Funny Spoof…

 —  April 29, 2013 — Leave a comment

One of our readers sent over a clever spoof on the Dove commercial the we posted last week. Funny, check it out!

For over 17 years my husband and I have worked together in the trenches with youth. My husband, John grew up in a suburban area, where extreme wealth and poverty live side by side. Streets on which we eventually were to serve in urban youth ministry, he was advised to never visit growing up. At one point in his youth ministry career he was teaching at a rich High School while volunteering with inner city families who were deemed “poor.” His youth min. career has been one of the ability to be around teens from a variety of backgrounds. In the past decade we moved into the inner city community where we serve. Mix together these circumstances and he brings a unique perspective to this idea of “Who Are Urban Youth?” John would say the landscape is shifting… Read On..

1. How would you define urban youth or family?

 

More and more I see the “urban family” as being one that struggles with some combination of the following issues: poverty, a single-parent home, addiction, physical and emotional abuse, under resourced schools, and the feeling they might not “get by.” I recognize most of these issues transcends socio-economic boundaries. At the same time I have seen them as visible signs in the urban communities I have lived in. I have also noticed that, in the down economy of the last few years, youth and their families are experiencing more of these factors as a result of parents dealing with the stresses of lay-offs, overdue rent or mortgages, and the need for financial assistance “ factors they never believed would touch their lives. In both circumstances I have witnessed a sense of deeper hopelessness rooted in fear that life will never be any better than it is today.”

 

2. In today’s shifting culture we are seeking to redefine urban. What would you if we said the new urban youth is one living in a survival mindset?

 

I believe this is an accurate statement. As I mentioned, the current urban family is dealing with a hopelessness that today may be as good as it gets. They are just trying to make it through the day with enough to feed their children, keep the lights on, and provide small, momentary diversions from their circumstances. We are now seeing this on both “sides of the tracks:” traditional urban and suburban.

 

3. Do you have students living in survival mode in your youth group? (Or Have you met families living in this mindset?)

 

Absolutely! My ministry, Aslan Youth Ministries, deals almost entirely with children from low-income areas of the inner-city. These children are the primary example of what so many suburban youth are starting to face in greater numbers. Stresses that cause them to focus on just surviving their day, not thriving in it.

 

4. How would/do you approach them?

It may sound like an over-spiritualization, but the best way to approach them is with the hope of Christ. As we literally walk out life with these youth we must constantly remind them that they were made with great value and God has a plan for their lives. If they will follow Him and make godly choices, He has a future for them that will bring them joy and fulfillment. I am always careful not to promise that life will be easy or they will definitely get out of their circumstances. However, they need to know they will always have the hope that comes from walking out life with a Savior who loves them. They must begin finding their value here, and then we can begin teaching them how to make those decisions.

 

DSC_0051More About John:

John Fix is the COO of Aslan Youth Ministries in Monmouth County, NJ. He has a passion for seeing urban communities changed through empowering their future leaders to become highly skilled followers of Christ. It has been his joy to be in the trenches with youth and families for almost two decades. He is highly skilled at strategic planning and vision casting. He loves being a husband to Leneita and a Dad to his amazing children.




We’re asking some good questions in our youth ministry about ministering to students working through same-sex attractions – inspired this week’s poll asking how often it is coming up in your context as well. Vote now!

JG

photo

Got a chance to share just briefly at the close of the college service last week – our college pastor and his right-hand man are both stepping down and into other leadership positions in and out of the church. My heart was to reassure the students present that everything was going to be OK. I just shared a few words but heard enough comments about it I wanted to post a few of them here as well in case they were helpful to someone else who is helping to navigate transition:

It is OK to leave a church. When God speaks, we listen. When He moves, we follow. In this case it is an incredible example how to leave well. To leave a legacy. So awesome. And with the same clarity we’re excited for God speaking and moving these guys FROM our college ministry, I’m excited about how God has been moving and speaking TO the new leaders our college ministry as well. Come back next week for details on what’s ahead for us leaving.

