Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Think It Is 17

This will be my 17th summer of attending camp with students. Back in the old days I was pumped and excited about going to a week of camp. The lack of sleep didn't bother me back then. The waking up at 6am and going till 1 or 2 didn't phase me. Now I'm old! I don't look forward to camp like I used to. What?! Did a youth pastor just say that?

I don't like:
>the 4 or 5 hours a night of sleep
> the van ride home while everyone sleeps in the van and I must stay awake.
> camp food. Institutional food lacks at most universities.
>walking in the heat and humidity
>sleeping on a plastic coated mattress.
>telling a teenage boy or girl, who should know by this point, that they need to take a shower (there is enough oil in your hair to lube my truck)
>explaining over and over again how their cell phone will distract them during the week of camp with the endless texts they will receive, read, and respond to.
>when students who knew for months that they could go to camp but procrastinated till the last minute and as a result missed the deadline.
>most of all being away from my family for the week. As my children are growing this weighs even more on me and probably soon they too will be traveling to camp and staying at a hotel nearby or something. Last year my 6 month old daughter was taken by ambulance to the ER while I was at camp, that was very hard on us. (I would much rather share a room with my wife than with the assistant to the youth pastor, Rich Coleman)

I do like:
>watching students bond with each other and build friendships
>hanging with students
>the awesome worship times
>watching them compete in the recreation
>taking them to the Texas Inn to eat
>observing them connecting with God
>when that one life is radically changed and the "camp commitment" is for real.
>thinking that next year we are going to change it up big time for camp.

You can follow our camp adventure at our camp blog site. There you can connect with your teen through e-mail and listen in on our evening worship sessions.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Obvious

Often in ministry it is obvious when someone doesn't "get it".

Our youth band led worship last Sunday and did an outstanding job. These students love using the SHAPE God has given them to worship and serve Him and His church. I heard several great compliments and encouragement given to the Contagious band. I might be a little biased but these kids are the best student worship band I have heard.

I don't read anonymous notes or comments from folks because if someone doesn't have the courage and character to say something to my face then whatever they are upset about, or their opinions, don't hold any weight with me.

It was brought to my attention that someone left a comment card basically written in caps and real big. The comment was, "the drums are too loud". This person obviously didn't "get it". Was it loud? Possibly, depends on where you sit and your ear's definition of loud. I thought it was great. Not because of the volume but because I "get it".

Praise the Lord for students who love to worship him. The card would have accomplished more for the kingdom if it read, "It's obvious those students love worshipping God with the talents and skills He has given them."

In a time in the church where students are walking away from the church upon graduation it is great to see students connecting to the church through ministry, serving. Students who sit on the sideline are more likely to fade away after graduation or even when they get their drivers license. Ministry, serving God, is like a glue. A glue that Christian parents need to teach their kids by example.

So when we want to comment perhaps we should step back and look at the bigger picture make a comment that will further the kingdom rather than criticize it.

New Site is up and Running

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...