Quality Over Quantity

In ministry we are always looking for formulas. We are looking for a format to plug programs and students into to get the best results in the end. We have to remember that we are dealing with individuals and not machines. Every student is different and will respond and react differently. There is no "cookie cutter" format for any ministry. If you ministry is going to be alive and growing then it has to be organic and nurtured.

One thing that I have found true through the years of Student Ministry, though it is not a formula, is that we focus on what we find important. In ministry we need to focus on the quality of ministry and not the quantity of ministry. The quality of ministry is most important. What we do with the time that we have. In Student Ministry we a limited to our time that we have with students. How do we redeem the time? How are we presenting the Gospel of Jesus and how are we teaching them to apply it to their life? How are we teaching students to show the love of Jesus to others? Quality of ministry is focusing on building big students not big ministry.

Quantity in ministry is focusing on how many events and programs you can pack in. Quantity is focusing on how many students walk through your doors on a weekly basis so you can feel better about yourself. It is counting people but not caring about them. When we focus on quantity we are missing what God has called us to. I know that Jesus did not die on the cross for just a few good kids in your city for you to pour into, but He did not die of the cross for you to do events and programs either.

There has to be balance. You need to understand that when you focus on quality that the quantity will come.

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Monday, February 22, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

We have heard it said for years that actions speaks louder than words. That what you do screams so much louder that what you say. People can say whatever they want, but how they live is often a different tale. This past week has we were helping reroof a house for Love Loud Henry a thought hit me pretty hard. If actions do speak louder than words (and they do), then our attitude is the volume knob.

No matter what you are doing, a bad attitude can cancel out any good deed. Often times our attitude will reflect our motives whether we realize it or not.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Saturday, February 20, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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It has been a great week!

Really had a great time in Charleston, SC with Paige first part of the week. Really enjoyed walking around the French Quarter/ Market area. It was good to just get away, rest, and recharge.

Wednesday Thrive hosted Battle of The Sexes'10 and I have to say congratulations to the girls for their victory. It was a hard fault battle that came down to the last point in the last round. I know the boys can not wait until next year to get revenge.

The last half of the week was really incredible. Myself and about 17 other Thrive Students spent a couple of days loving Henry County in a real way. I will post some pictures later on in the day.

I have some ideas stirring in my heart this week about this Summer that I believe will be really awesome.

Looking forward to The Movement Conference (Youth Convention) this coming weekend.

They accepted a bid on this house and we have signed the initial paperwork. We are set to close on the house on March 19th and move the first of April. There is a lot work to be done before we move it. I will post some before pictures later on toady.

Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend.

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@ScottWilliams - No one ever hit a homerun while sitting in the dugout. Step up to the plate of life, face the pitches & Start Swinging!

@MarkBatterson - your zip code is your mission field.

@Rusty_Nelson - TIME:The most precious commodity we have, once it is gone, U can't get it back. U will never FIND TIME, U must MAKE TIME. Make TIME 4 JESUS!

@BrianCHouston - I CAN'T always choose what confronts me in life, but I CAN choose what will follow me. "Goodness & mercy will follow me.."

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Friday, February 19, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

We spend more time in church today arguing and whining about the most trivial things while there are people around us that are going to Hell. It doesn't make sense to me...

We argue over the style of music while there are people that do not know of the love, grace, and mercy that we sing of.

We argue about the color of paint, carpet, and rooms, while there are people that are waiting for us to get out of the four walls and be the church instead of doing church.

We argue over religion and styles of ministry and overlook the very people that Jesus came to rescue.

We get our feelings hurt if the Pastor does not speak to us, call us, or we feel under appreciated if we do not get the proper recognition for something we did, but yet we do the same to the people living in our neighborhood.

It is funny how God will call someone to a different church but never to reach the people in their neighborhood. It is time we quit trying to get church right and just be the church where we are and where God has placed us.

Keep on arguing....they are still going to Hell.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 Posted in | | 1 Comments »

Paige and I are in Charleston, SC chilling out for a couple of days and as we where walking around we saw a beautiful fountain. As we were looking around we saw the sign that you see in the picture and I began to laugh to myself. Do you really have to post a sign at a fountain saying that there is no life guard on duty? Can you just assume that be the case?

Then I had this thought hit me. In the church today we assume too many things. We assume as we recite old Bible stories that the people sitting on the pews know what we are talking about. We assume that they learned that story in Sunday School like you did. We assume that they people that walk through the doors of our church knows about the love of God, the grace of God, and everything in between.

We have the tendency see life from our perspective and our perspective alone. Sometime we struggle seeing it through someone else's eyes. Too many time because of the inability to see life through someone else's eyes we assume things that we should not. I want to challenge us this week to try not to assume anything and see life through someone else's eyes.

