So I’m about 14 days into my 30 day Chromebook challenge. I thought I’d give an update and next week I’ll provide some details on what tools I’m using. However, I had a situation this week that was worth nothing and I felt I needed to make an announcement.
I’m a chromebook cheater.
There, I said it. For three hours yesterday, I used my Macbook Pro (which has since come back from the shop). Now before you give up on me, let me share what happened and what I learned from the situation.… Read the rest
A few Sunday’s ago, I lost pretty hard.
It was a particularly busy weekend. There was a lot going on and my scheduled that Sunday was pretty hectic. I had agreed to be the communicator in Middle School and High School the entire month, so that was keeping me pretty busy. It usually meant I was spending a lot of time during the week preparing the weekend message and the day of involved last minute run-throughs, getting comfortable with the content before the service.
About 10 minutes prior to our 9:30 service start time, I get a text from our preschool large group director. There’s an issue with ProPresenter. The sound file isn’t playing correctly. It’s not a critical piece of the program, but a small detail that would add to the experience. All the other people who edit ProPresenter were occupied or perplexed as to why the sound file isn’t playing correctly. I actually was free for 10 minutes, so I walked over to see if I could help. Interestingly, I couldn’t get the sound file to play either. However, in my effort to fix the issue, the entire system crashed. After restarting ProPresenter twice and rebooting the computer, nothing was working the way it was supposed to. I couldn’t even comprehend what was going on. I looked at the tech volunteer and said, “You’re going to have to wing it.” I looked at the time, it had been 12 minutes and I was supposed to be on stage 2 minutes ago. Oops!… Read the rest
A few months ago, I wrote about my recent expereinces with a counselor. The money we’ve spent in counseling has been the best the best investment we’ve made in our family in a decade. One thing I’ve learned in almost 20 years of ministry is that ministry can crush your soul. Okay, that sounds a little extreme. However, I meet fellow student and children’s pastors every week and the common story is the hurts and frustrations inflicted by ministry. For the sake of your physical, emotional and spiritual help; and for the sake of your family, go find a counselor.
Another often neglected relationship ministry leaders need in their life is a good coach. This summer, I began meeting with a life coach and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a personal experience of this type. I was on sabbatical this summer and my church offered to send me to a conference or pay for coaching and I selected coaching since there aren’t really many conference options in the summer. I’m about half-way through my sessions and I’m so pumped about the things we’re uncovering.
I went into this coaching relationship with a “problem.” … Read the rest
I’ll be honest. I love my Macbook Pro. I switched to the Mac OS seven years ago and it’s been great, but I wasn’t a disgruntled Windows user either. I find that I’m not alone. Of the 40 people on staff at my church, at least 30 are sporting Macs. When I attend the average conference or gathering and everyone pulls out their computer, at least 70% are also Macs. It seems that it’s the ministry computer of choice. I understand why people like using a Mac, but I don’t completely understand why the church has unilaterally made the Mac the computer of choice.
Yes, I understand the reason why some staff needs to have a Mac. If you’re going to do serious video, image or document editing, you’re going to want a high powered machine with software designed for the Mac. However, I’d argue that this only accounts for 10-30% of the church staff. I also understand that there might even be a larger number of staff who may need access to specific software on occasional basis, but that alone doesn’t mean they need a more expensive computer just so they have access in the rare occasions they need it. This is why I’m intrigued by the Chromebook and here are some reasons why I think more churches should consider the chromebook as their default hardware:… Read the rest
When the chromebook hit the market a few years ago, I was intrigued. I can’t remember excatly why, but I bought two. I was curious how a $200 laptop would hold up to the everyday demands of the digital lifestyle and work. I was beyond impressed, but there wasn’t any way I was going to trade in my Macbook Pro for the Chromebook. Then last summer, the chromebook 2 came out and it was a new day. I bought the (then) new Samsung Chromebook 2 and actually kinda fell in love. I had ideas of doing a chromebook challenge, to see if I could go two weeks of using only the chromebook. Things got busy and I never had a chance, although I think I could have made a go at it.
Well, last week I turned my Macbook in to the Apple Store for a repair. I was told that it would take 3-4 days to repair. Several days later, I got the call that they would need to ship my computer off to have it repaired somewehre else. It would be abother 3-4 days. I wasn’t concerned because I did still have my Samsung Chromebook. So, I’ve decided that I’ll do my challenge now.… Read the rest
I LOVE planning out a ministry year. Some people see it as a frustrating task or a necessary evil. I see it as an opportunity to refine our priorities and begin to get excited about the coming season. It’s also a great opportuity to get away with my team and work on something together. Typically, I schedule a two day offsite and we’ll dedicate half of one of the days to the caledar.
Yesterday, I wrote a post about what needs to happen before you put a single date one your calendar. Call it theoretical if you want, but doing these three things will help make the practical task of filling up the calendar with events far more purposeful. Anyone can put stuff on the calendar, so don’t make that your goal. So, if you haven’t read that post yet, do it now.
Okay, let’s talk about the tools and the process for planning out 12-18 months of ministry.… Read the rest
About six years ago, I revamped the process we use to do calendar planning for my ministry. Planning the calendar is something I look forward to because it’s time with my team to dream and explore what the coming year is going to look like. I also feel really uncomfortable when I don’t know what we’re doing six months out – so having 12-18 months worked out brings peace to my life.
Every Fall (usually), I take my team offsite and we hammer out the next 18 months of ministry planning. This allows us to know what we’re going to accomplish this year. We realize that once we get past 12 months, things get fuzzy. School schedules aren’t usually published, so we put stuff on the calendar, but review those “far out dates” again in January so we can solidify our plans.
How do we practically plan out and schedule our ministry year? More on that tomorrow. First, these three things need to be decided before you put a single event on the calendar.… Read the rest
Something amazing happened yesterday. We opened registration for Winter Camp 2016 and in just 24 short hours, nearly 200 kids were registered. To clarify, Winter Camp is still 4.5 months away and over half of the kids who will come signed up on the opening day of registration. But it wasn’t an accident. We simply aligned momentum with our strategy and then just watched it all happen.
Here’s what we did:… Read the rest
I’d like to invite you to a special and unique event. Today, August 13th, at 3:00 PM (EST), several NextGen and family ministry leaders from around the country are participating in a live conversation about family ministry… on twitter.
It should be interesting and I’m really not sure what to expect. However, I love so many of the leaders driving the conversation, so I expect that the conversation will be helpful and fun.
Leaders driving the conversation include:
- Sam Luce
- Jim Wideman
- JC Thompson
- Jared Kennedy
- Myself and several others
To see the conversation, simply search #asknextgen in twitter and watch the conversation unfold. Anyone and everyone is invited to comment, ask question or simply follow along.
If you don’t have twitter… well, what are you waiting for?… Read the rest
Initially reading this title, you might be thinking, “oh, this article must be about how we inadvertently kill ministries or events and this will be a list of things to prevent an untimely death.”
No. This article is about bringing a quick and effective death to your ministry… on purpose. It’s about bringing closure to that event that your church has been doing for decades. It’s about bringing an end to that monthly newsletter, the annual project or the mid-week program.
This summer I read a fascinating article titled, “Your Project Deserves a Good Death” and I immediately thought of all the ministry implications.
I want to encourage you to ask yourself an honest question. What ministry, event or project under your care needs a good death? A true test of your leadership will be your courage to follow through and give it (or them) the death it deserves.… Read the rest