Thursday, March 25, 2010

If the church was like Boy Scouts...

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege to watch the Eagle Court of Honor for our local Boy Scout troop.  I have been to a few of these during my time here at Platte Woods and it always amazes me to watch these boys who have committed so much, reach a major milestone within the Boy Scout organization.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When the games aren't enough

I have been sensing a shift in youth ministry over the last few years. I have seen articles that confirm what I have been thinking. I am thankful to say youth ministry is moving away from the idea that games will bring students in. We are moving away from the fun aspect and focusing more on God. Don't get me wrong, I believe games are important. I just don't believe they need to be the bedrock of youth ministry and students are agreeing.

Games have been a part of youth ministry for a long time. I remember being in youth group in the late 80's/90's and we did all kinds of games. Ping-pong was my favorite. Today, you will find a game in almost all youth ministries across the country. Games like dodgeball, foursquare, games system and board games. Games during worship, lock-ins retreats and get togethers. Youth Pastors use them to draw in kids as a fun element that people like. Some youth ministries are only about games and some use them sparingly or not at all.

Here are some things that can happen if games are center:
1. You will have to always been prepared to play a game. If games are your ministries focus, then you will always need one. The games will always need to be better than the last one played.
2. Students will believe that church equals games. I believe this is the biggest issue. We have terrible problems with students leaving the church when they go to college and I think part of that is because youth ministries are so different from the larger church. Students get used to the fun times and expect church to always be like that.
3. Once the games are over, the students will leave. If games are the main focus, students will come to expect them. If you try to have a time without them, you will see your attendance drop.

Don't get my wrong, I think games have a place but we need to not make them the entire focus that our ministry is based on. There are positive uses for games like to build community, break up a worship service or just to get to know students (almost all your students will have a game system at home). Games can help break down some walls that new students may have when coming into your ministry for the first time.

We need to focus our time with students and help them see who God is. If a game breaks out because of that, then no biggie.

What do you think?

God's Will

"How can I say I trust God but then get mad when things don't go as I plan."

This saying has become a mantra of mine over the last couple months. I can't really say what is going on but I have been battling some things that I really wish would have been different.  There have been many times in my life when I relied heavily on God to direct me in the way He wanted me to go. I would pray almost constantly for Him to show me His will.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Being Kingdom Minded

Last week I blogged about the book "It" by Craig Groeschel. The book is written to churches who are struggling with growth and energy. The It is God's spirit being in a church and being active in building the kingdom of God.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had struggles with some serious questions about how our youth ministry is doing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Review: It by Craig Groeschel

I usually am reading about 3 books at a time. I have read a 1000 page book in just 8 days or a 100 page book in a couple months. I decided since I read so much that I would start sharing my insights with the blogging world and maybe someone will get something out of it also.