Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunday Night in The Loft

Sunday night we had a great time in The Loft.

We started off the evening with a dessert bar/contest.  Students (and leaders) made Christmas desserts using little Debbie Christmas tree snack cakes, toppings, ice cream and whip cream.  The student who created the best looking dessert won.  I enjoyed both making and eating my dessert creation.  We got some funny looks in the grocery store with 25 boxes of Little Debbies.  The distributor has a lot of restocking to do.

We then watched Elf and asked students to watch with "spiritual" eyes.  Look for and listen for parts of the movie that have spiritual applications.  After the movie we had a time where we shared some of those applications. 

A fun night!  Biggest attendance that we have had in months and several students we haven't seen in many months have made a return over the past couple of weeks. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Disconnect (part 2)

(read part 1 here)

Why is it we feel disconnected when regular church attendance slips away?

Jesus gave us a great tip on connection:

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit;  apart from me you can do nothing.  6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  7 If you remain in me  and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  8 This is to my Father’s glory,  that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 
John 15

The phrase in verse, “if anyone does not remain in me, his like a branch that is thrown away and withers;”, has a key to spiritual health.  When we don’t remain in Christ we wither spiritually.  I believe that part of the “disconnect” when we drop out of faithful church attendance comes from a withering.  “Andy, Jesus is talking about remaining in him, not the church.”  True. 

BUT consider this verse:
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.  So it is with Christ.  1 Corinthians 12
We are the body of Christ.  Are we remaining in him when we remove ourselves from the body by cutting off fellowship and worship and ministry with the church?  No.  Then we wither.  We are more than a family of believers, we are the body of Christ.

There are many things I can do to “wither” spiritually.  This doesn’t mean I lose my salvation, relationship with God through Jesus.  It does mean that I will cease to produce fruit for Christ.
Withering can come from: (not a comprehensive list)
lack of time spend in Bible study
failing to have an active prayer life
failing to seize opportunities to share my faith
direct disobedience to God and His Word
slacking off in my connection and commitment to the body of Christ, the church and other believers.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last Night at Contagious


Last night we gathered around the fire pit.  We roasted marshmallows, made smores and drank hot chocolate.  As we sat around the fire we talked about 1 Chronicles 16:34, "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good."  Then we went around the circle and each student and each adult volunteer shared what they were thankful for.  It was a good time of thanksgiving.

Before the evening ended the boys were playing football in the parking lot and the rest of us were sitting around the fire telling stories and attempting to sing opera Christmas songs.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful

I have so much in life to be thankful for.  God has blessed me:
  • Grew up in a Christian home
  • Parents who love God
  • A big family
  • My beautiful wife who is an incredible mom and a great friend
  • My three kids.  Each one is incredible and a gift.
  • The miracle of Adoption
  • A great church family
  • Health
  • Each breath
  • A home
  • I get to do what I love and enjoy as a "job"
  • I live in America
Happy Thanksgiving Day!  Someone please pass the taters. . . . . 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Great Resource

While we write a lot of what we teach here at Contagious Youth there are times we go to outside resources for ideas and for great outlines.  Why reinvent the wheel?  We take a resource and make it ours.  This site is a great place to find those resources:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Man Weekend

 Myself and three of our awesome youth ministry volunteers loaded up the camping gear and took several middle school boys camping.  We had a great time together rouging it in the woods.  (well actually we were at a park that had running water and hot showers but we had to walk 100 yards to the bathhouse and that was rough)

I was joined by Mike early in the day and we drove up to the park as the advance party.  We worked with the help of our two sons at setting up the camp.  Which included 4 big tents and our camp kitchen.

The boys arrive later with Rich and Ramon.  Rich came full circle on this trip.  There was  a time when I was hauling his middle school self in a church van.  Now he was hauling middle school boys who, well, were middle school boys for the 1.5 hour drive.  This brought joy to my heart for Rich to experience what he put me through when he was a kid.

The boys were challenged to walk in faith like Abraham and they were challenged to stick with it.  They were told that half of them would not be here by the time they were in 10th or 11th grade because of distraction by either the old driver's license or some "sweet" girl.

The menu:
Friday night - Hobo Dinners - meat and veggies cooked on the fire in a foil pouch.  SMORES
Saturday Breakfast - Mountain Man Breakfast.  It's fantastic!
Lunch - Moe's.
Supper - various sausages and hot dogs cooked on the fire with beans and chili.
Possum Tails for dessert.
Sunday Breakfast - donuts and breakfast sausage links.

After breakfast Sunday we broke camp and packed up and made it back to NHC for the 11AM worship gathering and the boys all sat on the front row, smelling like campfire smoke and sleepy.

A great weekend and the boys had a blast.  I had a great time (even though it was a little chilly in the tent at night)

Monday, November 19, 2012

LAST NIGHT AT CONTAGIOUS

Last night we had another great night in The Loft.  Students gathered and hung out for a few minutes at the beginning.  It's always cool for me to watch students and our adult team sitting and talking and hanging out.  That's youth ministry!
We then gathered everyone around for a fun game of Worm Crawl.  Students got in sleeping bags head first and had to crawl like a worm to the finish line.  The first one to cross the finish line won.  We gave away some Burger King gift cards and the grand champion received a gift bag which contained: Sugar Babies, Whoppers, Huge Twizzlers, Beef Jerky, Sour Cream and Garlic potato chips and a 2 liter of Mtn. Dew.

We then had our Bible Study.  Last night was week #2 in our series "How to Pray".  Last week we talked about approaching God as our Dad, our Abba Father.  This week we took a look at giving God glory and expressing to Him what he means to us, "hallowed by thy name".  Jesus started off this prayer all about God and not about self.  Too often we get wrapped up in prayer being all about us.  My favorite statement in the lesson was this:
God’s Plan: for Him to be glorified, but for us to be satisfied
Jesus said, "Thy will be done" and he also said, "Give us this day our daily bread."  While prayer should focus on God our Father, He also wants to meet our needs.  

Our Pods got in their groups and spent some time putting the lesson into practice by praying and praising God for who he is.
We then had an hour of Hang Time which included the usual snacks and fun games and hanging out and talking.

