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Parents Meeting

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Had a pretty good parents meeting on Sunday night. I've learned a couple things lately about these thanks to a couple guys at the PDYM Gathering. I think these are now my goals for future parent meetings:

Let parents hear my heart - I want parents to know that we're not just going through the motions. I'm excited about our ministry and I want them to hear that.

Let parents know what's going on - I want them to have a basic understanding of the purposes of our different programs. Also, I want them to know the goals of different upcoming events.

Let parents ask questions (one on one) - My goal in this meeting was to give them 15-20 minutes of info, dismiss them, and then let anyone with questions stick around and talk to me. I got this basic idea from Lyndale (although I think he does a group Q&A time with those who stay). Well, it was a good plan but a hand went up and we went into a Q&A time that I was trying to avoid. Next time, I'm going to emphasize harder that I'll sit down with anyone and answer questions they have. We're just not going to turn it into an opportunity for everyone to share their opinion with everybody.

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Remedy is Here

by Mike Lovato

I just clicked the import CD button on my iTunes and I'm about to enjoy the new Crowder album. Review to come.


the hub

Monday, September 24, 2007 by Mike Lovato

We launched a new occasional event last night called "the hub". We'd previously been having these monthly events I inherited called "Koinonias." Students enjoyed them, but I felt like they weren't serving much purpose, adding to our process, or moving students forward. So, now we have The Hub every couple months. Here's what we did last night:

Ate dinner - our volunteers that hosted provided hot dogs and burgers for us. Super cool of them, because I know they had to drop a bunch of money on it and wouldn't let me have students chip in.

Worship stations - we had 4 different high school students leading these stations: journaling, silence, missions video/prayer, and prayer for schools. They really stepped in and did a great job. We divided students up into smaller groups and they spent 8-10 minutes at each station before moving on to the next one.

Interviews - I interviewed two of our college students: one who just graduated high school in June and the other who's a junior at CBU (and she's one of our volunteers). I asked them about their high school experience, how they grew, what advice they'd give to high schoolers, etc. They did a great job and students responded well.

Worship through singing - 3 of our girls led worship to close out the evening. It was the first time we'd had these girls do that and it was cool.


Leader Training in San Diego

Saturday, September 22, 2007 by Mike Lovato

So, today I taught at the Leader Training Institute in San Diego. It's this event the local Southern Baptist association puts on down there. There's a general session and then like 15 breakout conferences after that. I had 2 in my conference. We were expecting ten so that changed the dynamic some. But I had a good time with Gabriel and his wife Daniella. They help lead the youth ministry at a Spanish-speaking church in National City. We talked through purpose and student commitments, along with elements of a crowd program. And a few other things. Hopefully it was valuable for them.


Only in SoCal

Friday, September 21, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I thought this was hilarious. Only in Southern California would we have a news report labeled "Storm Track" as the reporter stands in front of a gorgeous blue ocean and sky.


The Gathering (afterthoughts)

by Mike Lovato

I enjoyed my time at the Gathering. Here are some highlights:
  • Putting a couple pieces together in my head for how our process of moving students will work in our context. It's finally coming together for me.
  • Hearing Buddy Owens talk about the need to maintain our own intimacy with God before serving others. Sounds basic enough, but I need to remember that daily.
  • Connecting with a handful of youth pastors that helped me focus some of my thoughts on evangelism and our front door program in our ministry.
  • Getting to spend some time talking to Jake Rutenbar (former sorta blogger) about what's going on at the Saddleback San Clemente campus. I'm excited for how God's using him there.

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by Mike Lovato

It is 74 degrees inside my house right now. That's the coolest it's been inside here in about 2 or 3 months. That makes me happy.


The Gathering (after day 1)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Well, we just finished up our meetings for the day a little bit ago. I'm relaxing at the hotel right now waiting to head to dinner and some fun outing. We had a great day today of talking through where PDYM is headed, potential future conferences, and just getting to know each other. One thing's for sure - there are some SHARP people here. I've really enjoyed hearing what other people are doing in ministry and it really is sharpening me and what we do in our ministry. I'm looking forward to tonight and another day tomorrow of learnings and discussion.

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The Gathering

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 by Mike Lovato

No, I didn't join a cult. I'm in Lake Forest this week for an event called The Gathering. It's basically a collection of youth pastors committed to PDYM and learning from each other. I'm pretty excited about the experience this week. I already have picked up a couple things just from conversation with people. I'm tweaking the way I'm doing my parent meeting on Sunday based on some advice from Lyndale Holloway and Tom Elmore. I'm rooming with Tom Roepke. In fact, I think he may be blogging right now too from the other bed in our hotel room. More to come later.

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Leader Training Institute

by Mike Lovato

I'm leading a conference on Saturday at this event called Leader Training Institute in San Diego. I'm putting the material together today and am realizing I may not be quite ready by 3pm today like I was hoping. I put together the first two sessions this morning. I think session 1 is ready to go and session 2 may still need some love. As soon as I post this I'll be starting session 3. The title of the conference is "Outreach and Ministry to Students and Parents." Pretty broad. We'll see how it goes.


All is Well with Nicole

Monday, September 17, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I linked to a post a few weeks ago about some health concerns with my wife. You can check it out here. We headed to the doctor this morning and found out it is what we'd hoped. She will be having a minor procedure on October 5th, but she's glad to put this behind here. Check out her response here.


