Monday, June 30, 2008

Surf Camp Video

A Surfing Weekend


One of the reasons I love living on the Outer Banks is because I love the beach and ocean.  I also love to watch surfing.  I used to surf but due to my out of shapeness I no longer surf.

Friday night at church we showed a surf movie, Distant Shores.  This was an outreach event geared towards youth but we had a great turn out of all ages.  The showing was the passion birthed out of one of our member's surf trips.  Mike saw the film and knew right away it needed to be shown at NHC.  He came back from his trip and went to work putting the event together. (It's great, as a youth pastor, to go to a youth event and not have done the work putting it together.  My basic responsibility was to share the gospel at the end of the film.  The rest was all organized without me.  That's what ministry is all about!  Members getting equipped and turned loose to minister.  A big thanks to all those involved in pulling off this event and to Maximus Pizza and Hukilau Surf Camp for providing the pizzas, all 30 of them.)

The message of the film was powerful.  We are fortunate to have some local pro surfers, Jesse Hines and Noah Snyder living in our area.  Both of these guys love to surf and love to use their sport as an avenue to spread the love of Jesus Christ.  Jesse, Noah joined Nic McLean (Noah's Arc and Walking on Water) to introduce the film and then answered some questions afterwards and hung out with us and threw out some Hurley freebies to the kids.  Thanks Nic, Jesse and Noah for investing in the lives of kids.  You guys are a blessing.

Mike, Nic,  Noah, Jesse

Noah Snyder

Jesse Hines

Nic McLean

Nic, Noah, Me, Jesse
(I'm the heavier dude nestled between the two lean, mean surfing machines)

On Saturday we hosted our first Hukilau Surf Camp of the summer.  This year we are holding 3 camps for students and one for international students.  Hukilau Surf Camp is an outreach of NHC and is the passion of Pastor Steve.  I think just about every camper stood up and rode a wave on Saturday.  Thanks to our camp team and coaches!  The good news of Jesus was shared during one of the breaks.  One young man even showed up for youth group last night at the beach!



Pastor Steve

Contagious Last Night

Even with a couple of our regulars not here and a few out of town we had a great turn out at the beach last night including several guests.  It's always cool to see new students show up as the result of their friend's invitation.  Many hot dogs and bags of chips were consumed.  Thanks Cinnamon for the cooler full of sliced watermelon!

The Parent Pod was great last night even though the winds caused us to get sandblasted.  Let's just say we all had an exfoliation.  A couple of newbies to the Pod and the Pod continues to grow.  We had one mother and son at Contagious last night as a result of our surf camp on Saturday.  Coolio!  Last night's talk was hopefully a spring board for parents and students to have "the talk".

Last night we talked about God's view or our body and sex.  Of course with students whenever you say "sex" you have their total attention.  For some reason that is the topic they are most interested in.    We unpacked I Corinthians 6:12-20 .  Sex was God's creation and we need to make sure we keep it in the context of the Creator's purpose.   Students then got in their sand pods (formerly known as family groups or table groups) and discussed this section of scripture.

Parent/Teen Discussion:
Read I Corinthians 6:12-20

    1. Do you think the sexual guidelines that most Christians set up for kids today are too loose or too tight?
    2. What do you think are the top three sources of sexual temptation for students today?
    3. What is one fresh insight you can take form today’s Bible passage that can help you battle sexual temptation?
Resources to use in talking with your teen about sex:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Her Worship Was Her Song

Last week, when we were at camp, we had an evening worship gathering that was very powerful.  God’s presence was so strong that we stood for several minutes in silence after a song.  That’s huge considering there were 1,125 students and their youth leaders in the room.

There was a girl behind me who sang really loud.  Not that loud bothers me, but she sang really way off key.   Her singing was so bad musically that even I was having a hard time carrying the tune in the bucket.  I even cringed a couple of times.  I thought to myself, “could she maybe sing a little softer, this is killing me.”  You know some people just can’t sing and I think perhaps she may have been severely tone deaf.

