Thursday, May 31, 2007

Holy Busy Batman

Wow, I can't believe I am in my third week in Kansas City. I love being here. I love being a full-time youth pastor. The funny part is, right now, I am spending more time getting things in order than I am spending with students. I know that will change but it still seems weird. Last week I was in Nashville, wrapping up all our affairs and collecting my family. Thankfully they are all here and loving it. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in Fayette at a youth ministry training conference. I really enjoyed it. It was much better than I thought it would be.

But I am glad to be back in my seat and working on youth ministry again. I am in the process of setting up our schedule of bands who will be coming in on the first Friday of each month and playing at our church. I am excited about this and all the kids I talked to were equally excited. I have some great bands lined up. Look for more announcements later.

Anyways, look for daily blogs from now on. I am pretty much settled in and will have more time.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Confirmation, do you believe?

I spent this past weekend at our students Confirmation Retreat. I am new to this whole confirmation deal (the Nazarene church doesn't do it) but the more I learn about it, the more I believe it is something all denominations should do.

From what I have gotten, Confirmation is the time where students given the knowledge of the universal church, the methodist church, and their specific church, plus they are given information to help them decide whether they want to join the church and make a statement of faith or not. The students are posed the question of have they given their life to God and will they give their life to the church. I will admit, some of it seems like they are drinking the kool-aid when committing to the church, but when I talked to the kids, they seemed to be glad that they got the opportunity to do it.

Confirmation is a time for students to reflect on what and why they believe. I think this is a great start in youth ministry and I really believe it helps students to maintain their faith better because they have questioned it and had questions answered. As a youth pastor, this is something that I can build my ministry on and then continue to have the students try and test out their faith. I know students struggled with defining why they believe and what they believe, and confirmation helps them do that.

I watched on Friday night as the 16 students tried to write their own belief statement. Our pastor lead them through the process and helped them to focus in on certain parts and make sure they all agreed and that was what they wanted. It was interesting to watch and see them think through which sayings/ideas were important to them and then to the group. I was amazed. The students did a great job.

I was happy to be there and looking for to leading my first confirmation class next year.

Do you know what and why you believe???

Friday, May 18, 2007

1st School Visits.... Lakeview & Congress Middle


Well, last night I attended my first school performances for Congress Middle School (@ Park Hill High) and Lakeview Middle School (@ Park Hill South High). I had a blast seeing the students and talking to parents. I realized that between the two schools I had about 15 or so students in the bands. This is amazing. I laughed as I went thru the list of students in the band and I recognized the names of the students but had no idea who they were.

Pictured you will see Clarice. She loves to play the flute and is very good. She got MVP of the band for her class. I am excited because she is willing to play at youth group and in the church service. I love it when kids want to be involved. I really think it helps them to feel a part of the service, and it helps the adults to see them doing things.

Funny thing is, I haven't met Clarice yet. I have talked to her online and on myspace and I saw her performance, but I haven't had a chance to met her yet. That time will come on Sunday night when I stand in front of all the students and their parents and talk about my vision and dreams for the future of this youth group. I am very excited about this oppurtunity and can't wait to share it with the rest of the group...

Come out and join us if you are in the area.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It has Started!!!

Last night was my first service with my students. I spent time in the Mid-High Bible Study that is run by a great lady named Nanci. She has done a great job with those kids. Anyways, last night I just talked to them for a bit about some of the things we are working on and going to do.

I love Mid-Highers cause they are still so young and innocent. One of my students, Matt, was cracking me up last night because he just kept laughing and he has this really funny laugh, and you can't help to love his spirit. I love seeing kids who are vibrant and not worried about what others may think of them. Almost refreshing.

Well, just wanted to share that experience. I have spent the last day trying to book some bands to two dates in August. Right now I have Sidewalk Prophets, and possibly Jonah 33 and maybe some others... I will keep everyone posted.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Day One in the Books

Well, the time has finally come and gone. I have completed my first official day as a full-time youth pastor... Was kind of weird not rushing out the door this morning to be at my old job. Worried about how much traffic I will hit and what my boss might say if I am late.

So, today was fun. I got in this morning and just started straightening out my office. Going through all the papers, books, dvd's, and cds that were laying around. Around lunch time I got my laptop, so I spent the next few hours getting that all setup and ready to go. I like it. It is bigger than my old one but I know that it will be fine. I also found out today that tomorrow Platte Woods staff is hosting another church so that we can share our secrets of what we do to be successful. This should be interesting considering I have only been here one day :). I am excited...

Well, that is all for now. Continue to pray for us as we get settled and Beth & the Kids finish out their time in Nashville. We will all be in Kansas City on May 27th...


Friday, May 11, 2007

I'm Dying....

OMG (oh my goodness) I can't believe what has happened... So yesterday I went to Budget to pickup my moving van and car carrier. All was good, we got to the house, started loading up and soon realized that the truck wasn't going to be big enough to fit all our stuff in. I was not happy at that point and was trying to figure out what we could leave to make it all fit in.

As we continued loading the truck, we were being very careful of what was loaded and making sure we were utilizing all the space we could. Well, it didn't work. Around 10:30 last night we realized that we were going to have to come up with another plan if we were going to take all our stuff. Well, long story short, I took the car carrier back to Budget and paid for that, and then went to U-haul and picked up a 6' x 12' trailer to pull behind the truck. This isn't a bad situation except that Beth is now going to have to drive the Explorer, which we found out yesterday needed new front tires, so it is currently at Wal-mart getting those put on...

Anyways, we are still leaving today, hopefully around 3pm and will get into KC around 1 or so. This all depends on how good the moving van works... :)

PRAY FOR US!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Moving Day!!!!

