Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Google is coming out with Google Voice. It should be up and running for the general public in several weeks. This is a free phone service that is web based and you get one phone number and can connect all your phones to that one number and decide which phone you want to take the call on. No more will you have to have three or 4 phone numbers. You can also pick up your voice mail messages in text form.
I'm trying to think of ways to use this as a ministry tool:
> The first thought I have is getting a number and using it as a youth group info line. Students and parents can call and get updates since google voice has voice mail. Let students record the message.
>Update parents from camp or mission trips using the number.
>Running late returning from an event? Place a message on the google voice number and parents can check to see what time you will be returning to the church.
>The simple convenience of having one number so no matter what phone I'm near I can catch the call.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
A question from a comment on a previous post:
"Another thing Andy is parents who feel that is it my job to make their kid better. THis is a little different issue than what you posted about. However, they seem to be someone what related issues. I love these students with all my heart but I cannot change anyone! ALl I can do is present God's Word and encourage them to do what is right. I can be there for them however, I have already found that when I spend a lot of one on one time with someone I am cheating the whole... So I guess my question to you is where is the balance? How do I handle parents who think I have failed and that its because I haven’t spent enough time with them that their child is so messed up. How do I balance trying to help students one on one and yet not cheat other students? I cannot spend one on one time with all of them. We don’t have a large ministry however it’s too big to spend time with everyone. Where is the balance?"
1. It is humanly impossible to make someone better.
We can’t force someone to improve. We can’t force a person to not sin. We are individuals and we are individually responsible to God for our lives. “You can lead a horse to water . . .”
2. No student is messed up because a youth pastor didn’t spend enough time with him or her.
I found out years later that the parents of a young man blamed me for not reaching out to their teenage son while I was their youth pastor. Apparently they didn’t realize the at least six visits to their son at their house was “reaching out”. I quit going to the house when I realized his parents weren’t going to anything about him not coming to youth group, even though they said they were “very” concerned.
The questions should be:
“How much time as parent do you spend with your teen discipling and teaching him about God and His Word?”
Could the child be messed up from their upbringing and his parent’s parenting skills or lack of parental involvement?
Could the child be messed up because he has never trusted Jesus as his Savior so his heart is unrepentant and bent towards sin?
The Bible is very clear that it is the parent’s responsibility to teach their child about God. Perhaps a youth pastor would have more time to invest into the lives of student’s who have lost and un-churched parents if he wasn’t expected to spoon feed another believer’s child?
Best thing a youth pastor could do is point parents in the direction of resources to use with their children.
3. How do I balance?
This is why a youth ministry team is vital, not adults standing around as chaperones but adults involved in the lives of students. Jesus had 12 disciples in whom he invested; even in that 12 there were only a few that he really spent alone time with. Why would a youth pastor be expected to do more than Christ by parents, the church, or an unrealistic lead pastor?
If a youth group has more than a handful of students the need exists to have other adults involved in the lives of students. (Even if there are just a few students there should be another adult always present for legal reasons) Adults who know the student by name, have met their parents, communicate with the student during the week outside of youth group, show up to their ball games, pray with them and for them. Let’s be honest, there are some youth ministers that feel threatened by this team idea because they risk the student’s loving their adult leader more than the youth pastor.
Balance is found by building a team of youth ministers. This takes time and it also takes church members who see the value of team ministry. The lead pastor’s support in building a team is also super helpful to the youth pastor.
Simple answer: You can’t balance a bunch of students, if you try, many will slip through the cracks and you need parental involvement in being the discipler to their teen.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
We all know high maintenance people. If you don't know any just sit down and watch an episode of Bridezilla or one of those reality shows about 15 year old girls' parents taking out massive loans to throw their little princess the perfect sweet 16 party. I don't know about you but I tend to avoid high maintenance people.
Sadly there also exists high maintenance believers. Christians who appear to be a tad bit spoiled or expect the church to revolve around them. Basically it boils down to a maturity issue. I was thinking about this some the past couple of days and here are some of the "HMB" indicators that stood out to me:
>Complains that no one in the church cares for them yet they are not involved in a small group or Sunday School class.
>Gripes that no one from the church helped them in their time of need yet when asked when they last did this for someone they come up blank or "I'm sure I have".
>Complain that the pastor's sermons just aren't deep enough for them but they never crack open the Bible themselves for a little self feeding or even attempt to apply what is taught.
>First to cry out when their favorite program is cut or changed.
>Quick to point out ministry needs but never lift a finger to do ministry.
>Take their toys and go home. Bail out and stay home and pout if something happens or is said that they don't like.
>Think that church is for them.
>Love committees but wouldn't dare join a team, that would require time and sacrifice.
>Quick for the hand out but slow to put their hand out to help
>Want to be served but don't want to serve.
>Favorite line when asked to serve is, "I'm just so busy."
>More concerned about the external than the internal or the eternal.
>Would be offended by this list.
Most if not all churches have this type of believer in the congregation. So what is a church to do? I have come to the conclusion that we don't have the time to hold a "mature" believer's hand and walk them through life. Sadly, often in churches, more time is spent on high maintenance believers then time spent trying to make disciples. I think all a church can do is lay it out, "Here is what we have, and here is what we do." We can't hold your hand and scratch your every itch at some point you, the believer, must get a grip and take responsibility for your own growth. Let's say I have a serious Reese’s' Peanut Butter Egg addiction (and I think I do) and the church offers a group for those of us that are RPBE addicts it is my responsibility to get involved in the group. It is not the staff's job to come to my house, dress me, load me in the car and take me to the group. It's not the group's responsibility to beg me and plead with me, a member of their church, to get involved.
Here is the buffet! It's your choice to dine or not.
For those with the gift of mercy - I'm not making reference to new believers
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Today our twins, "Fred and Wilma", baby A and B, are two months old!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 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...