This Sunday we will take a break from How to Pray and spend some time sitting around a firepit making SMORES and sharing what we are thankful for in life.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Disconnect

I can see how the disconnect can easily happen.  A few weeks ago I was sick, the sickest I have been in my 46 years of living.  I had some sort of infection in my chest that pretty much made my entire body ache, even my eyeballs.  Due to the illness I missed church on Sunday. 

In the last 20 years I can probably count on four fingers how many times I’ve missed church due to illness.  Even when we go on vacation we usually find a church to attend on Sunday morning.  Why?  Because corporate worship, getting together with other believers and worshipping God is a priority in our lives because of what we learn from scripture.  Do we attend out of a legalistic view?  No.  We attend because we love being around other believers with a focus on praising God.

So one Sunday I’m sick.  The next Sunday we had a visit from hurricane Sandy.  Due to the tropical storm force winds and keeping safety in mind we did not have our worship gatherings.  I can only remember twice in my life where I didn’t go to church because of weather. 

This past Sunday was back to normal.  We woke up, got ready and went to church to worship with our church family (remember that word cause I’ll talk about this later).  I felt like had not been to church in months.  I clicked in my head that this is where the disconnect with many believers happens.  Honestly I didn’t like the feeling.  I know it was only two Sundays but what if this past Sunday we woke up and all three kids were throwing up?

In my years of serving as a pastor and on church staff I have witnessed many church members who miss a Sunday here and there, then miss a few Sundays in a row, then it dawns on me that I don’t know where they are and I haven’t seen them in months.

The disconnect starts when there are multiple weeks in a row where a believer hasn’t gathered with their church family (there is the word again).

Monday, October 29, 2012

Last Night at Contagious

We didn't have Contagious last night thanks to hurricane Sandy.  Winds were at tropical storm level and bands of rain kept us from getting together for our weekly youth gathering. 

We had a masquerade party planned.  So we have postponed the party to this coming Sunday.  Ramon Sanchez, one of our team members, will be teaching Sunday night a lesson that is tied into the masquerade party.  I'm looking forward to the party, we have never done anything like this before.

Now back to riding out the storm.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Use Your Vacation Time

One thing I have learned in my years of ministry is this:
If your church gives you vacation time you use it.  Use every day of vacation time.  Now the work-a-holic or the youth minister who things that life in the church will not continue to flow without them there may find it hard to use the time up.

Rest is important to your health, your family, your ministry, your creativity.  Make sure to take that time to rest.  Don't answer work related e-mail or calls.  Avoid any social networking that might draw you back into "work mode".  Go "dark" if you have to.

If your church is not giving you vacation time you need to request at least 2 weeks paid vacation per year.  If your church is in a financial situation where raises aren't possible it would be a nice idea for your church to offer you more vacation days or personal days as a "raise".

This week I'm resting.  I'm on staycation.  Of course when you live in a vacation destination staycations are pretty nice.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Last Night at Contagious

We started the evening off with a fun game called COOKIE FACE!  That's right whenever you say the name of the game you have to yell it.  4 students stood up front and tilted their head back.  A Chips a Hoy Cookie was placed on their forehead.  Using only the muscles in their face they had to maneuver the cookie down their face and into their mouth.  First one to complete the task wins.  If they dropped the cookie they had to start all over.

We then divided up our middle and high school groups for the Bible study time.  Last night we finished up our series on Relationships.  We took a look at Relationship with the Church.  Here are the main points:
Dispel the myth - "church is man's idea"
Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:41-47
Man didn't come up with the church idea.  God did and Jesus builds the church.  The church isn't a building, it's the people.  The church is not an organization it is an organism both alive and growing (or at least should be).

God Places You in the church
 1 Corinthians 12:18;27
In our culture at the beach we have a lot of church hoppers who go to the "exciting" and "happening" church.  We also have many who "double dip".  Try to be part of two different churches.  I don't know about you but I don't want my heart to operate at 50% and that's what happens when we try to be in two churches at once.  We divide our time and commitment and are only half good at two instead of 100% at one.

God's Purpose for You  in the church
Edify - Romans 14:9
Evangelize - Mathew 28:18-20
(That's right.  We taught them the meaning of a couple of big "churchy" words)

God's Priority For You  in the church
Involvement/Commitment
Romans 12:5
Youth group is church.

God’s Protection for you in the church
Pastors/shepherds
Respect your church leaders
1 Thessalonians 5:12

After the Bible study we had our Podz and they discussed church and their connection to church.

Following PODz we had Hang Time with our usual junk food and games and relaxing on the big sofas.





Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Dips and Lows

There are times in youth ministry (and probably every ministry) where you feel like you are just stuck in a rut, going through the motions.  

I heard something great on Episode 198 of the Youth Ministry Garage.  The feeling of being in the “rut” is normal.  Don’t feel guilty.  It happens.  I don't think I have ever in 20 years of youth ministry heard anyone say this.

I’m not in the rut right now but I have certainly been there several times.  I think if you are in the same place, doing the same thing for any length of time you experience lows.  Perhaps this is why at, one time, youth ministers moved from church to church every 16 months?  Maybe they hit the “rut” and felt like the magic is over and it’s time to move on to a new church.
Just thinking out loud.

Someone on the show used the word “diluted”.  When your job description is more than just youth ministry, which for most churches you find the youth pastor doing more than just youth ministry.  When passion gets diluted you get bummed.  Plain and simple.  Mainly because when you are divided in many ways you find that you aren’t good at any of them.

I also think churches need to focus on what their ultimate goal for the youth ministry will be.  What’s the purpose of the youth ministry?  Then decide not to tag on lots of other jobs on the new youth pastor’s job description and just let him do youth ministry.  If you need a children’s pastor either hire one or wait till down the road when your church is at the spot where you can hire a children’s pastor.  If you need an “associate pastor”, either hire one or wait till down the road when you are ready to do so.  Get the picture?  Don’t lump a bunch of titles on a youth pastor (or any other ministry position) just to sell the hire and make it legit.  Come up with a long range plan.

I would love to hear the following in an SBC business meeting:
“I know many of you think we need to make this position the youth/senior adult pastor.  Lets us focus on one for now since we can’t afford both. Down the road as the church and ministry grows we can hire the other.”

