Okay, this is for youth pastors’ only … like that warning is going to stop anyone! Just found this on Josh’s blog. Absolutely hilarious!
Archive for category: Ministry (Page 57)
This year was the first year in a looooong time that I haven’t thrown a Superbowl party. It was kind of nice in a way … a quiet afternoon at home … but sad, too. And disappointing for dozens of teens! We’ve had the reputation for having the biggest party in the area; tons of give aways (last year we even gave away an Ipod), piles of food, usually around 7-10 video game systems set up, ping pong, foozball, crazy games like our annual hot dog eating contest and more. Well, all that was shut down this last year because the NFL had been cracking down on churches who have Superbowl parties! I’ve never charged a penny – I factor the events costs into my youth budget and get a ton of donations from church people, but even in those situations the NFL was saying no deal. Basically, it boils down to ratings; the NFL wants everyone watching it from their homes and they said gatherings of more than 15 violates copyright or something like that. Last year they even sent some threatening letters to some churches about their parties being illegal. With all the hoopla, we made the decision to cancel ours this year. The bizarre thing is, sports bars were still allowed to have public screenings, but churches couldn’t! Go figure!
Well, it looks like all the stink raised last year because of churches getting those letters has paid off! In an article on WashingtonPost.com (you can find it here), it’s being reported that the NFL has reversed its earlier stance and now says churches can have Superbowl parties as long as they’re not charging admission! Woo-hoo! The party is back on! Um, next year, that is …
All that to say, I’m really happy about their decision. Every year we’ve had teens who have passed up unsupervised, drinking parties to come to our clean church party. To me, that’s just awesome. We’ve also always seen kids start coming to our other events and even youth group because of our party – it’s purely a “get them through the door” type event with no preaching and lots of party … with a five minute commercial part way through for our snow camps and other meetings. And I can’t think of a single year where we haven’t seen growth in our other programs specifically because of the Superbowl party.
Wow. It’s Monday and I’m still wiped out from snow camp (that’s me in the gym at the camp)! All in all, it was a great trip. Other than a few last minute emergencies (like the bus not working so scrambling to find some replacement vans!), it all came together great! We had our biggest year yet, with 85 participants between five churches (30 from Boothbay Baptist), which made for some great big group times!
Paintball was a bit rough; we had to hike through snow a couple feet deep for about a quarter of a mile – it was fine for the little guys, they only sank a couple inches. Me? I dropped to the bottom every step. Once we were there it was pretty good, but a bit cold for my preferences. The skiing, snowtubing and snowboarding was amazing, however. Mt. Hermon rocked, as always. I think we pretty much took over the place! I got some great snowtubing footage that I’m excited about getting online in the next week or so. : ) We also had a ton of other games, activities and other stuff over the three days that came off great! The new addition to the schedule this year, ice fishing, was a BIG hit. I think about 30 people tried it out! Next year we’ll have to allot more time for it, though. With only an hour and a half to drill the holes, set up the traps and get the hang of it, well, the results weren’t what people hoped – one fish. 30 people managed to catch one little fish. Oh well! They still had a blast and everyone is excited about doing it again next year, so even if we didn’t catch tons of fish, it was still a succesful experiment!
Our theme for the trip was “Rescued from an ordinary life.” It’s actually a series kit from Simply Youth Ministry that I picked up a little while back. Greg and I like using the seminar kits from there for our snow camps every year because it enables us to have a consistent theme throughout the trip without a lot of extra work. We divide up the talks between the different speakers and then put our own unique spin to them while sticking to the central themes. It’s handy because it includes all of the powerpoint slides, games for the group, notes, handouts, the mp3’s from when Doug Fields gave the messages, and even commentaries by Fields for further preparation. Definitely a great resource and one I would highly recommend!
Anyway, all that to say … I’m not sure that I actually slept last week at all … so if you’re wondering at all the blog silence … I am playing some serious catch-up!
Wow … that absolutely made me laugh! : ) I might have to start including it in my Tending the Temple message …
In spite of the snow, freezing rain and piles of ice, we still had a decent turnout for last night’s meeting! Weighing in was actually a lot of fun; we had some great results! Tom D., the winner from our first challenge passed a HUGE milestone last night – he shattered the 250lb barrier! Awesome! It was a lot of fun to hear him sharing about how when he started a few months and close to 80lbs ago he could barely do 20 minutes of exercise … while now he’s working up a sweat for over an hour a day, with another milestone just being hit – jogging for 30 minutes STRAIGHT. Incredible!
Our two biggest losers for the week, however, were two of the women. They had both managed to shed 2.02% of their starting weight in just one week. Those kind of numbers would keep them in the game on the Biggest Loser – and they’re doing it from home! Awesome!
I spoke a bit about realistic expectations and dealing with failure – we’re all going to experience it, but how we respond to it detiremines whether or not our dieting efforts will succeed! Also, at the end of the recording there are some questions and answers! If you want the MP3, just right click and select “save target as” to save it to your computer!
Last night I popped over to the Woolwich Wiscasset Baptist Church for their Biggest Loser Challenge meeting. They are the other group that kicked off their challenge with my Boothbay group a few weeks ago. They’ve got just over thirty people in their challenge, and they are hitting some great numbers! We have a bit of a fun rivalry going on between the two groups – we’ll see which group has the best combined weight loss in the end! But I’m starting to think it’s going to be a close one!
