creative canvas

Sunday Evening – Reggie Joiner NYWC 2009

Sunday, 22 November, 2009
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Again, raw notes from Reggie Joiner’s talk on Sunday night. Very very very good. Please read this and go buy his book “Think Orange”.

Amazing thoughts!! Props to our Children’s Pastor, Julie Chestnut, she brought this book to our staff’s attention a few months ago and we need to move on it!!!!

Sunday Evening – Reggie Joiner

/   sometimes we forget why we are here.

/   we are all here b/c we all agree on one thing: and that is this: the only thing that will matter 100 years from now, is a relationship with God.

/   at the end of all of this, if students grow up and miss God, nothing else really  matters.

/   we have this thing in us: i wanna go as high as i can go, i want to be around people who will talk with me about this, i wanna learn, train about these things.

/   yet at one point, it just comes down to one thing: what are you gonna do with what you’ve learned? will this conference, this conversation pay off?

/   if you were to walk out the door of yourministry and turn around and come back

in with the power to change anything in your ministry, what would you

change?

/   people change when the pain associated with the status quo, becomes greater

than the pain associated with the change.

/   we tend to be the slowest to make changes or make the adjustments we need to make. we get comfortable.

/   first principle about change: if you wanna build something that lasts, you gotta be willing to change the things you build. I”m gonna create it with open hands but somebody behind me might need to tweak it or change it. when i hinge my identity on that, i don’t give up control

/   “sometimes i walk into church’s and feel like its 1983” church’s can so easily get caught up and not change

/   if you do not change what you build, you cannot hope it stands.

/   second principle: the best way to keep team moving towards mission, is to frequently upgrade your systems.

/ one of the most powerful things about change, is that change is an unbelievable platform to remind people about our mission/vision. change is a great opportunity to remind people of the mission or the vision.   the church’s that don’t change threaten the mission. if youdon’t work harder and harder that your rethinking everything you do, you’ll get stuck in a culture that needs to know who god is.

/   we’ve gotta ask hard questions, pull, pull, talk about questions that aren’t easy. the best way to remind them of the mission, is to talk about changes that need to happen in order to reach the mission

/   it was the mission tht drove them.

/   third principle: every change gives you an opportunity to distinguish between what is core and what is cultural.

/   great things about hang: you can qualify two diff. categories > core and cultural

/   you need to know what is a core and cultural. the core doesn’t change, those are the foundation sof the faith. the cultural needs to change as the students change. it is our job as leaders “this is core, this is core this is core, this is cultural and needs to be changed”

/   when you get everyone on the same page that is core, it doesn’t cost you relationally and it doesn’t cost you.

/   fourth principal: when youdont upgrade, you lose your capacity to support more relevant approach.

/   circle relevant: think about this word. this word has a lot of baggage in christian spheres. this is misused a lot. what i mean when i say relevant: connecting to the matter of hand. taking the truth and connecting it to the matter of hand.

/   kids are leaving church b/c they don’t see how it works with them the other 6 days of the week. they need to understand what it looks like to have an everyday relationship with Jesus.

/   we take programs from another church, and try to form fit it to ours. we need to upgrade the system to our own picture. <downloading c4 photoshop onto ancient mac>

/   “If you want CS4 PHotoshoph to work for you, you’re gonna have to upgrade your system”

/   theres a reason why you can’t take of your tie and have a contemporary service/ theres a reason you cant add a band to an organ

/   when we’re more worried about making the people happy who are already there rather than reaching the people who aren’t in the church, we need to upgrade.

/   you can’t uild something that lasts, unless you willing to change

/   if you wanna create a culture that is influential to the people now, you must upgrade

/   fifth principle: effective organization create a culture that are intentional about upgrading critical

systems

/   think in these 5 sysemts:

1. system in your church that connect leaders

/   how are you getting adults on the same team. how are you playing together as a staff. are you crossing over silo’s. are you learning how to lean into each other and get on the same page. sit around a table for 2 or 3 hours and discuss, learn, debate.

/   youdon’t have to work at getting misaligned. you have to work at getting aligned.

/   pastors must LEAN INTO EACH OTHER! if we don’t learn how to play together, the generation behind us may suffer the consequences

2. the system you use to communicate truth

/   how you say what you say may determine whether the things you say get heard.

/   we have a calling of truth and to wrestle with how to communicate it and how a generation behind us will hear it.

/   they will not hear it the same way we hear it. it must be changed!! it must be chagned!!!! they may not be moved the same we are moved. they may not receive it the same way we receive it.

