Categories
San Diego Living

You know you’re becoming presbyterian…


… when you recognize the dive bar in the background image of a slide during the worship service and snicker with your friends at the newfound irony to the words.

Certainly, the Tower Bar is a visual landmark in City Heights. It’s essentially a historic place in the city of San Diego. But it’s also a central meeting spot for folks in our church. We meet there to walk around the corner to Bravo’s Taco Shop. (Best burrito in City Heights) Or maybe to plan a small group outing. Or even to debrief a rough night at youth group.

And the joke is always that if someone has too much to drink they can get a tattoo in the upstair tattoo parlor aptly named, Tower Tattoo Parlor.

The connection between the words from the song and slide being a favorite place we meet was delicious.

I have a feeling that will become the official proper response for a meeting at the Tower from now on.

Where You go, I’ll go
Where you stay, I’ll stay
Where you move, I’ll move
I will follow You

Categories
youth ministry

Beg, Borrow, and Steal our Retreat!

That’s the goal of our high school ministries Winter retreat.

I’m not talking about a cash neutral event to the youth budget. I’m talking about… we’ve got no money so we need to do this retreat for free. We don’t have budget money and our students literally have no cash to offset expenses.

Here’s what we’re trying to do:

Create a memorable, kinetic, outside-of-our-neighborhood, experience with our high school group. We need this retreat. It’ll be good for the students and it’ll be good for the group.

Here’s how we’re going to do it

Beg: I’m not too proud to beg. Especially when it comes to the faith development of the students in our ministry. Fortunately, when it came to location, I didn’t even have to beg. I just asked a Kingdom-minded friend if we could crash his youth building for 30 hours. When I visited Danny Long earlier this fall and saw his facilities (about 30 minutes from City Heights, but far enough into East County to feel completely separate from the urban environment.) I asked if it might be a possibility to use his building for a retreat. Without flinching he was happy to do it.

Next up, Kathy (our youth pastor) asked her cousin to lead worship. Done. Teaching? I’m pretty sure we’ll split those duties. Now we’re out begging for folks to pick up the tab on our Costco run for food for the retreat.

All that’s left is to beg off some programming elements. One of the tricks I learned from retreat-guru Lars Rood [author of an upcoming YS book on doing ministry for cost-neutral or free] was to not skimp on experience. So we are officially on the lookout to bring something to this retreat that our students from City Heights completely unexpected. (Horseback riding, sledding, paintball, or something along those lines.)

Borrow: We’re going to borrow ideas. Darn near all of them. Why spend all the time thinking up stuff when we can take things people are already offering for free and tweak them to work in our ministry/ From activity ideas to theme to kitchen appliances.

Steal: OK, we’re not going to steal anything. But we are stealing victory from the enemy by doing something we can’t afford for free. We might not be a resource rich ministry, but we are a resourceful group who aren’t ashamed to rely on the Kingdom.

Have you ever done a ministry event like this? If so, leave a comment and share your idea. [So I can steal it.]

Categories
youth ministry

Front-loading ministry in the discipleship process

A couple weeks ago I shared a post about discipleship that raised some questions about how we do things in our student ministry. Most of the comments were affirmative. Some of the more critical questions which arose required some follow-up.

With that in mind, I grabbed a few moments with Chris and Kathy, our staff members who run the New Heights Project to drill down into some of the questions that came up.

  • What is the New Heights Project internship all about?
  • Who we are and who we partner with?
  • Why intentionally hire non-Christian students to do children’s ministry?
  • What has been the effect of this method in students lives?

One additional thought. The thing that freaked most people out was the concept of intentionally hiring a mix of Christian and non-Christian students as interns. Every church I’ve ever done ministry with had students help in ministry areas who weren’t Christians. Any ministry leader is fully aware of that same fact. The only thing that is different here is that we’ve made it part of our strategy. Typically, ministry leaders know it but don’t acknowledge it because we’re talking about children of church members.