Manic Monday Minute

Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...
This is the Manic Monday Minute...

  • Welcome to the Manic. Monday. Minute.
  • Been a crazy week.
  • Let me first say thanks to those who have served in our Armed Forces. I wouldn't have the privilege to even blog if it weren't for the sacrifice our military members have made for us.
  • Enjoyed a couple days with my family. They came to visit me in good ole' VA. ;)
  • We had a great time hanging out and saw a couple movies together.
  • Saw the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I thought it was the best of the Pirates movies.
  • Also saw Eagle Eye... which was intense. Great movie.
  • Been having some great conversations in the last couple weeks. I'm very excited about a couple projects I'm working on.
  • I've received a huge response to my post on developing a coaching network. I'm getting emails and tweets daily. Looking forward to rolling this out over the next few weeks. Stay tuned to the blog for info. I'd love for you to shoot me an email if you are interested in being a part of the select group of individuals that I'll be investing in.
  • Got to have dinner with my buddy Dave and his wife, Kim, this evening. Dave does stunning video work and has a little running reel of his latest videos on this site.
  • I can't believe its near graduation time again. I told our seniors that the colleges burned down so they have to stick around. It's now the running joke in our ministry. The funny thing is that a couple of students believed me for a split second.
  • I just have to say (surprisingly) that OWN is quickly becoming my favorite network. The shows that are currently on the air are so good. I love the Master Class show and there is something about the Behind the Scenes show that I really like.
  • I think I really like seeing "the process" that is revealed in the Behind the Scenes show.
  • Now there is a show in development called "Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind" that looks stellar. It premieres June 17th and I can't wait.
  • My friend, Doug Fields, is putting on a leadership conference for students that you should really check out.
  • I get random direct messages on twitter (from people I don't know) telling me that they are praying for me. I'm so blessed.
  • So in case you missed it the David Crowder Band is calling it quits. There must be something new and exciting in the works.
  • And Peter Furler has gone solo. I should have expected this.
  • There's something about Peter that I must tell you. I have attended scores of Newsboys shows over the years (particularly when I was in radio). It was remarkable to see the change in Peter's life.
  • For many years Peter didn't say much. The band just performed. Then one day he opened his mouth and shared the gospel. I must say, Furler delivered one of the best (and clearest) gospel presentations I have ever heard. I hope he doesn't forsake the opportunity (to share) as he moves forward.
  • is giving away a FREE iPad. Please enter since I'm excluded from said contest.
  • Wow, I'm getting long-winded here. I better close. More to come...
  • Thanks for reading friends! Leave some comments.
  • Don't miss the Manic Monday Minute. Get the feed [here]


John Piper Interviews Rick Warren [Video]

Just watched this fascinating interview between John Piper and Rick Warren about the doctrinal depth of The Purpose Driven Life.

Catch the full interview [

Rick Warren is brilliant. I'll never forget hearing him say that he took an extra 7 months to take the manuscript of The Purpose Driven Life to make it more simple, more clear. What a great communicator. He mentioned in the video that he once did a 12-week series on "Sanctification" without ever using the word. Darn you Saddleback... for only allowing your church members to view sermons online. Darn you.

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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#Rapture: Harold Camping's False Alarm

Harold Camping is an idiot. Actually, the people who follow him may be classified as "idiots."
This man, whom most people had not heard of, predicted that the "Rapture" would take place this past Saturday (May 21) at 6:00PM. Over 100 MILLION dollars was donated to his organization (Family Radio) to promote this "Judgement Day" campaign. People sold their homes, cars, pets... all because they were "foolish or senseless" (that's the definition of an idiot by the way) and were led astray. I feel sorry for them. If they would have only read the scriptures for themselves instead of believing this guy.
One gentleman not only sold his home but emptied his entire life savings (a whopping $140,000!) to help promote the campaign. I am disturbed by this... and really feel a burden for someone so deceived. Yet Camping states that he has no plans to reinburse people who donated towards the campaign. This is injustice.
First of all, if you're taking in over $100 Million dollars can't you get a better website? I clicked over to Family Radio the other day and thought I was in the wrong place...

