Archive for April, 2006

Ministry: Thoughts on the Mega-Church.

April 29, 2006

I have always enjoyed the show King of the Hill. I really think it’s a brilliant caricature of life in middle America. One thing you can count on with Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead, Office Space) he interprets culture in a very unique and humorous way. On a few occasions Judge has tackled the subject of church culture. Several years ago there was an episode where Bobby Hill started going to some super-hip youth group. Then there was the episode when the Hill’s Methodist church brought in a woman pastor. Now, this time (2 weeks ago) he chooses to give his interpretation of the mega-church. I have posted the whole episode here and would love to hear your thoughts on this. I think it is interesting how a non-Christ follower sees the whole mega-church thing. Please watch and comment.

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Entertainment: Superhero Test.

April 28, 2006


My boy Bryon encouraged me to take this test. I really was hoping that the bottom four for me would be Robin, Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Catwoman. Sad thing is Robin was my runner up superhero and the girl superheros all ranked higher than Batman and Hulk. I guess that Green Lantern isn’t so bad. Which super hero are you? Click here to take the Superhero test.

Green Lantern 55%
Robin 50%
Spider-Man 50%
The Flash 50%
Superman 45%
Supergirl 40%
Iron Man 40%
Catwoman 30%
Wonder Woman 25%
Batman 20%
Hulk 15%

Ministry: Middle School Campout.

April 26, 2006

When you hear the words middle school and camping in the same sentence it may scare you, creep you out or it may even make you cry. Well, me and some of our Student Ministry staff took some middle school students camping in south-central Florida this weekend. The weather was great, no mosquitos, and the oak trees provided incredible shade. Needless to say we had a great weekend. Campout’s are a great way to build community and get students out of their elements. Here are a few things we did this weekend….
Campfire There is no campout without a camp fire. On Friday night we all gathered around a campfire. Bryan, our worship leader lead us in a time of singing underneath the wide open country skies. Its amazing how many stars you can see without the pollution of city lights. Our speaker for the weekend, Jimmy Grosz, talked about having a relationship with Christ. We then cracked open the package of marshmallows and had some smores.

Rope Swing as you can see in the picture I conquered the rope swing. We went up a day early and hung a brand new rope and made a “platform” to launch from. It was a beautiful thing. It gave students hours of fun and excitement. We were on the Kissimmee River, which is pretty shallow and dirty, so we had to be careful with rope placement and length.

More Water Activity Kayaking is one of the coolest things ever! I love the fact that you control your own mini water craft and don’t have to worry about a bad rowing partner like you may have with a canoe. After a 30 minute trip my shoulders had a slight burn and I felt as if I had just had a nice little shoulder and arm workout. On our trip we were looking for ‘gators, but the best thing wed could come up with was a couple of 2-3 footers and a bunch of jumping fish.

Lots of good eating One of the parents from our ministry went to our campsite early and hooked us up with some island cooked chicken and fresh corn. Very tasty. We then fed the students Grandmas cookies and as mentioned earlier, smores. You want to have a good student campout? Provide lots of food. Lots.

Entertainment: On my iPod.

April 20, 2006

The Black Crowes – there’s nothing like good old fashioned rock and we all know that’s what the Crowes bring to the table. I just bought their greatest hits deal and I cant get enough of it! “Hard to Handle”, “Remedy” and “Jealous Again”. Need I say more?

Ministry: Thoughts on Portable Student Ministry.

April 17, 2006

For the past several years I have been a youth pastor for a growing church in Jupiter, Florida. We are in a very unique situation: we are portable. This means we don’t have a building. There is no “youth room” or “center”. There is no gym or central meeting place. I must admit it can be very difficult and without a creative mind, a lot of flexibility and a complete dependence on the Holy Spirit no one could last. If you are just getting started, know someone who will be getting started or your just intrigued with portable student ministry here are a few keys to making it happen:

Key # 1: Get on Campus. One of the obvious disadvantages of being portable is having no central place to bring students in. So the natural way to connect with students is to go to them. I’m a firm believer in going to the mission field and that’s exactly what campus ministry is. While on campus the main goal is to be visible and available, plain and simple. You want students to see you and become used to seeing you. As they see you and you interact with them, communicate to students that you are available. Become a volunteer on campus, help when you can. Talk to coaches, teachers and administration and let them know they can trust you and that you are available.

Key #2: Invest in People. My pastor has always said that we will be a church that invests in people first. I know what he means. As a portable church we have a distinct advantage over many churches that have huge mortgage payments and massive utility bills. Instead of pouring booku-bucks into a building we are able to build into our teams and staff. As a Student Ministry we have been able to hire several interns that have specific job descriptions (Worship Leader, Ministry Assistant, Middle School Leader) . We feel as if we are building into the ministry future of several young adults. You must identify those you would like to invest in, and build into their lives. Remember we are in the people business.

