James Daman | @jdaman04
I love self-deprecating humor, probably because there is so much I can laugh at myself about. I love being involved in ministries that are authentic and I especially love it when people in ministry don't take themselves so seriously.
I've recently been thinking about a couple of recent trends that I've seen in ministry that have made laugh.
First I'd like to look at acronyms. They are great, slightly overused at times, but are helpful when used as a menuentic device. However, I came across a few that made me laugh; long ones like (GIRAFFE- God inspires reverence, affection, forgiveness for ever), one that makes me hungry (SPAM- Serving People Aids Me) and ones that I don't think work in a ministry setting (TWERK- True Worshippers Effectively Reaching the Kingdom).
Second, acrostics, for those of you that have been involved in a Celebrate Recovery ministry are familiar with acrostics and I absolutely love them. I had an opportunity this week to attend the national Celebrate Recovery team meeting with John Baker, who is the founder of Celebrate Recovery. I had a great time and I was exposed to so many acrostics that when I came home and my wife asked me how I planned on getting things done around the house, I provided her this acrostic:
Delegate tasks to her
Outsource items I can't do
No new tasks
Ease into it
The only response I got from her was an eye roll, so I guess this is a trend that won't be catching on in our marriage. The acrostic approach may not work well in my marriage, but it does work well in a ministry setting. However some things like a distracting acronym describing something that may be a trend in culture may be too much of a distraction when used in a ministry setting.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2)
James Daman is the pastor of recovery and discipleship at Focus314, which is a church in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the United States. He is the Celebrate Recovery Regional Director for the Mountain Region and he has interviewed some of the world's most influential people, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, General Tommy Franks and many others. You can contact James on Twitter at @jdaman04.
The Back Row | @BackRowOnline
Ever walked in on a Sunday morning to see the usually t-shirt-and-jeans-clad Youth Minister in a suit and tie?
Here are 12 things Youth Ministers hear when they wear a suit to church:
Poor guy. Leave that poor Youth Minister alone, you meanies!
That being said... You got any more? Leave them in the comment section.
Matt Coker | @MatthewSCoker
The Back Row is kind of in a league of its own when it comes to ministering to Christians. Our slogan is "Humor & Healing for the Saved but Still Human." To us, that means that we put just as much (or sometimes more) emphasis on making people laugh as we do on encouraging people in their daily walks.
And a lot of folks don't understand it. They don't see how the two really go together.
But to me, I don't see how it could be done any differently.
"I AM CHRIS FARLEY"
A wonderful documentary recently came out about the life of Chris Farley, featuring heart-felt interviews with his SNL cast mates and many other comedians and some regular people who were close to him.
For those of you too young to remember, Chris Farley was the king of comedy on Saturday Night Live for a stretch of several years in the early 90s. He was a large man with incredible abilities that he used to make people laugh.
In these interviews, we learn some things that maybe most didn't know about Chris. We've all heard that he had a drug problem, which sent him into rehab multiple times and would eventually take his life. But what we didn't see when he was on the television was how much he struggled on the inside.
He was a clown, but it was often a mask to cover his insecurities, his low self-esteem, his feelings that he was not good enough, even when everyone was telling him he was the best.