I'm leaving for Belize on April 1st. I am the scout for our church mission trip in 2005. Should be a good few days with a couple of other friends.


I found a good interview with Tony Jones today while skimming Jordon's blog.

Soul-Shaper: Jeff Bailey talks with Tony Jones

The whole thing is good but especially the last three questions and answers.

I got the next assigment for Interlinc today. It's going to be Trevor Morgan's self titled debut.

Even though not many people will know him, yet, he's been in the industry for around 10 years. I'm hoping he'll be an "overnight success story". Trevor and I went to the same home church. I'm about 3 years older than Trevor so we weren't buddies but it's cool to see this happening for him. I hope he get's huge so I can tell my students, "yeah, I was his coach for our church softball team" That might be my new claim to fame.


Pastoral Ministry: Just a Huckster

Some young preacher will study until he has to get thick glasses to take care of his failing eyesight because he has an idea he wants to become a famous preacher. He wants to use Jesus Christ to make him a famous preacher. He's just a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. They will ordain him and he will be known as Reverend and if he writes a book, they will make him a doctor. And he will be known as Doctor; but he's still a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. And when the Lord comes back, He will drive him out of the temple along with the other cattle.

We can use the Lord for anything--or try to use Him. But what I'm preaching and what Paul taught and what was brought down through the years and what gave breath to the modern missionary movement that you and I know about and belong to was just the opposite: "O, God, we don't want anything You have, we want You." That's the cry of a soul on its way up.

by A. W. Tozer in Success and the Christian, 29.

Are you a huckster? Am I?

What Youth Pastors live for!

I got this note the other week and Kevin said I could share it. :-) I hope it encourages you, too.

Hey Len!

This is Kevin Ireland, I don't know if you remember me but I was a Jr. High Student at Westerly Road way back when.

I was bouncing around the youth specialties site and noticed your picture next to your post and I was like "Dude looks like Len, his handle is Len...sounds like Len to me!"

So needless to say since I was bouncing around the YS site that I'm a youth worker!

I'm attending Eastern University and am going to be graduating with my degree in Youth Ministry with a minor in Theology in December.

I've been dating Tina Hill (Remember her?) for a while now and am saving up for an engagment ring.

So yea, that's where I'm at!

I figured I'd drop you a line and say "Hey".

I don't know if you know this, but in the story of how I recived my calling to enter youth ministry you actually play a prominent part even though you and I really wheren't too close.

I remember that the night I made my first real solid commitment to Christ at Autmn Blaze you where there to recive me with a hug and a hat and an availability to field my questions or just listen to me.

Then a few years later after you left we returned to Autmn Blaze and a student went to make a commitment, and I noticed our current youth pastor wasn't going over to recive him! So I walked over to the exact place you where standing and tried to model what you did for me, because it was so important.

So I began to comfort and listen to the student and eventually my youth pastor at the time came over and we all prayed together.

Soon after that I got a real feeling that my imitation of what you did for me was just a begining of something. So after many other experiences and prayers and affirmations of my calling from others, I set out in that crazy calling of youth ministry!

So I figured I'd give a "Hey I know you...remember me?" since I found your info!

Well hope all goes well with you and yours, e-mail me sometime if you get a chance!

In Him,
-Kevin Ireland

Here's part of what I sent to him after I read the letter:

Yeah the last couple of years have been very good to me in youth ministry land but none of the speaking stuff or writing compares to getting a note like yours. To know that God used you to impact someone's life and calling is an amazing experience.


Writing is a lonely endeavor

I'm up late writing a proposal for another youth ministry book. (By the way, I got the new Zondervan catalog in the mail today. That was cool.) I'm trying to form words to transform biblical principles into practical actions. I think some things are good but I know some things are not but I also know that I might be wrong on either one with my judgement. It'd be nice to have someone to interact with over these things (right now as the ideas are running through my head) instead I took a little blogging break to relax and hopefully get back on track. Time will tell.

