Archive for April, 2009

I’ve been spending a good bit of time contemplating the training of volunteers in youth ministry. This was something I was actually pretty darn poor at when I was in charge of youth ministry. It just seemed like there was always something vying for my time and training just kept getting pushed to the back burner time after time. There were times that there was some awesome training available in our area and I could never convince anyone to go with me because many times the trainings would require volunteers to take time off from their jobs in order to be trained. Hmmm, those trainings were so NOT conducive to the typical youth ministry volunteer. However…training is imperative. We MUST make sure that our volunteers are prepared. They must be equipped…

One of the questions that keeps coming to my mind is,

What if you could only train your youth ministry volunteers/leaders for one afternoon session? What would be the irreducible minimum of what you would train them in?

Would you focus on the year’s new curriculum? What about diversity and youth culture? Would you hope to hone in on relationship building? How about teaching the Gospel? Would you even begin to touch on teenage red flag topics like cutting, suicide or depression? Is human sexuality among youth something you would skip? How about spiritual gift inventories…are they worth your time during the hypothetical training? Oh and don’t forget about your ministry’s child abuse policy!

What’s the most important thing to pour into your volunteers?


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April Word Cloud

I tried it again. Here’s the word cloud for the month of April.


Make your own at www.wordle.net

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I ran across this video today and since I am usually about 2 months behind on the cool stuff on the web – everyone has probably already seen it. That being said, I think that anyone who has worked in ministry with youth will laugh and appreciate the message in it.

I’ve Seen It All

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I have been consistently poor in my daily quiet times lately and I know that my relationship with God deserves much better than that. I could give a million and one excuses about why I don’t have the time every single day to sit uninterrupted with my maker and praise Him for who He is, what He’s done and what He will do but what it really comes down to is the only reason I am not doing it everyday is because of me and my shortcomings.

grace_0001I decided today that I was going to revisit David Nasser’s “A Call to Grace” as my focus for the restart of my daily devotions. I was so dedicated with my quiet time and was growing in so many ways while I was doing Nasser’s A Call to Die this past fall- but somehow I lost all of my momentum once I completed the 40 day journey. I did manage to start the 39 day grace-filled journey (A Call to Grace) and failed somewhere around day 13…so here I am today…starting over! I have accepted the fact that I fail often and that it’s okay…as long as I get back up and try again. It took me close to 3 years to actually complete A Call to Die in the first place. I had purchased A Call to Die in 2005 and completed it in the fall of 2008 after multiple “restarts”. So here’s to another “restart”.

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Okay…so I have finally gotten myself in gear the way I should have 5 weeks ago when this whole support-raising journey began. I would chalk it all up to procrastination, but I truly believe that support-raising is a journey and that I have emotionally made it to where I need to be in this very moment to do what I need to do so that God can do the rest. Through it all, you should know that I am a very flawed human trying to make sense of something so much bigger than myself. I am very thankful that I have been given a purpose and a passion to work in ministry with teenagers and be a part of reaching one of the most unreached generations for Christ.

June 1st is my deadline for raising $2800/month. So far, I have been blessed with a pledged $400/month. June is not so far away and after taking a good long look at it…I need to be able to get $400/month pledged each week between now and then to make it to my support-raising goal. Now, that seems like a lot and yet it also somehow seems manageable. There are many ways this could break down. Here are a few scenarios I came up with:

  • 12 indviduals pledge $200/month
  • 24 individuals pledge $100/month
  • 48 individuals pledge $50/month
  • 96 individuals pledge $25/month
  • 240 individuals pledge $10/month
  • Any combinations of the above…or any combination of any monthly pledged amount that equals $2400.

I am currently praying about God stirring in the hearts of those that He is calling to be a part of my support team. I am also praying that God will take my measly understanding of how I think this will play out and turn it into something that is better than I ever expected.

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This is Daniel at the St. Jude’s Trike-a-thon. He has to concentrate pretty hard to ride his tricycle. When he is really thinking hard you can tell because he chews on his tounge. It’s pretty cute, but he gets pretty angry when you disturb his thoughts during those moments.

This event made for some pretty funny pictures when I broke his concentration by calling his name to get him to look up at me. This event was to raise funds for the St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

[clearspring_widget title=”Animoto.com” wid=”46928cc51133af17″ pid=”49ea482bc6f9f43e” width=”432″ height=”240″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

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I have learned a lot in the past 6 weeks. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Support-raising is much harder than I thought.
  • 3 year olds can be profound.
  • God really does know what He’s doing.
  • Sometimes the most important part is the hardest part.
  • Sometimes the hardest part wasn’t as hard as you first thought it was.

The most important thing I have picked up on is that support-raising is a mind set. If you get your mind set right then the rest of it falls into place. Meeting with people isn’t as hard, asking people to help support you isn’t as complicated and picking up the phone to call folks is a little more simple. When I set my mind on God and the greater things I am to accomplish (reaching an unreached generation) then the work to accumulate the funds is no where near as daunting.

Support Update

Goal: $2,800/month
Monthly: $400/month
Special Gifts: $1695
1st Year Percentage: 19%

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