From Gladiator to Irritator by Ron Martoia

A friend and fellow youth worker at my church sent me this article: What Makes Len Evans Run? Since I don't drink (unlike a certain e-friend) it's even funnier to think I share a name with "Australia's leading ambassador of wine."


I finished "A New Kind of Christian" over Thanksgiving. I really enjoyed it, I'd love to hear from others what they thought about it and what books you'd recommend with the same thinking. I guess G-man won't be giving too many book ideas on this topic after his Nov 29th post.


"I just know that I am looking forward to having a ball in my hand whether it be Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium and pitching in that first game as a Red Sox against the Yankees. I have been a part of a Yankee matchup with other clubs, but the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry transcends sports. It's so much bigger than everything else in sports, and being a part of that was certainly an attraction in all of this. . . . . I want to be part of bringing the first World Series in modern history to Boston, I guess I hate the Yankees now."

Curt Schilling said in a news conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ohh BABY! I have GOT to buy some tix to any of those series!


Schilling agrees to join Red Sox

"The Red Sox were so determined to acquire Schilling that Epstein camped out in Arizona over the Thanksgiving holiday in a dogged attempt to close the deal.

That's exactly what Epstein did, and now he has a front three of Pedro Martinez, Schilling and Derek Lowe that will be tough for opponents to match.

Aside from the Oakland trio of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito, you'll be hard-pressed to find a rotation with the track record of Martinez, Schilling and Derek Lowe."

New IM abbreviation to use: I82M@T! = I ate too much at Thanksgiving!


I found an article online that I wrote for Group's March-April issue this year.

10 Things That'll Get You Fired by Len Evans


Read a great article today from the LATimes Magazine about Fuller Seminary, thanks to Rudy.

Jesus With A Genius Grant.

Rudy sold me to read the link when I read: "I'm surprised about how well it's done. I mean, it could have been a giant cheap shot article against Christians, as the Times is wont to do. Instead I actually feel like I learned some new things about Fuller. The scary part was seeing significant references to two sub-movements I'm involved with, Emergent and Reel Spirituality. I mean, they quote [Tony] Jones, Nancey Murphey and use terms like Post Evangelical. Then they mention Robert Johnston, Craig Detweiler and our RS event a few years back that focused on horror. I could go on, but you get the point. This article belongs in your short list of changes going on in the Christian world, the shift, the new Reformation, however you tag this emerging culture Christian movement."

Speaking of Tony Jones: It's being 100% ironed out but he should be coming up to Fairfield in February and I'm going to host a 3-4 hour "Postmodern Youth Ministry Forum." It's only going to be 20-30 youthworkers. It should be a great time to talk and interact over PoMo YM and the whole emerging church idea.


The Church Enforcer and Updating the Links

I got to be the church enforcer today inbetween our church services. Two guys a from a cult came into our church today and one of them was talking to our senior pastor and starting to get in his face. As I got between them and began to walk them toward the door one guy said, "This is a wicked church!" and "He is a wicked man!" pointing to Dave. We were able to talk after they were outside. I might meet with them for coffee in the next week or two.

Needless to say we had fun today in Sunday school talking about "The Big Gig", espitimology, tolerance, truth and those cult guys.

I updated the links on the right added a few and took some away.


The Future Mapping e-newsletter by Jordan Cooper is a must read.

Jordon reviews two books that are now on my "must read" list: The Search to Belong: Rethinking Intimacy, Community, and Small Groups by Joseph R. Myers and Making Sense of Church: Eavesdropping on Emerging Conversations about God, Community, and Culture by Spencer Burke

I'm doing a song by L.A. Symphony for my next Interlinc assignment. The song is "Gonna Be Allright" - You can dowload it from the site.

The Roller Coaster of Youth Ministry is Alive and Well

I often talk about having CPR approach to Evangelism. ( For those who don't use Sonlife lingo; CPR = Cultivating toward Evangelism, Planting for Evangelism, Reaping as Evangelism.)

