Resource: I Won’t Watch

In the spirit of promoting others who are trying to follow their callings, I want to give a shout-out/spotlight to the organization“I Won’t Watch”

We met this organization at the National Youthworkers Convention in Atlanta

I won’t go on and on about them other than the fact that they have a GREAT fundraising or personal idea and just a great idea in general.

You buy a watch (everyone needs to know what time it is), your group gets 50% of the proceeds, the other 50% goes to help fight injustice.

Check out their website for info about the organization and links to their Facebook and Twitter pages

http://iwontwatch.com/

Sticky Faith

After the National Youthworkers Convention in Atlanta last weekend, I feel so ready for our next year of ministry and so equipped.  I am so thankful that God has given all of the seminar and big room speakers the gifts He has given them.  Most of all, I am thankful that none of these people are too proud or too busy or too full of themselves to not be personable with “the little people.”  One thing I’m learning in ministry is the complete and utter lack of “little people” and “big people” personas.  We’re all just one big family trying to point teenagers/young adults/youth toward a radical, faith-filled relationship with God through Jesus.  It’s amazing.  After I got back, I was able to sit and chat on facebook with one of the seminar speakers.  We sat and honestly and earnestly just downloaded some struggles and life lessons and were just able to be two women of God sharing our experiences with one another.  It was beautiful!

Now, onto what in the world “Sticky Faith” is all about.

This book was easily the most promoted resource of the whole conference.  So much so that it sold out and we weren’t able to get a copy of it until we got back home.  There’s a youthworker and non-youthworkers version, and, naturally, we have the youthworkers edition.  I started it yesterday afternoon and WOW is all I can say so far.

It’s interesting to me that much of the research (if you look at the timeline) is based off of people around my age, yet is timelessly relevant to todays young people.  I encourage ALL of you who work with or care about young people to get your hands on this book immediately.  I’m on chapter 3 now and already have learned valuable lessons about getting teenagers to move beyond a “gospel of sin management” and a “red bull gospel” to something that Sticks!  Sticky Faith.  Genuine relationship, not a list of rules, not a God who shoots lightning bolts or is only there when you’re being a “nice person” but a genuine relationship with our Creator.  I can’t wait for the rest of the journey, but I had to share this interesting tidbit that I would LOVE your feedback on…

(“Sticky Faith” by Dr. Kara Powell http://www.amazon.com/Sticky-Faith-Youth-Worker-Practical/dp/0310889243)

The beginning of Chapter 2 discusses that many young people involved in the study, even at their senior year of college (the end of the 6 year study) were unable to clearly articulate “what does it mean to be a christian?”  How would you define it? ? Please discuss below…

8 Ways NOT to Procrastinate: REBLOG

8 Ways to Not Procrastinate

REBLOGGED FROM http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/career-money/features/27338-8-tips-for-beating-procrastination
 
Adam Rico

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Time management doesn’t have to be painful. Here’s how to finish (fill in the blank).

In college I had a friend, George, who would wait until the night before his paper was due to begin writing it. Most of the time he would even begin reading the required books the same night. He would stay up all night, write the paper and turn it in around 9am the next morning. If you happened to come upon George during that particular twelve-hour period you would have witnessed an intensely focused college student furiously typing away on his laptop. Brandishing headphones, amidst a sea of abandoned coffee cups, open books and paper, George somehow always pulled it off. His ability to procrastinate and still meet the deadline was truly amazing.

Apparently, George was not alone in his procrastination—but probably fairly alone in succeeding at it. Depending on the study, researchers have found that somewhere between 80 to 95 percent of college students (and to some extent, we can be sure, the entire population) procrastinate on their work. So whether it’s college assignments, work deliverables or home projects the odds are most of us have procrastinated on something in our lives.

Other studies have shown that those who report procrastinating on a chronic basis have more health problems, higher stress levels and more relationship problems than those who do not procrastinate on a regular basis. So chronic procrastination can be a real problem. But you don’t have to let procrastination win when it comes to getting things done in your life. Here are eight ways you can beat procrastination:

1. Admit Delaying

If you read any material about changing your behavior the first part always involves admitting the problem. In this case your problem happens to be procrastination. How do you know when you’re not admitting your procrastination? Well, all of a sudden, your bedroom needs to be cleaned. No, actually, disinfected. Or better yet, perhaps a roach bomb is what the doctor ordered. You get the picture. When all of a sudden you find yourself easily distracted and typically avoidable tasks become your obsessive priority, you know you’re procrastinating. As soon as you take the plunge and acknowledge your procrastination you are now in control. You are in control of whether or not you choose to toothbrush scrub your kitchen floor, start that school application or outline your work presentation.

