Twitter Conversation Live

Sam Luce contacted me the other day with a fantastic idea. Let’s get together and talk about Family Ministry. Let’s do it like a twitter leadership mini-conference.

I thought it would be a fantastic idea. So this Thursday at around 3pm ET join us as we talk about reaching the Next Generation.

Here’s a list of the people that will be involved:

Jim Wideman

Kenny Conley

Sam Luce

Timothy Paul Jones

Gina McClain

Michayla White


Byron Ragains

Jared Kennedy

We’ll be using the hashtag #asknextgen to have the conversation. It’s sure to be a fun time.

If you had a panel of practicioners in Children’s and Student Ministry, what questions would you ask about reaching the next generation?

Birthday Thoughts

Today is birthday 29.

I haven’t posted in so long to this blog and frankly it’s just because I’m so busy. The blog is always the first thing to go. But today I wanted to get up and write to share some things that I’ve been learning about life and ministry.

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Summer Priorities for Youth Ministry

Summer is always an interesting time in ministry isn’t it? I was thinking the other day about how a lot of places get really chill during the summer months. For me it might be the opposite. But the thing that is definitely different is the amount of opportunities that we have to connect with students and their friends during the summer.

Talking with a mentor the other day, he was explaining that churches generally go crazy with their events during the summer. Trying to do everything in 3 months or they do nothing. They shut down services and do very little programming.

Interesting that we have a tough time finding that balance isn’t it? Also interesting that we probably talk with our people about that balance a lot.

Through all the things going on in the summer for you, I’d like to share a few things that I make a priority in the summer.

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How to get the most out of your notes

Ever been to a conference or hear a sermon and you just take notes like crazy. Hearing the content, you know that it will be life changing if you just can remember it.

But after writing all these life changing quips, you forget them. They don’t come up in your mind and you can’t apply the life changing truths.

It stinks. But it’s happened to me on more than I’d like to admit.

Over the years, I’ve been taking notes, I’ve had to develop a system to take things and create action items to help me go over content and apply it to my life.

A few years ago I wrote a post during the Orange Conference for turning your notes into action. I think that post is still relevant and I use a lot of what is in that post, but I wanted to give a few more tips for helping you get the most out of your notes.

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Preparation for #OC15

This weekend I’ll be attending one of my favorite things during the year. The Orange Conference.

I’m always excited to go to see some friends and ask questions and learn. This year, I’m especially excited about the theme, “It’s just a Phase”

The idea of phases is one of the most fun things that I’ve been able to experience in ministry. If you didn’t know, I’ve worked in Elementary School, Middle School and now in High School Ministry.

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Watching for the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit.

What’s been happening over the last few months at my church has been fascinating. Simply fascinating.

I’ve watched God move in a church before and it was incredible. Seeing people’s lives changed for the gospel was evident. I’ve longed for that.

It’s happening.

We’ve seen students grappling with God’s word, we are seeing dads question their jobs and priorities and we are seeing God move, albeit in small pockets.

I’ve quit trying to rationalize when I hear why someone is coming to mind and I’ve quit trying to figure it out. I’m learning to just ask. You would be surprised how many conversations I’ve had lately that start out like this.

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Youth Ministry and the Consumerism Culture

Recently, I’ve been studying for a series on relationships for our High School Students. Working only with Middle School students before, I’ve never had the opportunity to talk about this subject before. Our church chooses to give parents of 5th and 6th grade students ample opportunities to lead the conversation before the church aids the family. So this will be new for me.

It’s been challenging.

One of the things in studying that is sticking out to me is just how much a consumer driven culture has began to define everything. Certainly marriage is seeing the brunt of that, but it’s far more reaching.

In fact, I came across this article that I shared on twitter and Facebook and this quote has stuck in my brain for the last few hours:

Youth groups rarely encourage young people to grapple with tough questions. Instead the goal seems to be to engineer events that ratchet up emotional commitment.

It caused me to stop and think about church. There are quite a few attitudes from folks that help reveal how much consumerism has seeped into our culture and how the church desires to solve it emotionally rather than with true spiritual transformation.

Here’s a few attitudes that you might want to be on the lookout for.

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What are you developing?

As you may know I’ve been posting this week for Blogger’s Week put on by the Orange Conference. I’m thankful for Orange and all they’ve done to help me in ministry and I’m more than thankful that they bought an ad on my blog on the sidebar. Be sure to check out the Orange Conference and if you are looking for a conference to really begin to ask questions and understand what Family Ministry is all about, then this is the conference for you.

I’ve been going over the 5 questions I’m Looking forward to getting answered at Orange this year.

Question #1

Question #2

Today’s question is more personal in nature. It actually stems from something that I’ve been working on on the side. Writing and grueling and being filled with fear, but it’s also something that has to do with my personal journey.

What is the one skill or gift that you are working hard to develop this year?

For me this question is something that I need the answer to for a variety of reasons. Every year I try and really work on one characteristic or skill that I can really work at improving. Last year it was my physical fitness. I’m continuing that this year, but my main goal and my hope is that I improve in my ability to write and produce content this year.

I’ve written more in the last few months than I may have ever written in my life. I’m trying specifically by practice, to improve this part of my repeitoire.

I’m not a pastor by training. I’m a pastor by experience and learning from others. I really wouldn’t even say that i’m good at it. My real gift is teaching and while that’s a part of the role, it’s not the largest part and in my experience it’s not the most important.

But being able to communicate effectively with the pen is something that I’ve always wanted but never really been effective at. My grammar isn’t very good and sometimes I just use too many words and don’t really tell an effective story.

But this year is different.

My hope by asking leaders this question is to provide some inspirtation for my own future training. I’m 28. I’m no longer the young person. But I’ve got a few years ahead of me as well. I really want to know which skills I should be working on in order to really improve my chances of helping others as much as I possibly can.

I really believe I’m still in my preparation phase of life. If I were using Robert Clinton’s stages of Leadership I’m in the middle of Ministry Maturing. God is working in me I feel maybe more than he is really working through me. I’m beginning to realize the need to figure out my passions, skills, and experiences and how God wants to use those most for His glory. But man it’s a tough process.

My hope in answering this question is to gain some insight from older leaders that were in this stage. Here’s some questions that I hope to ask to gain some wisdom.


  • What is one skill that you wish you spent more time on in your late 20s – early 30s?
  • What is something in ministry that you always tried to avoid doing during that time in your life?
  • What was God doing in you during that phase?
  • If you had an hour to talk about one or two things with someone my age and hope they could really benefit from it, what would you talk about?

I’m also really looking forward to Orange this year because the theme is It’s just a Phase. Make sure to get signed up for the Orange Conference today!