Brett.Ullman

Category - leadership

Why Most Churches Greet You Like It’s 1999: Carey Nieuwhof

Such a great blog with such a simple fix. Please take a few minutes to check it out!

When you welcome people to your church, do you still behave like it’s 1999?

See…you and I have moved from a world in which we had the ability to encourage people once or twice a week, to a world in which we can connect daily.

This isn’t just a promotional thing (don’t miss our big cheesy dinner Tuesday night!), it’s a discipleship thing.

Seriously, you can gain permission to speak into people’s spiritual journey regularly.

Publish helpful, useful content, and people will sign up to follow you. Don’t, and of course, they’ll unfollow you. The online world gives you instant feedback on whether you’re helping people or not. Just check your stats.

Click Here to read the entire blog.

How to raise emotionally healthy boys

Some great stuff here to help parents of boys.

The only tip father’s need is … be present. Michael Reist

Feminism has done a lot to pave the way for each new generation of women, but as barriers continue to be broken down for girls, are we forgetting about the boys? Michael Reist, author and teacher, thinks young males could use a bit more of our attention if they’re going to grow into emotionally healthy men.

Click here for the video.

War on Boys

Very interesting conversation.

I began thinking of this at my daughters Grade 8 Graduation back in June. I would say that 90% of the awards went to Grade 8 girls. There were some guys who got awards for Athletics. There were (if I remember correct) 2 boys who got Academic awards. The rest of the awards went to girls. I don’t think any boys got Citizenship or Arts awards at all. Check out this video. Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.

What ever happened to letting “boys be boys?” Take these two cases: In one, a seven-year-old boy was sent home for nibbling a Pop Tart into a gun. In another, a teacher was so alarmed by a picture drawn by a student (of a sword fight), that the boy’s parents were summoned in for a conference. In short, boys in America’s schools are routinely punished for being active, competitive, and restless. In other words, boys can no longer be boys. Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, explains how we can change this.

 

My favourite Graduation Poems

Last night was one of those special “moments” in life as I got to watch my daughter Zoe and a ton of her friends graduate from Grade 8.

There are 3 graduation poems that I have always loved. Thought I would share them with you. Enjoy!

  1. Dr Seuss: Oh, the Places You’ll Go

2. Baz Luhrman: Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded, but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. On some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you

Saying, don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through
Some day a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting but I’ve been waiting to be there for you
And I’ll be there just helping you out whenever I can

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft

Travel

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Never mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through
Some day a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting but I’ve been waiting to be there for you
And I’ll be there just helping you out whenever I can

Everybody see it oh yeah yeah

Everybody see it oh yeah
He want you to feel good!

3. Robert Fulghum: Everything I learned I learned in Kindergarten

The Unexpected Gift of Burnout

Some great thoughts here. I am seeing burnout everywhere I travel.

I prefer saying in burnout—present tense. It is a season in the valley of shadows, but the journey is far from ending. There is no defeat here, only a period of spiritual exile, where the exhaustion runs more deeply than simply being tired. Hope lies on the horizon.

Burnout is an overwhelming and all-encompassing exhaustion due to prolonged stress. It is pervasive, affecting the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of a person. In its wake lies depression, low energy, lack of immune system defenses, emotional numbness, and a sense of spiritual discouragement or defeat. The deep cynicism, the lack of desire to be around anyone, the brooding frustration and anger—this wasn’t what I signed up for when I got into youth ministry.

Click here for the entire article.

 

The Power of Vulnerability | Brene Brown | TED Talks

Amazing talk! Please check it out.

Brene Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share

In order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen.

There was only 1 variable that separated the people who had a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it and that was the people who had a strong sense of long and belonging believe their worthy of love and belong. Thats it. They believe their worthy.

The one thing that keeps us out of connection is our fear that were not worthy of connection.

What is Spiritual Abuse?

Great conversation here. It adds some definitions to a term we often throw around these days in our church community.

What is Spiritual Abuse?

Spiritual abuse has been defined in a somewhat nebulous way. The term has been (over)used to cover any abuse that happens within the parameters of a church or ministry. Thus Christians tend to be defensive when spiritual abuse is mentioned.

Abuse, by definition is:

  • to use wrongly or improperly; misuse
  • to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way
  • to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign
  • to commit sexual assault upon.

Click here for the rest of the Article.

Worlds Apart: Pornography polling results of Canadian Christians

Last year I got a grant to put up a site to begin to poll Canadian Christians on different topics (click here for poll & look for “Survey Project”). For the first year I decided to poll people on the topic of pornography as I had a new talk on this topic called The Porn Project. We have been polling people for around 6 months and I thought I would release the current statistics. I think that the stats show what we already know about our Christian community: many of us are struggling with pornography. At the time of this blog there have been 532 people polled from nearly every Province in Canada and from over 20 denominations.

I you want to take the poll please click here http://stats.worldsapart.org/

Note: I am not a statistician. I had help designing the questions from a number of counsellors, sex therapists and statistics majors from a few Universities. The goal of this ongoing survey is to help identify areas that we (as parents, christian leaders and pastors) might need to address in our homes and churches.

Below are some of the questions from the survey.

Question #2: What is your gender?

PP Question 2

Question #3: What is your age?

Question 3

 

Question #6: How often would you view pornography

36% I don’t watch pornography
10% Daily
16% Weekly
14% Few times a month
11% Monthly
13% Yearly

Question 6

Question #7: Do you think you have an addiction to Pornography?
Takeaway: Roughly 25% of our Christian Community is saying they think they have an addiction to pornography. This is just addiction not people who struggle or dabble in this issue.

Question 7

Question #10: My current church does an adequate job addressing this issue.
Takeaway: For people in leadership over 50% of people polled say that their church is not addressing the issue of pornography. How can we do a better job at this?

Question 10

Question #12: Would you feel comfortable approaching any member of your current church leadership for support if you are struggling with pornography use?
Takeaway: If you are in a position of church leadership how might your congregation respond to this? Do you address this issue with a conversation of shame and guilt or freedom and grace? Are we helping empower and equip people to deal with pornography in our own lives as well as in the lives of our children?

question 12

Question #13: Did you parents ever openly talk about pornography in your home?
Takeaway: 89% of people say that their parents did not. We as parents need to step up and have these tough conversations on our homes even if it makes us very uncomfortable.

Question 13

 

So where do we go from here?

The way to make your church a relevant, accepting place for those people struggling with pornography is to talk openly about these conversations from the pulpit and in all other areas.

In my talk The Porn Project I have tons of great resources for you. Click here for the resources.

If you would like to poll your church, youth group, camp etc on the topic of pornography I can give you a link specific to your group for this. You then just send around the link and all the data is collected from your group. If you are interested send me a message.

If you have any any links or resources I am missing please let me know.

10 Things Our Kids Shouldn’t Learn at Church

I am usually not a big fan of the “lists of things you should do” posts but this one is fantastic. My favourite is #3

3. To confuse preferences with doctrine

Music is a preference, not a biblical doctrine. The style of the way a church functions is a preference, not a biblical doctrine. The message is our purpose. The method is the means by which we share our message. The message can never change, but the methods should consistently be changing as our culture changes if we are going to meet people where they are and reach reach them for Christ. (Matthew 23:23-24)

Click here for the entire article.