Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tonight at Contagious

Two students took the step of faith tonight and now have a relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ. This is what it is all about!

Tonight was "Reunion" night (a student's idea). The goal was to get some students who have been missing to come back and to introduce some new students to Contagious. We met our goal!

We continue to do "Letters from the Mailbox" and a student wrote out John 3:16 and asked we do a lesson this verse because it was her (could tell by the handwriting) favorite.

Here is the outline of the talk:

John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."

  • Realize Who this is that loves you.
    1 John 4:8
  • Realize the depth of his love for you
    Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:10

  • Realize the scope of God’s love
    The World

  • Realize God had a plan
    Jesus' death on the cross was not plan B

  • Realize the Result
    2 Peter 3:9
  • Realize eternity starts right now (the moment you believe in Jesus)
    John 10:10

Student then went to their PODs to discuss the lesson and pray together.
It was a great night at youth tonight!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"My Ministry"

The phrase “my ministry” can be both good and bad depending on my attitude and understanding of ministry.

Attitude is huge when it comes to serving in the church. Wait! There was the key word, “serving”. Jesus, God in the flesh, took on the form of a humble servant. Not a doormat but put the needs of others first. My attitude must be one of a servant. I do this ministry to serve others and to serve God. When my attitude shifts focus off of others and off of God and on to myself soon ministry goes from a joy to a hardship.

The attitude problem is why some don’t serve in the church their attitude is one of “giving up an hour or two a week from their already busy lives to do a job”. The change happens when they realize they are worshipping with their lives every minute that they are serving others and serving God.

The understanding comes into play when we realize that “my ministry” is not really mine at all. It may be what I do but doesn’t belong to me but belongs to God. There is a danger when we get the “mine” understanding because soon we quickly forget the bigger picture.

My ministry is just a small part of something bigger that God is doing in the body of Christ in my local church. So if I get bent out of shape because it appears to me that “my” ministry isn’t taking priority, whether it be pouring coffee, changing diapers, teaching children, shaking hands at the door, that is a signal that my understanding of ministry in the church is skewed.

Youth ministry is where God has placed me at NHC. I will be more effective overall and more of an active part of the church’s purpose when I realize that I’m here to serve and simply part of the big picture of ministry at NHC. I heard a wise man say the other day, "it's hard to see the picture when you are in the frame." Never forget that the ministry you do in your local church is part of a much bigger picture.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Two Women who Chose Life


My wife wrote about an incredible moment we experienced because of the miracle of adoption. I thought I would share this with you.

I have looked into the eyes of women who chose to ignore the whispers. Chose to rise above the gossip. Chose to be "inconvenienced". Chose to be mocked, teased, looked down upon. Shamed. I love these women. They are brave. Amazing. Unbelievable. Unselfish. And because of their selflessness, I am a mommy. They knew they were carrying more then a blob of tissue, . Though they were not ready to take care of a baby(ies) at that point in their lives, they looked passed their ability and thought of the child(ren) they carried. They looked past the moment. They took the hard, uphill road. But in our case, as their choice became clear, the road became easier. Hope came into the picture. Hope and Peace. I have looked into the eyes of two ladies who care and love 3 beautiful children more then themselves. Two ladies who get the meaning of "Sanctity of Life".

Friday, January 21, 2011

YM Team Retreat

Tonight we begin our youth ministry team retreat. We have never done this before and I'm excited! Hopefully this weekend will help us to:
  1. Be a better team. Ministry is always better when accomplished with someone else.
  2. Be better ministers. Students need caring adults in the church investing into their lives.
  3. Be closer to God. When you pour out in ministry you must make sure you take time to refuel spiritually.
I'm blessed to part of a team serving with 11 other partners from NHC with the goal of impacting student's lives and assisting parents as they disciple their kids.

If you get some time please pray for us this weekend we would appreciate it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Letters From The Mailbox

We took our second letter from the mailbox tonight and answered the student's question:

"How do you know if you have picked good friends?"

