Photo courtesy of PostSecret

Wow. I am speechless. But we know it’s happening…so are we talking about it?

There is no doubt when working girls that you’ll be dealing with emotions. I think we tend to see them as something that works against us making our interactions with girls a lot harder. I don’t know if that always needs to be the case…

I think we first need to understand emotions can effect our ministry to girls and also we need to understand how we need to teach/guide our girls when it comes to their emotions.

  • Emotional Connecting- I think that this is a huge difference between boys and girls. Girls need to know that we know them and care for them. They need to “sense/feel” that our advice or teaching is coming from a true relational connection. I think boys care about this but not to the same degree has a girl. Girls tend to make more decisions based on what they feel…so if they don’t feel the connection between themselves and the youth worker…it doesn’t nessecary matter. The connection doesn’t have to be strong. I’ve seen both types of male camp speakers…one that comes in and make a connection right away and another that can’t seem to communicate care…and I have seen the visibly different responses from girls based on what they were feeling from these speakers .
  • Hormones- let’s be honest…girls have lots of hormones and they do matter to how a girl handles situations. I think we should be aware of this but I also think as a female leader we have a responsibility to teach and show a girl how to control/direct/handle those emotions. It’s not always okay to respond to what your raging feelings are telling you to do. I think it’s okay for a girl leader to talk openly about how to handle our hormones!
  • Compassion- I can’t think of a better emotional quality in a girl than her gift of compassion. Give a girl something to care about and the tools to do something about it…and watch out world!

What do you think about working with emotional girls?

This is a repost from Thom Schultz’s Holy Soup site. And as much as I? like a quality performance, are you and I relying too much on how things look “upfront?” Are we SO full of ourselves in our own preaching/teaching/musical abilities that we’ve turned our students into spectators?

Read what? Thom has to say, using? your ministry as a filter.

The Big New Spectator Sport: Church

03. Feb, 2011 4 Comments

? Sunday is a time for spectator sports. At the stadium. In the arena. On the field. And in the church.? File in. Sit in rows. Watch the professionals perform. File out. That’s the job of the spectator.

Over the years, the church has drifted away from participation, toward passive spectatorship. The trend affects the worship hour, as well as children’s and youth ministry programming.?

The trend struck me a couple of years ago as I entered a large West Coast church service. Professional musicians and singers performed as song lyrics blinked on giant screens. The quality sound system pumped the professionals’ music into the room, easily overwhelming any voices from the congregation.? Most of the spectators seemed to enjoy the concert-quality presentation. But only about one in ten sang along. The vast majority merely watched the professional Christians worship. Then the congregation settled in to watch the preacher. He too performed with polished quality.?

When I suggested a few weeks ago that we turn down the volume of church praise bands, some readers balked. They argued they didn’t want to hear off-key congregants.? As a church, we must ask, has our quest for presentation quality trumped everything else?The goal of professional sports is to fill venues with paying customers who sit and watch others perform. Has the church tacitly followed the same protocol? Or…do we have a real interest in encouraging participation, encouraging everyone to come down onto the field and actually play??

We like to describe our faith as a relationship with Jesus Christ. Relationships require full participation. They’re interactive. No relationship grows when one person simply sits in the stands? and observes.?

It would be easy to blame the pew-sitters for being couch potatoes. But, in many ways, we’ve created a game that encourages their passivity. They’re simply being good spectators.

This past weekend we finally finished an idea about 6 months in the making! You’re looking at the new offering barrels for HSM (really for the Refinery since we’ll leave them in there permanently). We bought the barrels with a wheeled base, and had a custom top made and installed by a local handyman. They have spots to store a good supply of pens and bulletins, as well as a locked offering slot in the front with a little sign that can easily be swapped out. We’ll see how they look as is and rough them up/distress them if they need it to fit the look.

I think the total cost was a couple hundred bucks each (we made 3 of them total – 2 downstairs and 1 for the balcony), and they’ll be regular features in the Refinery for a long time to come.


I’m honored and excited to be going back to Kenya for the 2nd time – I figured going halfway around the world was a once in a lifetime opportunity last year, so going for a second time in 11 months is incredible. Why am I going? As I’ve prepared for our high school mission trip, I came up with two thoughts:

I’m going for our students to grow and be stretched in their faith
There’s nothing like a 20,000 mile trip to push anyone to the brink. Taking students from Orange County to Kenya is going to be culture-shocking for them. When jet lag is at is fiercest and comforts are all but gone, it seems like we respond to God’s Spirit the best. Our walls are down, we are raw. And getting to challenge students in this atmosphere in that environment excites me. I want to be their pastor, their body guard and their friend. I want them to experience the Kenyan church’s vibrant faith. I want them to wrestle with the faithfulness of God to these poor African children. This will be the time and the place.

I’m going to be a dad for a week to the fatherless street kids
I throw the football around with the boys 4 nights a week. We never miss church. We’re still an old fashioned family and eat family dinners in a culture that demands drive-thru. We go door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies and my kids play soccer in the city league. We read the Bible and pray every night. One of my central life goals is to be a great dad to my 4 kids. And there are hundreds of fatherless little children in Kenya. My kids get me 51 weeks a year. The street kids, who lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, get me for 1 week a year. I’m going over there to be a dad.

I know you’ll enjoy the 25 amazing guest posts over the next 10 days. I’m going to the other side of the world with some students and leaders I love, knowing God will do something big in all of our hearts. See you in a couple weeks!


the whole girl: physical

 —  February 2, 2011 — 3 Comments

Is it fair to say that girl’s ministry is more than helping girls discover Jesus? I think for me, Jesus has always been and always will be the main thing. But the longer I work with girls in and outside of the church I realize that when I begin to invest in their lives I see that many of these girls need help discovering more.

Just start by thinking of the girls in your minsitry that have come from broken homes or unbelieving parents…and you begin to see that these girls need to see how discovering Jesus (the main thing) effects their WHOLE being.

For the next few days, I plan to blog about ministering to the whole girl. Today, I want to talk about the physical piece of girls ministry.

  • Body Image- usually this is the first one that comes to mind for me. Helping girls see their body as Jesus sees their body. This isn’t just about convincing them they are pretty but that they are pretty amazing! Our body is a gift and a tool…when we learn to appreciate it, we see a rise in self confidence because girls understand the power in being created by a loving God.
  • Physical Health- we tend to shy away from the topic of what it means to be healthy. I think it’s important to talk with our girls about how to care for our bodies whether it’s eating more or eating less. Recent statistics tell us that 14% of teenagers are suffering from obesity and around 10% of teens struggled with an extreme eating disorder. Somewhere around 25% of our students are struggling with phyiscal health and will not be able to see the main thing because their minds are so consumed with their body. What does it means to really understand how to care for these bodies that we have been given?

I tend to think that understanding a girl and her issues with her body is the key to understanding how to reach her with God’s love. It’s that big of deal.

A lot of the way we help girls with these issues isn’t through a program but through relationships. What would it look like to have a conversation about these issues? If you are a woman…it’s likely that you have been on a journey to understand your own body…share your story. Give hope.

What are other ways we can minister to the whole girl?

(By the way, I am saving phyiscally purity for the the whole girl: sexually- look for it later this week)

I’m working on getting ready for teaching an 8 hour learning track at SYMC on all things? Small Church Youth Ministry. I am really striving for it to be a place for lots of great content and practical tips.

So two questions:

What are your best Volunteer Development tips?

If you could learn anything about Volunteer Development, what would it be?

Please post here. I’m working on my outlines now. (thanks, btw – you’re the best!)


The Star Wars fan in me LOVED this commercial. So cute.