Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Wishing you a Merry Christmas!
This year we didn't go overboard buying presents. We have gone with a much simpler Christmas. You know what? Stress levels are much lower, bank account isn't tapped, credit card isn't maxed. Focus is where it should be. Celebrating the birth of our Savior and looking towards his coming again.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Misha and I are stoked! Today we received in the mail the adoption decrees for the twins. It's official, the judge says they are ours now. Praise God for these two little precious gifts. Eli is full of happiness and laughter. Ava gives me little grins that melt my heart. New Year's Eve a year ago we got the call asking if we would be interested in adopting again . . . .twins. We have been blown away how God has orchestrated our lives and the lives of our children. It amazes me how God, in his divine wisdom and sovereignty has put our family together. Our next hurtle is to pay our balance on our adoption fees. We know that God has that all figured out already.
Christmas this year will be extra special. Even as I type I hear the laughter and giggles of my daughter. There is much joy in our home and we thank God for the joy that only He can give.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Not So Early Bird Special - $35 per person if you register between December 2nd and January 2nd.
Procrastinator's Special - $40 after January 2nd.
This year The Call has been remodeled and is focusing on students who are leaders or have the potential to be leaders in the youth group. The Call is not for entire youth groups and is not an outreach event. So only plan on bringing your handful or so of student leaders.
Would I buy $40 in tracts? No.
Would I buy a couple of youth ministry books? No
Would I have lunch with a team member? Tempting, but no.
I would invest that $40 into a student in the youth group who is showing leadership potential.
This would be the biggest pay off from the investment. This student would be sharpened as a leader and
then in turn invest back into the youth ministry through serving, outreach, setting the example, leading peers.
Are you raising up leaders in your church’s youth group? Are you equipping them, teaching them, training them to use their influence with their peers? The result of doing so is growth, personal growth for the student, growth in the youth group, growth from outreach.
Every youth group has at least one student with the potential to be a leader or a student who is already leading but could use some equipping to lead even better.
I would encourage you to take advantage of the savings and register at least two or three today.
Some ideas on covering the cost for these leaders:
- They pay themselves (not the best but a possibility)
- Recruit adult Sunday School Classes to sponsor students. Sell the idea that investing in leaders will have the biggest return in the youth ministry and church.
- Chili Dinner
- Love Offering
- Approach some of the “movers and shakers” in your church and ask them to personally invest into the church’s youth ministry by investing into a student’s life.
Friday night supper
For more details and info check out www.thecallobx.com or call Andy at 252-441-7548
Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
- Have a form for folks to submit families and then have one person responsible for processing those forms and organizing the info.
- Have another person to call and let the family know that they will be receiving the groceries and ask for permission to drop the box by their home.
- Assign two families per POD
- Have directions for the drivers printed up on the back of the families info card.
Friday, November 20, 2009
We listen to the pastor say the word "missions" and we hear "grass hut, jungle, wicked snakes".
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Our Youth Ministry Team is wingin' it! Not wingin' youth ministry but we are going tonight to eat some wings! At this dinner meeting (over $.25 wings) I'm going to remind us about what we do and why we do it. There is a reason and a purpose behind all we do in youth ministry.
Here is a glimpse of what we are going to take a look-see at as we "wing" it:
>You are a youth minister (a shepherd).
>Your involvement in students' lives has an impact on them spiritually.
>You are part of God's plan for students' lives. That's huge!
>You are part of a team. Youth Ministry is a team effort.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Trunk or Treat has grown from a dozen or so church partners involved in this out reach to around 100 partners participating on the trunk, traffic, food, set up, clean up and game teams. We went from just having a dozen trunks to 25 trunks, 4 big inflatable games, carnival type games, hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and drinks. The community can attend and there is no charge, not even for the food. Each child still receives a gospel tract in their candy bag.
This year we gave out about 1200 pounds of candy! We had around 2000 people from our community attend. Trunk or Treat is a way our church tells our community that we care for them. This is a great and fun event that NHC partners look forward to working together on each year.
Now it's time to evaluate and plan for TOT 2010!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
One of the biggest dangers I see in parenting is when mom or dad or both view their role to be their child's friend, you know, their buddy. While we should be our child's friend to an extent more importantly we are to be their parent which is basically shepherding their life. Pointing them in the right direction, leading them in a way that pleases the Lord, protecting them. Again this shepherding approach won't always win us the popularity trophy.
So when making the tough decisions what steps do you take?
Recently we had to make a big decision and here are some of the questions I used:
>Will this decision protect his mind and body?
>Will this decision protect his future?
>Will this decision provide a sense of safety and security?
>Will this decision point him in the right way?
>Will this decision push him closer to Christ?
>Will this decision pull him away from Christ?