Big Idea: Friends will either make or break you in your relationship with God


The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 12:26

Did you pick good friends?

Friends don’t abandon you
10 Never abandon a friend—
Proverbs 27:10

Great example of a friend sticking by you:
But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
Ruth 1:16

Bad friends treat you badly.
They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.
Psalm 109:5

A friend who is unreliable will get you messed up
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

What is their motivation?
Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.
Proverbs 19:4

Check out this verse:
Many seek favors from a ruler; everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!
Proverbs 19:6

Not smart to be friends with a hot head
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered,
Proverbs 22:24

Break off the friendship if the friend is going in the wrong direction
10 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!
Proverbs 1:10

You have picked good friends if:

Your friends strengthen your relationship with God.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17

They love you
17A friend loves at all times,
Proverbs 27:17a

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Proverbs 27:6

Next week we will take a look at the friendship between David and Jonathon.

If you would like the full blown notes on the lesson or the POD discussion material drop me an e-mail.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Passion

I remember when I was 18 I had a job working for a company that made cookies and had ice cream shops on Maui (rough I know but someone had to do it). Our company lost our delivery driver who ran the routes to all the grocery stores and resorts. My boss asked me if I would like to do the delivery job for a change of pace. I agreed to take on that position. It wasn’t long before I was miserable. I enjoyed being in the stores and interacting with the customers. I wasn’t passionate about riding 4 hours a day around in a van all by myself. I’m a people person. After a few months of dreading waking up and going to work each morning I went back to my old job that I loved and was much happier.

Ever serve with someone in ministry (or perhaps were “that” person) who just didn’t seem to enjoy serving in the church? They are easy to spot because often they complain. Complain about other ministries in the church taking priority over theirs, complain that the pastor just doesn’t appreciate what they do in ministry, complain about being placed on the schedule to serve “too much”.

I believe there are a couple of possible reasons to this sort of attitude. The first could be that the person simply doesn’t understand what ministry is all about either because the person is spiritually immature or they grew up in a church where ministry was confused with social involvement in the community like being part of the Lion’s Club or Kiwanas or some other civic organization.

For some in this situation of “unhappiness” in ministry is because they have been placed in a place of ministry that is not their passion. You know immediately when you meet someone serving in the church that is passionate about the ministry they are plugged into because they have a smile on their face when they talk about their ministry which they like to talk about a lot.

Don’t let the “unhappy” minister ruin your day. Don’t give up on this person. The key then is for us as ministry team leaders to help folks recognize their passion in ministry and help them connect in that ministry. Once a person is plugged into the area they are passionate about we then get to step back and watch them light up with joy serving.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Last Night At Contagious

What a fantastic time we had at Contagious last night. The game bananagrams is addicting and I stink at it, BUT I certainly enjoyed gathering around a table with several students and leaders to play. The old ping-pong table has finally bit the dust after giving us several years of play. My hope is that we can replace it this week or next. I would also like to see us pick up a couple of Wii’s and flat screens. Hang time is so much fun and also vital as we invest in students’ lives in a relaxed atmosphere.


We launched “Letters from the Mailbox” tonight. Our lesson was about godliness. (See the next blog post for the outline and discussion material) Students will be submitting the topic/verses/questions that they would like to see us unpack and answer at Contagious. We have an actual mailbox for them to place their topic/verses/questions in and they can also FB message me their “letter”. I’m looking forward to this series of lessons!


Parent Pod was on break last night. I look forward to them gathering together again for Bible study together and building relationships with each other. Parent Pod is for parents of middle and high school students and childcare for younger siblings is provided.


I’m stoked about our upcoming, first ever, youth ministry team winter retreat. It’s going to be a great time of training and fellowship together. My goal is to make it a spiritually refreshing event as we focus in on ministering to students together.

Letters from the Mailbox

From Contagious on Sunday, January 9th.

