Monday, August 28, 2006

A Sweet "Thing"

The Senior Thing is complete, and it was a great retreat (no, I'm not trying to rhyme, at least not all the time).
Seriously, one of the best Senior Things I have had yet. The weekend was titled "on the move."

It was a mystery retreat, the students did not know where they were going. On Friday evening at the church they received a clue that led them to the North Bend Taco Time. Upon arrival they were to look for the next clue. This clue told them to eat a fast food meal and then with the clues they were led to Lake Kachess (just over Snoqualmie Pass). The group arrived at about 7:40.

The retreat was divided by four main "sessions." The first three sessions each had an Initiative Game. These are team building/problem solving games. The games woud conclude with a debriefing/Bible Study session. Friday nights session helped us to understand a sense of what it is like to be alone (the positives and the negatives). We concluded the evening with s'mores, great fireside conversations and falling asleep to the sounds of Gale Creek.

Saturday started with a great breakfast and another session. This session helped us to understand working together (1 Cor. 12). After the morning session we left camp and headed up to a waterfall area (complete with some "safe" cliff jumping areas). We had fun watching each other jump into very cold water. We also had lunch at this location.

To conclude the water area the seniors were given their next clues... Get to I-90, phone a friend with internet, look up a website, get the secret number code and find the address. The address just happened to be my parents home. My mom and dad were gone and gave me the ok to have the second part of the retreat at their house. Upon arrival we split into Guys and Gals lifeboats. The guys played my favorite frisbee golf course (you'll have to ask them who won) and then they headed to Randy Kent's house for cleaning up for the evening. The gals took off for Starbucks and then my house where my girls hosted their clean-up. I secretly stayed at my parents and cooked an Italian dinner for all of us to enjoy on their deck.

The evening was filled with great conversation, sharp looking students and staff (we dressed up) and another initiative in which the group had to work together (and they did). We also had some time around a campfire sharing some very encouraging words for one another!

The final session (Sunday morning) put the exclamation point on the weekend. I broke the group into two groups (mixed genders). They were assigned to go to a different church. Half the group went to Maple Valley Presbyterian and the other half to Lake Sawyer Christian Church. I had two goals in mind:
1. Some of these students will be looking for a church of their own if they leave the area (for college/career) in the years to come. I hoped they would begin to see the differences in styles, doctrine, etc.
2. I wanted them to feel the potential awkwardness of being "new." This would help open their eyes as to what a stranger might feel at Boulevard and/or The Harbor.
The groups arrived and they were then divided into smaller segments, two of our students (Nate and Lynne) even went to church by themselves (they didn't walk in as a group). The others were in pairs or a triplet.

We gathered together to conclude the weekend at lunch. Qdoba served up some great food and the students/staff served up great conversation about the church services. We talked about the differences, how they were/weren't welcomed, what we can do in our settings and a lot more!

We have a great group of seniors. They NEED our prayers! Are you praying?


Friday, August 25, 2006

Senior Thing

Several years back I had the idea of having a short retreat for the seniors-to-be. This retreat was to be held at the beginning (or just before) the students senior year. I had a hard time coming up with a name... "Senior Trip" seems to be an end-of-the-year celebration; "Retreat" is just used way to often; it isn't necessarily a "camp" so I don't want to use that title, so... "The Senior Thing" was born. Not very descriptive, but it works.

Anyway, that's what's happening this weekend. The weekend is titled "On The Move." For our students it is a mystery retreat. They don't know where they are going, and won't know until they figure out how to get there (they'll receive clues). Should be a lot of fun.

I use this retreat to begin to think through the year and the role a senior will play at our church and in our ministry. Please pray for the class of 2007. I really look forward to seeing how they will be used for the Lord!

**I have posted the Boot Camp flyers on www.bppc.org. Check out the changes to the website, slowly but surely I am trying to bring that site up to speed.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm Back!

Let me start by saying, "sorry." I have wanted to post a number of times, however, it seems I have had other pressing needs (and sometimes wants) that have taken on priority status. I must remember that prayer needs to be one of our biggest priorities and this blog is one way we can help many with that priority. So, will you forgive me?

