I have not blogged in over 2 weeks! I have tried a few times, but it all felt like junk. The reason I have not been able to blog is because I have been going non stop with my youth ministry. We went on a 5 day mission trip to Augusta, GA. The next week we had VBS. We just got done with another mission trip (originally a choir tour) to Birmingham, AL to help one woman clean up the roof of her house out of the back of her yard. Tomorrow, we have our choir tour performance for the whole church. Tomorrow afternoon we go the local area children and youth camp called Camp Dooly. That goes until Wednesday. Can you get the trend here? I really have had NO time to blog.

However, when I had a few minutes of down time, I was trying to think of what to write and couldn't. I had constipation of the mind and couldn't write a thing. Suddenly, while getting some MUCH needed yard work done this morning, it hit me; I am running a marathon and I am in NO shape or form to be running one!

In youth ministry, the normal time to AMP IT UP for your ministry is generally the summer. It is a time to build relationships, hang out more with the students, and just be spontaneous with your schedule. However, I feel that this can hinder a youth ministry. Summer time is the time for trips, missions, and all kinds of fun. We need to remember that this is still spiritual development for our students. As we usher our graduates and bring in new students, this is the time to connect with the group and STILL CONTINUE TO HELP THEM DEVELOP!

Yet, I am exhausted. I have done so much and I have missed a lot of valuable time with my wife and dog. Always make sure that you spend time with family, otherwise it will come back and bite you. Before we can help spiritually develop our students we must keep our spiritual lives in tact as well.

With our hectic summer schedules in full effect, what are ways you are keeping the spiritual development in your group and in your own life? Share comments and suggestions or even questions below!

it's been a long time coming...

I have a lot going on in my own little world right now. I feel outright selfish about everything that is going on. You see, once in a while I kind of get in this funk. Don't know what it is, but it feels like you're walking down the hall and someone kicks the back of your knee to make you fall and you just can't get up. Maybe a better expression is that you get punched in the gut and the wind is knocked out of your body.

I had this happen to me about two weeks ago. I couldn't seem to get out of my funk. I had some great and exciting things planned for my youth group, we had a trip coming up, and I couldn't seem to get THAT excited about things. I wasn't excited until June 3, 2011 around 10:00 P.M.

We were on a mission trip to River of Life in Augusta, GA. This is the first time the youth group has been on River of Life or any kind mission trip to begin with. Each night we had share time and each student went around and told about there day or something funny or encouraging they did or saw on their work site. The first two days, people repeated each other, just using different lingo as the circle continued. Friday was the day that it changed. They started mentioning things about how they were really encouraged by God and to see ALL the work that had been done was just amazing and that they wanted to come back.

I felt this sudden compassion in my heart. I was like butter and just melted. I love my students and would do anything for them, but to hear them actually talk the way they did REALLY encouraged and lifted my spirits as well.

In youth ministry sometimes we can feel long winded and less encouraged. We can feel like we are so upbeat and uplifting all the time, who can lift us up? God has been so encouraging to me in the past few days and continues to lift my spirits today.

What has God done to you lately that has just lifted you out of the funk? I know we all go through it, but what is some words of encouragement to others or even me that might bring some wind back in the sails of other student pastors. Instead of looking at the glass half full or half empty, lets say look at how much water I have in the first place!
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