Monday, October 30, 2006

Wow . . . a good read by Scot McNight

Scot McNight delivered a clear message called "What is the Emerging Church?" to Westminster Seminary. He allowed the emerging church crowd (which he is a part of) to define themself. I enjoyed the read. Read by clicking here

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Experential Worship - great site

I am going to try one of these experiential ideas tonight. These are great ideas that the Holy Spirit could use in powerful ways - http://www.experientialworship.com/home.html

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Solid Training from Kara Powell

Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting under 2 different trainings by Fuller Seminary professor Kara Powell. In the morning I travelled with my wife to a Serve Our Youth (SOY) ministry training event. My wife is an employee of SOY. Kara utilized the deep design method to help SOY evaluate their current situation and ideas for improvement. I encourage you to check out this an article off the Youth Specialties website that has info on the deep design method: click here

Then on Monday evening I took 5 of First E-Free of Boone's all-start youth leader team members to West Des Moines for a different training from Kara Powell. We learned a lot about doing ministry more holistically and addressing the real needs that kids need. We want to build assets into the lives of the youth we serve to bless them and send them into the world on a good-footing. Kara and the team at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Center for Youth and Family Ministry (C.Y.F.M.) have teamed up and done some facinating research in regards to the 40 Development Assests. There's an article on the CFYM website that I think gives a good summary of some of their work http://www.cyfm.net/article.php?article=The_Big_4_0_Learning.html

Kara did a great job in both settings and I even got a free book out of the deal. You can read the first chapter of her new book "Deep Ministry in a Shallow World" if you click this last link:
http://www.zondervan.com/media/samples/pdf/0310267072_samptxt.pdf

Blitz


Boone E-Free joined hundreds of other students at a Middle School lockin lost Friday night October 13. It started at 8PM with a concert by Remedy Drive then we heard a former Iowa State basketball player Jake Sullivan share about the importance of giving our lives over to Jesus Christ. We then spent 2 hours bowling, 2 hours ice skating, 2 hours roller skating, 1 hour eating pizza (at 4AM!!) and then our final hours at a sports complex. It was one wild night!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tino and Morgan's Wedding








Carrie and I attended the wedding of our neighbors and friends back at the end of September. They were married in 2005 civilly, but waited to have a ceremony until their 1 year anniversary to invite family and friends. The wedding was performed by Morgan's dad. It was a Lakota Sioux ceremony which is why Tino is wearing a breastplate. It was a gorgeous Friday evening wedding with an amazing sunset background.

Boone Scenic Valley Railroad






It's official, Carrie and I are Boonies. We've lived in Boone, Iowa, now for a little over 2 years, but we finally road the illustrious Boone Scenic Valley Railroad. It was AWESOME!

You need to check out their website (http://www.scenic-valleyrr.com/) and listen to the Boone Scenic Valley Railroad theme song. We took the coach train to Frasier. We went over a amazing (and bit frightening) high bridge, crossed the Des Moines River, enjoyed our 22 mile round trip and saw the gorgeous Boone County fall colors. The trees were just beginning to change color!!

We road with our neighbors Tino and Morgan. You can enjoy the poem I wrote about them here: http://mattproctor.blogspot.com/2006/07/ode-to-my-5th-street-neighbors.html
In my next blog entry, will post some of their wedding pics!!

Carrie's Birthday night at youth grouop






Carrie got to celebrate her birthday with 30 of her closest jr. high and high school friends last Wednesday night.

By the way, her birthday cake was very cool. For you musicians out there, notice that the music is that of "happy birthday."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rest is the Youth Pastor's Missing Ingredient

In response to Mr. Brandon Barker's thoughts on my blog entry concerning idleness . . .

I think there is a huge difference between biblical rest (sabbath) and idleness.

One very convicting verse lately for me has been Isaiah 58:13-14, "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of the LORD has spoken." NIV

This verse is giving directions and commands for our our times of rest (sabbath). We must not "go our own way," "to speak idle words," and not "do as we please." When I use my times of rest (watering horses, sharpening the sword, praying, worshipping, etc.) well, then I can find my joy in the Lord and be refreshed. One key idea I see in Isaiah 58 is that Sabbath rest is not about leisure, but about seeking God.

I struggle with work by being idle and overly busy at times. I also struggle with rest by being restless, anxious, and overbooked constantly. When I rest well, I usually work well, but it doesn't work the other way around for me. I am learning (being convicted) that I need to be a better at rest which seems to lead to better faithfulness in my role as a worker in God's field.

There are different times in ministry. Sometimes we work long hours and days. Only a fool would make that the norm of ministry. We do need "down times", slow periods, planning and prayer sessions, time pouring over God's Word, learning theology and ministry practices, etc. But to me this is not idle time, but a wise pastor gearing up for the crunch times. My problem is I fail to sit down and pray. I fail to rest and instead make excuses for idle behavior.