If your church is in the search process right now please feel free to pass this blog post on to the search committee. ;)

I know that I personally need to focus on my sweet spot in youth ministry.   Do what I love to do and focus on it.  The things that I do that others can do I need to give those things away.

For the short term I think I’ll just get refreshed driving the Jeep on the beach.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Last Night at Contagious

We kicked off the evening with a fun game called "fork over your quarters".  Students had to roll quarters down a 6 foot table and hope to have the quarter roll between the tines of an upside down fork.  We had a few attempt the feat with only a minute on the clock each.  The last guy tried and got one quarter in the fork.  He won himself a gift card for pizza.

Following the game we watched a video about a bad dating relationship from Bluefishtv.net.  A young lady shared her story about being involved in an unhealthy relationship and the affect it had on her as a follower of Christ.

After the video we divided up the middle and high school groups.   Ramon taught the middle school students, and I hear he did a fantastic job, and I had the high school students.  Our lesson last night was about dating relationships.  You know dating is not found in the Bible.  So we took off from there and even gave the students some tips on "how to break up". 

The POD groups took giant post it notes and each group wrote the advantages of dating on one side of the post it note and the disadvantages on the other side.  For every group the disadvantages outweighed the advantages and as a youth group over all the disadvantages list was way longer than the advantages.

During Hang Time we had corn dogs and hot dogs, pretzels and our famous red kool aid.  Somehow I ended up making about ten iced coffees before the night was over.  Looks like iced coffee is going to have to go up on the menu whenever we put up a menu.

This next Sunday we talk about our relationship with the church.  Looking forward to it.

The picture is our new The Loft logo that we placed on the wall last week and some of our fantastic students modeling beneath the sticker.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Last Night at Contagious

We had an awesome time at Contagious Youth last night up in The Loft.
As usual the youth ministry team gathered at 5:30 and ran over our game plan and prayed.
As students arrived they immediately hit the ping pong table, foosball table and sat around on the sofas or at the coffee bar talking.  It's great to see fellowship happening among the students and adults.

We started off the evening with soda can friends game.  A fun game where one student was on the floor with a soda can on their forehead and their team mate had to stand and put their forehead on the other end of the can and then stand up without dropping the can and no using their hands or anything else to keep the can between their foreheads.  We had 3 teams compete and a team of two girls did won the game in 20 seconds and got to take home two board games.

Then we split up and Ramon and the middle school team took the middle school students with them and I stayed and taught the high school students.  Our lesson each week is the same for both groups just tweaked for their age group.  Last night we continued our series on Relationships and talked about our relationship with authority.  Using scripture we covered, parents, teachers, government, elders and pastors.  The students then broke in to their PODz and discussed the lesson and talked about applying it to their lives this week.

Following our Bible study time we had Hang Time.  The hit last night was the taco in a bag.  Simply take a bag of fritos, open it, dump in a spoon of taco meat.  We had a table set up with various toppings for their taco in a bag.  It didn't take long for 50 bags and 6 lbs of taco meat and couple pounds of cheese to disappear.  We watched the promo for our upcoming Man Weekend campout. 

The team and students surprised me with a giant birthday cookie and a birthday card.  That was nice and many of the kids wrote nice notes in the card.  Tomorrow I turn the big 46 (4 years from half a century).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Man Weekend is Coming

Last Night at Contagious Youth

Last night we had a great time together.  For three weeks we are focusing on friends and bringing friends.  Last night we had several guests and they enjoyed their time at Contagious in The Loft.  We are hoping they will return this coming Sunday.

We started off the evening with an ice breaker (no pun intended).  We filled two containers with water and ice and then dropped a bag of gummy worms in each container.  We had volunteers, one guy and one girl, come up and using their bare feet retrieve the worms.  The one who got the most worms out of the water with their feet in 60 seconds won.  Lots of fun to watch!  The winners received gift certificates to a local frozen yogurt shop.

Our lesson last night focused on friendship relationships taking a look at David and Jonathon in 1 Samuel 18:1-9.  Friends:
  • Are Committed
  • Find value in each other
  • Give each other wiggle room (don't smother a relationship)
  • Love their friends
Here is a look at our POD discussion guide:
Read:  Proverbs 18:24; 12:26; 27:17
List out, as a group, the friendship qualities you see in these verses:

Proverbs 17:9
Have you seen this happening in your friendships and in our youth group?
Have you been guilty of this yourself?

Proverbs 17:9

What are ways you can be a true friend to others this week?

Who is the close Christian friend you can go to?  You “go to friend”?

Have you ever been the friend that stood by and did nothing when you saw a friend make a bad choice?

Read: 1 Corinthians 15:33
Has this ever been true in your life?  Have you ever been fooled?

What were the consequences?

Do you have friends that are a bad influence on you who you allow to influence you and bring you down?

James 2:23 
How are you God’s friend?
James 4:8a - this is how you have this friendship with God





We finished the night with an hour of Hang Time and ate 10 pizzas and 2 gallons of my special lemon fruit punch recipe.  As students departed they picked up more Lifebooks to give out at school this week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Off (Part 3)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
Do some kids rebel when they hit 18?  You bet, chances are they would rebel no matter what.  Rebels rebel and they look for things to rebel against.  It’s just part of that old sinful nature that they hold on to.  I still have to fight rebellion because I don’t like rules and regulations.

Much could be straightened out if parents sat down and talked about the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ and how that relationship should grow and how there are certain spiritual habits, or disciplines if you will, that help us grow.  Not a lecture but a but a real conversation.  Connected in a church is one of those habits.  Parents need to share from their heart, not from their head.

Could it be that some kids bristle up at the fact that their parents force them to go to church because mom or dad have never sat down and talked about the importance of a growing healthy relationship with Jesus Christ?

Ultimately what does God’s Word teach us about parents shepherding their child?
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Proverbs 22:5-6
Hebrews 10:25

My goal as a parent is to obey God’s Word and teach my children and then trust in God to do the rest, even if that means holding on to Him if my child rebels.  My first priority is to please God. My family comes after that priority but if I’m truly living to please God then I will do the right things for and with my family.


God will hold me accountable for training up my children in the way they should go.
God will hold my children accountable for what they do with that training.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last Night at Contagious in The Loft

Sunday night we had a great time together at Contagious.

