You Could Change the Landscape of Youth Ministry – Part I

I thought I would re-post my Vibrant Faith blog from last week on my own personal blog since it got some good traction. If you have been doing youth ministry for a good while, I think you’ll relate to this one…

READ IT HERE…

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You Too Can Be a Hula Hoop Champion

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One toy that has not changed a bit is the hula hoop. There’s nothing you can do to innovate it. It’s simply a round circle of plastic that comes in various colors. Pretty basic, and it has never changed.

When I was a kid, everyone had a hula hoop in the neighborhood. Occasionally we would gather all the kids together on the block and have a contest to see who could hula the longest to be the hula hoop champion. I must confess: I was not very good at it and never won the championship. It always seemed to be the girl from down the street who was in dance class and could just go on forever without any effort. But hey, it brought everyone together for lots of fun and laughter. Oh yeah, and it was “groovy” and we wore bell bottoms. {more}

Dead Trees

We moved into our house about 9 years ago. It was built in 1980. We had two beautiful Silver Maple trees in the front yard. Last year they died. It was sort of a slow death, but they both began dying at about the same time. It was a bummer to watch because they provided some nice shade in the yard. We finally had to take them down. I later learned that many builders will plant Silver Maple trees because they grow relatively fast. Nobody wants to have little trees in their yard, at least not in this neighborhood lined with huge, beautiful shade trees. So I was talking to my brother (who has a forestry degree) about what would be the best tree to plant. [more]

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Social Media is Out

Before you disagree with me, hear me out. First I must confess. I’m sort of a social media junky. While I don’t live on it, I do believe that it is a very important tool for ministry. So when I say “out” what I mean is that it gets us out of the church box. People are browsing it daily looking for well, whatever they are looking for. Oftentimes we are looking for connection. We are looking for a way to interact with the world around us. Many have argued that social media takes us away from real, face to face relationships. That may be partially true, but…  (more)

Changing…

Huntington Beach, California 2Welcome to my blog. I hope it is inspiring and meaningful to you. Pardon the bare bones site right now. I’m just getting this up and running to help me flesh out my ideas on life and faith. It will also be a place to share thoughts on the changing nature of the church. It’s a new endeavor as I have experienced an extreme amount of change over the last year. Some of this change has been incredibly painful and some has been amazingly hopeful, both are hard to put into words. Our son Max died unexpectedly just over a year ago on Dec. 29, 2012 when he got the flu and then pneumonia and an infection while we were on vacation up in Wisconsin. He was 17. We had just spent a joyful Christmas with my wife’s family and then spent four days in a St. Paul hospital as his body rapidly failed. The doctors were baffled and so were we. The pain of losing a child is like no other and the year that followed has been a journey filled with every emotion imaginable.

But God has found a way to faithfully journey alongside us as we wade through the waters of grief.

This huge change also pushed me to wrestle with my call of 26 years of working in congregational youth and family ministry. While my call to do ministry has never wavered, I wondered if working in the local church setting was still for me. The church community was incredibly supportive and allowed me time to grieve, study, write, read and pray. Finally in the fall of 2013 I experienced what I call a nudge of the Spirit. I simply knew that my 8 1/2 years of ministry at this congregation and my 26 years of working full time in churches needed to come to a close. I resigned with absolutely no idea of what I was going to do next. However, I felt so content that God had something in mind for me.

It was not long after I resigned that I got a call from Vibrant Faith Ministries. Through a two month process of discernment I accepted the call to be a congregational trainer, coach and consultant. So as of Jan. 1 another change is upon me. I am very excited and blown away by how God has lead me over the past year. God has led me and now I embark on a new challenge celebrating the gifts God has given me.

I hope you will join me in discovering new and innovative ways of sharing the gospel in a world that is constantly changing. We must face the changes of this life so that God can change lives through us.