Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Bigger & Better Hayride

In the midst of watching Boston Legal last week I decided it was time to create the bigger and better hayride for the church.

It seems the church’s strategy to attract kids keeps revolving around, “If we can only offer something that is more fun than maybe they will show up.” Thus many churches keep thinking they need to compete with Disney, Viacom, AOL Time Warner, Sony and other media corporate giants that constantly study and create for the teen dollar. As Teens age, their yearly discretionary income increases from nearly $1,500 at age 12 to 13 to nearly $4,500 by age 16 to 17. As a group, Teens of all ages spent a projected $112.5 billion dollars in 2003.

Maybe the church doesn’t need to compete. Maybe the church offers something different that is attractive to teens. Maybe the church offers something less plastic, something that isn’t out there but that is in the soul. My assumption is that teens are not nearly as shallow as they are often painted to be. My sense is that they really are looking for purpose, belonging, hope, and usefulness for their uniqueness. So, beyond the bigger and better hayride, what is that the church offers?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A week of groups

After some freezing very windy days all the leaves are off the trees. I worked with several groups this last week including my Concordia class, speaking to 200 junior high kids, a church council and leaders, and a group of 20 youth ministers on the topic of wellness.

Wellness seems like an odd topic for anyone to talk about since I don’t know anyone who is totally well or totally balanced. Wellness is not the absence of illness but is living well with who and what we are. A friend said about those who advocate for a balanced life, that maybe we should be teaching people how to live within an unbalanced life. This would be much more honest and not set people up to think there is a perfect wellness way to be, and most people reach it, all but you, you poor shmock!

So in midst of my own unbalanced places I find myself more balanced and more well, (weller?) than maybe I have been for some time.

Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux

Friday night, French Meadow Café and then over to the state theater, soft old style jazz. Madeleine has a dreamy voice playing a jazz style guitar, backed up with piano, upright bass and drums. It was easy to get carried away in her delicate, romantic, and bluesy style. Very nice night.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Early Morning

Everyone's enjoying an early, chilly morning by the fire.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Harvest Moon and Gloria

nice night
plus Mean Girls

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One Year Run

It was one year ago I started to run.

My coffee house coach, Pastor Brandt, after I asked what should I do if wanted to become a runner, gave this advice, "Just run around the block everyday for two weeks, hate every minute of it, and then start." He was right. It felt awful for about two weeks. One year later I am still running on an amazing fall day.