5 comments Saturday, August 30, 2008

I enjoy TV. Let me say that up front. I don't let it rule me. Once I might have given too much time to TV. Interestingly, now that we have a DVR I spend quite a bit less tie watching. Partly because I can spend 25% less time on each show by skipping commercials, but more because I know what I want to watch and record those few shows for viewing after my kids have gone to bed. It isn't that I don't want my kids to watch the shows I watch, but because I'd rather spend my evenings with them. I've said this to make it clear that I am not trying to convince people to throw their TVs out.

I have had many friends that don't own a TV. They seem happy. Generally they aren't against watching TV. If they are over they might watch a show with me. They just don't own one personally. I talk to them about it and most of them use to own a TV. Some actually still own a TV but have put it away in the attic or something. I am generally pretty straight forward so I usually ask, "why?" I think it is good to have a reason for whatever we do. I thought it would be fun to list reasons why a person wouldn't have a TV. Some are real reasons I've been given, others are things I think might be subtext to the reasons given, and others just seem funny to me. Try and guess.

  1. My daughter told me "they" were coming so I got rid of the TV.
  2. The Devil spoke to me through re-runs of M*A*S*H*.
  3. We never did anything as a family without the TV so I divorced the TV to save my family.
  4. I did it so you would ask about the show you watched last night and know how much holier I am when you found out I don't own a TV
  5. By the way did you tape that show because I'd like to come over and watch it later.
  6. There is nothing good on TV.
  7. I have better things to spend my money on.
  8. God told me to get rid of it.
  9. I watch all my shows on my computer now.
  10. The government uses the TV to scan our brains.
  11. The aliens use the TV to scan our brains.
  12. The alien controlled government uses the TV to control our brains.
  13. There is too much garbage on the TV
  14. My kid saw Barney once and I was afraid to keep the TV after that.
  15. Why should I pay for a TV when you have that nice big screen?

I think it is bad to let TV own you. I think it is bad to let anything or anyone own you either. We should belong to God alone. If you can't own a TV without it owning you get rid of it. I think that is what Jesus was getting at when he said, "if your eye offends you pluck it out." It isn't that we need to gouge our eye our but we need to get rid of that which controls us and allows sin to take over. If you can't get online without looking at porn then cut the cord. I don't expect an alcoholic to go into a liquor store to buy the paper. It doesn't make sense for a person struggling with porn addiction to spend their time in a place full of porn.

I think it is the same with TV. If it controls you then by all means get rid of it. If you can watch an hour or so a day and spend time with God, your family, and get everything else done then veg out with the tube. Still, if your kid is developing a Barney addiction then you might want to put the TV in the closet till they are out of that phase.

2 comments Friday, August 29, 2008

Hey. Sorry about missing yesterday with this post. My wife had a minor surgery so I took the day off. If you haven't read Youth Pastor Fail below I listed the first 6 of the top 10 YP fails. That list focused on failing with the Youth by trying to be just like them. I'm still new at this but I think teens want real more than anything. I told them on my first night I was a geek and I haven't tried to be anything else. I love geeky stuff and I reference it in my sermons. That is just who I am. The last 4 are things that will be sure to get the rest of the church mad. Without further ado here is the rest of the Youth Pastor Fail top 10

4. The Trip Fail

By now you have given up on trying to be cool enough for the Youth, but try to think outside the box. The Youth keep saying there is nothing fun to do, so try going on a fun trip. There are a lot of things you could do. Guys like paintball, there is an amusement park nearby and plenty of Christian concerts, but you want to go way over the top. Go for the whitewater rafting trip. These are an awesome experience and build trusting relationships. Any Youth Pastor can do the easy trips though. Don't bother with those silly level 1-3 rapids. You need to hit the Colorado during the height of the rainy season and spring melt. Those rapids will have everyone praying to sweet baby Jesus. Just be ready to return with fewer Youth than you left with.

3. The Party Fail

If you are still around after the Trip Fail it might be time to keep things closer to home. You may not have made the Youth Building the new cool place, but you can keep the party stuff and use it for a huge outreach. You don't want to turn anyone away so don't have the party at the church. Try to find a big place to rent with lots of private rooms, like a hotel. Don't bother with lots of chaperons because that will just turn the kids off. Let them pick their own music and just have fun. If they enjoy this party enough they might come by Youth some night, so just find a quiet corner and close your eyes, better yet go wait in your car. Sure there might be drinking, drugs, and sex, but you have everyone at a church event they just don't know it.

2. The Youth Service Fail

So you are still Youth Pastor? Now that is a pretty tolerant church. I think they are ready for an over the top Youth Service. Plan a Youth service during the regular church. Plan doesn't so much mean get with the Pastor and get things scheduled; as much as putting all your activities together. They usually only let the YP take over at services without half the church, like the Holiday anything goes service. The Youth deserve better. Just plan the service and get everyone there early. If the youth band is in place and playing when everyone walks it they'll have to just let things go. This is the only way you will ever get Sunday morning, so make it big. Have Youth stationed all over to throw skittles while you preach. Give the church the full treatment.

1. The Finance Fail

This is totally serious. If you do this you deserve to get fired and possibly prosecuted. This fail is when the YP or any person in the church thinks they deserve more. They start taking from the church in various different ways. You are stealing from God and are under judgment.

I didn't plan on ending so serious, but I just can't think of anything funny for the finance fail. I'm not sure what it says about me that I can speak lightly of not bringing all the youth back but can't joke on finances. I think it is because most YPs wouldn't intentionally put their kids at risk, but lots of ministers take from the church and justify it.

So to end humorously, if you try these and get canned let me know. I might be needing a new church after one of these fails. Maybe we can work out a switch.

2 comments Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It seems that there is not a lot I can get in real trouble over. I can do a lot of crazy things and then pull the "I'm the Youth Pastor" card and it's ok. I like to keep people guessing so this works very well for me. I have been thinking about the line though. I figure some things are just going too far. Now I know there are the obvious abuses, but I think I can be a bit more creative. So in the spirit of the Late Night Show with David Letterman, here is a top ten list of how to achieve a Youth Pastor Fail

10. Design Fail

So your church is finally getting on the ball with marketing. They have a designer, a nice logo, and they want to establish brand identity for the church so people in your community will recognize anything from the church. To achieve the design fail you need to remember that Youth should be unique not part of the whole brand. Come on, that church website is fine for the adults, but the teens want something cutting edge. Skip the designer putting out all that same boring stuff and make it yourself. You can find glass buttons and grunge textures everywhere. That is what the Youth today want. Look how they dress. Grunge is totally hot with the vintage tees and ripped denim. Then we all know everyone wants an iPod touch, so your website should look just like a giant iPod touch with grunge backgrounds and icons. The congregation may forgive you for this fail, but the Christian design community will officially put you on notice.

