Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve at the Union Gospel Mission’s annual Christmas Meal. On Saturday, December 9, UGM staff, donors, and volunteers served over 2,600 meals to anyone who needed some warm food or a place to sit for a while.
When my good friend Mavic (who works for UGM) invited me to serve at the 77th annual Christmas Dinner, I re-arranged a couple of things on my schedule so I could do it. As someone who preaches “walking the talk”, it’s very important for me to serve in addition to inviting others to do so.
Truth be told, Mavic invited me as a “social media influencer” so I could post reflections about my experience afterwards to help spread the word about UGM’s good work.
Continue reading Serving up Hope at the Union Gospel Mission
Advent is about waiting. Anticipating. Expecting. Preparing. Hoping.
This sounds a lot like youth ministry to me.
We wait for youth to commit their lives to Jesus. We wait for them to arrive so we can start our youth gatherings. We wait for their parents to come pick them up at the end of our events.
We anticipate the arrival of youth at our gatherings with our eyes fixated on the door. We anticipate their confusion or their silence when we are preparing small group discussions. We anticipate their excitement when we announce the dates of retreats and rallies.
We expect the youth to behave when they are at Church. We expect that more youth will come out to social events than teaching nights. We expect that Father will ask us “So how many people came to youth ministry last night?”
We prepare prayer services, social justice excursions, and skits. We prepare snacks to serve the youth either before, during, or after the gathering. We prepare them to be able to share their testimonies with a world that so desperately needs to hear them.
We hope that we are making a difference in the youths’ lives. We hope that they make good decisions especially in the face of temptation. We hope that their homes are stable and that their friends are good.
Most of all, we love them where they are at and we lead them to an encounter with Jesus Christ.
Just as Christ entered the world to love and encounter us.
Here’s a quick 40-second video that I used to introduce my session on “Witnessing” for today’s rebuildmychurch.org online youth ministry conference by Project YM.
In my talk, I spoke about our need to witness to not only the youth we minister to and with, but also to the youth workers that we serve with.
I’m blessed and excited to be presenting at today’s Rebuild Online Youth Ministry Conference. You can join hundreds of youth ministry leaders from across the globe on Tuesday, May 10 at 10am PST and/or 5pm PST (same content in both) for this FREE online conference.
Rebuild brings together a great mix of youth ministry voices from around the world for a two-hour virtual conference experience like no other.
I’ll be presenting on how we can be better witnesses to both the teens we minister to and with AND to our fellow youth ministers.
Hope you can join us! Register here.
My much-anticipated catch-up session with a youth minister got off to an auspicious start this evening. Upon entering my favorite Japanese restaurant, I told the owner that I would need a table for two. As one of the waiters led me to a table, a woman who I didn’t know entered the restaurant immediately after me. Somehow, the waiter thought that the woman was with me (my wife wouldn’t have been too happy) and somehow the woman remarkably didn’t see me sit in the booth first. Once she sat down she finally looked at me across the table. Slightly embarrassed, she gasped “Oh sorry…I thought that he was seating ME.” She quickly made her way to another table as I tried to stifle my laughter.
An honest mistake to be sure. And in retrospect I don’t blame her for wanting to sit with me. Kidding. Sort of. But not really.
But her innocent presumption got me thinking of the many times we make presumptions in youth ministry. And as in this case, they often turn out wrong.
Read the rest of this blog on Project YM.