Youth Sunday Audio, Learnings, And One Idea

Youth Sunday was a gas, of course, as teenagers ranging from 6th graders to nearly graduated seniors stood before the congregation to greet, call to worship, lead in prayer, read scripture, preach, call for commitment, charge and bless. ¬†You can listen to the entire service led by our junior high students here (the earlier service, […]

You’re My Favorite

The message of the backhanded compliment could not be more clear: stay away.   “You’re my favorite.” Turn and run. Seriously. Put no stock in that person’s appraisal of you and your abilities. Assume that his preference for you is based on whatever issue he has and not, as he would flatter you to believe, […]

Youth High School Youth Need To Be Around College Students

College students are a resource for youth ministry, and ministry with college students is critical leadership development work for the church. While I’ve never been super successful at utilizing undergraduates in weekly youth ministry programs, having them along as leaders on mission trips has provided some of the best opportunities for coaching and mentoring I’ve […]

Youth Sunday Jitters

The big project I’m working on this week is Youth Led Worship. The 9:30 service this Sunday will be led entirely by high school youth and the 11:00 by 6th-8th graders. The entire service, sermons and everything. They wrote all the parts to the service a week ago Sunday. Youth Led Worship (or Youth Sunday) […]

Just Keep Reading. Just Keep Highlighting.

I discovered yesterday from this blog post by James Clear. He’s a big advocate of keeping notes on all your reading and making those notes searchable, which is why he uses Clippings to import all of his Kindle notes and highlights into Evernote. Whoah. I’m not an Evernote user. When I have to use […]


There was a line in yesterday’s sermon that was more flourish than it was substance, which I readily admit. Sermons need flourish. Effective work has flourish. Flourish should not be the thing they remember about what you did, though. It should light up the substance. Here’s a good rule of thumb. If the moment of […]

Anthony Bourdain Sees Your Tardiness And Judges You For It

Anthony Bourdain judges people for being late. “Today, you’re just late, but eventually you will betray me” (the feature on Bourdain by Patrick Radden Keefe in this week’s New Yorker is worth savoring).  His judgmental punctuality strikes a chord with me these days, because five times a week I heap mounds of judgment–some silent, some not silent–on […]


A lot of pastor work is project work: plan a retreat, prepare weekly worship, orchestrate a capital campaign, craft a safe child policy, and so on (A lot of pastor work, mostly the care part of the vocation, is decidedly un-project like, too). Projects are made up of tasks. You can Get Things Done by […]