Where do I go now?

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Since this blog of mine was centered around youth ministry and now that I’m transitioning out of youth ministry, it’s only necessary that I change blog names and addresses. So, to hear more thoughts about what happens in my mind along with other ideas of what I’m planning in our church, Ignite Church, head on over to nickwhittenhall.wordpress.com. You can also check out my church’s website ignitechurchmn.com (still in the making, though).

I’ll still probably post a few more youth ministry thoughts here in the remaining weeks that I’m a youth pastor. It’s been quite a ride here. Can’t wait to see what’s next around the corner.

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The Array Of It All

Posted: February 11, 2012 in Development
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One of the things I’ve been struggling through this transition is how to handle the array of emotions I see from people. Some have been SUPER excited and affirming in this call to plant a church. Others seem…well…angry, sad, and/or hurt. One thing I’m learning…you can’t please them all. I’ve been at my church for almost 9 years. I’m sure there are some worries as to what will happen next. There are probably a lot of questions floating around. I know they will get answered, just in time…and if people ask those question rather than just wondering. Some people who look hurt, sad, or angry never seem to express it. And I wonder why? Why not tell me what you’re feeling? I know it’s something to process, but in my mind I’m thinking, “Let’s process it together.” But people process in their own ways.

I guess what gets me through it all is the knowledge of knowing that this is what God has called me to…and…the people who are excited for me. I know that they will be praying for me. They see the call God has placed in me and are supporting me. This is huge to my family and I.

Uncharted Territory

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Development, Leadership
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Last week was a tough one. I announced my resignation as Youth Pastor of North Haven Church. Why would I do such a thing? Especially since I LOVE my job? And I LOVE the students I work with? Well, that answer is simple yet difficult. God has placed on my heart a desire for leading people to Jesus Christ. In this desire, God has called me to plant a church! Yes, start a new church from scratch. Studies have shown that the best way to evangelize is by planting churches. People, the un-churched and de-churched, are more willing to try something new, unestablished. It’s through this venture that I am called to preach the message of God. Am I scared about this? YES! But I know that God has called me to this and is going before me. And I know that because God has huge plans for me, he has huge plans for the youth ministry that I am leaving.

The most important thing I keep thinking about is the STRONG desire to hear from the mouth of Jesus when I see him face to face is, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Nothing short of that is acceptable. So I will say that I have faith, walk by that faith, and live by that faith.

For the remander of this blog, I might just be posting how this transition is going and what’s going thought my mind as I process all this. Being that I’ve never done this before, I’m in uncharted territory. So please, bare with me.

Son Sitting In

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Development, Leadership, Youth Ministry
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This week at youth group, my oldest son was having a hard time in Sparks. So they brought him up to me while I was leading youth group. This has never happened before so I was little concerned for my little guy. He sat so patiently in the back of the room just watching me “do my thing”.

In the past, I’ve tried bringing him with me to events and youth group only to find that in those times, he’s been needy and felt the need for me to hold him. That’s not really doable when you’re up front teaching. I was afraid when I saw him and his Sparks teacher come into our youth room that that’s what I would have to do.

Boy was I wrong. His behavior that night makes me second guess that I can’t bring him to any event. He is, after all 5 years old. I know many other youth pastors bring their younger kids with them. Maybe now I can.

It’s been over a month since I last posted an article. I sound like I should be in Blogger Anonymous. Here’s why…I’ve been SUPER busy, duh. Barely time to do any personal fun stuff. I’m an (well, was) and avid rock climber that hasn’t climbed in a LONG time. I’m a book reader that loves to improve my spiritual walk and leadership that hasn’t read either of the books that I’m in the middle of. I’m a family man that has spent some time wrestling my boys in our ‘cage match’. I could go in, but I’d bore you to tears.

Anyway, I would love to say that starting New Years, I’ll start posting more regularly, but like most New Years resolutions, I’d probably fail like the rest of them. So with all that, I’m trying to put scheduled posting times on my calendar to help me remember to do just that; Spew my youth ministry thoughts on this digital paper for others to read and either learn from and use or laugh at and reject. Either way, I find it therapeutic.

Here’s to the future!

Trial By Fire

Posted: November 3, 2011 in Leadership, Youth Ministry
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Let me first start off by saying that I don’t get sick very often. Maybe one time a year and it’s just the sniffles. Recently, I hired an intern. He’s been working for me for about 2 months so I’m still getting to know him, his gifts, talents, etc.

Well, it was a Wednesday morning and I woke up sick…I mean really sick. I felt like I was laying on my death bed. I waited a couple of hours and let my intern know that he would probably have to lead the lesson that night because I was not going to make it that evening. His response? “Do you want me to continue with your series?” No hesitation on his part. This gains points in my mind for the success of this future leader. Granted I didn’t get to hear his message or watch his leadership, but from what I’ve heard so far, the night went well.

It really pays to have an intern! This was one of those “trial by fire” times.

But I also want to/have to say this. When I texted all my leaders about how I wouldn’t be there because I was sick and that the intern would lead the night…one leader responded, “Get better soon! We got it”. I truly have the best leaders a youth pastor can have. I hope and pray that they know how thankful I am for each and every one.

Thank your youth leaders today! They deserve it!

Youth ministry is a VERY busy job. Meeting with students, watching their sport/activities, planning, writing, recruiting, training, and the list goes on. Not to mention family time. It’s hard to write 2-3 messages a week. That’s one for Jr. High, one for Sr. High, and one for Sunday mornings. So, I’m always looking for good curriculum to use. One that allows me to easily modify it to fit my needs.

I love the resources that lifechurch.tv have come out with, like the youversion bible. While poking around their stuff I came across their Open resources. They have a ton of stuff for speaking to teens. It comes with messages, videos, graphics, even small group questions. I recently used one of their series called “Greater Than” to try out this resource. I have to say…INCREDIBLE. Loved using it. I could easily make it my own. I didn’t have to reinvent graphics. It made my life a lot easier. I highly recommend that you check it out and give it a try. After all…it’s FREE!