2. Schedule A Meeting … With Yourself

If you find you are continually procrastinating and not making any progress on your task at hand you need to schedule a meeting with yourself. Put it on your calendar and don’t be late. If you have a deliverable at work that is due in two weeks, the first step is to guess how long it’s going to take you to complete it. Then schedule meetings on your calendar that will give you the appropriate amount of time to focus on that deliverable. An added bonus is when your co-workers interrupt you during the day and ask if you “have a second”, you can tell them you’re not available. You’re in a meeting. You don’t have to tell them who it’s with. By setting a date and time to work on your deliverable you will be more likely to actually do it. Who knows, you might even complete it ahead of schedule.

3. Work at Your Best Time

We all have certain times of the day when we feel at our best. When do you feel like you are firing on all cylinders? That is the time you want to work on your task. (This is also a great time to schedule that meeting with yourself, if you are able.) If 8am is your best time, it’s probably not a good idea to start working on your taxes at 9pm. If you’re a night owl and 10pm is your best time of the day, feel free to bust out your W-2 after the kids go to sleep. Whether your best time is 8am or 10pm be sure to work on the thing you’ve been procrastinating on during that time.

4. Break It Down

Take what you need to do and break it down into smaller more digestible parts. If you need to clean out your garage, don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Pick a Saturday and just focus on removing things you haven’t used in a year. Then pick another day to sweep it out. Then choose a different day to organize what you want to keep. The key is to do only one part of the task or project at a time. If you get started on something small you’ll find it’s much easier to keep working on it. You’ll feel like you’ve made some good progress so you might as well finish the job.

5. Delegate

Is there someone else who can do the work for you? Perhaps you can ask a friend or co-worker to take on that task you’ve been dreading. Or is it something you can pay to have done? You always want to evaluate if someone else can appropriately take care of it for you (as long as it’s not something that truly falls within your responsibility as a spouse, parent, student or employee.) If you’ve been procrastinating on getting something done it may be because you simply don’t enjoy what you have to do. Maybe you volunteered to organize the “Holiday” party at work this year to get in good with the boss and it turns out you hate event planning. Find the people in your office who love event planning. (Trust me, they are there.) Get them involved and give them specific action items to be responsible for.  Fortunately, there are always others who will enjoy something you don’t like doing. Think of it this way: by delegating it you have given them an opportunity to enjoy themselves.

6. Reward Yourself

We’re designed to respond to rewards and punishments. It’s no different when it comes to motivating yourself. Go ahead and give yourself a reward for working through your procrastination. You can give yourself small rewards for milestones on the way to your final goal. Or perhaps you wait and really reward yourself when all is said and done.  Have you been holding off on buying that new phone? Maybe that’s your reward for losing ten pounds. Do you want a new outfit? Reward yourself with a shopping trip after you send in that grad school application. The key is finding something that will truly motivate you to do the thing you don’t want to do.

7. Make Yourself Accountable

Make your goal public. Tell other people what you intend to do and when you want to do it. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the possibility of public embarrassment is always a surefire way to guarantee you’ll get it done. Perhaps you have a goal to write a book by a certain date. Go ahead and post it on your Facebook page. If you’re really brave, you can even ask your friends to check in on your progress. The upside is that you’ll most likely reach your goal. The downside is your ego is on the line and if you drop the ball the humiliation factor is high. However, this is a great way to make sure you accomplish something really important.

8. Just Do It

There’s a reason why this tag line works so well. (If you don’t know whose tag line this is you may be one of the 3.5 million people who still subscribe to dial-up internet.) Sometimes in life you have to just do it. Just do it when you don’t feel like doing it. Just do it when every fiber of your being wants to do something else. Sometimes you just have to get it over with and move on. So if none of the other tips work for you, go ahead; just do it and get it over with. You’ll feel so much better.

You don’t have to be like my friend George, waiting until the last minute and risking the chance of success. You can beat procrastination. So unless you really do enjoy a good toothbrush scrubbing of your kitchen floor, go ahead and try one of these tips. Besides a few large boxes on your to-do list, what have you got to lose?

Adam Rico is a corporate recruiter and career coach. He is procrastinating on writing the next post for his blogwww.workyouenjoy.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+. For a free download of his career guide “5 Essential Steps to Landing Your Dream Job” go here.

Including Teenagers in the Church: REBLOGGED

6 ways to integrate teens into your church (reblogged from: http://www.studentministry.org/ways-integrate-teens-church/)

Ideas for integrating teenagers into the church bodyI love it that more and more churches are valuing students enough to be intentional about integrating them into the larger church body, realizing that a youth ministry in isolation can have some very detrimental effects. Here’s a few ideas I have for integrating teenagers into the church body and some thoughts on each.

