My friend Josh recently wrote on his blog outlining how he is officially uncool. I have known that for years, but I think his point was based on Doug Fields theory that a youth pastor can only run on the fumes of coolness until 25. Josh listed the ways that prove he is very uncool and I intend to do the same.
- I refuse to listen to music that teenagers like just because it is cool. They all want me to get a radiou tattoo and care about screamo but it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. Luckily there is some overlap in what I like. Unfortunately I am so into music and hip hop culture that I find I know too much and care too much even when our tastes overlap. Example: Student “hey Mark have you heard the new Lil Wayne song?” Mark “Yeah I read about on mtv.com mixtape Monday about a month before it hit. I also heard the remix with papoose and Bun B on youtube.”
- Just like Josh I quote movies that they don’t know about or care about. The clincher was a while back when I quoted “big gulps huh guys” from Dumb and Dumber and everyone just looked at me.
- I have given up on dressing cool like students. I like to think that I am still pretty cool for my age, but you will see me packing a polo shirt or two for Momentum this year and even untucked that doesn’t give me much credibility.
- Josh said he carries a laptop everywhere like he is always working. There are many times I carry two (Mac and PC). I also like to always a phone charger, 2 packs of gum, and an ipod with me. Wait I think this might make me OCD?
- I am getting ready to shave my head in classic youth pastor fashion. How many professions do you fit in better when you lose your hair? I just don’t have the desire to care about cutting, styling, or pretending I have hair. I want to cut my own and make it 1/32 of an inch long.
- I love hanging out with some of our students’ parents. That might have something to do with me being closer to their parents’ age than theirs these days. This one is only getting worse too as I ain’t getting younger.
Let’s be honest, all you savages want is a picture update of Malachi, so here is the latest facebook album!
Today was a fun day. My man Jheff took me to the Memorial Golf Tournament. I have never been a PGA tournament so it was fun. I got to see KJ Choi, Stewart Cink, Phil Mickelson, and some others I forget. I am not obsessed with golf, but I loved the pop culture/large event side of the day and had a great time. PLUS I GOT TO SPEND A WHOLE DAY WITH JHEFF!
Many people have heard of the urban legend that is dog years. The theory states that one year of human life and time is the equivalent of 7 years in the life of a dog. Fleshed out this means that they age much faster and their bodies have a greater toll taken on them so they have 1/7 of the life expectancy.
My theory is that Christians who grow up in the church also “age” faster. I believe that over time those who grow up in the church age through tradition and religion making them think older than their age. This can result in a loss of relevance and awareness of culture.
Let me explain. The conversion is not as drastic as dogs to humans, I think it is closer to 1 year=1.3 years.
This means that someone who is in high school (16 years old) but has grown up in the church is unable to logically think how to best reach someone their age, because they are actually closer to 21 years old. Someone who is 25 and is often looked toward as a young leader might not be as young as you think when you realize that growing up in the church has them thinking more like a 33 year old. A 40 year old becomes a 52 year old and so on.
So how does this affect the church practically in day-to-day life? I assume that those looking to be in the world and not of and communicate biblical truth through cultural means plan how to embrace culture and reach the un-churched around them. Most of us have 30-40 year olds planning our services. If my theory is right that means that our services are hitting 50-60 year olds. This is not bad, but I bet if you would ask those planning that is not their desired audience or the one they think they are hitting.
When the church is reaching an aging audience and missing the younger demographic that will grow and sustain the church’s life it is not helping itself. The church as a whole already struggles with relevance and needs to be intentional about planning to reach younger un-churched people. The problem is that we might be even older and “churched” than we realize and it is catching up with us.
Next time you are planning to do something relevant to reach those around you, plan the coolest thing you can think of and than try to beat it by 5-10 years because if you grew up in the church you are probably thinking older and more traditional than you realize.
I just read a list that makes me mad. You know the ones that compare the “secular” music artist (that you love but aren’t allowed to listen to) to the Christian artist (that you need to pretend is similar). These lists always suck.
The list I just read compares Soul P to Redman and Prodigy. First of all who makes these lists? Soul P sounds absolutely nothing like either one of those artists. Second of all, if Soul P did sound like either one of those artists that would be sad because they are both a decade old at the least. I mean Redman was cool with WuTang Clan in the early 90’s and hasn’t even been relevant since 1999 at best. Prodigy on the other hand, well same dated story so just insert sarcastic banter here ___________.
