Churchie Talk…

If what I say about my relationship with Jesus is what I believe about Him…
I don’t have to use “over spiritual” words to describe it…

Jesus is my Daddy… We hang out together, when He is with me I am fearless… When He is with me I have peace… When we are apart, I feel that, it sucks but I know He didn’t leave, I was to busy or to stubborn to spend time with my Daddy… He gives me little reminders throughout my day that He wants to connect, reconnecting with Dad is the best:-) I never want to leave His side…

Even if i don’t feel it right now, I am incredibly loved by my Dad…

It is my desire to be more real, more authentic, in how I describe my relationship with Jesus this year… After all “churchie words” are not the end result of a relationship with Jesus…

The end result of a relationship with Jesus is: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, self control, kindness, goodness and faithfulness…

I want to have a relationship with Jesus people can notice and I can describe without needing a Christianity 101 class… I want to live loved…

Game Plan: Having a successful year of serving!

So you are a volunteer, serving in student ministry. Here are some very practical ways to have a successful experience.

 

Who: do we serve… [Jesus & Others]
Game Plan: Building your personal relationship with Jesus
* praying for God to give you His Spirit, His desires, His eyes
* spending time reading His Word, Knowing Him through scripture
* talking about Him with older adults and ministry partners

Game Plan: The Individuals In your ministry… (Middle schoolers, parents, team members)
* through Christ like kindness
* through showing care
* one person at a time

How: do we serve… Relationships = Christ centered mentoring relationships
Game Plan: friendship with a purpose: Being there when they (finally) have “Jesus Questions”

Barriers that prevent us from “being there” when they finally build trust and need our help to point them to Jesus:
* drama
* learning their names
* showing them we care
* they don’t seem to care that we care
* they think we are weird
* trustworthiness

Overcoming:
* remembering who we serve
* not taking “insults” personally
* continuing to purse the relationship
* prayer
* teamwork: get other students to help you build your family in your team & small group

Why: do we do this…
Focus: You are His Plan A
Nobody else has stepped up to stand in the Gap and show Christ love to our students like you have, yet… He chose YOU, even with your flaws and some of you with your awkwardness and funny spells… Your Plan A to reaching out and showing His love to the students at WCH.

Focus: The Next Generation Needs You
When you think about building a Christ centered relationship with a student at our church don’t think of it as a small thing… The relationships you make have the power through Christ to change futures and generations, as we are where God has called us to be to bring His Hope to this generation…

What Does Success Look Like: Being apart of God’s Plan to draw students close to His heart… 

 

 

 

 

* This content was presented at WCH: Pinnacle Leadership Event 2014

Wrestling with Dad…

The other day Joel, our three year old, wanted to wrestle.
This is pretty normal he loves it… He can’t get enough… There is one problem…

He always looses…

Every time…
I win ALL wrestling matches ever….

But the other day I realized something, I might win every time….

That does not stop him from wrestling just as hard the next time….
No matter how quickly he lost, he gets up thinking “this could be the time that I win”…
He doesn’t look at his past failures, his miserable losses, he thinks he can win… Every time we face off..

Wrestling with dad is teaching Joel endurance and the courage to get up and try again…

What if we all lived like that, so stubborn, so naive to our past, so excited about the future… So quick to jump back in give it another chance.

As his dad I know, with every wrestling match, he gets stronger… It really is only a matter or time before he beats me…

Because…. He did not give up when he lost…

To be encouraged by Gods Word,
Check out: Luke 18:1-8

Pastor Appreciation Month Request:

October is pastor appreciation month…

Normally I would just pretend like it’s another month and not bring any attention to the whole pastor appreciation thing…

To be honest… This is kinda awkward…
It’s easier and requires more pride not to make the request…
My Pride says: Ignore this opportunity and just play it cool…

The Bible says pride is terrible… So here goes…

I only have one request… It’s really easy…

All I ask is this….

Please pray for me…

I can do nothing effective if God is not doing it…

But on behalf of pastors everywhere…

Pray for us:-) We are human too…
We are Husbands, Dads, Friends…
Unless your a female pastor then your a Wife & Mom 🙂
We hurt and some even cry…
We walk with people through the highest joys and some of the lowest lows…
We need prayer support…

If your not sure what to pray I was reading this passage today, it seems like a pretty good guide…

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 NLT)

Thank you for your partnership in His ministry as you pray for me and the pastors who are preaching Jesus!!!

What my 3 yr. Old got RIGHT and I got WRONG… A Lesson in Perspective

Wednesdays are Daddy days.
These days are days where I spend the day with my children while my wife is at work.

Today the kids and I started the morning by running to our yard outside our apartment.
We went to Tim Hortons for our Daddy Date #164 🙂
Then we went to the park in the village.
It was a beautiful day. Blue skies, no wind and the greenest spring grass!