Then I decided to listen to the last recorded broadcast of Camping's radio show (prior to the "rapture"). You can catch the audio [here]. Around the 2.30 mark he starts to discuss the events that will unfold on May 21 in a rather monotone voice (might I add, after he cuts a lady off who was seeking salvation). That should have been the 2nd clue. I mean, if you KNOW the world is coming to an end wouldn't you display more emotion?
I also read a number of articles and posts regarding this thing. A couple of them stood out to me... 1) a post by Phil Cooke on what Harold Camping got right (which talks about what we can learn from Camping).... and 2) a post by Ed Stetzer where he flat out calls Harold Camping a false teacher (I agree Ed!).
Now this guy plans to swindle more people out of their money because he claims he was "a little off in his prediction" and has set a new date of Oct 21. Don't believe this for a second. Read the scriptures...
“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows." (Mark 13:32)
As I reflect on the last few days, the unfortunate thing is that I think I missed opportunities to speak the truth to teenagers about such false teaching. This past weekend I spent more time joking about "the world coming to an end" that I believe I missed many opportunities to clarify what the bible says about Jesus' return and a chance to pray for folks whose world did come to an end (those who lost their lives and possessions in the violent storms around the USA).
Let's seize every moment we have to speak the truth to people. Sure, we had some fun on twitter... and facebook... but I truly believe we might have missed (I know I missed) some opportunities to point people to Christ.
I'm praying for those who are truly seeking the truth... and for those who are now hurting because of this false teaching. I hope you'll join me.
Let's help prepare folks for the real judgement days and be ready to meet Christ. If we don't do this we might as well classify ourselves as "idiots" too.

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Francis Chan: Erasing Hell [Video]

Today you'll probably see Francis Chan's latest video all over the internet. In this video Chan talks about the subject of Hell and why we can't afford to get it wrong. His highly anticipated book, Erasing Hell, will release on July 5th... but you can download the introduction to the book [here], courtesy of

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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ChurchLeaders ReDesign

We've just redesigned the homepage at I'm coming up on a year (can't believe its been that long already) as an editor for them. I've truly enjoyed working along with such great people. If you've never checked out the site I encourage you to do that today!
Here's a snapshot in the meantime:

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6 Crucial Tips To Help You Be a Better Parent [Video]

Saw this video earlier today of Frank Luntz and Michele Borba on the Today Show sharing 6 things that parents need to know.

Luntz runs a research group and surveyed 6,400 people for his new book "What Americans Really Want." The 6 things outlined in the video are not surprising to me... but may be a tall order for the average family today. One encouraging thing was seeing "Attend Church Weekly" on the list (around the 1:35 mark...). Watch the video, then feel free to comment and let me know if you think the list is a good one. I'd especially like to hear from parents.

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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Do YOU Need a Coach?

Each week I connect with a number of youth workers from all across the country. I absolutely enjoy being able to encourage and equip youth pastors in the trenches. But every week I get emails, DMs on twitter, and phone calls from youth workers who want some help. There seems to be a need for more coaches and mentors.
For a long while now I have felt strongly that I should take the coaching and mentoring I've done to another level. I certainly don't mind giving advice... but I thought, why not spend more time pouring into a group of individuals who truly want (and need) guidance?
So weeks ago I sat down and mapped out a plan for a coaching network. There certainly seems to be a need for coaches... and even though I've made Youth Ministry my profession for more than 15 years now, I still appreciate someone who has been in the game longer than I have pouring into me.
So I put pen to paper and wrote out a number of details about what my coaching program would look like. Here's what I wrote down initially: I know people want more than a monthly phone call... they like having the one-on-one (life on life) coaching... and they probably don't have a lot of money.
I love conferences. I'm actually a conference-junkie. I'd probably attend everyone of them that I could if I could only afford it. Most of the time conferences leave me wanting more though. There's not enough practical ideas given... and I'd sure love to sit down with the guy who inspired me (from the stage) and pick his brain a little.
My coaching network would offer everything you might get from a conference... but it would be a semester long. You would get 6 months of personal coaching... weekly phone calls (check-ins), free resources, and there would some interaction with other youth workers in the field. All of this (that I mentioned, and more) at an affordable rate... probably the cost of a conference.
I'm only proposing something here. If there was a need for it, I'd spend a few more months building the structure... and probably launch officially in September.
So the question is, do you need a coach? Would you like the opportunity to be a part of something like this? I want to hear from you. Email me... or leave a comment here.

