Why I Believe Everyone Should Be Socially Networked

forget the fact that today’s teenagers are more socially connected online than any other generation; if you want to make a difference in this world you can do so from your living room! if you’re only reading blogs and benefiting from what other people are sharing, the world is missing your voice, and you should make this the year that you start putting your voice out there!

i’ve felt for awhile now the importance of blogging, tweeting, and updating statuses, but haven’t been able to articulate it’s importance until now. here are 3 reasons why i believe everyone who has the ability should be socially networked:

1. you have some profound truth and experiences to share. more than you might think. many times people don’t think they have anything to say. especially in light of the many great sites and blogs out there already, it can feel intimidating. but you have years of experiences unique to you – things you’re learning and processing, areas you’re growing in, and encouragement to give out. failure to share is also called ‘hoarding’, and it’s bad stewardship of the learnings you’ve gathered in your life’s journey.

2. you have lots to learn. just like you have years of accumulated truth and experience to share with others, there’s thousands of voices out there trying to speak to you. and when you stop learning, you stop leading. any individual who wants to take things to the next level will continually seek to learn new skills and truths to empower him/her to get there.

3. sharing publicly forces you to process carefully. this is the difference between private journaling and blogging. when we journal, only our eyes will hit it, so we just lay it out there in its rawest form. while blogging should still be raw to some extent, the process of drafting your posts and putting it out there – knowing that anyone in the world can see it – forces you to invest a little more effort and thought.

i’m sure there’s other (and better) reasons… leave them in the comments!

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Book Giveaway: What Matters Most

i have thoroughly enjoyed the slower pace over the last couple weeks. they say that this time of year (especially this week between christmas and new year’s) is either a great time to get stuff done in the office, or a great time to be away from the office. while in years past i would often try to get ahead and spend the quiet hours at work this week, cranking plans and strategies out due to the absence of distractions, i chose this year to… not. and i’m so thankful for the supportive leadership over me to give me this flexibility. i’ve truly enjoyed the extra time off this holiday to spend with my wife, daughter, and our family members. they truly do matter most to me when it’s all said and done.

Adelina Christmas Eve

Adelina Christmas Morning

there have been many mentors and friends who have spoken into my life to help me battle my workaholic tendencies, and i’m so grateful for them. one mentor-from-a-distance has been doug fields, specifically his book what matters most. i read it a few years ago and this simple book revolutionized the way i saw relationships and empowered me to say “no” to good things more frequently in order to be able to say “yes” to great things.

i recently won a copy of the book from the youth ministry garage, and figured i’d give it away. just leave a comment with a funny or serious idea you came across that helped you connect more with those in your life that matter most. i’ll select one at random and send you the book!

Lakeshore Reaches Out To Teen Moms

i’ve said before that i feel pretty good about the ministry of lakeshore community church and all that God is doing here. but one of the coolest things going on right now is a ministry called “New Life”.  it’s been in place and fine-tuning for over 2 years now, and provides a safe environment for teen moms.  many ministries in churches plan to reach out to people… this ministry actually is.

as christians, it’s never hard to know where we stand on abortion, but how much do we do to actually help girls who decide to carry their baby to term? are we committed to getting our hands dirty in radical ways, investing significant portions of our heart, and loving on people right where they’re at?

this ministry is… and i love watching it unfold. if you’re a teen mom, or soon to be, or know someone who is – tell them about New Life!  you can message me for more info, or contact the church office at 585-392-5253 or email info@lakeshorechurch.org.

When The Voice Of Culture Is Louder Than The Voice Of God

from time to time as youth workers we get the ridiculous opportunity to pace through some very sacred moments with students and families. usually it’s in the midst of deep pain and sorrow on levels that we can’t possibly understand.

i got that email this week. and it’s been messing with my heart. i hate seeing students in pain more than anything else. i hate cruelty to others. i hate bullying, and the insensitive hurtful words that do so much damage. i hate abuse and neglect. and somedays i wonder if it’ll ever end.

i’m a big fan of places like my broken palace, and remedy live.  i blogged about the former in a previous post. when i was checking out MBP’s tumbler today, i bumped into this video.  so poweful.

i wonder do we tell the girls in our student ministries enough that they’re beautiful, just the way they are?

do we tell our daughters that? do our wives know?

and not just in words… but in other creative ways?

because what i do know… and i know it well this week… the voice of culture is LOUD. and the voice in culture is not communicating truth on this one.  youth workers… speak up!