Jason, when I put together teaching series for our ministry I typically design from several different areas:
(1) Prayer- I never approach any series without praying through it first. I believe God gives us creativity and many times we don't tap into "the source" before we go looking elsewhere. I'll never forget something Perry Noble said at a conference last year: "we really need to start praying and stop downloading." Some of the most creative teaching series have come as a result of prayer. Definitely start with prayer. After all, God knows what the sheep need.
(2) Online Resources- I have found great resources online that offer solid ideas for series. One of my favorite places to check out is LifeChurch.tv. This church has such a kingdom mindset...offering their creative resources for free to churches. I love their latest series idea called "True[ish]."
Other sources online that I'd recommend are: BlueFish.tv, YouthBytes, and Vine Resources.
(3) Churches- Often when I have some down time I will surf the net and peruse through church and student ministry websites to see what teaching series they have going on. I can't tell you how many times just by seeing a graphic it has triggered a flood of thoughts and ideas for me and I immediately put pen to paper. I may take just the name of their series and create my own content, graphics, etc. There have been occasions where I listen to their messages and query their pastor(s) for permission to use their content, but again, I start with prayer before diving into the process.
So where do you begin your design process? What resources have you found helpful?
Labels: Manic Monday Minute
I was able to watch the Inauguration from the comfort of my home (more on that later) and here are some of the highlights as I saw it:
Rick Warren: What a prayer. What an honor to be asked to lead the invocation. What a platform to point people to Jesus Christ.
Aretha Franklin: (thinking) I just worked that song... and that hat!
The Crowd: 2 million. Woah.
Dignitaries & Political Icons: Classy. I felt a sense of pride and respect for them on that day in spite of the fact I may disagree with their politics past and present.
Chief Justice John Roberts: (thinking about the oath) For the love... WHY didn't I write this down!?
President Barack Obama: (thinking about the oath) For the love... WHY didn't you write this down?!
Parade: One too many marching bands but great talent.
Yep, I was puking. Food poisoning. Its not how I imagined that I would spend such a historical day, nor the story I want to tell to my grandchildren when they ask about such a historical day. The chinese food didn't work for me.
I am proud of our nation, enjoyed watching the ceremonies and I am committed to pray for our new president, his family and his cabinet.
(Photo: NY Times)
Labels: Manic Monday Minute
Spiritual birthdays should never be forgotten. I think they cause for celebration even though I don't recall my spiritual birthdate. I say "birthdate" because I will NEVER soon forget that day. The moment of the day you genuinely accept Christ is transformational. You are never the same. Your second birthday. Your spiritual birthday. It's worth celebrating year after year.
I phoned my uncle moments ago to tell him "Happy Birthday." So, do you celebrate your spiritual birthday or remember that day? I'd love to hear your story.
My friend, Josh Treece, texted me earlier this afternoon with the news that Jason Raitz and his family need our prayers because their family's home burned to the ground on Thursday, losing near everything and leaving his brother with minor injuries.
Here is a little personal note from Jason ...
Please join me in prayer for his family during this difficult time. Go here to read his latest post regarding their situation.
"If you would like to pray for us...please pray for a home in the same neighborhood. We would like the kids to be able to stay on the same bus and have a sense of normalcy.
Pray for my brother. Pray for rest for all the people taking such great care of us."
"The e-book is about Twitter, a social networking tool that combines the ease of cell phone text messaging with the power of email. The purpose of this book is not to give you one more thing to learn or manage. Rather, the purpose is to provide churches with a *helpful, easy* and *practical guide* to reaching the right people with the right message - for free.
Churches can easily provide timely, helpful information and resources to their communities; from small groups to volunteer leaders to ministry participants, Twitter is a very straightforward tool that even the non-technical people in your church can start using in literally a matter of minutes, right from their cell phones." ( from the website, TwitterforChurches.com)
You can download your copy for only $5.00 and if you purchase copies for your paid staff (up to $15.00) the author gives you permission to make copies like candy for your volunteer staffers.
Follow me on twitter too!
(ht to Dave Daniels)
<< Inserting story and RANT here>>
The only exception to this was a few months ago when I had the opportunity to meet with a very well known speaker (who shall remain nameless) for a few moments (who counts it his calling to develop leaders by the way) who I wasn't so impressed with. Here's why. I was chit-chatting with him for a brief moment (literally) about leadership and asked him if I could ask him a few questions sometime (by email - at his convenience) when his assistant (who shall also remain nameless) jumps in front of him like I was going to attack him or something and began to explain to me how "busy" he was traveling, speaking, meeting with other leaders and that I would have to send an email to her and "if he felt led to answer the questions" and "got to it" then he would likely respond. Maybe. What the crap?
