want to help me win $500?


How is that for a leading headline? It actually isn't $500, but it is $500 in resources. One of my blog posts, My Own Rumspringa, has been nominated for best post of 2011 on youthmin.org. I was initially honored to have made the original list of 32. I couldn't believe that my little blog that is only a year old would have been worth nominating. I was put on a list with some really amazing bloggers, with people who have much better things to say than me, with people whom I respect personally and professionally. Some of bloggers who should have lasted longer than me, and some who still should beat me are:

How to be the best Youth Ministry Small Group Leader by Jeremy Zach

When numbers matter in Youth Ministry by Adam Walker Cleveland

Top 10 Characteristics of a Healthy Youth Ministry by Kenda Creasy Dean

Skewing the Gospel in Youth Ministry by Paul Martin

But as this contest has gone on, I have noticed that what was once humility and undue honor my little blog received by being nominated has begun to die a slow death at the hands of my need to win!

I have Issues:

A few years ago I took the strengths finder test and was really surprised at my results. Like many personality profile tests, you answer a bunch of questions and then in a matter of seconds your entire life is exposed for the entire world to see. The truth is that 4 of the 5 were of no surprise. But the fifth strength was. COMPETITION.

How in the world is competition a strength. For my entire life I would have considered it a weakness. It is the reason no one will play board games with me, it is the reason I broke ribs back to back years in mud foot ball with my students, and it is the reason why I am selling out and asking you to vote for me.

Over the last few years I have started to see how this is truly a strength and something God uses to continually refine me and sharpen me. I am thankful that God can and does continue to make all things new, redeem all things and uses them for his glory.

I admit that this competition has nothing to do with Jesus, his will, or his glory. It is a competition, and one in which I became emotionally involved in. It wouldn't matter if the prize was $1,00,000 cash or a $10 gift card to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I love winning, and hate losing.

The Truth is:

No matter if I win or lose, I will still be a man who is in desperate need of Jesus' continual restoration and transformation. I did want to share this news with you partly because I do want you to vote for me so that I can win. But this part of my heart that is the same broken part of me that crushes my 7 year old when we play chess, or knocks down freshmen in mud football. It is messed up and dirty. I do get that :)

The more whole version of myself wanted to share with you that this honor only happened because of you. Maybe not my peeps who live in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, or Gauteng, South Africa. (at least not yet) But my peeps who I do ministry alongside with. I am honored to be a part of the most amazing community of youth workers. From my local network in Marin, to my Covenant peeps, to my new friends I have made online. I am a better pastor, parent, husband, friend, and Christian because of my friendships and interactions with you. And for that I am truly thankful.

And no matter what happens with this silly contest, I am thankful to serve Jesus alongside you and to wrestle spiritually, intellectually, and relationally for this up and coming generation.

Happy New Year!


The truth is I am honored to have made the list.

Thanks for the love!  Because of your incredible support, I WON!!!