JCISONLINE

Helping Leaders in Student Ministry

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Thank You Note

Got a thank you note from a 6th grader today. Isn’t it amazing how these always make you feel good.

Reinforcing what my parents taught me a long time ago about thanking people. Note form is always nice too!

Published via Pressgram

Parent investment

Yesterday I was having a conversation with high school students and we were discussing the importance of parents discipling their children. 

I asked how they thought their parents were doing (very bold but I was mining for gold). 

One student said this, “If I ever have a question, my dad is there for me. He used to be closer and would tell me stuff. I just wish that I didn’t have to ask him all the time. I wish he would just mentor me.”

Wow. 

It wasn’t that his dad was doing a bad job or that he didn’t believe that his dad could do a great job. He wanted more. 

We don’t often believe our high school students want this, but they crave it.

I hope if you are a parent that you are challenged by the above conversation. Don’t just wait for the golden goose opportunity. Invest in your kids even if it seems small and insignificant to you. It matters to them.

Hiring tests our trust in God

Hiring people is exhausting work. It’s so crucial and such a shot in the dark. I mean it’s a lot of risk and yet so much reward.

God has blessed us with some World Changers and I am so pumped about the future of our ministries.

I really wish I could give you some hints, but I really don’t know how we pulled off…

  • A double major from Vanderbilt, one of those majors being Organizational Management, who worked at CNN in the past.
  • A corporate events planner that has planned numerous events internationally and is pushing us to get better at events.
  • A former CPA, who is our Administrative Assistant, who has been serving as a small group leader and is just looking to get back into the workforce helping a meaningful organization.

We are blessed. Keep trying, keep pushing and keep praying big, huge, ridiculous, my God is amazing prayers and watch Him work.

The one thing that I’ve learned about hiring is that it tests your trust in God more than anything else. He is trustworthy.

P.S. (haven’t used one in awhile and miss writing letters with that) Telling great people no is one of the single worst experiences ever. You know it hurts them and it hurts to tell anyone that you think is awesome no. I know that God is in control and He knows what’s next for them, but man it’s a tough convo to have with people and tough to deal with yourself.

Selling a domain name

I’m selling a domain name…

It’s called thefatherblog.com.

I’ve owned it for a bit and was really excited about a project that I was contemplating, but never fully invested into it. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested, please contact me.

 

Pictures of the Future

When I spent last week on the beach I had a lot of time to just be. It was awesome.

*I have my wife to thank for that because she loves to just sit in the sun.

My desires for our students and families to grow in Christ kept coming up. I have so many thoughts and ideas on what to do but prioritizing what is most important is tough.

Why?

Because what is most important to you, may not be important to those families. That’s great!

It opens up a dialogue for me and helps me dial down on what families need most.

It’s a great opportunity that we have to invest in the lives of students. They are literally on the brink of the rest of their lives.

I pray that we don’t take it for granted and we work hard everyday to present them the best picture of the Great Gospel for which we work so hard.

Live the picture well.

What picture do your students see lived out through your life? Boredom, Adventure, Love, Passion, Integrity, Laziness?

I am inadequate

I don’t have what it takes.
I don’t have enough experience.
I don’t have that particular skill set.
I struggle with anxiety.
I wish I had more volunteers, resources, creativity, etc.
I’m not a dynamic speaker.
I don’t have it all figured out.
The job is too big and filled with too much pressure.

I am inadequate.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

He is more than adequate

I can accomplish the call because it is Him accomplishing the call through me.

I needed some sand and sun to remind me that “it’s totally true, I suck and can’t do this. But Jesus can do it and He’s already accomplished it… rest.”

 

If you need this today just drop me a comment below so I can pray for you.

Experience

Invaluable experience. Thats what I tell people when they ask what it’s like to have worked with children, middle schoolers, and now high school students at the same church.

Promotion.

That’s what others tell me has happened to me.

It’s a funny thing.

I can tell you a ton of things that I’ve learned moving from children’s to student ministry But I won’t bore you. I will tell you this, wherever you are be concerned with this:

Be the best at whatever you are asked to do and don’t worry about where you will end up.

Serve, Love, and Give and you will go places. Seek to go places and you’ll often end up lost.

Have Fun


In case you didn’t know, my wife and I are in Mexico this week.  This post, along with the rest this week are automated and are sharing some of the insights that I’ve gained from handing a ministry over to someone else.

Ministry can be draining. So don’t let it be. Have fun!

Here are some of my favorite moments from Student Ministry over the last 4 years!

Favorite Youth Ministry moment in the last 5 years? Drop it in the comments below!

 

Stay Encouraged

In case you didn’t know, my wife and I are in Mexico this week.  This post, along with the rest this week are automated and are sharing some of the insights that I’ve gained from handing a ministry over to someone else.

Ever have one of those weeks or maybe even months where you just have no idea why you are doing what you are doing? I had about a 6 month period like that about a year ago. I knew that God had called me to Switch, but it just felt as if I couldn’t find any momentum in my personal life or in the ministry that I was personally involved in.

You know how I got out of that funk. Two separate encouragements.

One from a parent. They just said,

I wanted to say thanks, my kid loves coming to Switch. We had to fight our kids to get them to come to church, but now they are really angry if we are late! I used to tell them, I don’t care if you don’t want to go to church, we don’t go to church because we like it, we go because it’s the right thing to do! But now, they love it! Which makes our family excited to come on Sundays. You are really making a difference! Thanks!

Another instance came from a student they told me how much they loved an event and I asked them why and they told me that their leader was the best! The best part was that their leader was a newer volunteer. I was so overwhelemd with God working in the life of that student, but I was more encouraged that God was working in that new leader to lead some kids closer to Christ.

So I keep a file on my Evernote called, Don’t be stupid. It’s a file where I keep encouraging notes and tidbits from students, parents, and volunteers.

If you are struggling to figure out if you are being effective, just remember that God loves you and gave up His son for you. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.

If you are a youth pastor struggling to feel effective, know that I’m praying for you. I pray that God shows you just what He is doing through you!

If you are a parent or student, please tell all the youth pastors that will read this post, why they should keep giving it their all!

Pray it up

In case you didn’t know, my wife and I are in Mexico this week.  This post, along with the rest this week are automated and are sharing some of the insights that I’ve gained from handing a ministry over to someone else.

This one will be simple but also maybe something that will be helpful.

My ministry seemed to always work better when I was praying harder.

  • I had more volunteers when I prayed.
  • Our events were more creative when I prayed.
  • People took more steps when I prayed about them.

How to summarize:

Say Less, Pray more

I challenge you, take 5 minutes and write down 10 prayers for your ministry. Pray them for the rest of this week and watch God work.

Share what God does to encourage others in the comments below!

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