Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Mark DeVries

He came to our church this past weekend for an Understanding Your Teenager seminar...I lined this up to be a ministry to our students by being a ministry to their parents...man, it was a great seminar!...we had close to 70 parents show up...if you are one of my youth ministry friends, or are in another area of ministry, I would highly recommend that you bring this group to do a seminar for your parents...the speaker takes the parents through twelve truths about teenagers and what to do about them...I'm not giving them to you...if i did, you wouldn't need them to come to your church...anyway, I think that the seminar was not only informative, but also very encouraging...Mark said two general things in particular that would be especially encouraging if I had teenagers of my own:
  1. If your kids are acting like aliens and you think you are screwing up, you are not alone and you are actually doing your job well.
  2. We Win (since the kids end up acting like their parents, much to their dismay, in a sense the parents win in the long run)...funny stuff.

On a side but related note, Mark also provided some very helpful info regarding youth ministry...he has been a youth a family minister in Nashville for several years...the two things that stood out in that conversation were:
  1. Leave time each week for "balcony time" (taken from a business book)...what this means is setting aside a couple of hours each week to look at the ministry from above - from the balcony - and to look ahead...where do you want to take the ministry and how do we get there?...it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day and get wrapped up in the urgent...but if you don't take the time to get the birds-eye view, you/I will just be running on the treadmill but not really getting anywhere...maybe I'll start this next week.
  2. Tips on recruiting...he suggested that I compile a list of 100 potential youth leaders (which means spending more time in the lobby before and after services and getting to know people)...categorize the list into the Michael Jordans (they would be so money if they were a youth leader, the 'they would be good leaders', and the 'probably would need some work but they would be OK'...this should be done in the early spring (now) to get ready for the fall...from there, start making phone calls, start spreading the vision, and start praying (I added that)...I have my work cut out for me...
On a final side note, Mark was a great guy, very warm and very funny...I was glad to meet him...kinda' strange that he wanted to be in bed by 8pm, but who am I to judge?...heck, he's training for a marathon and I just finished a cinnamon roll...

2 comments:

clave said...

Fitz, you have my brain moving!

I actually called DeVries at a Youth Specialties seminar. He was a great mix between inspiring theory and helpful practicality. Plus, he seemed like a real genuine guy.

matt said...

Ha! We had this guy do an Understanding Your Teenager seminar when I was doing youth ministry in DC. Sad to say that I don't remember much about it, though. I was the low man on the totem pole, so I was in charge of food--if I remember right, I was making coffee, pouring Cokes, and setting out Krispy Kreme through most of it. Ah, the memories. Sheesh...

p.s. By the way, I HATE when businesses intentionally misspell words--krispy, kreme, nite, kozy, cheez, etc. AAGGHH! Almost as bad as your cliches from hell list, I think.