We kicked off the evening with a fun game of Doggy Biscuits.  4 students put a clothes pin in their mouth and had to pick up dog biscuits from one bowl and then go on all fours across the room and drop the biscuits in the other bowl.  The one with the most biscuits in their bowl by the end of the song, Who Let the Dogs Out, won.  Lots of fun!

We gave away a case of candy bars to a couple of boys who brought a couple of friends with them and they had to split it up and share it.  I'm sure they are still on some sort of sugar high today. (and I'm sure the parents are so happy about that)

 We watched a short video clip from David Nasser about honoring parents.  Then we divided up the middle and high school students and had a message about family relationships as part of our current relationships series. We took a look at the dysfunctional family of Isaac with his son's Jacob and Esau, Genesis 25:24-34.  They needed some real relationship coaching.  We came up with, from this event in the life of this family, a family soup recipe:
Forget the Past family problems
Honesty
Love and Respect
Forgiveness
Put Others First

Students then had some great discussion in their PODs with their POD leaders.

During Hang Time we watched a video to prepare students for The Lifebook project.  We also watched a video compilation of our camp pictures and video clips.  Lots of fun! 

Much popcorn and oreos were consumed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beach Baptism at Contagious Youth


OFF (part 2)

Read Part 1 HERE
Do we force them to go to school? But I don’t want to turn them off to learning. My three diplomas won’t go to eternity with me, but the relationship that has been, in part, cultivated through connection in a local body of believers will. More than once I have said, “You won’t get dessert if you don’t eat the ___________ on your plate.” That’s forcing, at least forcing them to make a decision on whether dessert is worth it or not.

I think it all goes back to the families’ culture in their home. At our home church is never discussed as an option. We go each week unless we are sick. Therefore our kids don’t view church as optional. They know that in our home this is one of the things we value and we do. Why? Because scripture tells us that connection and involvement in a local body of believers is expected.


I was “forced” to go to church my entire life. Were there times that I did not enjoy it? You bet. Do I look back as a mature adult now and hate my parents for “forcing” me? No way. I’m thankful that my parents instilled in me, through our families’ culture, the fact that church is important to spiritual growth.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

OFF (part 1)

Grappling with the age old youth pastor discussion.

A light switch is either “on” or “off”.  If it is not in the “on” position then it is “off”.  If it is “off” I cannot force it to be “off” any more than it already is “off”.  “Off” is “off”.

I’m always curious as to this line of logic.  “If I take my teen to church whether they want to be there or not I’m forcing them and I don’t want to turn them off, so I let them stay home because they don’t want to be there.”  This, for 20 years now, has always seemed to me that a teen in this position is already “off” and by taking them to church you can’t turn them “off”, they have already made that decision themselves.

God will hold me, the parent, accountable for training up my child in the way they should go.  My children will be held accountable to God if they decide to walk away from their faith.  If at the age of 18, and they are no longer under my roof and responsibility, they decide to turn “off” or continue to be in the “off” state then God will hold them accountable.  But if they aren’t there they won’t hear something that may sink in and make a difference in their life in the here, and now and for eternity.

“Force”.  I hear this word used in this discussion as well.  It is almost as if a parent never forces their child to do anything.  Some don’t, I guess, those are often the children who fall under the “spoiled brat” category. 

Do we force them to go to school?  But I don’t want to turn them off to learning.  My three diplomas won’t go to eternity with me, but the relationship that has been, in part, cultivated through connection in a local body of believers will.

(More to come)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Last Night at Contagious

Last night was our last night at the beach for Contagious @ the beach until next summer.
We love meeting at the beach during the summer.  We scale down and bit and relax a little more.  The message is about 10 minutes long and then the students go their PODs for about 25 minutes or so.  The rest of the time is just hanging out on the beach and in the ocean.  Lots of fun and a good change of pace.

Last night we had a relay.  One of our illustrious leaders and a student put together a "Look like a tourist relay".  We divided into two teams and one at a time run down and grab a "tourist" item.  If it was a clothing item it had to be put on and worn.  If it was something you had to carry then you carried it.  Then you would run back to your team put it all on the next person and they had to run and get a new item and so on.  It was lots of fun.  Who knew socks were meant to be worn on your hands?

Ramon, our middle school leader, brought the message last night.  We have been studying the beatitudes and Ramon spoke about mercy, Matthew 5:7.  He did a great job then the students got with their leaders and discussed the discussion questions that went along with the message and then prayed together in their PODs.

This coming Sunday we take a break for Labor Day weekend,  then it's back to The Loft for the school year.  Starting off the school year with a 6 week series about relationships, we are excited about this series.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lesson from Sickness

Joining with other youth groups
Last night our youth group hosted students from three other youth groups in our community for a time of worship and challenge for them to share their faith at school this year.  It was great getting together with the other groups.  Whoda thunk of bringing a Southern Baptist group together with 2 Methodist groups and a Presbyterian group?
We got along great cause we stuck to the focus of sharing salvation through faith in Jesus Christ at school.  (we also ate Nachos and whenever Christians get together eating seems to be a glue that helps bind us together)

Sometimes there’s a kink in the works

All weekend I was sick.  Let’s just say I lost 7lbs in 2.5 days!!  I only had 4 pieces of toast to eat over the weekend and drank no coffee, so I was really sick.  The challenge I faced was the fact that I had to do the talk and challenge the students and I did not much energy in me.  I also, cause I love to cook, thought I would cook the nacho meat Sunday afternoon.  That was last week when I wasn’t sick.

Fabulous team steps up to the plate

I had several offers from our YM Team and Parent Pod to help me out.  Even had one team member on standby to preach the message (I had sent him the notes just in case).
Two of the mommas and one team member and some students helped get the Nacho bar all set up including cooking the meat.  They also did all the serving of the Nachos.  I had other team members and students asking what they could do to help me. 

The combination
The combination of being sick and not really caring about the Nacho bar taught me a lesson.  I was able to focus on speaking and didn’t worry about the Nacho bar at all.  As a matter of fact I didn’t care how they set it up or what they did.  I just wanted to make it 20 minutes talking to the students and not have to run to the restroom.

