A Thin Line

 —  August 10, 2011 — Leave a comment

Want to know more about sexting? Get the facts now.

From the A Thin Line website:

MTV’s A Thin Line campaign was developed to empower you to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse in your life and amongst your peers. The campaign is built on the understanding that there’s a “thin line” between what may begin as a harmless joke and something that could end up having a serious impact on you or someone else. We know no generation has ever had to deal with this, so we want to partner with you to help figure it out. On-air, online and on your cell, we hope to spark a conversation and deliver information that helps you draw your own digital line.

Check out their website- you’ll find lots of great resources

MTV takes the digital world serious…do we?

What are we doing to help students with the “thin line”?

“I’ve done this vision statement thing many times. It just doesn’t work!” The pastor’s frustrated sincerity was evident. “What’s going to make this time any different in my small church?”

Great question. For clarity and completeness, the vision of a ym should contain these pieces: value statement, mission statement, goals/benchmarks and organization chart. I can’t 100% say that the process I use for leading a church through a visioning process will work without fail. But when these 2 factors are present in the flow, the success rate goes up.

1) Lots of folks involved in the process: the vision for the ym belongs to the people of the church and should come from them. Lots of participation means lots of buy-in. Lots of buy-in means one sense of direction. The vision shouldn’t change with every new leader or whatever version youth group names the ministry is given.

2) A commitment to stick to it: the documents created by the group process MUST become the filter by which all events and programs are carried out. Everyone should sign off on the agreed upon vision work. All major decisions should be weighed against the values, mission and goals of the ym.

One tip? I think its helpful to have an outside person lead this process so that all playing fields are level and no voice is too loud.


Vote in this week’s youth ministry poll – how often do you teach about purity/sex in youth group? I’m considering kicking off the school year with a sex series next month, which we’ve never done before. Pastor Rick changed up our fall campaign so I’ve got a few weeks and thinking of starting it off with a bang. Vote now!


A little highlight video from a summer serve project called Operation Backpack. School supplies for needy kids in our area. Great project for students to be involved in – over 1,300 backpacks filled and ready to go!


One of my highlights from Houseboats was when our entire boat, in an attempt to catch up in the camp games, decided to jump off the top deck of the boat…fully clothed.

All 17 girls- leaders included jumped in…did I mention that we were fully clothed. Each girl jumped one at a time…some were afraid and it was fun to watch them overcome it.

To be honest, I was a bit afraid…in all my years of houseboat camps I had never jumped from the top of the houseboat.

Me- fully clothed jumping in!

The girls loved it and it made a fun and great memory that these girls will never forget.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

I’m in Louisville, KY at a Cracker Barrel. Been sitting here for 25 minutes w/o even a hello. But I love CB, got the time, want to shop and have a hankerin’ for chicken and dumplings…so I’m sticking it out. AND I did tell the manager about it when she walked by which prompted quick intervention.

Got me thinking about customer service in youth ministry. I’m not talking about having a heart of service; best practices is what I’m leaning toward. Those ways we can make sure we keep our “customers” satisfied.

How do these feel to you?
1-Returning calls within 12 hours; emails within 24.
2-Stopping to say hello even if slammed.
3-Giving people what they came for in a timely manner and right the 1st time.
4-Checking back to see if parents/volunteers need seconds.
5-Satisfaction Surveys.
6-Finding someone to cover your area if u have to step away.
7-Find ways to say “Yes.”
8-Treat every interaction like its the first time you heard that question or input.

What do you think? Would these help bring a sense of stability to your ministry?

PS-The manager gave me my meal for free.

Not all of your ministry to girls is directly to girls- a portion is to the young guys in your ministry about how they can relate and treat girls.

I recently overheard a man talking to his wife (or girlfriend) and it was painful for me to just sit and listen to it. I wanted to get up from my seat and do something to make him stop treating another human being that way. I didn’t…mostly because it was the wrong time and the wrong place. While I sat there and listened to him I wondered if he was ever in a youth ministry?Did he ever get the chance to see a godly man interact with the opposite sex?

Which leads me to think about the thousands of teenage boys currently in youth ministries…It’s safe to assume that some of them come from homes that may range from mildly to extremely abusive. What they seen in our ministries is so important. Ask yourself what are the guys in my ministry learning about interacting with the girls in their lives?

It doesn’t need to be a set message or program…you can teach guys good and apropriate skills but passing them along. Here are 3 skills you can pass along:

Pass on how to talk TO girls

Seems basic but how do you interact with the girls in your ministry? Do you affirm them in private and public? Do you show them kindness and care? Do you see them? Do you speak to them and listen when they respond. You get to model how to be a good friend to both those of the same sex and those of the opposite.

Pass on how to talk ABOUT girls

Youth workers love to talk about their brides! I love it when they publically affirm their wives especially when they draw attention to more than just their wives “hotness.” Girls notice the things you say about your spouse…but so do the guys. Are you teaching them the qualities and the character that are important in a wife/girlfriend or does the list stop at being hot?

Also, be careful when you use girls as the punchline of your jokes. Obviously, it’s fine to make fun of a silly thing that girls do…as long as you make fun of the silly things that guys do too. Without meaning to we can pass on an attitude about girls that is inferior or condesending.

Pass on how to partner in ministry with girls

In my years of ministry I have seen some great ministry partnerships between men and women. Some are married couples and prepare yourself…some are not. Do you work well with the adult ladies in your ministry? Have you considered hiring a female staff member? (for admin and MORE.) During my time at Saddleback I had the priviliege of working with some amazing guys and gals…working together allowing our unique gifts and gender specific traits to encourage and minister together in very powerful ways. I think if you look closely throughout scritpture you can find some great examples of partnerships between men and women.

You can make a huge difference in the lives of guys and girls by just being aware and willing to pass along good relational and ministry skills.

How else can we encourage healthy interactions between guys and girls?



After a couple month hiatus of Gamerscore movement (sometimes real life gets in the way of my gaming addiction) our Xbox 360 crossed a huge milestone this weekend. 50,000 points! The boys and I rustled up some achievements playing Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon (B+), Plants vs. Zombies (A+), Kinect Fun Labs (B) and Spare Parts (B).