When it rains it pours
December 10, 2008, 10:37 am
Filed under: Family, Life | Tags: ,

That is a saying that I heard a lot growing up.  My grandma used to say that from time to time. That is a statement I am using a lot right now.  Here is a run down on what is going on.

  1. Hannah is sick.  She has mononucleosis plus a cold.  She has not been able to go to work and Church (which is her work) in 2 weeks now.  When I took the vow to love her in sickness and in health this is what I sign on for.  I am learning a lot about love through this.  This is what is called unconditional love.  It is hard at times because I am having to get both her and our 7 year old what they need.  I did not realize how much Hannah does until now.  She is a blessing to me and  a lot of people.  I love her so much. Please lift her up in your prayers.
  2. Christmas Time.  Busy Busy Busy.  Somewhere a long the way in our history people thought it would be great to make Christmas all about gifts and stress everyone out with all the stopping.  I love Christmas.  I love the giving.  I love celebrating the Birth of OUR Savior!  but Christmas time is a busy time of the year.  We are throwing a big event to feed the needy in our community on Dec. 20 and I know the next 2 weeks are going to get even busier.  
  3. Our washer broke!  Our washer and dryer was given to us by Hannah’s aunt and uncle.  They had the washer and dryer for several years .  It has washed a lot of clothes.  It has been a great washer but it’s life has come to an end. RIP.  We had to buy another washer so we went ahead and bought a dryer with it.  My uncle works for Lowes and he hooked us up with a great deal on a front loader washers and dryer.  Even though it was a great deal, it still cost money.  The washer choice the wrong time to stop working.  It’s Christmas!  We have to spend a lot of money already! 

Please pray for us.  We don’t need anymore sickness.  We need Hannah to get to feeling better.  We don’t need to have to spend anymore money on things braking down.  I know it is life but it would be great if it picked a better time period to hit, not during the Christmas season.  

Know that We (my family) find our joy in knowing that we have a Father up in heaven who loves us and is looking over us!  We are celebrating what our Savior did for us!  

Hope everyone in blog land is doing great!


How do you measure Church growth?
December 9, 2008, 11:47 am
Filed under: Church, Master's Class, Youth Ministry | Tags: , , ,

Church leaders talk about numbers a lot.  When ever someone comes up to me wonder about how the youth ministry is doing they normally ask how many do you have in your ministry?  Of course, I tell them the numbers but numbers isn’t the only thing that needs to be measured.

Most of you know that I have been in my master’s class now for 4 weeks.  I am learning a lot in how to lead a Church.  One thing that I am learning is how to evaluate growth in the Church.  I would like to share with you.  

Bob Whitesel, my professor is an incredible person and knows his stuff.  He is a Church consultant and if your Church is looking for someone that will challenge you and your Church then use him.  In his book, Growth by Accident Death by Planning, he shows a way to measure growth.  Not just in numbers.

4 ways to measure Growth in a Church

Maturation Growth:  “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

  • Are the ministries producing disciples?
  • How is small groups/Sunday School/Bible studies going?
  • How many of the congregation is involved in some for of discipleship?

Growth in Unity:  “All the believers were together and had everything in common.”  Acts 2:44

  • Is community being built?
  • How is the unity in the Church?
  • Does the people understand the vision and the mission of the Church?
  • Do they church come and sit in the Church or they involved?

Growth in Favor: “enjoying the favor of all the people” Acts 2:47b

  • Is the Church meeting the needs in the community?
  • What does the community think about the Church?
  • Are the people in the Church connecting with the community?

Growth in Numbers: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Act 2:47c

  • Are people showing up at the Church?
  • Are we reaching people?

All 4 of these need to be measured.  The sad part is that most Churches only measure the numbers.  Numbers are important but it isn’t the only important growth in the Church.  

This is just a few things that I am learning so far.  I love this class!

