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Showing posts from January, 2014

Parents - Allies or Enemies?

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This post is also featured on the Youth Cartel blog here and also on Canadian Youth Worker.


When I first started out in youth ministry I thought my role was to be everything a teen's parents could never be in their life. I focused on being edgy, cool, hip and of course up to speed on pop culture. Then something happened. I myself became a parent. So what was my new role as a youth worker going to be now that I was parent myself? Did this eliminate my identity as a hip, cool and with-it youth pastor? The truth is, being a parent has enhanced my ability to both pastor and parent. Neither of these roles are mutually exclusive, but somehow they have blended together to help me reshape how I lead families in the present and into the future. Here are three things that I'm learning about working with parents in ministry.
1. Parents aren't the enemy. We've all had negative interaction with parents I'm sure, but these experiences don't make parents bad people. Parenting is …

Leaders who are Different

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This post also appears on the Youth Cartel blog.
There is no “one-size fits all” approach to leadership. There is an abundance of examples of rich diversity in nature marked by the sheer volume of unique species of plants, animals, fish, rock or foliage. And as diverse as creation is, leaders too are developed through different gifts, personalities, abilities and styles. Here are four types of different leaders I’ve had the privilege of serving with: 1. The reluctant leader– I wrote about this at length here. A reluctant leader is someone who believes that they could be or should be doing something else. There are countless biblical examples of this leadership type. For this conversation, however, let’s refine our thoughts to the person of Moses. Moses didn’t want to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  He didn’t want to carry the burden of leadership while wandering in the desert. Moses was called by God to lead even though he wanted to live into a different calling. We sometimes will …

What's in a Name?

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This post appears on the Youth Cartel blog.



I remember the first moment when I found out I was going to be a dad. Mixed emotions of excitement, nervousness and joy flooded into my soul. The weight of responsibility of caring for and discipling a young child into adulthood became the focus of my thought power and energy leading up to the moment of birth (and beyond!). Of all the responsibilities associated with being a parent, none seemed as important as providing a great start for this new child by choosing the name they would live into. My wife Bonny and I spent countless hours creating names for our children. We created a spreadsheet listing all the leading name candidates, researching their meaning and dreaming about what we hoped our children would live into in terms of values, character and aspirations for their future. The day came where we met each of our three children and called them by name. In that moment everything seemed settled, new, hope-filled and amazing. Fast forward…

What do you really value?

This post also appears on the Barefoot Ministries blog here.


What do you really value? In different seasons of life I’ve found this question to be both motivating and debilitating. As I’ve stared into the mirror and seen the reflection of how I have invested my time, resources, and abilities, I’ve experienced moments where my values are inspiring and moments where my values humble me because they are different from what I hoped them to be. Life is a journey, filled with a sequence of highs and lows. Self-discovery is critically important for an individual, his or her family, and his or her broader community. The process of self-discovery begins with uncovering what our values really are. Values, beliefs, and customs are directly related to tendencies, priorities, and actions. Objectively identifying how we behave will lead us to question why we do what we do. It is the determination of the why behind a particular behavior that leads us to discover what value drives our activity. The sober…

New Year, New things?

I've never been one to sit down and generate a bunch of resolutions for a new year, which might surprise some of you. Yes, it is true that I'm somewhat of a hyper-active planner but there are some things that even a systems oriented guy like me don't really enjoy spending a lot of time thinking about!

Here's why I've never generate a list of new things to accomplish in a new year:

1. I'm usually on vacation as I usher in a new year. For the last 10 years or so, I've used the Christmas/New Year season to slow down, unplug and recharge. In other words, I like to attempt to shut my brain down for awhile. I discipline myself to attempt to live in the present alongside my family & friends and really enjoy what the season represents.

2. I don't like feeling pressured to come up with something. I don't mind working in an instance, high-driven environment. But I do like to plan on my own terms and in my own time frame. Just because someone else is coming …