The night was about celebrating the guys leaving, but it is equally important to reassure the faithful that God is still working and leading new leadership into place in tandem with the exit. I’m not sure what’s ahead for our college ministry, but I’m thankful that God is already leading someone to take it over!

JG



Have you ever walked into a really beautiful building, very neat and organized on the inside with friendly faces greeting you and showing you around, then you make a trip to the bathroom and whoa! What happened here? It looks like no one has touched it in months, this is what’s stinking the whole place up! Someone’s got to be willing to take care of the smaller, less desirable jobs. Otherwise, the bigger jobs could tank.

One person cannot do it all
It takes a team to get things done. So if you think you are just the guy who stands-by keeping an eye out for anything that may go wrong or just the girl that cleans the bathroom, stop right there! You couldn’t be more wrong. Without you, the guy in the spotlight wouldn’t be so lit up. The nasty bathroom and the fight in the back of the room would steal the light.

Do it willingly
Put more value on what you are doing, it’s not so bad. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23) You are right where God wants you to be. You are not working for the people; you are doing the Lord’s work. You are building up His Kingdom so disregard the value the world places on your position and work with joy in your heart knowing it is for a greater cause.

No matter how small your job may seem, it is a BIG in the Kingdom of God. So keep scrubbing that toilet and do it with joy in your heart and when the Lord comes, you can look forward to Him saying, Well done, good and faithful servant!

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

TEDThe idea behind the “TED” is pretty cool. TED Talks are given by an expert at a specific thing (whatever that thing or idea is). The presenter has a maximum of 20 minutes to share their ideas in the most innovative way they can.

This talk is nothing ground shaking, but that is exactly why David Pogue (tech writer from the New York Times)is sharing. Here are 10 tech tips you thought everyone knew but actually does not. Enjoy!



  • Whether it is stepping in when you don’t want to, asking someone to leave, picking a topic that is tough to discuss, at some point you are going to need to make a decision you don’t want to make.

    Recently this meant cutting a program that I love. For two years, I ran a wednesday night drop in. Any student could drop by the church for a game of pingpong, foosball, card games or just to run around or kick a ball. It was a lot of fun for the students, and they loved it. Problem for me was I had the choice I could start a new small group for 3 grade 12 students and 2 college students who wanted to go deeper or continue running Wednesday hang out for up to 20 students. Well I cut the program that consistently had big numbers to run a program for 5 students.

    Now for me the choice came to which program did I see having the most impact. In my mind it was far more important to equip a few older students with serious spiritual impact than to hang out. While those 20 students are just as valuable to me it all came down to our ministry vision and mission.

    Our mission is to create an environment of love and laughter, so we can reach students for Christ and disciple them to be spiritual leaders of this generation and the next.

    I believe that when you are faced with making a tough choice you have to look at what your vision and mission is, and weigh where the decision fits against that. If you don’t you will end up making a decision based on immediate feelings and that will often end up not being the best decision you could make.

    If you don’t know you mission and vision you need to. Without these two things you don’t truly have a guide to figure things out. If you need to develop these I encourage you to read Purpose Driven Youth Ministry.

    My second piece of advice when making a tough decision is to bring in another person or more. When we make decisions in isolation we often make the choice that suits us best, when you bring in another voice you become more likely to flesh out all the options. And let’s be honest as a youth worker you are going to go under fire a lot throughout your career, having a counsel helps you to support the decisions you made.

    What pieces of advice do you have on making tough decisions?

    Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. You can follow his blog at: kylecorbin.blogspot.com or Twitter: @CorbinKyle

  • Super excited about this new powerful spoken word video Sincerely Freedom by Nick Vitellaro. Good stuff about the powerful addiction of pornography. Love Craig Gross over at XXXChurch for putting this one out. Excellent.

    JG