Well, today is the day. In just a few short hours, I will be picking up our moving truck and the fun will begin. As of this morning our house is almost completely packed into boxes. Tonight we will load our truck and sleep on the ground.

I can tell you I am ready for this. I know Beth is ready for this, she has been packing over the last 5 weeks. The culmination of our excitement will happen tonight and will be done on Saturday. This is a first for us (as I have written). We have never up and moved our family to a new city since we have been married.

I still can't believe this is happening. I am sitting here at work just basically trying to finish things out but really just waiting. My boss is taking our whole team out to lunch to celebrate my leaving. After that, I will head and get the truck...

Pray that God is with is on this move. 10 hours with me, Beth and our dog in a big Budget Rental Truck with my Explorer in tow, should be fun...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cleaned My Desk Out

Well, reality is starting to set in. This afternoon before I left work, I cleaned out my desk. I boxed all my stuff up into 2 boxes and walked out. I am still in shock that all this is happening. On Thursday, our dept will have a goodbye lunch for me. Still strange.

God has really been good to us. Everything seems to be going great for our move and things are looking great for the future. As much as I know that this is what God has called me to do, I am still scarred out of my mind that I am going to mess up. I have been doing youth ministry for a while, but my livelihood has never depended on that. This is a HUGE move for us, not just getting a new job, but moving to a new city, in a new state, in a new part of the country. My kids will be going to a new church and then a new school. We will all have new friends we will need to make, as well as keeping up with old friends.

I am scared beyond belief, but I think this is where God wants me. Scared so much that I know I can't do it on my own. So much that I continue to lean on God and not take my talents for granted. I love working with students and am very EXCITED to be doing it full-time come Monday...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New City next week

Man, I can't believe it. Less than 6 days and we will be in Kansas City. I am soo excited. Crunch time is upon us and things are moving fast. Our house is almost packed up, we are starting to see people for the last time.

We went to Covenant for the last time today. It was good seeing people we hadn't in the last couple weeks. I enjoyed the service and the sermon. I am going to miss that church and the people in it. It is hard to leave 3 1/2 years of your life behind. We know that God is leading us elsewhere, but it is still sad when you have to move.

I will spend the next 5 days getting ready to leave a company I have worked at for almost 9 years. I am still amazed that I am leaving. Amazed that I have been at the same company for so long. Well, in 7 days I will wake up and go to a new job. One 10 hours from where I am currently typing this....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spiderman 3 - is it worth it?

So I just saw the new Spiderman 3 movie. My son really wanted to go see it and since I am moving next week, we figured this weekend would be a great time to go see it.

First, don't ever take a baby to the theater. We took Kaitlyn and Beth ended up leaving with her before the middle of the movie (after her getting stuck upside down in the chair).

Second, this movie left me disappointed. I had high expectations for this movie, but I came away unfulfilled. I believe that Hollywood is catering to movie goers more than they should. Story lines in movies are becoming very predictable and boring. The Spiderman series is a perfect example. I have never been into the comic books, so I don't know the whole history behind it, but the deal with Peter and MJ is getting annoying. That whole relationship thing needs to just go away. The entire movie is based around their relationship, as were the first two. Enough already. Move on to the real Spiderman vs. the world deal.

The villains in this movie, aren't villians at all... The Hob-Goblin (Goblin's son) starts the movie battling Spiderman, but in the end saves his life. Sandman, starts the movie as the most hated man in Peter's mind, ends the movie getting a tear from Spidey. Venom is the only one who starts the movie bad and ends the movie bad.

When I got home, I read a review at www.pluggedinonline.com, and they really brought more of the movie than just watching it. Peter (and other characters) deals with the idea of revenge and how it can easily overcome you. He ends up battling and winning that fight but not before he hurts some of his friends.

The effects of the movie were nice. The CGI was incredible (as always). The plot line was tired and the acting was ok. It was weird seeing Kelso as venom. I think it is funny when guys who normally play funny people try to act serious or be the villian.

So let me know what you thought of the movie or if you think I am wrong.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Myspace: Friend or Foe

Ever since the inception of Myspace, youth pastors have struggled with how to embrace it. The world of Myspace allows for so much individuality that it has become a "haven" for those who normally wouldn't be outspoken. Most students who use Myspace believe that what they do is private, but it isn't. I have viewed my students sites and realized that there was way too much information out there about them, and it shouldn't be.

I have struggled myself with whether to embrace Myspace or keep it at a distance. I have had a Myspace account for a while, and have a bunch of my students on it. I know the kind of information that is out there. Not just the sites of other people, but also the advertisements that go on your site. I have seen the tv shows the highlight the sexual predators that use Myspace to find victims and pray upon young students. I have also seen little girls who put pictures on their Myspace that would embarrass their parents if they were posted in the Family Photo Album.

With all that said, I use Myspace. I mean, I am not a freak about it and haven't changed my profile for a long time, but I do recognize that this is the only way some students communicate (more than email) and also allows me to see the creative side of some of my students. I also push parents to stay on top of their own students Myspace. Most of them don't even know how to get there, much less how to view their own students.

Recently, I have gotten 3 new friend requests from my new church. Jessica, Clarice and Logan have all added me to their Myspace. I have enjoyed looking over their sites and talking to them. I have also cleansed my friends list. I had 163 friends listed on Myspace, I am down to 89. I am amazed that people just add others without knowing who they are. Most of the ones I deleted were musicians who added me or people that I haven't talked to in years.

I think as youth pastors, we need to continue to embrace and educated our students and their parents about Myspace. Let them know the dangers of the information they put out there. The problems with showing too much skin and ways that they can protect themselves.

Let me know what you think???