Yesterday I came across a video that inspired me. You know of course that I made the Small Group Promo video thing last weekend. It was fun to make, and after editing it and showing it I felt a stirring to make more. But of what? There were a few ideas for the “next” video we could do for small groups at The Orchard. But what else going on at our church?
I remembered being at Innovate08 back in September. They had a film festival where churches brought some of their best videos and showed them. I was pretty surprised. Some were sermon illustrations, some were promos for upcoming events, some were just highlights and innovative announcements. But lots were really good. I’ll try to find a few and put up here soon.
But the video I saw yesterday was a promo video for a Young Life camp out in Arizona. Camp videos can be fun. I remember helping some with the video we showed each session the summer I worked at Camp Ozark (like 12 years ago. wow). They could be intense the last night of editing, and it wasn’t even my job to do it! And BreakThru made a video each year that literally finished rendering minutes before it was shown on the last night. And I made a few highlight videos here and there back in the deck to deck days.
So I know the thrill of seeing lots of different things happening and then having it all come together for something that makes a grand impression. Well, this video below blew me away. Like I said, it’s of Young Life camp. But the guy who made it and the equipment used was exceptional. But to be able to make a video like this would be a dream of mine. Enjoy.
If you don’t know what the Nooma series of videos are, then this won’t make any sense. If know about Nooma, but you’ve not seen the one entitled Sunday, then it might not make much sense. But in a nutshell, they’re videos to spur discussion and conversation about spiritual matters created by Rob Bell. They are worth checking out fo sho.
But anyway, a year and a half ago John, Stevie, and I went to Grand Rapids/Grandville Michigan to attend Isn’t She Beautiful at Mars Hill. We went looking for the nearby restaurant where the Sunday Nooma was filmed. We found it. And this below is very much like the opening shot of that very video! This is at the Rainbow Grill in Grandville, MI. Snow was all around!
When we asked the servers there at the restaurant which booth he’d actually sat in when doing the video shoot, not a one of them had a clue what in the world we were talking about.
Stevie, who was videoing, is getting married this weekend in Gulfport. I think I’m going.
Today was my last Sunday morning here at the church. It wasn’t dramatic or anything, but just a realization that things are changing swiftly. Mitchell said some kind words thing morning during the service. It meant a lot. Tonight is the Youth Christmas Party. And it is my last Sunday night here too. I think I have the best Dirty Santa Gift too!
Next weekend we’ll be out of town doing family Christmas stuff. Might be able to swing by The Orchard and hang out there a little in Oxford too. And then the last Sunday of the year I’ll be at BreakThru for the year end retreat. So it’s sort of weird. These next two weeks are going to be a little weird. We’ll be packing, boxing, cleaning out, storing, loading, driving/riding, Christmas-ing, and hoping to sell a house.
Last night at the end of youth worship, I dropped the info: my family is feeling God call us to transition into a different ministry at a different church.
Yep. I’ll go into more detail soon, but at the first of the year we’ll be joining a new church plant in Oxford, MS. I’ve been good friends with the Plant Pastor, Pat Ward,Â for years, and he’s asked me to partner with him as the Small Groups/Community Life Pastor. So after 11-ish years in Student Ministry specifically, I’m shifting gears and looking at the overall church. Wow!
The Orchard in Tupelo (who my wife and I have a close relationship with) is planting The Orchard in Oxford.Â We’re super pumped about what God is doing there and how we can be a part of it. But it’s bittersweet because we have come to love Clinton and all the people here.
So I ask that you pray for me and my fam as we start this transition during a really busy time of year (there’s packing and selling/finding houses, saying goodbyes/hellos, on top of Tgiving and Christmas). Pray for The Orchard in Oxford and that God gives me a fast track as I jump in with both feet there and learn the community and local culture. And pray for FUMC of Clinton as they make some huge decisions on how things work in this transition too!
So…tonight is the last Junior High Dance. How fitting that the last time I posted it was about the dances. But tonight is the last one. Will I miss them, not really. Now don’t get me wrong, I will miss the gathering of the students and being able to hang around w/ them and all. But I won’t miss the constant bass thump with TI and Kanye and Fitty and all the rest filling the gym.
Tomorrow is a HUGE day for MSU football. Biggest game at Scott Field since 2000 when we hosted Alabama. I could have gone to that game but watched it home alone in my one bedroom apartment yelling at the tv and celebrating (not sure where The Wife was.) But Rick Cleveland puts it all in perspective. But to beat them would be huge. MSU hasn’t turned the corner, but they’re starting to turn the wheel. We’d be bowl eligible with two more games to go.
Addie’s last soccer game of the season is in the morning. So we’ll go play soccer then I’ll be on the couch for the next few hours. Should make for a great Saturday.
The weather has turned. And things are changing. Tonight Clinton plays to see who gets to travel to South Panola next week to be the Tiger’s next victim. They have won 70 game straight so far. Amazing. But football will soon be over. Then the holidays and school breaks.
It’s time to get back on the horse and write and write and write…
After some time away for no real reason at all, I’m back. I took a little time away from blogs: writing my own or reading others. So either I have a lot of catching up to do, or just going to skip a lot I didn’t read….probably the latter.