As worship continued and as worship deepened in that huge chapel I soon could hear not only her singing off key but I could hear the tears in her voice as she cried out to God in worship.  It didn’t take long before I could realize that she was worshipping God with everything she had.  It was obvious that God was moving in her life.  She still sang loud and with incredible pitch problems but her singing no longer bothered me. 

I don’t know where I got confused and thought she was singing for me or to me?  It was pretty shallow of me to judge her vocal skills or lack of.  She was singing songs in worship to her Creator, to her Lord and Savior.  I know that as she sang to Him He didn’t hear her singing off key, He heard her heart; He heard the created singing to the Creator.  I was soon moved not only by the worship I was giving to God but also by the worship of this tone-deaf girl behind me.  Worshipping with her drew me deeper into worship and also taught me an important lesson.

So to the believers in Christ who say, “Well singing just isn’t my cup of tea”, I say, open up to God in song.  God’s Word is clear that we are to sing to Him.  You can’t find any scripture that says to fold your arms in worship and sit their tight-lipped.  You can find lots of scripture that tells us to sing to God.

Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; sing praise to the Lord, Selah  Psalm 68:32

A psalm. A song for the Sabbath day. It is good to praise the LORD, to sing praise to Your name, Most High,  Psalm 92:1 

Sing to the LORD, praise His name; proclaim His salvation from day to day.  Psalm 96:2

Shout to the LORD, all the earth; be jubilant, shout for joy, and sing.  Psalm 98:4

And don't get drunk with wine, which [leads to] reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music to the Lord in your heart, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 5:18-20

Slice Pizza

In a round about way this post does have something to do with youth ministry and parenting teens because it involves pizza.  Usually when I post about food I get the most comments.  

Nate and I just had a delicious lunch at Slice.  Slice is a new pizza place in KDH next to the new Sunsations.  If you live in the OBX area or are here on vacation I highly recommend it.  My lunch was very good.  I enjoyed a spinach roll and a slice or white pizza with broccoli.  Yummo!
The slices are huge man, big NY style.  I believe one of the partners has made pizza in Brooklyn for about 15 years or so.  It is the real deal.  I would even venture to say the best pizza I have had on the beach.  Stop by and see the folks at Slice and tell Jeremiah you are there because of Andy's recommendation.  They had a meat stuffed pizza and it looked awesome!  Maybe next time.  We sat next to our family mechanic and he said Slice has the best cheese steak on the beach.  I guess I'll have to give that a shot too.

Thanks Jeremiah for the delicious lunch!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Do You See Me?

The Liberty Journal from Liberty University has a little "Remember When. . .?" page.  This month the page features someone we all know and love, someone really famous.
A stroll down memory lane.  Back in the 1970's I worked as a child at a Treasure Island children's camp.  Treasure Island is located in the middle of the James River in Lynchburg, Va.
I worked for $20 a week for several summers.  My job was to feed, brush and take care of the ponies.  I also saddled them up and gave the pony rides to the campers.  There was also a "petting farm" and I took care of those animals as well.  

I had lots of fun on that island during those summers.  The good old days.  The island was later demolished by flood waters as during a time of a lot of rain the flood waters swept over the island because someone did something wrong with a dam up river.  Thomas Road Baptist Church still owns the island but I'm not sure if it is being used.

So did you see me in the picture?  That's right.  It's me riding old Chip.  I remembered the pony's name which is incredible because I can't remember most people's names.


If you receive the Liberty Journal and would like an autograph just send me the magazine in a self addressed, stamped . . . .

Religion in America

Interesting video clip from MSNBC.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Contagious Last Night

We had a great time at the beach last night even though the water was a tad bit chilly.  There was volleyball, hot dogs, drinks, chips, hanging out, swimming and I even saw some beach soccer and football.

Our study was about God the Father:
1.  God the Father is your Creator.   Ps 139:13,16
2.  God the Father is your Comforter.   2 Cor. 1:3-4
3.  God the Father is your Challenger.  Rev. 2:4-5

The Parent Pod is growing and that is exciting.  After doing the study with the students I went and hung out in the Pod with the parents and we did the study together and some discussion time.  I look forward to watching the Pod grow into a parent ministry led by parents.