The Lesson
Why do I use up time to prepare food, set things up, for events or even weekly youth gathering?  I thought I had been pretty good at delegating but this past weekend taught me that I have messed up as a leader.  People want to serve so I need to turn them loose and let them do it!  All these years I’ve been cooking taco meat, chili, sloppy joes, and the list goes on and on.  All these years I had my hands in the set up of how things would flow at the event.  Why didn’t I turn these things loose years ago to people who loved to do those things so I could focus on doing what I love doing?  I like to help and need to set the example in serving but I also need to do what I do best and let others do what they do best.  That’s how the Body of Christ functions, each part doing their part.   When the body of Christ functions as it should it is a beautiful thing, even when one part is a little under the weather. (did I mention I lost 7lbs in 2.5 days?)

Let people serve!  They love to do it!!  There is always more you can give away in ministry.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Last Night at Contagious

Yesterday the weather pushed us from meeting at the beach back to the church.  We are OK with that because we like our cozy and comfortable youth room, The Loft.

Hang Time consisted of a group sitting around on a sofa and chairs talking.
We had two different tables of card games going on.
One group hung out at the coffee bar eating snacks and making coffee.
I played foosball with some of the guys, won one and lost one.

We gathered together in the center of the room and talked about Matthew 5:6.  Do we have a desire to be in a relationship with God, one that grows?  We talked about our hunger in life and how we should hunger after knowing God better and better.  Everyone went to their PODz and followed up our message with some great discussion.

We are looking forward to this Sunday as we gather with a couple of other youth groups in The Loft to be challenged to reach our campuses this year with the love of Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Playing Catch Up

What has been happening with the addyouthpastor?

Two weeks ago we took 18 students on a great trip to Camp Shenandoah Springs for our week of summer camp.  We staffed the camp and the program and relied on CSS for the facilities and the meals.  We had a great week unpacking together what it means to be a follower of Jesus. 
It was a fun week of building relationships and growing spiritually.  We had a blast tubing on the river, hiking to a waterfall, riding horses, archery, campfires and practicing our sasquatch calls (yes, we did get a response from a squatch).  The best part of our week was when one of our students gave her life to Jesus Christ by placing her faith in Him!!!!!!!
Camp Pictures and video to come!

Last week I took off the week for comp time.  After 8 straight days of work and most days averaging 17 hours a day I was wiped out.  I'm glad I get to do this.  Can you believe some churches don't give their youth pastors any time off after being gone from their families and working around 100 hours that week?  I spent the week last week with my family.  I gave each one of my three kids some alone time with me and we went out and did something they wanted to do followed by some fro yo at my favorite spot (and theirs) the Surfin' Spoon

I am super thankful and applaud the volunteers who went with me to camp and led small groups and helped with organizing, caring for students and ministering to them.  Most came home and didn't have the luxury of time off, they went right back to work.  They also used vacation time to be our staff at camp!  God has blessed our youth ministry with some awesome folks who love ministering to students.

Last night we had a great time hanging out at the beach for Contagious Youth and we took a look see at Matthew 6:5.  Many braved the cooler water temps (I hope it's warmer this coming Sunday).

Now today I caught up on 265 e-mails.  Read some reports, staff meeting minutes, elders meeting minutes so I could catch up on what's happening.

Now that I've caught up we are hitting the ground running.

 
This is an event we are hosting here in The Loft with several other youth groups coming together to challenge the students to reach their campus for Christ this coming school year.  I'm excited about this night!  We are also introducing The Life Book to them.

Gonna end the summer with some fun here
Planning a fun trip to sweat in the sweltering heat of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va

So what have you been up to the past couple of weeks?


Monday, July 9, 2012

Last Night at Contagious at the Beach

Last night we kicked off Contagious at the Beach.  Each Sunday night we meet for about an hour of fun in the sun and sand.  Then we gather and have our Bible study and then break into our PODz for prayer and discussion.

It was HOT, real feel of around 101!  We drank lots of water and enjoyed the cool ocean then we were attacked by the sea lice!  Then the biting flies tore up our legs.  So a perfect evening at the beach.

Last night we had Forest Davis, a local 18 (almost 19) year old skater dude come and share his passion for Jesus Christ with the students.  Forest attended our youth group for a while in high school.  I had not seen Forest for a long time and then ran into him at a coffee shop several months ago.  Forest struck up a conversation with me and shared for several minutes about how he is passionately pursing his relationship with God.  It was exciting to hear!  I could tell God was up to something in Forest's life.  You can find Forest skating on Youtube.

Several months later I ran into Forest again in another coffee shop (I guess we both like coffee but I can't skate).  Forest began telling me more about his relationship with Christ.  We spent a good half hour of me listening to what God is doing in Forest's life.  Again I was even more excited because this relationship he was passionate about several months before had not waned and seemed to actually be growing even stronger.  I knew that it would be a benefit to our students to hear from a guy their age who is on fire for Jesus Christ.

Forest shared last night some great stuff about how God had worked in his life.  He shared that as a Christian he had a bad habit of using foul language.  God convicted him, "If you can filter your mouth around your parents why can't you filter it around your friends?"  Forest realized that his language was the result of some trashy music he was listening to.  The old garbage in garbage out. 
He came to realize that if he was going to go to church on Sunday but now live like a Christ follower the rest of the week he was "wasting his time". 

I can sum up what I got out of Forest's story this way:  Do you want to settle for being "good with God" or do you want to be great with God?  "God doesn't want fence riders".  Great message from Forest.  I'm excited about the impact Forest is having on young people in our community.

Great kick off to a summer at the beach. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Loving Google Docs

I love Google Docs!  Recently I have been using this application to create documents for youth group.  Today I took our camp medical release and our "What to pack" list and transformed them into Google Docs.  Now parents and campers can simply click the link and then print off the document.

It works great for creating online registration forms and the data can transfer to excel.  Super handy tool!

This has been part of my process to scale back on the budget in the area of web sites and technology.  I've been looking for great tools to use that are free.

Have you discovered some great free or really cheap tools to use in youth ministry?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spiritual Barriers

Read this today and thought it was good stuff:

Consider the various ministries in your church. Think about every ministry environment and every gathering or event. Do people come expecting to receive or to give? When people think of worship do they think of singing or being a living sacrifice? Do your ministries encourage people to both love God and love others? Do you love people enough to challenge them to move beyond consuming ministry to being the ministry?

