Biometric Fingerprinting for your kids

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I can’t believe it. I am amazed. Check out this blog: . Now  can take your kids fingerprints and from then on they can check in at your youth program by placing their finger on a scanner… How amazing is that? 

I don’t think I will be using it for a while, but it sure is advanced. WOW!

Phil <><

Ministry can be like chasing cheese!

Do you ever feel like ministry is like trying to chase cheese down a hill? It’s like you always have something more to do, always another student to meet with, another leader to train, another message to write… Or the church toilet to clean (after the middle school lock-in), the website to update, a boring church meeting to attend… you name it, it’s always a busy time in youth ministry.

So what do ya do when it gets crazy and busy? Here’s what I am learning to do: 

Two books have influenced me in the last few years that have been huge in discerning how to ‘get down the hill’ of ministry safely: 

1) What Matters Most by Doug Fields (pick it up at ). When you discover what is most important in life and ministry, you are able to let the cheese roll away and not have to chase it. In other words, there will always be more to do and the reality is you can’t get it all done. You can either chase like crazy and not get it done anyways, (and in the process compromise your walk with God and your family), or you can take time out to discern what is truly important and ensure that these things get most of your energy, while less important things get delegated or put on the back burner. Doing this gives me great confidence to say, “great opportunity, but if I say yes to it, I will be saying no to something more important”. 

2) Eat That Frog,  by Brian Tracy: This book is practical and helps me in priorities and ensures that the ‘big frogs’ or the most important and challenging things get done first. It outlines practical steps that I can take to be organized. To say, “oh, I’m a youth worker and all youth workers are disorganized” is a cop out… that does not have to be true. And my effectiveness is tied to my planning and organization.

Nothing happens unless I am intentional… great events of tomorrow are planned today. 

Happy Reading 

PB

I’d be dead without Volunteers.

roadkillThis morning I am meeting Sara and Nancy for coffee, and later I am meeting Jeremy for lunch. All three of them are great volunteers in our youth program, but they have also become great friends in the last couple of years. In ministry, these are the kind of people I would be dead without! They not only produce amazing things at our events and programs, but they are the kind of people who every youthworker needs to hang in for the long haul. 

For me, the key to getting and keeping volunteers like this has been very intentional in how I meet with them and how we do life together. Here’s 5 things I do with all my volunteers: 

 

1) Large Leaders Meeting – Every two months: This is to celebrate victories, cast vision about why we do what we do, take a look at what is coming up in the big picture and pray for our kids. (I sometimes bring a load of postcards so leaders can write their kids as they pray for them. (When I say ‘their’ kids, I mean the ones that they have in a small group)… We always try to meet at the house of one of my leaders (it’s big house), and have snacks and drinks to make it laid back. (We could meet at the church, but I want it to me more like a party than a meeting)!

2) Individual Meetings: On an ongoing basis, I try to meet with all my main leaders at least once every two months for a coffee and catch up. I split an hour meeting into three ‘C’s. First, I ‘Check Up’. How are you doing personally? How is your walk with God etc. The second ‘C’ is: ‘Cast Vision’ – What do I need to say that will restate or refocus why we do what we do? Finally, the last ‘C’ is to ‘Communicate Details’: What events, details or changes do they need to know about?  

3) Key Leader Meetings: ’Key Leaders’ are leaders who oversee a certain area in our programs. These are the people I often meet with at least monthly. This time includes, planning and implementing what is coming up. 

4) Emails – once a week:  This is how I communicate the ‘nuts and bolts’ of what we are doing. Schedule, events, details of program are emailed to leaders and are we have a calendar and events page online with specifics. 

5) Quarterly Fun Events: Events at my house, BBQ’s, Christmas party, Wii nights etc… All designed to build community and relax

Phil <><

Tomorrow begins Today!

ist2_1141718_desk_calendar_january_1st_with_clipping_pathA good friend once told me that discipleship for tomorrow begins today. In other words, nothing happens unless it is intentional and planned. We can say we want to start the new year by growing deeper in our faith. If you are like me, my ‘plans’ are often just empty hopes of what I want to see happen, instead of being something that is concrete.

Here’s how I am trying to help my hopes become a plan and action for this new year. Here’s a snapshot of what I am planning and some is what I already do on a weekly basis:

Morning Quiet Times: For me a morning quiet works best when I am the first up in the house… that is hard sometimes when you have a toddler who likes to wake early. However, when I do get up before the craziness begins, this is what my quiet time looks like: A cup of coffee in my lazy boy and I sit and talk with God for a few minutes thanking Him for all I can think of at that time. (It’s amazing how this gets my focus on track). Then, for the next 15 minutes or so, (that’s it) I relax and try to be quiet with God and my coffee, just listening and trying not to think about my day too much. It’s amazing how pausing like this helps me to hear God better… So simple, but so powerful!

Study: In the last half of last year I discovered ‘The Wiersbe Bible Study Series’ – This is something I read through and study for the first 30 minutes of my ministry day before I get bogged down in ministry. I usually skip a couple of times457161 a week, (on Sundays and on a few days where I try to read a ministry related book before my day starts). These studies by Wiersbe are great and practical. I am currently working through a study on Philippians that I didn’t finish yet…

Big Chunk Reading (sounds really spiritual doesn’t it)? : A couple of times a week I try to read a large chunk of the Bible to get an overview and sometimes for inspiration. This week my plan is to start reading through the book of Luke as I follow the Christmas story and the life of Jesus…

Start Simple: The most important thing I have discovered is this: It all takes time and simple steps forward. I have found that starting with one simple thing is the best way for me. I am not one of those ‘spiritual giants’ who can have a huge plan and put it into action straight away. For me it starts with getting those morning quiet times in place first…

Family Fun at IKEA

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Family Events: Every week we try to do two of three fun events as a family that is easy to do, (but not always), and is something that we can have fun as a family. It’s important to have mini-events to look forward each week and have some lighter moments as a family. I find it real easy to come home and stay in my ministry mind and not switch off and ‘be all there’ with my family. Having these events planned out is a must for us as a family, and they never have to be huge things, just planned things… tonight we play ‘memory’ with Emma. Simple, but real fun for all of us…

What we did today: (Plan B from our sledding plan – an inch of snow doesn’t work). Emma will be 3 in March and is developing some strong opinions of what she likes to do, (anyone relate)? We are also looking to get her a new room and big girl bed before the baby comes in July.  Today she said that she wanted to go to IKEA and eat meatballs… it was a great way to have fun, eat meatballs and try out new beds in IKEA.

Grab a coffee (or tea for me)…

A blog where…

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