Last night we hosted "The Big Gig" at our church. (Thanks to Doug, for that name, it's from a story he told.) The "Big Gig" was a Cultivating event. One student wanted to do a gig at the church and invite his friends. So he asked another guy to play and they put on a gig in our sanctuary. (There were not as many hoops to jump through to make that happen, as I anticipated.) And it was a great night. We had pizza and soda for the students and we asked them to sign a small card for a prize.

The total attendance was 65-70 people of which around 55-60 were first time attenders to anything at our church. I'm so excited because one of our prayer goals this fall was to have a total number of 45 high school students attend three outreach events for the first time.

I was able to talk to a number of students just to get to know them and we are already working on having 2 more "Big Gigs". One in January or February and one before school is out. This definitely was a felt need for our local students. A good number of students said they wanted to be notified of future "Big Gigs" and our Lord Of The Rings Movie Madness on the cards. Between Trinity's students inviting their friends and the visitor's who attended last night I'm anticipating over 100 students at our Lord Of The Rings outreach event.

That was the high on the roller coaster.

This morning I walked into help with your Pie Baking. (Our church makes around 100 pies before Thanksgiving every year to show God's love in a practical way and we deliver them to neighbors and friends.)

Our kids choir was having practice in the sanctuary and two friends complained to me about guitars, some props, a couple of water bottles still being on stage and how procedure wasn't followed to use the sound system (though the students who did it were trusted and the issue was not with them) and other things.

I walked away and cried. They followed me and we talked. They apologized for not seeing the bigger picture of all the students who came who probably don't have any sort of church home or relationship with Christ.

That was the low on the roller coaster.

Wherever we are on the emotional roller coaster ride of youth ministry we need to remember that this is God's ride and he can accomplish his will through flawed servants like us and it's such a privilege to be in his service.

Now I'm off to deliever some pies! Let the ride continue!


Vintage Youth Minitry Quote: There is nothing new under the sun.

"Fortunate are the teachers who can plan to meet their pupils occasionally just for good times. One afternoon at a social or picnic gives a better chance for gettting acquainted than many weeks of Sunday-school. Elaborate preparations for entertainment are unnecessary. The Juniors have many games which they delight in playing and they can amuse themselves with very little help. It is always well, however, for the teacher or leader to have a few plans in reserve. Bean-bags, potato races, guessing-games, and the like are ever popular. Besides the regular socials and picnics it is sometimes possible to have bird walks, flower hunts, nutting parties. A few schools have had summer camps, where during the pleasant weather the boys camped out one week and the girls another. This may not be possible in all places, but the schools that hve tried it are enthusiastic over the results."

From The Junior Worker And His Work
by Emma A. Robinson (c) 1911

The T-Shirt I MUST buy!


Congrats to Andy Byrne who just had his first thing published on The Ooze!!

He writes about PoMo, youth ministry and more. Good stuff! Now go read: If It Walks Like A Postmodern

The secret lives of middle schoolers

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- For many adults, the idea of going back to middle school sounds about as appealing as a trip to the dentist for a root canal.

Author Linda Perlstein, 32, actually enjoyed her own middle school years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- a fact she said made spending a year immersed in the daily lives of 12- and 13-year-olds palatable as she researched her book "Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers." And this time around, Perlstein joked, she was "the coolest kid in school."
(Read the whole story HERE)

Thanks to Ryan (a Jr. High Guru, himself) who IM'd me that story today.

Oh and yeah I finally added Comments!


The Core Realities of Youth Ministry: Nine Biblical Principles That Mark Healthy Youth Ministries by Mike Yaconelli

Amazon says it's coming out in January 2004. I can't wait! I'm sure it'll be the book version of The Core training by YS.

It took me a while to understand that the answer to problems was not marketing or program but rather spirituality. If we needed to reach youth, we wouldn't do a pizza feed and a game night, we would get together and pray and fast and ask God what to do. God led some guys to start a homeless teen outreach downtown, and now they feed about one hundred homeless teenagers every week. It is the nuttiest youth group you will ever see, but that is what God said to do. I love that sort of thing because rather than the church serving itself, the church is serving the lost and lonely. It gives me chills when I think about it because it is that beautiful of a thing.

