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Simply Youth Minsitry Conference

In less than a month (March 2), I’ll be heading to Louisville, KY to join 3,000 other youth workers for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. This year, I am going to be taking 4 other youth workers from my congregation. I’m pumped about sharing the experience with them, just hope they aren’t too overwhelmed.

The theme this year is “breathe” and I know a lot of youth workers who could use a chance to exhale a little. Maybe you’re one of those people who just need a place to breathe and refresh. If so, this is the place you need to be. Instead of me sharing why I’m looking forward to this conference, let me just quote/link to my post-conference post from last year. It pretty well sums up why I am going back for the third straight year.

As you can see, the reason I went back to SYMC this year (and the reason I’ll go back next year) is that the conference is more than 5 day event.

  • SYMC is a spark plug for your ministry.
  • SYMC is a collection of listening ears.
  • SYMC is love and support
  • SYMC is genuine.
  • SYMC is “what you see is what you get.”
  • SYMC is a family.
  • SYMC is a set of shoulders to stand on.
  • SYMC is a safety net to prevent huge falls.
  • SYMC is a smiling face.
  • SYMC is a place to rest.
  • SYMC is a place to recharge.

Here is the entire post – SYMC 2011 post-conference thoughts

If you’re going to be in Louisville, I’d love to talk with you and hear your story.


different take on pew Bibles

I recently found a pew Bible at church with a sticker inside that reads:

Dear Friend,

These Pew Bibles were given in memory of *****. She loved to read the Word and it was precious to her. In this way you have access to scriptures that are shared during the services. Feel free to use it.

Because of her love of the scriptures, if you don’t have a Bible at home and would like this Bible – take it. It will do more good in your home than sitting in our pews. Read it with the same passion **** had and it is sure to change your life.

Despite the few capitalization issues, I really like the statement this sticker is making.

The one thing that really stuck out to me was that this Bible, given in memory of someone else, was available to be freely taken. Most items that are “in memory of” become sacred cows and cannot be moved, let alone taken from the church building.

What would happen if church leaders had this mentality about more things around the church building?

I really like the part that says the pew Bible will do more good at your home than sitting in our pews. Isn’t that the point of ministry – helping the people in the congregation make God and His Word part of their daily lives. It is not our goal to be the only source of spiritual growth each week, we should be the springboard to ongoing thought.

Shame on us when we want people to feel that a service on Sunday is sufficient for their spiritual growth.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a great and restful day today with your family.

Photo Friday: Most Unwanted White Elephant Gift

No one wanted this for some reason.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

May the gift of Jesus Christ be more than enough.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving blog world, if that is your real name.

no talk

Earlier I commented on a recent interaction b/w a Sunday School teacher and myself. Well, all last week this person was at the church helping to prepare for a wedding. Not a single time did this person come to my office, directly across the hall from where they were, or stop me to talk about hte situation.

Knowing this person and how confrontational they are, I’m not sure what to think. Was it really nothing, since the elders were not immediately on their side? Was it nothing when they heard what I had really said? Or was it really just a little fit? Or should I still wait for a confrontation?

I don’t think it will come. But we’ll see what happens this Sunday when the student is back and see what class they go to. I have not been able to get together to talk with this student about the situation yet (was even mostly avoided by this student at a fifth quarter this past Friday).

minor frustrations

I need to transition slowly. I have to not come in and change everything. I can’t fix the problems I see overnight. I shouldn’t push my thoughts and ideas onto the people who have been overseeing this ministry for the past few years.

All this I know. But lately it has been tough.

For example, I had a conversation with the youth leaders about changing some things up for our PM classes. We are going to change some things (like keeping points for doing certain things and getting prizes for accumulating a certain point amount). But then the other night at a meeting for our teachers, it was brought up about doing the memory verses just like we always have. this would mean that the children’s minister would pick a verse for all ages and the older kids would get a longer version… The verse will have nothing to do with what we are studying and probably not much relevance to their life. So, why would they want to memorize it? They didn’t even flinch at the fact that this person was no longer overseeing the jr./sr. high – that I am. But alas is it a battle I want to fight right now? I don’t think so. There are far greater things I want to implement. Like having a scope/sequence for what we teach (instead of just coming up with a lesson every week or using the Serendipity Bible if you don’t have one ready.) And instituting monthly meetings. These are, in my opinion, far greater to be fighting for. The other more minor issues will and can be worked out later.

2 big things

1. Today is my 5th anniversary. What a great 5 years it has been.

2. We are taking a trip for our last visit to the church in IL. A little excited would be an understatement. It almost seems unreal that the long search/wait process is coming to an end.

quick update

a lot of things are happening (good and bad)

Allow me to just list them for now (not to take away from the emotions that are behind them all in my heart), though I do not like to make lists of things like this.

(in no particular order)
1. My friend who was in ICU passed away last 2 Fridays ago. Because we were on our way to an interview we were unable to make it to either the viewing or the funeral.

2. At that interview we were offered the position and accepted. But we have to go back for another visit and then a week later the congregation votes. (the next visit is this weekend and the vote will be next weekend).

3. With this 99.9% assurance of our move, we wanted to put our house on the market to give it about a month or so to sell. That included lots of work on painting, repairing and cleaning. Most of this was done by my wonderful wife.

4. The first day we had the house on the market we had 4 visits. Another busy day with staying out of the house.

5. That night, we had 4 offers on our house.

6. We accepted one offer and just wanted to move the date of sell. The buyer accepted that change and so we have sold our house.

7. Still without any knowledge of when we might officially be moving and having a job. Not to mention a place to live once we get there.

8. Our anniversary is this Friday. Happy 5 year anniversary!

9. Our oldest boy is now 2 (turned 2 in April)

10. Our youngest is almost 7 months. He is sitting up and really really wants to eat table food.

Lots more to happen in the next week or so. God is good and has watched over us the entire time.