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My Week

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 by Mike Lovato

This week has been a little crazy. I didn't teach tonight so I always enjoy those times off thinking I'll get a bunch of other stuff done. But then plenty of stuff finds its way into my schedule.

Here's been some of my week:

Monday
-Student Ministries Staff Meeting
-Got interrupted during this by a fairly important issue that I'm now trying to help out with
-Finished our meeting
-Interior designer for our building project came by and I ended up doing stuff with that for a bit

Tuesday
-Lunch & time with Saddleback friends (except Matt Hall forgot I was coming...) - got to run some stuff I'm thinking through past Kurt....didn't come to any conclusions but it was still helpful to my thought process
-Had a meeting with some Lifeway people to debrief a curriculum we helped test out

Wednesday
-Educational Staff Meeting - some issues regarding room usage came up that are radically changing some things. We have another meeting next week to figure that stuff out.
-Staff Meeting
-High school ministry tonight

Coming up tomorrow - PDYM Community Lunch and coffee with a volunteer

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Speaking

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Why is it that I will say something so that I will feel better about it when the end result hurts someone else?

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
James 1:19

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

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Going All the Way

Sunday, November 25, 2007 by Mike Lovato


I finished my copy of Craig Groeschel's new book, Going all the Way, a few days ago. The subtitle is "preparing for a marriage that goes the distance." Groeschel does a great job of helping young single adults prepare for marriage. In fact, this is a book I would probably want to get in the hands of every college student and many high school juniors and seniors. Groeschel writes with an authentic flavor of exposing his own mistakes, failures, successes, and learnings in the hopes that others will be able to learn from them and create a great marriage.

Here are two big things I picked up:

1. Focus first on developing an authentic relationship with Jesus. This is huge. Since all of who we are in our other relationships flows out of this relationship, I think it's a big deal to work on becoming a committed follower of Jesus before jumping into serious relationships.

2. No matter where you've been or what you've done, start from there and move forward. I'm not sure if he said this exactly in the book, but there was a great mixture of warning and grace throughout the book. If you've messed up sexually, start with God's forgiveness there and move forward. If you've messed up emotionally with others, start with God's forgiveness there and move forward. There's definitely a time and place to deal with past hurts and failures, but God wants us to move past those into healthy habits and relationships.

This is a great book for the pre-pre-marital stage (no, that's not a typo). It's also great if you're already married. I've been married over 6 years and still picked up some great things from this "premarital" book. Groeschel is one of those authors who can mix challenge and humor in a way that causes you to laugh out loud while still examining what's going on in your heart.

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PDYM Community Lunch

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 by Mike Lovato

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Operation Christmas Child

by Mike Lovato


We spent the day yesterday with a small group of high school students we took down to work in the Operation Christmas Child warehouse in Irvine. They moved it this year and it's now about a 5 minute drive from our old apartment in Lake Forest. Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse. People pack shoeboxes full of toys, supplies, and goodies so that kids all over the world can have a Christmas present. It's a pretty cool idea and a great way to open doors for the gospel.

We spent the day in the pre-sort area which basically meant removing the monetary donations from the boxes (while surrounded by cameras and security guards). I spent part of my time in a fast-moving job of keeping the sorters supplied with boxes and then in a slow-moving job of stacking the boxes on age-appropriate pallets. It's a great service opportunity for groups if you want to check this out next year.

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Growth Barriers in Youth Ministry (pt. 1)

Thursday, November 15, 2007 by Mike Lovato

In church growth circles people will often talk about attendance barriers for churches. Often they're at 100, 200-300, 500, and 1,000. It's said that one needs to change both leadership style and church structure to overcome these barriers.

I've wondered if the same might be true in youth ministry. Here are some basic thoughts of where those barriers might be:

10: At this point the youth ministry is one small group that is either tightly knit or completely disconnected.
25-30: I think this is where the "youth group" feel comes in. It's got enough people to have some decent energy, but you still pretty much know everyone.
50-60: I think this is a barrier, but I'm not quite sure of the dynamics of it.
100: This is a tough one (it's where our high school ministry is still below). At this point you're not a small "youth group" anymore, but the students and leaders often still want to be. At the same time you're not huge. Everyone doesn't know everyone anymore, but they typically think they do.

