July 31, 2009

7 Year Old Steals Car to Avoid Going to Church

Filed under: Videos — Neil @ 6:05 pm

I saw this on the MNI blog.

Here’s the news story (click here for the original):

Aww! The lengths some people will go to avoid attending church.

A seven-year-old boy in Plain City,Utah, decided it was too hot to go to church on July 26, so he “borrowed” the family car and went on a joy ride instead.

Responding to calls of an unusually small, reckless driver, theWeber County Sheriff’s Officereleased dash-cam video of the boy as he led police on a low-speed chase.

His parents had no idea their car and their child were missing.

Speaking on the“Today” show,Preston Scarbroughsaid he knew how to drive by “watching my mom.”

“People in the neighborhood are talking about this,” said Weber County sheriff’sLt. Matthew Bell. “They could tell there was a small, young driver in the car.”

Deputies found the car near the local high school and tailed it for 10 blocks, all while the driver weaved in traffic lanes and blew through stop signs.

“The deputies at one time had pulled up kinda close to him on the side and could see it was a very small person driving the car,” Bell said.

Prestonmaintained speeds up to 45 miles an hour, even though he had some trouble reaching the pedals.

“His speed was slow, but erratic … and so he would kind of scoot down lower to push on the gas and kinda sit up on the seat more to see right where he was going,” Bell said.

The chase came to an end at Preston’s home, when he got out of the car, ran and hid in the basement.

Investigators say he is too young to be charged with a crime, but Preston is paying a price. The punishment? “No TV or video games for four days,” he told the “Today” show.

iMac & My Nephew

Filed under: Family,Pictures — Neil @ 1:13 pm

Photo 72

My 6 month old nephew is keeping Amanda & I busy today.  He’s not much help in putting together a newsletter, but he’s really good at slobbering on my keyboard.

July 29, 2009

Game Night & iPhone Video

Filed under: Videos,Wednesday Nights,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 9:15 pm

Tonight, we were scheduled to do water games.  However, due to the weather we were forced inside.  We opted to do a game night.  I used it as a chance to try out my new iPhone (Amanda surprised me w/ it last night).

During one of the games, Foot Fencing, I recorded some video.  Trimmed the ends of a couple of clips.  Emailed them & uploaded them to YouTube.  The trimming & uploading to YouTube was completed in less than a minute.  Here’s the 2 clips:

I see tons of potential for using this in youth ministry.  The video isn’t near the quality of a “real camera”, but it’s plenty good enough for most of our stuff.  I can see myself using it for:

  • man on the street type interviews w/ teens
  • recording interviews w/ teens & adults @ retreats/camps & posting immediately to YouTube as a way to connect w/ parents
  • video scavenger hunts
  • recording video on site visits
  • capturing video at camps/retreats for a highlight video

July 28, 2009

The Problem With Spam

Filed under: marketing — Neil @ 7:53 pm
I received this email from PollEverywhere this morning.  Make sure to notice the greeting.
Hi *|FNAME|*,

Here’s what’s new at Poll Everywhere since we last emailed in December:

* Twitter: Audience Tweets go straight to your PowerPoint slide, with optional moderation. Learn More
Short videos explain the advanced features
* Nonprofits can collect text message donations through MobileCause
* Leaderboard View shows the “Top (#)” options to see who’s winning
* Registered Participants lets your audience pre-register, and you can restrict who’s allowed to vote

We loved meeting you at MPI and NECC. Presentation pros – I hope we see you at PowerPoint Live ( It’s October 11-14 in Atlanta. Each year they’ve had great speakers like Garr of Presentation Zen, Cliff Atkinson (this year), and many others. We’re excited to hob nob with the all stars of the presentation world. If you’re attending, you can get 2 for 1 admission using the code “PE241” in the comments.

Thanks for your continued support,

Jeff and the Poll Everywhere Team
(800) 388-2039  <– real people answer

To their credit they did send out an apology w/ the following:
Hi Neil,

Just wanted to apologize and say that we know your name is not “FNAME” 🙂  Oops.

We’re so bad at this spamming thing… We don’t even know how to do a proper mail merge!

I’ve used the service a few times recently & it has worked great.  PollEverywhere is a great service, but today they reminded me that the easy option (spam) is seldom the best & that when you make a mistake own up to it as soon as possible.

July 27, 2009

Big Events vs Weekly Programming

Filed under: Youth Ministry — Neil @ 8:00 am

I’ve just finished a season of big events: summer camp, Super Summer, Youth Night, & Bridge 67 (our welcome to youth ministry event for the new 7th graders).  And have 1 more (Summer Meltdown – jr high lock-in) before our Fall schedule begins.

Big events are great.  They require tons of planning, preparation, meetings, organization, etc.  They are/can be useful in achieving your ministry’s purpose. However, is it the week to week programming that is more valuable?

  • Would we rather have great weekly Bible study classes than a weekend of a great Bible studies?
  • Would I rather have impactful weekly youth worship services, than 1 incredible week of camp?
  • Would we rather have groups of teen that meet w/ a caring adult to be discipled on a regular basis than a few days of small group sharing & discipleship at a camp/retreat?

Why is it that our budgets place all/most of the importance on the big events rather than on the week to week stuff?
What if we viewed this (& every) Wednesday night as the big event?
What if our big events supported the week to week ministries rather than signal that our regular meetings weren’t that important?

Lots of questions, & not many answers.  I think it takes both big events & quality weekly programming.  I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I’m wondering if the weekly events isn’t more important than the big events.

What’s the role of big events in your youth ministry?  Do they support your weekly events?

Is there anyone who purposefully doesn’t do any big events in youth ministry?

Favorite Sports Blogs

Filed under: Sports — Neil @ 6:00 am

July 25, 2009

Wedding Dance

Filed under: Videos — Neil @ 9:00 am

Favorite Non-Christian Blogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 6:00 am

This isn’t a statement on the faith of any of these bloggers, but rather a reflection of their blogs intent.  These blogs aren’t written specifically to a church leadership or Christian audience, but have been very valuable to me.

Church Media Blogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 6:00 am

My favorite church media blogs:

July 24, 2009

Blogs that make me laugh

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 6:00 am
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