“Christianity is the only religion on earth that has felt that omnipotence made God incomplete. Christianity alone has felt that God, to be wholly God must be a rebel as well as a king.”
- G.K. Chesterson
“The problem is, we are living in a culture that breeds spectators…spectator worship has been and always will be an oxymoron.”
- Sally Morgenthaler
“Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors, and where are the people? Across the street, in the bar, open the doors and there they are!”
- Shannon Wheeler, Too Much Coffee Man
“Despite their current image, poodles were originally bred as hunting retrievers and flushers of birds. The word poodle stems from the German word “pudel” which means to splash in water. Their wooly and oily coat enables them to be excellent swimmers”
I had a great time at church last night at Common Ground: a church for emerging generations On the other hand, I enjoyed the message but was turned off by everything else about church this morning at Community Bible Church.
This makes no sense! Common Ground is about two years old and meets in a fellowship hall of another church and there were only around 20 or so people there last night. Community Bible Church just announced and finalized their new $19million sanctuary and they are going to give their current 3,000 seat sanctuary to the youth ministry. Yet, as I watched the singing and such at Community Bible with the orchestra and huge choir with around 2,500 new friends I was as empty as can be. I realized that the style was definitely adult contemporary "top 40" with the brass playing was authentic for them but not at all for me. It was done with excellence, let me tell you, it was done right. Along with their 70 page glossy directory they handed out today to everyone to encourage them to join a small group everything was done right. I just didn't connect with it and I almost felt guilty for not enjoying what they had to offer.
Maybe I am really part of the "emerging generation" and more post-modern than I'd like to admit. I'll wrestle with that later, I'm off to write some on the book.
I'm thinking about taking a break from blogging for a month or two until the fall gets cranking at the church (Gotta get that "Big Mo") and the book is 100% finished. We will see.
There is still hope. The Red Sox destroyed the Yankees tonight, 10-5 at Fenway Park. So they won the battle, now we'll have to wait and see if they can win the war.
One of the cool things for me was when one of the Camp Berea Summer Staff came up to me and said, "Are you the Len Evans that spoke in Pittsburgh last year at the Youth Specialties Convention?"
I said, "Yes."
He replied with, "I was in your seminar".
Brian and I talked for about five minutes about the convention, po-mo stuff (Seminars by Dan Kimball, Walt Mueller, Tony Jones & Doug Pagitt) and his ministry. It was wierd, yet cool to be recognized for something I had done.
I also found out this week that I won't be going to the YS Convention in St. Louis. I was really looking forward to going this year. I have only been three times, once as a volunteer staff in 96, an attender in 97 and a speaker in 02. The money is not available, like it has been in the past. Hopefully, I can go next year. I guess I'll have to just depend on God this year to get re-energized and renewed in youth ministry. ;-)
The good news about not going is that my Sr. Pastor would like to take the staff to something together to build our team when we hire a new worship pastor. That would be good and also I'll be going to Belieze in November to scout out a mission trip for the church in 2004 with other members of our denomination.
I'm in San Antonio to visit my mother, who has non Hodgkins Lymphoma. Doctors are optomistic but I wanted to get down here and see her in person some. Her third round of chemo will be this Thursay, the day after I leave.
I'll post some more stuff about last week, later. I have to go delete around 300 e-mails from 2 accounts after not getting e-mail for a week.
I updated the links to the right and renamed it, "Nothin' But Net". (Just for the record, for those that read and know Youthworker Journal. I didn't steal it from Youthworker, I suggested it to Youthworker as the title for their sidebar of web links.)
Lucia Farley was in our local youth pastor network.
He had everything! Cool looking, great speaker, former Black Muslim, he has a charismatic personality, he had it all but he fell and he fell hard. This reminds me of what I was told in seminary, over and over again. "Better men than you have fallen."
Sex Assault Trial Starts For Bridgeport Minister
BRIDGEPORT — Testimony has begun in the sexual assault trial of a Bridgeport minister accused of molesting a girl while he was a youth pastor in Monroe.
An 18-year-old Seymour woman was the first to testify in Superior Court Monday at the trial of the Rev. Lucia Farley.
She said Farley fondled and molested her during a 16-month period beginning when she was 14.
Farley, 39, an associate minister at Messiah Baptist Church, is charged with 10 counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
The assaults allegedly took place while he was youth pastor at the Beacon Hill Evangelist Free Church in Monroe.
The first encounter between the girl and Farley allegedly occurred in April of 2000. The alleged victim testified that Farley would often come up to her when she was alone in the church’s youth group room and touch her.
Although the girl didn’t initially tell anyone what Farley was doing to her, she recorded it in two journals that the prosecutor has introduced into evidence.
Baptist minister's sex abuse trial begins: Monroe cleric faces charge of molesting girl, 14, repeatedly 8/18/03
Teen girl tells of sex abuse by Baptist minister:Charismatic reverend accused of molesting Seymour girl 8/19/03
Deliberations continue in minister sex case 8/21/03
Yesterday was a good day in youth ministry. I took some students into New York City to work with New York Gospel Outreach & CitiVision. We had a good time with Walter who gave us a tour of the Love Kitchen, Manhattan Bible Church and more. It was a great example of what urban ministry can be.
