• Youth Ministry

    A Youth Pastor's Hurt

    I wrote this a year ago after some time with some former youth. I’m currently working on a sermon that brought it to mind and decided to share it again. I’m starting my thirteenth year as a youth pastor at the same church. That is a really long time in youth ministry and a really long time as a youth pastor in the same church. I remember my current youth when they were mere babies and the first youth I had in my ministry are now having babies. Over the thirteen years, I’ve shared countless moments with hundreds of teenagers. I honestly don’t have a number for you but I do…

  • My Life,  Youth Ministry

    Loud and Off Key

    There is a youth in my youth group that sings loud and off key. I love his singing the most. Because her song comes from her heart. He is lost in the words, in the music. She is oblivious to her faltering pitch because of her joy of the experience. I want to live life like he sings. I want to live from the heart. I want to live oblivious to faltering because of the joy of the experience. I want to live loud and off key. So next time you’re near me and hear me living off key, don’t move to a different seat to maintain your perfect pitch. Scootch right up…

  • Faith Reflections,  Youth Ministry

    Source of Significance

    On Wednesday night, I was talking with the youth about our sources of significance. What or who is it that we look to to validate our worth and to prove our significance? There is a lot of similarity between how teens and adults would answer: Relationships. Work or Grades. Success. Money. Popularity. Looks. Influence. There is a long list of fleeting things that we allow to have a lasting impact on our lives. When these things serve as our sources of significance, we live fearful, chaotic lives because we are always chasing that which can’t be caught. It was ironic to me that Wednesday night’s youth gathering turned into a long look in the…

  • Youth Ministry

    Lesson Learned

    The youth in my youth family teach me a lot of things.  There are the very useful things like how to master the Wii, how to SMS bomb someone, how to have fun, how to fart on demand (okay, I already had that mastered.)  They remind me that you can make a difference and that it is never to late to start. They remind me that you can have fun regardless of the task at hand. They remind me to relax and that to be present in someone’s life is more important than designing a stellar program or event. They teach me that selfishness is pervasive and that I once was as awkward and self-conscious as…

  • Faith Reflections,  Youth Ministry

    Reflections on KONY 2012

    If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that I am a supporter of Invisible Children. You’ve been barraged by updates and tweets this week as we prepared to host the IC roadies at our church and as the latest video went viral and discussions/criticisms ensued. If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I’ve been an advocate of Invisible Children since 2006 – showing movies and films, sharing their materials, purchasing their products (shirts, bracelets, MEND bags, etc) and coordinating local events with the Invisible Children roadies. I’ve written letters, made phone calls, and have attended lobby meetings with my elected officials concerning…