Monthly Archives: December 2012

10 Thoughts From the Nutcracker Ballet

Last night, I had the privilege of taking my sweet 5-year-old daughter on a “daddy double date”.  My buddy scored us some tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet (noticed I used “scored” there to make it sound a little more manly).  I’ve never been to the ballet before, so I decided to share with you what was going through my mind during the performance.  Enjoy.Nutcracker

  1. Has anyone ever run into each other in one of these performances?  Or better yet, fallen off the stage into the pit.  Now that would make things interesting.
  2. How come the orchestra is in that pit down there?  Do they have radio sound but not stage faces?
  3. Those tights that dude is wearing would not get within 1,200 yards of my closet.  Eeek.
  4. The main character looked like Desmond Howard, that would be so cool if he would do “The Heisman” pose.
  5. I don’t get it.  I’m confused.  What is going on?
  6. If my daughter’s favorite part was the snack time at intermission, why didn’t we just go the snack area at CVS down the street.  They got 1 Lb. bags of M&M’s there for the same price as a bottled water here.
  7. When my daughter asked “Is that TinkerBell?  Is that Sleeping Beauty?  Is that Belle?…”  I said enthusiastically “Yeah!”.  I honestly wasn’t completely sure based on my understanding of the story line.
  8. Hey that’s the song from Home Alone (or maybe it’s the other way around).  Now we’re talkin!
  9. The special effects movement must have skipped over the ballet generation…I can see the strings, set manager dude.
  10. This makes everything worth it, holding my date on my lap the whole time so she could see.
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2012 Goals – How did I do?

Why set goals and not take the time to check them off.  Sure, God gets the credit, but you get to cross it off the list.  And man, that is a good feeling.  So let’s take a look at the 2012 Goals, and give myself some grades.

  1. Provide more leadership for students, become more student-led –One big thing I did this year was hand over the worship band to a student.  Straight up. Took some faith, but it was in capable hands. So I took it a step further, I gave the students 1 youth group a month…literally gave it to them.  The 1st Sunday of the month, they do everything – I’m talking attendance, announcements, opening game, worship, & prayer time.  GRADE:  A2012goals
  2. Find more ways for students to connect & serve within the church – Students were already doing children’s ministry, my goal was to expand the students involvement and expand the student involvement.  Sounded like I repeated myself, but I didn’t, so leave me along Grammar Police!  What I did was raised the number of students involved in children’s ministry and I also raised the expectation of service for the experienced students (example:  some taught the lesson, and others were in charge of the craft/game).  Students can’t be just there to get out of service, because they won’t be able to get of service (see what I did there?).  GRADE:  B
  3. Begin contacts & establishing a public school ministry – Why is this so hard?  I attended a FCA meeting, and was able to make some visits to school’s extracurriculars.  However, I did not meet my goal.  Principals don’t want to return calls to youth pastors, so they don’t, and I haven’t had a door to walk through yet.  I may have found one recently, so stay tuned.  But otherwise, this was my biggest failure.  GRADE:  D
  4. Summer Mission Trip & Training – 4 months of training – included high behavioral expectation, weekly homework, development of several kid’s chapels, and raising funds.  Then, the trip itself was a complete success.  How do I measure that?  Through the growth of the teens both on the trip and after.  God also blessed us with 2 salvation decisions of kids…amen!  GRADE:  A-
  5. Attend Teen Leadership Conference – 4 Teens attended.  4 Lives were changed.  GRADE:  B+
  6. Better visitor  follow-up & visitor return – Ok, I developed a visitor follow up procedure.  But I still have not had the return that I would like.  Out of the 23 visitors, only 3 are regular attenders.  Sure, the others have repeated visits, which is great, but the regularity needs to improve.  GRADE:  C-
  7. Better orientation for 7th graders – Designed a program/class to help transition the 7th graders and had an event to help with the transition.  Seemed to be effective, but attendance of class was minimal.  Thought good, execution poor.  GRADE:  C
  8. Better Transition for Seniors into Young Adult & Adult Ministries  – This was a home run.  I did a series on worldviews that transitioned the seniors into the young adult ministry.  Saw a great return in that investment.  One senior in particular, who may not have made a clean transition otherwise, is thriving due to the gradual transition from youth group to young adult.  Very pleased with how things went.  GRADE:  A
  9. Continue ministry training/mentorship with senior pastor – How many youth pastors can say they both love their pastor and love the mentorship they receive.  Two thumbs up from this guy.  I’m serious.  So much knowledge, wisdom, and experience in that man, and I’m blessed to have it passed to me.  GRADE:  A
  10. I had a goal a few years ago to read at least one book a month. So let’s go for 2 books a month this year.  By my count, I have read 13 books with 5 almost finished or partly finished.  Unless magazines count, I’m gonna fall short of this goal.  GRADE:  Incomplete

Grade Point Average:  3.0, with average grade of B (not counting Incomplete)

Conclusion:  Sure some of these things were out of my control and some were set too high (I’m a slow reader!), but overall a B average is pretty good.  However, it isn’t good enough, especially when we are talking about ministry.  There are areas for improvement for sure.  IT was nice to see that these goals were measurable and somewhat reachable.

It is a blessing to do God’s work, and God deserves straight A’s.  Please pray that I can get better grades next year!  (2013 Goals – Stay tuned for next month’s blog entry)

How did you do?  Were there things that could not be accomplished on your 2012 goals list?  What are some goals you have for 2013?


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Stuff Christian Singles Hear

It is both hilarious and painful to hear at the same time, because many of us, including myself have had these said to us. Singles are a special part of the church, and I know each church can do a better job of making them feel welcome, comfortable, connected, and needed in the Body of Christ.

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3 Ways to Stay In Touch (with youth culture), Part 2

Last week, you read 3 tips on how to stay in touch with teenage or youth culture.  I gave you a few ideas on where to get the information, but how do you get the word out?  Print out a page handout of the and hand it out each Sunday?  That may be a start.  Here are some better tips on how to communicate or make that information available on a regular basis.

  1. Parent Meetings – Every parent meeting I have (I wish I had more, feel free to tell me how you are able to have them on regular basis), I include a time of updating the parents through a youth culture update.   Try to make it interesting, do a PowerPoint, have a quiz with a prize, show a short clip, etc.
  2. Youth Culture Updates – Except during holiday weeks and maybe a break in the summer, I try to have a youth culture update as a part of my weekly email.  It is something to draw them to the email each week and gives parent some equipping and knowledge that they may desire.  (Information typically comes from newsletters)
  3. Parent Seminars – Pray for me, I’m attempting my first at my new church.  In the past, these have been well attended and prove to be worth your time.  Parents want to know what is going on in their student’s lives.  So feed them with knowledge, and equip them with God’s Word in applying that knowledge in parenting.
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