Friday, October 26, 2007


Not sure what I think about this yet. Virtual churches? I might just have to log onto this thing to check it out. Lemme know what you think?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good times...

Today I had the opportunity to go with a friend and fellow youth pastor Andy down to see Camp Crossroads and to catch up with some good friends Reuben and Nicole. I got to know R&N while they were the retreat center directors at Columbia... and it was so good to see them. One thing I have never been good at is keeping up with friends as they move away, and this is just a reminder to me about how sweet friendships are.

I also heard about Andy's experience at National Youth Worker's Convention in San Diego. My turn will come in a couple of weeks when I head to Atlanta for the convention there. This is always a sweet time for me to make my yearly trek to the convention. Once I'm down there I hope to do some blogging about it this year.

After getting home from my road trip, I had an opportunity to hang out with my kids while Kristine was out at a work function. Always a great time. Of course I love my kids, but even more special is seeing them laugh together and goof around together. We just did a quick dinner at Panera, but the time together was invaluable. Each night we spend time praying together, and I love hearing there prayers each night. My son's usually has to do with being safe (after he fell on the playground), and with all the rain tonight he was praying for all the dirty tires driving through the mud then getting wet.

The saddest part of the day however was hearing from Dad about having to put their dog down. Katie was a very special dog to all of us. She was a full grown dog by the time my kids came along, and I have so many memories of my kids 'riding' Katie around the house, playing with her, getting licked all over. She was always such a sweet dog but in these last few days her health really deteriorated. This pic is from when she was a baby. We'll miss you Katie...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Checkin it out...

Ran across this video today.

Pretty cool stuff. For any of my seniors that may stumble across this one... take this stuff seriously. Will probably use this one at our seniors retreat.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

'Nother Article

Check it out from USAToday.

And of course the comments at the end are very entertaining.

Also started reading ANOTHER book this weekend for a seminary class: The World is Flat. I thought it was a fairly new book, but turns out its been around for a couple of years. The main crux of this book has to do with not just the shrinking of our world, but the flattening as well as countries are more intertwining. He takes a look at a lot of the technical driving factors in the last couple of decades that helped us get to where we are today (where I can write this in a blog and anyone from around the world can read it, abeit unlikely). One of the interesting factors for me however is that I grew up in the tech industry before becoming a youth pastor, so many of the technology references being made in this book, I feel as though I lived it and could remember when and where I was when some of these advancements occurred as well as how my life changed as a result. This happened during my time in college, at&t, chesapeake, and juniper networks. Most of this stuff I used to know about the change when it happened because of my proximity to the core of everything going on. Nowadays however, its a little tougher to keep up as I'm no longer 'playing' in that industry. But still very interesting to see the changes happening globally.

My bigger question now is, what will this do to youth ministry down the road? It used to be that students competed academically locally within their own school, and maybe nationally with SATs, AP tests, and College entrance. Now with IB exams and other international tools, many of our students are competing globally. Does this affect how we do youth ministry when there is so much more of an awareness of global issues going on in the lives of our teens?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Interesting article

Ran across this article in some culture studies the other day. It has to do with the use of Halo / video games as an outreach tools for youth groups trying to stay relevant to the culture. I think its an interesting subject to discuss as it seems at least a few of us (but I know not everyone) has a video game console in their youth room, whether its gamecube, xbox, ps2/3, dance pads guitar hero etc...

At the very least, I can say with confidence that a majority of my boys (as young as 6th grade) are playing Halo 2 these days at their friends house, or at their own house, and so from an outreach perspective, I can see how moving that into the youth room might be an interesting way to get our youth to bring their friends. So from a cultural relevancy perspective, I can make the point (as the article does) that its a way to make a connection with those that aren't currently in the church.

Where I struggle however is with the success in developing disciples for Christ this method might have. At some point, our hope would be that those that don't currently have a relationship with Christ might come to know him by walking through our doors and playing a video game. But I have to wonder if this is actually happening? Granted I will give you that if we have a Halo night, give out free pizza, and do a devotion during the pizza time, that those that normally wouldn't hear the Gospel might now have an opportunity.

I guess that's to say that I'm not sure where I fall on this one yet. Note that we do have an Xbox with Halo2, a gamecube with mario kart (always a favorite), and DDR that has all christian music on it.

Another interesting side note on this, check out some of the trailers on the Halo3 website. Some of the thematic elements including how much master chief is the savior of the world, how the trailer leads you with a charge to believe (assumingly in master chief's ability to save the world). I've thought about using some of these in some youth talks as there is relevancy, and of course a connection to spiritual things.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Passion of the Western Mind

Alright, well today I started reading the book "Passion of the Western Mind". This isn't necessarily a fun book, but was recommended by a friend to take a deeper look into what brought us to the worldview that we seem to have today. Just in the couple of pages I read, it seems to be very intellectual and therefore, very challenging. I'm guessing I will read only 2-3 pages a day if I'm lucky.

Today was mostly about Plato and Socrates and their thoughts on the Idea as something that is bigger than the concrete world. For example, in order for us to determine is something good, there has to be a collective Idea of what is good. In order for us to make comparisons as to whether or not something is better, there has to be an ideal that gives us a basis for comparison. These collective ideals are bigger than one person and bigger than the what we can 'get' from our senses, yet it has a piece of it that can be represented concretely in our world, and a piece that can be represented within our own mind. Another example used was that of a Horse. There is an Idea called horse. The idea Horse exists outside of space and time, yet it is manifested in time and space as individual creatures that we call horse. Even though there are differences within each of these creatures, they still conform to the idea Horse. An individual horse may be born, live and die, but the Idea Horse still exists. Additionally, we each have a perception of what an ideal horse would be in our own minds based on the Idea, but my perception of what makes a horse might be different from yours.

What does this have to do with youth ministry? I'm not sure yet. But there is a sense in my mind that some of this is what we are struggling with these days, and why the discussion is so important. That is to say we each have a perception of what a relationship with God entails. Somewhere there is an Idea of what all this is about, but we as humans may only see a small piece of that manifested both in our minds and concretely in the world around us. I wonder if the same can be said for youth ministry. That there is an Idea of what the right way to do ministry is, but each of us have a small piece of that manifested in our minds, as well as manifested concretely in the world around us.

All very philosophical of course, of which I'm not a philosopher, just trying to get down some of the stuff I'm reading and wrestling with. What do you think?