I'm just a man seeking God's face...

Friday, September 14, 2007


Taynyn asked the question of an epiphany that any ones has had. I have had a few so called epiphanies in my life time. I have had a hard time trying to figure out which one to write about. Do I talk about a time I had to break up with a girl? No, but I have learned many lessons from the different relationships I've had. I could talk about the epiphany I had before deciding to get back into full time ministry. No, I've shared that fairly recently.

I have been thinking of the time I told my parents that I wanted to be a youth pastor. Many of you may remember that I was not raised in a christian home. I first shared with my parents of my desire to be a pastor when I was eighteen. I felt God had gifted me in many ways to be a pastor and that He was leading me down that path. My parents voiced their concerns about me studying an area that was so limiting. They would ask,"What happens if you study to be a pastor and then never become one?" They felt I should study something that could get me along in the "Real World".

I tried to follow my parents desire, so I entered college to become a history teacher. I enjoy history and this gave me the idea of teaching history, coaching football and/or baseball, and being a Young Life leader. Before long I knew something wasn't right. I felt God calling me towards full time ministry. What would my parents think, would they support my decision? These were questions I struggled with. I wanted to follow God, but I also was very afraid of separating myself from my parents love and support.

I went for it and told them I wanted to be a pastor. I was prepared for an all out, no holds bard arguments. That never happened. They listened and didn't say a whole lot. I think they realized I wasn't going to be steered a different direction.

Life was never the same from that point on. I knew that where I lived, who my friends were going to be, who my family was going to be was now in God's hands. I learned that if you steer from what you feel God calling you He may not shut the door permanently. We serve a God of redemption and restoration. And thank goodness for that.

Feel free to share some of your epiphanies.

In Christ,
Pastor Scott

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Why Teens Are The Way They Are...

Well school has begun and the annual morning ritual of getting out of bed and on your way is in full gear. Kim and I loaded up our daughter for her first day of kindergarten. And as we filmed and photographed this momentous event I couldn’t help to look at the world she is going into. Pop Culture has an ever changing definition. Ministering in today’s youth culture is challenging and rewarding. Here are a few things I have noticed about today’s pop culture that might help you understand yourself, your friends, kids, grandkids or just teenagers in general.

Pop Culture is Market Driven
If you watch any TV whatsoever you will notice that the children and youth market is the most aggressively targeted market segment in the world. Why? Money! Kids today have it and spend it. Marketers are trying to create brand loyalties by reshaping values and spending habits. Research helps marketers influence those most vulnerable in our society. Pop Culture is market driven!

Pop Culture is Always Changing
The children and youth throughout history have wanted the new hip and cool item. For those of you that might be a bit older, can you remember back when you were a teenager and your parents wouldn’t let you get that one thing that everyone else was getting? What’s next big thing (music, clothing, ideas, etc.)? Once you think you’ve got it figured out, it will change. Therefore, we will drive ourselves crazy trying to keep culture and our way of life the same. Pop Culture is always changing!

Pop Culture is Everywhere
People create culture. With today’s technology pop culture is beginning to look very similar all over the world. Children and teens in Asia are modeling pop culture in the U.S. and visa versa. There are very few places in the world that are not affected by the so called attitudes and actions of pop culture. Pop culture also goes to our sub cultures of school, home, church and communities. Pop Culture is everywhere!

Pop Culture is Engaging
Today’s teens want to be entertained. That is not a knock on teens of today. They want to be entertained because our homes lives have been disintegrating over the past few decades. We are raising generations on TV, music and the internet because the home life is going in so many different directions. Because of this teens and most young adults (myself included) have an “entertain me” mindset. Entertainment helps us forget, at least, for the moment all the crud that is swirling around our lives. Pop Culture is entertaining!

Pop Culture is United
Because crud and brokenness is on the rise, teens are longing for places and people to connect to. Today’s pop culture longs to find common ground and shared experiences. These common grounds and experiences bind youth together. Pop Culture is united!

How can we minister to today’s pop culture? First, we can’t compete with the large marketing companies, but we can update our thinking and provide a professionalism that people are accustom to seeing in their schools, workplaces and entertainment.

Secondly, ministry that was successful in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s will not have effective methods of reaching today’s culture. The message of Jesus will never change, but our methods must change.

Thirdly, we can’t ignore pop culture. Since the dawn of time there has been a pop culture. We might have differences with the different pop cultures that we have experienced, but it is everywhere and we in the church have a message of hope that transcends time and culture.

Fourthly, we have to provide a message of value. Today’s pop culture has to see the value in the message. “Because I said so”, or, “That’s how we’ve always done it”, doesn’t cut it any more.

Lastly, we have to create a place where teens can connect to others. I have heard it said that we can never meet the needs of everyone. That may be true, but I have heard it said many time in churches that Jesus can meet your every need. So, why can’t we as a church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, try to meet the needs of everyone in our communities?

Many churches today are growing smaller so they may grow bigger and meet more needs. Instead of one large men’s breakfast, which is good and has a purpose, how about three to five men getting together once a week or once every other week for discipleship or accountability. Instead of one large youth gathering once a week, how about groups of three to five young ladies meeting with a woman for discipleship.

Yes, these are rants of a youth pastor. But I desperately want to see lives changed by the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit that stirs in a sinners heart is the same Spirit that stirs in mine and it tells me I have to let go of my agenda and my ways so that He can work more freely.

In Christ,
Pastor Scott