<< Inserting open letter to Mr. Leader here>>
Dear Mr. Leader:
I'm not big on first impressions but I'm writing you today to tell you how unimpressed I was with my first meeting with you. First of all, I was speaking with you (personally, face-to-face) for a brief moment about leadership. I was not speaking with your assistant. Why did she feel the need to jump in front of you like I was going to attack you or something? You could have addressed me yourself. Secondly, I realize you are such a "busy guy" that I offered to email my questions to you and have you respond at your convenience. I'm sorry, I guess I thought that if you are truly in the business of developing leaders that you would take time for me... a leader. How wrong of me to assume such. I also must apologize for my wrong thinking about how you should have handled that conversation. I thought....hmm... If I were in his shoes I would have probably responded like this...
Instead, you allowed your assistant to respond to me, did not interject when she said "if you felt led to answer them" (what?) and dismissed me as if I weren't worth your time.
"Sir, I would love to look over your questions that you have about leadership. Would you send them to my assistant here? As I have time I would be willing to answer your questions and get them back to you. Just understand that I have a pretty tight schedule and it may be a little while before hearing back from me."
I was subscribed to every email list and mailing list your little organization had. I read your emails, benefited from them and shared them with others... but after that meeting with you I was very disturbed by your poor response and can't bring myself to read one email or mail piece now that I get from you. I've forgiven you for the harsh feelings I had towards you but I can't follow someone's leadership who professes that they are about developing leaders when you dismissed me the way you did. I hope you treat other leaders that you meet face to face far better than you treated me.
This time around the mentorship is once again free of charge but those accepted into the program will also get a resource package chocked full of goodies valued at over $250.00! The unfortunate thing is that there are limited spots available and so many people apply. Last round over 200 youth workers applied and only 13 were accepted. The application period is only open for 11 days (closes on January 24, 2009) so if you are interested you need to apply immediately.
Labels: Manic Monday Minute
Christ gave himself for the church and sometimes I'm afraid we (myself included) have been very poor stewards of it. I'll never forget the talk Phyllis Tickle gave at the National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta two years ago. Her talk was on this very thing. She stated "every 500 years or so a great rummage sale comes around. We are living in that very time right now." I see it. Denominations are staking their claims. Churches are dividing over this or that... and its very much like a rummage sale - where we (as leaders of the church) are sorting through the church's "stuff." Her closing words (a warning) I'll also never forget: "don't let it get bloody!"
Its high time we go to prayer. We need to seek the face of God in the midst of our differences. We might also need to reclaim the cliche from the bracelets that were so popular in the 90's and ask ourselves "what would Jesus do?" And... we need to celebrate our differences. Craig Groeschel shared some differences he is thankful for recently that I think are worth mentioning here:
I’m thankful for the...
…and much more more!
Be thankful for the differences... and be careful not to let it get bloody in the midst of your doctrinal disagreements and your churchy politics. After all, this is Christ's bride we are dealing with... and He loves her more than you'll ever know.
The Hope Edition transforms the now-iconic image of president-elect Obama into a 3D action figure. Shepard Fairey who produced the iconic "hope" poster gave his blessing to artist Nelson X Ascensio and Jailbreak Toys to produce the new toy. Both new editions of the Obama Action Figure are limited to 3,000 pieces and are available exclusively on Jailbreak’s website, just in time for the historic inauguration.
Monologue written by Kristin Baker. Performed by my friend, DC Curry, @ Granger. Watch the service in its entirety here.
RSS Subscribers: There is video here.
(ht to Tim Stevens)
There are several pros, as I see it, to preaching teams:
One of the things I've admired about Crossroads is that they have a bit of a preaching team. The pastor has just asked me to join that team so my preaching calendar is going on steroids. I'm looking forward to having more speaking opportunities this year but I'm also looking forward to sharpening my skills.
Labels: Manic Monday Minute
At Crossroads I will not only oversee the youth ministry but I will also give oversight to the marketing of the church under the leadership of my good friend, Chuck Harrison.
Many things impressed me about the work going on at Crossroads (just to name a few):
I will be sharing more of my journey with you from time to time on this blog but for now I'd appreciate your prayers and support during my time of transition and hope you'll join me in celebrating the work God is doing in my life.