Monday, March 30, 2009

Snoring at Church

Most churches just keep doing what is comfortable - what they enjoy. It is just too painful to diagnose what is not working, so the leaders continue to focus on the purposes of the church, such as fellowship, worship, and Bible study, which they find easier to accomplish. Unfortunately, over time, as their Christian community becomes more ingrown, the chasm between their "un-churched" friends and them grows larger and larger.

One of the individuals surveyed in unChristian said it this way:
"So many Christians are caught up in the Christian sub-culture and are completely closed off from the world. We go to church on Wednesdays, Sundays, and sometimes on Saturdays. We attend small group on Tuesday night and serve on the Sunday school advisory board, the financial committee, and the welcoming committee. We go to barbeques with our Christian friends and plan group outings. We are closed off from the world. Even if we wanted to reach out to non-Christians, we don't have time and we don't know how."

But we soon find out that our church service is in an entirely different language that has no connection whatsoever to our friends.

Is that was Jesus had in mind when he dreamed up this thing called the church? When He came to earth to give his very life so that we might experience his love and grace, do you suppose he pictured churches where the people he died for would feel like outsiders?

Mark Beeson, pastor of Granger Community Church, once said, "It has taken the church two thousand years to make Jesus - the most compelling and attractive person that ever lived - boring!" Yet thousand of churches have made "boring" an art form. Is your church painting this very picture?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scratch People Where They Itch

Why do we fail? Why don't we get the results we want so badly? What are we doing wrong?

I believe the reason is that in order to earn the right to be heard, you must meet the needs of the people.

Let's play a game real quick. Hold both of your hands about one inch in front of your eyes, not much further out than the end of your nose. Keep your eyes open and your hands there for about 5 seconds. What did you see? Not much, right? For the most part, your vision was blocked.

For someone that is lacking food or basic medical attention for someone they love, those problems are just like your hands in front of your eyes. It is all they can see. It doesn't matter how eloquent you are or how convincing you can be that God cares, they can't see it. All they can see are the problems right in front of their eyes, and the more you talk about how God cares about their problems, the more clueless they think you are.

Until you help them with the problem, most will not hear you. Until you begin to address the problems in front of their eyes, you won't earn the right to be heard.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Basektball, Basketball, Basketball...

All I see on TV right now is March Madness coverage, and I'm loving every minute of it. MIZZOU squeaked by last night with a win over Marquette. Now, we've got Memphis to worry about. I thought I'd give everyone a clip from one of the better TV shows on television today, Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory. This is a clip of Rob and the boys making some impossible shots on Rob's Fantasy basketball court.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Making Everyone Around You Better

In 2006, Steve Nash became the third guard in NBA history to win back-to-back league MVP awards, and he did it while placing 29th in scoring-but first in assists. Always the instigator, he brought high-octane play back to the NBA, stampeding down the court, reading the situation, and making ridiculous passes- often behind the back or between an opponent's legs, but always for the sake of setting up his teammates.
That year, TIME put him on its list of 100 "People Who Shape Our World," in which Charles Barkley wrote of the Suns guard, "What has he taught us? It pays to be selfless. You can be content just to make the players around you better."
Unfortunately this is uncommon territory in youth ministry where everyone is trying to ‘get credit’, ‘get noticed’, or ‘get praise’. I believe our team models the heartbeat of Jesus in that no one gives a rip who’s name is on anything, they just want everything we do to be amazing in the eyes of God. I love that our youth staff could care less who’s fingerprints are on what we do as long as what we do helps students take steps toward Christ. Too many people worry so much about having their fingerprint on something and forget that it’s the fingerprints of God that makes ANYTHING we do worthwhile!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Do Something New

Face it. You do your job everyday. But what is making you different? What is making you better? Are you continuing to learn and improve - or have you reached your altitude and comfortable level of cruise control? Check out this video of a flight attendant not content to do what is merely expected of him.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Feed the World

A couple weekends ago, 170+ volunteers from Schweitzer UMC took 4 hours out of their Saturday in order to help feed the world. We worked for a group called "Kids Against Hunger." KAH's goal is to help end hunger in the United States and around the world. Volunteers of all ages made over 56,000 meals for impoverished children all around the world. Take a look at the video to see more of what Schweitzer did.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Confirmation Retreat

Recently, Schweitzer's Confirmation class traveled to Eminence, MO for a weekend retreat. The Confirmands spent the weekend conquering team building activities, learning about their relationship with Christ, getting to know each other better, as well as helping the camp with a service project. Here are a few pictures from the weekend and the chaos that we like to call, "The Confirmation Retreat."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Introducing Jesus

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Puppets in Branson, MO

The Schweitzer High School Puppeteers took time out of their crazy high school schedules to provide entertainment for people in Branson, MO last weekend. The students performed their puppet show for 2 Assisted Living Homes in the Branson area. It is amazing what a couple of felt puppets and high schoolers can do for these elderly men and women. The smiles that are brought to their faces wen they are given flowers while 50's & 60's songs iare sung by puppets would surpass anyones wildest dreams. This ministry is doing something right, and I hope that others catch on to the fact that there is a forgotten generation in the world, and they need out attention just as much as any other generation.