Next Gen Publishing shuts down on Tuesday

0 comments

hey everyone,
i just wanted to let you know that i'm closing down the company and website that i've run for the last 2 years. it has been great serving youth ministers and watching God move and work. anyway, if you've ever thought about buying some resources but have delayed ... make your purchases and then download the materials by Monday night (2/27). thanks.
http://www.nextgenpublishing.com


on youth ministry

0 comments

One of the hardest things I am learning in ministry is that you can't please everyone. I know that far older, and far wiser friends and mentors have shared this insight before with me. But for some strange reason, I thought I could do it. I am officially done trying to please every one. I can't do it. I was listening to a CD from NCYM, it was the roundtable that Dr. Oglesby did, anyway, it was an encouraging lesson. He shared several of his failures in ministry and shared how at times he would feel utterly defeated and worthless as a youth minister. But, what we see as failure with kids, doens't always have a bad ending. That's encouraing to me. For I am reminded that God isn't done with them yet. We get into the trap of looking for perfection when instead we should be looking for progress. I have ministered to several kids that are the one's that just don't seem to listen, they are constant sources of frustration and retreat is often the only seemingly viable option. But, there are those stories of the unruly ones, being stirred later on in life by Jesus, and commit their selves to him completely. I needed that message this afternoon. For I get so bogged down by what I am not seeing, that I miss the progress that kids are making. Another key insight from the CD dealt with how we percieve our ministry success. Do we rely on our ability and giftedness or do we rely on God? This may sound like a no-brainer, but I think many of us wrestle with this. For some it's an issue of competency, for other's it's an issue of pride. But, the bottom line is that we cannot effectively minister in our own strength. We need God's power, His Spirit empowerment and presence to truly be effective.


on spiritual formation

16 comments

I know that life is caught between the now and the not yet, and it's in that middle of time, the now, that sometimes seems to cloud of my vision of the not yet. I am sure you can relate. Like all of us with cloudy vision, I needed to see Jesus, and dwell on his words and dring up his love, grace and forgiveness. I wish I could tell you some amazing story of a shaken office, and a thundering voice from heaven. But instead, my story of renewed vision, purpose and grace came through a phone call from a trusted friend. We talked of spiritual formation, sin, and forgiveness. It dawned on me, that after messing up, and I often do that I love my guilt more than I love the free gift from God. I know that sounds absurd, but it's true. I have drug myself through the mud on many occassions, because I didn't think God would want to forgive me again for such and such. But you know what, I know that in light of all of this, that when I doubt forgiveness and dwell on guilt I am declaring that I don't believe in God's power or ability to do what He said He would do and does. Does that make sense? So, my friend and I were able to get to a place where we both caught such a glimpse of the Master that we couldn't help but bounce a little from the energy and excitement of just being a part of His family. I don't have the exact quote, but something from Brother Lawrence that has impacted me tremendously has been this: He writes about he when he sins, and he does, that he doesn't dwell on the sin and make himself pay for his mistake, he instead offers up his sin to Christ and moves on. I know that may sound simple and I am not trying to give license to sin freely because you can just confess it and move on. What I am saying is, is that through these words I am accepting my limitations and my weaknesses as a human being, but also realizing that as a new creation in Christ, God isn't through with me yet. I live as a new creation because of the Spirit's presence in my life, and through his empowerment I am able to be more like Jesus. Something that came out of my conversation yesterday was that spiritual formation isn't about doing, but it has always been about becoming. But we tend to gravitate to the former. If we just read more of God's Word, if we just spend more time in prayer. If we do this, and if we do that. What we are doing is living in a state of guilt, franticly racing to and fro and hoping to mature. What if less is more? What if we are already doing enough, but because we are so frantic about the way we do things that we haven't allowed God to communicate to us? In all of our other relationships, at least the ones that work, there has got to be two way communication. Do we really think it's any different for our relationship with God?


South of Louisville

0 comments

So I was in Louisville for a funeral. Visited Southeast. And also visited a church in the south of Louisville. A medium sized congregation of 300. I met their new youth minister. He was showing me around their "Impressive" facility. Gym, new carpet etc.

The one thing that got me was the lack of mention of names of his students (He knew I was a YM from NC, some of their achievements, and that.) The focus seemed to be more on facility, and group size rather than demographics and relationships. Maybe it was just me.