Parent/Teen Discussion:
Rejoice as God's Creation
PS 139:14
>What is one thing you really like about how you were created?
>Do you have any problem accepting  that you've been created in God's image?
Explain

Relax in God's Comfort
Psalm 145:8-9
>What are your worries or concerns right now?
>How might God comfort you in these?
>Do you agree with this statement: "God loves you more than you love yourself."

Run to God's Challenge
Phil. 3:12-13
>In what area do you think God wants to challenge you?
>Can you identify any ways in which you are currently resisting the challenges of God and His Word?

Spend some time praying together.  Pray for your teen to come to realize God as their personal creator, their comforter and to rise to God's challenges in their lives.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

16th Summer Camp

Another summer camp over.  This year was probably the best week of camp that I have ever experienced personally and as a youth pastor.    Student Life knows how to do camp.  This summer SL will put on 44 camps in 18 states.  That is a whole lot of camps!  The SL team that led our camp last week left to do a camp in Florida this week and then drive to Colorado the next.
Student Life has been doing so many camps for so long they have it down to a science yet they are still adjusting and changing things as they receive input from youth leaders.  Student Life has made the biggest impact on me because of their attitude of being there to serve.  So if you are a youth leader planning next summer's camp I would highly suggest Student Life.

When thinking about a choosing a camp I would think about:
1.  The purpose of the camp
2.  The Biblical theme of the camp
3.  Sound doctrine in the teaching
4.  Know something about the speaker for the week
5.  A camp that is relevant and contemporary
6.  Some free time for the students
7.  Good daily schedule
8.  Plenty of interaction between students and also with youth leaders
9.  A camp with a great reputation of serving youth groups

Divorce

Today on Studentdevo.com there is a good blog post on Divorce and Matthew 19 from Amy Brothers, of Duck UMC.  Amy is part of our Outer Banks Youth Ministry Network.  Many students in our youth groups are dealing with divorce in their families or in the lives of their close friends.

If you have a teen or a youth group let them know about this site.  Each day a devotional is posted that only takes a few minutes to read but they can also click the links to dig deeper on their own in the Bible.  The whole purpose of this devotion site is to help students get into the HABIT of Hang Time with God.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Struggling with Faith?

Ever find yourself wondering where God is at in whatever situation may be going on in your life? Faith is powerful.  I have stood back and watched in amazement the faith of Tricia.  After all Tricia has been through in the past several months,  delivering  a beautiful miracle baby and after Tricia has a miracle double lung transplant she finds out she has cancer.  It has been amazing for me to watch Tricia's faith (and Nate's) through all of this.  Not only am I amazed but I am inspired.  I've been inspired to trust God more.  I've been inspired to accept God's plan for my own life.  I've been inspired to live life with a deeper passion for my family.  I've been inspired to allow God to use my life as a witness.

God has given Tricia an incredible opportunity to share her life with the world.  I just finished reading Tricia's blog post about her prognosis and treatment for her cancer.  Truly amazing! (There's that word again)  If you haven't read her recent post you need to take a minute and do so.

I'm with our youth group at Student Life Camp this week at Wake Forest.  I know our youth group loves Tricia, the girls especially look up to Tricia, she has had a big impact in their lives.
Impacting lives, isn't that what we should all be doing as believers?  Using where God has placed us to share our faith in Him with others.

Preventing the Fizzle

I have been taking student's to camp every summer for around 16 years now.  Every year I see student's make commitments or come to the realization that their walk with God has to change for the better.  Every year I see these same students fizzle out.  They are on fire at camp because of the removal and saturation and then when they get back to the real world these decisions quickly fade away. . .(Read More)

Blog Party

I missed the 150,000 hits while here at camp.
But better late than ever.

