Remember 'Remember the Titans'?
Culture change is tough - but it is worth it!!! I was reminded of this as I watched the movie Remember the Titans. A coach dropped into a chaotic situation must bring culture change for the team to survive... but he doesn't just want it to survive he wants it to succeed, and to dominate. In a way we want our ministries to do likewise so what ideas for culture change can we take from Coach Boon?
Thinking about sacrifice
If Jesus is King, what does that mean for what we want to do with out lives? [Image by Chris Bellerophon Dotson on flickr]
Back to the Mission
Reminded again and again about what we are created for. We are created for worship! But because there are some people who do not worship, we have been given a mission... to go and show people they were created to worship! - photo on Flickr by llamatofu
Appeasement verses Satisfaction
Do we look to appease our emotions, troubles, discomforts with earthy things that may provide some release temporarily, or do we look to God who is the source of complete satisfaction? [Image by donald_palansky_photography on flickr]
Prayer = Dependence
Even in the confidence I have in my own abilities - I am learning that I still need to be dependent on God if the outcome is going to be worthwhile for the Kingdom. Prayer is the key consideration in this! ~photo credit: wiedmaier on flickr
Monday, 28 February 2011
I feel very humbled to be working with such passionate young people, in whom it is evident that the Holy Spirit is working.
I don't know if my sermon was on par with their effort - I felt under prepared and I'm not sure it flowed as well as my other sermons, but I had many people tell me that they heard God speak so I can simply attest that to his grace, taking my words and making them His.
Sunday, 27 February 2011
They have some great resources for youth work and some good teaching and training ideas for leaders on their website ____________________ (which I will now post later as it seems their site has been hacked and is spreading viruses - I have contacted them so hopefully it will be fixed soon).
Tune in for more and the link later then I guess...
Build a relationship
- Youth probably won’t just sit down and listen to you talk about the Bible. Youth Group isn’t school and you don’t have (nor do you really want) that authoritative role of their teachers.
- Get involved in other activities. Play the games, talk to them at church, grab an extra drink at supper time and take it to someone in your group. Build a relationship based on respect rather than work from a relationship of authority.
Have a plan
- Whether you’re writing your own studies or using a book, make sure you know the material that you’re going to try and communicate. Preparing for studies is vital. It takes time (I find usually at least an hour) but if you are well prepared then you should be confident even if there are some off topic questions
- Don’t let your plan get in the way of good discussion.
- Have boundaries (or maybe time limits for off topic discussion), but allow the thought processes of the group to move forward.
Don’t worry if it is short.
- As long as the main point of the study comes across and there’s some application to that point then don’t worry too much on time.
- Sometimes it’s great to have a whole story from the Bible to study, or a chunk of a letter with great application. But don’t be afraid to find one or two verses that are easy to understand and simply have a few application questions to draw out the essence of the text.
- Don’t keep talking and adding ideas just to fill out your time frame, because the group will probably loose the main point amongst everything else.
- If you’re using a study book that’s great. If you’re writing your own then come up with a few application questions and put them on a handout. Having something physical will focus your point.
- Use pictures, comics, cartoons, puzzles to draw the youth into the topic.
- Someone an extra challenge handout, or something to take home can supplement and extend the ideas in study books.
- Ask simple questions that require something more than a ‘yes/no’ answer.
- Find a physical activity that might highlight a point or application (especially with guys)
- Find a craft that creates something to highlight a point or application (especially with girls)
Don’t be afraid to teach theology
- Teens can handle deep Biblical doctrine. We shouldn't think them too young to process it – though we need to present it in a way they’ll understand
- Teens love learning big words.
Friday, 25 February 2011
I'll post some of the stuff I'm talking about when I get back.
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
One of the essential aspects of a pastor’s relationships is to always relate with integrity. The character of pastors is fundamental to their leadership function. Paul emphasises the character qualifications of pastors in his instructions to Timothy and Titus on the selection of elders (1 Tim 3:1-7, Tit 1:6-9). He uses words like, “above reproach,” “respectable,” “good reputation,” “blameless,” “upright,” “holy,” and “disciplined,” to describe the character of the pastoral leaders in the church. Moral behaviour is paramount.
We live in an era in the West when opportunities for immoral behaviour have increased through the proliferation of overt temptation and the relatively recent possibility of complete privacy. Both the church and community are aware of the deeply flawed character of some pastoral leaders through the media attention that has been given to immorality among church leaders. It is essential that the church makes every effort to insist on and preserve the character of their pastoral leaders. Moral behaviour in pastoral relationships is vital.
So as a Pastor have you come up with your own personal code of ethics? Do you see it as an important task to fulfill? How do you go about actually abiding by that code?
Just some questions that I've had looking at this topic.
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Seriously, since I've begun acting on God's call to pastoral ministry I have found myself embarrassed over and over... much more than usual. Though not too painful these things seem quite funny, and I can always see where they might be relevant in a sermon if I ever preach on certain topics.
This morning's situation was a doozie :-p (those who were at church know what I'm talking about)
Who says God doesn't have a sense of humour?
Thursday, 17 February 2011
This was a path I started 2 years ago which I kind of never saw myself seeing through to the full three year completion. I just wanted some knowledge and study. Now I feel God leading me to full time pastoral ministry, but he still needs to change me so much before I'm ready for that. The study focus and discipline is the start of that... and I want to see change.
But still hanging myself out there on the faith that God's plan is going to be seen to fruition.
Here's some of what Pastor Joe has to say
The main challenge is what to do with unsaved folk who are absorbed into the life and community of a church fellowship without actually converting to Christianity. The problem is that the longer they are part of the community, the harder it becomes to distinguish whether or not they have faith in Christ. It is natural for people to become like the communities they spend time in, so an unsaved person can through simple attendance begin to undergo a transformation of character and begin to have a lifestyle that resembles many of the other people in a church. But you can't get saved by osmosis! Every person needs to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ...
Therefore the question must be asked: Do people need faith in Christ to be considered part of a church community?
Read the rest on the Young Adults blog
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
...transformation of the community comes principally through relationships. If relationships are not strong, then there is likely to be little development or change. For God’s church to be strong and God’s people to work effectively together, relationships must be healthy and intentional. Healthy relationships are actually a visible sign of God’s community (John 13:35: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another").
Thursday, 10 February 2011
I find I have to really focus on prayer to pray. That might seem weird, but I have to remember the privilege we have in being able to communicate with God, and I have to remember who I am talking to - someone who deserves our respect, to the point where He is someone we are not worthy to commune with; except for his allowing it.
I was taking prayer for granted - now I'm trying not to. Any other tips?
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Sunday, 6 February 2011
We kicked off 2011 with some games and a time spent looking at our vision. We hope to become a Christ Centred, Servant Hearted, Outward Focused Youth Community. I admit it's a vision we used at Whitehill but after talking to Ben about it we thought it could be used elsewhere to focus a group on the community they should be striving to be. I'm really looking forward to how this all pans out!