Anyway, we had a great time talking about realistic weight loss expectations, the importance of eating enough calories, and dealing with failure and setbacks. They also had some great questions, so all in all, it was a fun meeting and I’m glad I got to hang out with them for a while! They handed out some prizes to their Biggest Losers of the week; one for the top woman and one for the top man, and I gotta say, I was impressed with the percentages of weight lost! The biggest percentage of the night was actually one of the women; if I remember right she had lost 2.12% that week! Amazing! I’m pumped if people drop 1% of their starting weight in a week, so to lose more than double that is just incredible!
Okay, I’m waaaaay behind on the updates here! Last Wednesday’s meeting was a great one! We had a decent turnout, considering the snow that was happening. Because I knew the numbers would be down, I chose to go with more of a fun night than a formal talk. We played a great power point game called “Gut Busters” from a compilation disc, Power Play Volume 4, put out by Simply Youth Ministry. If you want to buy the disc, which includes 20 different power point games (designed for youth programs), you can find it here. Anyway, the game features a lot of questions about calories, exercise, and healthy eating (I’m betting Andy Brazelton, the resident health nut at SYM, is the brain behind it), which made it a perfect fit for our weight loss group! I actually just heard from him that this game might be able to be one of their freebies in the near future for people to download, which is awesome! When/if that happens, I’ll post all sorts of links! : )
We also handed out some prizes for the Biggest Loser of the week (Michael M.) and the Biggest Loser team of the week (Karen G., Jessica G., & Michael M.), and took some time for questions and answers, and checking up on how people are doing with workouts and eating. All in all, a great meeting … but no audio since there wasn’t a talk!
Snow camp is sneaking up! The above video is the highlights video I put together last year – it was a lot of fun! Wow … just typing that “nine days to snow camp” subject line made my heart skip a few beats.
Another local youth pastor, Greg Hodgdon of Woolwich-Wiscasset Baptist Church, and I have been putting together snow camp for four years now. We’ve pretty much got a good system down now; by renting out a camp (Camp Fairhaven in Brooks, Maine), providing cooks & food, and organizing all the games, activities, talks, and by purchasing the lift tickets, snowboard rentals, ski rentals, tubing tickets, and everything else that goes into three days and two nights of snow camp bliss we can actually charge kids just $60 for the trip and that includes EVERYTHING. Lift tickets, rentals, the works. Doing a prepackaged retreat would start at $100-125 per kid, and if they wanted to ski or snowboard, the rentals and lift tickets would be on top of that. That would effectively make snow camp not an option for most of the kids around here, so it’s exciting to Greg and I that we can come up with a more cost effective route!
It does make it a bit more of a challenge this year, though. With the Senior Pastor on leave, I’m pulling double duty with Sunday morning sermons and other responsibilities. Thankfully, I scheduled other speakers for the next few weeks because I wanted to make sure I had time for snow camp … and time to recover afterwards! So it shoudn’t be too bad. : )
If you’re a local and you know a kid that wants something to do for their February break (the trip is 2/20-22/2008), or you want to know more about snowcamp, just visit the youth website at BoothbayTeen.com; you can see the video there as well, and you can download permission slips from the blog!
Today was kind of a strange Sunday, to say the least …
The weather forcast was for quite a pile of snow to happen during the night. People literally started telling me on Friday they wouldn’t be at church today – which honestly, I tend to think that decision should be held off until the actual Sunday morning when you can see what the weather is like. Because what actually happened was this: nothing. No snow. In fact, it was sunny out during church, but our attendance was cut in half because of the possibility of a night time snow storm that didn’t happen.
It’s funny in a sad way; I was talking to my tax guy the other day and I asked if he gets a lot of cancellations on these days that we’ve been bombed with snow. His answer surprised me at first: nope. People will come out in almost any kind of weather to do their taxes and get their refund. I guess it’s sad that our priorities as a culture get revealed in such a way; we’ll brave the storm of the century to get our tax refund a few days early, but at the hint of any kind of foul weather we’ll back out of church to be safe.
Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely believe that if the roads are dangerous people shouldn’t go to church. But our attendance was cut in half because a storm that didn’t actually happen was forcasted and people had already decided not to go. Consequently, even though the weather was fine … they stayed at home sleeping in.
Anyway, that kind of rubbed me wrong. I guess it just kind of saddens me. I also changed the message I was going to be preaching late last night – I’m holding the other one for a fuller house – it’s one I believe the whole church needs and I really felt this was the way I was supposed to go, but it always stresses me to change it up at the last minute like that. So I was already off kilter and three minutes into my sermon there’s an ambulance at the back door taking someone out and one of the elders is bringing me a note telling me that one of the nine year old children has passed out and having seizures. Wow. We stopped the service to pray for him, but it was a challenge to get back on track after that. He’s doing good; I visited him after church in the emergency room, but it was scary for his family (of course).
So, it’s been a strange Sunday.
Oh yeah, and now it’s snowing again. Sheesh!
I’ve finally gotten around to summarizing my weight loss plan into an easy to read, short guide. It’s based on the lessons I learned from Dr. Huizenga, Dr. Altman and Cheryl Fohberg, RD; the experts from the Biggest Loser. It also has some of my own personal takes on those lessons. Go to the articles section of my blog to read more about the spiritual side of honoring God with your health – these summaries here are simply the basics of weight loss as I understand it and the primary tools I used. I hope it helps and feel free to ask any questions you may have – it will help me to refine them further! Also, I would encourage anyone who wants to download the audio files from my audio page from the Biggest Loser Boothbay weight loss group; in them I explain the plan more thoroughly, as well as answer questions from the group.
Weight loss journal sample (it’s only partially filled in; I’m still working on it!)