Don Miller in "Blue Like Jazz"
p. 136


Two to three students made a decision to follow Christ at the outreach event. I'm glad to know that God still does things according to his schecdule and ways and not mine. As the speaker was talking, I was getting annoyed because he was using words like "verily", "believeth", "gals and guys", and Ohh so many more things that are just culturally wrong with teenagers but alas the Holy Spirit still does his job despite inadequate servants. It gave me hope.


They guy who's pimping his Youth Ministry Material on e-bay, has a buyer. I was hoping no one would buy it and then he'd be wondering how he got over 60 views but no ca$h.


I'm sending the mansucript in today! Big outreach event tonight with our students, we'll join around 3,000 other students in Springfield, MA for an overnight lock-out.


Arrghh!!! Youth Pastors selling their goods to each other has reached a new low. Looking through e-bay tonight and I found this Youth Ministry Attachment Packet! (It'll only be up for 6 Days and 19 hours, hurry, hurry hurry!)

Cost: $2.50 plus shipping and handling
I've been a youth pastor for several years and have build up a number of useful items in Microsoft Word.

They include: Planning / Permission forms / samples / Teaching ideas / activities / Lessons

Illustrations / short stories / Samples of what other youth ministries use / And similar items.

Everything together is probably between 80 - 120 pages printed.

Some items are freebies and will be sent to you free and include the BEST youth ministry items I've found on the web. Lessons that are GREAT, meaningful and fun (no the blah stuff!)

Any questions about the packet, let me know.

Other Ebayers who ordered enjoyed the material they received.

God bless!

I'm sure the guy needs some money but don't we all? Crud! I could gather 80-120 printed pages of goods just from Ryan's Site and Doug Field's Freebies. Don't all of us have those things in our computer files?

I have to write a new book, "Cut and Paste Based Youth Ministry"

Chapter 1. The Secret of Hiding Your Sources
Chapter 2. The Best Web Sites to Steal. . er. . Glean From
Chapter 3. The Top Ten Lessons You Know Nothing About But The Holy Spirit Will Use In Your Ministry
Chapter 4. How to Borrow the Convictions and Insights of Bloggers And Make Them Your Own
Chapter 5. The Best Three Youth Ministry Philosophies For You To Claim As Your Own
Chapter 6. How to Use Personal Illustrations That Aren't Yours Without Guilt
Chapter 7. Newsletters: The Easiest Thing of All to Make Your Own

Winter is here in CT, it was 27 degrees on my back porch this morning.

I realized this past week, among a list of other things as I've been in a rare reflective mood, that I'd rather be a good youth pastor and totally unknown than a known youth pastor, who is not a good youth pastor.

Youth ministry is my calling and I shouldn't let the ringing of other things grab my attention. Ministry is truly about who I am and not what I do, so I should focus my energy on becoming more excellent in my character and soul rather than becoming more efficient in my career and skills.

Comic book visionaries another great article by Terry Mattingly!

Rudy first mentioned this on his blog. Which shows again that you should read Rudy's blog, daily. I finally read the speech and agree that this speech will be studied for years.

Bush's "age of liberty" speech has already been called the defining theme of the Bush presidency

William Safire writes: "This speech clearly articulated the policy this Bush will be remembered for. If you are interested in knowing where he wants to take this country and why, you will find it worth reading all the way through. Reading summaries and excerpts and critiques lets editors and analysts do the thinking for you. Film snippets of applause lines won't help you grasp the import, which you should have even if you want to disagree knowledgeably. A carefully constructed speech, like a poem or a brief or a piece of music, has a shape that helps makes it memorable. Bush's "age of liberty" address begins on a note of historical optimism: "We've witnessed, in little over a generation, the swiftest advance of freedom in the 2,500-year story of democracy . . . It is no accident that the rise of so many democracies took place in a time when the world's most influential nation was itself a democracy." (He chose "influential" rather than "powerful" to stress our democratic example.)"