“hey Andy, one topic I would like to learn about more is being holy in a non Christian place (for example my parents don't really walk the walk and I would like to know more practical ways where I can be godly and what to do in situations....etc)”

Main Idea: To be godly does not come naturally but it’s what God expects from us.

Godliness take effort. (1 Timothy 4:7)


Godliness is not the “easy” road (1 Timothy 3:12)


God gives us the ability to be godly (Titus 2:11,12; 2 Peter 1:3)


The godly focus on the future not on the present. (2 Peter 3:11)


Godliness looks like . . . (1 Peter 2:11-17)

From the verses above godliness looks like::

  • Avoid placing yourself near temptation
  • Have a good reputation
  • Respect all human authority
  • Live honorable lives.
  • Respect everyone
  • Love your fellow Christ followers
  • Fear God
POD discussion:

Name Game –

Say: “I’m going to mention a word and you tell me what that word makes you think.” (one word answers)

La Fogatta

Starbucks

Bush Gardens

President

Algebra

School Teacher

Church

Jesus Christ

Godly

Say: Andy said, “Godliness takes effort”

Ask: What do you think that means?

Say: 1 Timothy 4:7 actually says we are to “train ourselves to be godly”.
Ask: What do you think is involved in that “training”?

Where do you struggle most with training to be godly?

Godliness is not the “easy” road

(have a student read the verse below)

12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
1 Timothy 3:12

Ask: In what ways have you been persecuted for your faith?

(you may get general answers like, “I was made fun of”. Ask them to be specific and give details if possible)

Ask: If you aren’t catching any heat or persecution what does that possibly indicate about your godliness, your living a godly life?

God gives us the ability to be godly

(have a student read the verses below)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

Titus 2:11,12

(have another students read the verse below)

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 Peter 1:3

Ask: In light of what these verses say how does that make you feel when you think about the task of living a godly life?

Why do you think that we sometimes struggle with living the godly life? (the answer I’m looking for is “we try to do it on our own”.

Ask students to take a moment and do the self evaluation on their sheet:

(this is what is on their sheet)

Am I living a godly life? Yes No It’s hit and miss

What are some steps I need to be taking to train myself to be godly?

Is there a relationship or lifestyle or habit I need to give up today to become more godly? Yes No

This week I will ____­­­____________________________ to become more godly.


Our student worksheet had a perforated tear off that they could pull off and write their question/topic for the mailbox.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Twins


December 31 we got the call from the adoption agency. We weren't on the list and we weren't pursuing adoption at that time. The agency wanted to know if we would consider adopting twins. It took us about three hours to make the decision.

Two years ago Misha and I woke up and packed up and traveled to meet with our adoption agency. We knew the twins were on their way but thought we had 6 weeks to get ready. Little did we know that when we arrived we would be taken to the hospital's NICU to meet our two babies who decided to arrive early. It was an incredible day in our lives. Totally amazing!

Life is fun but it is a whole lot more fun since we have these two in our lives. God blessed us 2 years ago with our babies. Happy Birthday Ava and Eli!!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Looking Forward in 2011

Some of what I have to look forward to in 2011:
  • Beginning the Assimilation Team of NHC
  • Youth Ministry Team retreat
  • The Call 2011
  • Our twins turn 2 and our eldest man child turns 7!
  • Impact Outer Banks, a week long local mission event for students
  • Another season for Tubbs Hot Dogs
  • Involvement in the Real Men Eat Lunch connection group
  • Starting a Bible study for high school students.
  • Launching our full spectrum of Contagious Ministry Teams
  • The first ever Camp Contagious
  • 22nd wedding anniversary!!
  • Starting my 11th year at NHC
  • Improving my blog and blogging skills.
  • My 19th year in youth ministry!
  • Vacations. (Don't know where we are going this year but know we aren't driving 2,500 miles with the kids in the van again for a couple of years. A cruise would be nice but is expensive. I know of a cheap vacation on the OBX)

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...