Monday, December 3, 2012

The End of the Wanna Be Preacher

I started this blog a while ago to chronicle my search for a position as a youth pastor. Then it turned into a youth pastor resource blog. Then I stopped writing on it altogether. I am here to announce that this blog has come to an end.

Yesterday, I went from being a wanna-be pastor to being Reverend Jonathan Pearson. My church decided it was time to ordain me to the ministry and we had a special service. As a result, I am a "real deal" pastor at this point.

I am planning to begin a new blog shortly, one that is a little more suited for my new chapter in life. Please stay tuned. If you have been a reader, I thank you.

God bless,


Friday, November 23, 2012

Posters for Our Advent Series in Awakening

I have been really trying to improve my Photoshop skills as of late. While I don't have a full version of Photoshop, my copy of Photoshop Elements 10 seems to be able to handle what I have been wanting to do. Here are some examples of the promo pieces I made for each lesson, beginning on Wednesday, November 29.
I would love to know your thoughts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review - The Pleasures of God by John Piper

John Piper is a very smart man. This is extremely evident in all of his books. The sentence structure is complex and Piper makes arguments that leaves the average person scratching his head in bewilderment. Dr. Piper also knows his Bible intimately. He has probably forgotten more of the Bible than I will ever know.

I recently had the opportunity to read The Pleasures of God by Piper. In this book, Piper makes the argument that God takes pleasure in a number of things, including His Son, His creation, and in the prayers of the righteous, among other things. The chief argument of the book, however, is that God takes pleasure in His own glory because to take glory in anything else would be considered idolatry. Because God is the Ultimate, for Him to find His pleasure and enjoyment in anything else would be idolatry.

While I very much enjoy learning from Dr. Piper and his teaching has had a profound influence on me and others that I have learned from, I do have issue with his belief in election. I will readily concede that there are verses in Scripture that would imply that some individuals are chosen for salvation and others were created for destruction. However, I do claim to be smart enough to understand how this works. I think it is a beautiful idea that God would choose me, but I have a difficult understanding why some folks would be made for the simple purpose of sending them to Hell.

The entire book is not about this topic, but because it is such a central part of Piper’s belief system, it tends to work its way into all that he does. For this reason, I had a very hard time working through the book quickly. I often put the book down to ponder what I read or because I was unhappy at some of the implications.

For those readers who are of Piper’s stripe of theology, this will be a very enjoyable book. It portrays our God (backed up with Scripture) as a glorious God worthy of our praise. For those who believe a little differently, this book will be a challenge. That being said, there is a lot that can be learned and gleaned from reading The Pleasures of God. One thing I left with was a conviction to learn my Bible even more. I want to be able to recall the passages with the relative ease that Dr. Piper demonstrates.

I was provided a copy of The Pleasures of God as a part of the Blogging for Books program. I was not required to give it a positive review.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

All of last year, the art teacher at the school I work at had pictures of this guy named Nick Vujicic. They were strange pictures of a man who had no arms and no legs on a surfboard. Honestly, they were a little hard to look at. However, as I learned a bit more about him, I realized that the story of Nick Vujicic was one worth knowing. Here is a man who is faced with incredible obstacles (I mean, he has no arms and no legs), but he is doing some amazing things for God.

Recently, I was asked to promote his new book Unstoppable. I have not read it yet, so I cannot endorse the content entirely. However, as you will see from the video below, this is a story that everyone should become familiar with. If a man can overcome a disability as severe as his in the name of God, just think about what those of us who are whole can do with a little bit of faith.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here's What You Missed - Awakening, September 12, 2012

If you weren't in Awakening last night, here is your quick recap of the night's events.
  • Announcements: Money for Awakening Fest ($30) is due THIS SUNDAY! Please give the money to Miss Cheryl. See You At the Pole is two weeks away. I hope you are making plans to be there. Don't forget that Youth Alive is this Sunday at 5 p.m.
  • Missions Trip: We are taking a missions trip to Pittsburgh in June 2013. Applications were distributed. Please take some time (a lot of time) to pray over the application and talk/pray with your parents about the trip. The cost is $350, but do not let money be the reason you don't go on the trip. Applications are due October 14. If you did not get an application, see Pastor Jonathan. We also watched a video of the trip in Pittsburgh last year.
  • Bible Study: We continued our study "Life in 6 Words" with Our. This was a discussion of our role in the mutiny called sin and how all of us are responsible for sinning. Greg and Prop did an excellent job of explaining the concept of "federal headship."
  • Next Week: We will continue to study "Life in 6 Words" with Sins. Our memory verse is Romans 3:23.

Can't wait to see you next week in Awakening!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Ministry-related Prayers

I was cleaning the carpets last night. It is pretty monotonous work, so I had a lot of time to think. I began to think about the things that I would like to see happen in my ministry, be it youth group, children's ministry, or just the ministry in general. I understand that some of these things that I am praying for are pretty far out there, things that may never come to fruition. No harming in asking, right?

So, without any further jibber-jabber on my part, here are my ministry prayers.

  • I am praying that my youth group would grow to at least 30 students by May 2013.
  • I am praying that I would have the opportunity to lead at least 5 students to Christ by May 2013.
  • I am praying that we would have a minimum of 30 children in Children's Church by May 2013.
  • I am praying that there will be at least 200 people in the church service each week.
  • I am praying that our weekly offerings will go over $10,000 in tithes and gifts.
  • I am praying that we will have the volunteers to start a Wednesday evening children's program in September 2013.
  • I am praying that more people in the church would develop a servant's heart and become involved in the ministry of the church.
  • I am praying that the youth department will one day have its own facility. Not just a room or a basement, but its own building.
  • I am praying that the opportunity for me to go on staff in a full-time capacity occurs in the very near future.
  • I am praying that my students in the youth group will be sold out for Christ and will begin telling their friends about Jesus.
As you can tell, I have a lot of things that I am praying for and, actually, this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. Youth ministry is a job that rises and falls on prayer. I just pray that I am doing enough.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Why Are So Many Christians So Eager to Defend Pornography?

A little while ago, there was a huge uproar in the Christian world about a movie and a series of books, both of which were highly inappropriate and dealt with lust and sex. I wrote a post about my thoughts on both.

Now, knowing that the movie contains a good deal of nudity or implied nudity and the books are full of very explicit sexual content between two individuals who are not married, you would think that it would be a no-brainer for Christians to avoid these things. I mean, yes, it is true that all things are lawful for us, but even Paul recognized that not all things are beneficial. Sadly, though, this was not the case.

In a forum for youth pastors, I came across an individual who was in youth ministry who had gone to see the movie and was adamantly defending her decision to do so, saying that she saw nothing wrong with it and that her husband was fine with her going. Does anyone else see a problem here? This is a woman who works with teenagers, defending a movie that she had no business seeing. That would be like me encouraging my students to watch American Pie or something similar.

Another bizarre event took place when I posted a link to an article about the books and asked folks to read it, just to get a different perspective on what they were reading. I received an email blasting me for posting the article, claiming that I was being judgmental and judging peoples' marriages. Please note, I did not make any accusations or even say that people shouldn't read the books. I merely offered the article as a different perspective.

I think this is just proof of the hard work that youth pastors have to do. We are constantly crashing into a popular culture that glorifies sex and is doing its best to normalize sexual behavior of all types, including things that previously were not even discussed in private company. Even sadder is that many parents are reading those books or watching those movies, completely oblivious to the impact such decisions will have on their children. I mean, if mom can read it, why can't I read something similar?