If you have been following along the past few months, you know we have been winding down operations at the office suite we’ve occupied for the past year. In a few days, our business operations will be run from our dual home office. Janet’s recording studio is upstairs. My coaching (and writing) office is downstairs.
To say it has been a “learning experience” kind of doesn’t even get close to it. “Failure” does. (more…)
The day has arrived. It’s a day we have all been aiming at for 18 years. All of your hard work in grade school, junior high and high school—and it was a lot of hard work—paid off in a big way.
You’re entering as fine an institution for higher education as we could have hoped for you. You have a strong foundation of success that will serve you well. You have established positive behavior patterns and habits that will support you when facing new academic challenges. You’re going to be fine.
Even though you don’t totally believe that. (more…)
Youth Ministry Committee? What is that? Recently, I’ve discovered that not every denomination uses the word “committee” in their vocabulary. In fact they don’t even use anything that resembles a committees period!
If you do not have a Youth Ministry Committee working by your side you need to form one – NOW! The Youth Ministry Committee is an important spoke in your wheel of Youth Ministry. They are a group of adults who work as a team alongside the Youth Minister. Together they plan and minister to kids through a variety of events and activities. It is by working together they can combine their strengths and make the greatest impact in kids lives! These adults need to be people who love God and love kids!!
The 3 Essential P’s needed for a strong Youth Ministry Committee:
The Youth Ministry Committee must do three things in order for everyone to thrive: pray, plan, and play. As the leader of the team you need to help the group to understand that ultimately their goal is to minister to kids, their friends, and new visiting kids by building relationships with them. With these three things in the forefront of their mind, the Youth Ministry Committee will maximize their influence in the kids lives.
Prayer – Prayer needs to be number one focus for the Youth Ministry Committee! Praying for the kids daily lives and spiritual growth, for opportunities for them to connect with individuals, patience when required, and for direction as we interact with the youth.
Planning – Planning out events together gives the team a chance to take ownership. Having said that, it is important to remember that they are still looking to you to lead them. For example, a meeting is most efficient and effective if you have already done some preliminary brainstorming, investigating and laying out some rough drafts of plans to present to the committee. Starting from scratch with the committee would overwhelm them and really bog down the process. Present your ideas with an open mind set. This allows room for input and different twists on the same event. Also, planning out a year in advance is important. This allows you a chance to reserve camp sites, or fundraise for a big summer trip. It also gives you and your team the time needed to be creative and add their own fun twists to an event. (Give brand new ideas extra time to catch fire and inspire your team. Allow the group time to mull on the new idea so they can wrap their heads around it. Sometimes, you need to put it on a shelf and present it again later. It’s possible it will be accepted in the future when they are more equipped for the experience.)
Playing – Playing together helps the team get to know each other and bring joy to the play they will experience with kids. Play is the key to getting inside the boundaries kids have built up around themselves to stay “safe”. If they see you are willing to care about them, in spite of their walls, you may be able to play your way into their trust. If so, then introducing them to personal relationship with Jesus becomes a real possibility!
What are some tips you might add to having a strong Youth Ministry committee (team)?
Please add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did. Be kind and share this with someone who could use these tools.
A few years ago I was asked for an Artist Statement to go with artwork I was submitting for an exhibit. Being a musician I never thought displaying a piece of art would be something I’d ever do. I realized putting my personal story down on paper, along with my 2 framed CDs I recorded, would count as a piece of visual art. I had to give it a shot! The theme was “Second Chances”…a perfect match for my story.
Here is what I wrote:
Artist Statement: “Second Chances”
Music has always been my passion, my language. It is how I most comfortably communicate that which is nearest and dearest to my heart. My guitar has always been my partner in this process. Having lost the ability to play for 5 years I struggled with things I’d never imagined: constant pain, depression, great loss. God showed me mercy by introducing me to myself. I discovered I was skilled at songwriting! God knew I needed my guitar out of the picture so I wouldn’t be distracted by it. He then showed me amazing grace by providing me a “Second Chance”. I can play again! Now I write, play and sing!! So, I rejoice and am glad in it!
