Reflections on my life from my perspective.


I really hate that I'm so busy that I don't have time to sit and write a bunch of stuff. Oh well, I better not waste time talking about that.

Stuff that's happening- We closed on one house today. Our house is now sold. It's pretty cool walking around with a BIG check. Tomarrow we close on our new house-- bye, bye BIG check. We hoped to be all moved in to the new house by Thursday. So until then, my mind is pretty much one track. However, I'm still working on camps, oneDay, developing ministry leaders, starting a new ministry to high school guys, preparing interns, and Senior Sunday. Somehow I've got to think of something "graduational" to say to our seniors, their families, and everyone else at church on Sunday. I have alot of things I'd like to say to these graduates, but most importantly I want them to REMEMBER. Remember friends, family, trips, lessons, laughs, cries, tragedies, triumphs, victories, failures, prayers, parents, experiences, books, songs, movies, and everything else that God has used to shape them into who they are. Oh, and to keep making memories.

Stuff I'm reading-- Stories of Emergence, The Emerging Church, The Story We Find Ourselves In; Backpacker and Sports Illustrated.

Stuff I'm thinking--- Is there anything more important in ministry than relationships? How can our church be more of a "sending" church? Am I becoming addicted to Starbucks? Will a fish ever speak to me?


My friend Robert has a blog. It is great. He shares stories and thoughts on just about everything-- including family, ministry, life, struggles and other poop. Unfortunately, he is not ready for the whole world to peek inside his head and see what's going on, so he has kept this blog secret. And being a friend, I have also kept this blog secret and have not put a link to it on my blog. But, I must say, Robert, it is good stuff, and I think it's time you share it. For anyone else who wants to go public with their blog, email me the link and I'll post it on this blog. And, maybe, just maybe that will give Robert some confidence to go public as well. Or maybe he'll just keep it for himself. Either way, I'm glad he let me in; it's been a blessing. Thanks Robert.


I just finished reading Tony Jones' chapter in Stories of Emergence, a collection of stories from Christian leaders as they find themselves in the process and movement of beliefs, world views, absolutes and authenticity. Tony, student ministry pastor at Colonial Church of Edina (Minnesota) shares his story of becoming more of a program director than a youth pastor. This story definately connects with me, as I'm sure it does with just about any youth minister who reads it. Tony writes that the push to create the ultimate youth event (or program) came at a "cost to his relatonships" and was to the "detriment of his own spiritual life." Yup, me too. Oh, how many times have I missed an opportunity to listen or encourage a student because I was too busy or too caught up in planning or preparing for the next event. This is such a struggle in a large, established church. Which has led far too many of my peers in full-time ministry to go plant new churches or become full-time volunteers (read "quite youth ministry job; sell insurance; lead 9th grade small group on Sunday nights.) I am not a young, dynamic, great communicating, wild, crazy, "cutting-edge", innovator of postmodern youth ministry. Yet, somewhere deep down inside I feel God has a plan to use me to help shift this paradigm of youth ministry that currently exists in the church. I agree with Tony when he says the problem for us is where to go next. It's not another new model, or program, or even a new paradigm. And who is mentoring or exemplifing a new(or different) way of doing ministry?

The best thing to happen to my ministry in the last two years has been the opportunity to enter into conversations with other folks in my same spot. Others who feel like something isn't right with our current youth ministry assumptions and methods of guiding students to God. In my case that has came primarily from three different groups that I am abundantly thankful for:

One is a group of friends and fellow ministers connected with Sonlife, a ministry organization in Chicago. A special group of Sonlife guys and gals has been some old friends who have walked with me as we tried to follow the steps of Christ in our lives and ministries. We have also tried to create an experience where students could do the same thing. YouthWAVE is meant to be more than an event; rather a transforming experience (that is also consistantly transforming itself) that follows students through the other 51 weeks in the year.

Second, has been a couple of guys at my church and at nearby churches who have met regualrly to try and keep challanging and growing in context and community.

Third, has been the group of students I work with at Garnett. We have been on a journey together for the last few years, and I pray it continues. It is so cool to have discussion and interaction with students that is two-way. Relationships that allow for me to grow and be encouraged as much as I stimulate growth and offer encouragement. Just this week one of my ninth grade students challenged me to let go of my stress in the details of our Wed. night program and just let God work. Praise God that He has already humbled me enough to listen to Him when He speaks through the mouth of a ninth grader.

I hope one day I can write my own story of emergence. I hope God continues to make and mold me into a real student pastor. I hope I will never forget the view from this side of the empty tomb. I hope one day I will finally let go of my stress of the details and planning of programs and events and just let God work.


How do I define success in my youth ministry? This is a question I've been asking myself lately. Is it defined by the number of students who show up to all the different events that we have? Is it the number of students who accept Christ? Get baptized? Live moral lives? Is it the number of students that we meet or make contact with in any given period of time? Is it the number of students that go into full-time ministry? Does success have anything to do with a number at all? Maybe success for my youth ministry is more defiened by how I live out Christ in my life, instead how my students attend or participate or grow. Or maybe is just how many conflicts I avoid or how long I can keep my job. Recently someone pointed out to me that God does not call my to be successful in ministry, but rather He just calls me to be a servant. This is very hard for me to accept, frankly since I grew up playing sports and really seeing the value in competition. I mean, if I don't measure my success in ministry by how much or how many, than how do I know if I'm doing well? Or even if I'm doing right? Sorry, no real answers today, just a bunch of questions.

For an interesting article (or rant) on God's ambitions for Youth Ministry versus ours read Dave Ambrose's Youth Ministry Arrogance at


Still lots going on this week. Trying to find another house is probably the biggest thing on the agenda right now. Also, starting to pick up the pace on our summer student ministry activities. Two great events that I help coordinate are YouthWAVE (in Austin, TX) and White Water Ranch (in Ocoee, TN.) We had a great time in Mexico over spring break working with Vida Nueva Ministries in Piedras, Negras. I plan to put a report/summary of our week in Mexico on the blog very soon.

I saw "The Ring" last night and would agree with Susan Granger's comment on the front of the DVD --"the best scary movie since The Sixth Sense." I just might add one more word to that description....CREEPY!

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