August 31, 2009

What matters the paper or the text?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 6:30 am

I’ve had several conversations recently that have led me to wonder what we value more the paper or the text.  Do we value the words of the Bible or do we value the physical Bible?

I recently read The Rabbit & The Elephant (interesting read; I strongly agreed & disagreed w/ various points throughout the book).  It retold the story of  William Tyndale’s mission to translate the Bible into English.  He’s quoted as saying “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope.”

The crazy thing (to us at least, to church leaders of the 16th century it somehow made perfect sense) was that opposition to translating the Bible into English (from Latin & Greek so that the common man could read it for himself) came from church leaders.  The very people who were supposed to advancing the Gospel were the ones who opposed people reading the Bible.  Silly, but it made sense to them.

I wonder if those of us in the church today make similar mistakes?

One I’ve seen recently is a battle over the use of Bibles that aren’t physical books.

Online Bibles have been around for 10+ years now.  Biblegateway has been around as long as I’ve had the internet (14? years).  YouVersion came on the scene a couple of years ago thanks to  Then YouVersion revealed it’s Bible App & it’s taken it to a different level.

You can now have the entire Bible w/ more translations than I knew existed for FREE on you phone.  Our phones are attached to us & now we have the Bible everywhere we go.

In youth ministry this means that teens can take their Bible everywhere they go.  Now when they have a few minutes before school, at lunch, between classes, or whenever they can read their Bible.  Seems like a great thing.

However, I’ve sensed resistance.  To some reading the Bible on a device isn’t as good as holding & reading a physical copy of Scripture.

Yes, when I’m at home I prefer to read my physical Bible rather than an online or mobile version.  I like to underline & take notes.  I like to look back at my comments & underlinings from past readings.

However, reading the physical printing of the Bible isn’t better than the mobile or online version.  The power of the Bible isn’t that it’s a printed book, but that it’s God’s Word to us.

Hebrews 4:12
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

August 28, 2009

Friday Five

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 7:00 am
  1. Great communication advice in Information Obesity by Kem Meyer @ Catalyst Sapce
  2. I’ve just formed a creative planning team for our student ministry so 10 Keys to Leading Creative People was perfect timing for me.
  3. Fresh Bread Tastes Better – this post had me smelling fresh bread & has some great insight for preaching/teaching
  4. Tim gives some warnings if you are growing like crazy OR if you are not growing
  5. Kurt gives some advice on ministering during tough economic times.

August 25, 2009

Are Quiet Times Dangerous?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 6:00 am

Is your quiet time dangerous?

Nancy Ortbberg writes in Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands: Lessons in Non-Linear Leadership:

Leadership that’s built on the bedrock of God is about a lot more than “quiet time.”  In fact, let me go out on a limb here.  I think for many Christian leaders (whether in a church or an organization), one of the biggest detriments to their relationship with God is quiet time.  Connecting to God in the same way, at the same time, every day can be a surefire way to squeeze the life of God right out of you.

What’s your response?

August 24, 2009

79 degrees

Filed under: Pictures — Neil @ 6:33 pm

I love when my truck’s thermometer is 79 degrees @ 5:18 on August 24.


20 > 240

Filed under: Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

Youth Ministries (& churches) all seem to be about the numbers game.

Numbers do matter.  Because Jesus commanded us to make disciples.  We should always be adding to the Kingdom.

However, I’m convinced that the bigger # doesn’t always = more.

I’ve served in churches where 10 teens was a ton.  The entire church’s average Sunday morning attendance was around 85.  I’ll never forget the Wednesday night that we had 21 teens show up for our youth Bible study.

I’ve been in a situation where 80 was an unbelievable crowd.

Now I’m in a situation where 21 or 80 would = time for some major changes.  We had 276 teens show up Sunday morning & 240 on Wednesday night.  As big as those #s are.  Neither = the 21 or 80 I’ve experienced in the past.

The total # isn’t everything.

It depends on the setting, the church, the social culture, & so much more.

I have to remind myself that although #s are important, they are NOT the only thing that matters in youth ministry.  It’s just 1 sign of a healthy youth ministry.

There’s examples in Scriptures (Noah) of guys who preached the Gospel faithfully for years & didn’t see HUGE #s of people respond.

August 21, 2009

Friday Five (4)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Neil @ 5:05 pm
  1. How to Attract Young Leaders to Your Team
  2. I learned a lot from watching this interview w/ the staff @ Heartland Community Church.
  3. Tony used the topic of selling his house to write about web or print.
  4. Hiring, Managing & Keeping Staff From The Facebook Generation

August 20, 2009

Amanda, Roscoe & Bubblewrap

Filed under: Family,Roscoe,Videos — Neil @ 12:00 pm

I didn’t grab my video camera in time to record the best action.  By the time I hit record Roscoe was rediscovering his love for licking his paws & his bed.

Opening Catalyst Filter

Filed under: Personal,Videos — Neil @ 6:00 am

Last night I came home to find an aqua box from Catalyst waiting for me.  I opted to video me opening it (yes, I love the video feature of the iPhone 3G S).

August 19, 2009

Wednesday Reflections

Filed under: Videos,Wednesday Nights,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 10:15 pm

Tonight, we held our 1st student worship for the Fall.  In many ways it felt like the 1st student worship service for Mike & I at FBCJ.  We had student worship services in the Spring, but tonight was the 1st time that we’ve been able to pour everything we have into one.

  • Crowd: our goal was 200 (we were average somewhere around 130 in the Spring); our best estimate is 240 teens + adults
  • Music: Jake Gulledge led for us tonight & used some of our musicians in the band; despite some technical problems all afternoon everything came together; kids really responded to the music; I’ve posted a video below from tonight of the song From the Inside Out
  • Sermon: Bryant Bush spoke tonight; he spoke at an event back in April for us & ever since then our kids love Bryant.  His message was straight from Luke 18:35-43.  His called teens to cry out to Jesus for God’s mercy.  The night ended w/ hundreds of teens praying for their friends, schools, families, etc.

August 18, 2009

How Parents Can Impact the Church Drop Out

Filed under: parenting,Parents,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

I highly suggest reading this article by Sam Rainer.  He gives some great practical advice for parents of teens.

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