Call to worship:
- Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) [Baloche]
- Worthy, You Are Worthy [Redman]
- From The Inside Out [Hillsong United]
- Because Of Your Love [Wickham]
- All Because Of Jesus [Fee]
Call to worship:
I led worship for RVC Fresno’s Youth Retreat this past weekend at Shaver Lake. I had a great time seeing some of my old students, hearing my man Tim throw down some word, and attempting to wakeboard after a 10 year hiatus.
Whenever we do trips like these, we pray a lot for the safety of our students because, well, it seems like a student always breaks something. However, this time around I was the one who left with injuries:
Last Friday I got to hang out with the students of RVC Youth.
Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I lead worship at River Valley Church, here in Fresno, CA. Longtime readers also know that before being asked to help with worship in our main services, I spent about a year in charge of our youth ministry.
Now, I’m not really a youth ministry type of guy. All throughout college I’d tell people that I was interested in full-time ministry and their first question always seemed to be, “have you thought about youth ministry?” And my immediate response was, “yes, and I’ll never do it!”
Despite my misgivings about being “the youth guy”, I love our youth group and I learned a lot from the year I spent with them. Even though I see them at church every Sunday, I rarely get the chance to catch up with these students and find out what’s been going on in their lives. Friday night I was a driver for their “Super Bowl” bowling event and I got about 4 hours of quality hang time with some of the old school group I pastored as well as the chance to meet some new faces. I’m excited to watch them grow in their faith as they face the challenges of everyday life as a teen.
Mostly, I’m proud of Tim. Tim was my faithful right-hand man when I was at the helm and he’s done a great job with the group since he took over. Even when events don’t go as planned (I’ll let him blog about that) he’s able to create a fun, welcoming environment for students to have fun and experience God. I had fun and I remembered how much God loves those students! So, thanks for doing such a great job, Tim!
I’d like to thank Brody for letting me host Positive Post Tuesday this week. If you’ve never participated here are the (ridiculously simple) rules: 1. Write something positive. 2. Fill out the box below. Ready? Go!
This week’s Positive Post Tuesday is for wifey.
Although she was probably tired of hearing me whine about “I forgot this lyric and my voice cracked on this chorus” she encouraged me after every set.
Although she’s particular about accommodations she barely complained about the “rustically charming” cabins.
Although she “doesn’t like meeting new people,” she initiated conversations (GOOD conversations) with a number of the parent volunteers.
Although she probably could have used this trip as a mini-vacation and shopped all day Saturday, she decided to hang out with students instead.
Although worship ministry isn’t her calling, she says loving me is.
Sarah and I had a great time with the students, volunteers, and parents of WSM and I’ll probably post a bit about the retreat itself later this week, but for now, here’s what I sang:
I think that’s it (and I’m too lazy to go grab my notebook and check). It was just me, my guitar, and a ghetto cabin full of high school students and the people who care about them. I loved it!
The other day I mentioned that I found it significant that I was starting a new notebook.
It seems that things are taking an interesting turn in my life. After a little over a year of being involved with youth ministry at River Valley, I’ve been asked to take a more active role in our adult services on Sunday mornings. I’ll be joining Gordon and Matt as we work to plan services and sermon serious to have maximum impact with our congregation. Specifically, I’ll be working a lot with our worship: developing teams, implementing practices, planning services, and leading our corporate praise. I’ll also be helping Matt work with the details of our services. It’s my desire to see each and every Sunday be an excellent offering to the Lord (I think Gene gave me an appreciation for the word excellent). I want our times of worship and teaching to be Christ-centered, exciting, and free from distraction.
The downside of this change is that it takes me away from our youth group. While I never really felt that I’d be a career youth-worker, I have grown to love working with students and understand the importance of committed, consistent relationships with youth leaders.
So… this move kinda places me in that category of the average youth worker: a 1-2 year tenure. While part of me feels bad about that, I’m excited to see what happens with our youth group as it moves into this next year. Taking my place as youth director is Tim Balint, a close friend, and one of our most faithful volunteers this last year. I don’t think I could recommend anyone for the position more that Tim. I’ve seen his passion for youth firsthand and know that he’s committed to being the best leader he can be. It’ll be exciting to see how God works in his life and in the lives of our students as he takes on this new role!
As for me, I’m excited to move into a role that seems a little more natural for my personality. I’m blessed to serve the church in whatever role I can and I’m filled with joy to see God at work at RVC! Today is my last Sunday teaching at RVC Youth–at least in an official role–and next week the rock begins!
So… in the meantime… what’s your favorite worship song(s) right now?
Here’s the haps at RVC Youth:
Since it’s still my first year of youth ministry, I feel like I’m learning lots of things that are sort of “duh-isms” for seasoned youth workers or people who grew up attending functioning youth groups. Things like “kids like to text message” and “most jr high students don’t read AW Tozer” are just a couple examples of the incredible lessons I’ve learned.
This week I got just a glimmer of a lesson that I’m hoping to grasp: winning over parents is key to a successful youth ministry.
I’ll be honest, over the past year I’ve done little nothing to involve parents in the life of our group and I’ve done a really really bad job of communicating with them about events, current programs, etc. To all the parents who find this by googling “luke mundy,” I apologize for that… I promise to improve.
Last night we had our first BBQ/swim party of the summer. One of the families in our group opened up their home and well… we took over. In the midst of all the hot dogs, marco polo, and texting (it never ends) I got to spend some time talking to both host parents and it just all of the sudden clicked–these parents have the same goal I do. They want their kids studying the bible. They want their kids learning to worship. They want their kids to make their faith their own. They want their kids to invite all their friends to church. They want their kids to have fun. And, most importantly, they want all this much more that I do.
Maybe that’s a simple realization, but it stuck me last night. For my part, I want to work to partner with parents. To include them in planning and implementing our events. To inform them of the things that are happening with our group. To share ministry to their kids.
Because they care about them the most.
Last Sunday I did my first “Wacky Weekend.” Now, those of you who are involved “behind the scenes” at your church are thinking isn’t every weekend wacky?
Wacky Weekend happens every 6th Sunday as we take time to look back over the past 5 weeks of teaching, quizing students on what they’ve learned, celebrating the things that God’s showing us, and generally just having a good time.
Our children’s ministry has been doing this for awhile, but this last week was the first time that RVC Youth joined in on the same schedule.
It went great. The students really enjoyed it, our volunteers got to take a week “off,” and I got the benefit of learning how much our students retain. They’ve learned alot over the last 5 weeks and I’m proud of them!
Here’s the haps at RVC Youth:
The Perfect Program (and other fairy tales) is an excellent read for anyone involved in ministry. While written specifically with youth ministry in mind, the principles discussed apply to a wide range of ministry.
In The Perfect Program, youth ministry veteran David Chow takes you through his 15 years of YM experience and relates his constant search for the perfect balance of variables: perfect programs, perfect kids, perfect parents, perfect volunteers, etc. Throughout his search, he learns again and again that there’s no such thing as the perfect youth ministry and that he can’t do the work God has planned simply by trying harder or implementing the right philosophy or event. Instead, truly effective ministry comes from relying on God and trusting His plans.
There is no perfect program. no perfect leader. There are no perfect kids of parents. And there is no perfect ending. But I am learning, trough all of this, that God is perfecting me to be the person he created me to be.
I found David’s story to be particularly encouraging because I tend to look for those external factors of “success” as signs of my validity as a minister. The Perfect Program reminds me that all of our work is part of God’s plan to use us for His glory. And that’s a work that He will do!