Love Big: A Review and An Idea

Last night, or should I say, in the wee hours of the morning, I did as I do when I can't sleep and I read an entire book. It was a book well worth the immersion because it sparked an idea that I can't wait to get started on. First, the book and my review: Love Big: The Power of Revolutionary Relationships to Heal the World by Rozella Haydee White  My experience with this book is very much what…

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Celebrate the Light 2

They set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. Matthew 2:9  When I think about those wise ones who followed the star, I think about leadership. The best teachers are life-long learners. The best leaders know how to follow others. I always find it interesting that when we are most purely ourselves, living out of our gifts, we end…

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Proper 22

A writing for Modern Metanoia MATTHEW 21:33-46 ‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he…

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Just the way it is?

Last weekend I led a high school retreat that ended up being an all boys retreat. I wrestled with whether I should change the session topics or not, but realized these were pertinent topics for a group of boys to muse over together. The first session focused on trash talking and the second focused on conflict. In one of our discussions the topic of gossip was brought up. I was disheartened when one of the guys said that…

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Growing Young Book Review

I am a youth minister because I love the church. One reason I fell in love with Growing Young from the first page was because it's all about the church. It's all about the intrinsic link of loving the church and loving young people. Not only is this a book with compelling statistics, it is also full of stories, and practical, useful ideas for leaders. Readers are introduced to six core commitments for churches "growing young": * Unlock…

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Growing Young, Chapter 8 Reflection

Growing Young in Your Context Context is critical. Never forget that while we may learn from the experiences of others, how what has been learned is lived out in your context will most likely look very different. A strength in one congregation's experience with the "Growing Young Wheel" may be the commitment that is most challenging for your congregation. This isn't about comparison with one another, nor is this about having the biggest youth group in town. This…

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Growing Young, Chapter 7 Reflection

Be the Best Neighbors Churches that grow young recognize the careful dance that values both fidelity to Scripture's commands for holiness and knowing and graciously loving their neighbors... Much more than developing detailed policies or releasing theological position papers, these churches train and infuse their young people with an integrated discipleship that enables them to thrive in our complex world (237). A congregation is not just composed of those named on a membership roster. A congregation is a…

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Growing Young, Chapter 6 reflection

Prioritize Young People (and Families) Everywhere This chapter is important because it cuts to the heart of it all. The idea of prioritizing young people and families remains just that in many churches, a nice idea that is an assumed reality without being followed up by intentional action. As someone who has dedicated their lives to making this prioritization more than just a nice idea, it can be almost heartbreaking when I see this good intention go no…

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Growing Young, Chapter 5 Reflection

Fuel a Warm Community It wasn't the preaching or teaching. It certainly wasn't the building or the worship style. It was the life shared among the congregation that drew them in (164). As a Pastor's Kid, lifelong Christian, and leader in the church for as long as I can remember, I've been to quite a few churches over the course of my life. I've been a vacationing visitor, member, vicar, music leader, teenage youth leader, full time staff, visiting…

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Growing Young, Ch. 2 Reflection

Unlock Keychain Leadership: Sharing Power with the Right People at the Right Time Definitions are a good place to start, so I appreciate that the authors took time defining what they mean by "keys" and "keychain leaders" at the very beginning of this chapter (53). I'll do that too. Keys: Capabilities, power, and access of (to?) leaders that carry the potential to empower young people. Keychain Leaders: Are aware of the keys on their keychain; and, Intentional about…

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