Monthly Archives: January 2013

God Deserves a Super Bowl

I’m not trying to guilt trip those that love football.  Because I love football.  I’m not trying to say it is sinful to watch the Super Bowl.  Because I will watch the game (although I’ll be skipping halftime, sorry Beyonce).

Here’s the deal.  Take a look at this graphic.  71 million pounds of avocado!  I mean, come on.   111 million people watch this game.  You may find this glib, or over-spiritualized, or just plain over-reacting.  But the question that comes to my mind is this…Doesn’t God deserve this kind of attention?  For some, it may be even deeper, doesn’t God deserve this kind of worship?  He does.  This Sunday, enjoy the game.  But don’t forget to enjoy your Heavenly Father 111 million times more!

super-bowl

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2 Weapons a Christian Must Have

I preached on Sunday:  Don’t go into a gun fight without bullets, don’t go into a duel without a sword….don’t go into the spiritual battle without prayer.  Here’s 2 more to add to the list when you enter battle.  This is good stuff (minus the shot of Jesus talk, probably would have gone another route there :):

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Even John the Apostle Got Tired of Social Media

Okay, maybe the title is a little bit of a stretch.  But, before you sue me for false advertising, check out this verse found in 2 John:

12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

See, I wasn’t too far off here.  Even Jesus’ beloved disciple had frustrations with the social media of the day.  Just writing to his brothers and sisters in the faith was not enough.  He needed something more, he needed face time (and no, I’m not talking about the iPhone equivalent to Skype)

As I read this verse, it begged some questions, especially those that are in ministry:

  1. Do we have too much social media?  While it is valuable in connected to others, keeping track of what is happening in other people’s lives, and is a source of encouragement…it can also become a huge distraction, a definite social-media-overloadtime-waster, and at times a temptation.
    1. I mean, it has gotten to the point where I can find out what football coach has been hired before the team announces it.  You can know the news before it even becomes news (see:  Manti Te’o Twitter Craziness).
  2. Do we not have enough face to face?  This was the Apostle John’s complaint way back in the early 100’s.  Times have not changes.  Even with airplanes, cars, buses, and trains over the last 2000 years, we have allowed computers to get in the way of our face to face time.  Case and point:  You ever hang out with high school students and every one of them is texting…some even to people in the same room!  We need more face to face!
  3. Do we hide behind our computers & tweets?  Would you be as bold in your meeting with others as you are on your status or your tweet?  Do you use your keyboard as a confrontation tool?  I’ve always tried to follow this rule of thumb “Never have a serious conversation over the computer”.  There may be some exceptions to that rule, but overall is a good goal to shoot for.

This frustration is not new.  Technology may be always changing, but something remains the same, we should always strive to meet people face to face, in their homes, at a coffee shop, or on the street.  Show Christ love to someone today IN PERSON.  That’s your goal, and let me know how it goes!

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Potential of Young People – Lesson on Loving Others

A wonderful lesson brought to you by high school students.  Never underestimate a young person, and the impact they can have on others.  This girl will never forget this.  And the crowd will remember this over the score of the game.  Share this as a lesson about loving others.  What a touching and priceless act.

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Book Review: 4-in-1 New Years Special

To all those slow-readers (or those that have not always enjoyed reading) out there like myself:  I have found something that has revolutionized my reading.  Here a couple changes I have made recently that have increased my reading output tremendously:

  1. Read several books at a time.  Instead of laboring through just one book, read several and you will find you will read more because you can choose something based on your mood or time frame.  It’s like you are at a smorgasbord each time you read – now doesn’t that make reading more appetizing.
  2. Second, discipline yourself to read 20 minutes a day (suggestion from my Sr. Pastor).  You will be amazed at what that will do to your reading.

You Lost Me – By David KinnamanYou-Lost-Me

The Good:  Looking for detail research and ideas as to how to reduce the “graduating from church” movement that we are seeing.  It does a great job at deciphering the differences of reasons why young people are leaving the church.  The fear with these types of books is when there is end all solution to the problem.  But what makes this book unique is taking the individual characteristics and beliefs of each young person that leaves the church.  It addresses science vs. the church, addressing doubts, and other factors in the dropout rate of young people.

The Bad:  My fear is always with numbers and statistics, that the business model will overshadow God’s model.  While I don’t think this book has this problem, one may need that caution before reading.

The Grade:  B.  Was not as engaging as I expected to be, but the information is invaluable.  Anyone in ministry or those that work with young adults, it is strongly suggested.  Church planters, senior pastors, youth workers, parents of teens…pick this up.  Also, this would a valuable tool for young youth pastors developing their philosophy of ministry.

Rescuing Ambition – By Dave Harvey

rescuing ambitionThe Good:  Talk about a motivating book.  Enjoyed the humor throughout, and the spiritual value is off the charts.  Chapters 8-10 alone are worth the price of admission, powerful stuff.

The Bad:  Felt like it was like a locomotive, it took a little while to gain some steam, but when you get to the last chapters, you don’t want to get off this train.

The Grade:  A-.  Just because of the slow start.  Great read.

Just Do Something – Kevin DeYoungjust-do-something

The Good:  Love the honesty of this book.  A perfect read for young adults, especially those that well, you know, need to JUST DO SOMETHING in their life.  An honest look at pursuing the will of God and a willingness to think outside the box of what we were taught in youth group about knowing the will of God.  Written in a humorous, understanding, and straight-to-the-point kind of way.  My kind of book!

The Bad:  The use of some absolute language in his findings on the will of God worried me a little.  I don’t know if I would have been so dogmatic, but does well to drive the point home.

The Grade:  A.  Why an A?  Because I think EVERY young person from 16-29 should read this book.  I’m serious.

Prayer (Does it Make any Difference?) – By Philip Yancey

prayer_does_it_make_any_differenceThe Good:  This book is willing to dive into some deep, difficult questions.  Prayer is somewhat of an anomaly in the peculiar sense.  It is hard to describe, measure, or understand fully.  The author takes an honest look at where most people struggle with prayer, but don’t always voice their difficulty.  Had a bunch of “never thought of that” moments throughout the book.

The Bad:  Lengthy (sorry, had to say it).  Also, not what I would call a motivator to pray, but more an encouragement to love prayer more.

The Grade:  B+.  Felt like it could be condensed, but would not have traded my time with this book with another.

 

Currently Reading:  Love Does (Goff), Disciplines of a Godly Young Man (Hughes), Don’t Waste Your Life (Piper)

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2013 Goals

2013 Goals:

  1. Student Takeover   Broaden & Heighten the expectations of students in ministry & youth group participation.  Continue personal discipleship & Leader Training.
  2. Parent Connection    Parent Seminar & Improve with weekly youth culture updates
  3. Family Life Planning     Begin offering life planning for student ministry parents.
  4. Easter Outreach Community    Easter Egg Hunt planned by leadership students
  5. Youth Pastor Network    Launch a network in SW Columbus.
  6. Public School Ministry    Still working on ways to enter public schools to share Jesus.
  7. Youth Leader Equip    Improve equipping & discipleship in meetings.  More opportunities to equip for service.
  8. Better Documentation of MSM    I’m talking pictures/video.
  9. WIN Event    World in Need Event to promote spiritual and physical needs globally
  10. Inter-generational Church    Promote events and ways to bridge generations in church, church programs, church events, 2013 goalsand outside of church.
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