Sunday, September 28, 2008
>No one greeting out front or in the parking area. We were slightly confused as to where to park.
>No one at the Children's check in kiosk.
>Only one person eventually showed up to the kiosk, same person acted as the guide to the classroom which explains why there was nobody at the kiosk when we got there.
>The "bulletin" was very informative and also contained a sheet for sermon notes. In color!
>Service was advertised as starting at 10:40 but didn't start until almost 11. Had we known that we wouldn't have arrived at 10:30. We did get to watch the 14:45 sound check and thought the service had started until they stopped before the song ended and just started talking amongst themselves on the stage, we then realized the service had not begun yet. Sort of funny, guess you had to been there.
>Nice audio/video equipment but the sound was bad and the powerpoint was a bit behind the times.
>The band was good but again the sound in the auditorium didn't help them much.
> 4 Him music playing before and after from one of their mid 90's cd's. ( Anyone remember "Measure of a Man"?)
>There are varying ideas of what contemporary is
>I was quite comfortable in my shorts and t-shirt
>My son had a good time in his class and learned about Namaan. Children's workers were friendly.
>The only greeting we received was from the bulletin hand out dude and the friendly lady at the kiosk
>No one near us in the pews greeted us but then again they may have been guests as well.
>Two bass players in the band and couldn't hear either of them.
>Praise choir couldn't be heard because of the sound issue.
>Pastor preached a sermon about lying which was part of a series he is doing on the 10 commandments. He was very pleasant to listen to and not long winded which was nice. He did a great job covering what lying is, why we lie, the affects of lying.
>Church building is old and historical I'm sure. The attendance looks about the same as ours but they have a whole lot more room and space, plenty of room to grow which is nice.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
While their are no waves, at least on the Gulf side, in Fla. They have some pretty sweet beaches.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Recently we had someone call the church to find out what “kind” of church we are. This person was looking for a church that fits their style, which is fine. The problem we run into is when we start stereotyping churches that aren’t our style or “kind” of church. This person’s style choice is traditional, which is fine, hymn only , which is fine, wear a suit and tie, which is fine. This is fine because that is where they “fit”. They are vanilla ice cream and NHC is coconut macadamia nut ice cream.
While carrying out the phone interview this person found out that we are a Purpose Driven church. Immediately the interviewer’s spouse said, “Oh, they play that loud music.” Stereotype – Purpose Driven churches only play loud, contemporary music. Truth of the matter is not all Purpose Driven churches play “loud music”. Even Saddleback offers a variety of music styles in their different services. We do however play “loud” music, that’s who we are.
What would a member from the early church do if they came back to our churches now? Probably find some things they don’t care for, things that don’t fit into our stereotypes. As a matter of fact if the phone interviewer could travel back in time they wouldn’t have liked the first church because it wouldn’t be a “fit” for them.
1st Church member about our churches today:
- I don’t like your big buildings to meet in, I like meeting in homes
- Your church doesn’t give sacrificially to help other believers in need
- Your church won’t sell their homes and property to help those in need
- Your church isn’t dedicated to prayer
- Your church has confused fellowship with pot luck dinners
- Your church isn’t experiencing any miracles like our church does
When we decide that our “style” choice is the way church is supposed to be we then step into the stereotyping zone. Not a good place to be.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
One thing that drove me nuts in my past church experiences is the whole idea of a "fall revival" or a "spring revival". Some churches have both. Don't get me wrong. It is good to have some special times together as a church to focus on renewal and getting our hearts right with God.
I remember as a child getting drug to a month long revival meeting. Every night for a month we went to church. I remember thinking that if someone would just hit me in the head with a hammer I would be better off. The social aspect of the month long meetings was it's only saving value to me as a kid, I got to play with friends before and after the service.
The fact is most churches are calling a revival what is actually a series of evangelistic meetings, that is the problem. This is when the crank up the potluck dinners, pack a pew night, a special night each for the children and for the youth (and the service is in no way geared towards either age group). The church is encouraged to invite all their "lost" friends. I guess I would be more comfortable if they called it something other than a revival.
