The New Needs Friends

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In the book Creativity Inc, By Ed Catmull at one point he talked about the importance of protecting the new. He then quoted the amazing monologue delivered by Anton Ego in Ratatouille.

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to
our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and
to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the
grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more
meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times
when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and
defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new
creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something
new, an extra-ordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say
that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about
fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core.
In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s
famous motto: ‘Anyone can cook.’ But I realize, only now do I truly
understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a
great artist can come from anywhere. – Anton Ego

I have always been an innovative person who learns through iteration, trial and error. I find however as I grow older that I more easily stick to what I know because I know it works. The beauty of age is experience. The danger of age is becoming critical of the new. I meet many people who talk more about what they have done than what they are doing. 

Being a critic is much less costly than being an artist. Left to ourselves we slip into the criticism of the new rather than become a friend of the new.

Ask Why and What not How

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In my desire to lead well I have very often asked the wrong questions over the years. I tend to lean toward asking how and not Why. Because how seems like it will get me where I want faster. At times this is true. The problem with asking how is it very often can short-circuit the process that sustains the very things I am desire to obtain.

I never saw this in myself until a kids pastor I respect greatly said “Sam, when you have a platform what are you going to say?” I had honestly never thought of that before. What am I going to say? I had never thought anyone wanted to hear what I had to say.

A Christian Worldview isn’t enough?

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I came across this article via twitter by Stephen Altrogge based on the idea that a Christian worldview isn’t enough for our kids. I then went on to read more of his articles which I enjoyed. So I am sure that my thoughts below are only clarifications, and our disagreements are mostly semantic in nature but I think the clarifications are helpful.

The past 10 years or so of children’s ministry have been marked by the conversation around family ministry. This conversation needs to be had and continues. I believe that families and churches getting on the same pages is key in the facing the next challenge together.  That challenge is a gospel worldview.

Two Questions that change how you see everything

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This past week I was at CPC a conference for Kids Pastors put on by INCM. One of the speakers was Charles Lee found of theideation.com In the breakout I attended he was talking about clarifying your brand. Towards the end of his breakout he said that in our brand management and in our lives we have to ask ourselves two questions.

  1. What matters most?
  2. What is enough?

Sola Scriptura in Kids and Youth Ministry

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I do believe that some people die and go heaven and come back again. I also believe that some people make things up or embellish their stories to gain influence and credibility.

Recently this has come to light. Through an open letter from one of the children who supposedly died and went to heaven. This brief letter is thoughtful and profound. It’s God exulting and pushes people back to the authority of scripture.

An Open Letter from Alex Malarkey “The boy who came back from heaven”

Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short.

I did not die. I did not go to heaven.

I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.

It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of heaven outside of what is written in the Bible . . . not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.

In Christ,
Alex Malarkey

This letter was written by a boy whose body is broken due to an unfortunate car accident and it appears that his heart was broken by those who leveraged his situation for personal gain.