Just a Youth Ministry Geek!

Conversations about modern youth ministry

The Coming American Church Transition April 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dj @ 1:01 pm
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I don’t claim to to know the future.  I’m not a prophet or psychic or anything like that.  But I think there are several murmurs throughout the American church that we need to pay attention to and what it means for us as believers here in America and especially those involved with ministry.

There is an undeniable trend today for churches to “go smaller”.

Small Groups
“House Church”
Church plants
Multi-site, etc…
In my eyes, we are in transition (and the rest of the ministry world says “duh!”)  But what are we in transition to?  Smaller churches.

I think we’re going to start seeing a lot less of the megachurch model in the next 10 to 20 years and a lot more churches under 400, maybe even smaller.

We’re going to see a lot more “lay-ministers”.  Professional ministry will start to be on the decline and people stepping up to fill leadership roles will increase.

Youth ministry will be drastically different.  Right now, youth ministry tends to be it’s own animal.  People in church know theres a youth ministry in their church, but don’t know much about it.  “It’s what they do in their youth area…” will be a thing of the past and youth ministries will start to move towards multigenerational ministry.  We HAVE to!

People are searching for community.  A place to belong.  A place where they feel like they make a difference and matter to the people around them.  Welcome to the smaller church.

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For Fun! January 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dj @ 1:37 pm
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I’ve seen all the pastor jokes that circulate the internet, until I saw the following and felt it necessary to pass along the laughs.

Call to Another Church
A pastor places his order at the pet store. “I need at least 50 mice, 2,000 ants and as many of those little silverfish you can get.”
The clerk replies, “We can probably do that, but it might take some time. Mind if I ask why you are placing such an unusual order?”
The pastor replies, “I’ve accepted a call to another church and the pastor’s council told me to leave the parsonage the way I found it.”

Farewell Offering
During the last Sunday service that the visiting pastor was to spend at the church he served for some months, his hat was passed around for a goodwill offering.

When it returned to the pastor, it was empty. The pastor didn’t flinch. He raised the hat to Heaven and said, “I thank You, Lord, that I got my hat back from this congregation.”


Holy Communion

Being a new pastor to an aging congregation, I told them I would be serving them prune juice in Holy Communion.
When asked why I would dare entertain such a thought, I said, “If the Holy Spirit won’t move you…the prune juice will!”

Hot Air Hand Dryers

My pastor friend put sanitary hot air hand dryers in the rest rooms at his church and after two weeks, took them out.
I asked him why and he confessed that they worked fine, but when he went in there he saw a sign that read, “For a sample of this week’s sermon, push the button.”

 

Are You S.A.D.? December 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dj @ 3:23 pm
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SAD or seasonal affective disorder is something that I had never even heard of until I moved to Indiana. But it’s a mood disorder that affects 9% of those living in the Northern US.

SAD, according to Wikipedia: “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer,[1] repeatedly, year after year. The US National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.”

How is it caused? Most believe by the lack of sunlight exposure. In the winter time, it’s cold, we bundle up, completely cover ourselves and move outside where there are a lot of clouds. Sunlight does a lot of things to the body chemically, and when the body lacks sunlight–we are affected.

What does this have to do with ministry?

If you’re living in the northern US, chances are there some in your congregation that have SAD. So bear these thoughts in mind as you go through the next several months of ministry and things start to creep up. Maybe there is an unusual amount of criticism. Maybe the mood of your students aren’t as “peppy” as normal. Maybe church events aren’t as attended as you had hoped. There are many other effects that SAD can have on a ministry. Don’t take it personally.

For more information on Seasonal Affective Disorder, check out some of these sites:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195

http://www.webmd.com/depression/tc/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-topic-overview