But things have been booming lately. We hired a new guy onto our Student Ministry Staff at church. He’s doing great and we’re working well together. And because of some of his ideas and my ideas and his “well let’s get it done right now” attitude, we’ve made some pretty big changes to the youth room and all. W/ still more to come.
Two weekends ago we also had our (now) annual Video Scavenger Hunt. We had a great turnout. But the good thing was the turnout the NEXT week. So many kids came back and brought new kids w/ them too. The telling point will be this next month. When the “new” starts to wear off the semester and so does the initial excitement.Â But we’re now providing a great hang out time before the night moves upstairs w/ a little snack supper.
And then we’re offering a revamped “game room” of sorts. It’s like a siren call to me when I’m in my office. Down the hall I can hear the Wii and the XBox 360 calling my name. But I’ve pretty much resisted them so far.
But the new semester has been busy and a blur. But good. And looking forward to what’s around the corner.
So, years ago Iâ€™d helped with a lock-in close to Dallas. And we went to play Whirly Ball for a late night activity. When I was planning a Destination Unknown (DX) for my youth group a few summers ago I thought of Whirly Ball. But Jaybrams recommended Group Dynamix right there in Dallas instead. Having never heard of it I did a little research on it. And it was awesome. So awesome that I went back last weekend for my 3rd DX.
Basically itâ€™s a huge HUGE indoor ropes and challenge course. But they are experts in team building and initiative games. They would make a perfect event for youth groups, sports teams, OR adult corporate groups. But I think the best they have to offer is the lock-in, both for the experience AND for the price..
Our lock-in schedule was as follows.
8pm to 11pm: Orientation and games on the floor. It could be team games, individual games, total group games, etc. All constructed to encourage communication and cooperation. Again, very well run and very fun as well.
11pm to midnight: We had pizza delivered and had a bit of a break. LOTS of fluids were taken in at this point.
Midnight to 2am: Another orientation and then up to the upper ropes course. There were over a dozen â€œelementsâ€ to do. Some were fairly easy and some were very hard. But you were buddied up w/ someone else to make sure you were following the properÂ safe guards as you traversed around the course.
2am to 4am: The inflatables and general sports (ping pong, soccer, basketball) were set up. Also a movie on the HUGE wall was started up if you wanted to take a break. Also the laser tag course was being set up.
4am until:Laser tag and then the Wii and XBox 360 games started. Most people played LaserTag, but as the games went on, people started dropping out. Most everyone had been up since at least before 5am. And many had been up all night since they went to get the new Harry Potter book at midnight Friday. So even Wii Sports and Guitar Hero II (360 style) lost battles to sleepiness.
5:30ish:Most people finally crashed. Not everyone, but most.
7:30: Everyone up to eat a few donuts, shower off in front of the sink and load up just after 8am to head home.
So…if you have the stamina or extra drivers to be able to drive to Dallas and back w/o a lot of sleep, Iâ€™d whole heartedly recommend Group Dynamix for a youth event. And the cost is very, very reasonable…especially when you realize you don not hav eto worry with paying for a hotel stay. (The best part of our trip was that the AC didn’t work in the back of the bus…
Call and ask for Andrea. Tell her Blake from Mississippi sent you. And ask for Caleb as your facilitator. You kids will have a great time and theyâ€™ll think you planned an awesome trip.
And don’t think that Whirly Ball isn’t good. Here are links to the Atlanta and Dallas Whirly Ball Courts.
Two years ago the youth ministry took a Destination Unknown trip to Dallas. We repeated the trip this past weekend. We scored some tickets to Six Flags over Texas and then went to have a lock-in at Group Dynamix. All in all it was a great time. Destination Unknown is a youh trip where the kids don’t know where we’re going, they just show up and hop on the bus and we take off to parts unknown…
Six Flags was hot…and I mean HOT! I think most of us got close to dehydration just because of the heat. But when you can buy a $4 bottle of water, no one should get dehydrated, right? The food prices are atrocious at Six Flags. People would get a hamburger, fries, and a drink fr $12. A salad and bottle of water was $14. Papa John’s pizza was about the same. So the key is to sit with people who won’t eat all their food and finish it up for them.
The bus was pretty hot too. The AC worked in the front, but not in the back. So that made riding interesting. And we got hardly no sleep.Â I bet I got about 45 minutes of intense rest. I’m not going to call is “sleep”, but really good rest.
The guys who ran the show at Group Dynamix really did a good job. Caleb and Taylor knew the games well and how to make it fun and involved all the kids. I’ll give a more lengthly explanation of Group Dynamix soon.
Well, last Sunday was Bob‘s last Sunday. Now he’s headed to be a District Superintendent for the Starkville District. I guess if you gotta go somewhere, Starkville is a great place to go. So this Sunday will be an “off” day of sorts in the way of having a pastor, but then July 1st is Mitchell’s first Sunday here as our pastor.
We hate to see Bob leave. He was a great man to work both for and with. He’ll be missed. But I think Mitchell will be a great man to work for and with as well.
BUT…big news this week was that Tracy, the Associate Youth Minister that worked with me turned in her letter of resignation. So in the next couple of weeks I’ll be flying solo for a while. But I hope we’re able to get the position filled before school starts. I think that it would be important to have the two responsibilities divided between me and them Jr. High and Sr. High. The way things were with Tracy and me was that it was almost a complete overlap in most responsibilities.