Showing posts from February, 2014

Celebration - the role of the extended family

I grew up in a small town and what was unique about my childhood is that the majority of my extended family lived within 20 minutes of one another for these early formative years. We'd gather together regularly for special holidays, feasts and crazy family experiences.

At this young age I never really understood the value or privilege it was to share in these experiences. To be honest, there were times I didn't want to be a part of these experiences. I felt like too many people knew me for who I really was, and I wasn't sure if that would ever be enough for them.

Kind of sounds like what some people have to share about connecting with a community of faith, no?

As a father of three young children, I'm being inspired to return to the practice of celebration. There is great value when we support, protect and honour these shared experiences.

1. Support/Love - Families are designed to support and love each other. Both of these habits aren't always easy to create or achi… this on?

This post also appears on the Youth Cartel site and Canadian Youth Worker.

If you've been in any sort of leadership role you will know the reality of being evaluated. It's happening constantly. Parents are looking at you to see if you are trustworthy as a voice of reason in the life of their child. Teens are wondering if they can trust you with who they really are. Volunteer leaders are hoping they can find a faithful cheerleader who supports, encourages and cares for them as they invest their life in the lives of others. And while tests can sometimes help us evaluate the good, the bad & the ugly, at other times I wonder if they simply get in the way of our goal of defining meaning and purpose behind the ministry activity we are seeking to measure.

Over the years that I've been involved in youth ministry as a student, a volunteer and now a paid youth worker, I've discovered that there are 3 predominant themes that permeate the evaluation process from both a program…

Soul-Caring Habits

This post also appears on Canadian Youth Worker.

Much has been written and talked about regarding the necessity of youth workers caring for their own souls. This is a critical habit to develop. The truth is that unless you are tending to your own soul care, the ministry you are engaged in and serve with won't do it for you.

I've seen way too many friends and colleagues burnout in ministry because they neglected the health and development of their soul. And when burnout happens, it's more than just the individual that suffers. Their entire community bears the scars and wounds that soul neglect creates.

There are many different habits that can become soul-nourishing. Here are three of my top three:

1. Playing or listening to music. Music has the ability to lift, emote, transform and transcend situations and circumstances. In different seasons of my life I've been drawn to different genres to help restore my emotional capacity, or process the difficult nature of pending c…