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Lunch with my Elders

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 by Mike Lovato

I had lunch today with one of the "older" people on our staff. We had a good time and an encouraging conversation on the ride home. Part of what he was telling me was encouragement to make sure my voice is heard on our staff. There have been seasons when, for various reasons, I've been pretty quiet in staff meetings. I've begun sensing a need for me to push back a little more and challenge us to re-think why we do things the way we do and to examine blind spots in our church. Good stuff.

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New Opportunity with Lifeway

Monday, February 25, 2008 by Mike Lovato

A couple months ago I mentioned a new opportunity that had opened up to me. I decided to go ahead with it. I'm now a Student Ministry Contract Consultant with Lifeway. Paul Turner and I first connected about 2 years ago when he and another guy on their staff came to do some listening sessions at our church. I was a little leary of these "denominational guys from Nashville." But I walked out VERY impressed with their hearts and their openness to listening to churches and what they needed. One of the results of those listening sessions is the new Student curriculum called KNOWN. Check it out, it's very cool.

Anyways, Paul asked me to help them out in this new role. What exactly will I do, you might ask? Well, it's still being defined, but basically I'll be doing some consulting with churches, some conference leading, some representing Lifeway at conferences, and some other stuff. It's pretty exciting for me because I really see a large part of my SHAPE and calling to be oriented around helping other youth workers, particularly ones who are just getting going. I really believe in focusing in on your "sweet spot" and am trying to do that with my involvements outside my local church ministry.

It's still pretty new. The only thing on my plate so far is leading a workshop at Lifeway's National Youth Worker Conference in September. We'll see what happens with this....I'll keep you posted as stuff develops.



Sunday, February 24, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Tonight we had an event called Pure which is basically a True Love Waits-type commitment service. It went really well. Our high school band did an amazing job, we had a great testimony from a college student/jr. high volunteer, and we had a bunch of students commit to pursue sexual purity. Very cool night. I'll post some pics up soon on our high school blog and will link to them here.

I'm pretty wiped though. I left my house at 7:20 this morning and got home at about 8:30. I'd love to just sleep in tomorrow, but we have Student Ministries staff meeting at 10am and I teach my class at 12:20. Looking forward to chilling at home tomorrow night.


Another Meeting

Thursday, February 21, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Right after I met with Benson, I met with Chris Fletcher. Chris is essentially a two-year missionary focused on youth evangelism. He's part of our team for our upcoming PK (Pastor's Kids) Retreat in April. It was good to catch up with him and talk through some ideas for the retreat. He has a blog, but hasn't written in it since November. Go check it out and tell him to start blogging again.


Exploring College Ministry

by Mike Lovato

Met today with Benson Hines who is on a several-month journey across the country checking out different college ministries. It's a pretty cool concept. One of his goals is to highlight the importance of ministering to college students. I enjoyed my time with him. Check out his blog for all the details.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Ok, so I'm sick. I thought I was getting sick about a week and a half ago, but it never really took. Then I started getting this cough on Sunday which has steadily increased. In fact, I decided this morning not to teach tonight in high school ministry. Part of it was feeling sick and part of it was my talk not being where I wanted it to be and we had a doctor's appointment for Nicole this afternoon. Then later on I decided to take off early tonight and let Ben run the whole night. I set up stuff and everything and then left during the opening game. I'm sure he did a fantastic job. It's a good thing to see stuff run ok when you're not there. We had a good-sized crowd there and it several students had brought friends so I'm a little bummed to have not been there for that.

It was good to not have to be there, but there are still several weekly things that go on that depend on me. We're lacking in help in the technology/audio/video area which means our band waits on me to get there to turn things on. I don't want things to depend on me. I want there to be a broad enough team that I don't have to worry about stuff not happening. I definitely need to delegate some ongoing stuff.

Ok, this has been a bit random, but that's how my thinking goes at the moment.

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On Target Day 1

Monday, February 18, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Ok, so live-blogging is not going to happen. I didn't want to pay for wireless access. And I'm wiped right now. But I did take some good old-fashioned notes that will be making their way to you sometime late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. The conference started off with Nelson Searcy, Ed Stetzer, and Voddie Baucham today. Tim Timmons led worship and did a great job as usual.


On Target Evangelism Conference

Sunday, February 17, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Tomorrow I'm heading to the On Target Evangelism Conference with some of our staff. It's an annual event put on by our state convention. I haven't been in a few years, but it's a pretty sweet conference. The main speakers are Nelson Searcy, Voddie Baucham, and Ed Stetzer. The hotel website says there's wireless in the meeting area (for a charge) so I'll try to live-blog the conference. Stay tuned.


Oh Baby

Thursday, February 14, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Nicole has started a guessing game for all the fun details of our kid's birth. Check it out at her blog.


Social Media and the Church

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Tony Steward came and talked to my youth ministry class today about social media and the church. I thought he did a great job outlining what it is we're talking about and the implications for youth ministry. I also walked away personally with an ideas list for my ministry including: video podcasting leader training, using blip.tv for videos, and some other cool stuff that's written on the legal pad in my office. Tony talked about everything from wikis to blogs to social networks. Lots of implications for ministry.

