Monday we had our typical "Lunch Bunch." Names not original, leave me alone. Anyways after coming back to the church with about 30 minutes before the parents were supposed to be there, some students started playing with the Finger Blasters while I played Egyptian Rat Slap with a student from camp who challenged me. (I won, still undefeated in Lubbock.)
So after soundly beating my three opponents I wandered down the hallway where I heard screaming, squeeling (as only 7th - 9th grade girls can) and finger blasters hitting the wall. There seemed to be around 12 students firing at each other and being very loud in the area right outside the church office. That's right, right outside the church office.
Nobody came out with "What are you doing?" - "Get them out of here!" or "These kids aren't showing any respect to the church" comments. Instead the secretaries watched through the glass and later came out and played with them.
It's fun to be at a church where teenagers are seen as what they are, teenagers and a part of our church, even while loudly playing with finger blasters outside the church office.
I ran home real quick today before hosting a gaggle of students for our weekly "Lunch Bunch" in the summer. Walking out to my van with a few things in my hand to take to the office and I just thought, this is the weirdness that is normal in youthministry. I dare say, no other professional in their field would have these exact three items at once and yet it's normal for us in youth ministry. Here are the three items:
1. A New Kind of Youth Ministry
2. The Dictionary of Premillennial Theology
3. A Rubber Chicken
Here's an article by my friend Tim Adams (his son's name is Sam, no kidding).
U2 Concert What Church Should Be
Here is a great article by Tim Ellsworth on Bonds becoming the next Home Run King.
Barry Bonds is on the cusp of breaking the most revered, most hallowed record in all of sports. And outside of the hometown loyalists in San Francisco, a lot of sports fans couldn’t care less.
Read the whole article
The interview with Wayne Rice is up.
We were talking about something and Mark mentioned this cartoon that he often refers to and I said, "Oh, I have that one saved." He asked me to e-mail it to him so I will after I share it here. Enjoy, print it and post in outside your office. Mine is already on the board outside my office.
i’ve been tagged by The Marko (I propose everyone start referring to him as The Marko, BTW)
1. players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
2. those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
3. players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.
my 8 random factoids:
1. I was elected president of our UMY at Frazer Memeorial UMC when I was a senior. I thought it was normal to have elections in youth group and I thought it was normal to have 150 high schoolers show up for church on Sunday night. Little did I know.
2. I've been to 35 states.
3. I've memorized the book of Philippians.
4. I started writing because my seminary professor was able to get about 10 of us little sidebars in some Christian Education magazine and I thought, "Maybe I can have something to say that will help others, afterall."
5. My youth pastor was at our church for 16 years and he co-led a workshop at the NYWC on leading large youth ministries with some new guy named Doug Fields a long time ago.
6. I have every issue of Youthworker Journal but 2.
7. I've regained some of the weight since that picture was taken but I'm hoping to lose it again by the time the NYWC rolls around. I finally have a routine again and it makes it easier.
8. I'm leaving right now from camp to have lunch with Riddle and Jimmy Doyle.
1. Doug (Looking forward to hanging in Atlanta)
2. Tony M (Looking forward to hanging in Atlanta)
3. Clint (Michelle will be with us for about a week)
4. Luis (If only the NYWC was in São Paulo)
and I'll tag four students on Facebook later today or tomorrow.
I'm at New Life Ranch in OK with students for my first youth group trip. It's been fun so far and the staff here is amazing. We are in effect bus drivers who care about the students. We have no official responsibility but to take them home so the other two adults and I are around and enjoying being with the students but are able to relax too.
We had a 9 hour plus drive to get here yesterday. We arrived a day earlier than the rest of the campers so we had some time to ourselves today before things started and that was good to have a little group building discussion with just our group.
I had planned a short discussion on the idea of Pilgrimage and the parallels our trip had with the Pilgrimage principles. The chapel speaker (70 staff people were here for Sunday chapel) made some similar points today during his talk, I found that comforting. I focused mainly on the enjoying the journey and looking for God and eternal moments throughout our time here and not just getting to the end of the week. (With a "thanks" to Tony for letting me rip about 7 paragraphs from his Pilgrimage chapter in The Sacred Way.)
After lunch we tossed around a discussion ball. It was a great thing to use and I'm sure it'll be used again. It'd be better in a smaller group of 10 or so.
I'm going to take a day and just have a personal retreat, that should be good for me and my soul. And I should be meeting Riddle and Jimmy Doyle in or around Tulsa on Wed, that'll be fun.
Brenda loves the Twins and I love the Red Sox so we make a season long bet. 4 out of 7 wins and here's the All Star Update.
