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|1. 10 of my worst sermon gaffes, goofs and illustrations|
|From Dare 2 Share Ministries International on Saturday, May 18, 2013 @ 7:30 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
When you preach for a living mistakes are bound to be made. Sometimes it's a sermon idea. It looks good on paper but when it passes from paper to preaching something get's twisted. Or perhaps it's an illustration that you think is going to work really well but it crashes at takeoff. Or maybe it's a gaffe you made that you wish you could retract. With this as a backdrop here is a list of sermon goofs, gaffes and illustrations that I have actually done/said/used in my preaching over the last twenty five years or so... 1. Gaffe: "We all make mistakes. We all have cracks in our armor. Pastor Rick and I have seen each other's cracks." 2. Illustration: Literally saying "he had one foot in the grave" at a funeral. 3. Goof: Preaching a sermon with a large price tag (that I had forgotten to remove) dangling from the left arm of my "new" suit (which I had gotten from Goodwill.) 4. Illustration: Eating a piece of hard, butterscotch candy in front of 5,000 teens while trying to make some spiritual point. I kept trying to preach while crunching the candy but my teeth were getting stuck together. Finally I just stopped and took the time to eat the whole thing and swallow it. It was 60 seconds of pure awkward. 5. Gaffe: "He had two huge tumors the size of grape nuts" (as opposed to grapefruits.) 6. Goof: On a preaching tour in India I was on stage facing the audience getting ready to preach my sermon. My interpreter told me at one point in the service, "As a guest speaker it would be good for the people to see you give in the offering." When the priest walked out onto the other side of the large stage with a huge bowl I figured this was my cue. Getting up, I walked across the stage and dropped in a five spot. The priest smiled and nodded nervously. I walked back across the stage with everyone watching me. After sitting down my interpreter whispered in my ear, "Pastor Stier that was very good...but that was not the offering plate." 7. Illustration: About 18 years ago I wanted to make a point to 75 teens at an event that God has given us spiritual weapons to overcome the "monsters" of fear that keep us from sharing our faith. A youth leader friend loaned me a fake gun that supposedly shot blanks. At a point in the sermon I had cued some guys dressed up in scary costumes (representing the monsters of fear) to come rushing in screaming. It was then I held up the "gospel gun" and shot in their direction. It didn't shoot blanks after all. It was some sort of riot dispersement gun that sprayed the crowd with a cloud of mace or pepper spray or something bad. Not only that, but it backfired in my face and I immediately began to cough and wheeze...along with the rest of the audience. Suffice it to say we took a break as everyone rushed outside for air. Thank the Lord nobody got hurt (or sued!) 8. Goof: While being interviewed on a live Christian television show (that leaned Pentecostal) I was looking directly in the camera telling the story of a girl who trusted in Jesus at a Dare 2 Share conference. I saw a hand go up out of the corner of my right eye. It was the left hand of the well dressed older preacher who was interviewing me. Since he was sitting right next to me on the couch I assumed he was holding up his hand for a high five, so I turned and gave a hearty slap to his uplifted hand. It was then I realized that, as I was telling the story, he was lifting his hands up in praise to God. I suddenly realized that I had high-fived his praise hand...on live television. Everyone in the room was stunned and silent, except for the cameraman who was laughing so hard the camera was shaking. 9. Illustration: Trying to eat the guts of a bad cantaloupe while making the point that "it's what on the inside that counts" or something like that. Oh yeah, it was in front of thousands of teenagers at a Dare 2 Share conference too. If I remember right I tried to clean off my tongue right after that with some kind of sanitized hand wipe which numbed my tongue and lips. 10. Gaffe: "Let everything that has breasts praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." Actually I've had a few worse gaffes, goofs and sermon illustrations...but some things are not fit for print. Read More...
