Cronk Doesn’t Work Here Anymore

For years I envied the other youth pastors in my city. Most of them were tall, athletic, funny, musical and bursting with natural charisma. When we would get together for city-wide events, I believed that my students were wishing any one of them was their youth pastor instead of me.

It was like that until I had a startling experience that proved that I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’d be even more wrong today…

The 3 Resources I Can’t Live Without

There are some tech things in my life that I can live without. My smart phone is one of them. It’s useful. It is synced to my calendar, has all of my contacts, all my email accounts, even turns my voice into blogs but I can live without it. I love plugging it in and forgetting about it for hours each day.

My laptop has been part of my life since 1999. (not the same machine all these years) On it I wrote my doctoral project, launched web pages, wrote dozens of articles, and 1000’s of documents but compared to my most important resources it doesn’t measure up.

So what are the resources that I say I can’t live without? 

4 Words You Need to Hear to Crush 4 Lies You May Believe

“I’m done.” I said it half way through the bible chapter I was staring at. From Friday afternoon til Sunday night the weekend of ministry had been brutal. I woke that depressing Monday morning, more tired than I had been when I collapsed into my bed the night before. My fitful sleep was plagued with regrets, fears, and trying to solve problems in my life and ministry. Did I want another week of this?

Later that day I trudged to the mailbox in my building. There was a letter from my older brother, Dave. What I read almost brought me to tears. I think it is exactly what all of us need to hear sometimes.

HOW TO TAME YOUR ANGRY BEAST

I have had anger issues that have cost me.

Anger has cost me relationships, a job, and almost my ministry. It is frightening to see the devastation anger can cause…(ask the Hulk!) I can’t afford to allow anger to hurt my family and so I have had to follow a process to make anger work for me instead of destroying everything I love. Maybe this process will work for you too…

These 3 Simple Stress Solutions Can Work for You

Photo Credit: francisco_osorio via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: francisco_osorio via Compfight cc

Stress is damaging and contagious. Our kids are affected by it. Parents of teens are about as stressed as you can get. Not only are we stressed over conflicts with our kids, we are also dealing with the health issues of our parents. Somewhere in there is our personal stress about money, work, the future, and our own health concerns.

This has been so true for me over the past few months that I had to take some intentional steps to get some relief. It worked!  I really hope that these will work for you too.

The Most Important Thing in Ministry and 3 Things You Can Do About It

What’s the most important thing that you do?

Is it your preaching?  Maybe it’s your leadership?  Better yet is it being relational?

I think it is none of those things. In fact I think the most important thing we must do is so obvious that we often forget it. I heard of another person this week who had their life drastically affected by one thing:  They had an affair.  I do not know all of the details but I would bet money they forgot the most important thing they should be doing.

It is so simple but so easily neglected.

Dangerous Comparisons: Finding peace in who you are and what you do without becoming complacent.

I felt defeated

A few weeks ago I found myself dissatisfied with my life in a bad way.

Maybe it had something to do with joining twitter and seeing so many popular leaders with thousands of followers. I saw authors and speakers who looked great and commanded the respect of others in youth ministry. In so many ways it seemed as though they were at the top of their profession! They had it made and I was envious.

I had to step away from my lap top for a moment and do some soul searching about the envy that was building in my heart. “Wow, where did that come from?” I said out loud. “I thought I dealt with that years ago!” Quickly I had to readjust my attitude by focusing on some of the most important lessons I have learned about life and ministry. Here are some things that I had to tell myself…

Create a Compelling Vision

He sat at his clean desk on his first day at the church. A white sheet stared up at him from the desk, like the eye of a Cyclops. “Now what am I supposed to do?” he thought in a George-Costanza-ish moment. “I have all this training, done hundreds of hours of volunteer work. But now I am overwhelmed with the enormity of the task.” Mental paralysis sets in. Where do I start?

There are so many variables. So much to consider when giving direction to a youth ministry but something needs to be done.  It is one thing to have a general philosophy of youth ministry and quite another to implement it. Having a clear vision makes all the difference. Here are some steps for developing and inspiring vision.