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Monday, February 15, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Tina asked that questions years ago and the answer is everything. In a world that commercializes everything and teaches people how to be consumers, we have almost lost the ability to know how to love unconditional. We are taught to love only if... If they love you first, if you can trust them, if they do not hurt you. The love of God is opposite. God love unconditional. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us any more or any less. He love us.

Here is what love is all about:

1 Corinthians 13:4-13, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

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Sunday, February 14, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

There is a winter wonderland all over Atlanta this morning and people are getting up. If we have not pulled Paige's car down the hill yesterday afternoon we would be stuck on Mt Gordon all weekend.

Really excited about heading to Charleston SC tomorrow to finish celebrating Paige's 30th Birthday. Looking forward to some rest and some time away.

Had a busy but productive week.

Really enjoyed Tuesday. Pastor Steven, Pastor David, and myself went to a minister's lunch and afterwards we hung out and laughed. I am so grateful for the people that God has placed in my life.

Wednesday night was a good night. Time got away from us a little bit but I really enjoyed teaching on purity.

We signed the contract on the house this week. We will close on it in about 40 days or so. It is really exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. There is a lot of work to do to the house but it is going to be an exciting adventure.

Got to get out on the road later in the morning. This should be interesting. Hope that I do not play bumper cars.

Excited about Thrive Wednesday night. Battle of the Sexes, guys vs gals. Its going to be a Wednesday that no one wants to miss.

Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

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Friday, February 12, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

@judahsmith - NOTE TO PREACHERS; New material is overrated...Preach Jesus!

@erguncaner - "Pray often, for prayer is a SHIELD to the soul, a SACRIFICE to God, and a SCOURGE for Satan" -John Bunyan

@Neil_Cole - Church is not an event 2 B @, but a family 2 B part of; not a program 2 reach out 2 the wrld, but a ppl that bring God w/ them 2 the wrld.

@MarkBatterson - so grateful today for insecurity, uncertainty & inability. nothing draws me 2 Jesus like those things.

@ScottWilliams - Leaders are born to be made!

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It's Not The Size Of Your Ministry It's The Size Of Your Impact

Way too often in Youth Ministry we judge our success by the size of our services. On how many teenagers walk through the doors every week. If we have a down week we feel like a failure and if we have a good crowd then we live on that high every week. I believe that we have a very jaded view of success. Instead of measuring our success by the number of students maybe we should be judging it by the size of our impact. How many students your ministry is impacting week in and week out. Through your service, through your life, and through the life of your students. It is not about how many students come to your Youth Ministry or even know your name, it is about how many students know Jesus.

The way we do ministry we act like it is more important to be popular or put on a good entertaining show every week than to see an eternal impact made in student's lives. You can not judge success in Youth Ministry by counting heads every week. You can not judge the success of Youth Ministry until 3 years later, or 5 years later, or even 10 years later. Sometimes it is not about how many students we have in our ministry, but how many students are in ministry.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

On My Dreams

Anyone that has ever done anything HUGE in life first had big dreams. Before you can accomplish anything you have to see it first. People who dream are disturbed people, they have seen what God has called them to and will not settle for anything less. God is a creative God, with one word He spoke the world into existence. That same God created us in His image and we have access to His creativity.

There are people who dream at night with their eyes closed and bodies still, then there are dangerous dreamers who dream with their eyes wide open and are constantly moving. You see when we dream we have God ideas, we have good ideas, and then we have our ideas. Some times we dream with our own agenda in mind. We dream with a motive. There are some questions that I ask myself that act as a filter:

Who gets the glory for this?

Can I accomplish this without God?

Will people think I am crazy(if no, then it might not be from God)?

Does this dream scare me?

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

On My Decisions

If life is all about choices then that mean life is all about decisions as well. We have heard it said time and time again that we make our decisions and then our decisions make us. Even what we decided right now affects how we live years from now. There has to be some kind of process to your decisions. The Bible talks about in Galatians that God will not be mock, what a person sows, they will reap. My Dad used to tell me that I have made my bed, now I have to lay in it.

If your decisions are going to make sense and are going to be the best ones you could make then there has to be a process to them. There has some sort of filter in place to guide you through, some questions you ask yourself before you make your decisions.

Does God have veto power over what you are about to decide?

Who all does what I am about to decide affect?

Will what I am about to decide be a positive or negative on my life in the long run?

Who can I help with what I am about to do?

What are the long term affects of this decision?

Is there an exit strategy for this decision?

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Everyone of us are born with filters in our brain. As some of us get older our filters grow, we show self-control, and use wisdom. Then other's filters shrink and some even disappear. We look at these people and ask do they even think about what they say, do, or dream. This week I want to look at the areas of our life we need to place filters.