I believe that youth pastors who rest well are taking a wise step toward working well, but it takes discipline to be good at both rest and work.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Idleness is the Youth Pastor's Playhouse

This morning I spent a few hours with the Lord and He convicted me of idleness, laziness, and distraction in my role and responsibilities as a pastor last week. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 commends the Church to warn those who are idle . . . well I surely felt warned and I share these thoughts with you to keep you from going down the pattern I have walked "off and on" since I entered the ministry. I challenge you to pray through the verses listed in regards to your life and commitment to serving God dutifully.

Here's what I wrote in my journal this morning:

Jeremiah 48:10 "A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!"

Context: YHWH God is pronouncing judgment on Moab through the prophet Jeremiah and prophecying their coming doom. Cursed is the person or people who fail to obey God when called to be God's agent in Moab's destruction.

Application: God has called me to be a part of a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20), and when I am lax in God's work I stand under a curse. I need to be engaged in battle wielding the sword of Truth bringing down strongholds. Is my sword blood-stained?

Proverbs 20:4 declares that a lazy laborer will not bring in a harvest. In fact, Proverbs 24:30-34 says a sluggard's reward is poverty, thorns, weeds and ruin. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 challenges me to earn the bread I eat, to avoid being a busybody, and to never tire in doing right.

Often in ministry I become a busybody, whether it is surfing the internet, blogging, loading my schedule with unintentional meetings and appointments, reading without a purpose, etc. O Lord forgive me for my idleness; give me strength and wisdom to be diligent in ministry. I want to be faithful to the Lord's work. I want to be engaged in the spiritual battle, a warrior with a bloodstained sword, and ultimately sharing in the victory of Jesus Christ.

Homecoming in Boone







Here's some dapper looking students displaying their homecoming threads for this past Saturday's dance.

I hope you all had fun!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Piper and Driscoll on the same team

I don't know how much you follow the blogger wire, but there were a few comments floating late this weekend and early in the week that Dr. John Piper and Pastor Mark Driscoll were at odds.

Driscoll has posted the email exchange between he and Piper and it's quite encouraging to see brother in the Lord committed to the Gospel.

Click here to see the article: http://theresurgence.com/md_blog_2006-10-04_thank_you_dr_john_piper

To my birthday Beauty





Today is my wife's birthday. She loves birthdays!! She grew up in a home that went the extra mile on birthays. Each year I get a little better at loving and honoring my wife on this big day.

I think it gets easier each year. Because each year I see more and more reasons why I am so blessed to be married to her. She is so encouraging, caring, and fun. She has a passion to know Jesus and make Him known. She loves Christ's church and enjoys serving and encouraging the people of God.

She is wonderful. Thank you God.

Psalm 18:22 says it all, "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

postmodernity still in the news

Here's a fabulous and long article on the Emergent Church. If you want to just jump to the bottom of the article and read the Four Areas of Concern you will be most blessed. Tony Jones in his blog said he felt this was an even-handed presentation of the Emergent Church. I think it summarizes the Emergent Church's beliefs and also reveals some key areas of danger: The Article Found Here

Though I've only read a few books and a few articles on both sides of the Emergent debate, I stand behind the conclusions of this author, Justin Taylor.

Desiring God Conference 2006

John Piper and the Desiring God Ministries held an entire conference to challenge people to live faithful lives in the Postmodern World. Feel free to listen and download these sermons from different speakers who love God and His Word.

The Supremacy of Christ and Joy in a Postmodern World
John Piper


The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World
Voddie Baucham


The Supremacy of Christ and the Gospel in a Postmodern World
Tim Keller


The Supremacy of Christ and the Church in a Postmodern World
Mark Driscoll


Speaker Panel
Justin Taylor, Voddie Baucham, John Piper, Don Carson, David Wells


The Supremacy of Christ and Love in a Postmodern
Don Carson


A Conversation with the Pastors
Justin Taylor, John Piper, Tim Keller, Mark Driscoll


The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World
David Wells

Monday, October 02, 2006

Just look at those good looking students

to


This past Saturday night our church had the kickoff for our fall spiritual life campaign.

This year's campaign is an 8 week tour of the Evangelical Free Church of America's Statement of Faith. We will look at doctrine and practical living in response to the truths we are learning. It's an exciting campaign.

We are writing our own curriculum. We have a great team of adults and students who will help with various activities. The kickoff was a great event with the whole church participating to make it a special night. Thanks to all the people who help bring food, set up tables, lead us in worship, organize games, and overrall provide a great night for oru church body.

I love it when the Body of Christ serves and blesses one another. It's the way church was meant to be.