Category Archives: Fun

Break Time!

    We all get to that point in the day where we need to break.  Maybe you have been working hard on putting stuff together for the children’s musical at your church, organizing studies for Sunday School, planning your next youth mission trip, or making phone calls to connect with some young adults in your ministry and now you need a breather.  I will take a couple minutes periodically through the day because some days are just long and filled with a lot to do and it is so important to take time to break up the monotony.  Today is a long 12 hour day for me as I prepare for the youth retreat this weekend, plan future studies, finish planning for our young adult ministry tonight, and work on materials for the candidacy process.  If I did not take breaks periodically I would go crazy.

   So regardless of what you are working on I wanted to include a video from Tyler Stanton, Tripp Crosby, and Chris Tomlin that is hilarious!  This video was played at the Catalyst Conference several years ago and it always makes me smile.  If you ever had a bowl cut or remember them growing up then you will definitely enjoy this video.  So take a couple minutes, kick back, and enjoy a couple laughs…then get back to work I don’t want anyone getting fired because I told them to watch funny videos.

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It’s O.K. to laugh!

Yes my friends that is a giant pair of underpants I have on…This picture was taken last year at our Fall Encounter with our youth ministry.  We were getting ready to play a game where the teens had to have their entire team fit into their giant underwear and race against the other team around the building.  Some may say “Why do this?  What is the spiritual value in that?”  You are right no one had a mind-blowing vision from the book of Revelation after squeezing their team into the giant underwear….no one got saved by us racing around the building but some great things do happen when we let our guard down and act goofy.

This shows the teens and the adults it is O.K. to laugh at ourselves.  It shows the teens that the adult leaders in their group can kick back and have a good time.  Please understand my main focus as a Minister of Youth and Young Adults is train youth to be disciples and then for them to go out into the world and make disciples.  However, to see people take something as silly as a giant pair of underpants  and race around a building can make for an awesome bonding experience.

So my challenge for you is to let down your guard every now and then, have fun, be goofy, laugh at yourself, and don’t be surprised that when you do the awesome conversations and questions that happen because of it!

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Filed under Fun, Relationships, Youth

Games Gone Bad

Why are you stealing me?

Probably one of the worst game ideas (at least with my current group although this would probably be highly contested by some) was “Steal the Bacon”.   This game was very fun but became painful very quick!  You might ask what is “Steal the Bacon”?   In simple terms you 1.  split into two teams 2. make sure each team has the same amount of people  3. Number everyone off…making sure there are #1’s on both sides, #2’s on both sides, #3’s on both sides, etc… 4.  You separate the teams to opposites sides of the playing fields  5.  You then put an object in the middle of the two teams (football, frisbee, or we used a truck inner-tube).  6.  You then call out a number like 6 then the person on each team that was number 6 runs to grab the bacon and bring it back to their side.

This sounds like a wonderful game (and truly could be) and you can actually see many youth ministries and children ministries having a great time playing this game because videos are posted on sites like Youtube.  However our group decided to add more steps in the game and that is when you try to physically crush your opponent to the ground without even going for the bacon.  You would have a 6’1 250 lb guy with no football pads on trying to smash their opponent to the ground when they weren’t looking instead of just grabbing the bacon.  This was one of those “sacred cow” games they had done for several years at their retreat and I dared not mess with it at first.  It was during the second year that I saw people getting hurt, limping off the field, crying, yelling, and I said enough was enough and cut the game short.  It was one of those times that I knew the game should have probably been cut even sooner but I didn’t want to labeled “the guy who ruined the retreat.”  Sometimes it is a wise move to not mess with “sacred cows” if it is not necessary but other times if it is in the best interest of the group make the move now!  Thankfully we didn’t end up with broken bones and honestly I don’t know how!

What is a game that you have used in your children, youth, or adult ministries that has went really bad?