I'm bringing terriyaki beef on a stick.  What are you bringing to the party?
(The sound of hip hop gently thumping in the background)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 2 of a Camp

Good morning!
I'm sleepy. . . .my eyes hurt. . .coffee not working . . . .
Check our camp blog.  Video of the van ride with the boys.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Contagious Tonight


I won't be giving a Contagious report tonight.  Too much going on with getting ready for camp and wrapping up school work since I'll be gone to camp this week.
BUT
We are talking about David and how easy it is to start off strong and then have a major hiccup (sin) derail us along the way.


Parent/Teen Discipleship Discussion:
Read and discuss 2 Chronicles 26
  • What were some of King Uzziah's success stories?
  • What was his problem?
  • What was the result of this problem?
  • What were the fatal flaws of the following:
David Adultery/Deception
Rich Young Ruler Materialism
Herod Pride
Judas Greed
Sampson Lust
Rich Fool Self-satisfaction
Martha Busyness

Spend some time praying for your teen(with them) and ask God to help them to protect their ways and not fall into the trap of falling hard.



"I do". She did.

21 years ago I stood next to a buddy at college and pointed at a beautiful blond and told my friend, "I'm going to marry her."  I had not even met her yet.   (I wasn't a prophet, I was just looking at a, as we said in the 80's, a foxy American babe)  

It was on Thursday, June 15, 1989 that Misha said "I do".    I have now been married to my lovely wife for 19 years.  That is amazing!   After 19 years of marriage to me she is still a hottie. 

This year we agreed not to waste money on anniversary cards since two cards could buy two gallons of gasoline.  We were so serious about it we did this:
That's right.  The pinky swear.

So what did I get my wife for our anniversary?  The same thing she got me:

Our Anniversary Grill

Those would be NY strips grillin for last night's anniversary supper.
Started with a organic greens salad with grapes and feta.
Green beans cooked with new potatoes.
Corn on the cob.
Coconut pudding with cinnamon for dessert.

Thanks Misha for 19 great years!  You are the best wife and the world's greatest mommy.
I Love You!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sure I'll get comments because I mentioned food.




Friday, June 13, 2008

Removed and Saturated

One of the biggest influences in a student's life at camp is the fact that they are...(Read More)

Another Great Blog Site

Next week our students and leaders head to Student Life Camp at Wake Forest.  Student Life is the best Christian camp ministry on the face of the planet.  They are also quickly becoming an incredible youth ministry resource for youth ministries.

If you would like to watch what is happening with us at camp next week you can go to our new camp blog site and check in on us.  There will be daily pictures posted and students can blog their camp thoughts.  It should be quite cool.

See you on the blog!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Operation Backpack




I'm excited about an outreach event our church will be doing on Saturday, August 9th called Operation Backpack.  Over the next couple of months we are asking our partners here at NHC to bring in school supplies like notebook paper, spiral notebooks, #2 pencils and crayons.  We are also collecting the lists from the school as soon as they are made available in June so we can be more specific with the items needed.

The day of the event should be exciting and quick we will run till the supplies are tapped out.  We will have the moon bounces up to entertain the kids, we may even pop some popcorn and give out cold drinks.  Parents will be able to come and go through our auditorium which will be set up s the distribution center and pick up the items they need for their child's school supply list absolutely free.  While they are walking through the distribution we will have our Kids' Church curriculum, Kidmo and 'Lil K, playing on the big screen. 

The whole purpose of this event is to show our community that NHC cares for them and to meet a need.  You know the old line, "They won't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

This will be our first Operation Backpack.  We hope it will grow ginormous as our Trunk or Treat has.  

If you are an NHC partner I encourage you to join the team today!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

After Affect


We have moved our youth group meeting time, Contagious, from Wednesday night to Sunday night for several reasons.  Our church meets the first Sunday night for the Lord's supper gathering and fellowship dinner.  The first Sunday night in June we had several students attend that gathering that don't normally attend since this is our new meeting time for Contagious.