Read more . . .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where are We Going?


Next week we wrap up "Stories".  For the past several weeks our youth ministry team volunteers have been sharing their stories at Contagious Youth.  All the stories have been different; everyone had some sort of struggle in their life.  While all of the stories are different they had this in common, Jesus changes lives.  Our goal in doing "Stories" was that our students would hear that even though we are old we have had struggles and hopefully some of the students would connect with a story and see how God can impact their lives.  Every story can impact someone's life.  Who are you sharing your story with?

July 8th we move out of The Loft and onto the beach.  We will spend several weeks meeting together for Contagious on the beach.  This is one of our favorite times of the year.  It is a great change of pace and mixes it up a bit.  This summer we will be taking a look at Matthew 5 and specifically the Beatitudes.  Everyone wants to be happy and we are going to unpack what true happiness is all about.
Each week a short 5 to 10 minute devotional talk (cause it's hard to hold attention with the ocean in the background) and that will be followed by a small group time where students will be divided into small groups and spend some time discussing together the topic of the night.

In September we move back to The Loft.  We are going to spend 6 weeks talking about relationships.
Relationship with God - His desire is that we know him and follow Christ
Relationship with Family - Families come in all shapes and sizes but there is one thing we should have in common, respect for each member in the family.
Relationships with Friends - Friends will either make you or break you.  We will look at David and Jonathan and their incredible friendship.
Love Relationships - What is love?  Everyone wants to be loved.  Sometimes we confuse love with other things in relationships.
Relationships with Authority in our lives - We will always answer to someone.  Learn now how to have a healthy relationship with those in authority and reap the benefits as you grow older.
Relationship in the Church - no church is perfect and no one in the church is perfect.  Getting along with other believers. 



Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Experiment

So today we started something new.  Today we launched the Contagious Youth Growth and Leadership  experiment.  This summer we offered the students an opportunity for an online experience in a "class" type setting.  The goal is to help some students grow and hopefully glean some leaders out of this experience. 

The students will write a beginning paper, sort of a spiritual evaluation with where they are at now.  Then at the end of the summer they will write another evaluation paper and share where and how they grew in their faith.

Each week they will read a chapter in Doug Field's book, Refuel.  We will then answer some discussion questions during the week online.  We were looking for a cheap/free way to do this and so we formed a secret Facebook group where we can post discussion questions and have some interaction together.

We are looking forward to the summer and how this experiment will go.  Hopefully this is something that will grow each year.  At the end of the summer the students will get a certificate that is suitable for framing.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Modeling

Today I celebrate 23 years of marriage with my wife!  She is my biggest supporter and encourager and an example of a godly woman.  I'm soooooo glad I met her at college many years ago.  I stalked her and wooed her with my charms and manly ways (not to mention muscular build).  My plan at college was to find the most beautiful girl and take her on a date.  It worked!  We've been dating ever since.

As youth leaders we must protect our marriages and model to students what a healthy marriage looks like since probably half don't get to see this at home.

Youth Ministers:
  • Take time together with your spouse. 
  • Vacation (or in this economy "staycation) at least once a year.
  • Balance your time at home.
Churches:
  • Allow your youth pastor to be flexible with his time.  If he was out all night at ball games don't freak out if he's not at the office at 9AM.  
  • Understand that if your youth minister's family and marriage isn't healthy then there is no way your youth minister can minister to your students.
  • COMP TIME!  If your youth group is at camp for a week this means your youth pastor put in about 95 hours or more of work.  He has also taken a week away from his family.  Let him take some time off the next week, and not vacation time.
  • In 20 years of youth ministry a youth pastor will be gone from home about 52 weeks time.  Be understanding of family time.  
  • If it's not an emergency don't call on his day(s) off or in the evening, especially at supper time.
  • Paid vacations and medical benefits.  Help remove the financial stress.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

No Longer Shall it be Called . . .

No longer shall it be called "Youth Room".  Now it is "The Loft".  Student picked, students approved.
This is what is going on the wall really big.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Parent Resource

This looks like a good book to read for parents of teens.  I'll be ordering one to help with students now and to prepare myself for my kids hitting their teen years.

You can order a copy here at Homeword

Monday, June 11, 2012

Support


In talking with other youth ministers it is obvious that in churches with youth ministries there are some parents and some students who take their youth ministry for granted.  I would venture a guess and say we have this happening at our church also.  I talk with parents and church leaders from other churches that do not have youth ministries and hear them share how they wish they had something for their students.

What if your church’s youth ministry ceased?  What if your church decided to focus elsewhere in ministry and your parents and students were left with no youth ministry?  What would your response be?  Would you even notice?  Chances are if you are reading this you would be one of the ones who would notice.

Supporting your church’s youth ministry is vital to the future of your church’s youth ministry.  Support comes in many shapes and forms.  

Support look like this:

  • Making sure your son or daughter is active and faithful in attendance to youth group and youth events.
  • Understanding that youth group is church.
  • Volunteering to help minister when help is needed, pitching in.
  • Placing a priority on youth worship gatherings.
  • Faithfully giving back to God in tithes and offerings.
  • Inviting your friends and coworkers to bring their teens to youth.
  • Recognizing the youth ministers who volunteer hours every week investing into your son or daughter.
  • Spend time with your teen discipling them and discussing what they are learning at youth group and helping them apply what they are learning in life.
  • Set the example for your teen to follow by living out your faith.

Are you supporting your church’s youth ministry?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Where Have You Been All My Life?


Stumbles across this site a couple of days ago.  Where have you been all my life?!
Great game ideas and better yet they are very inexpensive if not FREE!  Everyone loves some free stuffs.  Check it out!  Your students will thank you.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Folders

Hi my name is Andy and I have ADD.

One of the reasons why I am in love with the iMac that is sitting on my desk is because it is connected to an external drive on my desk.  If you were to open the external drive you would see rows and rows of blue file folders.  Each folder has a name.  Some of those folders have folders within them. 

