You Choose the View Pt. 4

     Liza Minnelli once said “Man plans and God laughs.”

     It feels that way sometimes doesn’t it? We set our plans in order. We write down our vision statements, set our long-term and short-term goals, only to have them seemingly slip through our fingertips because of some unforeseen life-change.

      It’s in those moments we can say with Solomon, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. ” Prov. 16:9

     So often those steps are not anything like what we planned. Truth be told, as much as we want to say, “It’s always better than we planned!”, in the moment it sure doesn’t seem that way to us!

     Change generally brings with it a reordering of our goals. In the midst of change some goals remain untouched; some are altered  in time-frame, scope, or purpose; And some just evaporate altogether like a brook in August.

     When life change comes our way we are forced to see that life is not really about the finish line. It’s about the journey. We make a mistake when we make faith about “gettin’ to Heaven” or about “gettin’ to” anything. You see, Christianity does not come with an end in mind; It’s supposed to be an unending journey with Jesus; So it is the pathway that matters most. When we focus on the moment by moment walking, the temporal finish lines promise to take care of themselves.

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for his own ends–even the wicked for a day of disaster.” Proverbs 16:4,5 NIV

      So maybe you’re in the midst of a goal-destroying life change just now. Hold on, I know with your limited vision you cannot see how it’s all going to work out. With what you understand, I know it’s almost impossible to see how this could possibly be right. Give God time to reorder your goals. Trust Him that the goals which should remain will. Trust Him to show you what goals need to be altered. Trust Him to take away the goals that never should have been yours in the first place. Trust Him to make it all right!


A Generation That Knows How To Speed

    ” Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” I Tim 4:12

     I have the awesome privilege of serving one more time as youth pastor at my home church. When I retired from youth ministry 3 years ago I really thought my time among the teens had come to an end. But once more change has brought me full circle right back to my roots. So until June I will continue on as Pastor Wrinkles, venerated elder of the young.

     This is a generation of passion and strength if ever I saw one! I hear talk of “raising the dumbest generation” and ” our entitled, witless youth”. I have to say I don’t see it. I do see a lack of knowledge, a  huge dose of cynicism and a fear of buy-in but that has more to do with our generation’s sin than theirs.

     Another youth pastor once told me “money follows vision”. If that is true it is because people who control money follow vision. If you want to make a goal with a team you have to tell them what it is no matter how old the members of the team are.

     The youth I serve are growing passionate about God and about the mission He has given them. This is so because they are hearing from the Scripture that God has a goal for them to shoot for.

     In our church, the Beyonders (everyone over 18) pay the salaries of our missionaries. The wrinkly people keep the servants of God in milk and sneakers. The Youth provide the missionaries with what they need to do their job. The Youth buy the missionaries their cars, planes, boats, computers, sound systems, and movie projectors. We call this outreach Speed-The Light.

     These kids know how to speed! This year our group of thirty kids pledged $7,797.00 to Speed-The-Light. So far they have raised $2501.00 for the ministry! Hallelujah!

     Last Wednesday night our kids hosted a Speed-The-Light service for our church.  Our special project that night was to buy 5 Kindles for pastoral candidates in Cuba. The Kindles will be loaded with the entire four-year curriculum for Bible college.

     God did it! We are given the privilege of sending five new pastors into the harvest field! How cool is that?

    This generation is hungry for a vision they can buy into. Once they have the vision I have seen they can really Speed-the-Light!

What do you see are the greatest hindrances to this generation’s motivation?

Pastor Wrinkles: Leadership Training

     On Tuesday this week our leadership team has its first follow-up for the fall semester.

     Follow up and check-in are important parts of leadership development I have learned. Times of follow-up with key leaders are absolutely essential in order to maintain direction, passion, and vision.

      This Tuesday we are going to be revisiting our BHAG. Which is:

To build a core of 40 youth:

The Core those who are saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, have a working knowledge of the Bible, are active in ministry in the church (main life ministries, youth worship, youth leadership, fine arts), and who are giving actively to the ministry and mission of the church.

     We are also going to revisit our method and see how we are lining up to it:

Our Method– We will achieve the Big Hairy Audacious Goal by planning our meetings and events a year in advance. Our scheduled events will have to answer the question: “How does this event meet the BHAG”.

Our meetings – Every meeting will contain: an hour and 15 minutes for hanging out and relationship building, thirty minutes of worship, and an hour and fifteen minutes for preaching and small group discussion.

The youth group will be made up of five smaller groups each led by members of our leadership team. The teams will be competing for points throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Goal and method revisitation, important to leadership development.

Tell me team How do you think we are doing? Are we hitting the bullseye?

Pastor Wrinkles