/   we undersand this through foreign mission trips. but the truth is this: we forget how to be missionaries in our land

3. the system that relates to how we partner with parents

/   this is super super super important

/   tendency: buy myth that parents for teens don’t make a difference and they are disengaging. the best thing we can do is this: lean into teens and tell them that there relationship with parents are more important than they think right now. pursue a right relationship with parents.

/   we say to parents: don’t disengage with teens. as teens move towards dependence, the best thing you can do is re define your roll as a parent. learn how to be a parent as they mature.

/   the parent has about 3,000 unkempt hours and if you can leverage them and get them on the same page as you, you can exponentially multiply your influence.

/   as leaders of teens, don’t give up on the family. don’t quit on parents. reinvent how you work with parents. god designed parents to transfer faith to students. Parents need leaders who will lean into them and give them hope. Yes the family is broken, we don’t fix it. we show them how to re engage with the story of god’s redemption and faith. THIS IS HUGE!!!!!!!!

/   4. the system that connects leaders to kids and leaders to students

/   as a church staff the greatest gift we can give is to put another adult in the life of a teen that will say the exact thing a Christian parent would say.

/   in the middle of the strategy, there is a relational thread that we need to put consistently in their life.

/   the teens that have consistent leaders, have a more mobilized faith. as a parent, the greatest gift to give were leaders in his kids life.

/   teens are going to look for affirmation somewhere else and we have the opportunity to put it in their life. so please look and tweak your system. don’t economize on the relationship side of ministry for production.

5. the system that we use to mobilize people to serve

/   we hold the key to teen boy’girl to what it means to be stretched and mature in life of God. we hold the power to have them plug in and minister in their own lives.

/   plug them into ministry or put them classes each week?

/   when it comes to HS, besides teaching truth, they need an opportunity to experience what god wants to do with them. this is one of the biggest shifts: how many, how many, to this question: what percentage of students are plugging in and doing ministry while they are with us.

/   if you wanna radically change teens, you make sure you give them opportunity to serve and opportunity to do ministry.

/   if youdon’t lean into them to give opportunities, you may sabotage their spiritual growth. one of the biggest things we can to show them what the church is, we give them an opportunity for them to serve.

/   “well the church exists to meet my need” they leave church thinking something they go do rather what it means to be the church

/    most important thing to do is this: your significant and god has a plan for your life. now let me give you oemthing significant to do b/c you will never know if i don’t’.

/   we gotta back up and look at ministry in new light. what do we need to tweak? you can’t build something that lasts unless your willing to ask hard questions and change things.

/   what are the things you need to go back home and change?

/   what has god pressed on me to change?

/  you need to have hard discussions. cause you may have to change this for god’s word.

/   don’t just listen to champions and don’t change. take action!!!

/   if your 50 + of age, stand up:here what i knw abbot you: most of youdont plan on retiring and i’m gonna ask you this: don’t coast into retirement and not make waves. how you hand off your ministry is very critical. i’m gonna ask you, the next decade you spend the relational change in your pocket so people coming behind you won’t be sacrificial lambs. and they’ll have people rallying behind them

/   30 – 40 yr. olds stand up: some of you are in your sweet spot right now, going strong and fast and hard, you’re living it: i’m gonna ask you to lead. i mean LEAD. it’s messy and its hard but we need leaders now more than ever b/c church is at crossroads and we need change. lean into generation coming up behind you but lead.

/   20 – 30

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desperate

Sunday, 8 November, 2009
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This past summer, I took our Sr. High students to a Covenant week long conference called CHIC in Knoxville, TN. At this conference, our students and our leaders were given bracelets so that we could be identified with the conference. If you’ve ever been an adult leader or pastor in charge of students, you understand just how important these bracelets are at conferences. Anyways, after the conference, I decided to leave my bracelet around my wrist as a reminder for me to remember what we had learned at the conference about being “Undone”. Some may call this tacky or unprofessional but for me, it was a reminder of the week with my students.

This bracelet reminded me about the times my students and I had in our nightly small group, a time to debrief the day and to think about what our main session speaker had challenged us with for the evening. We had some good nights of discussion and some good nights of being challenged.

I watched some of our students grow closer to the person that God wants them to be, I watched students from all over begin to understand who God had created them to be and do. I watched students from all over try to push God away during that week and to try to pretend that everything in their lives are perfect, hunky doory. But they aren’t.

