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.

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...