Thinking Out Loud

June 8, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Thanks for all of you who voted for us as Top Christian Blog Link List Published on a Wednesday.   Our visitor at right can be purchased as a poster at, though, truth be told, there isn’t much you can’t buy there.

  • Angela Wyatt — as in Angela Schuller Wyatt — reports at Christian Post as to Why The Selling of the Crystal Cathedral is a Bad Idea.  Highlight: ” In any U.S. corporation, the leadership would be REMOVED in the face of bankruptcy.  As long as the current leadership maintains control, there will be no positive change at the Crystal Cathedral. They’re buying time by hawking one of America’s greatest cathedrals. Their actions will only delay the inevitable. It’s like loaning money to a gambler.”
  • Who better than The Pipe-ster himself to challenge Rick Warren as to whether or not he’s “deep” enough as a preacher.  Piper sits down with the Saddleback pastor and Purpose Driven author for a longer interview.  This YouTube link will actually set you up to watch a number of the topics  continiously in a playlist.   Even though you’re not a pastor, there are some good issues raised here.
  • On the other hand, I’d say this one is deep, and it’s in, of all places, The Washington Post.  Kyle Roberts and Adam Rao contrast popular “rapture theology” with what what they prefer, calling it “Biblical Eschatology,” or if you like, “de-raptured theology.”
  • Here’s a site you’re going to want to bookmark and return to often, though maybe not if you have high blood pressure issues.  Faith and the Law’s Blog highlights stories where churches encounter the legal system in all of its forms (legislation, justice, enforcement, etc.) in various parts of the world; such as, for example, this story where a Charlotte area church was fined $40,000 (US) for improper trimming of their trees.  Seriously.  It was based on $100 per branch.
  • “Hey, That’s Not in the Bible!”   A CNN Belief Blog item about non-existent Biblical quotes has now crossed the 6,000 comment line.  So now there’s a best of the comments item, but it’s crossed the 1,o00 comment mark.
  • Dan Bouchelle reminds us that being a former pastor doesn’t mean that all interest in former parishioners and counselees disappears when the paychecks stop coming.  Basically, it all comes down to motivation.
  • Youth ministry people:  Here’s a new blog from New Zealand that started a few weeks ago and has already received a healthy response.  It’s called Ideas for Youth Ministry in New Zealand but blogger Amy wants to collaborate with people from other parts of the world.
  • This link actually ran here a long time ago, but it’s an excellent article by Craig Groeshel on Generational Tension In The Church.
  • Here’s another one that was still in my files from December of last year.  It’s a longer article on Why C. S. Lewis’ Popularity Still Endures.
  • For this week’s link list cartoon, we return, after a long absence to Dan Lietha and the After Eden comic at the Answers in Genesis site.  (Click the image to link.)


September 12, 2008

Better Safe…

Filed under: Christianity, Church — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:26 pm

It’s 10:10 PM.   My youngest son decided tonight was a good night to check out a youth group where a few kids from his school go.   It’s not our home church.   I encouraged him to do this, because I’ve had some concerns about the safety of some of the games they play at our home church.   Although it’s not true, and although this church’s youth group is not at all large; the place apparently has a bit of a reputation among some other youth pastors for kids getting injured.   Thus the push to try something new tonight, though this one was my second choice.

Instead, tonight my son is roaming around downtown.   They’re on something called a “prayer walk.”   This apparently involves walking to the three high schools in our neighboring town, which are spread out over a wide area.  My wife had to be in that town anyway, so it seemed logical that she pick him up.   But at 10:10 PM, she’s not impressed.

I phoned a couple of other parents.   They didn’t seem worried.   So I stopped worrying.  But still, I don’t like the idea of these kids kinda roaming the streets at this hour on a Friday night.   Call me old fashioned.  Call me overprotective.  Call me conservative.

So it seemed like a good time to make some of you aware of this book:  Better Safe Than Sued: Keeping Your Students and Ministry Alive by Jack Crabtree & Youth Specialties.   I’ve actually read part of this book; I keep a copy under the counter at the store to show youth pastors when (or if*) they drop by.   It’s extremely well written; one of the things you notice right away is the economy of words; this could have easily been padded into twice its 236 pages, but the author didn’t want to waste words.

In our litigious society, this is a must read for youth workers, and whatever board members hold the youth ministry oversight in their board portfolio.   There are also a number of different forms (permission, etc.) on the accompanying CD-ROM.   I know a couple of local youth ministries I’d like to see get a copy, and tonight, I’m sure Mrs. W. does also.

Publisher marketing from the back cover:

Most youth workers will admit that they don’t spend a lot of time thinking about safety in their youth ministry. Sure, they shout, “Seat belts!” when the crew loads into the van, or they use the buddy system when at theme parks. But beyond that, they’re mostly concerned with introducing students to Jesus. Nothing’s wrong with looking after their spiritual well-being, but overlooking their safety can lead to pain and problems for you, your students, your church, or your community.

The reality is, whether it’s a game of dodgeball in the church gym, or a rock climbing trip during a summer retreat, you have precious cargo in your care, and it’s your responsibility to make sure they return home safely and in one piece.

Better Safe Than Sued is an essential guidebook for anyone in youth ministry-paid or volunteer, veteran or rookie. Along with questions to get you thinking about your own ministry context after each chapter, inside you’ll discover how you can make your ministry a safe place for students and leaders as you read about:
– Safety while riding in buses, vans, and cars
– Camps, retreats, and conferences
– Selecting staff
– Avoiding sexual misconduct
– Establishing a No-Bully Zone
– How to handle injuries, and much more

Make sure your ministry is safe and that you’re protected so you never have to be the one saying, “I never took safety seriously until …”


(*the “if” refers to the fact that at one large local church, about 20 families have boycotted our store and I think in the process we’ve lost contact with at least one youth pastor; but I can’t go into detail because I never know who’s reading this locally…)

10:25 PM – Still not back.

10:55 PM – They’ve arrived back at the church; this should put him home about 11:10 PM.

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