Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fischer's Firsts

Fischer has had a few "firsts" lately. It's so exciting watching these things happen through his eyes.
His two bottom teeth have been "jiggly" lately, but I haven't forced anything.
I remember the horrendous experience of my own dad saying, "Lemme grab the pliers and we'll pop that tooth right out!" I remember strings and doorknobs and gobs of blood and sobbing.
So, Fischer has allowed me to reach in his mouth several times and just wiggle the tooth.
But, last week, it must have really been bothering him. He wanted me to remove it! It was already lying flat in his mouth. With a quick twist, it squirted through my fingers and we had to pick it up off the floor.
"It didn't even hurt, Daddy!" he said through his now toothless smile.

Last night he had his first sleepover with a friend. Ahhh...the sleepover! It's every kid's dream and every parent's...well, you know! If you never experienced a sleepover as a kid, your childhood is not complete! Even the teenagers I work with at church still LOVE it when we have a lock-in! Me? I'm getting too old for that!
You want to guess what Fischer's biggest problem was?
They slept in a tent in the backyard, and...the "bugs were too loud!" He was the last one awake, and actually came in to tell his host parents about the loud bugs.
That's my CITY BOY!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Our Youth Rally

So, last night our youth group sat down to iron out some details for our annual youth rally. Among the topics was, "Who should we get as our speaker?"
Our teenagers are fantastic. I asked them to list some qualities of the person they wanted to bring in. I was prepared for descriptors like, "spiritual giant," "thought-provoking and deep," or "inspirational."
You know what we came up with?

Monday, August 01, 2011

Appreciate Your Volunteers

There is a group of people that make me smile when I think about them: VOLUNTEERS!
Volunteers are the pillars of the church. Without volunteers, chairs would not get set up, meals would not be cooked, classes would not be taught, and church vans would not be driven. Without volunteers, ministry would be EXTREMELY difficult.
Most volunteers do not realize the importance of their role.
1. Ministers cannot conjure up "ministry excitement" all the time. They NEED church members to take up the torch, to back them up, to be excited and supportive. In fact, truth be told, programs are BETTER when volunteers play an integral part in planning them!
2. Ministers cannot do all the work. They either need help planning or executing the programs for their ministries.
3. Volunteers keep ministers honest. As a youth minister, one of the things I struggle with the most is being paid for my job. Would I still do it if I wasn't paid? Could I? Then I see someone volunteering to be the youth worker for a small church, and I think, "YES! If I weren't paid, I would want to be like THAT person!"

I try to tell those small-church volunteers how much I appreciate them. At our annual youth rally, I don't want them to pay admission. Last year, I was blessed to pull them into a room and try to give them some encouragement and resources.
In fact, I probably show my appreciation to other volunteers better than the volunteers at my own church!
As far as my own volunteers, I am still learning. Notes, emails, phone calls, a personal thank-you...but more is coming! I hope I will always keep learning how to encourage my volunteers and give them ownership of our church's ministry to young people.