Complete NYTimes OpEd The Age of Liberty by William Safire.

There are, however, essential principles common to every successful society, in every culture. Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military -- so that governments respond to the will of the people, and not the will of an elite. Successful societies protect freedom with the consistent and impartial rule of law, instead of selecting applying -- selectively applying the law to punish political opponents. Successful societies allow room for healthy civic institutions -- for political parties and labor unions and independent newspapers and broadcast media. Successful societies guarantee religious liberty -- the right to serve and honor God without fear of persecution. Successful societies privatize their economies, and secure the rights of property. They prohibit and punish official corruption, and invest in the health and education of their people. They recognize the rights of women. And instead of directing hatred and resentment against others, successful societies appeal to the hopes of their own people.

George W. Bush

Much lighter note:
The Cowboys keep winning.


The Coolest Outhouse In The World!

My friend Dave Weiss was the winner of a contest to design and paint an outhouse for Creation Festival East. Dave is the founder of Arts Ministry Outreach for the Kingdom: a ministry dedicated to helping people use the arts in ministry. He's also a member with me for Interlinc's Write-Group.

I just saw this. Win an iPod from Interlinc! The contest ends on November 30, so submit your entry and let other youth workers know. :-)

Last thing to pass on, the article Rethinking Missions from Relevant Magazine


I got a cool e-mail yesterday from Shawn Fanchette in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Hey, I really enjoyed your article in Youthworker! Just like the last postmodern issue, this one's already full of highlighter and dog-eared pages.

Anyways, I just wanted to say hi and let you know I appreciate your thoughts on apologetics. "How you share with people doesn't just vary according to location and culture but according to each person" is a line I'll be ripping out and sharing with anyone in my denomination who'll listen!!

Thanks Shawn for the encouragement.

Matt Conner is blogging! He just started and he's due for an update but give it a peek, it'll be worth watching.

I'll update my "blogging the journey" list in a week or so. (so the link to the cool LiquidThinking site is coming, as promised) See Jimmy? ;-)

Today's a day off so the rest of the day is editing the book. I've learned through this that you are never done writing. It could always be improved. Frustrating yet freeing. If/When I write another book, I'll be so much more prepared.


What would John Piper's Youth Ministry look like? Find out by hitting the link below.

The Youth Ministry Philosophy of Bethlehem Baptist Church

On a much lighter note: Are you a Redneck? Take the test and find out!


Good youth ministry article to read. I Used To Be A Thief by Chris Stewart on Next-Wave. He said what I believe but in a much cooler way. Why do I still desire to be cool?

I got my issue of The Door the other day when I got the news of Yac. It seemed appropriate to laugh at and with the church on that day.

I got the newest edition of Youthworker Journal today. I feel "Postmodern Worthy". My sidebar (Soulatta: Moving our Apologetics from the Debate House to the Coffeehouse), which was written for the upcoming Apologetics issue, was in the "Postmodernism Revisited" issue instead. Mine doesn't rank up there with Tony Jones' "Postmodern Youth Ministry: An Appendix" or Dan Kimball's "Bridging Worlds: The Tension between Modern and Emerging Leaders" but it feels good to have a voice in the conversation.

I think that's what blogs do for all of us, they give us a voice in the conversation.


We had a great night on Halloween. Our local youth ministry network had it's first joint outreach event in a few years. We've done SYATP rally's, occasional joint worship nights but not much else. Brock Gill came into town on Halloween Night and the response was great. I don't know the official count yet but it seemed like we had between 350-400 students there and around 60-80 responded when he shared how to become a Christian.

I'm speaking to a youth ministry class at Gordon College tomorrow. It's the same talk I did at the YS Convention in Pittsburgh, last year. I missed seeing The Passion Experience Tour with my youth group tonight with David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall and Louie Giglio. As much as I love those guys, I'd rather miss that than wake up at 5:30am and make the drive in and around Boston rush hour traffic to get to Gordon on time.

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