I think the next time someone visits our church facility - I'm not going to show them around the church "Building" I'm going to give them glimpses of the church. Show pictures of my students, tell about their stories being a part of God's. How about you?


The Winds of Revolution

3 comments

The following paragraphs are taken from one of my postings for grad school. The source of reflection is the book, "Grasping for the Wind" by John Whitehead. Some details may not be clear at first, but hopefully everything will make sense by the end. It definitely provoked my thoughts. - Doug

In the chapter on the "Winds of Revolution" I was intrigued by the general theme that was presented in that chapter that "what goes around comes around." On page 186 in the caption of Tom Hayden describing what was stated in the Port Huron Statement and the ideology of the New Left, there was a strong urge to resist the "American Materialistic Machine." As I read this, I was thinking to myself that this might have been their ideology of the 1960's, but where is that ideology now? Sure enough, Whitehead comes back to this at the end of the chapter in his section, "Hippies to Yuppies." Those who had taken such a prominent stand against the establishment had become, themselves, the establishment. I doubt that this turn of events was in their plans when their ideology was first drawn up.

I'm just thinking out loud here, but it seems to me that this ties in primarily to society's search for an identity. I think it may have even been mentioned in this chapter...something to the tune of "we don't care what we become as long as its different than you (the establishment)." If you were at NCYM, you may have had the chance to hear John York's early morning presentation on "Identity." I just recently heard the presentation on cd and I was drawn back into the history of Protestantism and how our very name indicates that our identity has been shaped as a "protest" to the establishment. We've certainly not let go of that pattern, have we?

Over and over again, we have seen the pattern. Someone abuses someone else. That someone else hates the abuser and everything they stand for, but by some evil trick of the mind the abused in one generation becomes the abuser for the next generation. Certainly the winds of revolution are blowing in our churches and this needs to be handled with extreme care or we may just perpetuate the cycle of "abuse."

How about change being about how we can look more like Christ rather than how the postmodern church can distinguish itself from the modern church? Our identity is too easily manipulated by circumstance and our emotional reactions to a stimulus. I don't mind being a part of a postmodern church, but let's make sure it is for the right reasons and not a reaction to our frustrations with the establishment.



I'm throwing this out there (it may kind of fit with the family youth ministry discussion---but if it doesn't sorry).

In my Directed Studies in Youth Ministry class this semester this quote from Chap Clark was brought up: "Youth ministry models in use at this time are ones that have been constructed from a Modern mindset."

So my question for possible discussion: In a "postmodern" time, are programs the answer to effective youth ministry? If so, describe the "program". If not, what will be effective youth ministry in a "postmodern" time?

This has probably been talked about before (I'm a newcomer to this discussion) but thought this might be an interesting topic.....


Family Based Youth Ministry

0 comments

What's up guys...long time no post...

Here is my lengthy respons to jason's question. I think it's a great discussion to have before you bite the bullet!!!


Complaints about your Ministry?

0 comments



So how do you handle them?


ramblings on family ministry

0 comments

Moving in the direction of family friendly youth ministry is not an easy task. It seems these days that there is a lot of conversation about doing youth ministry with families, or what we call family ministry. But, is anyone doing it? I know we talk about it, but where are those youth ministers at that are ministering to the whole family, equiping parents to understand youth culture and empowering parents to nurture the development of faith in their students.
 
So, if you are at a church or are in youth ministry and now of a youth ministry that sees the bigger picture, let me know.
 
The problem that I am having is not the justification for family ministry, but the "how to" of family ministry.
 
Just my thoughts!


ramblings on family ministry

0 comments

Moving in the direction of family friendly youth ministry is not an easy task. It seems these days that there is a lot of conversation about doing youth ministry with families, or what we call family ministry. But, is anyone doing it? I know we talk about it, but where are those youth ministers at that are ministering to the whole family, equiping parents to understand youth culture and empowering parents to nurture the development of faith in their students.
 
So, if you are at a church or are in youth ministry and now of a youth ministry that sees the bigger picture, let me know.
 
The problem that I am having is not the justification for family ministry, but the "how to" of family ministry.
 
Just my thoughts!


small group question

0 comments

Do any of ya'll do small groups that are parent groups? If so what material do you use? How are the groups doing? What has been the result?


Team Members

Last posts

Archives


referer referrer referers referrers http_referer