Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Typical Day

Ok, so it didn't work out to put up my lecture notes from "A Me Second Lifestyle" today. As usual I was busy and didn't find the time. I suppose a more realistic goal would be sometime this weekend so that is what I will shoot for.

Currently we are getting ready for our youth group Christmas party on Sunday. It should be a fun, exciting time. We are catering in some italian food and encouraging the kids to dress up nicely. It will be interesting to see how the junior high guys do with this! We're doing a gift exchange and playing some fun games. Hopefully we will have some visitors and maybe some of the kids who we haven't seen lately.

Also, we are looking at splitting up junior high and senior high large group discussion time. Currently we group them together since it makes more sense with a smaller group. We have had solid growth in numbers this last year and it seems to make more sense now to be able to have a discussion more age-suitable for these two groups. Also, we are working on a two-year junior high topic plan that will be a good cycle to get into, and of course a four-year senior high plan. If I find time this weekend I will try and post some good ideas on how to make those work, but it is so important to start planning for the future. Fortunately, we have been very diligent so far. Anyway, that's all the time I have for tonight, but I will write more tomorrow!

God Bless!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Me Second Lifestyle

Ok, so sorry I have not been more proactive in producing a timely blog, but it is time to get caught up with that. It has been so busy here in Omaha that blogging hasn't been on the radar, but time is opening back up and I really think this will be a good tool to use.

So about the title....well I recently had the opportunity to teach on "A Me Second Lifestyle". Our youth group has an amazing theme for the year and it is "Livin' the Comittment". Each month we have looked at different aspects of this from things such as a "Life of Habits", to "Sharing Your Story" (using the 3-story evangelism model). In December we really wanted to focus on putting others first. This was one of the first times I've been able to give an entire message to the whole group, and amazingly enough I was nervous! But needless to say, God does amazing things and all went well. Hopefully I will find time to upload what my flowsheet and message said so that others may take a look at it. A book that I really need to give credit to is "Speaking to Teenagers" by Duffy Robbins and Doug Fields. It was an amazing book that helped a ton and I recommend it to any person who speaks to teenagers whether it's a small group of junior high boys or an entire youth group.

One last note before I close for today. As many know, there was a horrible shooting last Wednesday at Westroads Mall here in Omaha. The entire event has really affected our community, but I believe that good will come out of it. It's amazing to see how our entire city has really rallied around this terrible happening. I ask you all to keep praying for the families of the victims and for the healing of this community. When I look at what happened I am also saddened to see how one youth could possess so much hurt and anger that he could do so much damage. That alone is the reason I want to be a Youth Pastor. I encourage all of you to keep strong and diligent and never forget why God has called us to this profession. Even though at times it seems like we aren't getting the reactions that we would like from our youth, it does not mean that they aren't listening. They are! And they are hoping to find someone, anyone in their lives to listen to them. I encourage all of us to take some time and refocus our hearts on why we do what we do.

God Bless!