On My Words

There are people you know that what comes up comes out. If they think it they say it. I have been guilty of this from time to time. There has to be some kind of filter in place, you have to show some sort of self-control. The last thing you want is everyone around you think you are a fool and then you open your mouth and prove them right. Here are some questions I try ask myself before my thoughts hit my tongue:

Does what I am about to say really need to be said?

Will what I am about to say build someone up or tear them down?

Am I contributing to the conversation or not?

Does God get glory from what I say?

Is anyone really listening to what I am saying?

Do I really believe what I am saying?

We will talk about some things at the end of the week that will cause your filter to faultier. What are some things you might need to ask yourself before you open your mouth?

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Monday, February 8, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Have you ever walked through a season where Heaven went silent? It was like the line between you and God got disconnected? You have questions and answers do not seem to be coming? Have you ever stopped and thought that God is always speaking, that it might be a listening problem? That in Genesis 1:1 God spoke everything into existence and He has been speaking every since.

I believe that we get so focused on whatever need or question that we have that we tuned out everything else that God is saying around us. For example, the sun came up this morning, He is saying He is still in control. If you woke up this morning He is saying the He is the giver of life. There is example after example of times that God is speaking to you already today.

Have you crack open your Bible lately? His Word is still alive and speaking today. Sometime you have to go hunt your answers or His voice in this situation that you are going through. We do not like that. We would rather seek of word "from" God given from a person than dive into the Word OF God and hear it for ourselves.

God does not have a speaking problem, we have a listening problem.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Took a mental health day yesterday and really enjoyed it. Caught up on some reading, blogs, blogging, and Tivo.

Put a bid in on a house this week. This is the first time that Paige and I have done this. Really excited, nervous, and scared all at the same time. If they accept our bid we will be getting an awesome deal. I will share more details as they unfold.

Have you ever had a week where you do not know where it went? That is how the last two weeks have been.

Celebrated Paige's birthday from last Saturday until Wednesday. Still have a little more celebrating to do. We will head to Charleston, SC in about a week for a few days.

I have FAILED miserably at eating healthy and exercising the last couple of weeks. I have to get a handle on it again. I set goals, know I have to stick with them.

Getting ready to launch Thrive's resource website in the next week or so. This is taking a little longer than I expected. I am still excited about it, even if I can help out another Youth Pastor just a little bit that will make it all worth it.

Super Bowl this weekend. Excited about watching it with friends and excited about our Chili cook off. Have to pull for the Colts. Not that I am a Colts fan, I am just less of a Saints fan.

Reading a great book right now, really challenging. I have fell behind on my reading the last couple of weeks.

Hope you guys are having a good weekend!

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Saturday, February 6, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

@MarkBatterson - don't preach 4 the applause of people. preach 4 the applause of nail-scarred hands.

@perrynoble - A major problem in church world is we all too often "play it safe" when Jesus actually called us to play to win!!!

@pastorraley - An excuse is a mental roadblock that masquerades as a reason for underachieving.

@Neil_Cole - The Gospel does not need to be made relevant…it is relevant and always will be. The issue is not relevance but influence.

@sanderssays - Listen deeply, speak slowly and promise carefully.

@ChrisElrod - Some days spiritual victory is only achieved through faithful endurance.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 Posted in | | 0 Comments »

Some have asked when I say that I am taking a mental health day what I am talking about. This is what one of those days looks like for me:

Catching up on Tivo
Reading a good book
Catching up on blog reading

Emotional health has its place in life just like spiritual health and physical health. If you go through life ignoring emotional health then you will be carry around so much baggage that you are no good to anyone. Sometime you have to unplug from life so you can recharge your emotional batteries.

What do you do to help your emotional health?

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Life can be rocking along fine, everything is going good and then all of a sudden something happens and it throws life off center. It can just be one event or a string of circumstances. It could be a phone call in the middle of the night or news that you were not expecting. It could be as simple as not seeing your agenda fulfilled or being to busy to breath. Whatever the case, when you life is spinning and reeling, it can get really out of control real quick. Missing one day of your quiet time is one thing, but when a day turns to a week and a week a month, that is when something is wrong. If you are not careful a life that is spinning and reeling can quickly become a life that is out of control.

I heard a wise man say once that when you are living a life that is out of control you do things that are out of character. The only way I know to regain the control is to stop spinning. Step back take a breath and understand what is happening around you. Check out of life for a day. It might surprise you but life will carry on without you. The world will not crumble just because you stop spinning. You have to understand when you are spinning out of control you are not only hurting yourself but you are hurting those that God has placed around you.

Life gets off-centered from time to time. You have to stop and catch your breath, empty somethings out of your life and then get up and go again.

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