summer camp

Heading to UCYC for our high school summer camp tomorrow. It’s a couple hours up the road in Prescott. There are 81 of us hopping on the buses tomorrow. That means I need to learn about 65 names!

I’m praying that God will do something remarkable this week. My life was transformed at a camp like this one. Everyone with me warned me that it was just a “camp high“. Must have been some serious chronic going around because I’m still pretty baked.

This is the first year I won’t be at Hume Lake for summer camp in a long time… seriously bummed about that. Maybe next year? Maybe Forest Home will drop their prices (at least as low as Hume’s prices, jeeze…) and we could land there. Maybe I’ll rent a camp and just hire my friends to come teach and sing.

I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome! I’ll be in the pool if you need me. Swing by our summer camp blog to see what we’re up to!

texting in church

textingSome of the volunteers in my high school ministry have recently expressed their concerns about students who are texting during our gatherings. When I’m up front teaching I can easily see their glowing faces in the dark room. I’d like to think that it’s some sort of Jesus-esque transfiguration glow going on but… probably not.

Here’s the tricky part for me: I do think that texting in church is a bit uncouth. It sometimes comes across as rude, and even a little bit offensive at times. It usually means that the person isn’t paying attention.

I have a confession though: I’m a church-texter too.

Not only that, but I texted all day long in my classes at ASU, and I fully intend to text during my classes at Fuller Seminary (where I start next month!!!).

If you go to an online service at LifeChurch or NewSpring you are encouraged to join in the ongoing chat room. Is that the same? It can be if the students are texting about what’s going on in the room. I think that sometimes the students might NEED to text (moms and dads might be texting them).

I would rather my students didn’t text, but I understand that sometimes they might need to.

The bottom line for me: I’m absolutely thrilled that my students choose to come to hang out with us every week. Texting, while it can be a distraction, is probably the least of my worries.

So… do YOU text in church? Do church-texters make you angry? Do you imagine yourself running across the room, snatching the phone out of the texters hand and smashing it on the ground? Do you need counseling?

Calvary’s Leadership Structure

My high school ministry is led by two people, myself and Melissa Brosch (in addition to a great team of interns and an administrative assistant). I interviewed with ten churches last year, and none of the others had this kind of leadership structure: two leaders with full-time salaries, benefits, equal authority, etc… Most churches would probably love to do this sort of thing but wouldn’t have the resources. Having this setup gives me the freedom to do things I otherwise wouldn’t be able to:

It frees me up to focus almost exclusively on the guys. I’m still a pastor to the whole group, but I’m not asked to do things that don’t come naturally (i.e. thinking like a woman). There’s just rarely a volunteer or part-time or “number two” person that can provide what a full-timer can. Imagine Mark Driscoll leading the Women’s Ministry at Mars Hill in Seattle… it just wouldn’t work. Would it?

It allows me to teach less and prepare more. So many pastors I know are teaching on Sundays and then trying to figure out what they’re going to say two days later (even if their topics are already laid out). It’s too much to ask of one person. Half the time pastors aren’t even pastors at all… they’re so busy coordinating events and doing other office work that they neglect the very things that they are called to do.

Over the next couple months I’m teaching on Sundays and Melissa is teaching on Wednesdays. We’ve got four other people on our high school staff that make all of this so, so, so much more exciting to be a part of. I’m so grateful that I’m not expected to be a Super Pastor every week!