Key #3: Keep it Simple. I think too many ministries get complicated. Portable ministries deal with this as well as ministries with facilities. You must simply lay out your vision, identify your environments and make it happen as simply as possible. I am always thinking how I can simplify the Student Ministry. From environments, to scheduling, to activities. We must filter all we do with the question “How can we simplify this ?”.

Key #4: Communicate Often. It so easy to let weeks go by without communicating with your team, parents and students. We mail out a quarterly calendar/newsletter to ALL of the families in the church. I think its important that the entire church body knows what is going on in the Student Ministry. Utilize e-mail, cell phone, MySpace, Blogs and every other form of communication. Meet with your staff as often as you can. One thing that I wish I could do is meet with my team each week before each environment. Because of the set up/tear down situation we really can’t. So we meet every second Saturday of the month to share, pray and strategize. Communication must become a priority, especially in a portable ministry.

Resurrection Sunday.

April 16, 2006

“if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
1 Corinthians 13:14

Good Friday.

April 14, 2006

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I would encourage you to take the time to watch this video. It is a reminder of what our Lord endured for us that day at Calvary.

“What Do You See”

The Ambassador

Cross Movement Records

Entertainment: Baseball ’06.

April 13, 2006

Baseball is back again! I have always been a big baseball fan and every year I look forward to the boys of summer as they try to entertain a very impatient sports culture here in the good ol’ US of A. Here are a few thoughts on this baseball season….

Florida Marlins – This is my team. Mostly because it’s geographically the closest Major League team and I’m a firm believer in local team support. Unfortunately, they will be awful this year. I’m expecting 100+ losses. Ouch! At least we get to see a couple guys (Hanley Ramirez, Josh Willingham and Jeremy Hermida) break into the league and set themselves up for future fortunes else where.

Chris Carpenter – I hope he has another year like last year so I can keep bragging to everyone about playing little league with him. Yep, that’s right, I played little league with last years NL Cy Young Award winner! We called him Topha’ and his brother Robbie was a much better pitcher than him. It’s amazing how a kid from a little town in New Hampshire can grow up to be such a force at this level. Topha’ for Cy Young!

Barry Bonds – I hope he will NOT pass Babe Ruth and definitely not pass Hank Aaron on the home run list. I believe this record is reserved for the legends and Barry is NOT a legend. He’s a self-centered, steroid shooting, jerk. I think of Hank Aaron and his class, he deserves the honor of the most cherished of all sporting records, not a cheater like Bonds!

Red Sox & Yankees – I know its taboo to talk about both in the same sentence but that’s ok, its my blog and I can write what I want. So here we go……I, being a former Red Sox supporter (because I lived in New England at one time, see Florida Marlins above) and current Yankee hater, believe that neither team will win the American League Pennant, but Cleveland, yes the Tribe will win the AL. Here’s why: 1. They are pretty young (Martinez, Peralta, Hafner, Sizemore, etc.) so they should get a lot of miles out of these guys. 2. They have a great closer in Bill Wickman. 3. Good young arms (Sabathia, Westbrook, Lee).

Pete Rose – For crying out loud put the guy in Cooperstown! They call it the Hall of FAME! Dude was the most famous player of his time and his stats are unreal. So what if he’s a bad guy. This isn’t the Hall of Good Guys. Put him in the Hall!

Predictions
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (duh!)
AL MVP: Vlad Guerrero
NL Cy Young: Topha’!
AL Cy Young: Johann Santana
Biggest Bust: AJ Burnett (he’s a head case!)
Best Free Agent Pickup: Reggie Sanders (just a random pick)
Yankees Mid Season Pickup: Barry Bonds (why not George, it would make for great headlines!)
NL Champs: St. Louis Cards (sorry Mets, you can’t buy a Championship!)
AL Champs: Cleveland Indians (sorry Sox, Yanks, you can’t buy a Championship!)
World Champions: Cards (I’m an NL guy, sorry.)

Entertainment: Baseball ’06.

April 13, 2006

Baseball is back again! I have always been a big baseball fan and every year I look forward to the boys of summer as they try to entertain a very impatient sports culture here in the good ol’ US of A. Here are a few thoughts on this baseball season….

Florida Marlins – This is my team. Mostly because it’s geographically the closest Major League team and I’m a firm believer in local team support. Unfortunately, they will be awful this year. I’m expecting 100+ losses. Ouch! At least we get to see a couple guys (Hanley Ramirez, Josh Willingham and Jeremy Hermida) break into the league and set themselves up for future fortunes else where.