After that, I'm not sure. I'm going to follow up with a later post on how leadership style and ministry structure may need to shift at each of these barriers. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Where are the barriers and how do the dynamics shift?

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PDYM Community Lunch

by Mike Lovato


I'll be hosting a PDYM Community Lunch here at our church in Riverside on Thursday, November 29th (11:30am-1:00pm). If you're committed to Purpose Driven Youth Ministry or just interested in what it's all about feel free to join us. Shoot me an email to let me know you're coming. If you live someplace else, check out the other locations here.

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Brown Bagging It

by Mike Lovato


I bring my lunch to work with me most days. Is it weird that today I put my taco filling and beans in the fridge, but didn't want to leave my tortillas out on the counter because I was afraid someone would steal them? They're now sitting on my desk waiting to be enjoyed.

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Day Off

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Took a day off yesterday to recharge and recuperate after a busy week and weekend. Here's what we did:
  • Did some Christmas shopping
  • Ate free lunch at Chick-Fil-A
  • Went and saw Dan in Real Life (great movie; almost made me cry)
  • Came back home and watched The Constant Gardener (good flick)
  • Ate some tacos
  • Watched our Monday Night glut of TV - How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Chuck, and Heroes
Lots of looking at a screen, but very nice to have the time off.

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DiscipleNow - Shoreline

by Mike Lovato

Well, I spoke at the DiscipleNow at Shoreline this weekend. I think it went pretty well. I wasn't quite as prepared as I'd like to have been, but I still think it went well. One of the fun parts was Nicole and I volunteering to drive some students around for an Amazing Race video scavenger hunt they did. We had a good time driving all over Central Orange County with three junior high girls. It was pretty hilarious though because we didn't know the area very well. So the girls are calling their parents to find out where stuff is and we're just driving all over trying to figure it out. We did ok though.

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Blogroll Changes

Thursday, November 08, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I've changed my blogroll to now be based off my subscriptions in Google Reader. So it should stay pretty accurate as my tastes change. Enjoy.

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DNOW - MOVE

by Mike Lovato

This weekend I'm speaking at a DNOW (DiscipleNow) for Shoreline Baptist Church in Fountain Valley. The theme for their weekend is MOVE. Here's where I'm heading:

Friday PM
Title: It’s Time to Move
Main Point: You can’t follow Jesus and stay where you are
Scripture: Mark 10:17-30

Saturday AM
Title: What’s my Move?
Main Point: When I stay close to God, my next move is clear
Scripture: John 8:47, 10:2-4, 14; Romans 12:1-2

Saturday PM
Title: Make Your Move!
Main Point: It’s time to take action
Scripture: James 1:22-25

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Nooooooooo!!!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Today is a sad day. Here's a clip:
"As the writers strike entered its third day Wednesday with no end in sight, Fox said it would not air "24" this season."

Nooooooo!!! Say it ain't so! I'm sad. They're saying the writers' strike combined with delays from the wildfires combined with Kiefer needing to do some jail time is delaying it for this season.

Here's the full article. I'm going to go be sad now.

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Hazelnut Creme...You are Delicious

by Mike Lovato

We have this little coffee pod machine thing in our office. It's pretty sweet. You pick the type of coffee you want, insert the pod into the machine, and it instantly makes it for you. My favorite kind is Hazelnut Creme. We haven't had it in a couple months, but today I went in there with one of our worship leaders, Steve, and it was there. Pod of hazelnut creme + little bit of sugar + Chocolate Raspberry Coffeemate = Delicious.

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Heroes in Youth Ministry

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I had dinner last night with a soon-to-be youth worker named Ulises. He's a native of Guatemala and has lived in the US for about 8 years. He's part of a Spanish-speaking Pentecostal church in South Los Angeles. He works a full-time job and is sensing that God may be calling him to take over the youth ministry at his church. It was cool to sit down with him and just hear his journey.

I get paid to work full-time with teenagers. That's a pretty sweet gig. But somehow I think the heroes in youth ministry are people like Ulises who work a secular job full-time and then volunteer to lead a youth ministry in their free time. I'm looking forward to seeing how God uses him.

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Mike Lovato is a follower of Jesus, husband to Nicole, daddy to Addison, and pastor to teenagers in Riverside, CA.


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