You can't revive someone who has not been vived.
The other problem is the fact that most churches that hold these meeting do so twice a year. They put it on the calendar and since it is there they do it. Many times without even seeking God's will on the matter. So the church finds another pastor from another church to come in and preach, a hired gun, or they bring back the evangelist that preaches so passionately. When asked why they hold these revivals the answer is, "because we do every year." Is that a good reason?
You can't calendar revival. Revival is a God thing.
I got an e-mail from a church in our area; I somehow have ended up on their bulk e-mail list, reminding me that if I missed the revival to make sure I come tonight. This is another problem; churches feel such a compelling to pack their auditoriums with people that they invite all the other believers in the area from other churches. What about focusing on your church's spiritual health? There are times when "family meetings" need to be just for family (pickin up what I'm layin down) Is this local church having revival? Time will tell and the proof is in the pudding.
Spiritual health takes work and balance; a series of evangelistic meetings won't necessarily accomplish that purpose.
Next month I will have been at NHC for 7 years. In those 7 years we have not had one "revival" service, but I have seen revival in the hearts and lives of God's people. I have seen a church that is striving to be spiritually healthy. I have seen the church grow as believers turn back to God and as spiritual babies are born. Have we had special times? Yes. Each time we do a 40 days period focused on spiritual growth, reaching the community or like the one we are in right now, prayer, our church grows healthier and numerically. God blesses a group of people who have a desire to be spiritually healthy. The goal of spiritual health will accomplish much more in the lives of believers and a community than a calendared event of 4 nights (what happened to the good old 7 day revival services?).
Focusing on spiritual health has a huge impact in the life of believers and doesn't happen overnight or in a 4-day series of service.
By the way the church I mentioned, the one where I was drug to the revival services for a month, no longer exists. Apparently even calendaring a month of revival services didn't bring about spiritual health to that church.
Do I believe God can impact an individual's life in a "revival"? Yes. Do I believe that God can work in the life of a church in a "revival"? Yes, God can do whatever God wants to do because he is God. Have I ever seen this personally? No. Have I seen purposeful and intentional focus on building spiritual health in a church over a period of years make a difference and impact in the life of a church? Yes, just come hang with us at NHC for a while and you will see. Are we a perfect church? No, because I'm a member of the church.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Values and Expectations
Our Team's Values and Expectations:
1. Know Jesus as their Savior
2. Be striving daily to grow in their walk with Him
3. Be consistent in Bible study, scripture memorization, and prayer
4. Maintain a consistent Christian testimony
5. Be a member of NHC
6. Have completed or be working towards completion of NHCU within a year’s time.
7. Be a team player remembering: It’s not about me” and working together in unity
8. Pray for the church, it’s leaders, fellow team members and students
9. Be faithful and consistent in church attendance (family included)
10. Be faithful in duties on the youth ministry team and if for some reason will be gone or absent will let Andy know and will help in finding a qualified substitute.
11. Be supportive of NHC and its vision and purpose and doctrine and leadership.
12. Be flexible and have a servant’s heart
13. Be committed to what you have committed to
14. Attend CREST and team meetings
Thursday, September 11, 2008
|Author:||Jim Burns, Ph.D.|
When tragedy strikes, children respond in a variety of different ways.
Whether the “crisis” is real or merely felt, kids have a way of processing pain and trauma that is often quite different than adults.
So what’s a parent to do?
Well, if your child has experienced any sort of loss, it’s important to help that child through the grieving process. True, there’s a big difference between being jilted by a boyfriend or girlfriend and sorting out feelings after an attack like Columbine or 9-11. But the process itself remains fairly consistent. (Read More Here)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Success of the Team
The success of the team depends on us the players fulfilling our roles on the team as well as looking out for the team as a whole.
