i am firmly convinced that youth ministry as a whole is far to masculine in it’s nature. so much of what youth ministries do (my own included) is naturally more appealing to males than to females. we play active games. we use gross and odd events. so many of the leaders within youth ministries are male. student ministry is definitely a male oriented ministry.

so a while back i decided to do something about it by doing and event where there was absolutely zero male involvement. we call this our “feminar.” we did this for the first time last year and our girls loved it. it is the absolute opposite of any event that i would ever put on if i were in charge. last year’s feminar included a craft time and a fashion show in addition to the bible studies that set the tone for the night. i would never think of doing a fashion show. i still think the concept is stupid. yet it worked incredibly well. our girls loved it and it helped make sure real connections for our girls who had been visiting until then.

we’re doing it again this year february 4th & 5th. once again i won’t have anything to do with it. i can’t wait.

set up for the view – january 5, 2005

last night at the view we did another “chair worship service”. the “chair worship service” is based on the often quoted description of worship from soren kierkegaard, his description of worship is that it is like a theater and that the danes of his age misunderstood the places of everyone within the theater of worship. soren kierkegaard said the places within the theater of worship at that time were:

  • the congregation was in the seats watching the performance
  • the ministers were on the side of the stage directing the performance
  • GOD was on the stage giving the performance

kierkegaard said that worship was actually like a theater but that the above positions were wrong. the correct positions were:

  • the congregation is on the stage doing the performance
  • the ministers were on the side of the stage directing the performance
  • GOD is the AUDIENCE WHO the performance is for

so when we do our “chair worship” we clear the stage and make it the area of the AUDIENCE. we move our praise band to the side or the back and reverse everything else. we change the pa speakers and monitors. we then place a single chair on the stage as a physical reminder that we are signing to GOD.

i explain the whole process through a powerpoint presentation that describes what is going to happen. the service begins with this and then goes into worship through singing. we’ve done this three times over the past two years. it’s been a great way to remind the teens and adults why we do what we do.

here are pictures from our set up.




an incredible story from the bbc


you’ve got to read this:

    Tsunami man survives week at sea

    An Indonesian man has been found floating on tree branches in the Indian Ocean, eight days after a devastating tsunami struck the region. Rizal Shahputra, 23, said he was initially swept out to sea with other survivors and family members, but that one by one they drowned.

    He was rescued on Monday by a passing container vessel. He was taken to Malaysia where officials said he was in good condition – he survived eating floating coconuts.

    Rizal said he was cleaning a mosque in Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra on 26 December when the tsunami struck. Children ran in to warn him, but he was swept out to sea, along with several other people.

    “At first, there were some friends with me,” Rizal told reporters. “After a few days, they were gone… I saw bodies left and right.”

    He drank rainwater, and ate coconuts, which he reportedly cracked open with a doorknob.

    Rizal said at least one ship sailed by without noticing him before the MV Durban Bridge spotted him, 160km (100 miles) from Banda Aceh.

    Huang Wen Feng, a crew member of the ship, said he was “very, very surprised” to see Rizal standing on his wood debris on Monday. “He was shouting at us. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

    The Japanese-owned ship, which was returning to Malaysia from South Africa, took Rizal to the Malaysian port of Port Klang, where he arrived on Wednesday.

    He was taken to hospital, weak and in shock, and having sustained some cuts to his legs.

    His survival follows that of a woman, also from Aceh, who was found in the sea on Friday. She had fish bites to her legs, and had survived on fruit from the palm tree she was clinging to.