9. Fashion Fail

Now that your website is totally hip and rockin' at the same time, it's time to make yourself more appealing to the Youth. Go blow your annual budget on clothes at Hot Topic. Make sure you get plenty of accessories. You want the teens to know just how cool you are so they will accept you as one of them. By achieving peer status you can start applying peer pressure on them. We all know how powerful peer pressure can be.

8. Slang Fail

If the Youth don't completely accept you after you redesign the website and change your entire wardrobe just to fit in, you must not be convincing enough. It is time to bust out the rap albums and learn how to speak their language. Much like Jane Goodall, you have to act like the Youth to be accepted by the pack. Before you know it you'll be sitting in circles picking ticks off of each other, or whatever those crazy kids do for fun these days. The best way to learn slang is by listening to rap and reading a slang dictionary. Start by randomly working these words and phrases into everyday life so it won't seem so out of place when you say them from the pulpit. Double points if you can rock the izzle.

On a serious note, we had an evangelist a while back that pulled off the slang fail so perfectly I think it was a slang epic fail. He ended up talking about what was cool when he was a kid. He talked about how "rad" use to be cool to say then "fresh" became the new cool word. Then he talked about how if things were really awesome you could say it was "bumpin' fresh." He went through a couple more words then reached modern slang. He looked over at the Youth section and said that now the cool thing is "bad" or if it is really cool "nasty." He said nasty in that voice from the "wazuuuup" commercials. Then he said "you guys know what I'm talking about" and began to use "nasty" regularly through the rest of the sermon. The worst part was when he tried to get me on his side, "Nick the Geek, don't you think the Word of God is Nasty?" I hurt for him. Of course not so much that I didn't mock the epic fail by coming up with a new catch phrase, "bumpin' nasty" not to be confused with the sexual reference "bumping nasties." "Bumpin' nasty" is reserved for impersonating the epic slang fail by referring to the absolute, unnamable, awesomeness of something that "cool" or "awesome" is not important enough to describe. Of course you had to be there to get it.

7. The Best Bud Fail

Now you look like the Youth and talk like them, so it is time to just jump in there and become one of them. Be their best friend they never wanted. Make sure you drop by during lunch at school and run them down at the mall. Find out where the cool place is and hang there all the time until there is a new cool place. It may feel weird going to the under 18 dance club, but you want to be closer to the Youth so get out of your comfort zone and figure out what this new dance called "the grind" is all about.

Free legal advice: This is an attempt at humor. Do not under any circumstances go to a dance club full of minors and "grind." Doing so will result in jail time and a new friend to grind with.

Free social advice: While "grinding" may be popular and legal with adults, just don't do it. Seriously don't. It is all kinds of wrong.

6. The New Cool Spot Fail

The cool spot seemed to move every time you show up. Kids aren't trying to avoid you so much as they can't seem to stay in the same place for long because of all that ADD going around. Be careful you don't catch it or … oh look a butterfly. Anyways, you need to stop chasing them and make your Youth room the new cool place to be. Make sure you get all the cool stuff. Rock Star and Guitar Hero must be featured prominently, and get black lights, lasers, strobes, disco balls, and smoke machines. We all know Christian music isn't good so go ahead and play everything, rap, punk, rock, techno, and even some reggae just to even things out. To keep it Christian throw in some U2 every 4th song. If you want to go over the top get DDR on the big screen. Everyone loves DDR.

5. Rip Off Fail

If none of this has worked, then just do what every Youth pastor in America does. Rip off the coolest stuff for yourself. Rob Bell is popular so stop preaching and start recording your sermons in Nooma-esque format and play it for the Youth. That new Batman movie seems popular. Do a couple of series on the Dark Knight and being Two Faced. That designer you didn't want to touch your website could probably throw some graphics together for you. Just ask for something that looks exactly like the movie with a few small changes to make sure it doesn't violate copyright laws. That makes the art work easy.

That has been the first 5 of the top 10 YP fails. By themselves I don't think the "I'm the Youth Pastor" card wouldn't hold up. Do all of them and you are on your way to an epic fail. The parents are more likely to forgive these fails since you are trying to reach the Youth. It is the Youth that will think you are just a dork and stop listening. Oh that's right, you aren't nearly as big a dork as your Youth Pastor was. He tried to be like you and was mocked piteously, but you are cool enough to pull it off.

Anyways, next time I'll post the last 5 which the Youth might like but will land you in hot water with the Adults … eventually.

4 comments Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So here is the follow up to the post I made about “Love and relationship: or how do you deal with a homosexual?” a few days ago.  This post is why I am doing this as anonymous as I can.

I knew on some level that I would eventually have a teen wrestling with their sexual identity in my Youth group, but I am less than prepared.  Right now there are two.  It isn’t that they have come out to me but rather it is about things I have perceived.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not relying on some internal “gaydar” or something.  This is a bit more logical than that.

The one is a guy, and while he is artistic and such that isn’t what tipped me off.  I’m not so dense as to think that artistic guys must be gay.  Now it has to do with a fight he had with a girl that was a very good friend of his.  Apparently they were talking late into the night and he asked her what she thought about homosexuals.  She laid down the law so to speak and they ended up fighting intensely enough that they are no longer friends.  It may be that he has a close friend or relative that is gay, but after that I started looking at his relationships.  I am comfortable in my assessment that he is wrestling with who he is and I’m at a loss as to how to help him.

I have said it very clearly that I believe homosexual sex is a sin.  This doesn’t mean that it is a sin to be homosexual.  I think this is a very important distinction.  This young man may honestly be attracted to men, but that doesn’t make him evil.  He considers himself a Christian, and so I believe that these standards must be kept, but the part is am really wrestling with, is how to talk to him.  I have been trying to build a relationship with him, over the past few months, but I don’t know how to tell when we have reached the, “so you like boys?” stage of the relationship.  I don’t want to offend him like his one friend did.  I don’t think that she should have dropped the hammer like she did to be honest.  I tried talking with her about it, but she is wrestling with other issues and so isn’t in a place to understand the concepts that I’m wrestling with.

