JCISONLINE

Helping Leaders in Student Ministry

Author: J.C. Thompson (page 1 of 113)

It’s Youth Pastor Appreciation Day

rick celebration

Yes, find a youth pastor and go encourage them today. I want to celebrate my youth pastors, JR Lee and Josh Laxton. I learned so much from you both and I’m thankful for the encouragement and challenge that you’ve given me over my life. Who I am as a leader is partly due to your investment in me, thank you!

We celebrate today, even though a lot of churches celebrate Sundays!

So go find a youth pastor and just tell them how much you appreciate them today!

Knowing God and Experiencing God

I was talking with Sam Luce yesterday and he mentioned something that I thought was incredible. He was talking about his intention of thinking through finding experiences for students where they can Know God but also things where they can Experience God.

My mind began to race with ideas of where our strategy is for our students to Know God and where we have strategies in place for students to Experience God.

Both are necessary.

But sometimes we get stuck in a “routine of normal” where we do what we’ve been doing, simply because it’s what we’ve been doing. We do what is normal because it is normal to us.

 

But I think it’s important for us to take a step back, look at our ministry calendars and ask where am I asking students to Know God and where am I asking students to Experience God.

They work in partnership with one another, but without one, there is no partnership.

Dragon Dictate Test post

Dragon Dictate Photo

I’m testing out a new piece of equipment called Dragon Dictate. I’m actually using a headset with a microphone to record my voice and in the words are transcribed into text. Dragon Dictate is the magic software that takes my voice and makes it into words! Don’t get me wrong I love to write, but sometimes I can work faster when I’m talking. Dragon Dictate gives me the ability to get more words on paper, faster.

What does this have to do with daily workflow?

Well let’s just pretend that I had a six hour car ride. During that car ride I use my phone to record my voice. Then, after the car ride I take the recordings of my voice and plug them into Dragon Dictate. The software will take my voice recordings and create text documents out of it! This allows me to work on the road and yet not have to type. Which means I will get even more work done than ever before.

But not only that, when I have constant streams of thought and I’m unable to process them immediately, I can record it and work out the details later.

I’m really excited about what Dragon Dictate is going to allow me to accomplish.

Have you had any experience with Dragon Dictate? If not, what is one tool that you absolutely could not live without.

Leave me a comment below with your number one tool.

This entire post was written with my Dragon Dictate software.

Seeds Family Worship: The Word of God

 

I recently was given the opportunity to review a copy of the Seeds Family Worship album called The Word of God. I was excited because I have a two-year-old son. I’m always looking for ways to get God’s word in front of him. Sometimes the stuff that’s produced by companies out there is not what I would call cool.

So you might be like me and have the problem of wanting to put scripture in front of your kids, but also not wanting to pull your hair out when they ask you to play that CD for the 8 millionth time. Finding good quality music that is a joy to listen to that teaches children the Bible is tough to find.

So it’s with great joy that I can present an album to you that accomplishes both. This album really is fun to listen to in addition to allowing my son and my wife and I to learn more of God’s word. If you’re looking for an album that is not hokey or corny, but it also teaches God’s word to your children then this album is for you. I would highly recommend checking out Seeds Family Worship and their new album entitled The Word of God.

Also, my favorite track is Impress Them which is based on Deut. 6. My wife and I love that track. Definitely a great reminder for us to hear in the car!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

5 ways to help your children live out the gospel

This is the goal for Cannon. To live everyday with a knowledge of the gospel and to approach life with the mission to fulfill the call on his life. After watching numerous parents at different age levels, there are a few things that I see in common of the parents that seem to have children that are living out the gospel.

Just to clarify, what I mean when I talk about living by the gospel:

  • Knowledge of the Redeeming work of Jesus Christ (creation, sin, fall, redemption, completion)
  • Changed life (looks different based on age)
  • Good works (fruits of the spirit, serving others)
  • Desire + Choices that match with living for Christ

This list of tips isn’t meant to be exhaustive, but it is meant to be helpful. I’ve listed a resource that I believe will help you figure out how to improve upon these areas of your life.

Continue reading

Bullying video from the Mormon Church

I continue to be impressed by the way the Church or Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are using technology to fight against culture. I hope that there are some Christian filmmakers out there that take on the challenge to fight against culture with bravery and talent.

I pray that we challenge our students to make a difference in the world and not just let the world pass us by.

Adventure

Cannon jumpingYou know it’s something that as a kid, I longed for. Funny thing is that the desire for Adventure never goes away. It changes faces and destinations, but I’m always longing for an adventure. The more I’m in student ministry, the longer I realize that we don’t tell a very good story of what God is doing in the world. We don’t cast a vision large enough to challenge our students to walk into their schools and seek to change the world. It’s just a bunch of principle based, write this down, talk about this in small group going through the motions.

I think it’s one of the big reasons why manhood has taken such a turn for the worst in this country. It’s time that the leaders in youth ministry paint an accurate, yet incredibly big picture our of powerful God. And it’s time that we challenge our students to do good. In fact, to conquer evil by doing good.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite books,

‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ – Bilbo Baggins

I wonder what type of adventure we want our students to be “swept off to”?

The gospel is worthy of brave souls to live it faithfully in all walks of life. The only story worth dying for.

Mission

mauldin miracle league

It’s been interesting how being in the role of High School Pastor is changing me. I’m more interested in developing people (or students) that are interested in changing the world. It’s such a different goal than in Preteen Ministry. It’s just as important but the sense of mission in me is growing.

Continue reading

Focusatwill Giveaway

I recently posted about a new service that I was using and how much it was helping my producitivity. It really has reshaped how I use an hour. Shut the door, put on my huge headphones and dig into my work.

With focus@will, I’ve gotten much more done than previously, especially when I think about my study/writing time.

So I contacted the wonderful people at Focus@will and they offered me two premium accounts. I really wanted to just take one for myself but I’m offering it up to you guys.

I highly, highly recommend trying this thing out!

Imagine, sitting at your desk and getting more productive just by changing the sounds that come through your earbuds! It really has been working for me.

So enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is usually streaming to your ears when you are working?

Vision Casting alone

I was going through my blog drafts this week and found a few posts that never saw the light of day. Sometimes, that’s just because they are for me to think about and might be a bit too personal for me to share, but I’m learning, those are the things that I need to share the most. So I’ll be posting a few older thoughts that haven’t seen the light of the internet yet.

Here we go.

One of the things that you hear so much about is the ability to cast vision. You must be able to describe the vision/mission in such a way that people are compelled to action. Painting a desirable picture is only the first step. But have you ever thought about some of the pitfalls associated with an incredible vision?

Recently, I was chatting with the father of one of my volunteers, who is from Germany. He was talking about how different church was in Germany compared to what he just experienced. I told him that it’s very different and that we love what we have going here. I also expressed that Boenhoeffer is one of my heroes who made a huge impact in Germany. He shared that yes, but after he died, there was no one to take his place.

Wow.

One I was shocked… I love Boenhoeffer and reading about his life and his accomplishments. His comment made me think about my leadership. What a difference it would have made if there was a successor to Dietrich Boenhoeffer in Germany. But it’s where most leaders fall short. He also made similar remarks about Luther.

I think you can argue that the work, or the picture that you paint, will by it’s own merit bring the next leader, but we all know that leadership is more complex than just a great mission. However, I think for whatever reason, we spend less time on the people taking our place, rather than the work itself.

Very interesting to say the least.

We consider our day to day work more important than the work that will last beyond us.

So don’t just paint the picture, get others to paint it with you. It will help others dive into the vision and will allow you to see who is in it for the long haul.

 

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