Expectations: Serve each Sunday night during Hang Time. Set up and prep the snack food for the night. Be ready to roll by 5:55. Pack up the snacks at 6:50. Do a quick clean up of the lobby and balcony area. Place the trash bags outside the door and recruit a couple of students to throw them in the dumpster following youth group. This team position requires 1.5 to 2 hours per week and the occasional shopping trip during the week. Kitchen Crew is expected to work together in planning, shopping, prepping and serving the snacks.
Look for opportunities while serving to get to know students and talk with them, find out how their weekend went for them and what they have coming up at school, vacation, etc. Build relationships.
Kitchen Crew must be a partner of NHC and working on completing NHCU classes within a year of joining the youth ministry team.
Expectations: Setting up the auditorium for youth group and packing up following youth group. Making sure the auditorium is ready for the following Sunday’s worship gatherings. Support staff will recruit students each week to help with the set up and clean up. This gives the support staff an opportunity to teach students about ministry, serving others, as well as a chance to invest in student’s lives. It is not “grunt” work, it is ministry! Involve the students.
Look for opportunities while serving to get to know students and talk with them, find out how their weekend went for them and what they have coming up at school, vacation, etc. Build relationships.
Support staff must be a partner of NHC and working on completing NHCU classes within a year of joining the youth ministry team.
Family Group Leaders
Expectations: Arrive at NHC for youth group at 5:45 for team meeting and prayer. Hang out with students during Hang Time, not with the adults. Use Hang Time to invest in student’s lives. Gather family group together at family group table at 7:00 for the Bible study. Lead in the discussion time and prayer time with the family group. Use prep material if emailed earlier in the week. Hang out after youth group while students are getting picked up. This is a safety measure and gives further opportunity to build relationships. Check e-mail for weekly updates, check obxstudents.com often.
Make sure that absent family group members are contacted by other students from the family group during the week following.
Contact each family group member at least once a month either by e-mail, telephone, facebook, in person (outside of youth group), at games, post card, etc…
Pray daily for students in the family group. Keep up with their spiritual needs and be their shepherd by caring for them, protecting them and providing the support they might need. Convey to Andy any info about the student that you think he might need know.
Look for opportunities outside of the youth group gathering to hang out with students. Participate in monthly youth group events and activities when possible.
Family Group Leaders must be partners of NHC who have completed Discovering the Basics with Pastor Steve.
Time required in this position will be around 2.5 or more hours a week depending on events, activities, contacts etc… Of all the team positions this will require the most time and effort.
Admin Support Staff
Expectations: Assist with organizing data base information, event registrations, publicity of events.
Support staff will also help with organizing events as needed.
Admin Support Staff must be partners of NHC and working towards completing the NHCU classes within a year of joining the youth ministry team.
This team position is the only one that won’t involved directly working with the students. The time involved in this position will vary depending upon needs. This is the most flexible team position and would be good for someone who wants to serve in the youth ministry but not necessarily work directly with students.
Event Support Staff
Expectations: Event Staff must be partners of NHC and working towards completing the NHCU classes within a year of joining the youth ministry team.
Event Support is not a weekly ministry position but will serve when there is an event or activity such as being a driver (good driving record required), chaperone, set up and clean up, etc. Examples of events are The Call, Winterfest, local trips like bowling, putt-putt, camping trips, etc.
Time requirements will vary according to the event or activity.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
As we minister to students we need to realize that the we make the biggest impact on their lives as we invest in their lives and that sort of investment takes time.
- Look for opportunities to:
- Attend student’s athletic events
- Attend student’s recitals and concerts
- Hang out with students during Hang Time
- Go on youth trips and events with the students
- Have some students over to eat or go with them to a movie or out to eat or shopping.
- Sit with them at a worship gathering on Sunday
When we do the opportunities listed above it makes a huge impact on the students. It’s amazing the impact on a student’s life when they know you took time out of your life to cheer them on in the stands or play a game of Skip Bo or Apples to Apples with them.
Some students that attend Contagious Youth and become part of our youth group and ministry do not have Christian adults at home to model the life of a Christian for them so the students will look to us.
to be continued. . .