The other person is a girl.  So far as I can tell she considers herself bi and is in a relationship with another girl.  This is based on comments she has made on MySpace, and pictures she put up.  Maybe this is a cry for attention, I don’t’ know.  She asked me to be her friend and posted the pictures the day after I accepted so …

The thing is, this girl doesn’t really consider herself a Christian.  I’m not completely sure why she comes to church, but I don’t want to run her off.  It is a little harder for me to build a relationship with her because I am intentionally distant with the girls in the youth group.  None of them are in my “inner circle.”  It isn’t that I don’t think girls are “worthy.”  In fact I think the girls in my group are more mature in just about every way including spiritually.  My concern is for myself.  I don’t want to find myself in a close relationship with a girl I’m not related to.  It just makes things dangerous. 

This means I have to rely on my female leadership to take her in.  The problem is I don’t really know if they are in a place to love her unconditionally.  A lot of them have this idea that being gay is a sin in and of itself, and that it is the second worst sin out there, abortion being the top sin, but that is a post for another day.

Anyways, I thought maybe some people had some ideas on how to move forward.  I’ve said in the past that patience, or rather lack of, is one of my biggest struggles.  I believe that this will really try my patience, so if nothing else pray that I am able to wait until the time is right in all things.

2 comments Monday, August 25, 2008

I have a floor. Ok, maybe it wasn’t ever that bad, but the past few weeks have been pretty busy, so my weekly plan has fallen by the wayside. Normally I like to come in on Monday and clean my office first thing. Then I sit down and prioritize my week. It takes me 2-3 hours first thing each week, but I wager that I gain more than that by going in with a plan. I find that I just can’t focus when the mess piles up around me, so the ritual of cleaning is very important, but it is the first thing that I nix when I feel like I’m overwhelmed with things to do. I also know that sitting down and prioritizing and planning my week will make it so I accomplish everything without forgetting important details and yet, the past few weeks I came in on Monday with a list of things that “had to get done” and so I didn’t plan my week.

These are well known time killers. If you ever read a book on the subject you will find that you must plan time to clean and organize your life if you want to have any hope of getting through the clog of busy work that threatens to drown us all.

I think we don’t understand just how many other things really kill us when we cast them aside to make room for more “urgent” things. Prayer and time with God’s word are so important, but I know personally I will start my super busy days by getting up earlier than normal to get a jump start but end the day tired and feeling like I need a few more hours to get everything done. When I think back I remember that even though I got up earlier than normal I didn’t do my devos. I believe that if we remember to put God first, He will go before us and make everything so much easier.

I know that I am likely to fail the next time I have a crazy day or week ahead, but I also know that God can help me do better. Maybe I’ll remember as I’m heading out the door and stop for a couple minutes of prayer. Maybe this time will begin to grow as I notice that the day does run more smoothly.

Anyways, here’s to a clean office and time with God.

1 comments Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am intentionally making a stark departure from the seriousness of yesterday's post. I will be addressing the subject again in the next couple of days. Before that I'd like to consider some funny illustrations I have used.

First let me say that technology is apparently of the devil. I love tech, but it always seems to fail at the worst possible moment when I'm preaching. That said, if I use a video in my sermon I like to have multiple ways of accessing the video so that when the embedded video in my power point fails even though it worked every time that I tested it including just before the sermon using the youth room computer I am prepared. If you are going to use video, then be prepared for them to not work when you need them by having them in different versions that can be run with more than one program.

I don't use videos that often because it makes them more special that way. I like to find videos that are funny rather than serious or cool. Until recently my favorite video was one I used in a sermon a few years ago to illustrate the fool from the book of Proverbs. I could find the video but I'll have to keep searching because it is great. In it a kid puts a firecracker between his teeth and lights it. This is a perfect example of the fool because the boy is wearing safety glasses. He understands that he needs to protect his eyes for safety but doesn't connect that blowing up a firecracker in your mouth is going to hurt your mouth. If I find it I'll post it because nothing illustrates the fool better.

My new favorite video I saw watching Americas Funniest Home Videos. It isn't a particularly recent video I just saw it recently. I'll post it rather than describe it.

Guy Test Out Dog Shock Collar

Some points of interest. For bark number 4 he does a nice little chicken wing. In general if something makes you do a chicken wing it is time to stop. The last shock comes without the bark.

I won't say right now what my sermon was or the point I was illustrating because I think it would be pretty memorable at which point I might as well say my name and where I am.

26 comments Friday, August 22, 2008

I am very proud of the Bible college I went to about many things. They put away so many of the silly rules while I was there. They are instituting planned mentoring. They eliminated a mountain o debt while I was there. I really could go on and on about things they are doing and planning on doing that are an inspiration, but there are a few things that shame me. One thing in particular is how they handled a group that came to the campus a couple of years ago. The group is called "Soul Force" and they were participating in the "Equality Ride." If you are unfamiliar with the group, here is a link http://www.soulforce.org/. This is a group of gay, lesbian, bi, transgender individuals, and those that support them. They go to private schools that have rules prohibiting homosexual lifestyles, such as Bible colleges, and try to talk with students and administrators about changing the rules.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't support a change in the rules. I believe that the Bible prohibits those lifestyles and that we must not encourage sin. Moreover I believe that those attending Bible college should be Christian and so should be held accountable to the rules of the Book. On a side note, I disagree with the idea that Christians should work to get moral laws passed by a secular government so that the government will enforce the Bible's teachings. This is clearly taught against in the Bible. Paul says in Corinthians, "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. 'Expel the wicked man from among you'" (NIV 5:12-13). And yet we spend so much time and energy as a church judging sinners and ignoring our own sin. How many big time evangelists have made a career of shouting down the sins of the world only to have it revealed that they are immersed in sin? We should look at the ministry of Jesus for the correct example. He goes to the sinners and even eats with them regularly. The Pharisees tear Him apart over this. There is a difference though. He doesn't judge ad condemn them like the Pharisees … like so many Christians today. No, He loves on them and builds a relationship with them. The best part though is that He never leaves them in their sin. When He goes away they are a changed person. This is what we are supposed to do. Finally, let's look at something Jesus said. He tells us, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45). Jesus never told us to persecute. He told us to expect persecution. Yet here we are in America persecuting people that don't agree with us. I'm not sure if there is vomiting in heaven, but if there is this kinda stuff has to make Jesus so ill He vomits. Oh wait, I remember there is vomiting and this garbage does make God puke. In Revelation He says that He spews out those who are luke warm. If you pick and choose what verses to follow then you are luke warm.

Now that I have said that let me say what I didn't like at my Bible college. This group planned on coming as part of their tour a couple of years ago. They sent a letter to the administration informing them of their plans and asking to meet with the administration and to be given the opportunity to meet with the students and tell them how they felt on issues of homosexuality et al. The administration told them they were not welcome so the group said they were coming to protest. I could agree with the administration for not wanting them to meet with students to some degree. Personally I think they should have looked at this as an outreach, but I wasn't in charge so I wasn't asked for my opinion. I do think the administration should have met with them personally though and I will say they were completely wrong in how they handled things because of their fear.

