I hate SPAM and I despise the fact that my youth ministry flyers and postcards that I get in the mail per month probably outweighs my Bible. I understand that people have to make money and some people have chosen to make money by going for the niche market of youth ministry, that's fine, I'm a capitalist but the following e-mail spam just ticked me off.


Dear Len,

Just checking to see if you've registered for the Cross Culture Youth Ministry Summit yet?

If not, you can register by calling 1-800-329-FIRE (3473). Make sure you tell them that you're calling as a part of ******* and they will give you my special discount.



How thoughtful of this person who is speaking at this "premiere event for youth workers, adult volunteers, student leaders, senior pastors and Christian educators will redefine youth ministry and its potential impact on the local church."

I'm disgusted. Everyone, it seems, sells out.


In Chicago the students learned to SERVE, LISTEN, SEE and SHARE. Three students from our church shared with a 16 year old in the park and he realized that he hadn't been a Christian, though he had known about Christ. When asked how he knew he was going to heaven he responded with, "I do good things". The students shared the need for grace and that we are not saved by works and he responded with, "Well then, I guess I'm going to hell, from what you guys told me." Then he prayed with the group for Christ to be his Savior.


Yesterday we had our Monday Ministry Time and we had a FREE Car Wash. There were only three students present and we only washed 6 cars in 2 hours but it was all for one purpose. The very first car was the reason for us being there. I explained to the female driver that we were washing cars as an expression of God's love and that it was totally free. She seemed overwhelmed with the idea and we began to talk. She asked what "Baptist" meant, so before I answered her I asked her if she had grown up in any kind of church. She said that she had grown up Catholic.

I told her, "We probably emphasize grace a lot more and don't give you a list of things you have to do to make God happy. God still has rules that he wants us to follow but it's mainly about what God has done for us versus what we can do for God."

At that point I noticed a baby in the back seat and commented about how little she was and that I hadn't even noticed her. She then shared that it was the baby's birthday and she was one year old but it was also a very difficult day because her twin had died of SIDS when she was only four months old. The passenger in the car had a pink baloon in his lap and they were on their way to release it in memory of her when they saw our "Free Car Wash" sign.

The driver commented on how it seemed that God had brought them there to be encouraged because they rarely travel on N. Benson and yet there they were. I agreed with her and asked her what her name was, it was Hannah, and if she'd mind if I prayed for her and her difficult day. We prayed together and she drove off. Keep praying for Hannah and pray for God's Spirit to open her eyes to the truth of Jesus Christ and that she may know him fully one day.


Sometimes You Just Need to Disappear:
The best pastoring doesn't happen in the office.
by Gordon MacDonald

I've done pretty well not reading things that aren't related to the Creative Bible Lessons manuscript that I'm working on. The one exception so far has been Tony Jones' new book Read. Think. Pray. Live. published by th1nkbooks AKA NavPress It's stretching me to add Lexio Divina into my spiritual routine.

The book that I got today that I'm trying to integrate and get some inspiration from for one or two chapters is Tony's Soul Shaper: Exploring spirituality and contemplative practices in youth ministry. The chapter that I'm working on focuses on the verse from 1 Timothy that says, "train yourself to be godly". I think it'd be nice to have a chapter in some curriculum that is 50%-75% applicational. It's hard not to see that Paul is telling Timothy to train himself to be godly, so the question becomes, how do we help our students do that?

I'm off to read and write.


The trip that I just returned from was SLAM, our denominational vesion of Sonlife's SEMP I truly felt like it was the most productive and transferrable trip that I've ever taken our students to in my 10 years of youth ministry.


back from a GREAT trip, I'll try and post more over the next two days. gotta catch up with normal life before the online life gets some time.


Leaving for Chicago in a few hours. Won't blog for a week or so.


I found a great article on the Future Margins blog today.

Six Ways I Quit Church: How I dropped out so I could start living a more Christlike life.
by Chad Hall
by Chad Hall


Confessions of a Young Timothy

Great article about the need for the church to mentor it's young leaders and how it's not happening. BTW, if you are reading this blog, odds are you are one of those young leaders.