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10 Keys to Effective Youth Ministry

I'll never forget hearing the testimony of a missionary a number of years ago. He shared how he felt God's call overseas to a group of people who needed Christ. He shared candidly with the audience how He nearly gave up his ministry after going strong for 16 years (yes, 16 years!) without seeing any fruit to his ministry.

I have felt like that missionary so many times and I consistently hear the testimony of other people in the trenches who are so close to giving up. Bottom line: we often don't feel we are being effective in ministry and we want to quit.

Today I want to share with you 10 keys that have helped me stay effective in ministry:

1. PRAYER- Unlike many of the lists you read where prayer tends to land at the bottom of the list, I'd suggest that prayer is THE MASTER KEY to being effective in ministry and remaining in ministry for the long haul. Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer. The conclusion of the missionary's testimony was a good one... God brought revival to the people he was ministering to after a 16-year wait. Hundreds of people accepted Christ because of his faithfulness and his prayers.

2. VISION - I can look back on every ministry I've been a part of and see that I've been more effective when I have been clear in communicating my vision to the people I partner with and those I minister to. The scriptures say "where there is no vision the people perish." (Prov 29:18) If you want to be effective in ministry make sure that you communicate where you are going and how you plan to get there.

3. DISCIPLE - One of the very last commands of Jesus before leaving Earth was for us to "go and make disciples." (Matt 28:19) If we follow this command and reach those who don't know Christ and disciple them we will be effective because we are doing what Christ told us to do.

4. SHARE - Look for opportunities in your church or organization to create some intergenerational experiences to bring youth and adults together for bible study, fellowship and worship. Also, don't hesitate to lend yourself to other ministries within your church or organization. Sharing your gifts and heart with others outside of your student ministry will only help you.

5. TEAM - Youth workers increase their effectiveness when they work as a team. You may have heard it said "it takes a village to raise a child." I believe it takes a village to make an effective youth ministry: volunteers, student leaders, parents, etc.

6. RESEARCH - Knowing your audience and the culture you are reaching helps bring clarity to your vision and work in youth ministry. Today's teenagers are in a subculture all their own. In order for you to be effective in ministry you need to understand this culture. You help bridge the gap between their world and the world of youth ministry. Your research of the culture will help you stay relevant and it will equip you to teach students how to reach their friends.

7. ADMINISTRATION - Youth workers are leaders. The work requires that you lead, manage, and give vision to the ministry to which you have been called. It doesn't meant that your greatest gift is "administration." It may mean recruiting people around you to help you manage the ministry God has given you, which will position you to be effective.

8. MENTOR - One of the best decisions I ever made was to ask someone to mentor me. You need someone in your life to coach you, be your cheerleader, and your prayer partner. A great mentor will do this for you... and you will be better for having him or her in your life.

9. NETWORK - I often worry about youth workers who aren't connected with other people in the trenches. Youth Ministry is not a field for lone rangers. Trust me on this, if you are connected with other youth workers and connect regularly to share ideas and pray for each other you will be more effective than going it alone.

10. DEVELOPMENT - If you want to be effective you must have the ability to be a lifelong learner. A healthy youth ministry is led by someone who invest in their own personal development. They read books & blogs, interact with others, acquire new resources, and learn new ways of practicing ministry.