|2. Controversial surrounding a Terrorist ... or Why we should love our enemies ....|
|From Deep Thoughts by Gman on Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 9:59 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
By now you've heard that last month there was a bombing in Boston. And in central Virginia one of the terror suspects was buried a few miles from where I currently live. So why the controvery? I. No one wanted a shrine for a terrorist. II. It is always hard to bury bad people. III. We can identify with Bad people - for without God's grace so go I. IV. We need to love our enemies. The end of Romans 12 reminds us of this and to show kindness even to those who mean you harm. Ultimately God will be the Judge. V. There are 3 things that make up a person. 1. Physical makeup (Genetics) 2. Environmental Influence (Peer pressure, music, TV, internet (Afterall millions aren't spent on a 30 second commercial for nothing)) and Thirdly - The Will. You choose to sin or not ... Ultimately we all will answer to the Creator for our sins ...and if in God's Grace - covered by the blood of the Lamb. VI. We like Swift Justice ... I'd never forget in 1998 after Christmas finding out that a co-worker of mine from KB Toys was robbed, and murdered and his naked body left in his home ... I wanted justice and revenge to the two men who did that to my friend and co-worker. I was angry, hurt and later forgiveness came. I'd never forget the faces just days after 9-11 in NYC of those who asked us "Have you seen this person?" or looking at the shrines and wanted the answer to the question ..Why? I'd never forget wanting swift justice for the DC Sniper and two gas stations in Ashland, and Fredericksburg that I had just been and the scareness of those few weeks. And I could go on .... but God ultimately delivers. VII. It reminds us of our past. We have fallen. We have made mistakes. We need forgiveness. The journey is never easy. Our pride gets in the way. We can say "Not in my backyard ..." why because of the reminder of pain, past hurts, and a reminder it could of been us. In some ways we have hurt people, maybe not "Deadly bombing" but our words, our actions, our own sinfulness have hurt people (Sometimes doing even more damage) ...Aren't you glad there is a Saviour? My job isn't to point people to myself but to Jesus. Anyone with me? Let's love God and others together.http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/ZioO Read More...
|3. Flashback Friday (May 17): This Week's Links From The Youth Ministry Blogosphere|
|From youthministry360 on Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 9:11 AM PST|
in the "Resources" Category.
One of the things we are committed to at ym360 is Networking. Our vision for networking is connecting you to people and organizations doing awesome youth ministry.Flashback Friday is a feature where we give you the run down of some of the awesome posts from the past week across youth ministry blogs. Consider it our way of keeping you connected with what is going on. This week's posts from the ym360 BlogYouth Worker Sound Off: What Do You Do For Graduating Seniors? by Andy BlanksYouth Worker BOOST: Hello Neighbor by Richard ParkerThe ym360 Trends And Culture Update (Vol. 32) by Andy BlanksDoing Away With "Numbers" As A Way Of Measuring Effectiveness by Andy Blanks Posts From Other Awesome PeopleWe search the Internet to bring you relevant information to help you be a better youth worker. Here are some links from posts we thought were pretty great.Social Media Parent Resources by Austin McCannWhy You Should Quit Listening to Your Pastor by Ben ReedWhat's Your Recruitment Plan For Volunteers? by Christopher WesleyBadgify Nametags Made Easy by Chris DavisStudent Art Wall by Colton HarkerLeading Yourself by Doug Franklin Every Every Every Generation Has Been the Me Me Me Generation by Elspeth Reeveoverheard at my 7th grade guys small group by Mark OestreicherPROTECT YOURSELF by YouthMinistry.comTeens and Technology 2013 | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project That's all the links for this week. As always, have an awesome weekend . . . And THANK YOU for the chance to serve you as part of the ym360 community. Read More...