We kicked off After Affect (a remodeling of the old school "Afterglow" that was so popular in the seventies).  For our first After Affect we went to Rita's.  It was good.  More pics to come on our student web site in the next week or so.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Teams Get 'Er Done

Good stuff on the difference of teams and committees and on leadership from one of the lectures in my studies:


(Leadership on the Other Side, Bill Easum)

 

. . .most church-based ministry is most effective when it is performed in teams:

 

Unlike committees, teams are never nominated and elected by majority vote. Teams are best put together by the leader of the team. Say a person wants to start a shelter for the homeless. In a permission-giving system this person is free to begin this ministry if it fits into the mission, vision, and values of the church. Permission can be granted by any leader of the church. This person begins looking for a team by casting his/her vision about working with the homeless. The leader assembles a team of people who really want to help the homeless and are willing to give their time, energy, and money to make the shelter a reality. The team plans and carries out the strategy without interference from above. If the team runs into problems, it solves them without interference from an outside committee or person. The team is free to carry out the ministry any way it deems appropriate, even if it has never been done that way before. If the homeless ministry is successful, the church may make it a core ministry and put it in the church budget. If the team messes up and does not do what it was commissioned to do, the team leader is held accountable.

 

Teams never meet to decide what they are supposed to do, never have to convince a member of the team if the team should do the ministry, never have to waste time debating the merits of the projects. Teams can direct all of the energy to making the ministry successful.

 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Graduation Party Food Report

One weekend, two graduations, 4 graduation parties, didn't have to eat any meals in my home on Saturday or Sunday = a great weekend.

I've already blogged on the graduations.  (Let me add the teacher that gave the speech at MHS did a great job working in scripture without mentioning God or the Bible.)

Now I'll turn my attention to the party food.  (I won't mention names since I don't have permission to plaster them on the world wide web and I choose to respect their privacy)

Saturday's Noon Party - Wonderful spread of food.  A crab dip that was really really good (and I don't eat seafood usually) it was cooked with some peppers and had a little kick because of the seasonings and flavors. ;)  Lots of cheeses, crackers, fruit, breads, lunch meats, nuts.  The other highlight of my eatfest there was the sushi, yum yum.  Her cake was incredible with huge strawberries on top and other berries, very moist and tasty.  The food was all nicely arranged by The Embellishers

Saturday's 2 to 5 Party - Fantastic pork BBQ cooked in the cooker in their driveway, east carolina style (the best, don't argue with me), slaw.  The baked beans were great and lots of good flavors.  They also grilled some huge chicken breasts, didn't taste the chicken but my family ate it up.  Now to the cake. . .the cake was made by Just Desserts.  Just Desserts makes this cake that is to die for.  Put a slice on your head and watch your tongue slap your brains out trying to get to it.  We had two of these cakes for our little guys baby showers.  I ate some cake, forget the stinking weight watchers when there is a Just Desserts cake in site.  Oh, I also ate a slice of cake at the Noon Party, don't tell anyone.

Saturday's 6 to ? Party - By this point in the weekend I had eaten well beyond my point allowance but these kids only graduate once from high school.  Lot's of good grub at this party as well.  BBQ, sausage and peppers, nacho dip (I ate lots of that) chips, crackers, cheese.  My goal was to eat one of the small dessert size plates of food.  I did it!  4 Times!  The food was great!!  There were two cakes at this party a chocolate and white cake if I remember correctly.  I held off eating cake since I had already had two slices earlier in the day.  This party was a combo graduation and birthday party.  Congrats and Happy Birthday!

Sunday's 2:00 Party - There were so many people in the house I wondered what the weight rating on the pilings was.  Lots of great party food here as well.  Pimento cheese sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches sliced into those little triangles.  I must have ate 50 pimento cheese sandwiches.  My son woofed down several chocolate dipped strawberries, I also at some chips and dip (keep in mind this was immediately following a new member interview lunch at the church).  The cake... I saw it...it saw me...I tried to not make contact...I failed.  The strawberry cake was awesome.

To end Andy's Eatfest 2008 I wrapped it up with two Oscar Meyer all beef hot dogs grilled at the beach during youth group on Sunday evening.  It was hot when I got home so I ate a Eddy's coconut fruit bar.  If you haven't had one of these tasty frozen all fruit treats and if you like coconut you need to buy a box they are fantabulous.  I only gained 2 lbs last week :)  Today I've been a good boy.  I'll tell you later about the pork loin I grilled tonight it was da bomb diggity.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Contagious Tonight

Tonight we met for our first time, this summer, on the beach for Contagious.

