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Ten Things A Youth Worker Has To Do Every Day

This is my own take on a couple of posts from Josh Griffin a while back (some is reworded, some just straight plagiarized). It's not a complete list or a perfect list, but maybe a good reminder for those who are in youth ministry.

Ten Things A Youth Worker Has To Do Every Day

1. Connect with God
The life of that connection is the foundation for ministry. Put the oxygen mask on you before you put it on your neighbor.

2. Connect with a Student
Shoot a text message of encouragement to a student (or a few at once, they won’t know) or take the time to jot a hand-written note to a student who could use it. Be on campus, at their sports event, or just a simple phone call… It would be a mistake to not connect with a student every day.

3. Connect with a volunteer
Quick email, text, coffee, lunch… If a day goes by when I’m not connecting with a volunteer, I’m wasting my shepherding time and jeopardizing the infrastructure for growth in our student ministry.

4. Connect with the team
Spending a little energy on staff / ministry leaders will be healthy relationally for the team now, and may save having to spend tons of energy later by minimizing crisis mode. TEAM!

5. Connect with a Parent
It’s not just the reactive contact when we’ve messed up or their kid has caused problems or we need something from them, but a proactive contact to let them know you’re praying for them or staying in touch or just to say hey.

6. Connect with family
Refuse to cave in on family time. It is that important.

7. Connect with our philosophy
Read, think, zoom way out and touch the big picture. Connecting with your philosophy will help you continue to cast that vision and leadership, as well as be contagious to your team.

8. Connect with the Calendar
What needs to be marketed? What should be added? Do the events on the calendar match up with our philosophy? Is there adequate margin in the calendar? What could be handed off, what could be delegated? Is there a week or two of vacation on it? Let the calendar speak to other areas of your ministry, it will usually do a lot of talking.

9. Connect with Resources
You probably don’t have to reinvent the wheel every week. Find help to get started and tweak it for your context.

10. Connect with Fun
It’s important to laugh a little. (Or a lot!) It might be just the thing you need to get over the hurdle in message preparation or help you relax after dealing with a difficult situation.

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Happy Birthday, Son

Happy 1st birthday, Noah. It's amazing how quickly your first year seems to have flown by. You amaze me everyday with the things you're learning and all you're able to do. Always remember you're loved more than you could ever fully understand.

(You're one and can't read, yet. And you don't know how to operate a computer, yet. But maybe one day you'll see this, and know you were thought of.)

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A Quote for Friday

"You've got to think about the big things while you're doing the small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction."

Alvin Toffler

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Now, THAT'S a Burger!

the BurgerA really fancy burger. After reading about the new Burger King burger, I actually found myself kinda wishing I had an extra two hundred dollars just to try the thing.

Then I kinda felt guilty about wanting to spend $200 bucks on a hamburger.

Then I read the money would go to charity, and I kinda wished I had an extra $200.

The fine ingredients of what is called simply 'The Burger' include Wagyu beef, white truffles, Pata Negra ham slices, Cristal onion straws, Modena balsamic vinegar, lambs lettuce, pink Himalayan rock salt, organic white wine and shallot infused mayonnaise in an Iranian saffron and white truffle dusted bun.

I don't even know what "Wagyu beef" is, but I'd be willing to try one.

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Hope for Africa Children's Choir

Last night our church hosted the Hope for Africa Children's Choir during the South Georgia part of their tour through the US. It was genuinely amazing. These children come from pretty dire backgrounds; orphaned due to parents' murder or disease, from some of the most poverty stricken places in the world. And yet, they're lives seem to shine with such hope and joy. And these kids could dance! If our church's kids choirs tried some of the same choreography, somebody would get knocked the heck out! They're little fists and elbows were flying all over the place. And they hardly stopped for an hour and a half. And their smiles were ear to ear the whole time. It was something special to hear them singing, and to hear the message of the music knowing some of what they've had to endure so young.