Life update
November 12, 2008, 10:21 am
Filed under: Church, Family, Life, Youth Ministry | Tags:

People may be asking “What is Dustin been up too?”  Here is the run down of what I have been doing…

1.  Started my master’s in ministeral leadership last week.  It is going to be a fun 2 years.  It is all online.  The class I am in right now is called “Non-Profit Management”.  It is very interesting stuff.  I am learning right now how to implement change in a church, how to give options, and how your church prayer life should be.  Did I mention I am really excited about this.  I don’t care much for the degree.  That isn’t why I am doing it.  I want to learn.  I am a student of God for life!

2.  Working with the district youth to make this year rock.  Camp is going to be so much fun!  The theme is LiveLoud.  I think it will be one of the greatest camps.  I am really looking forward to it.

3.  I have been enjoying youth ministry.  (Not all pastors can say that!)  I love my teens.  They are really cool to work with.  (Side note:  I threw a stole last week during my message and broke it. Sorry Matt.)  We are in a series now called Wild Goose Chase.  It is going to be a great 6 week series.  We are talking about following after the Holy Spirits and going after your God ordain passions (I threw the stole when I was talking about God ordain passions.)

4.  Learning how to be a parent.  It isn’t easy.  It is some times fun.  It isn’t fun when they tell you that they hate you and that you are mean because you have to punish them for not behaving.  I love her to much not to punish.  I call it tough love.  We do love each other and I would not trade this.  I love being with my two girls!

5.  Doing another book review.  This time it is more of a reference book.  The Greatest Words Ever Spoken.  It is a really good reference book.  I am enjoying using it.

6.  Going to CRAVE conference at SWU this weekend.

Welp that is just a quick update.  I will post something worth reading soon.

Me Myself & I AM – Book Review
November 6, 2008, 11:57 am
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,


Me Myself and I Am Created by Matthew Peters in partnership with Elisa Stanford

This is a different kind of book.  It is more like a journal but not your normal journal either.  It is a question and answer book.  It ask things about yourself going up, who you are now, and what you want to do.  It also ask questions about your relationship with God.  I am excited about this book because it is something that years from now I will be able to look at and see where God has brought me from.  I think it will be something really cool to show my kids and grand kids.  It will help them better understand me.

If you are looking for a different book that will make you think about yourself, life, and your relationship with God then this book is for you.

Here is a summary of the book:

A new experience of God comes one question at a time in this fun and provocative journal. Made up entirely of insightful, profound, and occasionally ridiculous questions, Me, Myself, and I AM invites you to open to any page, open yourself to God, and be the author of yourown story.
Questions range from spiritually intriguing—
You overhear God talking about you. What do hear him saying?

to thought-provoking—
You are on a long car trip with a close friend who is not a Christian and the conversation turns to faith. What is your biggest fear about what your friend will ask or say?
to challenging—
Do you believe that all of Jesus’s followers have a responsibility to tell others about him?
to just plain fun—
If your life before you became a Christian were a movie, its title would be:

Animal House

As Good as It Gets

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s a Wonderful Life

Me, Myself, and I AM will entertain, inspire, and get you thinking about your spiritual life from brand new angles. Whether you use Me, Myself, and I AM as a reflective tool, a way to start conversations with friends and family, or as a spiritual time capsule to look back on years later, their own words will create a powerful journey of self-discovery

You can buy this book here www.amazon.com.

For Young Men Only Book Review
October 10, 2008, 2:23 pm
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

My review of the book For Young Men Only:  Wow.  I wish I had this book when I was young and was trying to learn about girls.  I am 23 years old and I have been married for about a year and a half now and I learnt a lot from this book.  What I love about it is that it is from girls.  The content came from girls not guys!  The authors interviewed girls and in the book they say what they want most in a guy.  I think if you are a young man then you should read this book.  If you are a youth pastor, parent or teacher, you need to have your guys read this.  The great thing is that there is one out there for girls too.  It is called For Young Women Only.  I am planning on using these two books for a series that I plan on doing in February.  Check out the book for yourself www.foryoungmenonly.com


Book Summary:

The best-selling ONLY series returns with a one-of-a-kind guide for teen guys on how to figure out girls

Drawing on a fresh national survey of 600 teen girls, as well as hundreds of personal interviews, For Young Men Only reveals the real truth about what teenage girls think, what they want, and how average teen guys can build healthy friendships with high quality girls. Full of surprising revelations and practical advice, For Young Men Only delivers help straight from the girls themselves in a fun, easy-to-read, easy-to-talk about format.