Meeting the Unique Needs of Your Youth Pastor by By Ken Godevenos, MBA, CCP, CHRP on www.churchbusiness.com

Mention the words “youth pastor” in a Christian gathering and you’re sure to get all sorts of reactions. Some love them, some tolerate them, and some feel it’s time for a new one. Others simply don’t know what to think.

No pastoral position is more closely scrutinized than that of the youth pastor. Elderly congregants can’t understand why the music they play has to have “all that noise.” Parents think they’ve either done wonders for their children or ruined their chances of ever liking church. The kids themselves either consider them too cool or too demanding. Even fellow staff members sometimes resent youth pastors getting special privileges without the usual restraints. So, how do we facilitate the unique needs of a youth pastor? . . . . . .


2 numbers for Yankee Fans

Talk about A-Rod all you want, I don't care. 2 numbers for you.

56 & 38

56 is the number of wins that Petite, Clemens and Wells had for you last year.

38 is the number of games that Derek Lowe has won over the last two years. Which is more games than anyone in the American League the past two years except for Toronto's Roy Halladay (41). Did I mention he's the #3 pitcher for the Red Sox?


Pastoral Ministry: How Much I Could Have Done

Before the judgment seat of Christ my service will be judged not by how much I have done but by how much I could have done. In God's sight my giving is measured not by how much I have given but by how much I could have given and how much I had left after I made my gift. The needs of the world and my total ability to minister to those needs decide the worth of my service.

Not by its size is my gift judged, but by how much of me there is in it. No man gives at all until he has given all. No man gives anything acceptable to God until he has first given himself in love and sacrifice....

In the work of the church the amount one man must do to accomplish a given task is determined by how much or how little the rest of the company is willing to do. It is a rare church whose members all put their shoulder to the wheel. The typical church is composed of the few whose shoulders are bruised by their faithful labors and the many who are unwilling to raise a blister in the service of God and their fellow men. There may be a bit of wry humor in all this, but it is quite certain that there will be no laughter when
each of us gives account to God of the deeds done in the body.

A. W. Tozer in That Incredible Christian, p 105.

I read this quote today and I wanted to share it with my friends. I don't even know how to respond to these words. I think I'll just go read them again, think and probably pray.


Here's some great pics of Adam's .be worship. Very cool stuff. I'd love to provide something like that for our students. I heard a rumor that he wants to start something like this in the Princeton area but it could not be confirmed, so remember it's a rumor.


Free Youth Ministry Quote of the Week

Contrary to much of our current thinking about the importance of powerful youth ministries to the lifelong spiritual development of future adults, research proves otherwise: a teenager who attends a church's worship service on a regular basis and does not attend youth group is more likely to continue to attend church worship services as an adult than a teen who is active in youth group but doesn't attend worship services with other age groups.
Mark Oestreicher in Emerging Church p. 33

The Free Youth Ministry quote of the week is brought to you by FreeYouthMinistry.com to provide encouragement and strength for the wonderful and crazy calling of youth ministry.

To subscribe send an e-mail to: freeyouthministryquote-subscribe@topica.com

I just discovered a new blog. I liked it, I'll keep reading it over the next couple of weeks and decide if it's "blogroll worthy". It's Dead Youth Pastor Walking.


My Book! will be available in August.

Creative Bible Lessons in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: 12 Sessions to Deepen Your Faith in a World of Oppression, Danger, and Difficulty by Yours Truly

As part of the bestselling Creative Bible Lessons series, the newest installment of 1 and 2 Timothy & Titus is a call for all teenagers in the body of Christ to go deeper with their faith, to join Paul in his last hours as he prepares his disciples to lead the young church in a world of oppression, danger, and difficulty.

This newest installment of the bestselling Creative Bible Lessons series provides practical faith-sustaining principles for Christian teenagers from every walk of life. These “pastoral epistles,” written by the Apostle Paul at the end of his life, give sound instruction on how to lead the young church in a world of oppression, danger, and difficulty. In twelve chapters this book covers leadership, worship, getting in shape, walking the talk, knowing your enemy, money, overcoming opposition, and the Bible.