I watched drained youth pastors receive a new breath and a hear God’s voice in ministry again. I watched some frustrated, tired youth pastors find restoration and find strength in the one true vine, through the holy spirit. I watched some youth pastors, some who were discouraged and we’re against a brick wall, see the light at the end of the tunnel. They were reminded why we do what we do.  I was in that boat. God reminded me why I do what I do. Why I get so frustrated and heart broken and why it is all worth it for the  Kindgom of God.

I watched some parents be challenged by some youth half their age. I watched them be inspired by their actions and words, I watched them smile.

I watched God move. I saw God work in the lives of high school teenagers, who face sometimes the hardest trials we can imagine from their peers. God’s spirit opened my eyes to what he is doing in students’ lives. He opened my eyes to what he is doing in my life.

I was inspired and moved by God’s word. All these things are part of my memory from CHIC . These are things I want to remember when I look back on my first trip to CHIC.

This bracelet meant these things and many more to me. It was encouraging to look at my wrist and see this bracelet. It was a reminder of God’s faithfulness. It’s a lot of things.

This morning, this bracelet fell off. I was kinda stunned at this moment. I hadn’t really thought about what it would be like for the bracelet to fall off or if I ever lost the bracelet. These memories that this bracelet brings were not only available b/c of the bracelet. But when the bracelet broke, I was reminded of something: like the theme of CHIC “Undone”, my life must become “undone” like that bracelet. My life must fall apart for the glory of God. I don’t want to hold myself or my life together. I want God to hold me together, God to tear me apart, God to mold me. Unfortunately, these desires are not always the desires I strive for. But I am learning how to chase after the things more that God intends for me to chase after. You may feel like sometimes God isn’t holding you together. You may feel like God has abandoned you. But in fact, he hasn’t. He is still there, waiting for you to tell him that you need him to hold you together. This statement isn’t an easy statement to make and in fact, somedays I decide to try and hold myself together. But i quickly am reminded that
I DESPERATELY NEED GOD.

This bracelet, that might not have meant much to anybody else, when it broke, reminded me that i need to be broken and undone.

Become Undone.

Below here is the benediction the entire stadium of students and pastors would speak together before leaving each night:

And now as we go on our way
may Jesus undo our watered-down,
sanitized and sugar-coated faith,
so that we may follow Him into a heroic life
where our comfort zones are undone
so that we are not afraid to become
countercultural and counter comfortable.

Holy Spirit, reveal a God who is bigger
than all we can figure out
and who loves us beyond what we can imagine.

Give us the courage and the commitment
to work together so that none
of God’s work remains undone.


How badly do you want it?

Saturday, 11 July, 2009
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” It”
– Craig Groeschel

So, I began a book series last month for “Crazy Love” by Franchis Chan. However, my intern needed my book for a study so I am without it. I have decided to continue this by reading “it” by Craig Groeschel, pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma.

I’m gonna post as I read this book. I want to know your thoughts and comments and to discuss with you what Craig says in this book. I must be honest, I was a bit skeptical about this book. For some reason, I anticipated that Craig was going to give us a formula for “it” or a pattern that a church must take. Fortunately, I’ve only read a few chapters but it is obvious that this is not his intent. Made my heart rejoice!

Chapter 1: where did IT come from?

-the good news: if you don’t have it, you can get it.
– the bad news: if you have it, you can lose it.

1. If a church lacks what most people think you need to have church, yet they have it, does this mean that buildings, environments, logos, websites, and so on are not important? Why or why not?
– In my opinion, they are important. But where church’s go wrong is this: when they begin to supercede it. When those things begin to drive the church or the vision, that’s when it needs to cease. It needs to drive those things. Not vice versa.

2. Can you think of an example of a church that had it and then lost it? Describe what happened. Why do you think that ministry lost it?
– I witnessed a church grow and really become a movement in the community. But at one point, it just became motions and the heart seemed to be missing in the middle of it all. I think they may have lost it because they got a little bit too busy with everything else. Keep the main thing, the main thing. Someday, I want to see it. I want to be apart of it. I’m praying and seeking it for Clay Center Covenant.
I’m very excited to see what role God has me playing.

3. If you’ve ever been part of a ministry that had it, you knew it. Describe what it felt like. What were some of the qualities that you experienced and appreciated?
– I don’t know that I’ve ever been part of a ministry that had it. I mean, if you think you have it, do you really have it? Does it ever have a stopping point or a point where you’ve figured it all out? I say no. When you think  you have it, you’ve lost it.