There were a bunch of students and we had several guests.  One boy brought his friend a few weeks ago and tonight that friend brought his friend.  That's what it is all about and that's how to grow.  We had a few "newbies" tonight as 6th graders moved into the youth group.

We did our bible study on grace tonight, students then got into their table groups for prayer (we have to change the name of table groups on the beach since we don't have tables on the beach, perhaps mini pods).  

Tonight we launched Parent Pod, several parents hung out together visiting and I stopped by to talk with them about grace.  Besides the biting flies they seemed to have a good time.

76 Hot Dogs Consumed  (Thanks Seth and Sharon!)
48 Bottles of Water
60 Cans of Soda

Contagious Lesson

Here is the outline of our lesson from Contagious on the Beach tonight (more on that later)

1.  Grace is a gift of Salvation Ephesians 2:9

2.  Grace is a gift of Forgiveness Micah 7:18

3.  Grace is a gift of Life John 15:12-13

Parent/Student Discussion:

Read and Discuss Ephesians 2:4-9

  • What is the relationship between grace and faith?
  • Why do you think God chose grace rather than works as the basis for salvation?
  • Does God's grace cover every sin?
  • Is there an area in your own life in which you have a hard time accepting forgiveness?
  • How does the fact that God's acceptance of you is not dependent on your actions make a difference to you?




Saturday, June 7, 2008

Live Worship at NHC, Sunday 9 and 11AM

Broadcast powered by Ustream.TV

It's Graduation Time

Here is a wrap up of the weekend thus far: (15 years of graduations for me)

Last night's graduation at FFHS:
>Hot and Outdoors
>Fireworks cancelled due to fire danger
>Fun time listening to speakers trying to deal with their own echo (causes slurred and slow speech)
>Fun time watching several of our students walk across the platform and receive their diploma.
Congrats!

This morning graduation at MHS:
>Moved to the gymnasium due to smoke from the wildfires and the high temps
>Nicely air conditioned gym
>Graduates really seemed to enjoy their graduation ceremony
>Trombone player will have a mohawk by tomorrow night
>Fun time watching one of our students walk across the platform and receive her diploma (thanks for the ticket!)
>Congrats!

Tomorrow I will blog about the food I enjoyed at 4 graduation parties, so far I've been to 3, tomorrow afternoon I hit the 4th.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Live from Practice



Chris and I enjoying band practice with Nate back in the saddle.  Giddyup!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Welcome Home Lawrenson Family, Welcome Home.


I can't even imagine the feeling of joy Nate and Tricia are experiencing right now.
I know I'm excited for them and to see them.  I'm excited to get to hold Gwyneth and make faces at her like all good uncles do.  I'm excited to have Nathan around the church again.  I'm excited to hear Tricia laugh.  I'm excited that I don't have to change Gwyneth's diapers.  

This Sunday is going to be a cool worship gathering at NHC as Nate shares with the church.  I'm thinking Kleenex stock may go up.  

Life has brought them all kinds of changes and now a new change, getting used to living at home (and finding a house).

God is a God of miracles.  Don't believe me?  Explain what the doctors can't explain.  Look at Tricia's smiling face and at that teeny tiny little baby girl, if you look at them you are looking at a miracle.  (Not to mention Nate getting the privilege of having  Tricia as his wife, that alone is a miracle)

So as Ty Pennington says, welcome home Lawrenson family.  Welcome home.

What Message Are You Sending?

I've heard some interesting, yet sad, stories recently from other youth leaders.  I can't share them because it may come back to bite someone.  But these stories got me thinking this morning about the post title question.

What message is a church sending to youth when they...

1.   Refer to them as children?
2.  Won't let them paint their sterile looking youth room or remove the 1960 era paneling?
3.  Make their teacher/leader get approval for everything they hang up in their room?
4.  Gear your worship service to tickle the fancy of older adults?  
5.  Won't invest money into their leaders by sending them off for some training?
6.  When students are told that their dress is not fit for church?
7.  Tell them their contemporary Christian music is "of the devil"?

