THIS IS NOT MY STORY – but i have to tell it anyway

alan, the assistant youth minister at parkview, had a wreck today. or maybe i should say that his truck had a wreck today. you see alan wasn’t in his truck at the time of the accident.

alan parked his car in front of the student center and then got out to take some stuff inside. after taking things into the building he had to take some other items into the church office. this was going to keep him busy for awhile.

apparently alan forgot to pull out his emergency brake.

after about 20 minutes of being parked in the same place alan’s truck seems to have decided to go for a little drive. of course, trucks don’t usually realize that they can’t drive themselves and thus when alan’s truck decided to go for a ride it didn’t do very well with steering. instead of a small drive with turns and excitement all his truck was actually able to do was go straight backwards with no control towards the road and ditch that were behind it.

i’m sure this scared alan’s truck to death. of course, it couldn’t have scared the truck near as bad as it did the poor young lady whose car was behind alan’s rampaging truck. you see there were cars waiting at the stop sign that was directly behind alan’s moving truck. one young lady was in line for this stop sign with a car ahead of her and a car behind her and she was right in the route that alan’s truck had decided to take. she honked, and honked, but it is a little known fact that trucks generally have really bad hearing. apparently alan’s truck was unable to hear her honking and thus did not stop until it backed right into her driver’s side door. thankfully her car stopped alan’s truck from running into the ditch.

nobody was hurt from this little adventure and very little damage was done to the vehicles. it’s just too bad that alan’s truck had to learn to stay in one place in this awful manner.

you rang?

for the past year i have kept the exact same message on my cell phone voice messaging system. here’s what it says:

    hi, you’ve reached the voice mail of robert terrell, associate pastor of student ministries at parkview baptist church and the emergency minister on call for the week beginning sunday, december 28, 2003. if you have an emergency please leave your name and number and i will call back immediately. i am most likely just distracted at this moment and couldn’t pick up the phone. otherwise leave your name and number and i’ll return your call and i’ll return your call just as soon as possible. if it is an emergency please state that it is an emergency.

as you can see by the date that i say in the message it is way out of date. i was the emergency minister on call for the week that i recorded that message and after it was done i just decided to see how many people would say “hey, you need to update your message.” my goal has worked because i get that allot people telling me that i need to update my message. it’s sad but it makes me laugh every time. it’s a cheap laugh but still al laugh none the less. the absolute best part has been when i get the same person to tell me over and over again that my message needs to be changed. that’s the greatest.

the problem is that my message seems to have lost some of its punch. i guess people begin to realize you are not going to change your message after they listen to it for a year. the only people who ever say anything about changing my message now are those who call me for the first time. i guess it’s time for a change. so i’ll change the message when the 28th rolls around. that way it will have been on my phone for a year. for now, hopefully i get a few other people to say “you need to change your message.”


in february, alan l, came on board with the youth ministry as the assistant youth minister. when he started one of the things i wanted to happen was for us to swap off speaking at the view every other month. before alan arrived i had been speaking consistently with a few other people every now and then. now i’m speaking one month and then listening to alan the next month.

at first, i didn’t really like this.

after years of preferring small groups (small groups have feedback and interaction while large groups don’t) i’ve finally gotten to the place in ministry where i enjoy speaking in front of larger groups. so, at first the thought of speaking for a month and then listening for a month wasn’t that thrilling. i felt like it threw my groove off.

that was before i went to the national youth workers’ convention and heard rob bell do his critical concerns course (8 hours of conference) on having “a revolutionary voice”. during the conference he talked about letting messages and ideas “ruminate” in your head for awhile. i’ve tried to do this before by having my messages planed out for a while. yet, i have never done this anywhere near as well as rob bell. he said he never speaks about anything unless it has been bouncing around in his head for 3 to 6 months. the advantage of this is that GOD starts to provide teachable moments and ideas during this period of “rumination”. these things then relate to your messages and add freshness and depth to them.

this “rumination” is what has changed my mind concerning speaking every other month. during my off month i have the time to simply listen to GOD concerning what HE wants me to speak about during the next month. i’ve planned out by prayer what i will be speaking on through november of 2005. everything i read, watch, listen to, and experience has the possibility of becoming something that GOD can deliver the message through. having the extra month gives me the time to figure out how to communicate what needs to be said. i throughly believe that my messages are getting much better simply because of the fact that i have the time to let them simmer a little while.

i am very thankful for this system now.

i kind of think that this might be a good system for churches. have two main speakers and have them swap off months or message series. in order to do this you would have to have two people who were very secure in their positions and humble. it would have to be two people who would not end up in a sense competing against each other. i know a few ministers and unfortunately i think it would be hard to find allot of people who would fit in this system..