Sunday, October 14, 2012

Beyond Guilt

WARNING: The video below is amazing but also challenging. However, I'm not big on guilt trips. I think when God pierces our hearts it is an opportunity to repent, not just to feel guilty. Repentance is a good means to turn change the way we think or act. It is letting go of self and allowing God to shape us. Repentance is the opportunity to walk with see the world as he sees partner with him in his mission of redemption. Repentance is a big part of the gospel! The good news is that we have a second chance at life. We get a new start and a new way to live! May God help us go beyond guilt and lead us to repentance! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Politics (and Adoption)

People get pretty heated about politics so I do not usually say too much about them. I do think politics are important and I do think people should vote. However, I do not believe politicians or government will ever solve the real problems in this world. Governments cannot transform hearts. Politicians cannot redeem our communities. It seems people believe that if "their candidate" or party wins everything will be right in our country. I think that is overly optimistic. On the flip side, people believe if the other party wins then we are all doomed. I think that is overly pessimistic. Maybe are passions are misguided.

What if all the passion we had about politics was directed somewhere else?

What if we used our energy differently? What if we did something?

What if being pro-life was more than just a political slogan? What would happen if we were really pro-life? What would change if we all cared for orphans? What would happen if we actually lived out James 1:27?

What if we stopped talking about the poor and entitlements and instead actually served the poor (Matthew 25)?

What would change if we lived the gospel and didn't just preach it? What would happen if we followed the example of Christ and didn't just call ourselves Christian?

What if we stopped getting angry at other people and got angry at our own sin?

People do get heated about politics...and sometimes rightly so. But why are we not "heated" about the thousands of children without families? Why are we not "heated" about kids sold into slavery? I don't think we should stop caring about politics, but I do think we should care about other things more. And if I sound preachy, please know that I am preaching to myself as well. (Plus, I'm a preacher so I can't really help it.)

I pray God would break my heart for the things that break his heart. I pray I would share his desires and passions. I'm not always there, but I'm getting better. I realize that many people are already doing the very things I mentioned. I know many people who are loving orphans, serving the poor, and living the gospel. I am very grateful for these individuals. God's kingdom work is being done, we just need to join the movement.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Youth Training

Fellow youth pastors...I need your help! I am working with the conference on developing a certification school for youth workers. This training would be similar to the training of local license pastors. 

Full-time youth ministers could certainly attend this training, however, the main goal is to help small-ish churches in equipping their youth workers who are typically part-time or volunteer. This certification would also give these youth workers some clout and respect as well. Below is a tentative description of the program. We are very early in the game. In fact, nothing is in stone and no one has even agreed to be a part of the program. I just want to get some initial thoughts from friends. Thanks for your help!

Is there anything missing in the curriculum? 
What books would you suggest as reading material before class sessions?
How does the daily schedule look? Would you add or subtract anything from it? 
If we proceed with this program, would you be interested in helping?

About the Program

The youth ministry certification school would serve to equip youth workers and provide value to the youth worker’s resume. In addition, the school will hopefully provide an affordable way for churches to assist and support their youth workers. The program is especially designed for lead youth workers who are either volunteers or part-time. The ten courses give a foundation for youth ministry education. Individuals would meet on 5 Saturdays within a 6 month period. Each day the student will cover two courses. There will also be reading assignments before and after the on-site classes. Upon completion of the ten courses, a certificate will be issued to the student.

About the Curriculum
  • A Foundation of Youth Ministry: Planning, Purpose, Resources, and Goals
  • Culture and Youth Ministry: Understanding Teenagers
  • The Family and Youth Ministry: Partnering with Parents
  • Building a Team: Recruiting and Keeping Volunteers
  • Wesleyan Theology
  • Speaking to Teenagers: Preaching 101
  • Counseling Youth: Helping Hurting Kids
  • The Other Side of Youth Ministry: Administration, Safe Sanctuary, Conflict Resolution, Working With Your Pastor, and Fundraising.
  • Leadership Training
  • Soul Care: The Personal and Spiritual Life of a Healthy Youth Worker


9:30am-12:00pm--Course 1
1:00pm—3:30pm—Course 2
3:30pm-4:00pm—Devotion and Communion