Look Ma I’m on the Internet

A couple of weeks ago we began videoing our sermons and posting them to our church site @mtownumc.org

Now we are thinking of how to best use it to expand our connections.

Kind of nice to be able to post a video rather than just text of my sermons now though.   🙂 ENjoy

How Youth Ministry Can Ruin The Church

Some conversation with the rest of the staff has gotten me thinking about some of the pitfalls of the way that youth ministry is done. As clergy we were talking about how churches in our area are moving away from a ministry of convenience to a ministry that seeks depth.  They have been doing this by eliminating or shifting weekend services so that there is a dedicated Sunday School hour.  This allows everyone to participate in both worship and Christian education.  We have seen a number of young people going to Sunday school while mom and dad are in worship.  While this a convenient offering the kids then don’t know what it is to be in worship.  When they are expected to make worship a central part of their faith life as they grow up they don’t know how to worship corporately.

There is a real benefit in having everyone together for worship and there being no break down in ages.  It can make for a great well rounded understanding of the body of Christ and community.  the hard part is that it demands worship to be a place where all can connect through music, message and other pieces of the service.  This is truly a daunting task from week to week.  Also, the congregation needs to be open to a variety of diversity within the worship experience knowing that one style will not fit everyone.

The other side is that you would have youth and children’s worship that would be in another part of the building at the same time and mom and dad worship or at another time.  Yet here these kinds of worship tend to take on a very different face than “big Church” on Sunday mornings.

As youth workers we have to always keep an eye on how we are transitioning our young people into the next stages of their spiritual journey.   How are we giving them the tools to find a church that they connect with and can find places to serve in College, as they begin a family and as they move into middle age.  Part of the church drop off of high school grads is because we have failed to do an effective job of transition our youth.  Another part is that the church finds it hard to communicate in a way that these young people understand too.

Worship and integration into the larger church body is a challenge that we have to be mindful of so that we are not just a successful youth ministry but we are a thriving church today and tomorrow.  We shouldn’t be afraid to be all together in worship (at least once and a while), or invite our youth to take up positions of leadership just as our adults do.

We let our youth lead “big Church”, run the computers and sound board, preach, and serve, but I know we can do better.

How are you doing this?

Here is a book that is some good food for thought too.  🙂  thanks for reading

Who do YOU say that I am

lifeforce growThis week at our Young adult Bible Study we are beginning our new study on They Like Jesus but Not the Church.  I am excited about the conversation that will come from the study.

This week we are going to be talking about Who we say Jesus is.  Through out scripture Jesus is referred to as the “Son of God” and the “Son of Man.”  Both are important and both give us very different understandings as to who Jesus is.

If you have a minute let me know your thoughts on one or both of the titles.  It might make for some good conversation on Thursday evening when we talk it out and then I can get back to you with what the small group thought.

What does it mean for you to say Jesus is the Son of God?

What about when you say He is the Son of Man?

How are they the same or different?

Longing for Normalcy

On last Monday I set out for Bible Study with my favorite group of young adults.  This week was a little bit different in that I was taping  the Bible Study for my Ordination Requirements.  The Study was fine and everyone was agreeable to participate as if the film was not rolling. 

Tuesday night I was in the process of transferring the tape to the computer.  As I was capturing the video I became sick to my stomach because something had gone wrong with the tape itself.  Of course the first couple of minutes were all right because that was the portion of the video i looked at to see that everything was going as planned.  But about 7 minutes into the capture there was all kinds of “digital artifacting” which is a fancy term for “unusable.”

Wednesday a filling popped out and so Thursday I spent hours at a new dentist getting it fixed up.  Friday and Saturday were spent driving back and forth with Katie to a wedding in Annapolis.  It was great to spend time with Katie, just a lot of time in the car. 

As I begin this week, I am looking at doing it at a slower pace.  I have to tape the bible study again, and I have to get worship ready because a person of the Board of Ordained Ministry called and said they would like to come this weekend.  Throw in a couple of other meetings and a day with the bishop and the week is packed.  But I am determined not to let my devo time slip or my reflection time evaporate as it has on the blog in past weeks.

I am longing for normalcy and routine and I am determined to make it happen this week.  I am excited about worship this weekend because we are talking about passionate worship and giving out Bibles to our 4th graders and it is going to be a blast.  So with that I am going to leave to do some work but this post has been a nice little break.  🙂

Ask me how my goals are coming along on Thursday or Friday. 

10 Signs You’re in For a Long Sermon « More Than DodgeBall

Such a great post from Josh over at More than DodgeBall!!! :-) 

10. There’s a case of bottled water beside the pulpit.
9. The pews have camper hookups.
8. You overhear the pastor telling the sound guy to have a few extra CDs on hand to record today’s sermon.
7. The preacher has brought a pile of Lunchables to the pulpit.
6. The preacher breaks for an intermission.
5. The bulletins have pizza delivery menus.
4. When the preacher asks the deacon to bring in his notes, they roll in a 4-drawer filing cabinet.
3. The choir loft is furnished with recliners.
2. Instead of taking off his watch and laying it on the pulpit,the preacher uses a sundial.
1. The minister says, “You’ll be out in time to watch the Super Bowl” … but it’s only September 13th.

10 Signs You’re in For a Long Sermon « More Than DodgeBall

Big Brother is nothing Compared to Big Mother

DSC_0250 Today’s USA Today reports that Ford Motor Company is unveiling something new, aimed at helping teen drivers practice safe driving.

 MyKey lets parents configure one key as the teen’s. When the car is started with MyKey, top speed can be limited to 80 mph, and chimes can be set to sound at 45 mph, 55 mph and 65 mph.

Seat belt use is encouraged in two ways: If the driver and passenger don’t put on their belts, a chime sounds until they do. Possibly more important to teens: The audio system won’t turn on until the front two passengers are buckled up.

It can also max out the audio at half volume (which is still plenty loud), keep track of the young driver’s mileage and provide earlier low-fuel warnings than standard. full article

When I read this article my first thought was that a ton of young people are going to be very disappointed.  There is a certain thrill about breaking the rules, or even just having the potential to break the rules (remember Adam and Eve).  And while I would be happy to know the roads are a little safer with this, I think that it misses the point. 

It almost seems like they are taking the responsibility out of driving.  Think about this how may young people are going to get the keys only on the basis that these stipulations are levied against them?  Sure it makes it easier for parents, but it is just treating symptoms rather than the problem of poor judgment. 

What to you think?  Is this a good thing, bad thing, a way out for parents, a way into the driver seat for kids?  Let me know.