Find those Eggs!

The Easter egg hunt has just begun for a woman in Wisconsin. Earlier this month, she gave the Salvation Army thrift shop in Manitowoc a batch of plastic Easter eggs that she found among her late grandmother's possessions. Now she's trying to find out who bought them. She just read Granny's diary — and learned that the eggs were stuffed with "a considerable amount" of cash.

Found on the NYPost's "Wierd But True" section.


That Golden Silence

I've been here about two and a half months. I'm allegedly volunteering 10 hours a week and allegedly working only with the high school. I haven't kept track of my hours because I'm scared how much time it really is but I probably should. Most of my time with people is primarily with the high school ministry but other things have to get done and it's hard to not take responsibility when it will be my responsibility over time.

Tonight we had our Senior High meeting/gathering. We are a loud group. My own Adult ADD (Self-diagnosed, appointment will be made soon to confirm or deny) does not help with the bunny trails we hop down and the interactions we have.

I had planned to do part of "The Five Purposes" kind of stuff but we had two visitors and I called an audible, plus we don't meet during Easter and I want to have a clean start. After hanging out and playing games we began to talk about church. What it is, what it could be and why we go.

We did small group discussion over something and then got back together as a large group. This was our largest group on Sunday night since I've been here, 15-17?, and we didn't even have pizza. ;-)

So we talked about church, wanting to experience God's presence, and asking "do you expect God to show up when you go to church and the youth ministry?" It was an honest discussion. We closed in prayer with silence on the front end for them to be quiet and pray and listen and I closed after a while then I said amen, and it happened. That Golden Silence. That time when you stop praying but it seems that prayer is still happening and no one wants to move. It only lasted 1-2 seconds but it was there, one of my favorite moments in youth ministry. That Golden Silence when it seems that God showed up and people want to make it last a little longer. It was a good night in youth ministry land.


God Is in Control...Yada... Yada... Yada

That's the title of my latest article in Youthworker Journal and it's now online.

And you can discuss it at the YS Forum

I wrestled with writing it and even though I never mentioned the name of my last church, I didn't want anyone's feelings to be hurt. There are some great people there and many are still our friends and have supported us in many ways over this past year.

These are the reasons I wrote the article. They are from different of e-mails that people have sent me:

#1 Wow, thanks for your article on the last page of Youth Worker (Mar/Apr 2005). Recently I was asked to step down from my position as A.P.S.D., under the guise of my resignation of course. I was lucky enough to get to finish by going on the sr. high and jr. high retreats. Monday, Feb 28th was my last day on the job. Tuesday, March 1 I received the latest Youth Worker, oddly enough on vocation and of course your article on the back page.

I do not have a Paul Harvey "The Rest of the Story" conclusion to this e-mail either. Your article does give a glimpse of hope so thanks for your openness, bitterness, anger and dependency on God to get you through this time.

When I fell as though I can write a "Rest of the Story" e-mail I will.

#2 I just read your article in Youthworker and wanted to give you some words of encouragement.

I went through a similar experience six years ago as a youth pastor. In fact, I swore off youth ministry forever in the hopes that God would open the doors to college ministry or to some other ministry that was out there waiting on me. I had to wait a long time.

#3 Thanks so much for your article in YW (mar/April 05). Your situation is so similar to what we’ve experienced it’s spooky! But the best part of your article was the last paragraph…especially the part about trusting God more than my resume. Can it really be done?

#4 It is very hard on my husband because he is angry at God and not only doubts whether he should have been in ministry in the first place but also doubts God. Your article hit him between the eyes and slowly over the last several weeks he has started to read his bible again. The ironic thing (or perhaps God thing) about this all is that we shouldn't even get YouthWorker. We didn't subscribe to it, we have moved since the last time we had it years ago, and no one would get a subscription for us since we are no longer in ministry. Just wanted to let you know one life you have touched by being open and candid in your article. Thank you.


This picture is from Church Under The Bridge. I'm taking some senior high students to Mission Waco in April for a poverty simulation. Comments on the pic?


The Princess Bride

What film has united more youth groups in the history of youth ministry, than "The Princess Bride"? We had just a fun night to watch a movie and hang out. No official visitors came but 3-4 students came who hadn't been on Sunday night before. It was a good night of just being and not much emphasis on doing.


Good Old Fashioned Youth Ministry

I love living in a town where I can walk into the high school and the secretary says, "You're the new youth pastor, right?" after we met only once before.

I say "Yes. I'm at Grace Bible Church and I'm here to see a few students"

She gives me a visitor tag and I get to go hang out with students over lunch.

I was able to see and chat with nine different students. I was reluctant about going on the campus, not because I thought there'd be problems but because I'm 35 years old and I obviously don't belong. Cool part was when some of the female students saw me and came over to give me a hug and let me know they were happy to see me.

I was able to talk to one student for about 40 minutes, genuine one on one time. That was priceless; getting to know him and his hopes.

After three lunch periods I left. It was a great day in Youth Ministry Land.


Stirring it Up

My new article came out this month in Youthworker. It was a cool honor when Will asked me if I'd be able to contribute to the back page, where Yac shared, ranted and blessed. The title is "God is in Control. . . Yada . . Yada . . .Yada."

(It'll be online soon and will be topic of discussion in the YWJ Forum.) That should be fun. I've already gotten three e-mails regarding the article. One was an encouraging note from a friend, another was a generic thanks from a stranger. The third deserves it's own catagory. It's the kind of story that seems to be told far too often about being hurt within and by the Church. He seems to be entering his tunnel while I am about to leave mine. But oh the darkness of the tunnel when there is little or no light.

He told me he'd write me a note when his "rest of the story" happened. I hope and pray that he does and that it's sooner than he expects.


I Luv NYC (but I'm still a Yankee Hater)

Reading Tony's cool story while he was in New York City reminded me how much we love and miss The City.

A friend once told me, "You don't go into New York to see the city, you go to see New Yorkers". Mighty fine advice. I found a funny story about some obsessive New Yorkers and how they do Subway Races.

My favorite spot to hang out in NYC is Washington Square Park.


Losey Blogs!

John wrote Experiential Youth Ministry Handbook and he started blogging, tonight! I have the exclusive rights to inform the world. So please visit his blog (Losey on Experiential Methods) and let him know what you think. (Here's part of his first post)

If you are a teacher, pastor, manager or leader you are a manipulator. In these roles we manipulate the room by how we set it up and how we arrange the lights. We choose where and when our programs occure. We can control the energy in the room by how we choose to sequence activities and lessons. My guess is we can have a huge impact on what people say and do if we choose to. The question is how much and what should we manipulate? Where is the ethical line where manipulation in teaching and leading becomes negitive?


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