Love Is Gonna Kill You

February 13, 2013

As I’m writing this, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. I have a pretty good prediction of what is going to happen. Tomorrow millions of people are going to be sharing a special day or moment with someone they love and care for. And millions of other people are going to be writing Facebook statuses and tweeting about how they don’t need love and how much Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday, and how their greatest date is with Ben & Jerry’s and so on. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

But amongst all the festivities or anti-festivities that will be happening, I wonder how many people will really be fully appreciating the true meaning of that 4-letter word being spouted about everywhere. (more…)


How To Make Your Church Better

February 12, 2013

Some of us are just wired to want to fix and improve things. Some folks have the mindset of “If it’s not incredibly broken then why even mess with it?” But some of you are like me and just feel this burning desire to improve the world and the parts of it that we call “ours” in even the smallest ways possible. We want things to be better than they were yesterday. And there may not be a better place for things to get better than in the church.

I imagine we could all share stories of times we’ve been at a church and things didn’t go quite as they should have. If we were to sit down and share all these stories together, some would make us laugh while others would probably make us cry.

The church isn’t perfect. Anyone can see that. But it’s incredibly important to God and so it should be incredibly important to us. (more…)


Spiritual Hitch

February 9, 2013

You know the movie Hitch, right? Will Smith runs a service where he helps men become winners with the ladies rather than losers. He gives simple cues to the guys on how they can get past themselves to be what the girl would want. And often times it’s not even really changing the guys themselves – because we know, that despite what some would like to believe, guys don’t change. He’s just making the connections more natural and easy, helping the guys to get a sense of victory where they’ve often felt defeat. I must say, I love this movie!

The other day, as I was randomly thinking about Hitch, it occurred to me that in some ways this is what pastors do in ministry. (more…)


Can You Cultivate Creativity?

February 6, 2013

No one likes producing another boring project, a lackluster sermon, or a stale presentation. So the key, then, is infusing some real creativity into the mix to set what you’re doing apart from the “norm.” But sometimes we set down to accomplish this heroic task of producing something simply amazing and innovative and interesting and…we come up with nothing.

So then the question is: Can you cultivate creativity?

While some may not think so, I would argue that the answer, quite simply, is absolutely yes. There are certain things you can do to increase your ability to be creative and things that will get those wonderful creative juices flowing. (more…)


Why I Cut the Halftime Show

February 4, 2013

Last night I got to watch the Super Bowl and all those funny commercials alongside some of the greatest teens I know. We had fans of both teams shouting and cheering through the game. We laughed together at some of the funnier commercials. We ate a ton of tasty, yet incredibly unhealthy, food together. We had a really good time! However, there was one decision I made that wasn’t terribly popular. And I’d like to explain why I did it. (more…)


What Will Be Your Space Jam?

February 1, 2013

There’s a video that I first saw this past Sunday. In fact, we ended up showing it later that night in our youth service. It’s an incredibly heart-warming and laugh out loud pep talk you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t seen it yet, seriously, take a second to go here and watch it and then come back. We’ll wait for you. No worries!

There were so many great points in that pep talk, but I want to concentrate on one. It was one of the laugh out loud moments for me. (more…)


The Cost of Our Cynicism

January 30, 2013

When I was in college it was almost palpable. Of course, in that environment, you can hardly be in any single class without a handful of cynics being in there with you. Admittedly, I was one of them. I would scrutinize things that people said and did. Even good things were under the microscope to spot their true intentions. It wasn’t entirely intentional, but I became quite the cynic.

It’s ok for me to confess this all to you because I feel like I’m essentially at an AA meeting. Perhaps it’s Critics Anonymous for us, but it is us after all, isn’t it? (more…)


Cloudy With a Chance

January 29, 2013

Right after waking up just the other day I did the thing that most of us probably find ourselves doing at some point during winter. I walked over to the window to put the forecast aside and see what was actually happening outside. We’ve had a cold streak here in Maryland and there was snow on the ground from a few days earlier. But that didn’t really matter. What mattered was what the precipitation would be today.

To my surprise it was rain. It seemed cold enough that it should be snowing. And it always seems strange, for some reason, to see it raining when there’s still snow on the ground. But for that day it didn’t matter what the previous conditions were. It only mattered what was currently coming down.

Allow me to explain the metaphor I saw in this. (more…)


Don’t Let Perfection Slow You Down

January 23, 2013

“Striving for excellence motivates you. Striving for perfection demoralizes you. Do your best, not other people’s best.”

Tony Cruz

When I saw my friend Tony post this a long while back it resonated with me. So I saved it. Because I think we all struggle with this sometimes. (more…)


Is Your Youth Ministry Accomplishing MLKJr’s Dream?

January 22, 2013

Yesterday we remembered one of the greatest heroes America has known. Martin Luther King Jr. shook a nation and changed the course of history alongside other brave people all with a dream. A dream he so eloquently spoke of on that late August day back in 1963. Now nearly 50 years later I wonder, how are we doing? Since I’m a youth pastor, I’m particularly interested in asking this question: Do our youth ministries reflect an accomplishment of MLKJr’s dream? (more…)