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Postal Address: 2 Boronia Ct, Palmerston North 4414, New Zealand

Phone:  +64 27 8415321

Skype: murraybrown.skype

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November 5, 2019

Are you a "know-it-all" or a "learn-it-all"?

I think there is something in the Kiwi DNA that pulls us toward the know-it-all end of the scale. We are still in some sense a nation of do-it-yourselfers, a holdover from the pioneer days when doing it yourself was a necessity and people would proudly label themselves a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.

This mindset can easily transfer over into ministry and manifests itself in subtle thoughts patterns that say "I can figure this out myself" or "I don't need anyone else to...

October 1, 2019

I've always enjoyed the fourth term. Sure, there is still the tiredness one feels from a busy year and programming can be a little disjointed as exam pressure hits and young people's attendance decreases while stress levels increase, yet for me, it was frequently the least stressful term of the year with no camps or major projects.

That doesn't mean however that it's not an important term. There are plenty of things to reflect on and do. Here are three suggestions:

Recruitment 

Waiting until to start of a new year before sett...

April 2, 2019

I'm not a golfer but I know enough to know that there is a sweet spot" when hitting a golf ball. When you find it the ball flies longer and straighter than when you don't. Cricketers and footballers talk about the same concept. When you hit the "sweet spot" there is an effect that goes far beyond the effort expended.

In Christian leadership there is also a sweet spot. It's that place where feeling inadequate and being full of faith are held in perfect tension. It shows itself when we are facing a challenge that we don't bel...

March 14, 2018

Most of this know the old African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.”

There is more than an element of truth to this saying when it comes to discipling young people in our churches. We need the help of the whole "village" to raise mature disciples and to enhance church and family life.

Here is why:

1.  Intergenerational leadership enhances spiritual growth

The problem with a youth ministry leadership team full of young adults is that they lack the life experience, wisdom and theological understanding to adequately...

December 22, 2017

I recently came across one of those facebook memes that seem to pop up regularly. This one was more profound than most. It said that leadership is not about attracting followers - it's about developing other leaders.

Too often in youth ministry we are trying to think of ways to get more young people through the door. While this is not a bad aim, it is a means to a greater end: to see young people accept Christ and provide leadership in his Kingdom.

So how do we develop leaders? By creating a leadership culture. Here are so...

October 31, 2017

Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy. The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear! (Luke 12:1b-3)

No, these words of Jesus are not some “social media prophecy”, but they do espouse a principle: that who we are privately...

October 17, 2017

Recently I was talking with our youth interns who had returned from a block course. At the course they had been discussing next year and what they each might do. They all expressed some sense of shock and dismay at the answer of one of their classmates: “I’m not sure what I’ll do next year but what I am sure of is that I won’t work for a church!”

For that person the internship had become a negative experience and they were looking forward to the year being over.

Sadly they are not alone.

True, some interns are the architect o...

October 9, 2017

 

In my previous blog post I identified three symptoms that can mislead us regarding the state of our youth ministry’s health. The question that begs an answer then is, “Can any measure truly determine a youth ministry’s health and sustainability?” Is it possible to examine a ministry and make an accurate assessment?

My answer would be yes, but with qualifiers.

In future posts we will look at those assets worth striving for in assessing a youth ministry , but first let me deal with four objections to the idea of measuring hea...

October 3, 2017

I recall some years back a friend being diagnosed with cancer. Some seemingly minor symptoms had emerged that led them to have a check up through which the cancer was discovered.

To me they looked outwardly healthy and yet their “health” was deceptive. They needed treatment before what was unseen became evident. Without such treatment any health they were experiencing was not sustainable.

This example comes to mind when considering healthy and sustainable youth ministries. We can easily look at what is happening on the surfa...

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