Parent Child Relationships

I am majorly burdened. I have been blindsided this week by the parent to child relationships in our church. I am sure we are not different than any other church. In fact, I am afraid that we are above average which doesn’t speak well of the state of the American Christian family. I guess I should have seen this coming. Christians have the same divorce rate and usually tip poorly. We don’t have it together, but growing up in a great family(I actually called my parents this week to thank them) I guess I just am blind to some sin. Pornography/sexual sin I feel I am tuned in to, but this one snuck up on me.

We have core students in our group who just cannot even talk to their parents. We have parents who are in full time ministry that call their home an out of control crisis. Where did it happen and what went wrong? Who is forsaking their role the christian parent or the christian child. Which came first the chicken or the egg. Something must be done and I am praying that God will give me the plan of attack and the wisdom to begin to bring reconciliation into our body.

When lived correctly the parent/child relationship should be evengelism at its best. As a parent models love and grace to a child the child and parent learn of the love and sacrifice of our heavenly father. Perfect love lived out by imperfect people is interesting to say the least. Time to re-inject perfection.



For the past couple of weeks I have been obsessed with a song. Everytime it comes on the radio I get hyper. I constantly listen to it on myspace and youtube (I know I should just buy it on itunes).

The song is Give it to me (featuring Nelly Furtado and Timberlake) by Timbaland. The opening 16 bars of the beat make me drool just thinking about it now.
The song got me thinking about the assault that Timbaland has made on the Billboard charts in the last year. This is his 6th #1 on the Billboard hot 100 singles chart.

He was responsible and/or featured in….

1) Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado
2) Say it right by Nelly Furtado
3) SexyBack by Justin Timberlake
4) My Love by Justin Timberlake
5) What Goes Around (Comes Back Around) by Justin Timberlake
and now
6) Give it to me.

It is funny how certain time eras belong to certain performers. Jay Z, Boyz II Men, and Mariah Carey make me think of the middle 90’s. Boybands and Britney etc owned the turn of the century. There was a time when Diddy and Mase could do no wrong and the same can be said for 50 cent. I don’t know that anyone will even be conscious of it but 6 #1’s is a big deal.

It’s weird because I still don’t think he can sing or perform but when it comes to production the man is a genius who owns American music right now. Just thought I would educate people to take notice who are out of touch:)


As I entered ministry out of school my wife and I had some great offers to go to many places. We could have ended up in several Ohio locations, North Carolina, California, and others. I say that not to toot my own horn but to say that as much as it was up to me (if at all) I really wanted a church with a staff to grow me. Although I wanted to be in God’s country Ohio, what was more important to me was being part of a staff where I could learn ministry from them and be mentored.

I think recently God is really giving me a burden more and more daily for our hsm students at GBC Powell. I know what it means to shepherd them becasue I am burdened and want the best for them. I think about their futures, I think about thier decisions, I think about their potential, and everything else you can think of. Thinking isn’t enough, so I regularly take all these thoughts before God and lift up my group to Him.

I am more and more by the day falling in love with our students and group and am glad that has been modeled to me by my senior pastor and the men I have the privelage to work with.

What I’m learning

I meet with my man Jacob Ritter every Thursday. Jake is a junior who has really stepped up and taken leadership since I have been at GBC Powell. It’s fun to get together and talk through passages and life. We are finishing I Peter right now. Here is what chapter 5 had to say to a young pastor this week.

I Peter 5 (New Living Translation) 2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
5 In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for

“God opposes the proud
but favors the humble.”

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.


Today should be a fun day. I am scheduled to eat lunch with this man Rhett Edwards.

I have known Rhett since high school and we both attended Grace at the same time. He is on staff at Delaware Grace. I am hoping to encourage him a little today and selfishly let him encourage and recharge me today too. I am told you have to take time away to talk and see things outside of your own world as well as try to provide the same for others. Plus Rhett is a funny guy and I will get a burger out of the deal too:)

There’s always next week!

I read many blogs of pastors and ministry leaders everyday. On any given day you will read a pastor saying what he is going to talk about the next Sunday and how excited he is. If you read the next day you may find a great follow up highlighting great things that took place through the message of in the previous days service.

I have a debriefing to offer tonight that is not as positive or enthusiastic. Just got home from Wednesday night. I usually can’t sleep until I mentally unwind from my busiest day of ministry. In simple terms tonight, I sucked! I just felt like tonight was very poor on many levels.

No need to go into major detail or try to pass the blame. Just need to say that my God and the students he has given me deserve better. I want to make excuses like “It is amazing how much not being able to access my network or computer for three days this week can throw me off,” or “I had huge things come up that cannot be planned around.” The truth is I just have to…

1) Move on and Stop beating myself up over it
2) Learn from it and make the next one better

Baseball players strike out. Barbers mess up haircuts. Taxi drivers get in wrecks. Surgeons fail at procedures. I guess youth pastors are no different, I have to fail every once in a great while to keep my human status:)

Do I know you?

I am not a pastor at what is defined as a “mega-church” (a church of 2,000 or more) but I am at a church that can regularly be over 1,000 people. One of the things I didn’t expect being on staff at a church this big was the lack of disconnect with a body of even our size.
This has come to my attention many times over the last year and a half, but I was reminded again when I met two men last night.

“Hey there Mark!”
“Oh hey there.” (I say as my face gives away that I don’t know this guy)
“You don’t know me, but I know you from up on stage, I’m (fill in name here).”

And than 30 seconds later as our conversation ends, I feel that no matter how hard I try to avoid the “Ivory tower of a pastor” and close the gap with people in the church I feel distanced from the body in an accidental way. Nothing major but my personlaity wants to badly to be Mark. Not Pastor Mark, just Mark.

Usually in my mind (about 1 minute after the meeting) I think, oh what was his name again……….and realize that by forgetting names as soon as I learn them, I am not closing the gap as much as I would like. I wonder how others try to remember names and keep faces straight. I have tried to use devices and name association among other things. Like most of life and ministry I am learning, but I still need work.