Top 10 Things Article

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So I need your HELP!

I've written some Top 10 things for Ym. Resource Books. Looking for a Youthworker. Youthworkers looking for a church. Top 10 Mistakes. Now the idea is Top 10 things to do when first getting into your new ministry. Thoughts?

Gman :o)


Meet the Press

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This past Sunday, Meet the Press on NBC aired an interesting dialogue regarding faith in America. 2 Catholics, a Jew, an Islamic, and 2 Protestants met to discuss the topic. If you are interested in watching the entire video you can click on the following link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/

Even between such a diverse group, there was a surprising amount of agreement regarding the topic being discussed. It's definitely worth listening to.


Seth Barnes read

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Seth Barnes' blog


Has good entries lately on youth ministry. On makign disciples, and mentoring in youth ministry. Good insights.


New article online

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Need somed help

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As a parent, I understand the importance of disciplining our children, I'd be interestered in hearing how you handle parents that punish their children from youth events?


Emerging Ministry to Students

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Last week at the Ohio Valley University Bible Lectureships, Adam Ellis and I spoke on the topic of Emerging Ministry to Students: Engaging Students in the Story of God. Posted are 3 sessions that we headed up. Thought there might be some interest in listening to this. Also we're allows up to some feedback!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN AND/OR DOWNLOAD THE SESSIONS!

Thanks!

Matt Wilson
www.matthewjameswilson.blogspot.com


warning: dangerous road ahead

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Ever had one of those nights, maybe even a year or so in ministry when you new there was a danger lurking out there, somewhere beyond sight, but nevertheless out there somewhere. And when you hit it, you knew it. Driving home tonight from our devotional, I hit a pot-hole in the road. I didn't really see it. But when we hit, we sure felt it. This is a great descriptor for what happened in our student ministry. I will call these moments or seasons "pot-holes." We all have "pot-hole" ministry moments. I had one this evening.
 
I need not go into specific detail. But, the signs for trouble have been there for awhile. I have seen it brewing. I think in hindsight I could have been more proactive.
 
Despite the hole in the road, and the jarring that accompanies such a surprise. After some cooling down, I left the kids alone for a short time on their own. When I got back to their group, they were singing. Even though there are some issues we will be addressing in our youth ministry,  I was encouraged to hear them singing, and praying without my direction. I think they knew they had pushed me over the edge and the older students were standing up to take the lead. Even though our group isn't perfect, I wouldn't trade them for another group.
 
So, what I am asking from ya'll is how do you handle the "pot-holes" in your ministry? I would like to offer some suggestions and then hear from you:
 
1. prayer has to be essential -- I think in moments like these, we have to go to the Father with our hurts and frustrations. If we don't immerse ourselves in prayer we run the risk of becoming bitter and disenchanted with ministry and with adolescents.
 
2. recognize the source -- As soon as I stepped out of the church van, I was bombarded with several issues from some students. Issues I wasn't aware of or apart of. I was cornered and dumped on. When I confronted the selfish attitudes that permeated the moment, it feel on deaf ears. I noted to recognize the source. I don't think all issues that arise are just due to the teen years. We musn't forget we are in engaged in a spiritual battle (Gal. 5:17; cf. Gal. 6).
 
3. don't give up on the rough ones -- We don't fully recognize the impact we have on young people's lives. Most days I wonder what in the world I am doing. I ask the question often, "why am I doing this?" I am sure most of us have asked the same question. We must remember youth ministry is a calling, and our competence comes from God  not in our Bible college degrees, or our years in ministry (2 Cor. 3:5). We won't see immediate results in the lives of our kids. We will see some results, sometimes. Each student is different.
 
4. youth ministry is tough -- Many of us our underpaid, work long hours, and go underappreciated. To this I would say "welcome to the crazy, upside down world of youth ministry." When we recognize how ill equipped we are to minister in our own strength we have arrived in a welcome place. A place where we are able to focus, not on ourselves, but on Christ. I am convinced that it is the norm to be beaten up emotionally, to carry the burdens of our teens and families, and to question our calling and our impact. Don't misunderstand, I am not advocating self-depreciation here. I think to many youth ministers fall into the trap of thinking that they are God's gift to youth ministry. If we think we are the gift, we will totally miss the greatest gift: a relationship with Christ and sharing that with students.
 
5. don't forget to take time for you and your family -- In this crazy world of youth ministry we need to spend quality time with our wives and children. They need to interact with us in a lot of settings outside of church related events. We need our family. Also, in taking time for ourselves, don't forget to exercise and eat well. We tell our youth group all the time not to fill their minds with the junk food of our culture. Why should we fill our bodies with junk too?


Prayer Request (updated)

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I just got the message that one of my former students from when I was the Youth Minister for the Palo Alto Church of Christ in Panama City, FL has been injured. He is stationed in Iraq, and this morning he was apparently riding in a Humvee that drove over a landmine. The explosion injured both of his arms and one of his legs. The left arm apparently sustained the most severe injuries. My understanding is that he is in surgery, but was awake and calm when he was taken to the hospital. His name is Rex McKnight. I would greatly appreciate your prayers on his behalf.
AE

UPDATE: I just got this message from another former student regarding Rex:
"We just got a call from one of the guy that has been taking care of Rex in the hospital in Germany. Rex wanted him to call and let us all know he is okay and for us not to worry!
The guys name is Chris. He said that he has really enjoyed taking care of Rex and that he is a great guy. Rex has been talking to him alot and Chris told my mom that he seems to be really spiritual and positive! That's our Rex! Being Jesus no matter were he is and in all cirumstances!

Chris also told us that Rex's arm was pretty banged up but they are doing everything they can. In a couple hours they will be taking Rex into Surgery for his arm. Tomorrow night Chris is going to call and let us know how the surgery went ."


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