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Just what the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was missing…

 

I believe somewhere in our job descriptions as ministers it says we must use at least one sermon illustration from The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Soul Surfer.  I am have succeeded in this area with LOTR and Narnia, I haven’t seen Soul Surfer yet, I don’t believe I have ever done one for Fireproof so I better get crackin’ and as for Facing the Giants I am just refusing to do one because the movie was super lame.  Back to the issue at hand I was going through the grocery store the other day and what do I see….yes a glorious 8 pack Pez dispenser kit for the LOTR.  No not some weak LOTR Pez dispenser kit with just Sam and Frodo no way!  You get the privilege… nay the honor of having a fleet of Pez dispensers that represent your favorite LOTR characters.  So I feel it would only be right if we could add some captions to this great product.

Add your caption please!

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Filed under Fun, Preaching

Welcome to Tijuana!

Welcome to Tijuana!

One of the funniest things that ever happened to me in the ministry was back in 2003 when I took a small group of students on a leadership adventure in Tijuana, Mexico.  We had an awesome week with several other youth groups learning leadership principles and serving in the Tijuana community in the orphanage, at local homes, and at the city dump where many lived.  After this week of serving we had a day before we headed back to California for our flight back home to Ohio to check out the city life in Tijuana.

This is where the fun began as I remember we came to a street corner and many of the restaurants were on a second story so they had people down on the street trying to get people to come to their restaurant.  We had already ate so we had no interest in eating at one of the local establishments but this did not stop one restaurant promoter.  He first started off by saying, “Come to my restaurant!  Free Margaritas for the ladies!”  We politely declined and continued waiting to cross the street.  Then he says, “Come on, Free Margaritas for the ladies and free appetizers for you all.”  We went on to explain that we had already eaten and we were just not hungry.  He gets this determined yet mischievous look on his face and says, “Ok, free margaritas, free appetizers…” and then he looks at two of my Senior Guys that were getting ready to graduate (Reese and Adam)  and says, “and for you, for you I will give you my sister.”  Of course the two Senior guys look at me like, “Hey this sounds like a pretty good deal maybe we should check out the restaurant.”  However, I encourage them to keep moving forward while thanking the man for his gracious offer…..I am not sure his sister knows He is pawning her off for chimichangas  and enchiladas or at least I hope not.

So we cross over to the other side of the street to see a man with a camera and a donkey with colorful blanket covering the donkey.  He is trying to get kids and teens to come get their picture taken with the donkey.  He doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of customers so he says, “Come get your picture today because the donkey will be dead tomorrow.”  I am not sure the donkey had been filled in on all of these plans for tomorrows activities he might want to look over his contract.  Needless to say Tijuana was an awesome experience with some great youth.  It was definitely some of the funniest conversations I had in just a few minutes during a youth adventure.

What are some funny things you have experienced during your time in the ministry?

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Filed under Church, Fun, Leadership, Uncategorized

On a lighter note: Food I hope to see in Heaven.

 

On a lighter note for the day as I was sitting at the office and writing and working on some upcoming youth events my stomach started to make some dinosaur noises and I knew it was time to get some food.  I have heard people say that we will eat in Heaven which made me ask the question what kind of food will be in Heaven?  I am sure whatever kind of food will be in heaven would be completely awesome but if I could I would like to offer God a couple of suggestions….

1.  PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps!

2.  Chick-Fil-A (original sandwich)

3.  Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster

Those are three of the things my hungry stomach and distracted brain could come up with.  I know my list isn’t very extensive or kind to chickens since they would be in my lettuce wraps and my Chick-Fil-A sandwiches but man they are pretty tasty.  So how about you?  If God was taking food orders for the big buffet up in Heaven what would you like to order up? Big buffet in Heaven….that just gave me images of Chris Farley dressing up as the lunch lady and singing the sloppy joe song…sorry I digress so what heavenly food sounds good to you?

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Filed under Entertainment, Fun

Happy Thunderbird Christmas!

Ho Ho Ho Happy Thunderbird!

