water 2. Coffee 3. Bubble water at Panera with 2 lemons – my second office

Three shows I watched as a kid.

1. Dallas 2. ESPN 3. The Muppet Show

Three people I tag.

Dave Jon Jen

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

46.4 years left

I found out yesterday that I have 46.4 years left to live because I live in Colorado and have mountains like Mt. Massive saying scale my peak! Click HERE to see your life expectancy in the state you live in. Colorado ranks 12th in the USA. Hawaii is number one with the longest life expectancy. That sounds nice.

Of course, I have no clue how long I am really going to live but it helps put life in perspective...a bit. I'm not half done. I've got a lot of life left. If I make it 46.4 years my children will be 51, 49 and 47. My hair will be grey! Hopefully my golf score will match my age. What changes in my job will have taken place? I can't be a 70 year old youth pastor! Who knows what else! There is so much to dream about and I've got more than half my life to make it happen!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Searching for awkward moments

I read this post by Seth Godin about a month ago and I’ve been thinking about it almost everyday – Awkward. He suggests it’s his new favorite word. I could be persuaded to make it mine as I’ve looked at my leadership through this lens. Here are two of his statements, "It's awkward to create a product that changes the status quo. It's awkward to demonstrate your amazing insights when it might threaten those that are looking for stability instead.”

There are so many things in this job that are awkward. Here are a couple of mine. It’s awkward to lead the professor of youth ministry at Denver Seminary who is a small group leader in our ministry. It’s awkward to meet with a parent and confront them about their obsession with their student being the best in school, sports and a NO SHOW at church. I could go on and so could you.

What I love about this post is the end, “The reason we need to be in search of awkward is that awkward is the barrier between us and excellence, between where we are and the remarkable. If it were easy, everyone would have done it already, and it wouldn't be worth the effort.”

Searching for awkward moments with humility is what I want this fall. I am ready for more awkward moments.

Lost - the addiction begins

A huge thanks to Dave for dropping off season’s 1 and 2 last night! We’ve started watching season 1 and we aren’t going to stop! Another addiction begins! We're pretty sure this addiction will prove to be a good one as we wait for 24 in January!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Taking in the moment

This week I was reminded that I need to stop sometimes and take in the moment. Josiah reminded me of this week when all of the sudden he dropped his toys, ran out the back door and then back in after about 20 seconds. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “Just for a minute, I go outside and feel the rain.”

It doesn’t rain much here so Josiah thought somewhere in his tiny little brain while he was playing superheroes with legos that he better stop what he was doing and go feel the rain. As he ran past me back into the room I smiled and thanked God for that moment. I put down the dishes and walked out the back door. He was right…it was raining!

Different season...same story

I felt this way on Monday last year after the Broncos got trounced by the Dolphins. The difference this year, we trounced ourselves. 5 turnovers won’t win you any ball games. The Broncos can't play rookie head coaches anymore. Do you remember the last Broncos game? A big loss. Jake's had eight of the ning giveaways in the last two games. Looking at the positive side, the Broncos have at least 15 more games!

Friday, September 08, 2006

A religion that spreads

Seth Godin had an interesting post on how to build a religion that spreads. Here's his short list of what to build into it:

Bias for evangelism
Sharp distinction between insiders and outsiders
Presumption that insiders are 'right' or 'blessed' or 'advantaged'
Proscription against intermarriage without conversion
Forbid one gender to work outside the home
Central hierarchy that maintains the faith and settles disputes
Offer significant (very) long-term benefits to believers

What do you think of the list? If you created one for Christianity, what would you have said? I am wondering for how many of us the word love would appear with it attached to God or our neighbor?

Being a righteous tree

One more thought from Psalm 1, which we studied as a part of our series in David’s Journal. Read this verse slowly about what a blessed man or woman is like…3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. How does a tree whose leaf does not wither continually yield fruit in season? What a picture of prospering!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

David's Journal - Delighting in the Word

Our fall series is David’s Journal. I am so excited to get the opportunity to study David’s journal in our high school community. Our goal is to invite students on a journey of looking into the heart of a real man who had a real relationship with God. It’s going to be exciting, refreshing, and challenging. I’ll be posting various pieces throughout our series.