Hope for Africa Children's Choir

They're served by the Humble United Methodist School in Uganda and recently shared their singing/dancing at the South Georgia Annual conference in Columbus, GA this year. There are opportunities to support the school or individual kids. (Since their website isn't that great, you can contact the UM South GA Conference Connectional Ministries Office if you want more information about how to support them.) If you want to do some more reading, here are a few links to other articles:
Choir opens world to children with 'hard lives'
Church rescues children in displaced persons’ camp
Pastor brings church to vulnerable people
Choir children dream of happy futures
Choir director Tonny Mbowa shapes young lives

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Noah's 1st Bday Party

We celebrated Noah's first birthday with a party this past Saturday. (His birthday's not until this Friday, but that didn't work out for our schedule. And, he's one - it's not like a week made that much difference to him. He doesn't know.) Anyway, so it was a fun weekend. We had family over and did the presents and cake and icecream. Shannon made and decorated his cake. This was a big deal to her, and she did a really good job. It looked just like a "One Birthday Cake" and tasted great. And, yes, he dove into it; had it all over the place. It was fun.

One of the highlights for me was Noah getting a little red wagon and me getting to do my dadly duty putting it together. I didn't think he'd every want to get out that thing. But he did. For watermelon. He got that everywhere, too. But you only get one first birthday, so what the heck, right?

1st Bday cake Still sitting at the kids table
I heart cake I heart cake
Little Red Wagon Little Red Wagon

Oh, yeah! Here's a funny story for you: Shannon's sister and her two little girls came up for the weekend. Her sister's four year old and I rode to the store Saturday morning to pickup a few last things for the party. Now, she four, y'all. So, we hop in the truck (safely fastened in her booster seat), and as we're riding down the road I'm flipping through the radio stations. She says, "Uncle Josh. You know what's a good song? Going Down the Only Road I've Ever Known. Whitesnake sings that one." I just agreed and tried to keep her from thinking I was laughing at her. But seriously, how many four-year-olds are gonna throw out Whitesnake as a personal favorite?

(And, yes, the song is actually "Her I Go Again", but you and I both knew exactly what she was talking about. Shame on you for wanting to correct a four year old in her budding love for 80's hair bands. Sicko.)

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A Quote for Friday

"God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Josh's New RC-2

Boss RC-2 Loop StationI was recently given a very generous gift (it was a gift certificate to a local music store) and I just cashed it in. I'm now the proud owner of a very cool Boss RC-2 Loop Station.

It'll take some playing around with it, but I'm already thinking of some fun stuff. You can read more about it elsewhere if you're interested, but here it is in a nutshell: it records brief phrases of music and then plays it back in loops, allowing the user to layer on top of the playback. It also has some programmed percussion beats and an AUX input for mp3 player, computer, etc. that can be used for loops also. Like I said, it'll take some playing around with it, but I've got some fun ideas already.

Here's a couple of people using something similar:

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Wade in the Water, Children

For the summertime, we got Noah a little kiddie pool. During the recent heat wave, we thought it might be a good time to try it out. Noah wasn't real sure about the whole deal at first, but he warmed up to it and had a blast. A funny thing: we've got some little swimmer diapers for him, but for this first time with the new pool we didn't bother with them or whatever... So, um, yeah... diapers get huge when you stick them under water!

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In the Froggy PoolIn the Froggy Pool

In the Froggy PoolIn the Froggy Pool

In the Froggy PoolIn the Froggy Pool


Shannon's 10yr Reunion

Last weekend Shannon's class had their 10yr high school reunion. It was well put together and seemed to be a fun weekend for all the classmates. I thought it was interesting to watch Shannon with some of her old friends; some of them I knew, some of them I'd heard stories about. They had a tour of the school Friday night (there'd been a lot of construction and remodeling since they graduated), a breakfast SatAM, golf tournament, picnic, fancy/formal dance SatPM, and a farewell luncheon on Sun. So, it was a very full weekend, but one that people could pick and choose from... anyway, it was good.

Here are a few pictures from SatPM:

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