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Shelby Craig

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January 04, 2009

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jerks and wimps

When did we turn into wimps? Take a quick jaunt through the New Testament and you'll see a different breed of believer. Most Christians then weren't so much worried about what others thought about them as they were with God's evaluation. Their burning desire was to make him happy. If that meant sharing the gospel in hostile environments to angry crowds-no problem! If that led to death, dismemberment or displacement-then so be it!

A lot has changed in 2,000 years.

I'm convinced that the early Christians would be PO'd at the PC culture today in Christianity, especially youth ministry. We are losing our battle because we have lost our bite. We are more concerned about being user friendly then we are about the salvation of souls.

Since when do we have to beat around the bush when it comes to our faith? Since when do we have to “earn the right to be heard”? Isn't that what Jesus did when he died on the cross, rose from the dead and commissioned us from the mountain? If I recall he didn't say, “Go into all the world, build deep relationships, live your life out loud, then, when the watching world is so in awe of your godly life that they fall to their knees and say, 'What is so different about your life? I want what you have! Tell me! Tell me! For crying out loud tell me!' then, and only then, preach the gospel.”

We need to share it just like the early Christians did. When Peter stood up in the temple in Acts 2 he had no relationship with the crowd, but he shared the gospel and thousands came to Christ. When Paul preached the gospel on Mar's Hill he had no relationship with the crowd, but he shared it and people got saved. When Jesus asked the women at the well for some water he had no relationship with her, but he gave her the living water and she became a satisfied believer.

I think, in the name of relationship, bridge building, listening, loving, etc., many of us in youth ministry have lost our gumption. We have chickened out...and blamed our relational style of evangelism.

You get the point. Don't be a wimp.

But don't be a jerk either.

I was raised in a tight, right and extremely white church that preached with an “up yours” attitude. Yeah, sure we were bold but many times we were too pushy. If you didn't listen to our manic monolithic monologue and respond with a “yes, I believe” well, you were a poor soul on the highway to hell. “NEXT!” We'd just move on to our next victim.

We used to look at “soul winning” as a competition. “He who dies with the most souls wins” was the mantra we lived by. I'm ashamed of this now, but we would go to the mall, witness like crazy and then come back and compare numbers to see who was the best soul scalper.

As an evangelist I was a jerk.

But then I married a wimp.

My wife changed my life...and I changed hers. I brought her boldness. She taught me love. I showed her what to say. She showed me how to listen. I got her fired up. She got me calmed down.

You see it's not an either or thing. It's both and. Jesus told us to be salt and light, not salt or light. We “shake the salt” with our loving lives and “shine the light” with our verbal witness. We live it and give it. But we're aggressive in both. And we're caring in both.

Christians who share boldly without loving intensely are bull-horn, bull-headed blowhards (A.K.A. jerks) who turn off more people than they turn on to Christ. Believers who just love and listen (without ever sharing) are chickens...wimps of the worst kind.

Youth ministry needs bold, loving, caring, catalytic, concerned, unrelenting, uncompromising, unassuming evangelists who live it out loud and share it out loud. Courage combined with compassion. Intensity mixed with empathy. Proclamation married with incarnation.

George Whitefield used to pray before going into potentially volatile situations, “God, give me the mixture of the lion and the lamb.”

That's exactly what we need.

If we are going to lead our students into the battlefield of life then we need to do it by example. We need to show them how.

This means risk.

If you are naturally a wimp who tends to wait too long and miss a lot of opportunities in the name of bridge-building then you are going to have to risk starting sooner with the whole gospel thing.

If you are more of a jerk who tends to make people mad then you must risk taking time to listen and love in the midst of your proclamation.

Jesus was the ultimate balance. He knew when to speak up and when to shut up. He knew when to cry and when to confront. Jesus was never a wimp. He was never a jerk either.

Let's be like Jesus.
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Free Music

Just passing on the goods! is giving away 12 new songs from some very new artist.  Some haven't even released an album yet.  Some have been on the scene for a bit, but are still fairly new.  Anywho...Enjoy the Free music.


Think about it as an early Christmas gift!



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I Start My New Job Tuesday!!

Praise God!! I have finally found a job.  I will be the new Admissions Coordinator for Draughon's Junior College.  I will be recruiting new students and trying to implement a recruiting strategy for high school students.  I so excitied that I will be do something within my degree that allows to do something that I enjoy. 
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Olive Garden in the 'Boro??

So I have heard for the last 4 years that Olive Garden is coming to Murfreesboro, TN only to be let down.  Every building that is going up I am always like, "Olive Garden baby!" but then to see signs like Red Robin, Carrabba's, Pei Wei.  Anyways, after watching this building go up right behind Carrabba's I am wondering again.  I went to Olive Garden's website and there is a Management Opportunity here in Murfreesboro.  Which means that there is one coming.  When? hopefully soon!  Where? who care!? 


Also, if you haven't drove over to The Avenue, Murfreesboro new and largest  mall in Tennessee there are places that are open.  Dick's Sporting Goods and then Best Buy is training currently and will be opening within two weeks.  We will also be getting a Macaroni Grill and a Longhorn Steakhouse both opening by September.  


Lot of Good stuff going on in the 'Boro!  Make me excited that I live here. 

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I went to church in my PJ's

I don't know if you have heard of this church, but I have been trying to figure out how this church operates since I heard about it about a year ago.  The church is called Life Church.  Their website,

photo from scfutebol77

This is an internet church.  I first heard about them when they did a series called "My dirty little secret" and allowed members to confess thier secrets and sins to God on a online blog hosted by the church.  It was a huge success, but the Catholics didn't care much for it.  This got me interested in this church.  How does a church have church online?

Well this past sunday I went.  It started with me waking up, putting my PJ's on, grabbing some breakfast,  and logging on.  Upon logging on, you are asked, which worship to you want.

photo from scfutebol77

Option 1, a little edgier, Option 2 more like...Passion.  I chose 1, but the beautiful thing is, you can switch it up at anytime.

You click your worhsip style then directed to the "Lobby"

photo from scfutebol77

this is where you will find  announcements, welcome message, and Mix and Mingle.  What is that, well, it is a chatroom where you can do just that with the people across the globe going to church with you, it like the gathering in the foyer of the church, yet it's not.

photo from scfutebol77

After chatting, you are alerted by a countdown that Worship have started and it launched off.  Here I am sitting in my living room rocking out to my favorite worship in surround sound on my computer screen.  CRAZY!!  It is a live feed from thier campus in Oklahoma, the worhip was awesome and fun.

photo from scfutebol77

They have the song that you are singing, the artist who sings it, and where you can buy it.  Also the words are on the screen for you to sing along.


After about  30 minutes of singing went into the message.  They love to intergrate rich media, movies, and excellent theology.  The message was incredible, relevant, and attentive.  The only thing that I had trouble with the video feed freezing up.  I was going to get a screenshot, but couldn't, so here is one that you can watch online now.

photo from scfutebol77

the thing that I like the most is that the video feed is to your left, notes, fill in the blanks, and scripture to your right.


So my first experience with Lifechurch was great.  I really enjoyed it and I was able to stay home.  

If you are think, "Well you miss the experience of church." Well think no more, if you are interested in having the church experience, you can experience it all live in Hendersonville, TN  lifechurch has launched one of their  12 campuses there in Hendersonville, so if you want a very relevant, edgy, integrated church, check them out.

photo from scfutebol77







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