1. Serve in the church service

So far, this seems to be the main extent of “integration,” and it is definitely a good start, but too often we pat ourselves on the back and say, “Hey, kids are serving in the worship band, greeting at the doors, and running the sound system! They’re integrated!”

A few important questions:

  • Does this really make teenagers feel like they have an equal stake in the church along with the adults?
  • Do some teens feel like they’re mostly serving the adults in “their” space?
  • Does it make the kids who aren’t serving feel like the others are “in” but they’re still “out?” (This perception doesn’t seem to be the case as much for adults who aren’t serving. What’s the difference?)
  • Does this really lead to a comprehensive perception among all teenagers that they’re an equal part in the worship experience?

Maybe some of your churches can answer positively to some or all of these questions, and that’s great! I’d encourage you to ask some of the students themselves, too, and hear what they say. Going to the source is always a good idea.

2. Invite teenagers to youth leader meetings

Hopefully our youth ministries are moving toward “youth doing ministry” more than “us doing ministry to youth.” If that’s the case, we need to include teenagers who are serving in our trainings, decisions, and plans. The approach for getting teens involved in ministry should not be adults who determine what the ministry does and then tries to get teens to do it. Instead, invite teens into the process of shaping the ministry from the very beginning. That’s where true ownership really begins.

3. Encourage your Sr. Pastor to speak to them

Often we say, “We want to integrate teenagers into our worship experience,” but then never talk to them once they’re there. Encourage your Senior Pastor to take a moment in each of his messages to speak directly to the teenagers and other oft-overlooked demographics, like young singles and newly married.

Although it might be a bit outside your pastor’s comfort zone, he could also use illustrations and examples that connect with those age groups specifically. In fact, he could teach an entire sermons series that is directly aimed at teenagers! After all, there’s probably been enough aimed at the adults lately. Let’s even it out a bit.

To take this a bit further, have your senior pastor come engage with kids at youth group, too. It’s easy to say we want teenagers to join the adults, but let’s make an effort to “cross pollinate” both directions. The influence your senior pastor can have on your teenagers is often greatly underestimated. After all, he is their pastor, too, not just the “adults’ pastor.” If he joins them in their group and engages with them there, maybe the invitation to join the adults in “their turf” on Sundays feels a bit more genuine.

4. Invite teens to give input into the sermon

Some pastors meet with their staff every week to review the upcoming messages. They collectively give input, share creative ideas, point out gaps, and poke holes in the content so it’s a solid presentation and message when it’s delivered. It would be great to invite some teenagers into that process each week, as well.

Although it’s probably difficult to do that on another evening of the week when teens are not in school, you could at least grab some home schooled kids and ask them to be a part of the weekly brainstorming meeting during the day. They can definitely give input that will help your pastor craft the message for their demographic in ways none of us can.

And I guarantee that those kids will be listening intently when the message is delivered. They will feel like they have a huge stake in what’s being presented because their influence was heard and respected. They’ll retain a lot of what’s taught, if not all of it!

5. Include teens into small groups with adults

A friend of mine who’s a pastor at another church in my town shares a story about their intergenerational small groups. They didn’t necessarily want the small groups to be intergenerational, but because there wasn’t anything else for their children during that time and because the kids were too young to leave at home, they brought them along to their home groups and included them in the discussions.

While he thought the discussions might become a bit juvenile for the adults, he says it actually became very valuable for them. Their young kids speak up and challenge them on so many levels. They have insights and questions they never considered.

One evening they were taking about Good Samaritan and his 8 year old son said, “So, why do we just sit here? We need to go out and help people.” The parents sat there for a second, feeling a bit jarred from the comfort zone of the couches, and had to admit that he was right. So in the weeks that followed, the small group took their kids out to serve in the community in place of their normal meeting time. As a result, the families grew together spiritually and bonded in ways that never would have happened had they been split up into age appropriate groups.

6. Invite teenagers into church board meetings

I suggested this to one church and a deacon said, “No way! I would be embarrassed for my teenager to see what happens in there.” All the more reason to get your act together and have teenagers in there!

Seriously, don’t dimiss this one too quickly. I’m not saying they have to be voting members of the church board, but they can certainly give valuable input and perspectives in an advisory role. Don’t discount this aspect of church as for adults only or, “Teens wouldn’t be interested in this kind of stuff.” Some are! Find a couple solid and spiritually mature teenagers and invite them to be a part of the church’s bigger picture decisions and meetings. Teach them how a church budget works, how your church’s values play out in your decision making process, how church conflicts are resolved, and more.

The key isn’t just to integrate teens into areas that are comfortable and easy for us, but to plug them into every aspect of the church and form the church’s plans around them as much as anyone else. Give them the opportunity to have the same stake in your church that the adults have. Hold them to a higher standard and expect them to step up to it. Many of them will.