Josh Griffin Leaves More Than Dodgeball Blog

Doug Fields blogged on how Josh Griffin is leaving his More Than Dodgeball blog:

My good friend Josh Griffin is taking a BIG leap of faith. We’ve been doing-life-together for more than a decade and I’ve been thrilled to watch him grow as a husband, dad, leader, youth pastor, teacher and blogger. It’s really so fun to watch people you love develop right in front of you. I’m so proud of him and have become his biggest fan. And, now he’s taking another big risk 10 years later (first one was moving from Michigan to California to work with me):

He’s jumping from the safety and security of having the most popular blog in youth ministry… to essentially start over. Josh and I are joining forces to do one super youth ministry blog on the newly designed DownloadYouthMinistry.com (which launches July 1 … if the geek).

That’s right! It’s BIG news in the small youth ministry space–that as of next week Josh is leaving the uber-popular blog that he created (but owned by Simply Youth Ministry) called More Than Dodgeball–where he wrote more than 6,000 blog posts and collected over 18,000 comments.

Here’s what Josh wrote on his blog this past week that I thought was really challenging, especially now that you know more of the story:

When God says go, you go. But remember sometimes the leap of faith means staying and sticking it out.

Isn’t it funny when God gives you peace about something that sounds crazy? Don’t stay because of a false sense of security. But don’t leave because of big challenges ahead.

The key is obedience. Obey God’s voice when He speaks to you. Sometimes he SHOUTS, sometimes you can barely figure out what He is saying. But when you do it is unmistakable and our only response must be to obey.

I hope you attempt something crazy this next season in ministry. I hope you take a leap of faith into the unknown, I hope you are listening to what God is telling you to do next. A great adventure lies ahead!

I’m going to stop blogging here and combine forces with Josh at the new DownloadYouthMinistry.com.

This is massive news for the youth ministry blog world, and one that will hopefully continue to see lots of voices develop at More than Dodgeball whilst Josh and Doug continue to share their thoughts with us.

Top 10 posts of 2012

As is customary at this time of year, here’s my top 10 posts of the year:

  1. Yorkshire 7th in Olympic medals table
  2. Egg on your head – Easter assembly
  3. Books I have read: The Freedom Writers Diary
  4. Ford advert – man dives through Ford B-Max
  5. LFC 2012-2013 – Pic 3
  6. Liverpool agree loan deal for Nuri Sahin
  7. David Beckham unveils Jesus and cherubs tattoo
  8. Top Church Websites of 2012
  9. Light Live: free resource from Scripture Union
  10. Andy Crouch writes … Dear Mumford & Sons

I’m a little disappointed that out of the top 10 only 5 are directly linked to what I normally blog about – I think it inspires me that I need to create good original content and find better ways to share it with others.

Jesus Would Be on Facebook if He Lived Today, German Priest Says

twitter

Head of Germany’s Catholic Church, Robert Zollitsch, has given everyone celebrating something new to think about the Christmas story. Zollitsch told a German newspaper that if Jesus were alive today, he’d be Facebook friends with all of his followers.

“Fundamentally all media are suited to bring the word of God to the people,” he told German paper The Local. “Jesus would certainly today be on Facebook and Twitter.”

Zollitsch’s statement comes after the Catholic Pope joined Twitter (@Pontifex) earlier in December, and has seven different language accounts.

What do you think of the priest’s statement?  Would you want to connect with Jesus on Facebook if he were alive today.

Chocolate Brussel Sprouts

Christmas brussel sprouts

This is part of the all-age talk I did from our Children’s Christmas Praise yesterday morning:

Announce that you love Christmas so much, that you want to share it with everybody, and that what you have with you is something that will always remind them of Christmas day – delicious truffles!

Ask for a couple of volunteers to see if they can emulate Christmas day, by eating as many truffles as they can in 1 minute.  Build up the expectation and emphasise the need for speed in the challenge.

Once they start eating the ‘truffles’, they’ll realise that there’s something not quite right and their facial expressions will change from ones of sheer delight, to ones of outright disgust a they discover the sprouts. (You may want to have a plastic bag handy at this point!)

OK, so it’s a bit revolting, but here’s the point.

