Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sweet Sixteen Party Turns Sour

The article below is about a 'riot' or 'disturbance' that happened last night at a Club in Cincinnati. The whole situation doesn't surprise me at all. Read the article first and then bounce back to the top to see my thoughts. I think what is interesting was seeing how the adults talked about the whole situation in the article. Here are my thoughts:

  • Why in the world is a 16 year old girl's parents renting out Metropolis for their daughter's b-day party? (Metropolis' Website) I mean take one look at the website and tell me that is the kind of place where you want your baby girl to celebrate her coming of age. This is just one example of a bigger problem. It's not normal to rent a club for your daughter that just happens to also have Chippendale Performers there at a different time in the year.
  • The thing I am least surprised by is the crowd showing up. You can't keep anything a secret with current technology. Even if students weren't inviting their friends by text, you can bet a lot of them were updating their Twitter's and Facebook statuses letting people know that they were at Metropolis (which any other night would be an 18 and up club).
  • Another thing that didn't surprise me is that parents just dropped their students off at Metropolis and just left. It might surprise you to hear that a parent would take their teenage son or daughter to a club and leave them at the door, but from my time in student ministry, parents dropping students off like this is more normal than I'd like to admit.
  • Finally, 2 things that I think are really telling. First off, the line in the story saying that the teens were worse to deal with than the adults. I laughed out loud when I read it. In America Teen's are the big spenders and make most of the big spending decisions in their families today. Why does it surprise us to find out their are difficult to deal with in these situations? Why in the world would they feel so entitled (a little sarcasm in that last line).
  • The last thing that was so telling was that the owner of Metropolis REFUNDED the parents money for the evening. In his opinion the family was the victim that night and their night was ruined. I really don't think the club should have ever rented out their facility for an underage event no matter how big the check was. Still, how did the parents ever think this was a good idea?
Read the article below and realize that this is just one example of what is happening on a much larger scale all across the US. We are enabling our students to 'play' grown-up way to early in their development, and feeding a huge sense of entitlement as well. Pretty interesting stuff.

Article from

FAIRFIELD – A Sweet 16 party at Metropolis night club turned sour Tuesday evening when an estimated 1,500-2,000 teenagers showed up for the private party meant for just 80-100 people.

Those invited to the party began telling their friends through text messages and Facebook posts that the club was holding a free teen night, said Fairfield police Sgt. Don Garrett.

“It got out of control fast,” Garrett said. “I don’t think they expected the electronic deluge.”

Club security turned the teens without invitations away. Many, stranded without rides, hung out in the parking lot. Others became belligerent, police said.

Crowds of teenagers were mulling around the parking lot about 8:15 p.m. when gunshots were heard somewhere in the crowd.

The few police officers scheduled to patrol the party called for backup. At some point pepper balls were shot at the ground to corral the crowd, which began rushing into the mall, across busy Winton Road, even running over the highway overpass to the shopping centers across busy Interstate 275.

In the mayhem, one teen fell over the side of the parking garage to the lower level, but was not seriously hurt, Garrett said.

After rushing from Cincinnati Mills, large groups of teens began hanging out in parking lots at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Old Spaghetti Factory, BW3 and gas stations. BP turned out its lights to deter the teens from hanging out around the station.

Hundreds of people walked the area on both sides of Winton Road, which runs past the mall.

Police from countless agencies continued looking for a possible shooter and afraid that fights could begin rushed to and from large crowds.

Several officers carried pepper ball guns and police canines sniffed out the area.

The last large group was dispersed just before 10 p.m. at the Kroger store on the corner of Winton and West Kemper roads.

Club owner Mike Strait was shocked by the evening and said he had already reimbursed the family that had rented this club for their daughter’s party.

“It’s harder to deal with them (teens) than adults,” said Strait, who has owned Metropolis since May 2005. “When they were told it was a private party, they were not happy.”

There were no injuries and it appears there were no arrests.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Morning

This was an incredible weekend for me for a lot of reasons. First off, my dad and I got to do something incredible. We got to go to that town up north and watch Ohio State beat Mich.again. There are so many stories from that alone that I would love to share, but I am sure none of you are all that interested so I'll keep my thoughts on it brief. I simply LOVED having the time to take a roadtrip with my dad. We had so much fun running all over the place and frankly just being childish. It was great. I'll never forget it.

