Archive for the ‘Ministry Leadership’ Category

I had a talk today with Terrance Green, a friend and neighboring youth pastor about summer schedules and our weekly program. In a nutshell: we don’t know what to do.

Is keeping your youth ministry program as is killing your momentum or killing your consistency?

Your thoughts are appreciated in the comments. 🙂


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I felt like I had a rough service this past week. Ever happen to you? So I was thinking of what went wrong and things I should do next time things just aren’t clicking.

Problem: I was distracted with lots of “stuff to do”.

Solution: I need to assign students/volunteers to specific jobs on a weekly basis. I usually delegate spontaneously rather than a thought out, preconceived ongoing delegation.

Problem: I forgot to do some preparation that I should have done.

Solution: Think ahead and do my work.

Problem: I didn’t feel like I was connecting with my students.

Solution: Dance. I’m a terrible dancer, so it always makes for a good laugh when I do. Plus when I’m feeling down I tend to put my head down and plow ahead. Dancing loosens my spirits and makes me able to laugh and enjoy.

So I went to my adult leader and I told him “rough night, huh?” Seconds later one of my students came up to me with a grin with excitement and told me, “MAN! WHAT A GREAT NIGHT!”

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This past week at CSM FRIDAY NIGHTS, we had 37 people in attendance, consistent with our 4-week average (35). This is a nearly 75% jump from January (~20).

There’s a few things that we need to do yesterday if we intend to retain and nurture continued growth:

  1. We need more Adult Leaders. As of now we have 3 adult leaders who are leading discussion groups, including myself. We need at least 2 more table pastors within the next month. We also give our students a free meal every week and our current volunteer team are two men who are reaching their limit. We need 2 more people in the kitchen for the increasing demand of chicken and salad.
  2. We need better followup. Honestly, followup consists of “me” finding “you” on facebook. Very inconsistent. If we intend to build relationships and disciple we need an avenue to connect and begin that process.
  3. We need more of the same. More important than attendance, we’ve witness multiple conversions over the past several months and a growth of student’s “spiritual awareness and hunger”. Jesus is doing something in our group, so I don’t want to over-program, make-a-system, or mess up what’s happening.

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My friend, Pastor Evan pastors a church in San Francisco of homeless people. He mentioned God’s been doing incredible things, including a recent jump in his weekly attendance to over 200 homeless people!

He doesn’t attribute the climb in attendance to a program, strategy, or model. Instead, he said God has been blessing his church of homeless people since they’ve started giving money to missions!

It really makes me ask myself some questions

  1. Am I giving enough? Am I doing enough?
  2. Am I consumed with stuff?
  3. What if God called me to the Dominican Republic or the streets of San Francisco– would I go?

You can see The Homeless Church site here.

You can see LaDawn’s ministry site here.

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Tonight I (re)discovered a couple more teenage truths tonight:

  1. Teenagers love marking their spot. Sure they don’t pee on trees (well…), but if given the chance they will make sure the world knows they were there. Graffiti, etching their names on desks, and hacking into their pastor’s facebook:

  2. Teenagers move in packs. Bathrooms, assignments, homework… if there’s anything to be done, be assured they’ll have a companion by their side.
  3. Teenagers love seeing themselves in the 3rd person. Even the shy girl loves seeing herself in a video or a picture in the yearbook.

I love teenagers… you can read my first session of Teenage Truths here.

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I finished filing my taxes last night. Turns out I’m getting hit hard for neglecting to pay social security all last year (oops, I didn’t know I wasn’t paying into it!).

Did you know: Pastors have the option of opting out of social security within 2 years of their licensing. My two-year pastoral anniversary is next week.

Did you know: Churches are not obligated to pay 7.5% towards a pastor’s social security. This would require a pastor who did not opt out of social security to pay the full 15%.

I’ve talked to lots of pastors and it seems about half have opted out (and half regretting their choice either way). Getting hit with this bill makes me want to opt out of social security, but is it the right thing to do?

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How do you make big decisions? Do you analyze the situation? Do you look to God? Do you go with your gut?

Here’s five things I do before making a big decision.

  1. I talk to my wife. She knows my motives, my mind, and my circumstances better than anyone. She asks the right questions to make the right choice. Plus, it’s good to have the people that will be affected by the decision to be in the decision-making process.
  2. I talk to my dad. Not only is he the smartest person I know, but he unselfishly wants the best for me. It’s good to have someone’s input that is smarter than you, can see the big picture, and you can fully trust.
  3. I talk to my mentor. It’s good to have someone who cares for you and has seen your process over the years, but isn’t necessarily in your everyday life. For me, he is the most objective of the three.
  4. I look in scripture. I’m not the first person to make a decision “like this”. What does scripture say?
  5. I pray it to death. I saturate a situation in so much prayer that it’s obvious what decision needs to be made.

This is the elements of my decision making process. Do you know yours?

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