Posted by: Chris Sandel | July 2, 2008


For those of you who are wondering…yes, I am still alive.  It has been a ridiculously full few weeks and I have therefore missed more days of posting than ever before (by far).  It isn’t for lack of things happening (though it is somewhat from lack of time to surf the web).  I just haven’t had time at my computer when I didn’t need to be catching up on something else.  I guess that is no different now (I should be working on our booklet for camp) but I guess I wanted a distraction. 

Over the last few weeks I’ve:

  • Led a trip with our Student Leadership Team to Champaign to serve two weeks ago (I can’t believe I haven’t written about it…I’ve got to tell you about it when things slow down…it was one of my top ten experiences as a Jr. High minister).
  • Attended the wedding of some good friends of mine
  • Led a group of Jr. High students down to St. Louis for our 6th annual mission trip to the inner city there. 
  • Worked on tons of Memory Works projects.

I’m currently out of town again at the North American Christian Convention with Melissa.

This morning Bill Hybels spoke for an hour on leadership.  He wasn’t actually a featured speaker (not in a main session).  They brought him in to give one of the leadership lectures.  It wasn’t the best I’ve ever heard him but he is always solid. 

He talked about the four leadership principles that he’d want to pass on if he were struggling to get his last words out on his death bed.  Two of them in particular stood out to me.  He talked about his dad, a highly successful business man, and talked about what it would have taken to get him involved serving at church.  There were lots of great things he mentioned but the one that stood out to me was that he would never just visit a card table and sign up for something.  That isn’t the way high level leaders function.  It would have taken a personal invitation with a compelling vision to get his dad on board. 

He also talked about creating memorable church services.  He gave several examples of times in his life when he’s seen the the difference that can be made when people go out of their way to craft memorable services that will stick with people.

As I thought about Hybels’ comments in my own life and ministry I came away with two main thoughts:

  1. As I prepare for the coming year, I need to make a much more intentional and concerted effort to personally sit with people and tell them about Jr. High ministry.  I need to aim high as I think through potential leaders and pray that God will allow me to cast a compelling vision for the difference that can be made in the life of a 6-8th grader.
  2. I need to spend more time thinking about how we can go above and beyond the norm, especially in our Sunday morning programming, to make things memorable.  I think I did a much better job of this in my first few years when Sunday AM was my primary focus.  Over the last few years though we’ve put a lot of work into our small group program and I haven’t put as much energy into Sunday mornings.  I need to find a way to put more energy into Sunday mornings.

Nothing too humorous there.  Just a few thoughts I had today.  I really didn’t have time to share them (it is almost midnight and I still need to finish the booklet for camp) but since it’s been so long I thought I’d fill everyone in on a few of my experiences over the last three weeks.


  1. I’m glad for an update! I can’t wait to hear about why Champaign was a “top 10” moment 🙂

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