The Game was not the only incredible thing I got to be a part of this week though. I also got the chance to see God do some pretty incredible things this weekend in Student Ministry. On Friday night we had some Turkey Bowling at the Crossing. I head it was a blast and we got some great video (I was with my dad up north so sadly I bowled no turkeys...). The coolest thing from the Crossing on Friday was some conversations our Volunteers had with Students. Our hope and prayer for the Crossing is that it will act as a bridge for students. That they will build relationships with us and other students that will introduce them to Jesus. We hope that for a lot of students that the Crossing is the start of their Faith Journey. Our goal is that they will end up connecting with one of our groups at Rel Community on Sunday Nights. This past Friday night 4 students talked with different leaders and sounded very eager about coming on Sunday Night (And They Did!)

One of the girls from the Crossing even came on Sunday morning and had a great time connecting with our girls in their Sunday morning group. It was great to see! On top of that our sign ups for CIY Believe started and our parents are in charge of the table for Sign Ups. They did a great job and were a huge help. That also freed me up to have the opportunity to chat with a couple of students about making good choices in their Faith Journeys. It was a great morning.

Finally the last thing we need to Praise God for about this weekend happened on Sunday night. We knew that 4 students had said they were going to come to Rel Community that night so we wanted to be sure to pray for them before Rel Community. Let me take a moment to say that we have great group leaders at Rel Community who are super committed to their students. They show up 30 minutes before RC to go over things for the evening and to spend time praying for the students and their groups. Well yesterday in our Pre-RC meeting time we prayed that God would already start working on the students who would be coming to Rel Community for the first time (Little did we know what God had in store for us!).

We finished our prayer time and headed over to the Crossing to greet the students as they arrived. Not only did the 4 students we had prayed for show up, but 8 other students came to the Crossing for the first time. Praise God! He answered our prayer in such an amazingly abundant way. The most incredible part though was how quality our group times were. We talked about Psalm 46 and how God is the Refuge and Strength for those who trust Him.

I just wanted to celebrate with all of you some of the cool things God let us be a part of this weekend. Please be praying for all of the students that showed up for the first time. Pray that God would be working in their hearts, and growing them. Pray that we see them again at Rel Community soon and that they would all experience the LIFECHANGE God has for them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Morning

Howdy, I hope you are having a good Wednesday, or a good whatever when you are reading this.

Moving Offices
Aaron and I are moving our offices today. Last week Student Ministry and Children's Ministry sat down and decided to end our 2yr. Gang War. The papers have been signed a cease fire has been called. Since then we have realized just how cool Clayton and Paula are, so we are moving into their offices. Maybe I'll take some pictures and put em up once we are moved in, but we are siked because today is moving day! It will be great to spend more time working together to make a difference in children's lives for the Kingdom.

New Switchfoot Album
Hello Hurricane dropped yesterday, and it hasn't been off my ITUNES since. You definitely have to check out the title track and Sing It Out. The passion of Sing it Out is just great. I love the lyrics.

This Saturday @ 3:30 the outright Big 10 Championship is on the line. I am worried about it though, because everything points to a Buckeye Win which means a lot of bad things could happen. The Buckeyes could have a letdown from last weeks great performance. They could be looking past Iowa to THE GAME against Michigan next week. Hopefully I am just a worryer, and the Buckeyes won't forget what is on the line, or that its the Seniors last game in the shoe.

HS Playoffs
Anderson and Turpin both won their 1st round playoff games, but this week both of them have a major task ahead of them Trotwood Madison and Middletown both have a lot of speed. It will be interesting, and I hope they both have great games.

Proverbs 3
I read Proverbs 3 this morning. Here is something I found both challenging and encouraging:

19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;

20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.

21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;

22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.

23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;

24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

No Shave November
Alright its been a week since the shave here is the update.

Yesterday Frank John (10th Grade) came into my office. Last week I had a full beard when he say me and yesterday he just stared at me and said, "What did you do! You had something so magnificent and wonderful and you just decided to shave it off?" - I don't think he is too big of a fan of No Shave November so far.