As an employee I was informed I would be helping with security on what was fondly called "G-day." Yes that is "G" for "gay." The plan was to stake out the entire campus with eyes watching for potential gay threat encroachment. We had all the student wear lanyards with their name tags and no one was allowed on campus without a lanyard. I never liked how this was planned, but I submitted to authority and did my job. Leading up to the event I felt compelled to research the group and my heart went out to certain people to lift them up in prayer. Some of them lost their families when they came out. I began to pray for them. We met for prayer and devotions prior to the beginning of the work every day so I started to bring them up in prayer. I would ask people to pray for them and even printed out bios from the website. This is where I get ill.

Instead o doing what Jesus said and loving them and praying for them this would result in gay bashing. One guy, who was a huge jerk that eventually got fired, would lead of with talking about all the things he would do to them if he could. The boss would laugh and join in. Did I mention that the boss had been a preacher before this and is a preacher again? Yeah. Well the day came. They pulled up in their tour bus and a wall of security guards were waiting to stop them. The head o security greeted them and told them if they came onto campus they would be arrested. I saw some of the people I had been praying for and prayed for them. The school had worked with the city to have a strong police presence. There were spotters on the roofs and in every building. They had a paddy wagon around back and about 20 reserve officers with that vehicle. The group silently prayed and softly sang for an hour or so, then two of them walked onto campus and 20 police officers ran out to stop them and arrest them. Neither of the ones arrested were GBLT but were only there to support their friends. One of them was someone I felt called to pray for. She was a Buddhist, but was probably living a more Christ like life than the people that were gay bashing instead of praying. I prayed for her again.

The group left shortly after that but had planned on coming back. I made sure my post was covered and took lunch myself. I was one of the last to take lunch that day since I worked to make sure others got their lunch before taking mine. I microwaved my lunch and brought it back to eat because the group was supposed to be back soon. In that short time some of them came back. I ended up right in the middle of the group as they waited to cross the road. I saw one of the other guys that I had been praying for. He was a gay black man from a very conservative Christian family. His family disowned him when he came out. His lifelong very close relationship with his mother was severed and he hadn't spoken with her in several years. I told him I was praying for him and that his mother would being speaking with him again then prayed again while waiting on the light. When I got across the street the guy that was covering while I went to lunch was joking about how I ended up having to walk across with the gay parade. I think Jesus cried.

I have already said this but I'll say it again. I don't support homosexual lifestyles. I believe they are sinful. I also believe hate is sinful. As a campus we didn't advance the gospel one bit that day. In fact, I think we probably hurt it. You may disagree with me, but you won't ever convince me I'm wrong on this. You might think I'm a liberal Christian that plays tear out the Bible passage I don't like, but the truth is I'm extremely conservative and try to follow the Bible as literally as I can. I love my enemies and pray for the ones that persecute me. I judge myself and fellow Christians not the world. I'm not perfect, but I serve a God who is.

I am posting this now and in a few days I'll be posting about how this issue is confronting me again in a different way.

Comments Thursday, August 21, 2008

I want a freakin’ giant bean bag chair. I need the biggest bean bag chair that will fit into my office. My office chair is possessed and so needs to be replaced. I have been sitting in a chair from the 7th circle of hell for the past several months so I deserve a giant bean bag chair.

Unfortunately I don’t have the budget to buy one. I could see it now though. I get a huge one for my desk chair, and then an even bigger one to replace that drug out of a dumpster couch and a smaller one to replace the stolen from the sanctuary chair. Then people would come by to chat and we would chill and listen to music. I could counsel teens while being embraced by microfiber goodness. It would be like getting a hug without that whole having people touch me problem.

My office would be the new place to be. Of course, then people would wear out their welcome. I’d never be able to get any work done. When people weren’t here I’d fall to sleep. It is impossible to fall asleep in the demon chair. It randomly tips in various directions requiring constant shifts in balance.

OK fine, for the sake of actually getting any work done I won’t put the hugenormous beanbag chairs in my office, but I could still use them in the Youth room. Well I could use one to preach from. That’s it. I’m not about to get something soft and squishy for guys and girls to sit on together. My momma didn’t raise no fool.

Comments Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This is a book I have on my shelf.  I had to read it for my one required music class at Bible College.  In this class I was taught the most basic information about music.  I learned how to read sheet music, but not cord charts, I learned to conduct various rhythms, and I learned I didn’t want to take any other music courses.  Basically I felt this class was a waste of time.  As a person planning on going into not music I’m not sure why they felt it necessary to know how to conduct or read sheet music.  I could understand teaching us useful information, like how to read cord music, use various methods of displaying songs, and some introductory theory on planning a worship service, but conducting?  I’m not saying that churches don’t have worship leaders that conduct, but if you are a minister at a church that conducts a choir and orchestra, well they aren’t going to ever say to you, “Thank sweet baby Jesus you had a class that required you to conduct, our music minister had a terrible accident involving his conducting wand and hair gel.  Can you please take over?”


I won’t call it my least useful class, I did get that book.  Ok it is “Advice to the Minister of Music” but I think I can take the basic message and apply it to my life as Youth minister as well.  In fact, I have found that life as Youth minister is basically about doing everything that needs doing.  When I was at Bible College, I never really planned on Youth ministry.  I wasn’t against the notion, but my thought was this, “If I go into Youth then I am a Youth minister, I will not use it as a stepping stone to get Senior Pastor.”  I also never planned on leading worship. 


Right now, though, I am faced with learning guitar so I can lead worship in my Youth services.  My worship leader stepped down and the guy I got to step up doesn’t really want to do it even though he rocks.  I use to play guitar, but life got busy so when I picked up the guitar after hearing that I would need to take over until I get another worship leader in place I discovered that it is nothing like riding a bike.  I can barely remember one cord.  Of course this means I can play as well as your average rockstar, but that is beside the point.  I won’t be playing any Metalica. 


Regardless, my point is this, Youth ministers do everything.  I am the lead designer (ok I’m the only designer), the maintenance man, the computer guru, discipleship coordinator, and office manager.  I am taking on the role of disciplinary principal at the school, and worship leader.  I have been asked to join a finance committee as well.  This is all in addition to being Youth minister in which I preach at least twice a week plus teach a couple of Bible studies, build relationships, work with a coalition of other Youth ministers …


So yes, Youth ministers you must get a giant hat rack if you plan on succeeding in ministry, the bigger the better.  Then, the next time someone asks what you do all week you can take that giant hat rack and hit them in the head, then hang them from their underwear from it for the following week so they can see exactly what you do.  That’s right you sit on the computer reading blogs all day because there is just too much else on your plate.