These 10 keys have helped me to be more effective in my ministry. Which keys have most helped you in your ministry? What did I miss?

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Nu Thang [Video]

God is doing a nu thang.
I fully admit... I wasn't quite ready for this.

... and if that doesn't work for you, a remix to the Nu Thang.

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]
(ht to my friend, Marko)

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The #NYWC Site is Live

The National Youth Worker's Convention Site launched just a few days ago. You can check out the new site and get registered [here]

Here's a few quick thoughts on this year's NYWC:
  • The conference is shorter, cheaper, and more awesome. Those qualities are definitely appealing to any conference goer.
  • I'm excited to see a few new faces on the speaker list
  • I think going from 3 conference locations to 2 will help the Youth Specialties (YS) team focus their energy on producing a bigger, better conference (not that it wasn't already) for attendees.
  • I'm excited about Mark Matlock's new role as executive director of YS. I thought it was interesting to see that he's not listed as a "big room speaker" (even though he may --rightfully-- be speaking there) but he's listed as a seminar speaker. This sorta thing speaks volumes to me (it's a good thing!).

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The Discrimination of Single Pastors

Back in March I read an article in the NY Times about a single pastor who struggled to find a job in ministry because he was single (unmarried). The piece stated that Mark Almlie (the single pastor) had responded to over 500 job postings and had no success in landing a position.
Here's the part of the article that I found particularly interesting:
"Mr. Almlie, 37, has been shocked, he says, at what he calls unfair discrimination, based mainly on irrational fears: that a single pastor cannot counsel a mostly married flock, that he might sow turmoil by flirting with a church member, or that he might be gay. If the job search is hard for single men, it is doubly so for single women who train for the ministry, in part because many evangelical denominations explicitly require a man to lead the congregation."
I'll never forget sitting across from a search team a few years ago who was interviewing me for a position where I would be working with teenagers. They asked me a number of questions about my experience and background. Then came some very poignant questions about my personal life. They asked if I was single (unmarried), and then they asked if I was gay. I was floored. "No," I replied. "I'm not gay." I have to admit... that question felt like a punch in the face. Why such a poignant question? Was it because I was single and didn't have a significant other at the time? "Do they ask all single pastors this question?" I thought.
Just a few short months ago, I sat down with two youth pastors (who happen to be single) at a conference. They wanted to share their hurts with me. During a conversation with me one of the pastors stated that he had a difficult time finding a job in ministry. The other guy beside him (also single, never married) acknowledged that he did too. Then he shared that he had been asked by a search team if he was gay. What? I thought, "you too?" The other guy chimed in and said "I was asked the same thing!" Not only were these pastors being turned down primarily because of their marital status but they were being asked if they were "gay." They were both offended by such questions, and also felt there was an unfair discrimination against them.

The article I mentioned also states:
"Some evangelical churches, in particular, openly exclude single candidates; a recent posting for a pastor by a church on Long Island said it was seeking 'a family man whose family will be involved in the ministry life of the church.' Other churches convey the message through code words, like “seeking a Biblical man” (translation: a husband and a provider)."

The NY Times interviewed R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in response to this and he shared these thoughts: "it is unfair to accuse churches of discrimination because that word implied something “wrongful." "Both the logic of Scripture and the centrality of marriage in society,” he said, justify “the strong inclination of congregations to hire a man who is not only married but faithfully married.”

While I might agree with what Dr. Mohler is saying here in part, there has to be an acknowledgement of the bias that seems to abound from the Church today, which seems to quickly discredit single pastors from getting positions in ministry. Furthermore, even though I understand a search team's concern that their candidate not struggle with their sexuality, asking outright if someone is "gay" because they are single is just wrong.