Wow! It's real, it's really, really real! It's almost available after all this time. I first pitched the idea in December 2002, worked on it from February - November 2003 and on the shelves in August 2004.

The final weight is 144 pages. The manuscript I turned in was 256 pages (1 inch margins and double spaced) so it should be fun to see how it was improved, the art and to see which of the "fun things" that I inserted made the cut. "Fun things" included inserting some names of people and places that I wanted to give a little love to. :-)

Renee's Book! will be available in Sept!

Stumbling Toward Faith: My Longing to Heal from the Evil That God Allowed by Renee N. Altson

Renee Alston's powerful, personal narrative details the evil done to her throughout her life---almost exclusively at the hands of the church---and how she struggles and stumbles toward faith despite her ordeal.

This story of pain, healing, and growth provides insight into how postmodern pilgrims grasp for hope and faith despite frustration and disappointment. This narrative theology aims to help Christian leaders relate the message of Christ to those who feel disenfranchised from the traditional Christian church. Using personal experiences, humor, compelling stories, poetry, and her weblog, author Renee Altson helps readers understand those at the fringes of faith and what motivates them.


I'm looking forward to seeing my book but I'm going to drop everything I'm reading when Renee's book comes out and devour it. I hope that the sales of it resembles "The Passion of The Christ" in that by taking a risk, Zondervan finds many who identify with it and they look like geniouses for believing in this project. Did I mention that I'm looking forward to reading this? ;-)


Happy St. Patricks Day!

18 days until Opening Day!


You are Woodstock!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks Deneice!

The concert was great. We were in a venue that was smaller than most church gyms. It was standing room only and we were about 14-20 feet from the stage. Jars was awesome and they told some great stories about the "warmth" of New Yorkers during the day. The coolest surprise was Steven Delopoulos and Josh Zandman played as the opening act. You might know them better as "Burlap to Cashmere"! It had been 5 years since they last played together and they talked about going back into the recording studio together.

I felt obligated to call 4-5 friends while waiting for the concert to start and say, "Guess where I am". I just wanted to test their ability to "rejoice with those who rejoice" or if they were going to be bitter towards me. Let's just say all but one passed the test. I can't tell you what he told me over the phone, young eyes might read this blog. :-)


I'm going to see Jars of Clay tonight at The Irving Plaza in New York City with a couple of friends. Ahhhh. :-)


The end is coming. The drums are getting louder.

I love Cari because Cari is the Best! (Written because it's true and Cari asked me to during the Lock-In.)


Lock-in in one hour and fifteeteen minutes. What was I thinking?!!

Hopefully it'll be a good time for the students who come and hopefully some students will bring their friends.

I'm giving an entry level message and I'm using "The Passion of The Christ". Why not everyone else, is? :-O Basic theme is going to be "You are Christ's Passion" and talk about God's unendless love for all of us ragamuffins and messy types.

I'm also giving a "Lock-In Survival Kit" to all of our adults. I'll probably post this on the free youth ministry website when it goes "live" on 04.04.04 but if anyone would like it (for what it's worth) let me know with a comment.


I called Jay Sedwick today to talk about some things and to catch up. Jay is the Youth Ministry Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. We met for the first time a couple of years ago at one of the YS conventions.

We talked for about 10 minutes about different stuff and at the end he said, "Oh, by the way. One of my students quoted you the other day in class. It was from the Postmodern issue of Youthworker. I told her I knew you."

That was kinda cool and yet surreal.


I'd love to hear other people's thoughts about The Biblical Coaching Academy by Carl Blunt the self-proclaimed "ministrypreneur" that writes: The Certified Biblical Coach(TM) program provides the basic essentials for being a Biblical Coach(TM). It is a 15 session one-on-one intensive program with a Master Certified Biblical Coach(TM). Typical students complete the program in 15 weeks. Students are expected to spend about 10 hours a week (165 total educational hours) studying and applying the Biblical principles learned in the training sessions. The regular program price is $3,995, but it has been lowered to $2,995 for a limited time because of the growing demand of Certified Biblical Coaches(TM).