Last night as it was approaching 11:45 p.m. and I was getting ready to turn off the t.v., put my laundry away, and head to bed for the evening I got a phone call.  On the phone it said “private number”…now there are not too many people who show up on my phone as private number so I wondered what could be going on.  I picked up the phone and it took me about 2.3 seconds to realize that I was being prank called.  It didn’t take me long to figure out through the silly accent who was calling me and even though it was difficult for me to figure out what the person was saying I did hear, “Come see your car”.  So I left the warmth of my apartment and walked down to the end of the parking lot to see my car decorated as you see above in the picture with garland, wrapping paper, bows, and Merry Christmas and Santa written with window markers on the car.  I knew the culprits had to be hiding somewhere in the parking lot wanting to admire their handiwork and see the look on my face.  I looked and saw a familiar vehicle with people sitting in it….they saw me notice them to which they peeled out in the parking lot in glee!  We had some fun conversations after that and hung out till 2:30 a.m. this morning catching up on their first semesters in school.  I have to tell you I feel pretty wiped out today as I write this even though I have tried to chug down some caffeine.   I may be tired but it was all worth it!

I guess three things stood out to me from the events of last night…or should I say this morning

1.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself

We have to realize we all have flaws, we all do silly things, have funny habits or personality quirks and we need to be able to laugh and joke around with one another.  Understand I am not saying that we should bully one another or try to say cutting things and hurt people’s feelings but we need to be able to take a joke.  As I think about Jesus and his disciples we tend to hear the stories of the miracles that Jesus did and how the disciples reacted and were involved in the ministry but, I honestly want to hear some of the funny things they did when they were together.  Understand I am not trying to be sacrilegious but there is no way Jesus and the 12 disciples didn’t have some good laughs together.  I am sure there are lots of funny stories about their adventures together and I can’t wait to hear them!  Sometimes it is easy to take ourselves way to seriously when we really need to lighten up a little bit and connect with those around us.    So did it take me a little longer to clean up the stuff on my car this morning with the newly fallen snow…yes…but was it worth the laugh…yes!

2.  Look for the unexpected opportunities to invest

Our opportunities to invest won’t alway happen in a classroom setting with the Bible in front of us.  Was hanging out until 2:30-2:45 a.m. this morning what I had in mind? No not at all.  I was actually tired and I was ready to go to bed but then the opportunity came to spend a couple of hours with guys that I haven’t seen in a while.  We had some laughs, talked about college life, sports, roommates, and faith.  Our chances to be there for people are not always going to be convenient or conventional but even things like getting a burger with someone, taking them with you on an errand to Wal-mart, playing some Xbox together can lead to some good conversations about life and faith.

3.  Know when to say “No”

Sometimes people can take the previous statement and say “I always need to be available,”  “I always need to be able to be contacted,” “I always have to be there for someone to hang out with,”  “I need to spend 5 nights a week out doing ministry.”  This is not true!  Be ready and willing to invest in people’s lives when God leads you to do so but also know when to say “No” when you need to spend time with your family, your friends, or just yourself.  So to my friends in ministry know when to say no.  Everyone won’t understand this, not everyone will get it, some will get mad, some will say mean things about you but know you have a responsibility to look out for your health (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically) and to take care of your family.  Last night was a great opportunity for me to be there for others…my fiancée had worked a long day, wasn’t feeling the greatest, and went to her house early to call it a night and so I had some time to be there for others.  Now if I had already been out several nights that week doing ministry and I hadn’t seen my Fiancée’ very much that week and you asked if I would want to hang out until 2:30 a.m. the answer would have been “No, thanks maybe next time”.  I would have known that my Fiancée’ would need me to be there for her.  To those of you who are not in ministry whether you are a youth or an adult you are gonna have lots of people pulling at you for your time and you have to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.  You will need to take a look at your priorities and ask yourself if this is the best use of your time for what you are wanting to accomplish.  Sometimes you need a day out with friends to just kick back, eat some burgers, and have some laughs.  Sometimes you will need some time to just spend with you and God, or maybe to relax and read a good book.  There might be other times that someone needs you to be there for them and invest in their life.  But if you don’t say “no” to some things you are going to miss out on something you should have said “yes” to.

So even though it was a night of silliness I was reminded of some important things and I hope during this busy holiday season that you don’t forget to laugh at yourself a little, look for those unexpected opportunities to invest, and know when to say “No”!

Have a merry Christmas!!!

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Filed under Fun, Relationships