I will turn 37 in a few days…some would see that as a bummer. Not me. I have had a wonderful life. No regrets…well, i guess there is one thing that still haunts me. The state quarterfinal game versus ACH back in 1990 still bums me out a little bit, but that is another story. Other than that, God has seen me through a lot of stuff. Stuff that has allowed me to become a better person and an even better husband, father, and Youth Pastor. Here in Stuttgart, we have seen some great things happen in 2009. Many lives come to know Christ, new friendships made with Youth Pastors and Youth workers all over the place, my son drop his first cuss word, and many other show stopping moments that I am fondly looking back on. I hope you and your ministry have seen some highs as well. The start of this blog/site has been a high point for me for sure. I have revitalized a friendship with a former student and learned much about social networking and the infinite possibilities that the web holds for doing great things for the kingdom.
We have had visitors to this site from 22 different countries: USA, Canada, Germany, UK, Austrailia, Russia, Philippines, Israel, Mexico, Guatemala, Bangladesh, Spain, Austria, Denmark, India, Egypt, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Slovakia, New Zealand, and Belgium. The only states that have not chimed in here have been from N.Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine…I guess I don’t have any friends up there yet. What a humbling thing to be a part of. The folks down in New Zealand have averaged over 14 minutes on the site…crazy…and that is only with limited content so far.
We have much planned for the site in the coming months for sure.
- I am currently working with my network of friends to get them to give me one or two of their “best” messages so that we can develope a database for Youth Pastors and Youth Workers to download. Not so much to “re-teach”…but to help those out there that are just starting out to see how veterans do it. There is no real “standard” for developing a message or putting together powerpoint, but to see how others do it is real handy. Each of us has strengths in our ministries and to be able to share the wealth is important. Remember that.
- Linking to other blogs, videos, and websites is a great way to connect all of us that are in it for the long haul.
- Expanding the Speakers and Bands area. This is a part of my blog that has started much discussion and there is obviously a need to find reliable, God honoring, personalities to headline events from the largest to the smallest venue. This is looking like it will expand to its own website with many people contributing to the lineup. Good stuff.
- Outreach events that work well for us is a top priority for me in the new year. I am trying to get some of our events, both weekly and annually, down on paper to share with you. I get many questions in this area because we have seen some dramatic success, it is only to bring glory to God, because I sure don’t know what I am doing yet.
- Encouragement for the bi-vocational or volunteer Youth Pastor/Worker. What ever we can do to help the small church or individual just trying to get something going. That is where my heart is. Just in our denomination there are 1400+ churches in Arkansas. 11o0 of those have 100 or less on Sunday Morning…so you do the math. Not a ton of churches that can support full-time Youth Pastors. When you throw in all the other Christian denominations in our state alone…we have a ton of students to be reached for Christ.
- Whatever we can do to encourage other Youth Pastors to start blogging, contributing, or just connecting with other Youth Pastors in their area is a win-win situation. So join the fun. Connect with me on facebook or send me an email and share your ideas or some of the good things you have seen out there…so we can get the word out!
- Most of all, I would love to pray for you and your ministry. I have mentors praying for me and it helps me to know that. Especially when I want to hang my head and wonder why I am even in this thing to begin with. Have a Happy New Year.