The last couple of weeks have been a roller-coaster. Great things followed by some tough stuff. All-in-all we're at a good stage in our ministry. Let me share something I shared last night at our first of 3 SMS (student ministry staff) dinners.

John 2:1-11 is where Jesus does his first miracle. In small groups we read over the passage a couple times and talked about what happened, the spiritual significance and what we should do now as a result--good discussions. Then, after the meal we sat down as a larger group and I shared my thoughts as this passage applied to us as a ministry.
Observation #1: At the wedding celebration they discovered that they were out of wine.
Observation #2: They filled the jars with water
Observation #3: They served the master of the wedding banquet.

You might be thinking, "duh, anyone can make those observations." Yes, you are right, but now let me go a little further with our ministry.
#1: Over the last 6-8 months I believe that we too have discovered that we are on empty. We were going through the motions from about December to June as a staff.
#2: We're filling the jars. As we are doing these SMS dinners, preparing for the year we are in the midst of filling our jars with our water. As leaders we need to be in the Word, in fellowship, using accountability and spending time in prayer. These are all the "common" things that we know we ought to be doing (water being the "common" element with which Jesus performed his first miracle).
#3: We need to serve the master. Our master is not only our "Master" (as in God), but our lower-case m, master (students, parents, strangers, each other). In Matthew 25:31 and following Jesus gives us instruction on serving "the least of these." Everything we do as a Christian needs to be done with the Master in mind. Serving the lower-case m, master is serving the Master.
The cool part to me--Jesus took the common element of water and did a miracle. I believe the Lord will do the same with us this year. We saw that the jars were empty, we're faithful in filling up the jars and now we must be faithful to serve the master... Jesus will do the miracle, we must just be faithful.

So, here is where you come in--Prayer! Are you willing, able and ready to ask for the miracle? I hope so.

I would appreciate your thoughts, your meditations and reaction to this post. Where did it cause your mind to go?

I have specific prayer roles that we're looking to fill. Some, I know, will just want to be faithful to reading the blog and responding in prayer--praise the Lord and thank you! However, there might be some that are looking to make this a ministry opportunity for our students. If this is you, will you let me know (email me: brian@workwithyouth.com).

I'm looking for prayer point people for the following areas:
Sunday School
Parent Ministry
Events and Retreats

Hope you have a blessed day!


Tuesday, August 08, 2006


That's the sound I made as I hit the pillow on Sunday night.

After 2 wonderful trips (3 if you include my quick jaunt away with my wife for our 10 year anniversary) it was finally time to rest my head on my own pillow on my own bed!

Your prayers were felt throughout both trips; I only wish I could have updated more often (no and or limited cell or email service at both locations).

There is certainly much follow-up to do and some very hard situations that we have (get) to deal with as a result. Please pray for those situations! I know that the Lord will guide us through some tough and wonderful conversations. Your prayers will continue to be answered.

This morning we had a great beginning to our "Getting Grounded"--A Bible Study/Fellowship time at Olympic Coffee. This discipleship time takes place on Tuesdays from 10:30 to Noon through the month of August. This morning there were 15 teens and 5 leaders. Praise the Lord.

Tomorrow we have a Jr. High Waterfront and M's Game. Jr. Highers are encouraged to come and bring their friends. We'll meet at the church at 10:00 AM and should be back around 5:15 PM. Lunch is included at the game (total cost of $10). We'll hit the waterfront (and Pike Place) and then go to the game.

Next Monday is another Wave Event--6 Flags Wild Waves. Please let us know if you're planning on coming (brian@workwithyouth.com or Sclaud@hotmail.com).

Next Tuesday we have "Getting Grounded" and then a 6:30 PM Worship Night for Harbor folk at John and Lisa Siedenburg's home. All of the info for these events and the summer permission slip can be found at www.bppc.org.

Last, praise God for a quick fix of the bus and a great clean-up day. There were about 10-12 teens and a few leaders that helped clean the vans and the kitchen today after their uses on the WC/BC! Thanks everyone!


Friday, August 04, 2006

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play