This past Sunday we studied Psalm 1. How can you not? We encouraged our students to memorize Psalm 1 this week and gave them a postcard with the verses on it. We’re praying this week that they will be giving time to Scripture memory. These are beautiful words that David penned:

1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

We encouraged Scripture memory because David challenges us to “delight” in the Word. David didn’t have the Bible we do. David didn’t have Jesus yet. We talked about the fact that David was consumed with a passion for the Word and he didn’t know God would use his bloodline to bring the Son of God into the world. What a thought! Oh how I long to be a community of students who “delight” in the law of the Lord. The word “delight” is used in Genesis 34:19 of Shechem who “delighted” with Jacob’s daughter Dinah. What a picture of delight! It’s packed full of emotion. It’s packed full of intention. Our students are so emotional and intentional about their schoolwork, athletic training, getting somewhere on a Friday night, getting up to go skiing, you name it. We want them not only to delight in being a student in the school system but also delight in being a child of God and reading the love letter He left!

I think Charles Haddon Spurgeon sums up well our desire from Psalm 1 to delight in the Word of God, “Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!”I can't wait to hear who has sucked up these verses into their soul until it saturates their heart!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

If Tiger Woods needs a coach...

Then so do I and so don’t we all! I was watching Tiger’s interview yesterday after he won AGAIN and he talked about calling his coach, Hank, the night before to get some pointers. That is awesome. Tiger wants to be coached. Tiger wants to be the best. Tiger has a coach. Tiger listens to his coach. Part of Tiger’s success is his humility. The humility to admit to himself that there is always room for improvement!

I want a coach. I don’t have a coach. I want a coach who will watch me swing. I want a coach to tell me where I can improve my swing, especially the top because I can’t see it! I want to be coached. I need a coach. Why can’t I find one? I know I can’t afford one like Tiger can. I didn’t clean up almost a million this weekend working at SGC so I can’t really afford to pay someone to be my coach.

I’m 31. I’ve been in my church for 11 years doing youth ministry. I want to grow. I want a coach. There’s no one in sight. I can’t think of anybody to even ask. I don’t want to stop learning. I haven’t arrived. I love my job. I want to get better, but I need a coach. I want someone to point out the areas where they believe pride is robbing me of growth. I want someone to point out where I can grow as a leader of leaders. I want someone to critique my speaking and tell me where I can improve. I want somone to encourage me when things go well. I want someone who is committed to me being all that God has created me. I want someone committed to interceding before me. I want someone to fight for my soul.

I am willing to admit failure because I want to grow. If Tiger Woods needs a coach then so do I!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Football weekend

I love football! Thursday I took the boys to the Bear Creek game and Friday I took the whole family to the D'Evelyn game! It's a great time to hang out with families from our church and my own family! We eat lots of snacks, have great conversations and get to watch football!

We have 19 students at Bear Creek and 17 students at D'Evelyn from our church so it's great to hang with a bunch of people I know!!!

I am excited for more games this fall! I'll be posting a couple more times on the importance of attending sporting events in the context of youth ministry!

It's a great weekend for football! Next Sunday...The Broncos! Can I get and "AMEN?!"

Friday, September 01, 2006

The right numbers in youth ministry

I am still reading through The Big Moo as I get chances before I go to bed. I really enjoyed last nights reading on what I can expect to be the safest bet available to me in my ministry… CHANGE! Here’s how it appears in the chapter, “There are two kinds of organizations. One kind likes to be on the cutting edge, to do what hasn’t been done before, to embrace the new. The other kind fears that, and holds back to allow someone else to go first. Betting on change is always the safest bet available.”

The interesting thing about this is that our mission has been the same for over 2,000 years! We are to make disciples! It isn’t going to change! So, I am curious, in the context of the church, how is change the safest bet? What should change? How do you know if your church is embracing the new or holding back? In the context of youth ministry, I’ll suggest one change that I would like to see more youth pastors and youth workers embrace. I’d like youth pastors to quit talking about the number of students on their rosters and start talking about the number of students that are being discipled. I'd like to see us ruthlessly pursuing those God has blessed us with and make evangelism part of our discipleship!