I some up the ministry part of my life with these 7 words:
I Love To See Youth Pastors Succeed
When I am not trying to help youth pastor succeed, I am laughing with family over crazy stuff, playing games, and making memories.
Have you heard of Fiverr? Fiverr is a simple service that allows artists and some crazy people who are willing to provide services for $5.00. I think this site is awesome for youth ministry because there are so many little things a youth ministry could use but is often hampered by cost or no one knows anyone who can provide a particular service. Let me offer 10 services every youth ministry can use and get it for only $5.00.
I recently joined a service called Fiverr.com. It’s a place where you can make your services available for a fiverr or five buck per “gig”.
One of the “gigs” I offer is “I will write a Bible Study for you” for $5. I got a hit from a youth worker who, I think, got into a bot of a spot with his kids.
He challenged his kids, “I will teach on any verse of scripture you give me” Well, his student must have done a google search for “most awkward Scriptures to teach on” or ” Lewd Bible verses” because this is what they came up with
Ezekiel 23:20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
Wow! When that verse popped up, I just pooped my pants with laughter. I thought to myself, “How did this guy get himself into this?” he even said, “I wouldn’t blame you if you turned down this gig.”
Well, did not turn down the gig. The Bible Study is not funny because it’s about God dealing with a rebellious people, but the circumstances for this study are hilarious.
We could ask “What is the most most buzz worthy thing you’ve done in your youth ministry that got the whole town talking?” but News Flash: The landscape has been expanded to the Digital Universe. Anyone in your town, another town, and the rest of the world can know what’s going on in your youth ministry if you want them to.
Which brings up a good question: What do you want your town or area to know about your youth ministry?
How big it is?
How small it is?
How many activities you do?
What makes your youth ministry distinctive?
All are note worthy and possibly buzz-worthy but nothing is more buzz-worthy than a changed life. Look at all the people in scripture who were radically altered by the life giving power of Jesus Christ.
The woman at the well – “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” ” John 4
The leper-“Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.43And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away,and He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”45But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, ” Mark 1
The shepherds – “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,”
A changed life will always be the best buzz for your group, but barring a skin diseased student being healed or the Christ child re-entering your room, that is a little out of your hands. That is not say kids are not healed or saved in our youth ministries, God is always moving. But we must also remember that these dramatic events of scripture took place, and are recorded, over the course of three years. So, what can we do to send a little buzz our way? Let me offer three things you can do:
Do something with your group that is cultural but not sinful. Lately all the buzz has been about these Harlem Shake videos, so we did one with our group and focused it on missions. Make a video that is timely and worth sharing:
Serve Big: Do something in your community that is very public like cleaning up your local park or putting together a Flash Mob. We are doing a Wash In this Sunday. We are partnering with another church that a ton of clothes ruined by some rain. Kids are bringing $5 each to do a load and $1 to dry We are rewashing them at a local laundry mat. The point isn’t to bring glory to our group, but to show Christ active in us.
Talk on a hot topic: Dating, Sex, Homosexuality, Abortion, Atheism, etc, create their own buzz because kids want straight answers. If you go this route, you don’t have to do just another message. Have a panel of “experts” to discuss the subject or show a compelling video with discussion and snacks to follow.
We must always be asking, what is is the most buzz worthy, God glorifying, thing we can do to reach people for Christ? The world is smaller now and who knows, you may just get your whole town to show up to see what God is doing.
What is the most buzz worthy thing you’ve ever done with your group?
I did some SEO (search engine optimization) searching yesterday, looking for key words and such for youth ministry. Here is what I discovered.
In searching for youth ministry key words, to help youth workers find posts they are looking for online, I started by searching the word youth ministry discipleship. Now, I am only getting started in this SEO thing, a complete novice,, but this did not look good,
Search: youth ministry discipelship
Competition Is: Low (which tells me there is not a battle for the words)
Global Monthly Searches: 110 (this how often the subject is searched for,globally, on Google, every month, averaged over 12 month)
Local Monthly Searches: 91 (this is how often the subject is searched for on Google, every month, averaged over 12 months.
I Googled both youth ministry discipleship and youth ministry discipleship ideas
youth ministry discipleship showed over 2 million options
youth ministry games revealed over 4 million options
youth ministry activities, which could include discipleship, but revealed mostly game links, showed over 13 million options
Like I said, I’m no expert, I can only go by what I am looking at.
The questions I have then are:
1. Do youth workers already know how to disciple teens, they just don’t need to search online for it?
Which leads me to the second question:
2. Is there a greater demand, by youth workers, for games and activities than for discipleship ideas, in their youth group?
I would love more people to see this post, but I am afraid no one is searching for it.
Side Note: I am not anti-game, we play them with our group all the time, I am just pro discipleship.
If you are an SEO guru, and I am reading the date wrong, straiten me out. I think the numbers are fundamentally true. Do youth ministries still spend a majority of time still focusing on getting kids to show up versus discipling the students they have to reach their friends for Christ?
If you would like to see some articles on youth ministry games you can go here or here.
