Monthly Archives: February 2012

Encouragement to the Small Church Pastor

I’m an associate pastor of a church of around 200-250 people.  Maybe you are at a larger church, but maybe you are like me and at a smaller church, with a youth group of teens with an attendance in the “teens”.  Your temptations may be to compare or envy other groups, to allow the enemy to put jealousy in your heart for the large numbers, the bigger budget, and the bump in salary.  Please, don’t let your heart be troubled.  So sit back in your small office, in your small church, with your small cup of coffee…and allow God to encourage you today with these things…

Relationships

You have the advantage of really knowing your students.  Sure, you are working hard at growth and reaching the lost…but as you grow, be thankful for the opportunity to be able to build relationships with your students.  Jesus was able to take his 12 and build the church, maybe you have just 12 in your youth group…build the church with them!!

Brothers & Sisters

It may seem like everyone in your church is related somehow…which may be true…but maybe it is because you are able to build a family atmosphere much easier in a smaller church.  Use that by following Titus 2!  Let the fathers and older men build into the young men.  Let the mothers and older ladies build into the younger ladies.  How?  Provide opportunities to mentor – allow the teens to come on men’s retreats.  Allow the young people to serve the elderly.  These connections can be easier in your small church context.

Compared to most, you are a mega-church!

In most countries, missionaries start churches with just a few.  Approximately 85% of churches in America have less than 200 people.  60% of churches are under 100 people. The average size congregation in US is 89 people, according to The Barna Group.  Have you ever made a drive in the country and discovered a church every few miles that is the size of a four bedroom house.  God is using small churches all across our great country to reach & teach!

Now, please don’t take this as excuses for not wanting to grow.  God has called us to GO and make disciples.  My point is to not complain about your attendance chart, but to rejoice in those that are on the chart itself…and to not “grow weary in well-doing”.  Keep building relationships, producing disciples, and reaching the lost.  You may have a small army like Gideon, but you can do some great things.

Hope this encourages you today.  God bless.

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The Real McCoy

Colt McCoy gives his testimony of one of the hardest days in his football career and possibly his life…In tough times, God has a purpose.  Encourage you to apply this to whatever you might be going through right now.

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Parenting the internet & Angry dad shoots his teens’ laptop…How’s that for a title?

20 million views and counting!  That’s how many people watched a dad shoot his daughter’s laptop after she complained about them on Facebook.  Most parents of teenagers would probably admit to wanting to shoot or throw their teens laptop out the window, but is it the right way to handle things?  I’m gonna go with…probably not.  But with studies showing internet addictions being  similar to drug or alcohol addictions, we can see how parents or youth workers may get frustrated…or worried over this.

Just remember some key principles with parenting the internet:

  1. TALK to your child about the internet dangers –  including stranger danger, pornography,
  2. Set limits – The average teens uses 13 hours of technology a day, you hear me (mostly because they text while watching tv, study on the internet, and listen to Bieber, Gaga, or DC Talk…oh wait, that last one was me when I was a teenager).  It’s time to SET SOME LIMITS!
  3. Educate your child about internet behavior – not a place to complain/gossip/bully.
  4. Keep the computer in a public area of the house...you let your teen have their computer in their bedroom, you are asking for trouble.
  5. Install software – protect, monitor…you are the parent, you most likely own the computer, and yes you DO have the right to see what your kids are doing on the computer.
  6. Know all your kids passwords, be a friend on facebook – don’t let them share their password with others and tell them to be careful who can view their info on Facebook

You may know most of these, but it always a good reminder.  Save yourself from having to shoot your teen’s laptop, and save yourself from seeing your teen suffer because of their internet activity.

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Confessions of a Youth Pastor I

All you pastors and youth workers out there, what do you want to confess?  Things that have been hidden in your heart that you want to get out there so others can hear you, encourage you, and help you realize you are not the only one.  Hey guess what, you are human, and you are not Doug Fields…so you may encounter some difficulties or feel inadequate.  Now is the time to share.  So, on the count of three, I am going to take off my sandals and jump in the deep end…no matter how cold it is.  1…2…3…

  1. I’m scared of the day when the students see me as old, out of touch, or not relevant.
  2. There are times when I feel way under-qualified to preach on a Sunday.
  3. I still ask my wife if I did ok after almost every lesson.
  4. I write down every word of my lesson for fear of drawing a blank.
  5. I wonder if my kids grow up to be in my youth group, will they like it?

I think that is good for now.  Now it’s your turn…what do you want to confess?  It feels good to take the swimmies off and jump in.  Give it a try!

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