As we were leaving Joel grabbed a dandelion off the ground.
It was beat up and nasty. It had been stepped on and was just rotting on the play ground stones.
Despite how beat up this dandelion was it was still unmistakeable with the yellow tint, a dandelion.
I told Joel “Put that down, it’s garbage.”
He obeyed and put it down…

Almost 10 seconds later as we are moving closer to the car, Joel picked a new dandelion.
This time I acknowledged his new dandelion but again I told him to put it down.
I did this because dandelions in my mind have always been weeds…
Weeds are not beautiful, they are weeds…

As we were driving back to our house Joel looked out his window and with MUCH excitement yelled out to me… DAD! DANDELIONS!!!!
He was pumped!!!

As excited as he was I told him the view I have always taken towards dandelions…
“Joel, dandelions are not beautiful they are Weeds…”

As soon as those words came out of my mouth I realized I was so WRONG…
Dandelions are beautiful, yes they might be weeds and they might cause allergies, but the flower is beautiful… Who am I to tell him that a weed can’t be beautiful… God created it to be beautiful!!!

This epiphany floored me in my view of flowers but also as a student pastor about what God is doing in the lives our students.
I believe often(not always), we (adults) look as students and we say that they are not important like weeds, they are annoying like allegories, or the worst perspective, we look at broken hurting students and we say they are garbage… Worthless weeds… Worthless teens…

We do this because because we forgot what it’s like to be a kid, to see GODS BEAUTY in PEOPLE and THE WORLD…

I read this today and I believe it fits well with my unexpected epiphany this morning:

Matthew 9:9-13
9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”

12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

How do you view the dandelions?
They are more than weeds… There is beauty there in that flower
How do you view students?
They are much more than annoying and worthless… There is MUCH beauty and creativity and passion to honor and Follow Jesus…

You Are A Bad Volunteer… Defeating Lies with Truth about volunteering…

Being a volunteer in student ministry is not an easy job…Often new volunteers jump into student ministry not realizing what they have signed up for. I don’t think anybody realizes how intimidating the process of moving from a new volunteer to a veteran volunteer is or how rewarding it can be.

Student ministry volunteers will often face feelings of worthlessness & overwhelming ineffectiveness with their contribution in the lives of students. Often this is the hard part of the process, and overcoming ourselves(and these lies) is necessary for you to begin to write the story God has called us to. I want to encourage you by identifying some of the lies you might have told yourself. I hope in reading these that you realize your not the only one who has fallen prey to these lies. After acknowledging the lie I hope you hear the truth and a practical way to combat the lie with TRUTH in action…

Here are some of the lies I have seen in the approach to volunteering in student ministry…. People who believe these lies will never find fulfillment in student ministry… It is our choice to choose to believe the truth over the lie… Choose wisely, lives are literally hanging in the balance… No pressure though…

LIE #1: “I am here, students come to me”…

Just showing up is not good enough in the long run, if you want to make a real impact. Take a risk and say hello, ask a question, and most importantly listen to the answer… Standing around talking to adults will leave you feeling unaccomplished at the end of every youth gathering ever…

LIE #2: The youth pastor is more engaging with the students and building relationships comes easy to him, so I the volunteer get a free pass…

The Youth Pastor, no matter how great he “Engages and Builds relationships” with students, IS ONLY ONE GUY… He can’t build a meaningful relationship with every student… He needs you to buy into the reality that you are on the team to build Christ centered relationships with students. No free passes in student ministry, we are only strong when we work together in greeting and meeting and remembering His kids.

LIE #3: It’s my job to keep peace…

Yes, but, peace is better kept when your sitting with or standing with the students rather than the other side of the room… Don’t think you are more effective in the back of the room. No students should be in the back of the room, peace is easy when nobody is there… Walls don’t build relationships, leave them alone, be with the students….

LIE #4: I’m not the “cool volunteer”….

I HATE this lie because, God doesn’t make accidents, you are on the team because one student won’t connect with any other leader, BUT YOU…. Stop Hiding, start Finding the student God has prepared for YOU to impact with the HOPE of Christ…

Satan is the best liar this world has ever seen…. Believing these lies are part of his plan to keep you from being effective in serving Jesus in this most important ministry… Veteran youth leaders know these lies are present and rejects them every time they arise with action. Know your not alone because of Jesus you don’t have to hide behind these lies anymore. The lies are identified and called out… Now the real work begins!!!

What lies have you believed? What is the truth that helped you overcome?

How to Kill Relationships as a “Christian”…

Learning and understanding this will change every thing for your ministry…
People are NOT Projects:

Projects fall through the cracks and are forgotten…
Or worse, you give up on them because they “didn’t turn out the way YOU ” wanted”
Or they are taking to long to change… So you give up…

People who view others as actual people do not let them fall through the cracks…
Because they realize God never gave up on them…
Because they remember people who didn’t give up on them…

How do you view people?

The longer you view people as projects the more you empower them to put up walls that will keep you away from the Truth and Hope they need…

Who are you to give up on people when God never gave up on you… If you are a Christian and you don’t see relationships that way then I would guess you don’t know Gods Grace….