Give Yourself Something To Work With

I’m in this routine since September where each week I’m designing Sunday curriculum for two different youth gatherings. My colleague spent a couple of August weeks designing all of his for the whole year. I wish I had done that. Next year it won’t be as much of an issue, because I will have the […]

My Coffee With A Young Life Leader

I have no history with Young Life. I didn’t know about it as a teenager. I first started to hear the terms “Campaigners” and “Do life together” around the year 2000, while I was participating in a church full of the group’s volunteers. In seminary I met some more Young Life volunteers, along with some […]

Three Reporters You Should Follow on Twitter

Opinion and commentary are easier to write than news and analysis. It looks the bold, courageous role: the man or woman with a take. Maureen Dowd. George Will. Jim Rome: “Have a take. Do not suck.” But I can’t shake the feeling that the greater value for our time is provided by the reporters whose […]

My Annual Events Calendar Is Not Enough

What is the most important thing your youth ministry does? A parent asked me yesterday to prioritize for her student the various upcoming trips and retreats. Should he go on the ski retreat? Or the Jr. High retreat? Or the Confirmation retreat? So I’m thinking about that. It’s challenging, because I don’t think of these […]

I Write Only To Edit

Editing is where you make your money. Moving this paragraph before that one, taking out that superfluous use of “incidentally,” cutting that last sentence entirely. The fun part of writing is the editing. But if you’re not writing, you won’t have anything to edit. So start writing.

I’m Tinkering With Confirmation. Again.

I’m fooling around with the structure of 8th grade Confirmation, because the structure I inherited is too good for me. It contains years of organization and established processes that reflect deep thinking. The team of volunteers know it and can faithfully lead it. And here I go tinkering with it. The major tweak is to […]

The Messaging Files: Edition 111716

This is what technology can do. Day: Thursday, November 17th Time: 4:36 pm Place: The Red Line train from Chicago Avenue to Belmont; the Brown Line train from Belmont to Western Medium: Facebook Messenger Object: A colleague and friend who occupies a similar position to mine in a similar church Subject: Work Details: I interrupted […]

It’s Not That Hard To Spot A Fake

The phonies we fall far are the ones we want to fall for: the “news” story about the other candidate’s hidden past; the amazing weight loss plan that permits unchecked eating; the gadget that guarantees newfound simplicity. In the bazaar of communication that we’re all strolling through every moment of every day, the comforting trinkets […]