I'm working on getting camp stuff together for parents and campers and meetings and all that goes into preparing for summer camp.  The beauty of the folder is I go to the "Camp Contagious 11" folder and I slide the files I want onto my desktop.  On my desktop I have a "Camp Contagious 12" folder.  After I edit the files to fit Camp Contagious 12 I slide them into the folder.  Boom!  What could take hours to recreate each year is done in a matter of minutes.  When camp is done and gone I will slide that file on to my external drive (yes it's backed up elsewhere).  Then I will be ready for Camp Contagious 13.

My life was not always like this.  I used to just click on "documents" and it would be rowed and rows of documents that were totally unorganized and if I didn't know the exact file name to search hours of my life would go down the toilet and thusly hinder my ability to work on anything new.

Moral of the story:  If you are like I used to be and just saving files without any sort of folder or filing system you need to make a life change TODAY!

Action Step 1 - Set aside a day and organize that boat load of messy files on your PC today.  If you use a Mac it just creates more quality time for you and your computer.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"What's Up?"


It’s sad to see a student who was once excited about their faith drift away and soon fizzle.  In youth ministry we see this all the time.  For youth ministers it can be very frustrating.  Sort of like a coach who can see the incredible potential in  a player but the player is not interested or committed to the team.
Some students don’t have Christian parents so at home there exists no support or encouragement for them to grow in their faith.  Their parents view church/youth group as a good thing but not necessary in their teen’s life.  The “head scratcher” is the parent(s) who wants their teen involved in youth group but the parent isn’t involved in church.  I’m glad they send their teen but maybe I should become bold enough to ask and find out the rationale behind their thinking so I can better understand where they are coming from.
What is even more mind boggling for those of us who serve in youth ministry is the church parents and the Christian parents who don’t encourage their son or daughter to grow in their faith.  The ones who cruise along in some sort of auto pilot while their teen’s life and faith walk is looks too much like a roller coaster.
Recently I have watched a few students who at one point had a passion for their relationship with Jesus Christ.  They would come every week to youth group and also to church on Sunday morning.  They were interested in discussing spiritual things and the Bible.  You could see that they genuinely enjoyed pursuing Christ.  If I were their parents I would have been their biggest cheerleader on the sideline of their life yelling, “Go!  You can do it!  Keep going!”  I would have been thrilled and would have done everything within my power and with the help of the Holy Spirit to keep them plugged into a community of believers.
To dwell on it, quite frankly, causes a couple of reactions within me:

My flesh wants to give the parents a “smack down”

Depressed because there is no parental involvement or encouragement (I’m guessing school teachers go through the same feelings at times) 

So what do we do as youth ministers when we see this happening?

  • Encourage  
  • the student as much as we can
  • Pray 
  • for the student and the student’s parents
  • (this may be where getting older comes into play) Be bold enough to ask the church/Christian parents, “What’s up? and Don’t give me excuses or “smoke screens”.  (of course season this with caring and grace)
  • Realize 
  • that we can only do so much as youth ministers.  Students have to own their faith and take responsibility and parents are accountable to God. (that takes some of the pressure off doesn’t it?)
  • Pray
  • some more
Parents, what can you do? 
  • Cheer.  
  •  Be your son or daughter’s biggest cheerleader.
  • Talk.  
  • Strike up conversations about God and the Bible.  When your son or daughter is passionate about their faith they will want to discuss it with you and not look at you like you are some sort of freaky creature from some old episode of the original Star Trek.
  • Commit.  
  • Commit to keeping your family plugged into a local body of believers.  Commit to bringing your teen to their youth group.  Commit to put eternal matters above earthly stuff.  An indicator that life is upside down in your home is when your teen never misses a practice or game but rarely makes it to church or youth group. Commit to living out Deuteronomy 6.
  • Grow.  
  • Make sure you are setting the example with a growing faith.
  • Pray.  
  • Pray with and for your son or daughter.
  • Tell.  
  • Tell your teen how proud you are of their passion to grow in their faith.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Someone has to do it

Well my youth ministry friends I have to say this, "Someone has to do it."  This is my home:
Best Family Beach Vacation

Facebook Church?


If at one point youth held the more vibrant spirits of faith within the church, that may no longer be the case. As youth attendance at church drops, some blame new inventions like Facebook, which have dampened young people's sense of community.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Reasons


Reasons for your son or daughter to go to church summer camp:
  1. Removal.  All the outside influences and distractions of life are removed.  No game boys, no texting, no media.  
  2. Saturation.  Everything in their schedule that was removed is now replaced with God, Bible study, prayer, worship.  
  3. Growth.  Because of the “removal” and “saturation” your son or daughter’s opportunity to grow spiritually is greatly increased.
  4. Decisions.  Life changing and life affecting decisions are made at camp because of the Removal, Saturation and Growth.
  5. Unity.  Just as we adults need that connection and encouragement that being a part of a local body of believers brings us the same applies to students.  Youth groups grow, youth groups gain momentum, youth groups become unified in purpose as a result of spending a week living out life and their faith together.  Friendships and relationships with other teen believers is VITAL to a teen's spiritual life in middle and high school.
  6. Fun.  I’ve been going to camp now with students for 20 years.  It’s getting harder on the old man to keep up the pace at camp.  BUT I can, with confidence, say that camp is fun.  The students have a blast together!
So why wouldn’t you send your teen to camp this summer?

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Title Has Meaning


One of the perks of being in youth ministry is what we do is lots of fun (most of the time).  Concerts, trips, movies, games, food, camps, all of this is fun stuff.  
I have noticed over the years that there are times you announce we are going to ______________.  (you fill in the blank with some great event)  Then all of the sudden you have adults volunteering to go because “It’s fun!”.  Example, if I planned a trip to work on my friend’s camp in the Bahamas I would get immediate response from adults who want to “chaperone”.
No chaperones allowed, at Contagious Youth we don’t have chaperones.  You know that teacher at the eighth grade dance that were the incredibly tacky tie and the wrinkled shirt that lurks on the outskirts of the dance crowd?  Yea, we don’t have those on trips.  We have the “cool” teachers that the students love, you know the ones who get out in the middle of the dance floor and do their best “roger rabbit”.
There is a big difference between a chaperone and a minister.  When we go to camp this summer we build our team with youth ministers and not with chaperones.  Chaperones stand by and observe.  Youth ministers roll their sleeves up and dive into the middle of it.  We want adults who are not only willing but also equipped to minister to the students while at camp.
Some people make great chaperones but not all chaperones are ready to be a youth ministers.  There are times and situations where an extra set of eyes are nice to have along on a trip but I think it would be better to have those eyes attached to a person who knows how to communicate and relate with students.
While our youth ministry team or camp team is composed of believers with many different talents and gifts that they can use on the team their main role is to minister to students.  If I’m going to have a person drive a van full of students it makes sense to me the person can minister to the kid sitting behind her who is struggling with parents going through divorce than just a church member who has a good driving record.