PS.  I am not bragging or complaining about all that I do.  I’m not bragging because that would imply that I do everything well.  I’m not complaining because it would imply that I don’t enjoy all that I do.  Mostly I just want to bash people in the head with a giant hat rack when they think my job is just playing games with kids.

PPS.  I didn't plan a double post today.  This is what I wanted posted today, but someone commented about discipleship yesterday and so I posted about that before I got to work, and finished this up and posted it when I was needing a break from finishing tonight's youth sermon. 


I was a carpenter for a few years. I really enjoy carpentry and it makes me feel closer to Jesus to think that he was a carpenter for years before starting his Earthly ministry. I don't know all that much about what Jesus did; there is a lot of speculation, but nothing absolute. I do know what I did. Pretty much everything. I did cabinetry, new construction, remodeling, repairs, drywall, finish carpentry, flooring, concrete ...

I didn't go to a trade school, and quite frankly I don't think any trade school could have prepared me for all the situations I encountered. I learned everything by doing, but I didn't just start my first day and go do. I worked with other carpenters for pretty much everything we did until I learned about how to do the work. We became friends, but it was always clear that the more experienced person was in charge. Still there came a point where I would be able to offer ideas that worked better than what we were trying to do.

I think our Christian walk is supposed to work like that. Sure I can give you a list of books to read, but I look at Jesus and see something different happening. He sat under Joseph and learned how to work as a carpenter. He didn't go off to school or read books on the subject, he just did. Then he started teaching, and he didn't end his lessons with, "now go to school to learn more," or, "read this book ..." He told people what they needed to know, then expected them to do. He modeled a life for them and expected change in their life. It isn't that Jesus ever condemned sinners. He condemned the "religious" but not the sinners.

I find this interesting because we often do this backwards. We love on the "religious" and then condemn sinners. Anyway, Jesus moved past that and loved on the sinner, but didn't leave them in their sin. He told them to move past their life and live more like Him. I really think this is what discipleship should be.

Sure we need to have programs in place that teach a structured lesson, but we also need relationships in place that model what it is to be a Christian. I'm working on the best way to describe this relationship. The only word I really know is "mentor" but it seems many people are afraid to be a mentor. The problem is Youth are looking for a mentor.

I believe this is why so many leave the church when they go off to college. I remember going to college and looking at certain professors as mentors. They were so smart and even compassionate. One took me under his wings and even went so far as to call me friend. The impact of that on my life cannot be properly explained, but suffice it to say that it has fundamentally changed the way I look at the world.

I was at a Christian campus when I developed these relationships, but when teens go off to public, and even secular private universities they will develop these relationships with men and women of academia who are standing against Christianity and the Bible. Understanding this simple fact makes it perfectly clear to me why so many walk away from their faith. They are fundamentally changed by a relationship that opposes God.

This means we need to find a way to put our Youth in relationships with more experienced Christians. I am currently working to find a way to make this happen. I have 40 students and no way to spend that kind of time with all of them. Even with everyone in my leadership team I can't possibly get everyone matched up. Instead I have to get the entire church on board with this, so I am building a discipleship program for the church that teaches this concept.

My biggest frustration is that I don't want to wait for all of this work to mature. I want everything in place today because I am so concerned about the Youth I lose between now and when I can have everyone in relationship. Anyways, this is part of my overall plan for discipleship. One day God will finish taking me through the process of growing patience and I won't be so frustrated knowing the vision I have is still a couple of years out. Until then I let go and let God as best as I can.

6 comments Monday, August 18, 2008

If you are a Youth leader you must remember this statement from when it was made famous. Still, if you are in Youth leadership you must wonder at the truth to this. I have only been doing this a little while, but I've noticed that my Jr. High and Senior High kids just don't get along. I've talked with other Youth leaders and this appears to be fairly universal.

I wish I had an answer to solve this issue, especially for smaller groups that can't easily have a Jr. High service and a Sr. High service. Right now I'm on the edge of being able to have separate services, and that is a problem in and of itself. It turns out that Sr. High Youth don't care for the Jr. High Youth, but the Jr. High Youth really want to be with the Sr. High Youth. They hate to be put into their own service. I think if it were always 2 different groups, then it wouldn't be so bad, but they have waited to get into Youth and now I am saying that they are only halfway in Youth.

The thing I find funniest about the whole thing is talking with the Sr. High kids about why they don't like the Jr. High kids around results in the answer, "they are so immature." When confronted with the idea that they were once the same the response is, "I was never like that." Of course, I also work with Young Adults and I can talk with them about my Sr. High Youth and get the real dirt. Yes, indeed the Young Adults always resented those immature kids coming into Youth and ruining all the super mature fun they were having.

If you have worked with Youth and eg is talking with the Sr. High kids about why they don't like the Jr. High kids around results in the answer, "they are so immature." When confronted with the idea that they were once the same the response is, "I was never like that." Of course, I also work with Young Adults and I can talk with them about my Sr. High Youth and get the real dirt. Yes, indeed the Young Adults always resented those immature kids coming into Youth and ruining all the super mature fun they were having.

If you have worked with Youth and experienced this I'd love to hear how you tried to overcome. Logic and reason have no effect whatsoever, and neither does random acts of sarcasm. Those are my two go to tools, so I'm kind of at a loss.

Comments Saturday, August 16, 2008

I was talking with some Youth Minister friends, and I wasn't aware of how touchy the subject of "Lock in" was. One of the group absolutely refused to do them. He told the church staff when they were interviewing him that they weren't going to happen while he was there and that this wasn't negotiable. That is a pretty wild stance.

Just for fun I thought I'd share why they are so dangerous.

  1. The Youth know the church better than you

    Let's face it, Youth ministers don't stay in church long enough to know every hiding place, but the lifers, the kids that were in cradle roll, they know every hiding place in the church. They know how to get under the platform, behind the baptistery, and even the secret entrance into your office. My advice is have the lock in, but put tracking devices on the lifers and record everywhere they go. This is your only hope of finding all the secret places.

  2. Everything is breakable

    If it says shatter resistant, this is not a guarantee. It is a challenge. You can pad the walls and only allow soft squishy things into the room, but that just raises the interest factor. Anyone can break a window with a baseball but it takes an Amp'd out Youth to break the window with a foam ball. There is really no way around this. Try to set out really cheap and extremely fragile object, but tell everyone to be super careful because they are for an upcoming wedding or something. They will all be broken by the end of the night, but hopefully nothing important will be as well.

