Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes

Highlights from Youth Quake 2014

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This past weekend I joined AJ Crocker (YQ Coordinator, Caronport High School Chaplain & Youth Pastor at Moose Jaw Alliance Church), Ben Woodman & Jason Ballard (of the Alpha Youth Film Series) and about 1400 teenagers at Briercrest Bible College’s Youth Quake weekend.  We were challenged by amazing speakers, bands, other youth leaders, professors and little sleep.

Here are my highlights in pictorial form.

WestJet's new wings

WestJet’s new wings – A great ride in this new Bombardier plane.

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Training others in hospitality

Don't Let This Be You

Click this picture for a great post by my friend Colm

A few months ago I met Pascalyne at my church. It was her third time there and the first time that someone had even talked to her. Sadly, it wasn’t me who first noticed her or approached her. Then, when finally, someone greeted her, they found out that she was from Belgium – that’s when I was introduced and I invited Pascalyne and Patrick for supper at our home. That moment turned a bad church experience (at my church) into a friendship.

I love that the church is turning to hospitality as a way to engage our culture and as a way to demonstrate the Kingdom. Some people are real naturals and as a leader it’s easy to guide a natural. Others need a little more guidance.

Here are some top tips from some really smart Canadian youth workers.  (The big ideas were theirs, the notes and explanations are mine).

1. Get to know the five love languages: learning to show hospitality in ways that are valued by our guests.

  • Gifts, Time, Affirming Words, Acts of Service, Physical Touch

2. Getting beyond hello at church

  • Why not ask someone who’s been trained in customer service to come and talk to your volunteers about how to turn guests into customers and customers into ambassadors.
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Hospitality – Best Practices for Youth Workers

I recently sat with some amazing youth workers in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where we talked about best practices for hospitality. While I shared some of my ideas and stories I also collected their stories and best advice for growing a culture where hospitality is normal. In our western culture hospitality has become something that is used for commercial gain or to leverage our influence and the hospitality that Jesus compelled his followers to show has become unusual – radical.

The Long table Or desire is that Jesus brand of hospitality hospitality would move from being radical to being normal in our churches, youth groups and Alpha teams. We’re looking for men and women who open their spaces and lives to strangers with ease and grace. We’re also eager to see the hospitality of Christians as a compelling reason to follow Jesus. And we want to welcome Jesus himself, because we are told that we serve Jesus when we practice hospitality.  Whether you run Alpha or you’re an usher or you work the till at McDonalds, you can be radically hospitable.

Here are 5 categories for our best practices in creating a culture of Radical Hospitality:

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New Adventures Ahead

I am so excited to share with you that I have accepted the position of Associate Pastor of the Brussels Vineyard Church in Brussels, Belgium!  Starting on July 1st, the next chapter of our lives of following Jesus takes us to the capital city of Europe to join the staff of this exciting and missional church.
The Belgian tri-color

The Belgian tri-color

Belgium (and most of Europe) is considered to be very difficult ground for bringing the Good News of Jesus.  According to Operation World, 1.2% of the population is evangelical Christian and another 0.9% is charismatic Christian.  Most Belgians have given up on faith and have little or no knowledge of the Biblical story.  This means that, though we will be ministering in the church,  we will be acting as missionaries to make disciples.

My role will be to help the church in 3 key areas: children, youth and Alpha.  It’s exciting to be able to take my experience and passion and serve with a team of elders, pastors, staff, bivocational missionaries and local Belgians. This church has many highly involved members.  I’ve been told that my job is to work myself out of a job!

There are many other questions to answer, but I think this is enough for now. Tune in as I keep you up to date here!

Send in your questions and I’ll do my best to answer.