What the Heck?

by Mike Lovato

There's some sort of machine working outside the building right now and it's shaking my office like crazy. It's like a non-stop 3.0 earthquake.

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New Connection

Thursday, September 13, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Had lunch with John Denton yesterday. I ran into John on the Simply Junior High message board. I checked out his blog and noticed he's at a church like 3 minutes away from ours. So I emailed and we had lunch. It's crazy how people can be doing ministry so close geographically and yet it takes the internet to connect them. Anyways, we had a good time talking about youth ministry and I'm glad to meet another person in our city investing in teenagers.


I Dropped the Ball....Again

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 by Mike Lovato

So, I learned yesterday that were was going to be this meeting tonight at 6:30 to discuss some interior features for our building project. Our ministry has a big stake in this. Our high school ministry also meets at 6:30. I was just going to submit some stuff, but decided to go and miss the first part of our program.

Long story short, as I'm getting ready to finally head out of the meeting (at like 7:20) Nicole's frantically calling me to find me. Our band is done, games have been played, and our intern Ben is killing time. So then I get to walk in like an idiot and immediately go up and start speaking. I can't remember the last time I felt so flustered trying to start a talk.

I was really frustrated afterwards.....mostly because I was an idiot and didn't leave the meeting at 7 when I originally planned to. Oh well.


Parent Communication

by Mike Lovato

Four things I'm doing right now to raise the level of parent communication in our high school ministry:

1. Monthly Parent E-mail - includes upcoming dates, a short note from me, and a parenting article from HomeWord.

2. Fall Calendar Mailing - well, I wanted to do this one, but our calendar's a bit of an odd shape and envelopes were pricey so I sent a postcard instead telling them some current info and to pick up a calendar on Sunday. I also included a blurb in a newsletter that goes to our adult Bible study classes.

3. Parents Meeting - we're doing an hour-long parents meeting on the 23rd. I'll go over some basic vision and purpose for their ministry as well as give them a chance to ask questions and have some discussion about their (and their student's) biggest needs.

4. Website - been trying to keep a close eye on the website so it stays up to date. That's one of those things that can slip by really easily, but it can also make a really bad impression on parents if all the events listed are from June.

How do you communicate with parents?

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Dropping the Ball

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I'm leading a conference in San Diego in a week and a half. I was talking to Nicole about it last night and said something about how I hadn't heard anything lately about it. Then, today I get an e-mail from the director saying she hadn't received my equipment request or hotel request. I totally was thinking I sent it in two or three weeks ago. I need to get organized.


Student Leadership

Monday, September 10, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Had our first student leadership meeting of the year last night at our house. We currently have 11 students in student leadership with at least two more about to jump in. I'm pretty excited about it this year. Here's what we did last night.

7:15 Dinner
7:45 Alone Time with God
8:00 Expectations/Get to Know You (used this discussion starter ball thing from Group)
8:30 Go over fall calendar
8:45 Talk about book we'll be reading - Next Generation Leader
8:50 Wrap up

Our student leadership "program" basically consists of gathering students who are serving and pouring into them. We don't event planning or stuff like that. We do keep them in the loop on stuff that's coming up, changes coming, why we're doing it, etc. This helps them be a positive face of our ministry. Nicole and I head this up together and are really excited because this group seems to be ready to jump into our ministry teams and take them to the next level.

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I'm Such a Jr. Higher

Friday, September 07, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I'm trying to fix one of the sprinklers in our front yard and having some trouble so I googled "basic sprinkler repair." The following is a quote from the article I'm now reading.

"...remove the broken part by twisting it out with a nipple extractor..."

Is it sad that I think that's a funny sentence?


I Missed the Bus (and it's something I will never ever do again)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I've been talking for quite a while about trying out taking the bus to work. We live a block or so off a main bus route that drops off literally right in front of our church. So I've toyed with the idea of occasionally riding to save gas and do one teeny tiny thing to help the environment. But now my car is in the shop and Nicole is starting a graphic design class tomorrow at 8am. I've got staff meeting at 10am so I'll be grabbing the RTA Route 1 at 8:13 tomorrow morning. We'll see how it goes!

P.S. 500 bonus points if you know where my title came from.


The Adventures of Bored Mike & Nicole

by Mike Lovato

It was Saturday. We were bored. It was like 180 degrees outside. Our house was warm. We decided to go to the mall. And document it in photographs. Enjoy.

"Hmm, I'm bored. Let's go somewhere exciting, magical, and fun....the mall!"

Our lovely house as we leave for the journey.

Nicole is pumped.

How lovely....a wedding.

What's up, 91 freeway?

"We're on the highway to.....the Galleria...."

Tyler Street is my hero.

Ah, the Gallorious Galleria.

And a crowded parking garage.

Awesome new puppy store.

Nicole wants a puppy....seriously....she really really wants one.

Doesn't it feel good to pay less....or nothing at all since we didn't buy anything.

On the road again.

Bet you didn't know Martha Stewart lived in Riverside, did you?

Off to Orangecrest to see Nicole's parents....and score a free meal!

Mmm...coffee bean....

The happy couple's adventure is over.

DISCLAIMER: If you actually made it this far, congratulations. I apologize that you had to suffer through our strange sense of humor (or lack thereof).



by Mike Lovato

I read a great quote this morning.

To insist on feeling guilty is but another way of insisting on helping God with our salvation. How deeply imbedded in human nature is the influence of works-righteousnesss!
- Robert H. Mounce



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


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