Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Yes, fall is my favorite time of the year. College football, cooling temperatures and the changing colors are all things that make me feel like a small boy on Christmas morning. I love fall.

I feel the same way about student ministry. It's one of the busiest times of the year but it's one of my favorites. From reconnecting with adult leaders to thinking about students reconnecting with friends at school. The fall season is the March Madness or Tour de France of student ministry. (Ok, for all you soccer peeps the World Cup)

As I'm thinking about all we've done to prepare and all we will continue to do, here are some broad stroke meanderings about student ministry in fall.

Adult Leaders Get the Spotlight

Our ministry lives and dies based on adult leaders living lives with kids. Sure we try to have good talks and fun events, but we believe that most life change happens when someone who loves Jesus takes the time to pray for and spend time with students.

It seems it's the way Jesus did ministry. He walked up to people and said, "follow me". In other words, live life with me. Go where I go and do what I do. Granted, we don't require our leaders to allow 7th grade boys to live in their home, but you get the point.

In mid August we took a Saturday afternoon / evening to pull our adults together for an interactive time of training, inspiration and fun. Amongst other topics we talked about how prayer in the foundation of an effective small group and relationship for relationship's sake is what student ministry is all about. We told them that many times adult mentors provide watershed moments in the lives of kids. Then we did what any good Texan would do, ate some barbecue together. It was a great day.

We will continue to shepherd and train our leaders throughout the school year, but that Saturday afternoon was a great start. We're blessed with some super duper adults.

Live Your Life, Love Your Friends, Tell Your Story

Years ago some of my friends in Georgia came up with this simple strategy to help students think through living missionally on their campuses.

We've been unpacking a key thought from Matthew's description of Jesus when he saw hurting people.

Matt 9:36
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

We've been asking our students questions like....

  • when you walk into your lunchroom what do you see?
  • when you see students who are different than you, are you filled with judgment or compassion?
  • what are practical ways you can show love to your friends on your campus?
  • what's your story and how can you share it naturally?
Last Monday they started school. When they walked into their lunchroom I hope they thought about Jesus seeing the crowds and being filled with compassion. I hope they have the ability (by God's grace) to SEE beyond the surface of their peers who are difficult to love.

Students are no different than adults, left to themselves they only see their own hurts and needs, but the gospel gives them the ability to look beyond themselves to the needs of others. More than anyone else, students have the greatest potential to live out the gospel to students.

So I'm curious, what is your favorite season, personally and from a ministry perspective. Fall has to be close to the top of the list....right?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Prayer for Students

This is what I'm praying for students everywhere who are living their lives on campus. The gathering of the church and the dispersant of the church.

"Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirt, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Soul Pancake

One of my students just put me on to this website. I'm probably coming to the game late, but if you haven't checked it out it's really cool.

Here's a video from YouTube from Rainn Wilson describing the site.

Check it out and let me know what you think. I'm still in process, well, I suppose that's always true.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Movie Reviews

Here's some ratings on movies I've seen this year, at least the ones I remember. This is out of 10.

Shutter Island - 8
Valentine's Day - 3
Despicable Me - 7.5
Robin Hood - 5.5
Green Zone - 5
Inception - 9

I've seen others, I've just started rating recently and to be honest I'm struggling to remember what I've seen. What did you think about these?