Monday, May 26, 2008
In the book, Shane talks about two tax collectors who had encounters with Jesus - Zaccheus and Matthew. One of them left his job to follow Jesus, the other redefined his job. This is the question I am confronted with. Not to leave my job right now - I know that the Lord brought us to our church for this season, and I am committed to fulfilling my commitment. But, down the line, does God want us to stay within the traditional church context and allow this transformation within me to redefine what I do - why I do what I do, and how I do it - and thus affect a Jesus revolution internally? Or would He lead us to start a new work that embraces these transformational values from the inception? May the Lord speak. May I have ears to hear.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
“The Lord is my leader and provider, I shall not be lacking; I shall not fail. He makes me rest in a pleasant place, He protects and sustains me as He guides me along peaceful and quiet waters, He cause my life to return to its proper rhythm. He guides me along the track of right and justice in order to honor Him by showing forth His character. Even when I walk weakly through the gorge with the shadow of death cast over me and calamity all around, I will not be frightened or overwhelmed with fear, for You are right there inside me; Your rod of authority, and your walking stick of guidance bring me great comfort and assurance. You arrange a table and prepare a meal, inviting me to eat in full view of those who want to cause trouble for and even kill me. You anoint my head with oil; I am filled to overflowing, and I am completely satisfied. Truly goodness and beauty and kindness will chase after me every day that I am alive, and I will abide and remain in the family of the Eternal God forever and ever and ever.” (Paraphrase by Rev. Kevin Mahaffy, Jr.)
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This past Monday I finally made the call and set up an appointment to go and meet with the director of the Youth Bureau. Yesterday Adriana and I showed up to the office building on Main Street downtown. Even in our little town it was a little hard to find. Why? The sign for the Youth Bureau was not in front of the building, or even on the door. The sign was on the side street in front of the neighboring building. When we arrived we met the director, Patsy. I thanked her for carving out some time to meet with us. I explained to her that we had been working here for three years, and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out we had a department dedicated to the youth of our community. She said that my response was a common one due to the lack of visibility, even physical visibility, in the community. She shared about the history of the youth bureau - how it started, how it was run, the great opportunities the future holds, etc. I told her that I wanted to serve in any way that I could, and that I wanted to get the kids from my youth ministry more involved in the community. We also talked about networking for various things that are happening that would benefit teens and parents of teens. Before we ended our time she invited me to come to the next gathering of community leaders who are committed to young people. I left so excited about this new open door!
Our theme for this next year is REACH, and this is the opening of a door that will allow us to get outside of the four walls of the church and to start being the Church! May the Lord help us to see how we can be salt and light in our world.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
I told my grandfather that I was aware of a fresh movement within youth ministry in this regard. A more familiar term for this stream is Contemplative Youth Ministry. People like Mark Yaconelli and Duffy and Maggie Robbins have been revisiting this ancient form of connection with God. After we spoke I decided to pull yet another Robbins book off of my shelf called Enjoy the Silence. (I know, I know, soon I will have read all of George's books, and I'll move on to books by Jerry and Elaine and Kramer.) The book is a 30 day experiment in listening to God. I have begun journeying through the 30 days, and after only a few days, I can say that the Lord has been speaking very deeply to my heart. Setting aside at least 30 minutes a day and just soaking in a passage could sound boring, but I assure you it is the furthest thing from it! It is extremely refreshing! I highly recommend it. If you would like an easy place to start, pick up this book.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Last year when I was at the National Youth Worker’s Convention I saw a book entitled The Ministry of Nurture by Duffy Robbins. Since Duffy was going to be our speaker at our winter retreat just a couple of months later, I decided to pick it up. However, it was not until recently that I had a chance to actually sit down and read the book. As I began to read, everything was so relevant to what God is teaching me about ministry during this season that I found myself nodding my head in agreement with so much of what he was saying.
When I happened upon the date the book was written, I discovered that Duffy had written it in 1990. I wondered how this book had slipped through the assigned reading for my youth ministry classes both in Bible college and in seminary. After reading it, I would re-title it Another Book I Wish Someone Had Made Me Read During My First Two Years in Youth Ministry and package it as a combo with Doug's book.
It is a tremendous book that takes the youth ministry vehicle to the shop, puts it up on the lift and gives it a good inspection to ask whether we are really making fully-devoted, life-long disciples of Christ. It causes us to slow down, examine our programs, and really helps to focus us on the process of youth ministry.Obviously, given it's release date, some of the illustrations are dated. There are also some things that he suggested in terms of practical application for deepening our ministries that we have come a long way on and are actually much more conscious of, intentional about, and engaging in in many youth ministries across the country today. Finally, having read some of Duffy's more recent works, there are a few things from this book that he has clarified and/or repackaged after another 17 years of learning. Nevertheless, these are inconsequential and do not negate the timeless principles and challenges the book contains.
Duffy is coming to be with us again next week, and I have asked him to bring me several copies that I can purchase for my core leaders so that we can walk through it together. It was that good! If you haven't already read it, it's not on your shelf, or you haven't already gone to SYM or YS and ordered it, what are you waiting for? Get to it!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I am also beginning work on a writing project for Youth Specialties with my friend Jack Crabtree. Our deadline is August, so pray that we will complete it and that God's heart will come through in our work. It's another amazing resource for youth leaders that I will tell you more about when it is complete.
May God be glorified and may fruit remain!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Today I celebrate my mom, Gale Mahaffy, and my wife Adriana who is such an amazing mother to our daughters! I also want to send out my love to my grandma's. I love you all! Thanks for being such awesome women of God who have modeled and instilled a legacy of godliness in my daughters.
Friday, May 9, 2008
The Silent generation, people born before 1945.
The Baby Boomers, people born between 1945 and 1961.
Generation X, people born between 1962 and 1976.
Generation Y, people born between 1977 and 1989.
Dad sent me this one. Thought I would pass it along. Good apples!
Dear Ma and Pa,
I am well. Hope you are.
Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man
I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 AM. but I am getting so I like to sleep late.
Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water.
Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food.
But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you till noon when you get fed again.
It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on 'route marches,' which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.
This will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys
All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.
Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy.
It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.
Your loving daughter,
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Order from SYM today: http://www.simplyyouthministry.com/resources-books-what-would-you-do-.html
Monday, May 5, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I have to be honest. I was not looking forward to it. Fridays are my day off, but in general not much happens on Thursday nights for me, so I usually come home on Thursday nights and check out of work. But today was the National Day of Prayer, and our church was hosting a unified prayer meeting for churches in our area. Our pastor shared with us that it has taken their network of pastors many years to get to the point where they were willing and able to do something together, and this was finally it. He said he would be ecstatic if three or four hundred people showed up.
When I arrived, I would estimate that closer to 600 people were there, and I was pleasantly surprised with how wonderful the meeting was. We had pastors from the different churches get up, read a couple of Scriptures on various topics, give us some prayer direction, and then we clustered together in groups of 4-5 people and prayed on that topic for about five minutes. Then we would sing a song, and the process would be repeated by another pastor concerning a different topic.
If you've ever gone to something half-heartedly or reluctantly you know how I was feeling when I was walking into the church. However, I am so glad that God did not allow me to stay in that state. I felt so blessed by the sight of so many people from many different churches gathered together that it inspired me and lifted my spirit so that I was able to honestly engage in heart-felt prayer. What a joy! Thank you Lord that I traded my sorrow for Your joy!