Soul P is a very good artist. He is as good as any young rapper in Christian music and yet we think we are helping or making him look relevant and respectable by comparing him to secular artists who are probably on Hollywood squares to pay the bills. Christian music has yet to accept hip hop, even though it owns the music scene and regularly owns the billboard charts and this is proof.
Anyway, if I had to make comparisons I would say that Soul P sounds like Pharell, Kanye West, or Lupe Fiasco. You might not agree with that, but even if you don’t at least I named rappers who are from this decade and successful so someone would actually want to listen to a rapper comparable to them!
Tonight was a fun night for me. Some senior girls of ours arranged a girl’s night at the church and asked my wife to speak. I admit I loved playing the part of proud husband. All week we talked about what she was going to say. She practiced with me and we worked on it together.
Compared to a “normal” Wednesday night, we switched roles. My wife graciously has been taking care of Malachi while I speak to our group. We try to line up childcare but sometimes in this early infant phase feeding called her away from ministry.
Tonight I pulled daddy duty and walked the church halls with him in the stroller, held him, and put him in the rainforest bouncy seat. My job was to give her piece of mind that he was taken care of so she could speak what God had put on her heat. I didn’t hear it all but what I heard made me proud.
My wife is a gifted communicator and sometimes in her support of me she gives her gifts a backseat. It was awesome to get to see her shine and be successful tonight. We strive to minister as a pair and tonight she completed the half that I cannot. She was in the lives of girls speaking into them and I loved watching it from a distance (or hearing it from up the stairwell). If anyone out there wants a speaker to their women or girls let me know I can get you a great price with a good looking redhead…I’ll even supply the childcare!
HSM is switching gears for the summer and taking a breather. So what have I been doing?
- Working on my licensure
- Working on our teaching/curriculum plan. I have been doing my own, but am thinking about going with xp3students.com
- Going to graduation parties and passing out Lifeway gift cards like my life depends on it.
- Buying gift cards to thank my adult staff
- Reserving rental vans for summer trips
- Redoing all the lights, audio, tech stuff in our youth room to ramp up for next year
- Meeting with everyone and their mother? Want to meet with me?
- Starting a college service for our critical mass that is home
- Overseeing two interns
- Spending more time with Malachi
- Loving my wife!
Had a great night last night at HSM. It was our last Wednesday night of the school year. We will scale down and gather with the middle school on Sundays this summer.
Lots of cool stuff happened.
- We did a ice cream sundae fund raiser for Urban Hope students to go to Momentum
- We studied I Sam 14 and 15. In this passage, God delivers Israel from the Philistines when their backs are against the wall and Saul gives him the praise He is due by building Him an altar. In the next chapter, they forget what God has done and build a monument to themselves. We talked about the need to make sure we honor, praise, and look back on what God has done.
- We decided to look back at what God had done this year and praise Him for using us. Many great testimonies from guys, girls, new believers, lifers, Christian school kids, public school kids, and adults.
- I thought we would be down tonight because of spring, sports, and interest but we were right at our average like we have been all year. Seems to me I should trust God, realize an average is an average for a reason, or both.
- It was so awesome to stand before our group and just give God the glory for what he has done this year. I think sometimes I get to caught up in running on the treadmill and getting to the next level that I don’t ‘appreciate the place we are at…tonight I got to do that.
- We ended the night in worship and prayer. Great end to a great night.
May 15, 2004 was the day I married the love of my life. That’ s right kiddies today is my 4 year anniversary. I wanted to jump up on my soapbox and tell you the top 5 reasons I love my wife today…even more than when I married her.
- She is my best friend. She is the one I share life with. She listens, she jokes, she takes away the stress. There is no one else I want to talk to everyday. Our conversations make me want to get up and do it again. She prays with me and for me and keeps me seeking Christ when I am seeking me.
- She is hot. I mean the other day we were in Target and someone asked us whose baby we were watching. I replied “my wife just had that baby two months ago and already looks this hot.”
- My wife is a great mom. I can’t get enough of watching her sacrifice and seeing Malachi just love her. He knows he has a good mom and so do I.
- She is the best ministry helper. From administration, to vision, to investing in girls I told her in high school that I was headed this direction and if she didn’t want that she should jump ship. She has never doubted and continues to run beside me which is what caught my eye in the first place.
- My wife manages our home to perfection. From cleaning, entertaining, administration, and finances she is a proverbs 31 diva. I am so happy with our circumstances and the situation she has gotten us in. Many are stressed or discontent in this area but her ability to be content is what keeps us content.
I love you honey!