November 2009 Ministry Update

November 2009 Ministry Update

Today is the start of the Youth Ministry International annual board meeting. They asked us to make a quick video updating about out ministry. I thought I would post it here for all to see.

It’s got an interview with one of our graduates and one of our current students. Check out what God is doing in Latin America!

If you want to download the video to show in your church or small group, here’s the download link.

If you would like to help support our ministry in Latin America, check out this page to see how you can help us financially. Also, you can support our family and ministry doing normal things you do all the time.

Missions Work Should Make a Difference

Missions Work Should Make a Difference

This article by an atheist about how Christian missions changes people in Africa really made me think.

The author of the article grew up in Africa and recently returned, saying that “Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem – the crushing passivity of the people’s mindset.”

Some of his observations are:

The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world – a directness in their dealings with others – that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.

Isn’t that the way it should be? Shouldn’t Christians be different? Shouldn’t we stand out and do things differently?

He goes on to talk about some people he met while he was just there who worked for an NGO but were Christians.

It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work was unconnected with personal faith. Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man’s place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.

Our work should be affected by who we are. The teachings of Christ are liberating to a mindset that is oppressed and held captive by sin. His influence in our lives should be noticeable. We should stand out, whether our work is secular or not.

Check out the whole article by clicking here. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

(Image by: Edu-tourist on flickr)

Five Places for Free Youth Ministry Resources

Five Places for Free Youth Ministry Resources

Yesterday was free cone day at Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. All over the world they gave away a free ice cream cone with absolutely no requirements. Of course we went to the local Ben and Jerry’s to get our cones.

Free cone day at Ben-n-Jerry's - Mexico city edition.I got to thinking about Ben and Jerry’s, free stuff, and of course, ministry.

It’s amazing how people will line up to get free ice cream. Who wouldn’t want to eat ice cream (besides some super healthy people I know)? I don’t think Ben and Jerry’s made money today, but it wasn’t about that. It was about the community. It was about getting their message out to the public.

There are lots of things in the world that should be free. I’m a big fan of sharing resources in ministry and offering things for free. We even have a site that has free youth ministry resources in Spanish. Ministries ought to share resources to further the Kingdom.

I use lots of different sites to get free resources for youth ministry.

Five Places for Free Youth Ministry Resources

When I tell my students that I want to offer some resources on the website for free, they look at me like I am crazy. But, why not? Free is good. Free resources for ministry have helped me a lot. We can all benefit from each other.

If Ben and Jerry’s can offer free ice cream, why can’t we offer free stuff in the church? I loved free cone day.

The World’s Most Dangerous Jobs

The World’s Most Dangerous Jobs

People actually do studies of the world’s most dangerous jobs.

Here’s a list I found in my research for my introduction to my sermon this week in chapel at the Seminary.

8. Roofers
7. Power Line Technicians
6. Farmers and Ranchers
5. Waste Management Workers
4. Structural Construction Workers
3. Loggers
2. Airline pilots and crew
1. Fishermen (a la Dangerous Catch)

In some parts of the world, being a pastor could be life-threatening. But even in the parts of the world that have religious freedom, the ministry is a dangerous job. Check these statistics (thanks to Into Thy Word ministries):

  • Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
  • Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
  • Eighty percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.
  • Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
  • Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.

I don’t have statistics about missionaries or youth pastors, but I am convinced that people who are in the ministry full time need our prayers and encouragement.

So stop what you’re doing right now and send an email of encouragement to someone you know in the ministry. Go get a card for your pastor or youth pastor. Tell him that what he does is valuable and that you are praying for him.

(Photo by: Laura Travels on flickr)

Highlights from 2008

Highlights from 2008

As we get started with 2009, I can’t help but wonder how it can be better than 2008. A lot of great things happened last year, both in the ministry and in our family.

In case you just joined us on our journey here are some personal favorites from 2008.

2008 Highlights

2008 Mosaic