What I didn't concern myself with was the question of "will this decision be popular?" When it comes to shepherding my child's life I don't much care about popularity. I'm not concerned with what others think. I'm not concerned with what my child may think (I do try to help him understand). I'm concerned with what God thinks.
Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The past 8 years have been a tremendous time of growth for me. I have learned so much about the church and ministry, much more than I have learned in school.
A few things that stand out to me over the past 8 years:
>The growth of NHC
>Moving into our new building
>Watching students learn to own their faith
>Parents grasping that discipleship of their teen is their responsibility
>The growth of our youth ministry team
>The change and growth of our children's ministry and the CM team
>The growth of Trunk or Treat
> The Call's birth, growth and now remodeling
>High percentage of NHC partners involved in ministry (over 90%)
>Changing music styles without a church split (SBC Church Planting) ;)
A few lessons learned:
>Ministry should never be done alone. Always bring someone along in ministry
>Leaders build leaders
>Ministry Teams are the way to go
>The best way to recruit for your team is to have team members "tap" others to join the team
>Don't do events and activities just to do events and activities
>Focus on purpose
>Nip it in the bud, church discipline is vital to church health
I have been blessed to serve with 4 elders in the church who have vision, who want to do God's will at NHC.
I have been blessed to serve with 4 great ministry teams.
I'm also blessed to be married to a wife who is very supportive of my "job" and what I do. It has been a blessing to watch our family grow over the past 8 years. I am a blessed man.
I think the key to longevity at a church, from what I have learned from watching others who have served for a long time at the same church, is to find the church that is a "fit". The "fit" includes finding God's will, knowing the church's "personality" and "traits and trends". A church that goes through pastors like a kids goes through candy in a Pez dispenser would not be a "fit" for me. :)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
- Listen to God
- Have godly friends
- Be ready for the unconventional
- Never give up
Friday, October 16, 2009
- God gives us a Spiritual gift when we put our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Look for that gift in your child. Point out the gift when you see them using it.
- God gives us a Heart, a passion, in life. Look for opportunities to point your teen in a direction where they could use their passion in ministry.
- God gives us Abilities. Everyone is able to do something. Spot your teen's abilities and point them in a direction of using those for Christ.
- God gives us Personality. God has created us in a way that even our personality can be used in ministry. Shy? Outgoing? Enjoy the tedious? When your teen's personality shines point out to them how God could use them in serving others.
- God uses our Experiences. Good or bad experiences, God never wastes and experience. Think of your experiences like an art museum. Hang the good on the left side of the room and the bad on the right. Study your experiences and see how God has used them and can use them to minister to others.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
We weren't created to simply take up space on this planet. Likewise we weren't created to simply take up space in a church auditorium. You and I were SHAPED to be a minister. When we study the early church we see that ministry was done by the church, believers serving one another. Over time the church has drifted from this model.
Ask someone what he or she thinks of when they hear the word "minister"? Many think of good old pastor so-and-so, he was a good minister. Somewhere along the line the church (believers in Christ) moved from being the ministers to labeling one man as the "minister".
At NHC every partner is a minister. Ministry at NHC would not be accomplished if it were left to the "paid professionals". Who would change the messy diaper on Sunday morning? Who would teach the children something they did not know about God? Who would greet folks in the parking lot, at the door, in the lobby? Who would pour the coffee? Who would clean the building? Who would play the music? Who would minister to the hurting in the church? Who would meet the needs?
So how about you? Are you simply taking up space or are you serving? Are you a minister?
Monday, October 12, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
“and they went forth to eat pizza and play putt putt, and all were of the same mind and love and had lots of event tshirts….”
We don’t find youth group in the Bible. So what would a Biblical view of youth ministry be? As I thought about this I had a few thoughts:
· Starts With Dad and Mom
The Biblical Model is found in Deut 6:1-7
Parents passing on the Word of God to their children. That’s God’s plan.
· The Example of Christ.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.
Our goal should be to help students to grow in their relationship with God and become more like Christ. True Christ followers, disciples.
Ephesians 4:11-12 (New International Version)
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
It's our role as youth leaders to equip students to minister, to use their SHAPE.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I was in a text conversation with a student the other day. The question asked of me by the students was, "How come people at church are mean?" First of all that should be a wake up call for us, the church, when we are perceived as mean.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
During the summer our youth group has our weekly get together at the beach. A couple years ago we started the "Parent Pod". The parents would bring their beach chairs and gather together and hang out together while the students played in the water and had their Bible study.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
It is easy to get in the routine and then get stuck in a rut. This summer we met each Sunday night at the beach for our youth gathering. Now that school has started we will be moving back to the church building. I noticed this summer several of our students who didn't attend even one youth group gathering at the beach, I also noted that we need to see some new faces at youth group.
