Murph Notes

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Water Is Like

"I think water is like grace. i mean, you can’t hurt water. you can boil it — which would hurt most stuff — but it just turns water into a different form. it’s still there. it’s like, water is adaptable. it never goes away, and adapts to the situation in order to stay there." - 13 year old male.

I read this on another youth dude's blog I read regularly: ysmarko

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pondering On The Run

I don't have much time to blog but I wanted to get these 2 ideas (actually 3 I guess; 1 and 2 are related) in print.

1. I have been thinking about the difference between Youth Ministry as a call, vocation, career, and/or job lately. When a local body of the Church call a Youth Minister to minister with them something unique is happening. It is not a matter of hiring someone; it is a call. The relationship between a church and a Youth Minister is therefore different than an employer and an employee. There is a covenant that is entered into. I have been wondering what justifies the severing of that covenant. I know with my wife, family, friends I have covenant relationships and have determined what justifies the severing of the relationships. Churches need to examine this relationship they enter into with those they call to ministry. If they are inept or lacking in areas then the church needs to correct, provide avenues for training, encourage and support Youth Ministers. For how long and to what length? This is a good questions and I think to answer it we need to go back to the covenant. What does the Bible say about this specifically and more widely? I'm tired of seeing Youth Ministers fired because they do not meet the demands of "people". We need to break the measuring sticks and remember the "call". This is not just thoughts in reference to me, although they seem applicable right now. We need to protect and honor those who answer the call and give up much to do so by treating them not as employees but as ministers with whom we, as a church, enter into covenant relationships with.

2. Youth Ministers need to be lead. They often need help finding there strengths and weaknesses. If churches help them do so and then free them to spend 80% of there time and energies playing to their strengths and the 20% working in areas of their weaknesses or on their weaknesses... wow! That would be cool. But that means being very clear about what the church wants from a Youth Ministry and Youth Minister. This needs to be spiritually discerned and such clarity should come before the call if possible. If it doesn't then I believe the church must allow for the shape of the Youth Ministry to be somewhat dependent on the one they have called to lead it. Hmm... I must ponder that more.

3. Here is a quote for Christians to kick around - "Trust those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it." - French author Andre' Gide. We lay claim to the fact that we have the Truth and it is Jesus. We also, especially in many of the Protestant circles I have ran in, talk about our "faith journey". Contradiction? I don't think so but I like thinking about why it is not.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


You are a Prophet, a crusader with a kingdom spirituality. You experience God best through serving others. You value competence and knowledge, and are good at leading and influencing others. Prophets are devoted to their causes, often becoming assertive and aggressive as you implement a vision of the world as God's kingdom on earth. You are our heroic change agents and we admire you for that. Single-minded and deeply focused, you aren't content until society has been transformed.

Prophets are the least represented spiritual type in the general population. You also are the hardest spiritual type to be around, mainly because you make the rest of us feel guilty for not having the same zeal for change that you do. We admire you for sacrificing your personal life for your hope of the kingdom realized on earth, but we are uncomfortable around martyrs.

You have a courageous and sturdy idealism that takes responsibility for change. But, your passion for transforming society can lead you to become impatient with congregations and their perceived lack of concern. You fit best in a hospitable, like-minded community that shares your vision.

Nevertheless, be careful not to become so involved in your cause that you neglect your inner life. Attend as much to your inner life as outer life. One will nourish the other.