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?

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