Bulldozer Parenting

We owe a lot of our modern conveniences to the humble bulldozer. These heavy pieces of machinery clear unwanted obstacles out of the way (using it’s dozer blade), allowing quick and easy passage for less equipped vehicles. Off-roading is fun, but when I need to get somewhere, I’m thankful that a fleet of bulldozers has forged ahead of me and …

Embracing the River

One of the most recommended things Ashley and I were encouraged to do while in the Windy City was to take an architectural tour on a river boat. So we did. The tour was great. Not only did we get to see the amazing Chicago skyline, but it also helped us get our bearings on the layout of Chicago and …

A Tale of Two Chicago Churches

On my vacation to Chicago, I decided to visit two local churches. The first church had nothing on paper that I would have said that attracted me. This campus met in an old school’s auditorium – sans air conditioning. The worship band was good, but only included two acoustic guitars and a drum kit – nothing flashy. The environment was …

Five Reasons Why Camps, Retreats, and Special Events are Crucial in Youth Ministry

It seems like every church has them. They’re the highlight of the youth ministry year. There’s the signup. Then the fundraising. Then there’s more fundraising. Bags are packed. Snacks are bought. Batteries are charged. Load the vans; here we go. If you were one of those kids who was raised in a church with a youth ministry, you remember camp, …

Shawn Makes PB&J (FAKE)

Last Wednesday, we talked about our perspective of God (our Godview if you will). Shawn and I decided to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich eating contest before the message. Why? Well, everyone likes good ole PB&J. Unless they were made like this… [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7sOS9q4NAk?rel=0] Obviously we didn’t serve that sandwich. The point of the contest and video was …

What’s Your 20 Mile March?

One of my favorite blogs is Art of Manliness. A couple of days ago they posted a challenging summary of the book Great By Choice that I highly recommend that everyone read (even if you’re a lady). It’s a little lengthy, but definitely shorter than the book! The book, Great By Choice, as been in my list of books to read …

Encourage Your Leaders

Ministry can be tough. Often people disagree with direction. Often people don’t see the big picture. Often people just aren’t nice. But every once in a while, someone does something that blows me away with encouragement. I had one of those experiences a few days ago when I received this handwritten letter: Bro Stephen, I want to thank you. I …

It’s Only Annoying When Others Do It

As the last few hours of Election Day tick away, people are clamoring to squeeze out last minute tweets to the masses about their political acumen. I generally see three types of people: The Campaigners – those who are supporting their candidate to their followers who generally already agree with them. The HyperSpirituals – those who are spouting out theological …

Think Leadership Doesn’t Matter?

Coming into the 2012 season, the Arkansas Razorbacks were ranked #10 in the nation. Their talent was returning. Their fan base was hyped. It looked like a promising year was ahead. But, there was one thing that would undermine everything that Arkansas was looking forward to in the season: the exit of Head Coach Bobby Patrino after an affair, unethical …