Meditation: Spiritual Disciplines for Youth Workers

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a 12-part series on spiritual disciplines for youth workers, based on Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.

I started working with teenagers when I was a senior in college, volunteering with Young Life. When I went to visit my kids at school during their lunch break, sometimes the campus security would bark at me, “Get to class!” at the end of the period, thinking I was a student there. I scurried off on my bike and went back to my college classes, giggling.

Perhaps I was a few years older than the students I worked with, but I was still very young in terms of my development. I had endless energy and could work for days on end without real rest, staying up late to finish papers, waking up early to grab breakfast with a friend before class, and of course going non-stop on the weekends. I was constantly scrambling to cover all my bases, and somehow, everything seemed to get done.


Windows 8 and The Pew With My Name On It

Recently I got a new computer. New! That’s exciting, but it comes with a cost. I’m not talking about the price tag. I don’t know about you, but the process of transferring everything from one computer to another can be tedious.

For starters, you got a new computer most likely because the old one wasn’t working well or it was working about the speed of a 1950’s secretary who didn’t know shorthand. Now that it knows you’re replacing it, what makes anyone think it will transfer files with any proficiency at all?


Pinewood Derby

Do you know what would make the bitter cold of winter seem not so bitter? The answer is the smell of pine. Starting Wednesday,January 30 we will be starting the process of designing pinewood derby cars. Each month our midweek children’s program, known as the kidZone, gives time for creative outlets.

The Pinewood Derby will be that creative outlet for the winter months. For $3/block, kids will design, cut, decorate and race their car. For more information, or to sign up, contact Pastor Rick.

While You Were Sleeping

by Bishop Matt Thomas

Someone somewhere is sleeping.  It is a constant mix of day and night around the world at all times.  I am returning from the other side of the world where folks are resting from a hard day’s labor and in preparation for another day of prayerful service.  I was just there.  I was with “them.”  Now I am with “you” and the same thing is happening here.  Their prayer and support of us is impacting our lives while they are sleeping.  There is a cycle of faithfulness, prayer and dedicated service.  It is an endless stream of people living for God, testifying to his goodness and living in love.

There is an additional piece. 


Simplicity: Spiritual Disciplines for Youth Workers

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a 12-part series on spiritual disciplines for youth workers, based on Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.

There is a great deal of conversation about spiritual disciplines in the Christian world these days, but not much of it pertains directly to the world of those who work with teens. My goal in writing this series is to meet YOU in that unique place, and then call you to a place of depth and soul care. Take a few moments to keep reading…

There is a part of me that hesitates to write about this next discipline. If you know me at all, you’d know that I don’t hesitate because I am shy! I hesitate because I think of simplicity the same way I think of humility…

You know what I mean. In those rare times when God works in and through you to such a point where you actually do some kind and godly thing and it feels so great, you might say to yourself, “WOW, I was just really humble right then!” and the whole darn thing gets nullified right then and there…THAT is how I think it works with simplicity. It’s something you live out, not point out, in yourself.


Solitude: Spiritual Disciplines for Youth Workers

This new series of blog posts are called Spiritual Disciplines for Youth Workers. But I believe you will find these spiritual disciplines, borrowed from Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline, are for everybody working with anybody.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a 12-part series on spiritual disciplines for youth workers, based on Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.

Fall 2011 marked the beginning of my thirtieth year in youth ministry. There is a very long list running through my head of the many joys experienced in those years. There is a slightly shorter list of things I would now do differently. But perhaps most importantly for this column, there is a concise “must-do” list that I try to convey to anyone I meet who is just getting started in this grand adventure.

Certainly, these “must-do’s” would include some crucial elements like “take regular vacations,” “get really good at effective time management,” and “learn to live within a budget” But at the very top of this list would be this: “Develop robust habits of spiritual discipline.” Huh? Why does that sound so intimidating?


Enjoying the Peace

Christmas and New Year’s are such busy times of year. If you get any break at all, enjoy it. We’re going to take a break from our daily blog until January 2. If nothing else, this will give you time to catch up on posts you haven’t read yet.

Enjoy the peace. Happy New Year!

12 Days of Christmas: Day 12

God Will Direct

“If this is to be a Happy New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then, to feel our dependence upon Him!”
– Matthew Simpson


12 Days of Christmas: Day 11


“Life has to be lived forwards but it can only be understood backwards.”
– Søren Kierkegaard


12 Days of Christmas: Day 10

Forgiveness Focuses Forward

Look not back on yesterday
So full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God’s way–
All sin confessed you must forget.

– Dennis DeHaan