Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You need to check this out

You may have already heard about this, but WorshipTogether.com is giving away free sheet music on their website every week. You can't do much with it at church without a CCLI license, but so far in the two weeks I've been a member, they've offered three free songs each week. That's going to add up pretty fast, and it's a lot cheaper than going out and buying more songbooks for your worship team. Plus, it's an easy way to stay updated on what's out there in new worship music. You have to "become a member" to access the music, but that's free too.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pretty Well-Reasoned Post on Being Christian And Not Republican

Hello. This is a post about somebody else's post. I voted Republican this year, but I just read a pretty convincing argument for being a mostly-Democrat Christian. I don't think I'd change my vote even after reading this, but I'm blogging about it because, as believers, we should all take the time to try to understand those believers who vote differently than we do. I tell my teenagers that we need Christians of other denominations - that the battle is too big for us to try to fight alone. Because of that, we need to work to understand each other and find common ground. Obviously, the same would apply to believers of different political parties. So, I'm posting this link for the benefit of any mostly-Republicans reading this and encourage you to check it out: Why A Christian Can Vote for a Democrat.

P.S. He also mentions Keith Drury, one of my former Profs at IWU.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Questions my teens asked me at youth group tonight

Hello Everyone,

After a long silence (during which my hit count has mysteriously gone up?) , I finally have something blog-worthy to write about: the amazingly complex questions teenagers ask when given the opportunity. Naturally, few of them are directly addressed by the Bible:

  • Can demons die?
  • In John 8 when the Pharisees try to "trap" Jesus by asking him what to do with the woman caught in adultery, we assume that the pharisees would have used either the "yes, stone her" answer or the "no, spare her" answer against Jesus. But how could they used the "yes" answer against Him if it lined up with the law?
  • I had a frightening dream. Was it caused by a demon?
  • Can demons kill people?
  • Could satan be forgiven if he repents of his sins?
  • Does God hate satan, or just his sin?
  • Could there be angels and demons fighting right now in this room? (They got really freaked out when I said yes.)
Somewhere along the way I got the idea that the only questions I would ever be asked as a pastor were questions addressed by the Bible. Obviously some of these questions are, but the ability of teenagers, especially young ones, to ask questions that I don't even have categories for, amazes me. If you have any good out-there questions you've heard, I'd love to hear about them too.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Miles per gallon of milk

So maybe someone's done this before, but I've never seen it. A prof at my alma mater has calculated the approximate number of miles per gallon that you can get from milk while riding a bike. It surprised me a little to see that it may be cheaper to fuel some cars than to fuel your bike! Of course, the calculations only work if you drink only milk . . .

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The reason you keep wishing you could integrate your high schoolers into adult discipleship ministries.

If you're like me, for a while you've had a nagging sense that it would be good for your high school age girls and guys to participate in adult small groups, retreats, and activities. But you haven't really gotten very far in making it happen, perhaps because you're not sure if it would really be a good thing. After all, some of them might end up in the same group with their parents! Isn't the whole purpose of youth ministry to separate adults from their kids so that both can grow in their faith away from the other's critical eye?

Um, no. The purpose is discipleship. Total separation is a tool we've been using. And it isn't working that well.

Today I ran across this link for an excerpt from a real book written by people who know what they're talking about who say what our guts have been telling us all along - older teens do need some degree of integration in adult ministries to help mentor them into adult faith. It's not just our imagination.

So now that we know there's a book out there to back us up, maybe we'll have the courage to try it. And yes that includes me.

(Thanks to Rob at the Youth Pastors Only Facebook group for the link)