  3. Parents trust their kids

    Parents would never let their kids bring anything dangerous, like knives, to the lock in, but they trust them enough to not perform a pat down before heading to the church. I've seen enough lighters and knives in Youth service to know better. As soon as the doors are locked have everyone line up for contraband searches. Look everywhere. Don't underestimate the danger that can be hidden in shoes. TSA makes you take your shoes off and they have metal detectors.

  4. You never have enough volunteers

    I estimate that for each Youth at the lock in you need 5 volunteers, unfortunately you are doing good to have 1 volunteer for 5 youth. This is where knowing the enemy and a good plan come into play. You can't play man to man coverage, but you can cover the known troublemakers and play a zone defense to cover the rest. Know the terrain as well as you can. If you have some idea where things will be going south you can watch those areas. Don't be predictable either. Everyone is asleep and so you send out patrols every half an hour. This gives the Youth a set time they can be alone. Have your patrols randomly double back. This is war my friend.

  5. Purple is the new black

    So I learned a new phrase over at Stuff Christians Like., "Making Purple." Apparently it was around years ago but I never heard it. If you don't now, girls are red and boys are blue. When you mix red and blue you get purple. This is something you don't want happening at your lock in. This is something your Youth want happening at the lock in. If possible attach shock collars to the guys and put zone transmitters on the girls. Then when the guys get within 5 feet of a girl they get a shock.

  6. Power Drinks are from the Devil

    Youth love power drinks … This doesn't mean you should ban power drinks though. They will find a way to sneak them in. Instead provide the Monster until midnight. Then cut them off. The energy high will last about 1 hour followed by a crash. By 1 a.m. you will have a group of easily controlled and very sleepy teens.

I don't know if I'm ready for a guy girl lock in. So far I can't get people on board with the shock collars and without that I'm not sure how to stop lock in make outs. I think we will be doing separate guys and girls lock ins. That should be much safer.

2 comments Friday, August 15, 2008

OK, when it comes to telling about the games we play I have to be careful because the more memorable ones will be recognized, but since I didn't come up with this game I'm going to share it.

I can't remember the name of the game but I call it, "Walking on goldfish," or, "Follow the yellow fish road."

To play this game you need a tarp, blindfolds, volunteers (willing or unwilling) and goldfish. You can buy feeder fish at pet shops for really cheap. You will want 20-30 minimum to make it look good. I have someone in the church that owns a pet that eats the feeder fish so I got them from this person.

I set this game up as a "trust" exercise. I explained that I would be spreading the fish onto the tarp after everyone was blindfolded, and that they would have to walk across the tarp and listen to instructions on how to avoid the fish.

Then you make sure everyone can see the fish and blindfold the "volunteers." Then you retrieve the secret supplies. A large can of mandarin orange slices. Make sure the spectators understand that they should reveal the trick. I like large hand gestures that indicate quiet. Start dropping the slices all over the tarp, but try and get some dense clumps that will be hard to get through without stepping on. Drop from a height so the blindfolded volunteers can hear the "fish" flopping on the tarp. I also got the spectators to start talking about how the fish were flopping and gasping and even crying about hurting the poor fish using hand gestures. Be creative. The power of the mind is amazing.

The last part is to have the contestants walk across the tarp. It is great watching them when they "kill" a poor fish. Get your audience to go on about how gross it was. If you remember to save a couple slices you can even dare a couple of volunteers to eat a fish.

Depending on your time constraints you can get 3-5 volunteers to go through. Remember some basic rules though.

Don't call it a game, just start getting people lined up to play.

Have all your supplies ready. I put my fish in a big glass bowl during worship so people would ask about them before service and wonder about them during worship.

Have volunteers ready to start putting supplies into place while the rules are explained.

Explain the rules in less than a minute.

End the game while everyone is having fun, even if the last volunteer hasn't gone through. This is a great person to have eat a "fish" before they walk through.

The only problem I have with this game is you can't really play it with the same group, but you can encourage your group to keep secret about the trick so that they can invite friends another night and have them walk on fish.


Actually in school I always played well with others. It really is more of a doesn't work well with others thing. I hate group projects. It bothers me that I have to depend on someone else to do the level of work I demand of myself so I can get the grade I expect. Group projects feel like a punishment, especially when the teacher picks the groups because you never have all the hard working people in one group. The ones that are driven to get As. No there is usually one hard worker, one total slacker, and then the best median the teacher can plan between those two. I always ended up just doing the whole project just in case everyone slacked and then put the project together so if others did do their jobs I would use it, but that made it so that I had to do the work of like 5 people while they got a free A.

Well, I've found my Christian life can be the same. I love friendships and hanging with people, but I have a hard time depending on them. If we are doing any project, from feeding the homeless to organizing a prayer meeting, I feel like I need to take control of the whole thing or we won't get that gold start from God. I go into it with the idea, "we are going to have the biggest prayer meeting and rock the gates of heaven with our praise so hard," and then people that don't give enough effort frustrate me so I have to make up for them.

It really is about pleasing people and pleasing God. I am just wired that way, but I think God isn't really as happy as I'd like to think with the attitude. I never really talked to the teachers about this other than to say that I detest group projects. I imagine, however, that they would have been happier if I did my part very well and helped everyone else do the best they could instead of just planning for their failure. It might have inspired some of the borderline achievers to reach beyond what they have done in the past and realize they can grasp the A without my help. At the very least it would have helped me to rely on others instead of myself, which I think is important to Christian community.

I am in the process of getting things setup with area Youth ministers for us to work as a group instead of as individuals. In my head I know this will make us more effective, but somewhere deep down I am afraid of failing because someone else didn't work hard enough. Right now I am trying to change my thinking on this. Just because an event doesn't have the turn out or follow through I'd like, or just because some detail isn't just the way I'd like it doesn't make it a failure. God is putting us together and I know that He measures our success by our faithfulness not by our numbers. Today I choose to be faithful and stop looking at the wrong things. Today I choose to serve rather than lead. Today I choose relationships over going it alone.

Tomorrow I'll try to do the same, but don't forget I'm human too.

Comments Thursday, August 14, 2008


Why are you such an old grump? I know you are, at the minimum, over 10k years old. Many people believe you are billions of years old. This doesn’t mean you have to mock us in our old age. You should befriend us as we age. Make falls easier on us. Sure the law says we have to fall at the same rate, but you don’t have to be such a stickler for the rules. I’m not asking you to break the rules, just bend them a little. I know you bend the rules for your favorites like black holes and stuff, but some of those black holes that get special rules are very young.