If would like some free you ministry ideas about youth discipleship I have a few video trainings here and here (don’t forget to subscribe)
And a couple of my posts on church youth ministry here and here
If you are looking for a systematic way to disciple in kids in your youth ministry, I also recommend the book Multiply by Francis Chan and David Platt
It’s the day after my social media fast. What you are reading is the culmination of these three days. I decided to not post nay blogs for the past few day because fasting social media would prevent me from posting them, so I decided to wait.
Our church is doing a three day fast on the first Monday of the month through Wednesday. We’ll be gathering for an hour before service on Wednesday to pray and break fast together.
I decided Sunday night to commit to fasting social media because to me, social media has become “food and drink” for the soul”. For me, giving up being connected through Twitter and Facebook is more of a sacrifice than giving up food. What I’ll miss most is posting those bits of information, articles, and videos that I think will benefit my followers and fellow youth workers.
Last year I gave up television for 21 day, but I think this will be a little harder. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted. You just won’t be able to read my thoughts until my fast is over.
Challenge: Tried to contact an author and could not find an e-mail for them. Did not use Linked In because I consider it Social Media. Can’t connect until today.
Social Media Fast Day 2
Refection: Confused at what to do with all those thougthts I can’t post or tweet.
My first day of the social media fast felt different. It felt like I was skipping food. I would get social media hunger pangs because I would have a though and I did not know what to with it. In today’s age, when I have a thought or an idea, I post it and spread it, it’s weird not to do that. I have put an imaginary jar on my desk to put those thoughts and save them for later, but I think I am going to need a bigger jar.
My mind was less cluttered and some God thoughts were able to walk right into my formerly thought-hoarded brain.
Tweets and posts are like an open bag of potato chips that I am constantly dipping into. Two things wrong with his:
My mind cannot be renewed when I am constantly feeding it in an unhealthy manner and at an unhealthy pace. But I feel that changing
Social Media Fast Day 3
Several challenges yesterday
1. Could not complain to everyone about why Money Pak costs $4.95 so I can put money in my Pay Pal account.
2. I wanted to share a few thoughts to inspire others, forced to ponder them instead.
3. I found several resources I wanted to tweet but I had to hold on to them until after 6:00 p.m. today.
This brings up an interesting question, if you are one of my followers, did you miss any of this? I am not asking for a self esteem boost, but rathe to put my own existence in perspective. Sociology is the study of who we are in light of our interactions with others; and since I have limited these interactions, have I descended into an identity crisis? No, I haven’t. In fact, I think I know myself betterbecause I have not relied upon someone’s RT, like, or share to validate me.
My identity, my true identity, is in Christ alone and nothing will change that, ever. Will I being doing less social media now in light of this discovery? No, in fact, I will be doing more. This confidence has nothing to do with hubris, but it is has challenged me to be more respectful of those who follow me and those I follow.
Three days is a long time in social media time. You can be forgotten quickly as people move on to what ever is new. If this fast has taught me anything, it is that I am o.k. with that. Beside, social media is a great place to launch a comeback because of the time you have had to think about what is really worth sharing.
Full disclosure, I was a waiter in a swanky restaurant and I have feelings about this. I saw this article on Huffpost. A Pastor wrote this smug note on his receipt about giving God 10% “why should I give you 18?” I’d like to answer his question and the questions we should ask, “Why should we tip the appropriate amount and above?”
1. The waitress may actually need the money. Our “gift” helps them live.
2. We were born to be a blessing II Corinthians 9:8-12
3. We could be blessed ourselves. “Give, an it shall be given unto you.”
4. We could be a light “You are the light of the world.” Our waitress or waiter may need some of that light. They need to see the light of people doing the right thing or above an beyond so they can have a little hope in human race again. If we blow it, we should go back and make it right.
5. It is more important our waiters know we care than they know we are pastors, or even christians. They will know we are christians and disciples by our love.
6. We have a responsibility to live right in this world. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
7. We are being an example to those sitting at our table. We may not be touted for our generosity but we will be outed for our cheapness. I wonder what the pastor in question will be preaching on this Sunday.
8. If we do not have a practice of generosity, it could impact our testimony in our community. It’s not “what would the neighbors think of me?” but rather “what would be our neighbors impression of the God we serve?”
9. We communicate that we love money more than God.
10. If the reasons we do not give is because tithing is more important, we show ourselves to be Pharisees. Matthew 23
11. Not giving (tipping) devalues the work of the person serving us. Honor the work and the worker. A worker is worth their wages.
12. Jesus gave 100% of his life so we could give do the same.
13. It feels good. What difference between this attitude and the attitude of Aaron who’s dying wish was that his family tip $500 to their waitress. Just because.
14. It shows our thankfulness and gratefulness for a job well done.
15. It’s called the economy. We should help it along.
16. You’ll spend that 18% somewhere, maybe on something less worth while.
17. It will make God smile instead of cringe.
18. We will be marked as good stewards and good citizens with a good conscience.
That’s it. If you go out with a large group, tip well, it’s probably going on your church credit card anyway (Pastors) If it is just yourself, tip even better.
I love you. I hate you. Two weeks ago you and I had a discussion about killing this blog. Since that time you poked me every day to write something. Anything. And I love you for it.
I hate you. You move around like someone in the witness protection program. I am always looking for you, and through much work and frustration, I eventually find you. Stay close creative side, stay close.