Archive for May, 2008

Speak on it – "I Kissed A Girl"

Hey blogosphere! Okay, since I seem to find out these interesting things in culture to speak about (like 11yr olds and the Pussycat Dolls), I figured I’d start a new segment here on Collision Course called “Speak On It.” Since this is the 3rd official segment here (along with “Scriptures That Rocked My World” and “Christians Say The Darnedest Things”) I figured I’d kick this one off with a bang.

I may be behind, but I just heard this song for the first time this weekend while driving up to Boston. Its called “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry. Wow…

So what do you think? Is this part of the alleged “gay agenda?” Has sexual experimentation become “cool?” Or is this the natural positive progression of human sexuality?

Speak on it!

i kissed a girl

*Edit: Okay…don’t know why you are only getting a 30 second snippet. Anywho…for the entire song, go here

Again, Speak On It

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Authority – A hard subject


In today’s landscape, authority is a hard subject to preach. I look forward to challenges like this but God hasn’t released me to teach this as a topic yet. As I’ve been giving some thought to the issue, respect for authority is hard!

Its tough to teach respect for authority when public school teachers as well as some parents degrade and disrespect the youth without a second thought. Its tought to teach it, with hopes of having someone actually following it, when police brutality is so public and people see police abuse their authority all of the time. Its tough to teach when I live in New England under the shadow of Catholic priests abusing their authority to sexually abuse children. When it seems like the under priviliged don’t get a fair shake at justice.

This current generation has seen more footage and images of corrupt leaders, politicians, teachers, police and every authoritative figure in the span of the last 10 years than most anyone else.

Youth (atleast in my community) generally don’t feel respected BY authority – teachers, parents, police or anyone else – so they struggle to have…wait, scratch that…the reject having respect FOR authority.

Its a tough subject, but I’m looking forward to teaching it…as soon as I get the release to do it.

How have some of you other leaders discussed this issue?

Please, let’s welcome…

…my pastor and father-in-law Steve Robinson to the blogworld. This man has been a big inspiration, teacher, motivator and overall great man to me.

I’m REALLY excited to see him FINALLY blogging. We all get to see his thoughts on unity in the church, leadership, God and family.

You need to add him to your blog roll NOW and just swing by to say “welcome!”

TOYM part 2 – If you said it once, you didn’t say it

Another thought on youth ministry is this: If you said it once, you didn’t say it. Let’s face it, as communicators and spiritual leaders we want our listeners to change into spiritual giants based on the one talk we did. We do! We think based on the message we teach tonight, its going to form spiritual giants by the time our talk is over. We think because we just taught on purity, they will now live purely. We taught about honoring authority, so they will be the most respectful people in the world. We think because we teach about prayer, next week the prayer times will be power packed!

But in reality, that’s RARELY the case. We teach about purity on Wednesday and by Thursday evening, we’re counseling people about their porn addictions. We teach about anger and self-control on Wednesday and we’re at their homes with their parents on Friday discussing why they just got suspended from school for fighting. If you said it once, you didn’t say it yet.

The generation we lead is the most advertised to generation in the history of the world. Marketers say that you have to hear their brand name 5 times before it registers. So in the minds of the people we lead, you have to say it atleast 5 times to say it once. This is part of the reason why we teach in series and not just one-hitter quitter messages. If we can drive the point home over the course of a few weeks with verbal, visual and written cues (preaching, bulletins and videos is how we do it), then I can say what I have to say ONE time.

So I’ve learned to be patient and say the point alot. Eventually it registers. But if I only said it once, I didn’t say it.

Thoughts On Youth Ministry – Remember – Its YOUTH ministry

This week, I’m going to share some of my thoughts on youth ministry. Some stuff I’ve learned during the last 5 or so years of doing this beautiful task of reaching a new generation during their prime years of dedication to Christ.

My first thought about youth ministry SHOULD be obvious, but we generally don’t think about it in this regard. As youth pastors, we do YOUTH ministry. I know what you’re thinking – “Duh Steve!” But is it really a duh thought? If so, then why are we trying to make Christian teenagers behave like Christian adults?

Teenagers do teenager things. They are trying to figure out who they are. They are trying to figure out how this whole friend thing works. They are curious about relationships and dating. They are trying to figure out themselves sexually. Too many times we force them to behave like adults, better yet we want them to act like US when it comes to these matters instead of teaching them what the Bible says about the issue and then letting them look at their lives through the lens of scripture.

I remember being a teenager in the youth ministry I came to know the Lord in. It was some great Holy Ghost stuff happening! It was awesome. But every year, we would take a few months and cover the subject of dating. Then, the youth pastor (whom I respect greatly to this day) shared that he was on the journey of finding his wife. He talked about not dating anyone that wouldn’t potentially be his wife. That’s a GREAT idea for a 28 year old man who was promiscuous in college because he was basketball star and his previous experiences with women were mostly sexual. He went on to say that ultimately, dating was outside of God’s will – and anything outside of God’s will is sin.

So let me get this straight – I’m trying to figure out this whole relationship thing (I was 17 at the time) and you’re telling me that dating is sin (because breaking up and dating and breaking up is “practicing divorce.” Aye Carumba!)? I wasn’t saying I wanted to have sex, I know what the Bible says about that and I don’t need a girlfriend to do it either. I was just trying to do what all healthy, attractive 17 year old boys do – try to figure this whole dating thing.

So, secretly I had a “girlfriend.” Well, more like a “special friend.” That was our way of saying we had a girlfriend without being in sin. My relationship was STRAINED at points because we were trying to explore our relationship but at the same we were told our teenage curiousity was a sin.

Now, I see some of the people who were in the youth minsitry at the time and in regards to relationships, many of them went crazy because they were relationally stunted. They were forced think like adults (and instead of dating prepare for marriage) while we were teenagers and when they became adults, relationally they were teenagers. So they went wild and it took a few years for their relational IQ to catch up. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think a 12 year old should date. But I don’t think we should give the same advice to 12 year olds that we give 18 year olds about dating.

That’s just one of MANY examples I could use. Listen, we pastor YOUTH. So let’s pastor them where they are. Let’s teach them to navigate teenage issues as teenagers equipped with scripture. “Train up a child in the way that he should go so that when he GETS older he won’t depart from it.” Notice when he GETS older, not when we make him older.

Thoughts?

Some great non-ministry/ ministry resources

I figured I’d share some resources I use that help me in ministry. These aren’t the usual ministry resources like Youversion or BibleGateway or any church blogs.

These resources are non-ministry related that have a great use for me in ministry. I hope they help you like they help me. Check it out.

Want to keep a finger on the pulse of youth culture and youth trends? Check out
Ypulse. Its a hot spot for marketers. Apparently, its also a hot spot for librarians and youth ministers!

Want to improve your communication presentations? Check our PresentationZen.
Make your presentations better. Its not how to “preach” better, just how to use things like Powerpoint or Keynote more effectively.

What non-ministry resources do you use for ministry?

Church – How can we help here?

Check this out. A catastophe on the other side of the globe:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/05/myanmar.cyclone/index.html

How can the American part of the Body help?

More specifically, can anyone point me to how me and my church can help?

The Czar hits Youtube

One of my songs that I did at the Awakening Conference hit Youtube. The song is called “After The Pain.” Its one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written.

*Note, the people are sitting down because I asked them to, not because they were bored. FYI

Enjoy