I started this as a discipline that I wanted to keep going, and at times it has gone well at other times it has not. It has been a busy summer but it is now officially over, so maybe I can try and revive the discipline again. Here are some good/bad highlights for the summer.
- We went almost the entire summer without tv. We could still watch movies, but once the digital change over happened everything went away. It was not that bad.
- Mission Trip-got to join with 4 other youth groups to do a mission trip to N. Dakota, went extremely well.
- The only full-time staff member. I am now it for the time being, this will stretch me.
- Stopped Reading: I was so busy that I basically just stopped reading for the summer. I had started The Faith by Chuck Colson and Simple Student Ministry by Eric Geiger, but never got a chance to finish them, now looking forward to it.
- Got to write the Bible Studies for our Back2School Retreat our theme was Loving God/Loving Others. Enjoyed the writing, would have enjoyed it more if less busy.
Sunday was our 3rd annual High School vs. Adult kickball game. The adults were behind most of the game. In our last at bat we needed one run to tie and two to win, but could only pull off one run. So the decision was made to play one extra inning and if nobody scored the game would end in a tie.
The adults allowed no runs in the top half of the inning and scored one run with two outs to win the game. Most importantly the parents, adults, and students all had a great time. If anyone has any other ideas of how to get students and parents together and have a good time let me know.
We have 7th-8th grade ministry only on Wednesday nights. Typically during the Bible Study time I get up and teach and try and have a discussion, but with 20-30 students, it turns into choas real quick. I would really like to do small groups on Wednesday nights, but for a number of reasons we have done it for a short time, and not continued it.
Last night we started a seven week series on Spiritual Basics and are doing it in small groups. I had one High School helper and 6 or 7 middle school guys, and we discussed what it means to have a relationship with Christ. It was a great night our group lasted probably 45 minutes and they asked me questions like, how can Jesus and God both be God and be different, or what about the people that never hear the gospel what happens to them, or how do I know if I have a good relationship with God.
These are the nights youth pastors live for. I firmly believe that most of this would have never came up, if we were all sitting in one big group, but because we sat together and talked, instead of me teaching at them, they were more open to discussing. Here is hoping that we can keep our small groups going.
My wife and I spent Nov. 21-24 in Nashville, TN at the National Youth Workers Convention. Overall we had a good time here is the good and the bad from my perspective.
- Francis Chan was great. I will probably buy the dvd and sit down with all my youth workers and have them watch it. At one point in his talk he said, “If Paul had a youth ministry today it would suck.” What he was saying is that Paul would call students to commit their lives to follow Christ, and because he would do that, he would not have a lot of students come.
- Mike Pilavachi was great. He said that you have to allow students to minister, but you have to expect them to minister badly at first. They will never get it right the first time. What a great reminder, when we as youth ministers think, well I can just do it better myself.
- The Talk back time was much appreciated. On Sunday morning they had different subjects set up for you to go and discuss with other youth ministers. I went to, Small town youth ministry, and while I may not have walked away with a lot of helpful info. I did walk away encouraged because I got to meet some people that are swimming in the same pool I am.
- I missed Greg Stier. Because our hotel did not have a room for us until 5:00pm on Friday I was unable to go to Greg Stier’s session. Very disappointed.
- If you are ever in Nashville you must eat at Demo’s. My wife and I ate there twice. The food was great, but the service was incredible. I told the cashier when I paid that Amanda gave us excellent service, and to pass the message on to the manager. The cashier told me, we here that all the time about her.
- Shane and Shane were awesome. Maybe it is because I like that style of music, but in my opinion they are great worship leaders. I love simple and acoustic worship and they do that well.
- Was not impressed with facility. Two years ago I went in Cincinnati and the facility was great, Nashville did not impress me, but does Nashville really care what I think.
My wife and I will have the pleasure of traveling to Nashville at the end of the week to attend the National Youth Workers Convention. We have been looking forward to this for awhile, but it will be difficult because we will be leaving our one year old with Grandma and Grandpa for four days. We are looking forward to a time of refreshing and hopefully some student ministry planning. I hope to make comments about the event while where there.