Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Work, Life and Parenting: The Ultimate Juggling Act

The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce is holding an event for Parents this October 27 at 7PM. It is called Work, Life, and Parenting. I have talked with one of the planners and they are very excited about all they have lined up. Here are some of the people that will be sharing:

  • David Brewer, Beech Acres Parenting Center
  • Sherry Gibson, a senior Executive in the banking industry
  • Sharon Guard, Director of Family Ministry at Anderson Hills United Methodist Church

This looks like it will be a very beneficial thing. I am not even a parent, but I am planning on going. I think it will be valuable. Maybe you should check it out too. If you are interested let me know. Afterwards if any one is interested we can all go grab some Graeters or some dessert somewhere else and talk about what the speakers said.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Youth Ministry 3.0

I am reading a book right now by a guy named Mark Oestreicher who is the President of Youth Specialties. The book is a brief history of Youth Ministry, and then a brief look at where he thinks Youth Ministry is headed/Where it needs to go. Oestreicher does a great job of retelling the progress we have made in Student Ministry in the past 50 years. He also is very transparent about the mistakes he feels like he has made during his tenure in Student Ministry.

One of the sections in the book that stood out to me the most was a chapter entitled, "So... How Do We Get There?" In this chapter Mark offers up his thoughts on how Ministries need to adapt and grow how they minister to students. The part that really impressed me was when he talked about being communional (which is way to hard to say). He isn't talking about communion, he is talking about the process of really and truly doing life together. The reason he didn't simply say community, was because he didn't feel like that word summed up all that he was trying to say. Being Communional is not something that happens easily. Here is what he had to say.

Communion is Small
It bears repeating that communion rarely, if ever, occurs in a large setting.

Communion is Slow
It is not rushed. It doesn't happen over night- in fact it's annoyingly patient. Communion doesn't happen on our timetables at all, and it will internally resist all forms of quantification.

Communion is Simple
Not simple to create, but simple in its DNA. It's not flashy. It doesn't flourish with booster shots of technology.

Communion is Fluid
It won't be boxed or sold as a resource or presented as a 40 day plan. It shies away from being defined. It beautifully morphs into variant vibes, seasons, and shapes.

Communion is Present
It demands face time. It hungers for listening. It salivates for shared experience. It lives in the here and now.

(Excerpt from pg 106 of YOUTH MINISTRY 3.0 by Mark Oestreicher)

One of our big adjustments to Rel Community this year goes along the same lines. Last year we tried to put 3 adult leaders with every 12 students. They would meet together and we would tell the leaders to shepherd and mentor those 12 students. This year we still tried to do the 3 leaders for 12 students, but instead of just saying, "Be sure to saty in touch with this 12 students.", We went a step further. This year in each of our groups we are matching 1 leader up with 4 of those 12 students. It is a whole lot easier for a group leader to mentor and develop Rel Community with 4 students instead of 12. They still have group time with all 12 students, but during the week each leader just has around 4 students that they need to be sure to check in with, pray for, and encourage.

I am sure that this change will take some time to start working. I have already heard about some cool things coming out of it. What Mark Oestreicher said about communion being a tough thing to develop is true though. In student ministry our group leaders plant and water a lot of seeds with the hope and prayer, that it will lead to making a difference in a students life. They work really hard, wuth no guarantees that their work will pay off. That's why I appreciate our group leaders so much. They have faith that God will cause lifechange in students lives, if they keep pouring into those students.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Andy's Sermon

I thought Andy said some really relevant things to us all in the Gathering Place this Sunday. For any of you that weren't there Andy talked about Christians being the salt of the earth. What he meant by that (It comes from a passage in Matthew 5) is that we are supposed to bring flavor to the world. We are supposed to be different.

Take some time to have that conversation at your dinner table with your family, or at the lunch table with your friends. What makes you different? How do people know you Believe in Jesus? Are we really any different? Are we relevant, or just a bunch of ignorant hypocrites? What does it mean to be salt? How does Jesus want us to be different? These are all vital questions to be asking ourselves. I don't ask myself them enough.

I just wrapped up talking with a senior who is going to be getting baptized soon. He really showed some maturity in our conversation. He is going to use his baptism as a chance to tell and show all of his friends, just how important Jesus is to him. He sees his life as an opportunity to reveal God's glory to other people. I think he is starting to truly understand what it means to be salt, and that is what being a worker in God's Kingdom is all about.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ever Felt Like You Needed a Translator?

How many conversations have you had, where one party feels misunderstood, and the other party is convinced that the other isn't speaking English?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Free Chick-Fil-A

I have the perfect place for all of you to eat as a family this Labor Day... That's right free food from Chick-fil-a! If you wear any sports logo into any location after 10:30am on this coming Monday, and you will get a free Chicken Sandwhich.
I'll definitely be going there for at least one meal that day.. who knows maybe too. Take advantage of this awesome FREE FOOD MOMENT!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Are You Read for Some Parkside Fantasy Football!

Ok so Brian Bruemmer (Website/Graphics Guy) and I were talking around the water cooler a week ago (ok so we don't have a water cooler, but we were really talking). We decided that it was time that Parkside Christian Church had a Staff Fantasy Football League. Ok so if you think that Fantasy Football is dumb just stop reading this post right now. All we are trying to do is bring the office closer together and have a chance to trash talk in the office (thats a spiritual gift right?). Well our draft was today during lunch. I thought some of you might be interested to see how things turned out for my team so here is the 411.

I was slotted with the number 2 overall pick and was lucky enough to get Adrian Peterson with that pick. Here was how the rest of my draft went.

The Home Schoolers (That's my team name. Yeah, I was Home Schooled)
1.(2)Adrian Peterson RB
2.(19)Andre JohnsonWR
3.(22)Randy MossWR
4.(39)Ryan GrantRB
5.(42)Philip RiversQB
6.(59)Thomas JonesRB
7.(62)Anthony GonzalezWR
8.(79)DeSean JacksonWR
9.(82)Matt RyanQB
10.(99)Willie ParkerRB
11.(102)Lance MooreWR
12.(119)Robbie GouldK
13.(122)Visanthe ShiancoeTE
14.(139)Kevin BossTE

I think I did pretty well. Andy, Bart and Randy had a good draft too though. I won't play them for a few weeks though. Every Monday I'll try to give you an update on how the Home Schoolers did in Fantasy Football over the weekend. I think it will be fun.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rēl Community

In just a week and a half Rēl Community is going to be starting up again on Sunday nights from 6-8PM. We are getting really excited about it too. Sign ups for the groups are going great, and its just time for everybody to start getting together again.

Some of the groups got together some over the summer, and others just touched base with each other. I think it is safe to say though that all of us are looking forward to getting back together. I've missed the dodgeball, and all the wierd challenges we had. I am excited about meeting new students, and planning events in our groups. I think one of the things I missed most about Rēl Community over the summer was just not getting consistent time to talk about different Bible stories, or about things we had all been going through with our group.

Thankfully we don't have much longer to wait (I am excited about the T-shirts that we will have this year too). We need to keep praying that God challenges us this year to grow in our faith. Its not just about showing up its about committing yourself to take that next step whether that is working on something in our own lives, or inviting a friend to group with us. September 13th is just around the bend and I am excited about Rēl Community finally being here.