I encourage you to spend time figuring out what your story is! It matters! When you do I encourage you to write it down. Of course there will be more to write as each day passes but write it down, at least up to this point. You just might find some insights into what God has been doing in your life. Looking back will also cause you to slow down, reflect, and see all the blessings He has already given you. Who knows it might give you some hints into what He might be up to in the future.
However, it might leave you with a lot more questions. Hang on though! You’ll get another piece to your life’s puzzle. Who knows, you just may start to see how your stories become interconnected, one leading into another. Hmmm…it’s almost like someone is orchestrating your life.
One of the best things I have discovered from getting to know my own story is that it is the KEY to being able to naturally and more comfortably share God’s love with other people. God is in our everyday stuff. He is truly the co-author of our story. He has given us the freedom to make our own choices but you can know He is still weaving Himself into our lives in ways we don’t realize. If we look hard enough though, we can sometimes see His handy work.
If you were to write an artist statement for your life what would it be? In other words, what’s your story…so far?
Maybe there’s a new story in your life you still want to “write”. What would that look like?
Please share and add to the conversation. We would love to learn your story!
It’s a well-known truism that if something isn’t “broke”–like a car or something you depend on–you don’t mess with it. “Mess with it” meaning attempting to fix it. Which really means “making it better.” Because what’s the point? The argument is that if something is working properly, even if it’s not especially cool or “new,” it still works…so monkeying around with it could go badly.
It’s not a bad principle. Until it breaks.
In our society, even post- “Great Recession” (assuming you believe the premise that we are, in fact, “post”), we’ve become accustomed to just throwing things away when they are broken. Which is odd, since people post-Depression rarely threw anything away, even when it was broken. They’d fix it.
The Banker’s Light Fiasco
Many years ago I worked in a small, 3rd generation office supply store. The prices were a bit higher than the big box stores we’re used to now, but they had great service and many products you simply couldn’t get elsewhere. Like the banker’s light you see above. It’s mine. I’ve owned it almost 20 years. So, when the irresistible force of something that had been hanging in my office decided to let go, the lamp became the immovable object that stopped it. Until it couldn’t.
Looking at the collected remains, and tentatively putting a few together–like a nightmare jigsaw puzzle, I decided it was worth fixing. What you see is the result. Super-glue to the rescue! Where the bits of glass were too far gone to redeem, I filled in the void with clear caulking.
Viola! Good as new…and it looks cooler, too.
Come on! You know it looks gnarly and you want one now. Word of advice: make stuff “broke” carefully…
Go For “Broke”
OK, so I fixed a busted lamp. Is there a metaphor here? Indeed, there is.
When a relationship looks like the lamp, what does our culture advocate? Dump it. Dump the loser. It’s broke. Get a new one. Move on and let go. That viewpoint is everywhere in social media. This comes from a Facebook post of a friend:
Keep people in your life that truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, inspire you, enhance you and make you happy. If you have people who do none of the above, let them go.
Am I so naive as to think that all relationships must be continued, even when toxic? Of course not. But here’s the rub. Where do you see toxic in the maxim above? Doesn’t the manifesto strike you as, at least, a little too egocentric? More to the point, who really just discovers one day that they have relationships with people who aren’t like this? Wouldn’t that say more about their own motivations?
5 Steps to More Satisfaction in Life
Lose the sense of royal disdain. Just because someone in your life doesn’t fulfill Your Highness’s needs all the time, show some royal grace. You might be the grump someday. It could happen.
Get your vision checked. Rather than going through your day like Mr. Magoo, see whose life you can bring love, motivation, encouragement and inspiration to. Let them be in charge of their own happiness.
Own your own. Look after your own happiness. Really. We need others, yes. But not to the extent we dump them when they fail to meet our lengthy list of expectations.
Seek out discomfort. Have you ever learned something, been enhanced or motivated…by someone that just rubbed you wrong? Thought so.
Seize the day. When relationships are less than satisfying, try fixing them first. Work at it. Consume and discard people at your own risk. One day, you might be the one “let go.”
Engage here. What are your thoughts? Agree? Strongly disagree? For more steps to living a satisfied life, click here.