I found out about Carl's new endeavor thanks to Jon's Blog. I left a comment under the Wed, 3 post about Casting Crowns and I went back after other comments had been added and this was one of them:

Jon, I'd like to connect with you.

God has called me to serve youth leaders as a Spiritual Director and Ministry Coach.

Maybe you know of some youth leaders who might need someone like me to serve them. You can find out more about me at http://www.CarlBlunt.com

Let's hook up on the phone some time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Abba's child,

Carl Blunt
Spiritual Director and Ministry Coach

What's wrong with me that I'm not "connect with you" worthy?

PLEASE leave comments about your impressions. Thanks. Maybe we should all schedule a free phone call?

I wonder if Carl will appreciate this free advertising?


My friend Steve Teel of VeryBold.com has scored again. His free Sports Illustrating God Weekly E-zine is a good resource to use with your students, yourself or to gleen illustrations from. Subscribe by visiting the site or drop Steve a note at Steve@VeryBold.com and tell him you want to subscribe to his Sport's Devo.

I wonder how soon it'll be before he'll write about the the rivaly between the Red Sox and the Evil Empire?


Let the Games Begin!

It's only a Sring Training game but I'm glad that it has begun. First pitch in the season is 28 days away.


Are we Going to Hell in a handbasket or are we sitting in Hell in a handbasket?

“Air Force Academy commanders admonished cadets for using academy e-mail to tout Mel Gibson's movie about the crucifixion of Jesus. In an e-mail obtained by The Associated Press, Superintendent Lt. Gen. John Rosa said the cadets' use of an academy e-mail distribution list to encourage people to see ‘The Passion of the Christ’ was inappropriate. . . . He also admonished cadets for displaying fliers for the movie in the cafeteria, according to the e-mail sent Wednesday. At least one academy graduate complained to Rosa that the students' e-mail was insensitive to cadets who are not Christians, Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said.”

- Associated Press, 3/5/04


I just found out that my mothers test for cancer after the eight chemo sessions has shown it's 100% gone! Woo Hoo!


I just ordered some Finger Blasters and 2 Rubber Chickens from RecFx for the lock-in, next Friday.

Chris has gone to the dark side and chosen to leave youth ministry. Pray for his soul as he stops being the Junior High Pastor and transforms into the Emergent Pastor at his church. ;-)


4th Anniversary!

Today is my fourth anniversary of starting at Trinity. I'm having lunch with a guy who's said "We should do lunch" since the first day we met, and we never have! We'd schedule then one of us would have to cancel. So about three weeks ago I told him we should get together on my anniversary and we are. It should be fun.

I am afraid of the pastor that is another man when he enters the pulpit from what he was before. Reverend, you should never think a thought or do a deed or be caught in any situation that you couldn't carry into the pulpit with you without embarrassment. You should never have to be a different man or get a new voice and a new sense of solemnity when you enter the pulpit. You should be able to enter the pulpit with the same spirit and the same sense of reverence that you had just before when you were talking to someone about the common affairs of life.

By A. W. Tozer in Worship: The Missing Jewel of the Evangelical Church

Authenticity was a value by Tozer, too. I'll never forget the time I met the pastor at a church and found he out that I was in ministry too. We talked for about 2-3 minutes about seminary's, our churches (typical surface minister talk) and then he had to go on the stage because the service was about to begin. He seemed like a nice guy.

Once he got up and began his sermon, I turned him off. His voice changed. He had that "Pastoral Voice" from the 50's. I didn't hear another word he said for about 10 minutes until I was convicted that I should listen for God and not listen to that man.

Still I lost respect for him in about two minutes because he was totally different in conversation than who he was behind the pulpit. I hope others don't say that about me.

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