13 Cavities
Thank goodness my mom doesn't read my blog because if she did she would be mortified right now. I just have to share something catastrophic from my life. I went to the dentist yesterday. They said I had a few cavities. 13 to be exact. I felt like I should be getting fitted for dentures right then and there. The first 18 years of my life= No Cavities. 18-22 yrs old=3 cavities. 22-24= 13 cavities. Is there a Biggest Loser for people with Obscene dental issues? They asked about my dental hygiene habits (I do everything but floss), and after that they tried to make me feel better by telling me sometimes our bodies just change. I am terrified! My teeth could have at least done me the favor of telling me they were going to heck in a handbasket.

Why Small Groups Can Be So Tough
One of the HS Guys I am mentoring started helping with one of our Middle School Small Groups this past week. He did a great job and it was neat watching him connect with the students. We were talking afterwards about how interesting small groups are, especially with Middle School Students. They say some really interesting things (ie- Zach saying, "I brag to my pillow every night, 'I have arms and legs and you are just a pillow for my head to rest on.' ") Still they also have great insights and depth to them.

We were talking about different aspects of our group and one thing we focused in on was positive and negative reinforcement. Its easy to just give attention to the students who act out in negative ways. Its easy to say be quiet etc. Its harder to reward students for great answers or great questions or just for sharing. During this school year though we have already recognized the growth in some of our students from that positive reinforcement. If you make a habit of rewarding students for contributing and participating they will start doing it more and identifying themselves in new ways. Its not the easiest thing to do but it makes a huge difference.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Student Ministry Podcast

Hey guys, Steve and Aaron recorded a great Student Ministry Podcast yesterday with RJ Walker. RJ is a soldier serving in the US Army near Tikrit. He had a week leave and swung by to do the podcast with us. RJ is a solid guy who grew up attending Parkside. The podcast is a great conversation about being a Christian in the Army, and just talking about RJ's experiences.

Go to Parkside Student Ministry and click on PSM Podcasts or just go to ITUNES Podcast directory and search Parkside Student Ministry. Its a great Episode.

RJ is heading back to Iraq on Sunday and we need to be supporting him in our Prayers. I also have his address there. Let me know if you would like to send him a card or a care package and I'll pass it along to you.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Morning

My favorite band growing up and still today is Switchfoot. For a lot of reasons that I won't bore you with, I just absolutely love these guys. They have been churning out song after song the past few years since getting free from Columbia Records too. They have a new album coming out Nov10th called Hello Hurricane. They started streaming the entire album for free yesterday on myspace. To listen to it click here.

My favorite tracks so far are the title track (Hello Hurricane), Yet, and Bullet Soul. Its a great album. Here is the video from the first single Mess of Me.

HS Retreat
We just reserved the weekend of March 12-14, 2010 for our High School Retreat at Woodland Lakes Christian Camp. We are hoping to find a couple of other churches that want to team up and go together.

Now comes all the fun, exciting, and hard work to make it a solid weekend for our students. Time to start really focusing on the questions like: What is going to be the focus of the weekend? How do we want to challenge our students? How can we give them tools to use and takeaway? God how can we prepare for what you have for us that weekend?

1 Peter 4 and 5
4:7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Growing up my mom always prayed that I would be self controlled because I was a pretty hyper kid. When I read this yesterday it jumped out to me. I need to be self controlled so that I can focus and pray. Verse 8 is just awesome because it makes you think about how Jesus' amazing love covers us. Redemption is a beautiful thing. 5:2Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock This is a challenge to us as leaders, and a call to be challenged to Christians who need to step up and lead. We need to be eager to serve, to shepherd, and to be examples to others. That's discipleship, and true discipleship lasts.
5:5Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."a]">[a] 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
This passage is especially poignant coming on the heels of verses 2 and 3. There are so many levels to true humility and God has a way of teaching them to us. We need His grace and that should humble us. If we are humble it says that He gives us Grace. I am so glad that he cares for me.

Yesterday Clayton (the children's minister) asked me if I was going to do No Shave November. I told him I was up for it, but I really knew that Alicia would be the one to decide that for me. Luckily she told me I could if I shaved at the beginning. So I shaved late last night and I wont shave again until December 5th (30 days). Here is the picture from day 1. Today I look like a 5th grader. Hopefully by the end of the month I'll look like I am at least 17.

Logos has some incredible Bible Software. It can be pretty pricey, but its definitely quality. Especially if you want to dig deeper into what theologians etc have to say about passages without having to do tons of research. The reason I mentioned it is that they just came out with an IPHONE application that is FREE and it is pretty quality too.

Alright that's it. Go Phillies let's make it to a game 7!