The only "oops" of the day was driving the 15 passenger van into Manhattan. After we were done working we were going to run to FAO Schwartz for a bit and let the kids hang out there and Central Park but there was nowhere to park the Behometh! So we came home. :-( We all had fun though just hanging out in the van driving around and watching New Yorkers. We happen to see one of the most famous New Yorkers when we spotted Rudy Giuliani getting into his car, right in front of us. We gave Rudy some honks to let him know that he's still loved as America's Mayor.
A cool thing was finalized last night, I'm now officially part of Interlinc's Write Group. It should be a fun ride.
One more cool thing happened today, I talked to a guy today about being one of the workshop speakers for Beyond Imagination in Orlando in July of 2004. That's The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod's tri-annual little party for 35,000 students and adults.
- William Booth 1829-1912
From NewWorship.com's Quote of the Week
Just checking back 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.
Back to real world youth ministry. One of the things we did yesterday was to put some feet and goals into our purpose statement.
It's We exist to KNOW Jesus, LOVE Jesus, SERVE Jesus and ENJOY each other.
It breaks down like this:
KNOW Jesus = Accepting Christ and the Christian Faith (Evangelism)
KNOW Jesus = Growing in Christ and the Christian Faith (Discipleship)
LOVE Jesus = Worshiping Christ corporately and as a lifestyle (Worship)
SERVE Jesus = Service within the Body, outreach service projects and helping the "least of these"
ENJOY each other. (Fellowship and elements of fun)
I then wrote something like this for the Jr. High and Sr. High under each keyword and purpose:
We will help unbelieving Sr. High students by providing Wednesday Nights as a weekly "Come and See" event. We will work to see 20 new students visit us this fall and we will pray by faith to see 50 new students visit us this Fall.
I hate this kind of stuff but hopefully it'll make everything clear to everyone in the church about WHAT we do, WHY we do it and HOW we are going to do it.
I should know 100% if I'm going to St Louis this week. Woo Hoo!
Play - Pizza - Purpose - Pray - Plan - Prepare & Promote.
Off to send an e-mail to the team.
Great article by Dan Wallace on Bible.org's website. Dan is Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Woo Hoo! :-)
Once we got settled and went into the water, it was a great time for the rest of the day.
Got these tidbits from Focus on the Family's THE PASTOR'S WEEKLY BRIEFING:
~ The Census Bureau projects that within seven years families with children will comprise only 28 percent of all American households--the leanest figure in a century. Thirty-one percent of kids under 18 live either with single parents or no parents at all, more than double the 12 percent in 1960. off the interstate to the beach.
~ A popular morning radio program in Chicago -- noted for promoting the concept of free speech--is under fire for refusing to air a commercial inviting listeners to church. "Mancow's Morning Madhouse," a shock-jock show heard across the country, told the man who wanted to purchase airtime that his ad was too controversial in nature.
~ Karin Robertson, a staff member with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has legally changed her name to "GoVeg.com" -- or just "GoVeg" to friends and family. Robertson believes the decision to name herself after this PETA-sponsored Web site will boost her "carrot power."
Here's one I wrote. If you'd like it when I'm done, e-mail me at SnaveNel@aol.com
At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. (Luke 4:42) Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16) While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Mark 1:35 (The Message)
What Would Jesus Do? He would pray! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, The Alpha and Omega, The Way, The Truth and The Life prayed to His Father regularly and probably constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Instead of trying to develop and perfect a prayer life we should strive to have a life of prayer. A prayer life is something you do, a life of prayer is something you are. A prayer life is a component of time and life or prayer is done all the time.
I have a Prayer Team that regularly prays for me. I preached this summer and during one of the services, one of my prayer warriors felt some heart palpitations and the ambulance came to the church to make sure she was okay. I called her later that day to make sure she was okay. She replied with, “I’m fine. How was your sermon today? I was praying for you while I was being checked in the ambulance.”
Wow! That’s a life of prayer.
Prayer Guide: Father, I confess that too often I think I’m too busy to pray and that really means that I still think I’m in control. Help me to know you better and depend upon you more as you conform me to the image of Jesus Christ and I develop a life of prayer that resembles his.
Pray for great things, expect great things, work for great things, but above all, PRAY! R. A. Torrey
Spiritual Warfare by Ray Stedman
I updated a few of the blog links and cool links, I'll work on getting the articles back up. I did notice though that Rudy Carrasco added me to his BlogRoll. I always knew Rudy had good taste. ;-)
Every youth minister should have a Prayer Team. I remember watching a tape by Dave Busby and he said something like, "If you can't identify who prays for you, then you don't know who's praying for you."
Secondly, at times just for fun and just to cost companies money, I'll hit the advertising links on my blog, especially the youth ministry ones. Not all of them, just the ones that i lack respect for. I'm done. Am I wrong?
"Not in a number of years!!!!!! It is dangerous! Could you imagine explaining in a court of law how you encouraged this student to place 23 marshmallows in their mouth before they were rushed to the hospital! DUDE your going to jail….. You're FIRED! And you lost your house! Screw That … I will never play Chubby Bunny! Unless my attorney is present and I have full medical releases!"
It's good to know that Everyone Hasn't Sold out. I stand corrected.