Chris Carpenter – I hope he has another year like last year so I can keep bragging to everyone about playing little league with him. Yep, that’s right, I played little league with last years NL Cy Young Award winner! We called him Topha’ and his brother Robbie was a much better pitcher than him. It’s amazing how a kid from a little town in New Hampshire can grow up to be such a force at this level. Topha’ for Cy Young!

Barry Bonds – I hope he will NOT pass Babe Ruth and definitely not pass Hank Aaron on the home run list. I believe this record is reserved for the legends and Barry is NOT a legend. He’s a self-centered, steroid shooting, jerk. I think of Hank Aaron and his class, he deserves the honor of the most cherished of all sporting records, not a cheater like Bonds!

Red Sox & Yankees – I know its taboo to talk about both in the same sentence but that’s ok, its my blog and I can write what I want. So here we go……I, being a former Red Sox supporter (because I lived in New England at one time, see Florida Marlins above) and current Yankee hater, believe that neither team will win the American League Pennant, but Cleveland, yes the Tribe will win the AL. Here’s why: 1. They are pretty young (Martinez, Peralta, Hafner, Sizemore, etc.) so they should get a lot of miles out of these guys. 2. They have a great closer in Bill Wickman. 3. Good young arms (Sabathia, Westbrook, Lee).

Pete Rose – For crying out loud put the guy in Cooperstown! They call it the Hall of FAME! Dude was the most famous player of his time and his stats are unreal. So what if he’s a bad guy. This isn’t the Hall of Good Guys. Put him in the Hall!

Predictions
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (duh!)
AL MVP: Vlad Guerrero
NL Cy Young: Topha’!
AL Cy Young: Johann Santana
Biggest Bust: AJ Burnett (he’s a head case!)
Best Free Agent Pickup: Reggie Sanders (just a random pick)
Yankees Mid Season Pickup: Barry Bonds (why not George, it would make for great headlines!)
NL Champs: St. Louis Cards (sorry Mets, you can’t buy a Championship!)
AL Champs: Cleveland Indians (sorry Sox, Yanks, you can’t buy a Championship!)
World Champions: Cards (I’m an NL guy, sorry.)

Entertainment: Baseball ’06.

April 13, 2006

Baseball is back again! I have always been a big baseball fan and every year I look forward to the boys of summer as they try to entertain a very impatient sports culture here in the good ol’ US of A. Here are a few thoughts on this baseball season….

Florida Marlins – This is my team. Mostly because it’s geographically the closest Major League team and I’m a firm believer in local team support. Unfortunately, they will be awful this year. I’m expecting 100+ losses. Ouch! At least we get to see a couple guys (Hanley Ramirez, Josh Willingham and Jeremy Hermida) break into the league and set themselves up for future fortunes else where.

Chris Carpenter – I hope he has another year like last year so I can keep bragging to everyone about playing little league with him. Yep, that’s right, I played little league with last years NL Cy Young Award winner! We called him Topha’ and his brother Robbie was a much better pitcher than him. It’s amazing how a kid from a little town in New Hampshire can grow up to be such a force at this level. Topha’ for Cy Young!

Barry Bonds – I hope he will NOT pass Babe Ruth and definitely not pass Hank Aaron on the home run list. I believe this record is reserved for the legends and Barry is NOT a legend. He’s a self-centered, steroid shooting, jerk. I think of Hank Aaron and his class, he deserves the honor of the most cherished of all sporting records, not a cheater like Bonds!

Red Sox & Yankees – I know its taboo to talk about both in the same sentence but that’s ok, its my blog and I can write what I want. So here we go……I, being a former Red Sox supporter (because I lived in New England at one time, see Florida Marlins above) and current Yankee hater, believe that neither team will win the American League Pennant, but Cleveland, yes the Tribe will win the AL. Here’s why: 1. They are pretty young (Martinez, Peralta, Hafner, Sizemore, etc.) so they should get a lot of miles out of these guys. 2. They have a great closer in Bill Wickman. 3. Good young arms (Sabathia, Westbrook, Lee).

Pete Rose – For crying out loud put the guy in Cooperstown! They call it the Hall of FAME! Dude was the most famous player of his time and his stats are unreal. So what if he’s a bad guy. This isn’t the Hall of Good Guys. Put him in the Hall!

Predictions
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (duh!)
AL MVP: Vlad Guerrero
NL Cy Young: Topha’!
AL Cy Young: Johann Santana
Biggest Bust: AJ Burnett (he’s a head case!)
Best Free Agent Pickup: Reggie Sanders (just a random pick)
Yankees Mid Season Pickup: Barry Bonds (why not George, it would make for great headlines!)
NL Champs: St. Louis Cards (sorry Mets, you can’t buy a Championship!)
AL Champs: Cleveland Indians (sorry Sox, Yanks, you can’t buy a Championship!)
World Champions: Cards (I’m an NL guy, sorry.)