Friday, September 11, 2009
On this day in 2001 Mish and I were sitting in the living room of "Weekend at Burnie's" beach house. We had traveled to the OBX for my interview for the staff position of youth and children's pastor at NHC.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
- 4 office days a week when possible
- flexible hours with consideration of time out to games, events, activities (yesterday I knew I wouldn't get home till close to 8pm so I came in to work later in the day)
- at least one day off a week (and someone needs to hold staff accountable to take their day off. I'm not a work-a-holic so I usually don't have a problem taking my day off and most weeks two days. I know my limitations and "stress" points)
- minimum two weeks vacation from the get go and if a youth pastor is moving in from another church vacation time should move with him, he may be changing locations but is still working for the same God. I can tell when it is time for vacation because I start to get a little mean and cranky.
- Comp time after big youth events like summer camp, mission trips, retreats, etc., anything that pulls a YP from his family. (after camp I usually work Sunday and one to two office days the following week)
- Sabbaticals with pay. At NHC staff can either take 5 weeks after each 5 years or 7 weeks after each 7 years. This could be the secret to keeping church staff longer than a couple of years. Rick has been here like forever.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
"Stand firm" - God has place you where you are to minister to the students who cross your path. Don't let the trials of life blow you over. Don't let the negative folks in the church defeat you. Stand firm in the Lord. Know that He is the one who can give you the strength to stand.
"Let nothing move you" - nothing |ˈnəθi ng |pronoun - not anything; no single thing.
"Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord" - Guard yourselves against the half baked, half hearted approach to youth ministry. Protect yourself from burn out.
Why? "Because you know your labor is not in vain." - You can't always see the fruits of your efforts but you are impacting lives. You may never know how a conversation with a student may be just the thing they needed to get life back on track. You may not realize that sitting week after week with students play Farkle makes a difference in their lives. You may never know how important it is in that kid's life when you sit down at Taco Bell and have a taco with him.
Happy Labor Day! Your labor is not in vain! Keep ministering to students!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
- What obstacles do students face in sharing their faith with friends?
- Do you have faith that God can change your friends' lives?
Friday, August 28, 2009
To be a good influencer:
- Make the best of your situation
It is in the tough times of your life that your circle of influence will really see the difference that a relationship with Jesus Christ makes in your life.
- Let your commitment to God make the difference
Daniel resolved – 1: 8
- Don’t allow the culture you are in to influence you - influence your culture
- Who is in your circle of influence?
- What are you actively doing to influence them towards Christ?
- Do you have friends in your circle that you could bring to youth group with you?
- Do you think you will encounter opposition if you live life at school this year as an influencer? Why? Who from?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Ministry is a joy but . . .
Sometimes ministry can be frustrating. Sometimes ministry can be hard. Sometimes ministry can be exhausting. We can’t escape these aspects of ministry. The reason ministry can be hard is because ministry involves people and people come with baggage, hurt, pain, anger, bitterness, laziness, etc. (Read More)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Any time you pull a bunch of teens together you are at risk of something happening. Something good, that’s what we all hope will happen, something bad, we don’t want that to happen but it does and sometimes it is our own fault as leaders.
Who has your back should something go wrong on a youth event or activity? Preparation and planning can be your best friend.
- Insurance – unless your church is stuck in 1850 you should have a liability policy that covers injuries and protects you and your church.
- Medical releases and permission forms. Ever take a kid out of town and his parents didn’t know he was gone? Can you say, “kidnap”? Ever show up to a hospital without “proper paperwork” including insurance numbers? I try to put them in a folder alphabetically so you can find a form quickly if needed.
- Staffing – When going on a trip or having an activity it is important to have more than enough adults on hand. I personally like the ratio of 1 adult to 8 students. Don’t have enough staff? Don’t have the event. It’s a safety issue.
- Understandings – Make sure the staff understands, up front, what is expected from them. The last thing I need on a trip is a 35 year old who thinks he is 16. What I need are caring adults who are wanting to impact student’s lives.
- Understandings #2 – Make sure students and their parents understand what is expected of them.
- Driving – Don’t drive like a goob. Be responsible. “Hey, I saw this in a cartoon once and I think I can do it.”
- Policies are our friends - Have some clearly defined policies in advance that cover any situation you can think of. When a situation arises that you haven’t thought about add it to your list. (I’m working on this)
- The Big “No No” – Never be alone with a student of the same or opposite sex. If it is in a counseling session leave the door cracked or be in eyeshot of another adult leader.
- Home Alone – Never leave students alone and unsupervised. Example: "You kids stay here by the tents while I run up the road to the grocery store with the other adult leaders."
- First Aid – it helps to have someone along with some first aid training.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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...