|4. Get the Word out before school's out|
|From Dare 2 Share Ministries International on Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 8:25 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
"School's out for summer School's out forever School's been blown to pieces No more pencils No more books No more teacher's dirty looks." School's out for the Summer, Alice Cooper. Sorry Alice. Teens still have a few more weeks of school left. And what that means for youth leaders is that you have a few weeks to help your teens get the Word out. Help them get the Word out about hope. Suicide, cutting and depression await many teens this summer. Alone in their rooms with too much time to waste, wonder and worry many self-conscious/absorbed teenagers will give into the pain that lurks deep inside them. They need to hear the hope that the gospel has for them before school gets out. Help them get the Word out about forgiveness. The bile of bitterness is what some teens marinate in during the hot summer months. Perhaps they've been hurt or abused and now, unforgiveness holds them hostage. But when they hear the good news they can break free. They can forgive because they've been forgiven. Help them get the Word out about Jesus. Jesus is "the way and the truth and the life" and he is the only way to God. When teens trust in this simple GOSPEL message they can be saved from the hell they are headed to and the one they may be going through right now. Inspire your teens to get the Word out (literally.) Equip them to share their faith. Have them download the Dare 2 Share app to get started. Then challenge them to engage gospel conversations with their friends before the final bell rings. Read More...
|5. TEST Article|
|From YouthMinistry.com on Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 4:43 PM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
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|6. TEST Article|
|From YouthMinistry.com on Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 4:41 PM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
test Read More...
|7. Doing Away With "Numbers" As A Way Of Measuring Effectiveness|
|From youthministry360 on Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 7:52 AM PST|
in the "Resources" Category.
Image courtesy of shutterstock.com / (c) marekuliasz This week I got to hang out with a group of youth workers for a day of training workshops. The group turned out to be a very experienced bunch who really knew their stuff. So, I took the opportunity to pick their brains about what they think is working in youth ministry, and about some of the challenges youth workers face. As we discussed challenges, someone brought up relationships with senior leadership. As we unpacked this some, a couple youth workers talked about disagreements that had arisen in their church over declining numbers on Sunday mornings. Of course we all know that this isn't a new issue. This tension has been around as long as there have been programs in youth ministries. The logic is of course, this: There is a baseline of X number of teenagers attending Sunday morning.If there is a number of students in attendance greater than X, the youth ministry is a success.If there is a number of students attending less than X, the youth ministry is a failure.Except this equation doesn't take into consideration any variables. Case in point: A youth worker in my workshop felt like his ministry was doing great, but that certain factors (such as children whose parents have joint custody with weekend visitation, and travel sports teams) had contributed to numbers being down on Sunday mornings. A focus on numbers as the sole means of judging the overall effectiveness of a ministry might result in the feeling that the ministry wasn't as effective as it could be.Again, this is an issue youth workers have been plagued with for a long time. And yet, I was really interested in this discussion because it parallels something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I shared my thoughts in our gathering and I'll share them here. Here's what I have been thinking . . . I think we've arrived at a place culturally where over-emphasizing attendance in our "main" programs is the wrong way to go about gauging effectiveness. In my mind it's always been a poor method of measurement. But I think we're at a point, culturally speaking, where measuring success by numbers might actually be harmful. I think it's past time that we change our metrics. What's the alternative? What set of metrics am I suggesting? I have two thoughts here: We need to judge ministry effectiveness by quantifying spiritual growth in individuals. This can only be done from a relational perspective.We need to take a "big picture" view, tracking overall ministry engagement opportunities rather than looking at attendance in one or two "main" programs (i.e., Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, etc.)Let me unpack this a little bit . . . Spiritual Growth vs. Butts In SeatsWe count butts in seats because it's easy. But we're not ticket agents. A sold out show is the least of our concerns, or it should be. We exist to see teenagers grow in Christ-likeness. This growth is what we should be looking at to determine the effectiveness of our ministries. The challenges of this model are real. First, it takes time. Spiritual growth is hard to measure week-to-week. And it's much harder to plot on a line graph in an excel spreadsheet. Second, it's grounded in relationship. You have to know a person to establish a baseline. And you have to do life with them to track growth. To