Ask who loves chocolate, and also, who loves sprouts.  Say that Christmas, for most of us is a time of celebration, indulgence and happiness.  We love the ‘niceness’ of the Christmas season. It’s a bit like chocolate!

Go on to say that for many people, Christmas is not an easy time. For some it’s a time of loneliness, homelessness and struggle. For many people, Christmas is like our experience of sprouts – something to struggle through.

You could mention the first Christmas as an example. Mary was blessed with the news that she was to be the mother of God’s son, but probably struggled with knowing that her life could be in danger because of her pregnancy.

Challenge people to consider how they spend Christmas – to be grateful for the Christmas they have, and to be mindful of those who will struggle through Christmas.

Sterling signs five-year deal with Liverpool

Raheem Sterling

Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling has committed his future to Liverpool by signing a long-term contract, the club announced on Friday.

It was rumored that the 18 year old was attracting interest from Manchester United and Arsenal but Sterling decided to put his signature on a new deal at Anfield, putting an end to speculation that he might leave Liverpool football club.

He told Liverpoolfc.com:

“It’s every 18-year-old’s dream. I’m just really grateful to be at such a big club like this.  There’s a lot more to be done. I haven’t begun yet, as the manager has said. Hopefully I can kick on after the New Year and try to do my best for the team and the football club.”

Sterling joins Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Suso and Jonjo Shelvey all who have committed their long-term future to Liverpool under new manager Brendan Rodgers.  The future looks bright.

Raising the Kidds

Raising the Kidds

Hannah, my fantastic wife, has recently taken up blogging, starting a blog called Raising the Kidds.

The blog follows her adventures of looking after our two boys Daniel (two years and ten months) and Joshua (eleven months), and me!  I am biased but I think it is well worth a read so go check it out, add it to your favourites/google reader etc.

Why You Should Consider a Social Media Fast

Kevin DeYoung has written a fascinating post on Good thoughts Why You Should Consider a Social Media Fast, here’s a little snippet:

I think you should consider a fast periodically—for a few days, a week, or maybe longer. Here’s how I benefited from being away (more or less) for two weeks.

  • I checked the internet less. I hate to say it, but I find the web less fascinating when I’m not on it! For two weeks I didn’t need to read any blog comments. I didn’t check my “mentions” or my “likes.” And because I wasn’t swimming in the virtual deeps, I wasn’t distracted by what others might be saying about me. All in all, it meant less time roaming around with no particular purpose.
  • I thought about myself less. I wasn’t a “player” in the blog world for two weeks. I wasn’t ruffling anyone’s feathers. I wasn’t hitting anyone’s sweet spot. I just wasn’t around (virtually speaking). Consequently, I didn’t need to think about how I was being received or what response I was getting. I think I’ve grown in this area a lot in the past couple years, but the break was still refreshing.
  • I felt free to keep my opinions unstated. Novel thought I know, but easier said than done for some of us. During my break I saw little skirmishes in the twitterverse or blogosphere come and go. I heard things in the news that I might want to comment on or had thoughts I wanted to share. But for two weeks it was freeing to think, “I won’t weigh in on any of it.” Obviously, I’m blogging again so I think there is value in “weighing in.” But cutting yourself from the urge to endless commentary is extremely healthy.
  • Social media drives us–relentlessly, punishingly, inexorably–to the now. It gives us the illusion of being up to date, current, relevant. And it shames us when we don’t know the newest meme and this week’s viral video. The medium does not encourage slow reflection or push us to the wisdom of the past. We need to fast from the information feast, lest we gorge ourselves on trivialities.

The line that stood out for me was: “We need to fast from the information feast, lest we gorge ourselves on trivialities.”  The key question is how do we ensure that in the information overload world we live in, we don’t get distracted by the trivialities of life – suggestions anyone?

Michael Hyatt on what he’s learned from writing 1,000 blog posts

Michael Hyatt with an interesting post on what he’s learned from blogging 1,000 posts. Here’s a clip of his article:

Blogging has established my authority and expertise. It used to be that you had to get a Ph.D. or write a book to establish your expertise in a subject area. While these are still valid paths, blogging provides a third alternative. For example, I do not have a degree in leadership nor have I written a book on that topic. Yet, I am constantly asked to speak on leadership and am interviewed by the media on this topic. Why? Because I have one of the most popular leadership blogs.