Thursday, March 25, 2010

Upcoming Mark DeYmaz book: Ethnic Blends

I'm reading Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church for an Urban Ministry seminary class right now.  It's a great book with solid theological reflection and practical guidance for action.  The author, Mark DeYmaz, has a new book coming out this April.  This promo, I thought, was a good visual representation that drives home (in a new way) a salient point about church demographics.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Do Parents Need from Youth Pastors?

There's a great article answering this question here.  In particular, I benefited from the reminder about the youth pastor's role as it relates to parenting, as well as the emphasis on (over)communication.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Good Conflict

I've always been a firm believer that it's not a question in life (and ministry, and family, and business, and...) whether conflict will arise, but how it arises, and how we manage our responses to it.

Very few people enjoy conflict, but more than a few people avoid conflict at all costs.  To do so, however, misses out on the richness of conflict and the catalyzing force for positive change it can be.

I recently came across a Harvard Business Review article (December 2009 issue) that is a good summary of why conflict is good for organizations (hint: lack of conflict can signify complacency, which generally leads to a lack of effectiveness), what conflicts are worth fighting over (generally mission-critical issues), and how to navigate conflict fairly.

The "Idea in Brief" (quick summary) is here.  The full article is here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sustainable Youth Ministry

In 2009 I took our team of youth leaders through Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries, founder and director of Youth Ministry Architects.  The book is for any "stakeholder" in youth ministry, whether paid staff, unpaid volunteer, senior pastor/priest, or elder/Vestry/council member.  Anyone who is concerned about youth ministry and young people should read this book.

We went through a chapter a week, splitting a couple of the meatier chapters into two parts.  Sustainable Youth Ministry deals especially with how to put long-term structures and systems into place so that a church's youth ministry will be effective and long-lasting.  Think ensuring healthy structures and systems is just the job of the paid youth worker?  DeVries will convince you otherwise.  I took our whole volunteer team through this, and I am so grateful for the conceptual tools they now have to work together with me to build the youth ministry here.