Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Shallow & Depth...

Tonight we had our weekly high school small group study. We are using the book Posers, Fakers, & Wannabes by Brennan Manning. It is an awesome study, but one of the hard things I have discovered with trying to bring depth is that you never know when it is going to come. The study is going great and then things go off a cliff. Why is it so hard for us to reach a moment of openness? Manning compares the church community to that of AA. He talks about how AA is an open community because it is made that way. The church can be so closed to people unless they are perfect, without defect, and ultimately willing to fit the mold we have created. Obviously God didn't create this mold. I mean there is the lame question of What church would Jesus attend? However I think the question holds more to it then we allow it to have. Truthfully though, where would he go? Just today someone walked into the church and talked to me about the less conservative church next door and how they felt unwelcomed and uncomfortable there, asking me about our church and what we are like. We are like Jesus of course. Come on though...are we? Really? Deep down? Just by me saying we are conservative opens your mind up to disapproval or approval, but who are you to approve and by what grounds? Not anything of your wants of course. Of course not. Also what makes us think that church should be comfortable. Sin is comfortable. Now I know that comfortable is not sin...but go with me here...when we are comfortable we hide, we slide through. We need to get away from that. There are no "denominations" of AA. Either you want to open up and work to fix the problem or you don't. It is that simple. It is so hard to be real because we want so hard to be accepted and who we are would never make the requirements. Denominations within one movement of truth. It is an interesting oxymoron when you really think of it. I would hope Jesus would pick my church (the fact that I call it mine may be a reason he wouldn't), but I think we would be surprised of the church he would pick.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Starting youth ministry...the frustrations.

Youth ministry is a crazy thing.  The average life span for a youth minister is under 3 years.  Well...I promised myself and God that with this church I would at least run for 5 years.  There is no way you can see any productivity in under 3 years.  It is just impossible.  I know my first 3 years have been very furstrating at times.  I mean, it is hard enough to have to get in front of them and speak every week without one of them saying, "You can't talk very well.  You keep saying words wrong."  Well...that just sucks to hear when you are already questioning yourself!  It is tough...one of the hardest things for me has been putting tons of time into things and the youth not having the same passion about it as I do.  But let's just face it...we are bummed out with church for the most part and when youth ministry is your job...well...prepare to get bummed out big time. I don't mean this to sound pessimistic or anything.  It is just the truth.  It is hard to stay fresh and build relationships when some days you just want to slap someone.  The big thing that hit me when I started was not realizing the emotional side to a job like this.  It is there..and it is not taught in college.  So I leave you with this....if you are frustrated with ministry...stick it out.  Ultimately God is there...you just have to keep focused on him first.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

NEW! Up and running!!

 Youth ministry is my life (well...not everything, but a lot) and has been for the past 4 years.  This is not to say that I know a ton about youth ministry, but I know a lot about starting out in it.  So I decided I wanted to write some reviews of books, events, lessons, and anything else I can find that relates to youth ministry.  I know that a lot of times when I am looking for information it is pushed  on me and you never know how useless it is until you get it home.  Stinks doesn't it?  But it is the truth.  So if nothing else come here to read some honest reviews from someone getting nothing from any company!!! :)  Hope I can be helpful, because for me coming into ministry and being an introvert was a BIG obstacle to overcome!! Also if you have any questions for me about real life youth ministry I welcome them!