Now I’m not saying that you have to listen to me, but you are being an old grouch. It hurts when you fall down hard, and one of these days I’m gonna ignore your silly rules. I’m going to zip right up into the air and meet the one that made your rules. Now I’m more special to him than those black holes are to you, so you might think about that next time you throw me to the ground. All I’m saying is slow me down just before I hit. No one will know and I can still pretend I’m not growing older.

Thanks a bunch,
Nick the Geek.

Comments Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I really enjoy lethal weapon. It is one of my guilty habits. Anytime it is on TV and I have some free time I watch. It doesn't really matter which one is one, I like them all. The problem is, tonight I think I understood for the first time what Danny Glover meant when he said he was too old for this … stuff.

I think I've done an exceptional job of keeping up with my youth. Shoot, half the time I can outlast them at events because I don't bother with energy drinks. They may burn a bit hotter early on in the event, but once their Monster high is gone they are dragging till the next fix. I can keep running and jumping for hours while they are sitting down barely able to keep their eyes open. My wife has to eventually check me because my energy just keeps building as I try to get the youth back into the excitement of whatever we are doing.

This, of course, is because I'm not really that old. I turn 30 this year but I've lost weight and am in the best shape I've been in since I was 18. Unfortunately all this energy and lack of real maturity has me doing those things my body is too old for. Tonight I was playing games with the Youth and ended up losing my balance and planting myself on the floor. At one point in mid air I am fairly certain my body was perfectly horizontal for an extended period of time. I'm not sure how long it lasted by I was able to mentally write this entire post during the time I was frozen there as well as look around at all the Youth as they sat frozen the look of pure LOL on their faces. Then time resumed and gravity had its way with my 29 year old body.

I know when I was younger I did the things that got me sprawled on the floor tonight, but I don't remember being flat on my back after. I know I've reached a special kind of place in life. Mentally I am aware of certain limitations, but I'm not sure I'm ready to admit it. When I first started dating my wife, my eventual father-in-law had me fill out a questionnaire to get permission to date his daughter. I don't think any of my answers scored points with him because I took the whole thing as a joke. One of the questions was, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My answer was, "Peter Pan." I think I was just being terribly sarcastic, but looking back I think I stand by that answer. I'm a Youth Pastor so you can't make me grow up.

I may be sore while I type this and I may have some skinned patches from the carpet, but if the same opportunity presents itself next week I'll do it again. Maybe one day I'll "grow up" but I really hope I don't.


You know it amazes me that Christians can steal from the church. I'm talking about people in ministry at the church using church funds for personal things to people literally taking money and.or stuff from the church.

I honestly can't grasp that thought. I've read the Old Testament, I know what happens when judgement comes. I just read the book of Amos, and I gotta say ... he called women cows. Now I'm not Bible scholar, but I think that was still an insult back then. Then he goes on to tell them how they were going to suffer, how people would be pulled through the breaches by meat hooks and the last by fish hooks.

The thought of taking from the church makes me fearful. Don't get me wrong, I understand some amazingly powerful things about grace, but I don't take it for granted. Still, I come back to what Jesus tells us, we must forgive others if we want to be forgiven. So I forgive the ones that have been stealing. What is more, God will forgive you if you let Him.

Speaking of grace. I heard someone say this recently and it was so obvious but so totally amazing.

We are all under the wrath of God. Every judgement that is spoken by the prophets is on our head, but when we go to the cross it is like a lightening rod for God's wrath. It turns the wrath away from us and to the cross.

Now just think this through. Jesus is the son of God, but He is also the infinite God, this means God turned His wrath that none of us could withstand into Himself so that Justice would be served, but so would love and grace. That is powerful.

Comments Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Well, there is one thing I know about teens, cool matters. It has been a while since I was in high school, but I can vividly remember just how important coolness was.

Now, I wasn't the super cool kid or anything, I was more like a social ninja. That is, I could blend in anywhere. I had nerd friends and geek friends. I also had jock friends and band friends. I hung with goths before everyone shopped at Hot Topic and I also found myself with the preps. My closest friends were mostly like me. They didn't really fit the mold. That in itself was part of the cool factor, but we seemed to be missing the thing. You know what I'm talking about. The thing that made us stand out.

We fit in everywhere, so if we showed up we were accepted but like the ninja when we were gone it was as if we had never been there. I can tell you the secrets of the bandies and the secrets of the jocks, but when it came time for them to plan a party my group was never invited. If we showed up everyone was nice and welcomed us. We fit in just fine with them and that was cool.

I graduated with over 500 people and knew most of them. I look through a yearbook and I can remember them, but I wonder how well I was remembered. Maybe I spread myself a little thin trying to be cool with everyone.

I wonder how that works now. I see the obvious "cool" lines in my Youth group but I don't know if things work the same or not.

See I remember in HS that every group had their own hierarchy of cool. Bandies, AKA Band Nerds, were cooler based on the instrument they played. The coolest weren't really Band Nerds at all. Anyone in percussion was part of the cool group. They were better than the rest of the band and everyone knew it. They sat together at lunch beating out rhythms and laughing at people without rhythm. At my HS drummers could totally date cheerleaders. Now the guy on tuba, wow he was the Nerd of the Bandies. This was Poindexter from the movie Nerds.

Anyways, I've just been thinking about how all this worked when I was in HS and wondering how it works now. I think we, as Youth Ministers, judge our coolness by how cool the Youth we minister to are. I'd love to have all the cool kids, but I also remember how high maintenance they could be. I think that is one of the reasons I kept going back to the less cool kids. It is totally why I refused to date the cheerleader that asked me out my Junior year. Freakin' nuts the level of attention she required just being her occasional friend. I'm not saying all cool kids are high maintenance, but enough are that I think I'd like a youth group that looked more like my friends in HS.

How do you attract the social ninja? They can't fall for the standard social traps. They are freakin' Ninja. I need some kind of über social ninja trap. What are they attracted to now? Back in HS I wouldn't bother with pizza nights or game nights ... maybe music if it was a good band playing, but only maybe. I did go for some pretty geeky things though. I don't know if I'm dedicated to throwing a medieval fair to try and catch a social ninja, but if one is going on in the area I might be there. This is the easiest environment to spot them. The fantasy geeks will be dressed up and speaking in King James English. The super cool kids will go but will be cracking on everyone. The social ninja will show up in street clothes, but will be with friends that are in character. They won't be cracking on anything and show actual interest in the people. They will even go hang with the cool kids while their friends are busy watching a joust and explain some of the stuff that they have been cracking on in such a way that they cool kids will actually think its cool. That is the moment to spring the trap. I'm thinking a social pirate might distract them long enough ...

