The Big Gig was a Big Deal

It was crazy! Four different groups performed starting at 7pm. The first guy only had 15-20 people there when he started around 7:20 and I was hoping the 20 large pizza's that I bought by faith would be eaten.

Students slowly dragged in a little waves of 3-5, which equals a car load and eventually it was a crowd of humanity in and around our sancuary and front doors as the different groups performed. The third band let the first guy come back up and sing a song with them so he got to perform in front of a real crowd. I counted the number of students at different times and it was around 150 at any one time but we estimate that 160-180 students came at one point or another.

We had a drawing for prizes as they walked in but as the groups came in it was too much to have everyone wait as they filled out the little card with their name, e-mail and if they wanted to be e-mailed about future "Big Gigs", movie nights or the upcoming lock-in.

We had more church students who came this time, around 10 or so out of the mass of students, so it was a successful Cultivating event. I was able to talk to probably 6-10 different students about faith issues and why we were doing the event at our church. The highlight wasn't the number of students who came, though for our church that is HUGE!, the highlight was that around 70 or so flyers for the Lock-In in two weeks were handed to students. That will be where we plant some truth in a direct way based upon our intial relationships with them. I probably gave out 20-30 to different students that I actually talked with. (It's amazing that students who don't know you will walk up to you and say, "What's that?" as you hold up and play with Finger Blasters. :-) Last song was over at 11:20 and the adults and some students cleaned everything up, straightened the chairs in the sanctuary, took out the trash and I was in bed by 12:05. It was a good night, it's nice to have those occasionally.

Sping is here or at least on it's way in CT. Today's high is 55 or so and everyone, it seems, was out riding bikes, walking the dog, jogging or just saying hi to neighbors you haven't seen while all the snow was on the ground.

I rode bikes with my girls in the church parking lot. We live three houses away from the church. Good times.


Our "Big Gig" is tonight. It should be a fun Cultivating Outreach event. (If you are not familiar with "CPR", check out this link from Sonlife.)

Last time was unbelieveable. We only had 5 church kids but around 55-60 first time visitors. We'll see if we can increase the church kids and the visitors. We're going to have a Planting Outreach event in two weeks. The always dreaded LOCK-IN!!! (Check out CPR Link above.)


I saw The Passion last night. I logged on my computer this morning and almost immediately three different friends asked, "See the Passion, yet" or "How was it"?

Here is my response that I cut and pasted to the other two friends:

I feel like a dufus because I wasn't brought to tears or anything. It was good, worth seeing, not life changing for me. I'd probably watch it again.

It was cool though seeing the foreheads with ashes on them and a fairfly full theater on Wednesday at 9:30pm. I also saw some Middle-Eastern people there as well. Probably not Christians.

I wonder how it will do at the Box Office?

YS now has a total forum dedicated to The Passion on the YS boards

American Flag
United States Of America -
The most well-renouned country in modern day times.
The militaristic superpower, the United States
of America are also known as the bossiest


Known Worldwide.

A Beacon to Others.


Fast Food.



Despised by Most Others.


Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I found this courstesy of Adam who is Switzerland. And we all know that the Good Ol' U. S. of A. could kick some serious Swiss Butt!


My Rent a Reverend Days Are Over

If you need renewing to why you do what you do in ministry, read that article.


Steinbrenner set to file grievance

John W. Henry got some laughs Saturday when he indirectly compared Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to Don Rickles.

The Boss, however, didn't think Henry was so funny, and his response may come today.

The New York Daily News is reporting in today's editions that Steinbrenner is planning to file a grievance with commissioner Bud Selig's office over Henry's remarks. . . . . . .

And Yankee Fan's accuse us of whining over A-Rod. What's da matter Georgie? You're feelings hurt?

My church started the "40 Days of Purpose Campaign" today. I'm looking forward to it. I know I, along with many of my blogging friends, rip certain aspects of the marketing side of it but it seems that God has really used this around the country to help churches. That's my prayer for our church.

I'm speaking at my daughters class today about the writing process. I'm actually going to use some of the stuff I talked about last month when I blogged about getting published. Scary thing since they are third graders but it should be fun.

From Insights for Leaders by A. W. Tozer.

The important thing is that the Holy Spirit desires to take us and control us and use us as instruments and organs through whom He can express Himself in the body of Christ. Perhaps I can use my hands as a further illustration of this truth.

My hands are about average, I suppose--perhaps a little large for the size of my body, probably because I had to do a lot of farm work when I was a boy. But there is something I must tell you about these hands. They cannot play a violin. They cannot play the organ or the piano. They cannot paint a picture. They can barely hold a screwdriver to do a small repair job to keep things from falling apart at home. I have ungifted hands....

You will agree that it would be foolish for me to try to bring forth any delightful organ music using such ungifted hands. Is it not appalling, then, to think that we allow this very thing to happen in the body of Christ? We enlist people and tell them to get busy doing God's work, failing to realize the necessity of the Spirit's control and functioning if there is to be a spiritual result.
Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts, 30-31.


