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Showing posts from June, 2013

I'm Popular

Growing up, I often wanted to be popular.  I think that's pretty common.  I never was.

But now, at 31-years-old, I have arrived.

I am, hands down, the most popular person in my home.  Okay, there's only four of us.  But still, almost every second of every day I am wanted by a member of my family.  Often, I am wanted by all three at the same time.  This can be exhausting and frustrating.  It's also awesome.  

Everybody wants Mom to be proud of them, and I absolutely am.
Everybody wants Mom close by when it's time to go to sleep. 
Everybody wants Mom to listen to their ideas, their stories, and their feelings.
Everybody wants Mom to do something for them--fixing a snack being the most common request.
Everybody wants Mom to hold them when they're physically or emotionally hurt.

And, the day or two before a student ministry function, I become very popular.  I take more phone calls, texts, and e-mails in one day than I do in one month.  This used to frustrate me.  Now, I know i…

Power of Words

I have quite a lot of words.  They're not loud, boisterous words, but they're words nonetheless.  They are words that process situations, people, and feelings.  They help me think through my life and the way I work.  They also help me process others' situations and how they work.

I'm not careful enough with my words.  I often say too much.

A few months ago, a woman came to share with my small group.  (Hello, you; I know you're reading this:)  She talked with my freshmen small group about the struggles she and her son experienced when he was a teenager.  She and I communicated during her son's teenage years, trying to combine our forces, our love, and our wisdom to help her son.  We wrote e-mails back and forth, sometimes brief, sometimes lengthy.  We cried together on the phone.  She was, for the record, the most cooperative, strong mother of a troubled teen with whom I've worked.

She came prepared to my small group meeting, which didn't surprise me at all…

Summer Student Spirituality

Being a student in a church looks different in the summer than it does the rest of the year.  September through May we meet in small groups every week to build relationships with peers and adults to aid in our spiritual growth, to read the Bible, to discuss our lives, to pray with and for one another, and to have fun.  We gather about once a month for a larger event--a bonfire, a shaving cream war, a game night.  We gather once a year or so for a WAY larger event like a lock-in with 200+ of our closest friends.

But in the summer we don't do any of that.  We put our attention, energy, money, and prayer into a summer mission trip.  This weekend about 90 of us from PCC's Powhatan and Westchester campuses will leave for Cherokee, NC.  We will spend a week building relationships to aid our spiritual growth, serving God by meeting his people's practical needs, worshiping in song and sweat, and making lifelong memories.

It will be awesome.

Then it will be over.

Eight days does not co…

Student Ministry Games

A few weeks ago, I followed a couple blog posts of youth pastors’ go-to games.  Here are mine:
1.Trainwreck.  I fell in love with this game playing it as a college student.  It’s still my favorite.  It works great with a crowd of 20-40, but I’ve done it with many more and fewer.  Ask every student to grab a chair and put it in an inward-facing circle.  You, the leader, stand in the middle of the circle.  You say a sentence beginning with the words, “I’ve never…”  What follows should be true.  If you’re playing with students, then I also suggest saying that what follows should be PG or G-rated.  (Yes, I once had a student say, “I’ve never had sex.”) Everyone sitting around the circle who HAS DONE what you’ve NEVER DONE, then gets up and moves to another seat.  (Now you see just how bad the sex comment was.  And yes again, some students got up.)  You’ll need to repeat that rule several times, and do a practice round. 
You cannot move to a seat right beside you unless it’s the only one avai…

Summer Intern

May 2001 I began serving in youth ministry.  I was a Summer Youth Ministry Intern.  That summer changed my life.
I am thrilled that beginning in May 2013, I am now mentoring a Summer Student Ministry Intern.  I hope the experience will help this intern discover God’s calling in his life.  I hope he’ll see God work in and through him in amazing and unexpected was.  I hope he’ll see God use him to forever change the lives of teenagers.  I hope this summer will change his life.
At least I’m going into this with realistic expectations:)
I am even more thrilled that PCC’s first-ever Summer Student Ministry Intern is Tanner Iglio.  Tanner has been at PCC since he was a middle school student.  A couple years ago, I had the privilege of dunking him in the James River.  PCC has watched God work in Tanner’s life as a worship leader, a killer drummer, and a leader in the student ministry.  Now that leadership is official. 
Tanner will build relationships with students, giving them an authentic pict…