This entire discussion, for me, makes me consider at least 5 myths that are present when it comes to single church leaders serving in youth ministry roles in the church today:

1. The myth... that married church leaders are exempt from sexual sin--specificially homosexuality.

2. The myth... that single church leaders might be gay.

3. The myth... that single church leaders will have difficulty connecting with teenagers and families.

4. The myth... that church leaders without (free-working) spouses are less effective in ministry.

5. The myth... that single church leaders have some kind of hidden quirk or they'd be married.

Do you agree that there is a bias? Why can't the church lead the way in being an affirming community of all folks, including people that are single? How can we change the way we view single church leaders? Wasn't it Paul who said "it is better to be single?"

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#Orange11 Speaker Notes - Perry Noble

What you do TODAY will matter TOMORROW.
  • Many of us tell ourselves that what we do doesn't matter.
  • No one just signs up to do youth and children's ministry
  • When you have dreams about punting children its time to get out of ministry!
  • You are not "just a children's worker" or "just a youth worker"
  • In the feeding of the 5,000 in the Bible, who is the hero? The hero of the day is the unnamed person who packed this kids lunch.
  • Teach kids to recognize Jesus.
  • Some of the most messed up kids are church kids, because they don't recognize Jesus.
  • We try to teach our kids good moral behavior and end up separating the good kids from the bad ones.
  • Maybe lost people act like lost people. We should not expect lost people to act like believers.
  • Teach kids to trust Jesus.
  • Kids are taught they are an accident, not a creation of God.
  • It's a lie to tell kids they can do anything they want to do if they just believe in themselves (ie: people who audition for American Idol)
  • The truth is kids are created uniquely by God and He as a plan for their life. They need to surrender to Jesus and pursue his plan and not their own.
  • We need to release kids to Jesus.
  • There have been more church splits over the church van than anything else.
  • There's too much fighting and competing in the church today.
  • We are not responsible for reaching the next generation...
  • We are responsible for teaching kids to recognize Jesus and equipping them to reach their generation.

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#Orange11 Speaker Notes - Doug Fields

When you become a "spotlight leader" everyone wins!
  • A new perspective is often needed to see clarity
  • Those of us that work in the church are good at a lot of things but we are not very good at developing leaders
  • No one wants to be identified as a self-perservation leader
  • A spotlight leader is one who puts others in the spotlight
  • 3 general categories of a spotlight leader: (1) they are secure (2) they are dedicated to searching (3) they are servants.
  • Jim Burns said to Doug "I want you to focus on your writing so that you literally make my books irrelevant."
  • A leader makes conscious decisions
  • A spotlight leader will make decisions at their own expense to push others into the spotlight
  • Why can't we tweet failures and struggles? Nobody shares that stuff. Church leaders should tweet honest stuff.
  • The problem is that we have believed the lie that bigger is better.
  • So many leaders today have a depth of insecurity that they constantly feed
  • A spotlight leader looks around at those in their influence and helps them to not only discover what is good in them but helps them to make it great
  • People around you are just waiting to be discovered
  • Who are you threatened by? Do you have the desire to see anyone become more successful than you?
  • Servants are rarely ever recognized
  • Why do we see other ministries as competition?
  • When you become a spotlight leader everyone wins!

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#Orange11 Speaker Notes - Jud Wilhite

When looking at your church do you see obstacles or opportunities?
  • Jud challenged us to go back to the moment when we gave our heart to God.
  • God moved into your life so that He could send you out on mission.
  • Ministry is messy because sin is messy
  • Mark 2: men brought a paralyzed man to Jesus to be healed
  • We are called to help people out of their mess, not to judge them while they are in it.
  • When is the last time things got messy in your church?
  • If you think small you will be small. If you think bigger you will have a bigger impact.
  • Believe the impossible for those who you are praying for.

My Daily Affirmation [Video]

I ran across this hilarious video on my friend, Doug Field's, blog. I've often wondered what else I could do in the mornings to get my self ready for the day. I think if I tried this routine that Jessica uses it might help. What do you think?

RSS Subscribers: there is a video [here]

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