Terry Mattingly responds to the NYTimes article "Hip New Churches Pray to a Different Drummer" with Post-contemporary worship: buy stock in incense, now


I started reading Doug's book this week. I bumped it up my reading list, so please ignore the current "on the nightstand" list.

I'm enjoying the book but the coolest part was when I read the intro and Doug wrote about reading the first draft of the chapters out loud with Thom Olson. They'd discuss it and then he'd change things. I was 80% I knew Thom because I could so envision the Thom Olson I knew sitting back drinking coffee or some other beverage of choice with Doug and talking church.

I e-mailed Thom, hoping the e-mail was still the same from our last contact a few years ago, and alas, I was right. Thom and I went to the same church in Princeton while he was at Priceton Seminary. He was PoMo before there was a label. He was one of our favorite people while we were in Princeton. Knowing that Doug and Thom are friends helps me sooo understand more about Doug and Solomon's Porch.

In honor of Thom from page 109:

Thom, a member of our community who has been extremely helpful in my thinking through this book, recently attended a play. Thom's a big fan of live theater, so I asked him what he thought. He said, "I felt as if the actors were merely quoting the playwright instead of living out the words expressed by the character." His response echoes our desire to be hospitable people who live the dreams of God in the way of Jesus. We seek to do more than quote the lines of our Lord. We dream of being people who attempt to do as Jesus did, humbly, by inviting others into redeemed life with us.

I'm hoping to hang with Thom in Nashville, if I get to go, at the Emergent Convention he's the Main Stage Director for both conventions.

FREE ConGRADulations! Class of 2004 CD-ROM

for full-time and part-time adult youth leaders who are considering giving "ConGRADulations 2004" as a gift. One copy per church please, while supplies last. Courtesy of Interlinc who will send you one copy to evaluate with no strings attached.


Buy (212) 867-5309 off of E-bay for only 80K with still 5 days to go.

I'm going to bed. No blogging for a couple of days.


I didn't think the baseball trash talk would start so early in the year but LJ has thrown the guantlet down. :-)

Basically, I don't care. Would I rather have A-Rod, sure? But the mantra is still true, "It all comes down to pitching." I feel the Red Sox are still in good shape.

Stay calm, this has yet to play itself out

My God, if there has been a more bizarre baseball sequence than this one in the 21st century, none of us has seen it.

This is stranger than Grady's infamous stroll to the Yankee Stadium mound -- The Little Walk to Nowhere -- last October. This beats Bud Selig throwing up his hands to halt an All-Star Game and Steve Bartman sticking out his hands to halt the Cubs' march to the World Series.

Alex Rodriguez, longtime Red Sox obsession, is a New York Yankee.

While I still don't believe the trade is devastating to the Sox on the field (I'll explain later), it certainly has triggered a few side effects among their fans. . . . .

Why Sox struck out:Team valued its finances more than A-Rod

"I think it's a great day for Texas, which freed up a ton of money, a great day for the Yankees, and a sad day for baseball," said one major industry executive.

The Red Sox did not make the deal for Rodriguez, the executive said, because they were committed to adhering to a plan of financial discipline that places a premium on winning, but without losing money in the process.

"Money talks," Sox CEO Larry Lucchino said Saturday. "They reached into their treasury and made it happen."

"Rockin'" Rollen Stewart: I watched this story on ESPN last night. Very sad.

Rollen and his rainbow-colored afro debuted at the 1977 NBA Finals, and after that, they were in the crowd and on the screen for televised sporting events everywhere. Like bellbottoms, short shorts, roller skates and platform shoes, Stewart typified '70s fashion in all its wrongheaded glory. He seemed a harmless geek, just angling for the some small splash of the spotlight, and after a while, his presence helped make a game seem like a big deal. In the '80s, he found religion and started flashing "John 3:16" signs for the cameras, trying to save souls one big game at a time. In 1992, he went from being a funny curiosity to a sad, dangerous headcase, taking a hotel maid hostage for several hours before being subdued by police and eventually sent to prison.
From ESPN's 70's Cult Figures in Sports


Am I the only one?

Am I the only one who feels like the church is being used to promote a movie and it may or may not break even because of evangelicals giving so much free advertising to The Passion of the Christ? I'd hate for this to be as "spectactular" as Left Behind where the only audience is Christians. I saw Mel Gibson's inverview courtesy of Interlinc, friends of mine have seen the private screenings (a friend in CA even saw with Mel and a small group of pastors.) and they've had nothing but good things to say about it. I believe it's going to be good and I'm planning on seeing it before "The Big Gig" (a high school outreach event) on the 27th and I might encourage the mostly non-church goers to see it but I have mixed emotions about the movie being used as "the next big thing" for Christendom's evangelistic efforts. My fear is that we will get sucked into this vortex and once all the dust has settled, the church will be seen, once again, with egg on it's face, not because of our message or Messiah but because of our actions. Am I the only one?

A few friends have started blogs, Brian, Garth, and Tom. They are all youth pastors, they all attended the PoMo YM Forum with Tony Jones last week and they all have comments about that day. I hope you give them a visit and leave some comments.


