Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ministry Appreciation

Disclosure: This is not intended to be a pat on the back, or self-promoting post...just thought I'd bring some attention to those who serve us through ministry.

October is a month to show appreciation for Clergy and those in Ministry. Depending on who you ask it's often called "Pastors Appreciation Month" or "Clergy" and others "Ministry." Personally, I like the latter because I know several people in full time ministry that deserve a little appreciation.

Maybe more so the families of those in ministry deserve the appreciation. Speaking from experience I know sometimes it's my family that sacrifices for my work schedule. Regardless, there are many gifted and dedicated Pastors and Ministry workers out there that deserve a "thank you" during the month of October.

I know many who have impacted my life, and several who still do, to this day - I hope and plan to share my appreciation with them during the month.

It doesn't have to be (but it could) sending your Pastor & spouse on a cruise or long weekend vacation. Just a simple card, or note, or other simple way of expressing your appreciation for what they do for you, your family, your church or community. So while you're keeping busy during the month of October, make it your goal to reach out in some way to those you appreciate who have served or do serve you through ministry. Just do me a favor, don't send them a text - go old fashion and pick up the phone.


Monday, September 24, 2012

You Can't Make Me...

Sometimes in youth ministry we (youth workers) get frustrated...

* Frustrated that you put all this effort into an event and no one shows...

* Frustrated that the one kid you pour into and try to help, just hasn't had the "light" come on yet...

* Frustrated at the way we do church vs. the way we should do church

* Frustrated that schedules - for kids, families, schools, extra-curriculars, etc...are so busy that choices have to be made.

The last one is what's got me lately...youth are faced with so many schedule choices these days that sometimes it feels like in ministry we're just fighting for attention, or that chance to be noticed "pick me, pick me". Then I realized two things:

1. at some point everyone has to realize "I can't do everything I want, and I need to make a choice."

2. at some point parents have to be parents and make a choice (knowing what is best) for their child.

For example, I know many parents who have said; "as long as you're living under my roof, you will...." (go to church/youth group, do chores, have dinner with the family...)

Then I saw this video - and it got me thinking...

...thinking about when should a parent "make a kid go to a youth ministry event?" As a Youth Leader do I even want kids in my ministry who are not there by their own choosing? If a parent knows an event/ministry will impact & change their child's lives should they sign them up and make them go?

As a Youth Leader I can program an event to death, I can plan for everything that might happen to make it the best possible event for a kid - but at some point - when a kid is there - you just have to let go and realize you've done your part and now it's up to The Spirit to work.

So, parents - what about you? Do you think you should make your kid go on retreats or mission trips, or to youth group each week? Curious to hear your thoughts...

Youth - what do you think?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Heaven, for real?

"Heaven is for Real"

To be honest, I'd seen this book on the shelf at the store several times and never picked it up. One might think the title alone would entice most Christian's to pick it up, let alone a youth worker. A few weeks ago a young man I was having lunch with asked if I'd read it. From his short review of the book I decided I should get a copy.

I read the book in the span of about two days. As I first got into it I thought it was a good read. I even texted this guy and thanked him for the recommendation. Then I read some more, Colton was the boy this story is about. As I learned more about the tragedy this little boy had been through I had many doubts running through my head. I had on my 'father hat' and kept thinking about my son, I didn't like the book anymore.

The next day I was determined to finish despite the roller coaster these parents were on and the one going on in my head. I'm happy to say as I finished the book I again loved it - truly an amazing story. "Heaven is for Real" is Colton's story, and it reminds us of a child like faith. It moves us to consider the reality of Heaven, no longer just the faith of "yeah, I believe in heaven".

So, if you haven't read this book I'd encourage you check it out. Then I ask, what do you think, is Heaven for Real?


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

Eleven years ago I was 19, sitting at home on the couch watching what would become known as the worst terrorist attacks on this Nation. I remember it vividly. I remember wanting to go, to do, something - help however I could help...I felt called to action, as I know so many others did too...many were first responders, many enlisted to fight for their nation, many sat - not knowing exactly what to do...and today, many are still answering that call.

I wonder what it looks like for Christian's to feel the same urgency and call to action in our Call as Christians as we American's did 11 years ago today. What would the world look like if as Christian's we were obedient to The Call God has placed in each of us?

I sit here now, 11 years later and now a father...I look at my son and wonder how this world has changed since the attacks. I wonder has the world become a better, a safer, a more loving place to live? What have we as Christian's done to share the Love of Christ with our neighbor? My prayer for my son, and his generation is that we have and will continue to do our part to leave this place in a "better than we found it" condition for them.

I pray for my son to be a leader in his generation, used by God for what He has planned for this child placed in my care. I know there are great things for him and his peers - but I wonder if we're really doing all we answer that call to action we all feel deep inside?

I hope so!

I pray so!

Remembering all of those who on that day answered the call!

God Has Blessed The US,