4. What part of your ministry has it? (Your choir, your student ministry, or hospitality ministry might have it.) What factors do you believe contribute to it?
– I don’t know. I need to think about this question more.

Okay so this is what I’m doing. I’m taking the discussion questions at the end of each chapter and just kinda sharing my thoughts. I am praying for God to open my eyes and show me what he has for his Kingdom’s work. I am excited to be a part of it.



a strange feeling….

Monday, 24 November, 2008
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okay so i can’t really sleep. so funny me, i decided to blog about today’s conference. tonight, we had a lady speaking about what i thought was a great thing to think about. Here’s a question for you to ponder and get back to me.

Question: When you accept Jesus as your savior, do you not give your life wholly, and completely to Jesus Christ? Which in turn, does that mean you and Jesus become the same person?

Personally, i believe that yes, when you accept Jesus and ask him into your heart (salvation), your life becomes melded with Jesus and you become one. Now, the hard part is allowing yourself to give your life to Jesus and allow him to take you where he wants you. My struggle, and obviously others’ around, is that I continue trying to take that ownership back. I give it to Jesus and then I take it back. Instead, we should continually be giving everything we get to God and asking, okedoke God, what do you want me to do here? And I think eventually when you become disciplined enough to do this on a daily basis, it almost becomes non-existent because your thoughts and your desires are catered to and centered around the desires of God. When we can make it there, the struggle between our flesh and our spiritual nature is conquered (as much as it can be) and it becomes somewhat of a natural thing for our lives. What is to stop us from becoming like Jesus?

Let’s take a look at the company Jesus kept:

Paul – he was a tax collector before he became a Disciple of Christ. He would be considered a terrorist during that time period because he persecuted people.

Peter – he denied Christ three times to save his own hide, not to mention he’s a quick tempered, sword-toting burst of fire. Don’t forget that Jesus also had to take Peter’s sword down and correct the outburst of his actions.

Thomas – he doubted everything everyone told him, including Jesus! He would not believe that his savior had been resurrected until he saw the holes in his hands and his feet in the upper room

Judas – he totally betrays Jesus for the price of 30 pieces of silver. A traitor? Amidst Jesus Christ? And Jesus Christ allowed him to stick around? He didn’t ask the “traitor” to leave? Hmmmm I think our church today could definately take a lesson from the company Jesus kept…

 

Remember: The church is a place for the sick. and who exactly is sick? You and I, including those other people. So what does this mean for the church?

 

Okay so another ADD post. My apologies. Give me some thoughts on what you’re thinking. ADD’ers are encouraged to be themselves as well.


Revelation of Solitude

Tuesday, 21 October, 2008
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At youthgroup I was asking all the student a question: Why is silence and solitude so hard to deal with? I got a lot of good answers and a lot of typical answers. But one stood out beyond most. A young man answered this: “Because I don’t like who I am and the silence reveals who I am”. How many of us are the exact same way? How many of us keep ourselves so busy, so tired because “we’re doing our part in bringing God’s kingdom to our world”. I’ve used this excuse before because I did not want to realize what I had become. The last thing I wanted was to realize that in my feeble attempt to do good, I had actually become something I never wanted.

In 1 Kings 19, we find part of Elijah’s story. This is after he has killed 450 prophets of Baal or however many there were. You probably know the story: Elijah is commanded to go to the top of a mountain because God will pass by him. When he reaches the top, he experiences a nasty wind that tears apart the rocks, an earthquake that makes his feet tremble, and a blazing fire. But God is not in any of these. After all of this, God speaks to Elijah in a gentle, humbling voice, probably as soft as a child’s voice. Imagine this: a father is conversing with a friend and his child desperately wants to speak with him. The child, in a fragile, almost scared motion, tugs on his knee and whispers “Daddy…”. It is within this voice that God speaks to us. How are we to listen to our Almighty God and Creator if we can’t even hear his voice?

Step back from your life. Take an evening to reflect on the past days. Do you have too much going on and have forgotten to spend that time with God? We all have the same amount of time and we all have opportunities for these things. Because we can say we’re trying to listen for God’s voice, but ultimately, how many of us allow that to permeate our entire life and existence for just a few minutes each week? I’m not talking an entire day of solitude, I’m just talking about three or four minutes. What if the answers we are seeking are in the silence?

Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, you realize all the bad things you’ve done today. Yes, you begin to question your motives. But God begins to mold you in his image. His image of Jesus Christ, which is more glorious than any other.