"The most important ministry you can ever have is to your spouse and children. There was a youth worker before you, there will be one after you - but you are the only spouse or parent your family will ever have." Jim Burns & Mike Devries, Youth Builder (Gospel Light: 2001). Page 35.
Thanks Jon, for that reminder.

I just returned from a two day vacation into New York City with the family. It was a great time. We sneaked three days worth of fun into two days and we're all exhausted. I may write more later but our Summer Missions Trip leaves this Saturday to Chicago, so I probably won't be blogging until the end of the month, there's a lot to do before I can leave with a good conscience.


It was a good day. We're going into New York City this week to spend the night with our girls. It should be a fun two days. Here's the sermon I gave today, if anyone would like to hear it, "The Season of Temptaion"


James 4:7, "Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

1 Corinthians 10:13: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Those are the basic passages for my sermon this week. Won't be blogging probably until Monday. Andy is having a rough time in his ministry judging from his post from July 9 and today. I wish that he was the only youth pastor dealing with struggles and expectations but it happens everywhere.

Expectations that hurt us are either Unspoken, Unclear or Unrealistic.

Our trip to Chicago is in about a week, I'm looking foward to being with some students who want to share their faith and grow in their faith.


I am linus

Which Peanuts Character Are You Quiz

Thanks Andrew


I made the YS Update and didn't even know it! (It seems that I no longer have it e-mailed to me, I should fix that.) doh! Thanks Mike!

Dustin just started his Blog! I wish more youth ministry folks did. I've been pondering about the attraction of blogs and I think it's because we can all join in on "the conversation" instead of being talked to we get to interact with.

I don't think the experts are always the experts either. (Some of them know they are not but others still enjoy being the expert, it seems.) I agree with Garth that another appeal of them is the rawness or authenticity of most bloggers. Most of us don't take hours to post our thoughts, we just post them without the scrutiny of having an editor to make sure we say the right thing and don't make the wrong people mad.

I'm preaching again this Sunday. The topic given to me is "The Season of Temptation". Why couldn't I have something a little simpler like the Rapture? ;-)


July 05, 2003

Boston 10, NY Yankees 2 at Yankee Stadium

Winning Pitcher - Ramiro Mendoza (2-3)
Losing Pitcher - Roger Clemens (8-6)

BOS Runs: 10, Hits: 10, Errors: 0
NYY Runs: 2, Hits: 11, Errors: 2

We were there. It was awesome to be wearing Red Sox gear and watch the Red Sox spank the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. I didn't see any fights in the stands this time, in case you didn't know the math, Red Sox vs. Yankees + Too much beer + testastarone = fights in the stands. However I did see one guy get kicked out before the game even started because he mooned Yankee Fans who were chanting "1918, 1918, 1918"

I decided today that I won't be reading any books that are not related to finishing the Creative Bible Lessons Project until the manuscript gets mailed in.


Tony Jones is bailing out of full time youth ministry to pursue a doctorate. (This news brought to you by the lastest edition of Youthworker.) Sounds like fun. I saw that an upcoming theme for Youthworker is going to be "NUMBERS". It will probably be a double issue because of all the stories that youth workers have regarding the emphasis of numbers.

I'm off to cook a Texas Brisket in CT for our 4th of July.


Busy week, last week. Preached (If you want to hear it, HERE IT IS) and more with VBS stuff. Last week was one of those 75+ hours weeks. I typically don't count the hours because I'd get too depressed. I had a great lunch yesterday in Hartford with Garth.

He drove an hour south from Rhode Island (theoretically) and I drove an hour north from Fairfield and Hartford was where we met. It was refreshing in many ways but partially because I'm once again reminded that problems and joys in youth ministry are fairly universal. It's amazing how churches that are 2 hours apart can be so much alike.

Started our Summer Pool Bible study, tonight; The Deep End. We talked about temptation and we all shared our greatest temptations and after everyone shared their heart and weakness' I told them mine was gossip. :-)

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