Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Social Media

I have been asked many, many times about my years in Youth Ministry and what has changed. The biggest thing that has happened to Youth Ministry over the years is technology and Social Media.

Back in the day when communicating with students and parents we had to call everyone on a phone that was tethered to a desk or wall. There was a rotary dial and it took some time, a lot of time, to make all the calls to the parents and students. Then it would happen somewhere your plans would be tweaked and now you have to call everyone back and explain the change. Argh....

We also used a lot of posters and snail mail. You remember mail right? We would actually make a letter, write it out, copy it, fold it, place it in an envelope and stamp it; then to the mail box. This would have to be done days and days in advance. Inevitably the students and adults would get the communication late! Argh...

Today we have Social Media and most of the time this is at the finger tips of the students and adults. No more having to wait until they get home and have to check email. Email, by the way, students do not use, so don't send them! Parents and grandparents are all over that though.

Social Media is like a firearm, in my opinion, now wait before you shut me out! When used properly, firearms are to help, protect, hunt and for safety. When used as intended there is no problem. However, outside the bounds of what it was created for there is a problem. Social Media is the same way. You can contact masses at one time with upcoming ministry information, send updates immediately, contact parents and students at the same time, photos and immediate updates! But when Social Media is not used properly there is a problem. It can be used to tear down, destroy, attack and maim individuals.

Social Media can be a wonderful thing but use it wisely. IF we do not use it correctly in ministry then we are part of the problem. Make sure you follow the rules and guidelines properly! If you don't do it well, it will be used against you.

Parents please have conversations with your students about how to use Social Media correctly! Parents have your student's passwords and check their Social Media often, and let them know you are doing it! Also don't let your students have a Social Media page until 13 due to Federal Requirements, yep the government.

Anyway, I welcome your comments about this monster called Social Media.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Alive or on Life Support

Alive or on Life Support is the first thing that came to mind when I read this article and then again when I saw the video clip that it refers to. Bottom line is that a former leader of a church organization says he sees the church not doing enough to reach teens, students and the youth. This is from the Church of England and the country of Great Britain.

Now before too many other denominational protestants, or Catholics, become smug thinking this is NOT your concern, that is a wrong assumption. You see the church has to always be willing to reinvent itself, not the GOSPEL, not the Christ we represent but the HOW we do it.

We have to be willing to move outside our comfort zones, the way we have always done it, and be willing to embrace things that help reach this generation of souls for Jesus Christ. You see we have been too comfortable for too long doing the same old things the same old way and expect new and exciting changes or results. We tend to embrace change in our lives in entertainment, communications, food stuffs, medical procedures, and even in the cars we drive plus all the comforts of home, etc. However, when it comes to our worship, we tend to stay with what WE like over what THEY who are not here NEED when we can get them to the church.

I believe in new and improved in the free market. Better laundry detergents, better food products, improved cell phones, thinner televisions that take up a whole wall, better sound systems, headphones, games, and the like. If we can't make the product better we improve the container that it is in so it looks better. Take bleach in a better pour bottle, it's still bleach but sales go up for the new container. How about grape juice in a new easier to handle container to minimize spills? It's still grape juice!

Church, we have to look at, focus on, and target/reach those that are NOT here. How do we do that? Maybe you don't know, maybe I don't know, maybe no one really knows for sure but we do know one thing for sure; what we have been doing IS NOT WORKING! IF IT IS WORKING IT'S NOT WORKING AS WELL AS IT USED TO!

I believe that when you see a church that is NOT catering to or coddling any certain group but is targeting, budgeting for and giving resources to the children and the youth; well that church is more alive. Take a mental inventory. Has your congregation reached a median age that is near retiring and there are not any or very many young couples, babies or teens there? I plead with us as church leaders, we have to not worry, fret and stress over those in our congregation that we may loose if we try to reach those that are NOT here. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost!

Kingdom work is hard and difficult. Bu we have to ask ourselves are we Alive or on Life Support!?

Former Archbishop of Canterbury warns Christianity at risk of dying out in a generation!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Reboot! Yep, that's what I did this weekend. My wife and I have been married over 34 years now. We have jokingly said, or I have said, "Yep we have been married 34 years, 28 happy years!" She just smiles and looks my way and says, "Now that's not true, it hasn't been 28 I am sure of it!" Ha, ha, ha, ouch!

Recently we went to a marriage retreat, A Weekend To Remember, is what it was called. Now you may be thinking, why would a couple that has been married to each other this many years go to a marriage retreat? The reason is that from time to time we too need to Reboot our marriage. Sure we are empty-nesters, that is our children are all grown and gone, and seemed like only yesterday that they were in diapers, but we too need time away to regroup and to reconnect.

I want every married couple to know this, that if you have children, kids, teens, or even young adult children, spend your time cultivating your relationship with your spouse. Many of you know my heart that if it comes down between you or the children, go with the spouse, because one day your kids will be grown and gone. If you are luck they will be for sure.

Now the hidden blog post this time. It's not just about marriage, family and life but it's about the calling in your life. If you are a minister or Youth Minister, I want to share this with you. I was cleaning up some in the office. Don't panic, I still have the proverbial youth minister office. You know, everything in it's place and everything all over the place! But still I came across a piece of paper that a former minister left behind pinned to the bulletin board. It's about our calling, and our lives in the people business. I share it with you today so you too may Reboot your ministry or calling.
It has no title just 7 statements that I now share with you.

  1. Am I living a life above reproach? 2 Timothy 2:20-21
  2. Is this job my passion or my paycheck? 2 Samuel 23:9-10
  3. Am I in line with where we are going as a church?
  4. Do I feel like I deserve more? (You shouldn't)
  5. Am I reflecting on how things used to be or passionate about how things are going to be?
  6. Do i feel like I have to "kill time" because there is "nothing to do?" (There's always something to do when you're in the "people business".)
  7. Do I fully trust the leadership? 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

Now that I have reviewed these in my own life, I can better do ministry. You see too many times we start to focus inward and think we are important, even more important than we really are. We do this in ministry and we surely do it in our marriages.

I guess some of the best advice I have learned about marriage is to out serve your spouse. They try to out serve you, both of these in love, and your marriage will be great. If we do this in ministry, that is out serve others, and they serve the Lord it will be a great ministry.

What if? What if they don't serve like you serve? Who said THEY had too? You were the one called, equipped, and given a passion; you do it no matter what. So today, right now, whomever you are, wherever you are, slow down, be still and quiet and Reboot!