1. Total Wins Sox with 53 to Twins 45
2. Total All-Stars Sox 6 to 3
3. Team Batting Avg Sox with .273 to Twins .268
4. Season series against each other. Sox 2 to 1 with 4 games left. (Last 4 of the season @ Fenway)
5. Most wins by a pitcher Becket and Santana each have 12 but the tie breaker is ERA and Becket has 3.44 vs 3.58
6. Manny vs Morneau - RBI's Morneau 74 to Manny's 45
7. Team fielding percentage Twins .988 to Sox .984
I'm heading to camp at New Life Ranch, which is somewhat near Tulsa, this Saturday. Our church supports the camp so we are making the 9 hour drive up to it. Should be a great week with the students. I might be able to sneak away for half a day and see a friend or two.
I had lunch today with an elder and it was so refreshing and why I fit so well here. There was no talk about "strategic vision" or "ministry goals" rather it was about each other and highlights and dealings with our ministries.
I walk away from those kind of meetings. . . er. . . . encounters refreshed and renewed rather than drained and on edge.
I'll be at the Atlanta NYWC this year again working the booth for Will and The Journal of Student Ministries. I'm working on an article for the "Longevity" issue where I talk about the last two years and our particular journey with God and staying in youth ministry. Consider it "God is in Control. . . Yada. . . Yada. . . Yada" part two.
I might be able to post from camp but not certain if I will or will want to, we will see.
Tori Spelling is now ordained.
"I am now officially ordained," Spelling, 34, writes on her MySpace blog. "Yep, that's right – Reverend Tori Spelling! I did it last week online and my official certificate is in the mail."
I have been tagged by Doug Jones to share the 10 songs that come up on shuffle in iTunes. (I just found my iPod, that's why it took longer than I had planned.)
Here ya go:
THE 10 TUNES randomly playing on Len's iPod are:
10. “Awesome God" by Rich Mullins
09. “Only a Fool” by Geoff Moore and the Distance on Threads
08. “Mighty is the Power of the Cross” by Chris Tomlin on Arriving
07. “Charlotte 2003” by Mike Yaconellie from his last NYWC
06. “Do Not Move” by David Crowder Band from A Collision
05. “Come Thou Fount” by David Crowder Band from All I Can Say
04. “When Love Comes to Town” by U2 from The Best of 1980-1990
03. “Piano Man” by Billy Joel from The Greatest Hits Vols 1 & 2
02. “Find Me” by Margaret Becker from The Reckoning
01. “Healer” by Ten Shekel Shirt from Much
Bonus… the NEXT 5!!
05. "Cry Mercy" by David Crowder Band from All I Can Say
04. "Lonely People" by Jars of Clay from Who We Are Instead
03. "Walk On" by U2 from All That You Can't Leave Behind
02. "Peace" by Rich Mullins from A Liturgy, A Legacy and a Ragamuffin Band
01. "Shout to the North" by Delirious from The Cutting Edge Disc 1
If you'd like to do this, consider yourself tagged.
I'm thrilled to inform you that my youth ministry interview blog is now open.
The first interview is Mark Yaconelli. Wayne Rice is next with others to follow. I hope to post a new interview every 2-3 weeks so bookmark the site and let others know if it's an encouragement for you.
Imagine doing this at a youth ministry event. :-)
What are the twelve steps to burnout?
This is part 6 of Driscolls' "Death by Ministry"
Church Nixes Fourth of July Celebration to Avoid Offending People Who Hate America
The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Clayton is taking a new approach to celebrating the fourth of July this year...they are not. The church decided over the course of the last year that, because of the number of people in the world that hate the United States, that they would forgo celebrating her independence for fear of offending anyone. . . . . .
Ten Ways to Grow Your Church Without God…
I've seen some these first hand. Very sad. He has a great concluding paragraph.
The Measure of a Ministry: Everyone knows church attendance slides in the summer, but should we care?
If our primary measurements are the ministry ABCs one must ask if the mission of the church is really life transformation or institutional expansion? I believe the first step toward breaking this cycle is to change what we measure. Rather than making Sunday worship attendance the most important statistic we need to emphasize something else. Relational or small group connections is one option but there are many others.
Postcards 2 God
A ministry idea from ReThinkingYouthMinistry
Crawford Loritts speaks on "Passing the Torch"
I first heard and heard of Loritts at a Campus Crusade Event in Atlanta in '91. I have always enjoyed what he said since then.
Every year we watch the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest from Coney Island. It's funny because the girls will ask about it and then we'll all watch it together.
This year the USA recaptured the yellow mustard championship belt with Joey Chestnut eating 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes.
Despite scoring a 12 on the Nerd Test, I believe I achieved the hight of my nerdom last night when I installed a wireless router in my home. If you need any IT help, I'm now available for consulting. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Jonathan Edwards preached "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"