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
It is impossible for one person to adequately minister to the needs of all the students. When a partner joins the youth ministry team they become a youth minister. Andy is not the youth minister he is one of the youth ministers at NHC. Every partner is a minister at NHC and every member of the youth ministry team is a minister to the students.
Ministry happens with students as we build relationships with them and invest in their lives. Students need caring adults, outside of the home, to invest into their lives to help them to grow and mature as a person but most importantly in their faith. We the youth ministry team become the models of faith lived out for these students.
With this ministry comes tremendous responsibility. To live life in such a way that these students see the love of Christ and to see that we are actively growing in our own faith is of upmost importance.
Each member of the youth ministry team has a responsibility not only to the students but to the other team members. Just like on an athletic team we are counting on each player to do their part. The expectations are high but so is what is at stake, impacting student’s lives for Christ.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Our Tropical Storm Hannah supper menu:
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I remember my first Sunday at a small church in Lamont, Oklahoma. The pastor was so excited that we had moved to town. He assumed that because we had come from Christian college that we were ready to take on a ministry. He asked me if I could lead the music. Ha! I'm a drummer not a singer. Then he asked me if I would teach youth Sunday school. I replied, "Teenagers are punks. No."
The point is that some churches will jump on the fresh meat as soon as it walks through the door. Usually it is the pastor or ministry leader because they are pulling their hair out to get their members to get off the pew to do ministry. Is it wise to grab someone you don't really know and try to plug him or her into a ministry? No way! God has shaped each one of us and has given us gifts and talents and personalities to be used by Him to minister in the church.
I love the fact that at Nags Head Church we stress that every partner is a minister. Somehow over the years the church has been swayed into thinking that ministry is for the professionals, the ones that get paid to do it. Not the case at NHC. We are a freak of nature when it comes to church life. Almost every one of our partners is part of a ministry team. The percentage is mind-boggling. How did that happen? This amazing stat is the result of years of Biblical teaching about ministry and high expectations on our partners.
Who do you turn loose in your student ministry? Can anyone just walk in the door and start serving?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Here’s 4 assumptions I asked our teams to make during the next 4 months of ministry: (Read More)
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
What do you do as a parent when your church has “no youth ministry”? I’ve heard this often from parents; “our church has nothing for youth”. I have also had students tell me about their church and how there is nothing at their church in the way of a youth group. So what do you do as a parent? Please comment on this, I’d like some information to help me when I talk with parents or teens in this situation.
I would think that as a parent I would want my teenager to enjoy church and be part of a youth ministry that helps me, as a parent, to disciple my teen. My line of thinking is this, if church is a boring experience for a teen why in the world would they continue to attend church after graduating and moving out? I would also want my teen to be place in a youth group environment so that they can have a chance to form connections with other believers their age. I remember talking with a student a few summers ago at a camp and he told me that he was it, he was the only teen in the church and that he didn’t like it. You might respond and say, “Well then bring your friends!” Why would a teen want to bring his friends to a “funeral home”? I have also talked with many people who consider elementary students as part of the “youth”.
- As a concerned parent be the catalyst to get a youth ministry team going in your church to minister to the students. Gather parents, concerned adults, and students together to brainstorm. Clearly define youth ministry as for middle and high school students.
- Decide what is important to you as a family. Is an active children’s and youth ministry important to you as a parent?
- Make sure you are where God wants you. If you are, then do step 1, if not, find the church God wants you to be a part of and make sure there is a healthy youth ministry there that assists you in discipling your teen.
- Talk with your teen about your church. Get his or her thoughts or opinions and input. If he or she says that church is “boring” find out why they consider it boring. It doesn’t mean that they are backslidden if they think it is boring. It very well might be boring to a teen. Share concerns with your pastor.
Parents, ultimately, God holds us accountable for the discipling of our children. What do you do as a parent when your church has “no youth ministry”?
My new web site which now hosts my blog posts is up and fully functional. You can check it out at andylawrenson.com . There is also a mon...