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Youth Worship Podcast

by Mike Lovato

Two of my OC friends, Taffy and David, have a new podcast focused in on youth worship. Check it out at www.simplyyouthworship.com.

SO to Taffy


New College Pastor

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 by Mike Lovato

We have a new college pastor starting on February 24th. His name's Aaron Friesen and is coming from an intern role at Christ First Baptist Church in Covina. Cool coincidence - he's dating this girl, Rose, that we knew in college. She's super cool and fun. Aaron will be heading up the team ministering to college-age young adults in this part-time role. He doesn't blog that I know about, but I'll try and get him started if he doesn't.

There is some really cool stuff happening in our college ministry that I'll have to blog about soon. I'm excited that Aaron's on our team.


Meetings Part 3

by Mike Lovato

Check out part 1 and part 2

Volunteer Meetings

We meet with our student ministries volunteers approximately every other month during the school year. Our goal is for the meeting to be a mix of encouragement and training. Typically, we sit at round tables and do some stuff at the tables and some other stuff up-front. We got thrown for a loop on this past Sunday with a scheduling conflict so we ended up going with just one circle of chairs. It turned out pretty cool though.

As an example, here's what we did on Sunday:

Best/Worst Part of Your Week
Prayer Time (ministry or personal needs)
Devotional Thought - Psalm 23
Training - How to CARE for Your Students
Ministry Update - building project stuff, coming events, etc.
Walked through new student ministry room under construction (this was unplanned)

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Yard Sale, Anyone?

Monday, February 11, 2008 by Mike Lovato

On Saturday when we were moving, my father-in-law was using our front lawn to stage things before I pulled the Uhaul truck in the driveway. Needless to say it was quite full of furniture and boxes after a little bit.

We must have had 4 or 5 people pull up thinking it was a yard sale. We had to keep telling people, "Not a yard sale....we're moving." Although for the right price there is quite a few things I'd sell.

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We're In

by Mike Lovato

Well, we made it into our new house on Saturday. It was really a super-easy move. Then, after a super-long day yesterday filled with church, meetings, and filling out event requests I'm taking a vacation day today. Only thing on the agenda (besides unpacking) is going down to teach my class at CBU. We're going to go over some different worship presentation software. Should be fun.

Oh and we have to buy a microwave and some other stuff. I prepped my leftover chinese food on a paper plate, covered it with a paper towel, looked around for the microwave, and then laughed when I remembered we don't have one.

Pics of the new place coming soon....


I Did Not Just Say That

Thursday, February 07, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Ok, so it was Wednesday night this week. We're on week 5 of this Song of Solomon series. And this is the week we finally got to talking about sex. We break up for discussion after the video teaching by grade and gender. So I've had the Freshmen/Sophomore guys the last few weeks.

We were just coming off winter camp and were talking about some of the late-night wrestlemania that was going on in our cabin.

So, I was trying to make a joke using random terms to transition us. For example: "While we're on the subject of cars, let's talk about Jesus."

So, I said, "While we're on the subject of wrestling, let's talk about sex."

I did not just say that.

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Moving Day

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Nicole and I are moving this weekend. If you're interested in helping, shoot me an email. We'll do some stuff on Friday and the big stuff on Saturday starting at 9am.


Mission Accomplished

Monday, February 04, 2008 by Mike Lovato

Ah, an empty inbox feels much better. Three hours ago there were over 300 messages in there.

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Cool Church Planters

by Mike Lovato

Gary Lamb had a great post about church planters being more concerned with creating the next cool church rather than really reaching lost people. Here's a clip:

I have learned that most church planters REALLY don’t want to reach those far from God, they really want to do church in a cool way. There is a difference. Just because you have great video, loud music, dress casual, and use movie clips doesn’t mean you are reaching those far from God.
Two or three years ago I was toying with the idea that God might be leading me to plant a church one day. But, I felt like my motives weren't enough about actually reaching people. Maybe one day God will have us do that....but my heart needs some work first.

Click here for the full post.


Winter Camp!

by Mike Lovato

We had an amazing time at winter camp this weekend! I'm wiped, but here are some highlights:

  • 17 guys in one cabin....sweet.
  • Tom Chapin was our speaker. He came and spoke at an intern meeting when I was at Saddleback. We were able to get reacquainted. Great dude, great job speaking.
  • Parachute Passing led worship. I didn't care for them that much last year, but I thought they did GREAT this year (other than when they played Shackles).
  • Ben and I got to learn how to put chains on tires. Ben did a lot more of it then me though. Also, in that process I got to drive a GMC Yukon out of a rut with a bunch of guys hanging on the back end weighing it down.
  • Also, got to lay down in the mushy snow on the way down to get the chains off. Not as fun, but an adventure.
  • We had some transportation issues on the way back and had to wait with about half our group for an extra two hours at camp.
  • I went snowboarding for the second time! I had a blast doing this and I did somewhat better than last year. Still fell a bunch and I'm crazy sore today, but I did get to experience cruising down the mountain more.
  • A couple of the guys I was with seemed to make some decisions to re-orient their priorities to wrap around what God wants them to do rather than just what they want to do.
  • Oh yeah, they had Rock Band set up for Playstation and it was pretty funny watching our students (and Ben the Intern) play and sing!



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


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