For those of you who are interested: the videos from The Nines are now available online. (click the link) Great stuff to challenge you as you grow…
I’ve mentioned here before how I grew up in the church. “If the church doors are open, we’re there.” was inscribed on the family coat of arms that hung above the fireplace, just below the swords and muskets. Ok, there was no coat of arms, but if there were… Being at church all the time shaped my view of Christianity very early. When I graduated HS, I got married and went to Bible College. Not too long after graduating there, I got my first ‘real job’ – in youth ministry, in the church. About 7 years after that, I moved to my second ‘real job’ – in youth ministry, in the church.
This is my entry for our church’s newsletter sweepstakes, so when you get yours in the mail, just pretend you didn’t read it here already…
I’ve had a number of discussions lately about just what exactly we’re working to develop in our student ministry. What is Wind & Water Student Ministries all about? The short answer is discipleship. We are all about revealing the one true God to students and being disciples of His Son – but let me flesh that out a little bit.
We don’t just want students to show up. The world has more than enough pew-sitters content to be spoon fed once a week, pay their dues when it’s convenient, and sit back and wait for Jesus to return. I don’t need to train our students to do that. I don’t need to teach them to think only about themselves and what will make them the most comfortable with their church experience, never thinking about what kind of experience may reveal God to His missing people.
We ask more of our students. I’ve been thinking a lot and praying that 5 markers would identify our students. I pray that every one of our students would come to exhibit these characteristics:
– a permanent attitude of worship
– a global view of God’s Church
– a passion for revealing God to people who don’t see Him
– a commitment to local service as the church
– a hunger for depth in their relationship with God
Just got back from a couple days off. LuAnn’s mom came and stayed with the kids and we went to Ft. Collins and Estes Park. This June was our 15th Anniversary, so we’d been planning a trip to celebrate. With camps and a summer full of youth ministry stuff, this was when we finally got to go. I am an incredibly fortunate man, to have been married to someone so great – and to have gotten married so young, saving me from the awkward freshman dating roulette (and college cafeteria food)!
I have been waiting for a link to include here to the videos from “The Nines” last week, but I’m going to go ahead and post some thoughts now without the link. The Nines was an online teaching time where Leadership Network and Catalyst teamed up to make available some great and brief teaching/encouragement/advice/urging… clips from some of the most dynamic and respected leaders in the church today. It was a good day, and after a week or so of simmering… here’s what The Nines has boiled down to for me.
Running has been a cathartic experience for me. I enjoy the time when my phone is nowhere near, my e-mail doesn’t exist for a while and whatever I may have in my ‘to read’ pile is shoved aside. A great time to think and pray about what I’ve already read, experienced, and seen lately. It may sound odd, but for all the churning and puffing that’s going on physically, this is often a time for me to mentally “be still” and know God.
I’ve really enjoyed running again.
Last week, I kept hearing rumblings about the President addressing the nation’s schools tomorrow. A speech broadcast to a vast majority of our children. A lot of talk shows have been addressing the issue, a number of friends have become alarmed, and in general it seems like conservatives are panicking about the supposed insidious plan to brainwash our kids…
My first reaction when I heard a radio host advising people to keep your kids out of school that day was “Seriously? This can’t be the first time a president has given a speech to school kids.” I was right. Most recently, in 1991, the first President Bush gave a speech telling us (I was in school at the time) to work hard in school and stay away from drugs. Reading some quotes from back then, it’s interesting to see the charges from the left accusing the President of being politically motivated and attempting to sway young impressionable minds (just like the far right is doing now).
The funny thing is… I don’t remember that speech. No recollection of the great brainwashinig event whatsoever! (maybe that was part of the programming…) And I’m fairly certain that my kids won’t remember this one. But even if they do – I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The speech contains a good message for kids to hear. Basically: ‘You are responsible for you. Work hard. Don’t give up.‘ Here’s a link to the speech – please read it yourself before locking your children away.
I’m not a fan of the way Obama has been running his administration. I don’t trust the people he is choosing to listen to. And to be completely blunt, I believe that success for much of his agenda will be failure for our nation. But I’m not going to cower in the corner, covering my kids’ ears so they won’t hear the voice of Obama. I’m not going to send a note to their teacher to let them opt out of the first day of school just because the President is speaking to them. Actually, I haven’t even checked to see if our school is showing the speech because this is really a non-issue for me.
I want my kids to think critically. I want them to learn to recognize crap ideas, whether they come from a smooth talker with a nice white house or a beer guzzling biker with bug juice in his teeth. I don’t want them to be afraid to disagree with ideas that don’t seem right to them – regardless of the source. I want them to be salt and light wherever they go and whatever they may have to debate. They can’t do those things if they’re in some educational bunker where I never let them hear an idea I don’t agree with.
Let your kids hear the speech. Talk to them about it. Help them make the most of the educational opportunity they have in this country. I came across this response you may find interesting as well (thanks for the link Grace).