I'm sure you can see why every Youth group needs a social ninja. It is the fact that they are actually interested in the people not things that makes them so valuable. That and Ninjas are freakin' awesome.


Now this whole idea seems totally bogus. Intentional relationships. I think if the kids in Youth knew that this was something we planned then they would rise up and revolt.

If you aren't in the know on this, it goes like this. Jesus had intentional relationships. He had a circle around him with 3 people in it. Peter, James, and John were in there with Jesus for everything. They got to be at the transfiguration and got to have the best sleeping spots for the Garden scene. Everyone hated them but it was cool because that just proved they were it. Then Jesus had 9 other mostly close disciples. They got to hear the parables explained after the sermon and see Jesus walk n water and other awesome stuff. Then there were a bunch of other disciples that were around but never really mentioned by name. Finally they had everyone else. They might have gotten some fish and bread from Jesus but so did 5k other people so nothing special really.

The thing is, those kind of relationships don't happen by accident. You have to plan them. OK sure I'm likely to have close friends, occasionally close friends, and acquaintances by accident, but I'm talking about ministry.

Left to our own devices we will pick the cool kids to focus on. The ones that are easy to talk to and the ones that interact with us. Jesus went the other way with things though. He found people that didn't fit the disciple mold and then shaped them for 3 years so that when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost they would shake the world. I just don't see the rich young ruler, aka the cool kid with money that follows all the rules, as the one that would have stuck around for days waiting on the promised gift. That is why Jesus didn't invest in him like he did in Peter, who stood up and preached so that thousands were saved that day.

This means I have to sit down with my leadership team and walk them through planning our relationships. It is kind of like draft season. I get first draft because I'm cool like that and so pick my 3 before anyone can steal them. I like to have my ringer, thats the go to guy you can count on for sure, but I also like a couple of 2nd string picks that I think will round out during pre-season. I think most people overlook those kids. They are around most of the time but never really involved. They are the one we should be pouring into and they are the reason why we have to plan our relationships because we would overlook them otherwise. Now, like the draft no one can have the same people in their 3 as others, so the fun starts. We trade to try and make sure we get the ones we want. I would actually let my ringer go if I couldn't have one of those 2nd string Youth. I believe they will grow past the ringer.

Anyways, once the inner circle is done the second circle is easier. We get to allow some overlap in this area so long as most of the regular attenders are in someones regular circle. Of course, this is where the evil draft gets started. It is sort of like picking sides for kickball in grade school. You get down to the last four and tell the other captain they can have the best of the four if they also take the worst of the four. This part is just wrong on so many level in church, but it is also why we have to be intentional in our relationships.

Maybe someone gets the short straw, or maybe the YP is just a sucker for lost causes, but there is that kid in the Youth that no one ever talks to. This kid doesn't quite understand the concept of deodorant and speaks Klingon or whatever. By planning our relationships we don't overlook this kid.

Oh, and bonus, it just might turn out the kid is really cool. I've known a few that blossomed from nerd/jerk/whatever into someone really awesome. Shoot I did. Maybe that is why I try to stop the evil trading by offering to take the kids that no one else wants in their circle.

Anyone else done this? How do you handle it?

Ps. I think this is enough posts for my first day. Sorry to explode like this. Most days won't be so prolific. I have just had a desire to start this blog for a while and needed to get a few things down right away.


I think maybe I should say a small bit about myself. I have to be careful what I say because I am being a bit anonymous, unlike other blogs I have. Any name I post will likely be changed to protect the innocent ... well usually they won't be that innocent but whatever.

I was raised a Christian, and didn't really have a huge fall from faith like many. My testimony is pretty tame, but awesome none the less. God kept me from evil things and that is pretty freakin' cool. I went to a Bible college in the Midwest and spent a lot of my life there since I wanted to avoid too much debt. I have skills as a carpenter because of that. I have picked up some other skills in my life as well. We all need skills.

I am married with kids. I think kids are great.

Oh, and I'm an über geek. I'm ok with that finally because geek is finally getting the respect it deserves. This is one thing I probably should reveal about myself because the Youth might figure it out, but I know enough YPs to know that this revelation will have approximately 68% of all Youth Groups guessing that their minister is writing this blog.


If you want to know what I'm about then check below, this is about working with other ministers. I don't mean people in your church, that is one thing. I'm talking about working with ministers from other churches. Right now I am working with another minister to put together a group of Youth Ministers from our area. We have already found some areas where we disagree. I'm so frustrated.

I'm frustrated because this guy with so much more experience than me in many areas of youth ministry won't give me props for the things I have way more experience in. Now, so far this has been nothing deal breaking, but I feel like I could get the planning done faster if I did it by myself.

More than frustrated, though, I'm disgusted. I'm disgusted with myself because I know that it really isn't this other guys fault. Sure he could give me more room in the things I excel at, but I have always had a problem working with others. I want it done my way because I'm right. That is so prideful.

Still, I'm super excited about this new group. We have had quite a bit of interest from some other ministers and some really good ideas for things we can do together. I honestly expect this whole ministry to be blessed once I get my ego out of God's way.


I actually have a couple other blogs. Likely nothing you have ever heard of, but I'm starting this new one completely separate for a reason. I am a Youth Pastor in a somewhat small town and many of my Youth know about my other blogs. I don't feel comfortable talking about my experiences at Youth Pastor on those blogs. It's not that I don't want to seem human. I welcome them seeing me as more human and so easier to relate with, no I don't want them to know some of my thoughts fears and questions that relate to them.

Let me be completely honest here, I'm planning on being sarcastic quite often in this blog, but totally honest as well. I plan on throwing out some ideas but also complaining about not knowing the answers. I might even bring up some particularly difficult issues that are going on with the youth and I don't want to have to censor some of these thoughts.

I am new to being Youth Pastor. I was a carpenter for 7 years while I finished my degree and I just started the whole YP thing about 7 months ago. There is a lot I don't know. For example, I don't know how to fail yet. It isn't that I'm going to fail, I figure I"ll fail miserably many times, but I don't know how it will happen.

I think knowing how to fail is possibly better than knowing how to succeed. Think about it, when you know how to fail you can learn from it so you don't fail like that again. If you succeed ... well there are just too many variables to try and duplicate that success the next time. Often failing is the only way we can learn.

Anyways, I hope that this blog can help others; although I have to admit I'm a it selfish and really plan on it helping me. Since there is so much for me to learn I hope to find some people that have been through to the other side that can give me advice from their experience.