begin measuring spiritual growth as a sign of ministry effectiveness, your church's leadership has to break free from an organizational, institutional mindset, and embrace a relational, organic mindset. If we're gauging ministry effectiveness based on spiritual growth, we'll have to rely heavily on the small group leaders and the adult volunteers in your ministry. Engagement Opportunities vs. Program AttendanceFor a variety of cultural reasons, the idea that we can still measure ministry effectiveness based on Sunday morning or Wednesday night attendance is just silly. For example, how many Sunday mornings a year do your students miss because of travel sports? How many miss because of spending every other weekend at their mom or dad's house? How many miss because of family vacations? How many miss because as a culture, Sunday morning participation is simply not what it once was? And yet, there are some leaders who still measure ministry effectiveness based on Sunday morning attendance. There's a better way . . . I think our ministries need to embrace a strategy of multiple engagement opportunities, where A) multiple relational and ministry "engagement points" are a part of your weekly ministry strategy, and B) where these "engagement points" are used to measure our students' level of involvement. Here's an example of what I mean . . . I am an adult volunteer in our youth ministry. I lead a discipleship group of 9th grade guys. We went and saw Iron Man 3 last Saturday and hung out before and afterward. This is an example of an "engagement point." I know that two of the guys didn't attend Sunday mornings that week. Yet I would argue that they were engaged in the ministry efforts of our youth ministry because of the time we spent hanging out. Want some other examples of engagement points? • An adult volunteer leads a small group Bible study at a coffee shop or in someone's home.• A youth workers hangs out at a church-wide service project with three teenagers who showed up with their families. • A couple of adult volunteers play a Saturday afternoon game of touch football with a group of students.• A youth pastor attends a cheerleading competition for some of the girls in the youth ministry.When we begin to be aware of all the ways our ministry engages our students' lives outside of one or two sacred programmed events, we gain a truer measurement of our ministry's effectiveness. Is counting attendance at programmed ministry events easies than what I've put forth here? Most definitely. But numbers of attendees, especially in our current culture, is not really measuring ministry effectiveness at all. In most cases, it only serves as a point of stress between a youth pastor and his or her senior leaders.I'm interested in what you think? Is this a tension you feel? And what do you think the solution is? Read More...
|8. Youth Worker BOOST: Hello Neighbor|
|From youthministry360 on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 6:14 AM PST|
in the "Resources" Category.
ym360 knows youth workers. We know what an incredibly rewarding, yet incredibly challenging job youth ministry can be. There are days when your spirits are sky-high, and there are days when you could use a bit of a "pick me up" from God's Word . . .That's why we're happy to offer Youth Worker Boost, one of the many valuable resources on the ym360 Blog. Boost is a short, weekly piece of encouragement designed to, well, "boost" your spirits and encourage you as you minister to students. We consider it yet another great opportunity to serve you and your ministry.CLICK HERE to have the Youth Worker Boost delivered right to your inbox whenever we publish a new one! We call these the E-BOOST! "'Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?' The expert in the law replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.' Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise.'"--Luke 10:36-37The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of Jesus' best known stories. A man walking the long, downhill road from Jerusalem to Jericho is attacked by bandits and left for dead. Both a priest and a Levite passed up the opportunity to help out the man.But have you ever asked why?Some Bible commentators suggest that Jesus may have wanted to point out hypocrisy in the situation. If the man had been dead and the religious leaders touched him they would be ceremonially unclean and restricted from going to the Temple to worship. Maybe Jesus was pointing out the hypocrisy of refusing to help someone in need in order to have the privilege of worshipping at the Temple. Jesus said the greatest commandment is, in short, to love God and love people. Worshipping God and ministering to the needs of people go hand in hand.Jesus wanted His followers to have a great relationship with God, but He wanted that to be played out in our day-to-day life by loving our "neighbors." And as youth workers, the most common neighbor we encounter is probably between the ages of 12 and 18!As you go about the practice of "doing ministry," don't ever forget that one of the primary means of ministering to students is dealing with their hurts and meeting their needs--emotional and spiritual.Our prayer for you: We pray that you would have the chance to meet the needs of your students, and when the chance arises, that you would have the compassion, the vision, and the strength to meet them. Look for a new Youth Worker Boost each Wednesday on the ym360 Blog.Last Week's BOOST: Rental FaithNext Week's BOOST: Inside Out Get more BOOST articles HERE! Read More...
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