Tag Archives: unconventional
Almost two years ago my wife had my Bible engraved with the words “Treasure Map for a New Adventure” I don’t think that either of us we’re prepared for what that would really mean. We had just accepted a new position as the youth pastor a church in Central Arkansas, and that had meant saying goodbye to our home and our friends from the previous five and a half years. So our “New Adventure”, we thought, was this next phase in our youth ministry journey, after all it’s what we do, who we are. Well over the past two years God has for a lack of a better term screwed me up. Starting last March Jesus began to seize my life in a complete new way, a way that at first made me uncomfortable. I began to look at the things I had been doing, how I had been approaching ministry and in light of what I had thought was important began to shift what we were doing (See getting rid of Elmo). There were a lot of things that God changed and birthed in me during this phase, but perhaps the most dominate thing has been a fervent passion for the Word (Thank you David Platt. punk.). I suppose that alone will destroy things you believe, assuming they weren’t actually in the Bible, and cause you to move beyond casual church Christianity. Shortly after the initial dynamic switch in my world God began having people tell me they thought I was going to be called to pastor. Well if you’ve ever talked to me about youth ministry you know that is about the last thing I could see myself doing. I’m a “lifer!” (A phrase my best friend and mentor coined referencing guys that are in youth ministry for their whole lives). It was really easy to dismiss those comments, I’m a career youth pastor with no pastoral experience, I have never been to seminary, and I’m anti-establishment. No way any southern baptist Bible belt church is hiring me. Besides, I told myself, I certainly would not make a good pastor. Well there were too many things happening, people telling me, and desires welling up inside me so I reluctantly asked God what was His desire for me. I reminded Him that I love my students, they are growing, they are the future, I’m not sure I’m qualified to be a grown up pastor. I sought Him constantly for about two months and His response came to me over two days in early November.
“You are in Potiphar’s house. Preparing for something larger. You are going to be a pastor.” I was actually relieved to finally have some clarity, as unbelievable as that seemed. I was still very uncertain that I could do all that pastoring requires but knew that if God was telling me to go do that, and I didn’t want to end up in fish I should probably move that direction. Besides Joseph was in Potiphar’s house for a long while learning to speak Egyptian, run a household, and unbeknownst to him getting ready to run a nation. Then Day Two took being unprepared to a whole new level.
“The church you’re going to pastor is to be one you start.” A CHURCH PLANTER?!!! You don’t have any money when you’re a church planter! I have a wife and three children and a good paying job and an Awesome house, and… I DON’T KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT PLANTING A CHURCH!
So that is pretty much exactly where I find myself. Following God in obedience, stepping out of my comfort zone and past experience to chase His will for me. To allow Him to do whatever He desires, clinging to Him for dear life as I step out into this new adventure.
The Lord has been teaching me quite a bit lately, particularly in regards as to what it means to live for Christ in more than just a Sunday Wednesday kind of faith. I am being blessed with what I believe are some insightful questions that will hopefully shake the norm of youth ministry. I know that we too often don’t like to focus on the fact that we are in a battle, a spiritual battle that is raging in not just our students families, or schools but in their churches. In our churches. As youth pastors/workers we are constantly sending young and men and women out into that world and my first question is have we equipped them to take the land? Do they realize that they are at war? Do they know there is more to our faith than church attendance? Has God really changed their lives through His gift of salvation or did they merely walk an aisle and pray a prayer then continue life as normal? If not where did we miss it? And perhaps more importantly how do we fix it? I am committed to finding answers to these and questions and others that we’d rather not face and I think it starts here.
“1 The Lord said to Moses,2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” – Numbers 13:1,2
So God grants the peoples request and has them send a cross section of His nation, into the land “which I am giving to the Israelites.”It is important for us to realize that God has given them this land regardless of their forty day espionage and at the end of their forty day recon the spies return to report to the people.
“26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.28 But…” – Numbers 13:26-28
Whoa! Did you catch that? They came back and told Moses and the whole nation “we went into the land… and it does flow with milk and honey!” Basically we saw the land and its exactly like the Lord told us. But… Wait a second, but? but what? Either God is a liar or He’s not! He said that the land was exceedingly good, and it was! Let’s step back and look at this rationally, God told them the land is good, and it was. Therefore we can be assured that God is not lying. Being assured that God is not lying we can therefore trust the rest of what he says which is that He is giving us the land. Which should cause us to draw the conclusion that the land is ours, therefore all we have to do is take it.
I believe that many of us and our churches are at the point of this decision in our own lives. Do we take the land or do we doubt God and retreat to the wilderness? Over the remainder of this year I am committed to walking down the avenue that will alert us to what that means in our own lives and the lives of our ministries.
So I’m the guy thats always needing to transfer files from one computer to another! And sure I have a flash-drive attached to my keyring and sure I’ve had to email files to myself to get what I worked on at home to the office where the printer resides. But a couple of moths ago I relocated to a church, and with said relocation upgraded video editing hardware to the world of Apple. What I encountered was a tedious exchange of plugging and unplugging the flash drive from the Mac to the PC (yeah our office hasn’t converted so publisher is on the laptop). Well, wouldn’t you know that they’ve invented yet another helpful wonder in the world of technology that has solved this problem for me permanently! It’s called the dropbox!
The Dropbox defies all logic and is on its way to rendering flash-drives obsolete, well maybe not, but its definitely a huge time saver. Its basically an online server. You simply download the dropbox and it installs a universal folder that is accessible from wherever you have internet service. So that means work on a text document at home and save it to the dropbox and then open up your work computer and bam! there it is. Or if your like me and you show videos during your Wednesday night service and you edit them on a different computer than you show them on. You simply save them into the dropbox and open them up on the display computer and your in business. Its that simple. All you have to do is create a dropbox account and then download the app on whatever computer you need to use it on. Also, if you have an iPhone you can download it on there as well, which is really cool. For instance I spoke a few weeks ago at a friends Back to School Bash and saved my outline in the dropbox and then right before I got up to speak I pulled it up on my iPhone and went over it once more before taking the stage. Oh, and did I forget to mention you can share a folder with another dropbox user? My good friend is helping build our new ministry a website, and we have a shared “WEBSTUFF” folder that I save information and images I want on the site in. He’s able to access it from his computers that have dropbox on them. It has proven to be a great asset to my regular week and saved me quite a bit of time emailing and saving on flash-drives. The best part of all is “ITS FREE!” That’s right for up to 2GB of storage you simply sign up, download, and use for free. In addition to the 2GB of storage if you sign up through a friends recommendation you score an extra 250MB of space, likewise if you refer someone to use it. So my gift to you, and yours to me is if dropbox sounds like its for you. Simply click the link below and get started. You’ll never be without that file again.
Hey we are entered in author Don Miller’s Million Miles short film contest, and I’m asking for your help. Here’s how you can help, Vote!!! You can vote once a day from each computer you can get access to (ie. your home, your work, your iPhone). Please click the link below and click on the thumbs up! Then if you don’t mind please let your friends know to vote too. Post it on your facebook, twitter it out, call your friends, mass email, whatever ways you can think of. It will be deeply appreciated:
Here’s the link to the video: http://bit.yl/9DeruK