I just finished reading Experiential Storytelling. I liked what he had to say. I asked a question at the PoMo YM Forum that this book helped address but not fully. The question was along the lines of, "Do you we have to always use Scripture when we talk about truth? Can't we sometimes let a story that reflects God's truth just speak for itself rather than always providing a support text for what whe are saying"? Still trying to figure that one out in a way that honors both Scripture and the culture we live in.

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Will ''The Passion'' ruin Mel Gibson's career? The much-anticipated, hotly debated, and closely guarded film dramatizing Christ's final hours threatens to forever alienate the actor/director from Hollywood.

Full Story from Entertainment Weekly


Another Free Youth Ministry Website is Coming!

Things are starting to line up for the free youth ministry website that I'm working on. I'm going to try and have an Advisory Board who can . . . uh. . . . advise different aspects and ideas of the site.

One idea that I want to incorporate is a "Leaders are Readers" in our monthly newsletter. I'd ask different youth ministry friends and others to give their "The Latest 5 books" they've read and/or "The Greatest 5 books" they've read.

More to come, it's officially launching on 04/04/04 but I'll give out the site in a month or so.

Also we're going to have a drawing every month for a free book.

If you have any ideas you'd like to see or if you have any resources that you'd like to share, let me know.



The message was based out of Matthew chapter 4 talking about the Kingdom of God and tying that into the vision for VFC being a worshipping community of missional theologians and I explained those four things. I also used the metaphor of a goldfish in a little bowl, as what so many Christians experience either creating a little Christian sub-culture and removing ourselves from the world, or creating a little bubble of restrictions of rule and guilt which keep us trapped. I then put that little fish in a big fishtank, that had another large goldfish and explained how whatever the size of the tank is, will determine the size of the fish. And told how the little goldfish remained small because of the container, and the big fish is bigger because it has more freedom. I then tried to explain that for VFC we want to challenge people to break out of the little bowls if they are in them and out of Christian sub-culture, and be missional etc.

From Dan's e-newsletter about the first worship gathering for Vintage Church in Santa Cruz, CA.


Great day with Tony today with around 30 other youth workers. Good stuff and good conversation both with the group and with Tony when we had a few moments.

We talked a little about some of our blogging friends. Adam going to Princeton, how Renee's book is going to rock but not sure if everyone will appreciate it. And we talked about some other stuff. Good to touch base again with each other.


I need to buy this from The Relevant Store. But for now, it'll be my wallpaper. :-)


I saw the cover of my book!

I read that Renee had seen her cover so I decided to e-mail Urb and see if mine was done. I saw the cover of my book this weekend! It's a new design from the previously published books in the "Creative Bible Lessons" series by YS.

The official title is "Creative Bible Lesson in 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus: 12 Sessions to Deepen Your Faith in a World of Oppression, Danger and Difficulty." I like it!

I just talked to a student that I've never met, via IM, for around 2 hours. He got my Screen Name from a student at our church who told him he could talk to me. He's searching for God and he's been through more junk than most of our church kids could even imagine. Pray for him. (God knows his name.)


Football Jesus

Found courtesy of Off-The-Map.org's e-newsletter.

Terry Mattingly has joined the blog bandwagon at www.GetReligion.org


I just sent a couple of product ideas to YS. I hate sending ideas off like this, because as long as you don't share them, there's a chance that it could still happen. But once you send the query out, the risk of rejection just shot up exponentially. Oh well, I guess "No Guts, No Glory" applies here, too.


The PoMo YM Forum with Tony Jones is just around the corner.

Tony is coming up to Fairfield, CT from Princeton, NJ next tuesday. He's going to give a talk and then we are all going to talk about Postmodernism, Youth Ministry, "emerging churches", etc.

35-40 youth worker types will be there. It's designed to be a discussion among everyone not just a talk from Tony. It should be a great time. Tony is looking forward to it. He thinks it's going to kick some #$@%! Tony has the freedom to type exactly how he felt, i don't. :-)

So if you happen to be in Grand Central or Penn Station on Tuesday, the 10th of February and you think you see Tony, you probably will.

New Controversies Swirl Over 'The Passion'

The debate over "The Passion of the Christ" in Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish communities continues. A new controversy was set off Jan. 21 after leaders of two Jewish groups, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League and Rabbis James Rudin and David Elcott of the American Jewish Committee, posed as pastors so they could attend an advance screening of the movie produced and directed by Mel Gibson.

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide


Like many other youth pastors we watched the SuperBowl last night. At halftime, I decided that it'd be good to do some "Name Games" (get to know each other questions) so I turned the TV off and we answered some goofy questions and got to know each other a little better. I turned the TV back on and the kickoff was about to happen.

Most of us enjoyed watching the Patriots win and I didn't even find out about Justin Timberlake's role in Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" until this morning.

I sent out an e-mail to the parents of the students who were there and called few of the others, I was the hero for the day with our parents.


I was away for a week in Nashville. All I can say is, "What happened in Nashville, stays in Nashville". ;-)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com