!-- Beacon Ads Ad Code -->
Archive - March, 2007

[SHIFT Student Ministries Conference] Final Thoughts

I am very glad that I went to this conference. It was a great way for me to observe the world of student ministries. I found that ministers act like the people they minister to: CPs act like kids, Student Pastors act like students, Pastors to adults act like the group of adults they minister to. One thing that I found that is common across the board is those with the gift of leadership: they are all alike. True leaders lead where they are. They know when to act like the people they minister to, and they know when to stand back and lead. It was a neat epiphany to have, and it liberated me to lead wherever I am whether it is with children, students, or adults.

I can’t wait to come to Promiseland in two weeks and be around CPs.

[SHIFT Student Ministries Conference] Session 6 – Efrem Smith

Efrem Smith’s talk was entitled, “Stop Telling Me About Jesus and Show Me What He Looks Like.” It was great! A large reason I liked it was Efrem. He is just fun to listen to. His content was solid as well. One illustration stuck with me. (I think I’ve heard it before related to children’s minsitry.) He talked about Superman and Batman. Batman is not a superhero. He has no super powers. He wears a mask. He has gadgets. He got a circus kids with a feminine name to wear a maks and be his partner. He works at night for more effect. Superman is a superhero. He has powers. If you take away his suit, he is still Superman and can do all his super stuff. In ministry sometimes we put on a mask. We show everyone all our ministry gadgets. We put masks on our kids and send them out with gadgets. We need to be infused with the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can do ministry without the gadgets and be a part of true transformation. Efrem then used Batgirl and Wonder Woman for the ladies :) I liked that illustration. It works for all areas of ministry.

[SHIFT Student Ministries Conference] Session 5 – Jeremy Del Rio

Jeremy’s talk was entitled “From the Fellowship Hall to Full Contact Faith.” I was disappointed by Jeremy’s presentation. I don’t know what he has sounded like before, but this presentation was not very well done. I was unable to nail down his point. It felt as if he talked around and around without getting to a point and challenging us to act. At the end of Jeremy’s presentation, I thought, “I could have slept in.”

[SHIFT Student Ministries Conference] Session 4 – Mark Matlock

Mark’s talk was entitled, “Get Wired, Get Connected, and Other High Tech Cliches.” Mark is the creator of planetwisdom.com. I really enjoyed his talk. He touched on so many things about digital culture that people miss. We can be so cautious of technology. We want to create “safe” places for people to be online. Mark talked about equipping students to be able to navigate the digital world.

One thing that really resonated with me was that, contrary to what we would like to say, technology is not morally neutral. The internet must be looked at as a culture, and as a culture it does make a moral statement. Whether that statement is postitive, negative or both is dependent on who looks at that statement.

Another thing that he challenged people with is that true relationships can be made online. I know that there are many who would argue with that. The reality is that students are doing just that. I’ve done it. Two of my good friendships started online through email and internet forums. Yes, we’ve met face-to-face since initially forming the relationship online, but it was started online, and it was real before meeting in person.

Mark left all of us with a lot to think about.

[SHIFT Student Ministries Conference] Dramas

Can I just say that the actors at Willow are amazing! We have seen three skits/monologues, and I have been so impressed with the quality of acting. I can’t really say which is my favorite. I hope that we do them at Redwood sometime.

[SHIFT Student Ministries Conference] Session 3 – Bo Boshers

Bo spoke on the importance of keeping humble (being teachable and not arrogant), being mentored and mentoring, and putting family first. Bo really hit home in a lot of places for a lot of people. I kept cheering him on. The biggest thing that I need to remember is to stay humble.

[SHIFT Student Ministries Conference] Session 2 – Donald Miller

I’ve read Don Miller’s book “Blue Like Jazz.” I really liked the thoughts that Don had and how he presented his ideas. After a while, though, I began to get annoyed with his know-it-allness. I think the only reason I was annoyed was because I am a know-it-all as well, but I haven’t written a book :)

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Don as a speaker. I was not disappointed. He did a great job of talking about the importance of story. I liked how he emphasized that we all want to be a part of an intriguing story. The Church has done such a great job of emasculating the story of what it means to be a Christ follower. What can we do to, once again, make Christianity a story that people want to be a part of?