For More Chaperone Thoughts click HERE

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Safety


Safety is a huge issue and as a parent I understand the need to feel that my children are safe. I also understand that we can make youth group safe to a certain degree. Just like schools, you can't control every student at every moment. We can't control everything that they say or do. We, as a ministry, can only provide a safe environment. Youth group is open to every student no matter what background they come from or the baggage they may bring. Why? This is what Jesus expects and the model he gave us by his very own example.


Here is what we do as a youth ministry at Nags Head Church:
Background checks on the adult volunteers. Surprisingly I have run into parents who wanted us to do background checks on the kids who come to youth group. That is first of all impossible and not legal. If we carried that logic to it's end we would background check everyone in church on Sunday, we would check everyone our child goes to school with, we would run checks at the door of Wal Mart. We do background checks on every adult that serves with our students. This protects the students, the church and the volunteer. 

Confined space. We have a clearly defined space where our students are under supervision. Students aren't allowed to roam throughout the church building. We aren't clueless though and we do understand that even in a confined space a student can still say or do something in a moment that is out of our control.
Ratio of adults to students ratio of about 1 to 5. The more adult volunteers ministering to students, sitting with them, talking with them, hanging out with them, the better. Lone Ranger youth ministry is setting one's self up for problems. Does this mean we catch everything that happens? No, that would be an impossibility.
Correction and Guidance. If we see or hear a student do or say something wrong we step in and make a correction and give the students some guidance on how they should behave. The key is we, the adults, have to see it or hear it. 
Seasoned veterans. Our team has several seasoned veterans. It's great to work with others who have experience in ministering to students and dealing with teenagers. Experience is great but experience isn't "insurance".
Bully Policy. If a student is a bully or physically acts out they are put on suspension from youth group, each is case specific. We have only had to do this twice in 11 years. We try to work with the students but if they are a danger to another student physically or emotionally we have to look out for the group as a whole. We can't sacrifice the group for one.
Spiritual Safety. We make sure we only teach what lines up with our church doctrine and theology. Many parents attend NHC or bring their teens to youth group because they align themselves with what we believe as a church. For us to teach anything different from the church's theology or doctrine would be damaging. 
Love and encouragement. This is the "biggie". Students need to feel loved and we, the team, need to show as much encouragement as possible. Encouraging others doesn't come naturally to me, I have to make a conscious effort to be an encourager. Students walk through our doors each week who receive no love or encouragement at home during the week. We need to be that "safe" place where they are shown the love of Jesus Christ and encouraged in their life and faith.
Clear Expectations. We have expectations of students when they are with us at youth group or on a youth event. We don't have a huge list of rules and we don't run around like a drill instructor. Youth group has to be fun or students won't want to return and they certainly won't bring their friends if they feel like they are constantly under "the thumb".  Our expectations are simple and short. Where we may fail in this area is we probably don't review them enough with the students.  It's not something we want to "preach" each week but certainly want to touch on them occasionally.  Example: One expectation is no cell phone use unless calling a parent for a ride. If we see a cell phone out we ask the student to put the phone away.  If there is a continual problem we collect the phone and give it to them when they leave.  Our regulars know this. There are some expectations we point out along the way.  We don't expect a first time guest to "fall in line" with all of our expectations.  We also don't expect unbelievers to behave like believers.  We do expect believers to behave like believers.
Perfection.  We haven’t reached perfection in the safety area, not really sure that any youth group (or school) has either.  We do the best to our ability to keep students safe.  If a parent is looking for a perfectly safe environment for their child they won’t find one, even at home.  Sitting students in chairs in rows without allowing them to interact or have fun isn’t safe, it’s sterile.  Sterile doesn’t promote growth, sterile doesn’t have teachable moments.
What does your youth ministry do to be “safe”?

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Ultimate Team Leader (Part 2)

(read part 1 here)

Team leaders should give clear instructions. 
Jesus tells the disciple what to do next.  The problem is identified - hungry people.  The team is stretched - testing Philip.  The solution is discovered - Andrew’s crazy idea.  Now comes the step that the leader steps in and gives instruction as to what should take place next.  Jesus has the disciples go around and get the crowd of thousands to sit down on the grassy slopes.  Jesus doesn’t reveal every step of the plan to his disciples, he simply lets them know what to do next.  Perhaps through giving one step at a time Jesus is teaching his team to trust.

Team leaders should recognize the source of their team’s provision.
We don’t know if Jesus praised the little boy for being the only smart person in a crowd of thousands who is prepared.  We don’t know if Jesus shouted, “Brilliant idea Andrew!”.  We do know that Jesus took the time to give God thanks for His provision.  A good team leader is quick to point out to the team that the team’s success hinges on their trusting God and including God in on their team’s efforts and plans.

Team leaders should know how to delegate.
Jesus then asks the disciples to pick up the leftovers.  He does two things in this request:  Gives the team opportunity to experience God’s incredible blessing and provision in a hands on way.  He also recognizes the importance that everyone on the team serve together.

Sometimes as leaders we take on too much and then our team misses out on opportunity to use their gifts and talents.  I have found on many occasions that I was doing a task that someone else on the team could do and probably do better than I could.  When we delegate we allow others to serve and we can focus on what we are good at or what only we can do for the team.

Another interesting aspect in Jesus delegating is that he didn’t just throw out the command to the team.  Jesus clarified the purpose to the task he was asking them to do, “so that nothing is wasted”.  In delegation it is wise to let the team know the “why” behind the task that they have been asked to do.

So when your team comes up to a problem or an issue that needs solving make sure you follow the example of the ultimate leader.
> Address the Problem
> Look for opportunities to test the team
> Give clear instructions
> Recognize God’s provision
> Delegate with purpose

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...