The good folks at Simply Youth Ministry are having a massive Christmas sale and talked Andy Brazelton into making a promo video. I’m Not sure how this video will help increase sales, but it’s stinkin’ hilarious!
The winning caption wins the book of your choice from Simply Youth Ministry. Entries welcome until Monday afternoon. Here’s wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
UPDATE…WINNER: After much debate, the winning caption goes to David: “You think if we smile big enough, she’ll actually cook it?”
- This past weekend we wrapped up our three-week, “Piece Of My Mind” series. One of our volunteers who is an executive at UPS did a FANTASTIC job of sharing his heart with our students. So apparently the answer to the question “what can brown do for you?” is: Lead an excellent JH lesson!
- I read Tony Jones’ blog because he makes me think about things I normally don’t in ways I normally wouldn’t. I haven’t made any comments about the YS sale to YouthWorks! because I really don’t know enough about either organization to have any credible insight. But, I have said in a few circles that I believe the youth ministry world needs a vibrant YS. Here, Tony has a great post sharing some of his insight that helps me feel confident YS will continue its youth ministry calling under its new ownership.
- Speaking of Youth Specialties, I’m pretty sure most people that read my blog also read Marko’s (but I don’t think most people that read his also read mine as I’m sure he has WAY more readers), but in case you don’t, you can see here that he isavailable forspeaking and training events. He is a fantastic communicator/trainer, and I’m trying to come up with an excuse to use him myself!
In Tuesday’s post, I mentioned that I have asked our JH and HS teams to begin to brainstorm what a cleaner, more streamlined ministry plan might look like. There was only one comment left in the comments section, but I thought it was a powerful one:
“Perhaps a bigger “what if” for most of us is what if we were allowed to try that.”
I really don’t know of many churches that give the leaders and pastors more freedom to try new stuff than Saddleback. Throughout the years, Pastor Rick has encouraged us to think differently, try new things, make changes, and make mistakes…and he has led by example. But, with that being said, change is ALWAYS tough and it will be tough for us to make significant changes to our ministry, but we simply have to try. And I think that would be my response to the comment above. You may not be allowed to try to make changes, but as a leader, you have to try to try!
In our setting, ministry has simply become too cluttered. Our calendar of events and programs is cluttered, our infrastructure is cluttered, our team is cluttered (and I’m not talking about my office!), and our work days are cluttered. There’s lots and lots of really good stuff happening, but much of it has beenoverrun by all the clutter.
It won’t be easy, and I’m sure we will hit some obstacles along the way (both internal and external). But God is doingsomething specialin our ministry and things are better than ever and I feel like we are poised for something amazing….I don’t want the clutter to get in the way.
Simply Youth Ministry is having a huge sale as they prepare to move their warehouse to a new location. Tons of books are on sale for $3.99 andshipping is freeif youspend over $99 (use the promo code: COLDOUTSIDE).
- The weekend was a pretty good one! It was week 2 of our “Piece Of My Mind” series where we ask a different volunteer each week to teach on any subject they would like. This past weekend we bent the rules a little bit and allowed one of our full time JH team members to speak. Jaime spends most of his days “producing stuff” for our ministry. He is in charge of most of the weekend programming, our blog, our promo, our graphics, our videos etc. He is a talented guy who has never taught our students so we thought it was a good time to give him his first shot. He was excellent! Since he spent so much time preparing the lesson, the rest of the weekend was a little more “bare bones” than usual, but sometimes less can actually be more.
- Last week I spent a full day with 5 other JH/Middle School pastors beginning a project that I’m really excited about! I will share more about it in the near future.
- Our JH team is in the middle of a project that you may want to consider (if you work with JH students….). We are conducting a “what if” scenario. What if we decided to cut our programs and “stuff” by 25-50%? What would we keep? What would get cut? What new stuff would we create? My hope is that we will create a fairly fresh looking ministry plan that is less cluttered and leaves much more time for relational/organic youth ministry to flourish. For now, it’s just an exercise to get our minds thinking and our juices flowing, but I’m hoping we can translate it into an actual ministry plan at some point soon.
Rick Warrenposted this tweet this morning that has me thinking: “Be as much troubled by unjust praise, as by unjust slander.” – Philip Henry
Some of my thoughts:
- Everybody loves, and to a certain degree needs, a “good job, buddy” now and then. So encouragement is valuable.
- As a leader, a whole lot of the “good job, buddy” comments you hear are really because of what somebody onyour team did…you just happen to get the praise.
- The “higher up” you are, the more “back slaps” you havehad along the way and the more you need to dish out to others on their way up.
- It’s interesting how many back slaps and “good job buddy”statements are at the expense of somebody else: “you are doing a much better job than our previous youth pastor”, says a parent. Or “You’re way nicer than our last small group leader, says a student”.
- The source of the praise is usually a pretty good indicator of how valid it is. Do they have something to gain by slapping your back or is it because they have your best interest in mind?
- As for the quote itself…OUCH! I’m embarrassed by how bothered I get by unjust criticism while unjust praise serves to feed my ego.
- Mark Oestreicheris back to blogging! His blog has been a longtime favorite of mine, and I’m glad he’s back at it.
- Weekend Update: This past weekend we kicked off week one of “Piece of My Mind” where we ask one of our volunteers to speak each weekend on any subject they want. Our first week was amazing.
- Since I’m not teaching for three weeks, I am ditching Sunday services at the Lake Forest campus and visiting one of our regional campus youth ministries each week. On Sunday I visited our original regional campus in San Clemente.
- Speaking of regional campuses….my heart is torn on this new trend (“trend” may not be the right word as I think they may be here to stay). I love the ability for successful churches to expand their reach by expanding into regionals, but I also wonder why these same churches don’t just send a pastor they trust to the same community and let him/her plant a church of their own? That being said, I am super impressed at the way Saddleback has approached our regional strategy. Our regional campuses are much more autonomous than many I have seen.
- Saw “The Box” a couple nights ago. I can’t decide if I absolutely loved it or absolutely hated it. It had some really good spiritual themes and I think it could have been a great flick but there was a whole layer of unnecessary plot, in my opinion. Is it a remake?
- I feel the Broncos slowly opening my chest cavity on their way to ripping my heart out.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
My working definition of youth ministry “programs” has always simply been: The stuff you do.
It seems as if there is a fairly strong resistance to programs in many circles of youth ministry today. Yet, by my definition this means they are against doing stuff, which I know isn’t true.
So….is my working definition wrong?
Are youth pastors really against “doing stuff”?
If youth pastors aren’t against “doing stuff”, but they are against “programs”, what then are they doing, and what do they call it?
Is what they call it, just another word for “programs” or is it really something different, better, etc.?