Amazingly enough churches make these statements and then wonder why they don't have youth in their church.

NHC has made a huge investment into reaching students, that makes a fantastic statement to youth.  What message is your church sending to youth?

PS  Feel free to print this and distribute to your deacons ;) 


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ministry Teams

I'm reading Leading the Team-Based Church for my current class, at Rockbridge, Building an Effective Ministry Team.  Here are some good quotes from the book (I suggest anyone connected to a ministry team in their church to get this book and read it, it is very good):

"Effective ministry teams are those that case a vision that unites people around a God-given cause.  Visionary teams are motivated by a strong sense of mission and purpose.  They know where they are going and work to align their energy and effort toward fulfilling their divinely inspired purpose."

"Visionary teams act with passion and purpose."

"But do the people we recruit have a larger vision of how their contribution of work makes a difference in the lives of people?"

This one may be my favorite from this chapter:
"The key ingredient is a leadership team that lives the vision, breathes it, models it, tells its story and chance it gets, sleeps and eats it, and otherwise calls people together around it."

Here is another really good one:
"Churches are not everything to everyone in practice.  Why not be clear what it is we do well as a congregation, or feel called to do well, and celebrate that and let another congregation pick up where we leave off?"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

StudentDevo.com Launches Today!

Today Studentdevo.com launched.  Studentdevo.com is a daily devotional site for students in middle and high school.  Each day a student can surf to the site and read a devotion for the day starting with Matthew chapter 1 and then we will go through the book of Matthew going a chapter per day.  As we go we will also add some other tools to the site that students can use in developing the HABITS of spiritual discipline.

I'm joined on this site by my friends and fellow youth ministers, Steve Turrentine of FBC Valliant, Ok., Byron Smith, FBC Hugo, OK., Chip Bagget, Kitty Hawk UMC, Kitty Hawk, NC., Amy Brothers, Duck UMC, Duck, NC.  Hopefully as we go this team will grow.

Pass the word on to your students, other youth leaders.  It is a free resource that can help your students start having a daily quiet time with God.  

Contagious Tonight

Tonight we had our first official Sunday night youth group (since the old days).    We had a few students that don't normally come to our Lord's supper gatherings.  I asked a couple what they thought and they said they really liked it.  Pastor Burnie did a great job tonight and as usual the band did well leading us in worship in song.

Following the fellowship meal (awesome!) we loaded up and went to Rita's Italian Ice.  Our first ever After Affect in the history of the world.  We basically took the place over.  We were all in the store and then out on the walk out front.  I enjoyed the Mango gelati.  I got my picture taken with everyone there from our group and a few innocent bystanders.  (Pictures to come)

Next Sunday night we do our first Contagious on the beach.  Our devo on the beach will follow up a week's worth of reading our students are doing in the One Minute Bible (a daily devotional Bible).  Should be most excellent!

Overcommunicate

I guessed asked every now and then about our communication process.  How we communicate youth ministry events and activities to parents.  I've heard and learned that you have to over-communicate and have discovered that even then you still have some that miss out on what is going on.  

Here is what we do:
1.  Monthly Parent Newsletter with calendar included
2.  Weekly Update e-mail
3.  Reminder shot e-mails when needed
4.  Printed copy of newsletter available at the welcome center
5.  Our web site obxstudents.com on our web site is an events page
6.  Parent page on our web site
7.  Posters and also announcement slides on the big screen and lobby monitors.

I'm sure some get sick of all the info and just hit delete when they see the e-mail, I'm also sure that others are fastidious about keeping up with what is going on, I'm sure that some "read" but, like I do sometimes, don't absorb the info.

What we don't want to do is to fail to communicate.  If someone says, "I didn't know...."  it's not from lack of info.    Below is a sample of our weekly update:


My Mission Trip Experience

I just returned last week from the island of Eleuthera.  On the island there is a Christian sports camp, Camp Bahamas.  Camp Bahamas is re...