Working with Moms

 —  March 9, 2011 — 2 Comments

Since I am a mom of a daughter and because I am a daughter of a mother…I realize how fragile and important that relationship can be in a life of a girl.

As youth workers I think it can be easy to:

1. Allow your role in the girl’s life to go beyond youth worker…and into more of a family type role. And there are times when this role is essential to a girl’s health and spiritual journey. I think of one my students whose mother lived across the country and she needed someone to show up at the homecoming ceremony to cheer her on. Yet, there may be times when we, as youth workers, can cross the line…when we assume our voice is the most important voice in the life of a daughter.

2. We assume that a mother that is hard to work with is the “enemy.” There have been times when I have sat and listened to a mother talk, by the end of the conversation I want to scream…”What are you thinking?” But most of the time that isn’t nessecary or right. (There have been a few times in my ministry years where I forgot to tell my mouth not to say anything…and that’s mostly backfired!) I think it’s safe to say that 95% of parents want to do the right thing and want to help their child succeed. They aren’t the enemy…they are our ministry.

I am confident that effective ministry to girls includes their parents…especially their moms. We should work to create opportunity and resources to get them talking with each other about important issues in their lives.

Check out Doug’s blog this week as he blogs about family ministry.

Check out this resource for parents:
99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers - Physical
My friend (a fellow youth worker) and I were chatting about how great it would be to organize some events for moms and their daughters…to help them grow their relationships. While at the same time being sensitive to those girls who may not be able or willing to attend with their moms. I don’t know…could be really hard to pull off but also could be a great idea.

How about you? What are you doing with moms in your ministry?


 —  March 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

SYMC Louisville Promo from Matthew Wheatley on Vimeo.

This week we started a new experiment with our small groups – Life Group discipleship classes as an option for groups to attend together.

Now, we love what is happening in homes and relationally with leaders, but as we thought about areas where we’re hoping to improve, the topic of foundational doctrine and theology showed up pretty strong. HSM has been moving toward balanced health for several years now, and discipleship has always been on our radar but we thought we might be entering a phase were we needed to give it an extra emphasis. We don’t typically offer a ton of classes, we depend on the weekend service, small groups (we use the LIVE curriculum) and encourage students to grow on their own with all sorts of Bible studies, books and tools.

Ryanne had the idea to offer up some discipleship classes specifally for Life Groups. They attend with their adult volunteer leader and sit around tables listening to a master-teacher (for this 4-week session we asked our adult teaching pastor Tom Holladay) to teach the lesson. He teaches for 45minutes to an hour on a particular subject like the authority of the Bible or End Tiems, then leaves them to have a time of guided questions and discussion.

  • We thought it would help groups who are strong relationally but need help on the teaching side
  • We desire for all of our students to be firmly grounded in their faith
  • It would also make for a geat change of pace this time of year

So, this Tuesday/Wednesday night (both of the nights we offer Life Groups we wanted to offer these classes) were the first of our 4-week experiment to see if there would be interest. We had an incredible turnout … might be on to something here.


So many pix come to mind; here are the first ten:

1) Rick Lawrence and the morning sessions. I love cardboard signs now.

2) Mike Hammer and John Mulholland helping me in my track.

3) Kami and her prayers.

4) Surprises-beautiful surprises-in my room from the IT Team.

5) The thread activity on Monday.

6) Bill and his wife, Jean, holding hands.

7) White chocolate from Drew Aaron.

8) Eddie going home to take care of his family. Missed him but the example was priceless.

9) The improv skit with josh, jake and Tommy. HILARIOUS.

10) Will Gregg owning that IT booth!

More tomorrow from my track, from worship, from connect groups, and so much more.

More Than 40 Days

 —  March 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

Today marks the beginning of Lent and many people will begin giving up something they really enjoy as a point of focus and preparation for Easter. Typically we give up things like coffee, television, Twitter, Facebook, a certain food, etc. I think this can be a very good challenge, but let’s not get it twisted.

These are not “sacrifices,” they are setting aside a luxury that few people in the world get to enjoy. They can be a focusing point for us and for a brand new believer this might be a very good first step. But someone who has been following Jesus for a while shouldn’t view giving up these little luxuries as a sacrifice and ought to be very leery of feeling super spiritual because they gave them up for 40 days.

Consider putting forth an intentionally gospel focused challenge for yourself this Lent season. Jesus didn’t say in order to follow him we had to give up a luxury for a certain amount of time. He told us we had to give up all of ourselves, for life. So let’s use Lent as a time to focus on that calling. This is a process for all, so let’s commit to using this season as taking a step in this direction. Let’s give up something that is actually hindering us from following Jesus whole heartily. And, let’s not make the challenge for ONLY 40 days….let’s make these the FIRST 40 days of truly working toward the giving up of our entire lives.

I love b—–s!

 —  March 8, 2011 — 5 Comments

Have you seen these bracelets? Are your students wearing them?

I’ve seen a few students (boys and girls) wearing them around…but last week one girl in my small group had one on. She reminded me they are for a good cause…:)

I get it…they are about raising awareness and money for breast cancer. But, really?

What do you think about these little bracelets? Harmless or not?

For those of you at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference this past week, you heard a talk given by Rick Lawrence about a strawberry. Rick has made the talk available for download on (message transcript and 2 animated videos) if you want to check it out and use it if it feels like something that would work in your context.


Congratulations to our two winners of the Mottsy youth ministry business cards giveaway from the other day:
Chris Standridge at 8:51am February 28

Jason Snyder at 4:31pm February 28

Don’t fret if you didn’t win. You can still order an almost identical set of relational business cards for you and your team at a significant discount. Here’s how:

1) Download this photoshop file (link: )

2) Add your information and ministry branding

3) Head over to and choose the following dimensions: 2(w) X 4(h). Then click the box to add “Rounded Corners”.

4) Enter promo code DODGEBALL at checkout to save 40%. Complete your order and you’ll have a fresh stack of cards on your doorstep in no-time.