Warm, witty, and honest, authors Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice tell plenty of personal stories and draw on solid biblical principles to guide young guys through the often daunting world of the opposite sex. Their goal is to help teen guys build self-confidence and understanding, and show them how to pursue a relationship with a girl while giving her the respect and protection she deserves. 

Where you can buy it…




Busy Life…
October 2, 2008, 9:15 am
Filed under: Church, Family, Life, Youth Ministry | Tags: , , , ,

Life has been crazy!  Good crazy though.  

Here is what has been going down…

1.  Been in a series in youth group called Wii > Mii.  Very cool series.  I was able to share some things about how the church needs to come together and team up with Christ and not try to live life alone.  I really liked the series a lot.  I am working on putting it online to be an open source so other leaders can use it. 

2.  I have started to try to get out of the office more.  I hate the church office.  I like to be around people so I have tried to at least once a week go and hang out at a place and make that my office.  

3.  Last monday Hannah and I lead our foster daughter to Christ!  It was awesome.  She asked God to come and live in her heart.  Now I see why God brought her to us.  Through our love she was about to see the father’s love for her.  Now she is broken for her family and we are praying for them every night so that they will come to know Jesus and he can live in their hearts.  This is awesome stuff!!!

4.  Starting a new series up called “Fight Night” for the youth group on Sunday nights.  It is going to rock.  I am using key fights in the Bible to relate with the things that we battle with in our everyday lives.  It should be a great series.  More of a guy’s series but the ladies will be able to relate too.

5.  We are running 18 people on Sunday nights now!  We have seen 4 new faces in the past couple of weeks and they are excited and want to come back.  This is awesome to see.  I have been praying for this for a year now.  I fasted for this and we are seeing growth now.  Hannah and the children are too.  Fasting does allow God to do some awesome stuff.  Now the prayer is that they will live for Christ and grow in him.

6.  Hannah and I do a good job with our money.  I have always been a saver.  Now we are trying to save even more.  Not so we can be rich but so that we can give more.  We also have dreams and those dreams have to be funded.  

7.  I am reading a lot now.  I have been asked several times to do book reviews and I am currently reviewing the new book that hasn’t come out yet called “For Young Men Only”.  It is good stuff.  I wish I could have read it when I was in high school.

8.  I am working on possibly going to IWU for my masters.   They have an online masters program that I am looking into.  I hope to start it soon.  We will just have to see.  

Life has been busy but man I love it.  There is never a boring day!  I like to be busy doing things that I love!

I Was Broke Now I’m Not – Book Review
September 17, 2008, 11:36 am
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

I just finished the book “I Was Broke Now I’m Not” by Joseph Sangl.  He is a pastor at NewSpring Church.  He has helped several people become debt free.  It was an “EZ” read. (If you read it you will understand the pun behind EZ)  Hannah and I have benefited from this book.  We are doing really good with our money and save a good amount but this book helped us lay out a budget and a plan so that we know where I money is going. 

Here is what will happen if you read this book…

1.  Form a monthly budget

2.  Form a weekly budget

3.  Get several budgeting tips

4.  Understand the best way to save

5.  Debt Freedom (Most people need this!)

6.  Understand investment and compound interest

7.  Understand Insurance

If you make money then you need to read this book. (that pretty much covers everyone)  We need to take control of our money so that 40 years from now or whenever you are at an age were you need to slow down and retire you will have money!  We will be able to go for our dreams, give more, and live in peace!  God wants us to be great stewards of our money.  Let’s all do that.