Rules That Release (The Ten Commandments)

 

So often we can picture the Ten Commandments as a frustrating set of rules that ultimately restrict our freedom. In this message we explore not only how to creatively remember the Ten Commandments, but also the significance of God’s rules not being that which restrict us, but rather release us into the life he designed us to have.

God’s rules are always for our release, moving us day by day from slave to priest.

(Exodus 20:1-18)

When Parents Want Advice

As a youth leader, parents will come to you on occasion for advice, especially when there are family struggles or their children aren’t communicating with them. It seems ridiculous, because instinctively we think “Why the heck are you asking me? I’m not a parent!” And while we cannot (and shouldn’t) make decisions for them, there are some principles that we can always fall back on to encourage and equip parents with – you do have something to offer. Read More…

Under the Surface (The Plagues)

 

Sometimes in our ‘comfort’ of Christianity, or in recognizing the scandal of God’s grace, it is easy to forget that God is not just a lover, but a judge. Through the signs and wonders imposed on the oppressive empire of Egypt, we see a God whose judgement doesn’t need to punish but simply reveals evil for what it truly is.

When that staff strikes you, what will rise to the surface?

(Exodus 6:1-10:29)

Avoiding Leadership Silos

A CHALLENGE that arises when serving in a large youth department is the need for multiple teams to manage both the people and tasks that fall under our care. Often each of these teams will have a key leader, along with roles, values and expectations specific to that team’s contribution. The danger of siloing arises when these teams develop such a distinctive identity that they separate themselves from the other youth teams, or in the worst cases, the vision of the department altogether.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t usually done with any hostile intent; it’s simply a result of hanging out and serving alongside the same set of people week by week, and in the busyness of serving, accountability to the greater vision falls off the radar. Remembering of course, that these teams are made of people!

Silos

Symptoms of leadership siloing can often include hostility between teams, suspicion around the contribution of a leader on another team, team exclusiveness, reduced cross-team communication, and a sense of jealousy rather than celebrating a shared success. The drag will always be toward silos, so for this reason we need to be intentional about taking practical steps to avoid them. Read More…

Ministry of Availability

Have you ever had that moment when a young person is sharing with you their struggles and you feel utterly helpless? It’s like the situation is too large, anything you have to share will be too superficial, or perhaps you are struggling to even understand the problem.

Often the temptation within us is to try and “fix” the person’s situation. Perhaps the “solution” is perceived to be a piece of inspirational advice, an eloquent prayer, or even taking on responsibility for the burden ourselves. This gut instinct within us is often called “the saviour complex”, and while it may present itself as care, sacrifice or love, in reality it can actually be more about satisfying our own individual needs, or an attempt to gain control over our own insecurities.

Take a moment to digest that last sentence.

Please know that this in no way diminishes the value and importance of helping someone in and through their struggle, however it is critical to remember that as Christians and youth leaders, before introducing programs, Bible passages and 5-step solutions, we are first and foremost called to a ministry of availability.

Availability It was Perry Noble, speaking of ministry to students that recently said, “This generation does not care about our ability, they care about our availability.” There is an incredible power and grace in simply sitting and listening to a young person share what is happening in their life; the struggles, the pain, the conflict, and not needing to provide the answers.

People don’t need to be fixed to be accepted, right? Read More…

Using Social Media Well

SOCIAL MEDIA use is becoming more and more prevalent, consuming more of our time, attention, and headspace than ever before. I figure this is nothing new to you, because for starters you probably followed a link I posted on Facebook to read this! Nevertheless, with so many of our youth online, social media is an excellent tool for us as youth leaders to use, but like all tools, it can be dangerous if handled incorrectly. So here are some helpful things to EMBRACE and AVOID when it comes to using social media as a youth leader.

LikeTHINGS TO EMBRACE

  1. Have online messaging conversations with your youth. Often youth can find it to be a non-confrontational way of having a conversation, especially given there can be a chosen delay when responding to messages. Keep in mind that they can also be a little more reserved with what they share, but it’s worth noting that normal offline conversational rules still apply online. Read More…

Take the Call (The Calling of Moses)

 

When forced to respond to the call of God upon each of our lives, whether that moment is a “burning bush” or a simple recognition of the people and/or places that God has entrusted to us, there is a natural anxiety and fear that can so easily paralyze us. Moses felt this, and God like a expert prosecutor nailed him to the stand with questions that challenged the way he saw himself, and that which he had in his hands.

Because there is a big difference between hearing the call and taking the call.

(Exodus 4:1-17)

BK's blog...

musings about life, faith and culture

Free Radical Gav

Theological Reflections on Life | Youth Ministry Insights | Heaven Breaking into Earth | Communication Skills

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