Saturday, January 31, 2009

Acts 6:4 youth ministry

This week I've been wrestling with Acts 6:3-4 "3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

I am wondering how my youth ministry would change if I could say I lived out Acts 6:4? I am wondering this week how youth ministry, in general, would change if we quit relying on being pragmatists and started relying on prayer and the Word.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last words after 30 years of preaching

On Sunday I missed my senior pastor's final sermon. A lady in our community emailed me his final words last night. These are worth not forgetting.

I wish to end with some brief personal remarks:

It has been the greatest privilege and greatest challenge of my life to serve as the preaching pastor of this church for over 30 years. It has been the greatest challenge because of God and because of you.

I say “because of God,” because I was commissioned to represent God to you. Do you realize how frightening it is to say, ―Thus says the Lord? On a name plate inside the front cover of many of the books in my office are these words: 2 Timothy 2:15 ―Do your best (―make every effort, study) to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

There is a sacred seriousness in teaching the word of God that has always weighed very heavily on me. And preaching has also been a great challenge because of you. I realized that preaching is about your relationship with God. God said, it is ―the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

I knew it to be a tragically sad waste of your time and your lives to speak of things that in the end didn‘t really matter. But preaching to you has also been the greatest privilege of my life. I inherited a congregation that desired to learn and you have continued in that desire.

Through the years there have been opportunities to pursue larger churches and seminary positions but they have never held an attraction for me. Because I could not imagine a better group of people to serve. You have been responsive to the preaching of the word. You have been generous with your encouragement. And best of all, you have used God‘s grace to you to be his grace to others.

Jesus says, ―My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

I close with a prayer for you:

Hebrews 13:20-21 ―May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Numbers 6:24-26 ―The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace. AMEN. - Jerry Nelson, January 25, 2009.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Words to remember...winter retreat 2009

On Saturday night of Winter Retreat we had a great debrief of Psalm 133. Chris Folmsbee did a great job of making this Psalm come alive in the hearts and minds of our students. I asked the students to share with the group the one word that stood out in our study of Psalm 133. Here's what the board looked like when we were done.

I am praying that our group can start to live out what we've learned in the next few months together!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Winter Retreat 2009

We are heading up to Crooked Creek Ranch this weekend for our EFCA District Retreat!

Our theme is Comm(unity)! Chris Folmsbee will be speaking from Psalm 133 and Romans 15:5-6.

Remedy Drive will be leading our large group adoration times.

We're staying at Crooked Creek Ranch.

I can't wait!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Tribe Apart

“What kids need from adults is not just rides, pizza, chaperones, and discipline. They need the telling of stories, the close ongoing contact so that they can learn and be accepted. If nobody is there to talk to, it is difficult to get the lessons of your own life so that you are adequately prepared to do the next thing. Without a link across generations, kids will only hear from peers. The Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development report A Matter of Time found: ‘Young adolescents do not want to be left to their own devices. In national surveys and focus groups, America’s youth have given voice to serious longing. They want more regular contact with adults who care about and respect them.’”

A Tribe Apart: A Journey into the Heart of American Adolescence by Patricia Hersch, pg. 364

If you are involved with adolescents at any level of engagement, YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The President's Speech

This is the line I remember from President Obama's speech this morning,

"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

10 College Marketing New Year Resolutions

This post on Ypulse got me thinking about how this list could make me more effective in youth ministry in 2009.

1. I promise to consume the things that college kids consume.

2. I promise to stop generalizing college students.

3. I promise not to dangle an iPod as a prize.

4. I promise not to obsess about back-to-school.

5. I promise not to pretend to be someone I’m not.

6. I promise to start measuring my brand health on campus.

7. I promise to get “mobilized.”

8. I promise to rethink social platforms.

9. I promise to not make students create a video.

10. I promise to admit when I am wrong.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Death By Meeting

I am a big Patrick Lencioni fan! Here's a good summary of his book, Death By Meeting, which I read a couple of years ago. He suggests there are four different kind of meetings:

1. Daily Check-In
2. Weekly Tactical
3. Monthly Strategic
4. Quarterly Off-Site Review

HT: Seth

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Bible in a year

I am really pumped that some of our students are joining me in my annual read through the Bible journey. You can download our plan HERE. I am excited because this year I am going to read through the Bible in the English Standard Version (ESV).

I want our students at the end of 2009 to be able to claim what David announced in

Psalm 119:14 "I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches."