Monday, August 31, 2009

No More Orphans

If just 6% of the church would adopt a child from an orphanage there would be no more orphans in the world in two years.

Interested?  If you are contact Christian Adoption Services.  There are some Filipino children ready for immediate adoption.  One is a sibling group of 5 who have been waiting for 2 years for their forever home.  Don't let the language barrier make you nervous.  I went to the Philippines several years ago and spoke in the public schools and used no interpreter because the children learn English.

Just 6% of the church.  I seem to recall Jesus saying that true religion is taking care of widows and orphans.  What if we, as churches, quit wasting money on pipe organs and stained glass windows and ornate buildings and then invested that money into families who desired to adopt?  


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Contagious Tonight

Youth group was big fun tonight.  We started out at Bonnet St. but the storm chased us back to NHC.  We quickly set up tables, pulled out the big tub of table games, set up the ping pong table and bam!  We had us a par tay.  

Great Boars Head hot dogs tonight.  Thanks to the Meyers for the dog sponsorship this summer and all the parents that pitched in on the bun rotation.

Great bunch of students tonight, I think it was our biggest attendance all summer.   I enjoyed looking around and seeing adult leaders at tables with students playing table games and ping pong.  That is where youth ministry begins as adults invest into the lives of students by building relationships.  Adults who stand around at youth group or sit together away from the students are not ministers, they are chaperons.  Students need ministers more than they need chaperons.  I'm glad our YM team "gets it".

Our lesson was from Mark 2.  Four friends took a paralyzed friend to Jesus to be healed.  When they arrived there was the obstacle of the crowd so they ripped open the roof and lowered the man to Jesus.   Jesus saw their faith and healed the man.
  • What obstacles do students face in sharing their faith with friends?
  • Do you have faith that God can change your friends' lives?
Students were challenged to reach their friends at school this semester.  Have faith that God can radically change their life as He did the life of the paralyzed man.

This next Sunday night the youth leaders have the night off as we go to the church picnic.  Looking forward to some kickball and good grub (onolicious grinds for my friends in Hi.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Contagious Lesson

Last Sunday I did part one of a two part series.  The focus is preparing students to go back to school.
Here is the outline:

My Circle of Influence
Daniel 1 and 3

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

Daniel 3

Group Discussion

  1. Who is in your circle of influence?
  2. What are you actively doing to influence them towards Christ?
  3. Do you have friends in your circle that you could bring to youth group with you?
  1. Do you think you will encounter opposition if you live life at school this year as an influencer?  Why?  Who from?
How will you respond to opposition or persecution? 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Look Ma, I'm a Guest Blogger

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

Who has your back?

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. 

  1. Insurance – unless your church is stuck in 1850 you should have a liability policy that covers injuries and protects you and your church.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. Understandings #2 – Make sure students and their parents understand what is expected of them.
  6. Driving – Don’t drive like a goob.  Be responsible.  “Hey, I saw this in a cartoon once and I think I can do it.”
  7. 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)
  8. 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.
  9. 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."
  10. First Aid – it helps to have someone along with some first aid training.
You might think these are "no brainers" but I have heard interesting stories over the years.

 

 

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Reconstruction of Contagious Youth #1

February through April I was on sabbatical, during this time I started to think about and evaluate our youth ministry.  While we are doing some things good there are some areas that need improvement or strengthening.

This fall our goal is to have in place a "Coach" to lead out in different areas of our youth ministry to help organize and keep us on track and to help us produce spiritually healthy, growing and balanced students.  These coaches will pull together students and adults together to organize events, emphasis, focus us in the right direction.  This won't be an overnight process.  We hope to have the coaches in place by Christmas.  The process of planning and organizing and ultimately functioning in this new structure could take up to two years.  Better to take your time and do it right then to run into something willy nilly.

Missions Coach - to help us grow in local and foreign missions
Connection Coach - to help students discover the importance of being connected in a local church and strengthen students' relationships with each other
Magnification Coach - to help students discover and implement worship in their daily lives
Growth Coach - to help students move towards being a fully devoted, mature, believer
Ministry Coach - to help students discover their spiritual gifts and help them use their gifts and SHAPE in serving at NHC and Contagious Youth

So let the building begin!  I'll update as we reconstruct.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Principles for Parents

This is from the Principles for Parents seminar we hosted in the spring and it was led by Herb Owen:

"We put our children in great danger when we allow them to operate under authority that is weak or distant or does not follow biblical principles.  The danger becomes far greater when we allow our children to be in a situation whre they are under the authority of no one at all.  We have then allowed them to be in a place of rebellion."

Something for us parents to think about as we draw close to the weekend and our kids start asking to go do this or that or stay at _____'s house.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Join The Contagious Team!

Contagious Youth will have a team for the Great Strides walk on September 12.  The walk is fun.  I don't get into walking but this walk is short and then ends with a party atmosphere, fun, food and games.  The best part is we are raising money and awareness to help with Cystic Fibrosis research.

If you are on the OBX and would like to join our team you are more than welcome.  The Contagious Youth team isn't just for students but also for parents, siblings, adults, friends, whoever wants to join in and help.

Those who know our family know that Great Strides is important to us.  So get off your seat and on the street and join the Contagious Team.  If you can't be here for the walk you are certainly more than welcome to help us reach our team's financial goal.

To join or to give go here.  Thanks!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Growing in Ministry

Our responsibility as parents and youth ministers is to help our kids, students, grow in ministry.  How do we accomplish this?  Here are a few ideas:

Teach them SHAPE

S – Spiritual gifts – as believers in Christ we have each been gifted by the Holy   Spirit and these gifts are to be used serving the church.

H – Heart – Using what we are passionate about to serve the church

A – Abilities – We each have abilities to be used in serving the church

P – Personality – We each have a unique personality that can be used in serving the church

E – Experiences – In life we each have different experiences we have been through that can be used in serving the church.  Even the bad experiences because God never wastes a hurt.

Model

Since more is caught than is taught it is good for students to see us serving the church.  What ministry are you involved in at your church?  Does your teen see you serving regularly at your church?  Perhaps, at family devotion time, share with your teen what your ministry is and why you love serving Christ and his church (without preaching).

Involvement

Look for opportunities for students to serve.  At NHC several of our students help in our Kids’ Zone each Sunday morning.  We also have opportunities to serve by allowing them to help set up and prepare for the youth group gathering.

As a parent we can look for opportunities to involve our kids in the ministry we are active in.  Bring your teen along to help, maybe not every week but enough for them to get a taste of what serving and why it is important to you.

Discussion
If your teen gets involved in ministry look for opportunities to “debrief” and allow them to share how they felt about the ministry experience.  Point out others who are serving and talk about their ministry together.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tonight at Contagious

Great time at Contagious tonight!  The water was great.  Lots of Boars Head hot dogs were consumed.

We are looking at staying connected to Christ and growing in our faith.  Tonight was all about growing deep roots, Colossians 2:1-9.   Why do some students drift into youth group and then drift away?  Why do some students graduate from high school and walk away from their faith?  No deep roots.  

Here on the OBX we experience the occasional hurricane.  We see the damage of the wind and saturation of the rain and toppled trees.  The trees fall because their root system is shallow.  Same happens with us spiritually, we must make the choice and effort to grow deep roots in Christ so when the hurricanes of life come we don't topple over.  

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Birthday To Our Twins!

Seven months ago God blessed our family by giving us our twins through the miracle of adoption.
Happy Birthday Babes!







Thursday, August 6, 2009

We are going August 19th. 
Registration ends August 12.
$70 for ticket and bus ride.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Taking an Unexpected Turn

Sometimes in life we think we have it figured out.  We have our plans, dreams, ideas of how things will be.  More often than not there are unexpected turns in the road, events and circumstances that we don't plan on.  

Here is the skeleton outline of an article that I'm working on:

Any thoughts?

Last Night at Contagious

Last night we had a great time at Contagious.  It was storming so we had to move our gathering from the beach back to NHC.  We cooked and consumed many Boars Head hot dogs thanks to our sponsors!

Students were playing ping pong, cards, golf (some sort of card game).  Some middle school girls created their own game out of plastic bowling pins and bowling ball.  I'm not sure how their game worked but they were having a great time.  Students sat around and visited with each other and our YM team.  All of this was going on while we had music videos from Interlinc on the flat screens.

Rich and I put our heads together and in about 5 minutes came up with a game idea:
  • Use one old "see and say" from the church nursery or yard sale
  • Divide students into teams by age
  • Take a volunteer from each group (play as many rounds as you like)
  • Take a "volunteer" from the YM team to compete as well
  • Pull the handle and the contestant must imitate the animal.
  • Students vote by cheering for their favorite in each round
  • Have a final round with the winner of each round
  • Give a cheap prize to the winner (we gave the winner Mt. Dew)
This game could have been a flop but for some reason the students loved it and voted to keep it and not "trash it" (I was fully prepared to smash the "see and say" on stage if they voted "trash it)  The game had nothing to do with the lesson it was just about laughing  together.

We took a look at John 15:1-8 and took a look at Abiding (remaining in Christ).
  • Trust the Gardner
  • Pruning makes new growth
  • Grafting is good
  • We can reach and climb with support
Students then broke into small groups to discuss the lesson and talk about applying it in their own lives.  

Next Sunday we will continue the study on Abiding.

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...