Love in a Drainage Ditch

24 07 2010

A bit of graffiti that we passed today — I love the textures and colors of the concrete. For some reason, it stuck out to me as something worth saving.

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Downtown Shreveport

24 07 2010

This evening, Jordan and I decided to take an impromptu excursion into downtown Shreveport to look at our hometown through the eyes of a photographer.  We had a great time, ended up with some pretty cool images (including my new blog header!), and ultimately have decided we should do this more often:





Links for the Fall

24 07 2010

There’s so much to catch up on for the summer, but for now I’m 100% in planning mode for the fall.  My five biggest goals?

1. Model the love of Jesus.  This is nothing if not a relational ministry, and my job is to connect to students wherever they are, wherever I am.  Above all, I hope that our youth ministry communicates love and grace to everyone who happens by.

2. Focus outward.  This summer, I’ve really seen some of my youth step forward and take on leadership roles in service and mission, and I hope that we can continue this emphasis in the fall.  I really think church exists to equip believers to live outside the church, not to insulate them from the world…and this has to start in youth group!

3. Connect faith to life.  When students leave youth group, I hope that they own their faith.  I’m tired of Sunday School answers; I want to know that they’re thinking about faith, and that it’s making a difference in their life.  In both youth group and Sunday School, we’re putting an extra emphasis on experiences and spiritual practices, that by living out our faith, we might possibly get a glimpse of something bigger than us.

4. Condense and commit.  I’ve shifted our programming around so that our only weekly programs are Sunday School (Sunday mornings) and UMYF (Sunday evenings).  We’ll still have special events and at least a monthly service project, but for now my mantra is, “If you’re going to come, commit to coming on Sunday nights!”  My end of the bargain is to not waste their time once they get here.

5. Take better care of my volunteers.  During the first half of the year, I relied A LOT on my youth volunteers to keep me straight.  Now that I know what’s going on a bit more, I’m going to try really hard to not burn them out or overwork them, to be intentional about appreciating them, and to train them thoroughly!

Finally, here are some of the ideas that have inspired me lately.  These websites will be making an appearance sometime this fall…if I can fit them all in!

1. ThxThxThx

2. Material World

3. i heart strangers

4. one red paper clip

5. Reverse Trick-or-Treating

6. Typographic Self Portraits

(Once again… thanks, Jana, for always finding interesting links for me!)