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Ministry Life

7 Questions to Ask During Youth Group Event and Program Planning

Aaron-Crumbey-event-planningAs summer is quickly coming to an end and fall is quickly approaching, I like to think about how the events or programs I oversee can be better. I also like to brainstorm new ones.

My goal is to learn from my failures with summer events so I don’t repeat them in the fall. Through failure, I’ve grown to love the planning process a lot more.

Here are seven questions I ask myself based off events and programs I didn’t think all the way through:

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12 Simple Rules for Greetings

shaking-hands-church-welcome-smallHello. How are you? What’s up? Hey.

All of us greet differently. There is no right or wrong.

These are a few of my thoughts on greetings that might create a few laughs. Most of these are related to greetings within the office, but a few are appropriate anywhere.

Enjoy these and add more below in the comments section!

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Why Your Prayers Are Not Enough

Praying-man-standingThe longer I run the race of ministry, the more I realize it is prayer that keeps me going and produces results that last. It's not uncommon that as a young leader, I “ran” more than prayed. As I’ve matured, my understanding and practice of prayer has strengthened.

I have also learned, however, that my prayers are not enough. I need others to pray for me. In fact, I believe this so strongly that I think it’s dangerous to lead in a church without having specific people pray for you with great passion and consistency.

For the past 12 years, I’ve had seven prayer partners—one for each day of the week. Many wonderful people pray for me at 12Stone Church, but these warriors are the ones I count on, each on their day. When I was at Skyline Church, I had 30 prayer partners, one for each day of the month.

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3 Acceptable Excuses Killing Your Potential

Confident-man-mistakes-smallIt’s easy to tell whether a person is giving an excuse. Whether you’re a teacher, a parent or a leader, we’ve all heard excuses from other people that don’t quite add up.

While determining the validity of someone else’s excuse is fairly black and white, it’s not so easy when it comes to the excuses we give ourselves. Oftentimes we give ourselves a lot more slack with our own excuses. It’s taken me years to realize that the excuses I often find “acceptable” can possibly destroy the influence, leadership potential and personal growth I want to accomplish.

Here are three of the most common acceptable excuses I’ve found myself giving over the past few years. But I have recently realized the danger of using them:

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How to Discriminate Against ‘Those Other People’

Mixed-race-churchThis is not a good story, and I apologize in advance.

In between my sophomore and junior years in college, I worked the call-in desk for the Seaboard Railroad ticket office in Birmingham. Located downtown on 20th Street South, this was an attractive office with pleasant people.

The year was 1960 and during the heyday of Jim Crow laws. The police commissioner in the city was named Bull Connor, a man destined to make headlines a couple of years later when he turned the fire hoses on blacks (and maybe a few whites; I’m not sure) protesting the harsh laws and customs in our city.

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Why Ministry Isn’t Paint by Numbers

Dan-Reiland-headshotThis might be nerdy, but I’m going to tell you anyway. When I was a kid, sometime in elementary school, I was given a huge paint-by-numbers kit, and I loved it. I told you it’s nerdy. It was big. My memory says the picture was about two feet by three feet.

That’s a lot of paint by numbers. The picture was of the Last Supper, and it contained intricate detail.

I painted for weeks and then quit. Picked it up and painted months later. It took about a year to finish.

Here’s what I noticed: I enjoyed painting by numbers, but as I gained confidence, I began to mix the colors and paint my own colors and even went outside the lines. It was no da Vinci masterpiece, but it was pretty cool. I’m not sure what brought that to mind lately, but as I think about leadership, it rings true.

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