The Best Movies of 2012 (So Far)

I see a lot of movies. One year, I saw 64. (What can I say? I had a few free tickets.) Because of this (and because I like to talk about movies), I get asked for recommendations all the time.

So far, this year, I've seen 20 movies.

And out of those 20, here are the ones I can solidly say you should see...


Learning to Manage a Weakness

I'm a pretty observational guy. Like Monk, sometimes it's a gift and sometimes it's a curse. The gift part of it is that I'm usually self aware enough to notice when something's off in me.

For instance, I noticed quite a while ago that I'm impulsive. And this character trait bleeds into almost all areas of my life. Everything from grocery shopping to relationships to time management. It's easy to see how this can be a weakness. In fact, McGill touched on this a little in a great little blog post. But, part of the joy in getting older (or "growing up" if you don't like to think about age), is that you learn more about yourself. You learn more about how you are you.

Is it possible to use something that you've discovered in yourself to be a potential "weakness" to your advantage?

That's exactly what I've learned how to do. And here's how...


Worship Songs We'll Be Working On

Yesterday, when I posted on our summer camp experience, i toughed very briefly on the worship band that leads us every day. What I didn't say about the worship was how much it inspires and fuels our ministry during the school year.

Two summers ago, as we sat in worship every night at Summersalt, my students would giggle at how, during the songs, I'd be bent over my moleskin notebook, furiously scribbling down the lyrics to songs so that I could look them up later. We would then use those songs in our own MidWeek services.

Well, this year, the same thing occurred. (Only, without the giggles. Mainly since they were expecting it.) I also asked each of our students (especially our student worship leaders) if they would let me know which songs they really liked at camp, so that I could use those as well.

So I wanted to provide you with a list of which songs we'll begin work on soon:


A Few Thoughts About Summersalt (Our Summer Camp)

For the second summer in a row, we took our students to summer camp at Summersalt. And, while originally, I selected Summersalt as our camp mainly for convenience (we've got connections that allowed us to register late last summer and it's only an hour away), after year two, I'm sold.

Summersalt is a camp put on by the youth ministry department of the South Carolina Baptist Convention at White Oak Conference Center. Not only was this my second summer taking students from Trinity, I went as a student when I was in youth group here, so it holds a special place in my heart.

Here's a few quick thoughts about why I love it:


Church > Sports?

This past Friday, as I was doing a little pre-camp shopping for essentials (a man needs his cliff bars and 5 hour energies), I saw my friend, Steven, tweet this:
"Is there ever going to be a day (especially in OC) when church will take priority over sports for students? -@StevenOrel
(By the way, Steven co-writes a great blog called Gen To Gen YM. Click the link to check it out!) This reminded me of a ministry story from a few months ago.


Summer(salt) Camp

This coming Monday we'll be leaving to take our students to summer camp for the week. So there won't be any new blog posts during that time.

But if this year's camp is anything like last year's, you'll want to be following me on twitter just for the quotes from our students. You can follow me at @joshtreece. I'll be posting from there every day.

Also, I mentioned in this post last week that there was a story of how my heart turned from not liking leading worship to liking it, and that I'd post that story later. Well, as I scanned through past posts last night, I saw that I had already written it! You can read that story here.

See you guys in a week!


Questions To Ask Before You Kill a Program

This past week, I had to pull the trigger and kill a program in my ministry. But it wasn't a hasty decision. It was about a five week process of evaluation, questions, and discussion. I'm always bummed when something that I start doesn't work out the way I planned, but I'm excited to refocus my energies for the future.

Here are some questions that I used in my evaluation process:


What I'm Reading

Bill Hybels once said that leaders are readers. I couldn't agree more!

I've been a regular reader for some time now. My normal practice is to read a book a month, and to alternate between reading a book for fun and one for learning. But in the past year, I've had to pick up the pace due to my job.

Here's what I'm reading right now:

Question: What books are you reading for learning or for fun right now? 


Leadership Training

Lately, I've tried being a little more focused in what I'm posting. This has resulted in mainly thoughts about ministry (to students in particular) and leadership. I'm sure this will drift a little, as my life has other facets to it. As I've spent more time on the blog, I've taken to reading some of my old posts. Three specific ones prompted me to revisit them. And that got me thinking...


Kind Words Spoken

I love Bob Goff. And I don't mean that in a general "I love tacos" kind of way. I mean genuine love. Is it possible to love someone you've never met? Sure it is. The truth is this: I may have never met Bob in person, but through his twitter feed (link above) and book, Love Does, he has had a deep impact on my life.

This past Friday, as I was reading a chapter from the book on how words can impact us, I came across this quote:
"Words spoken by kind people have the ability to endure in our lives."
 This reminded me of something that happened early last year.


Student Worship Leaders

I mentioned in a post a few days ago how part of my job is to oversee worship music for our ministry. This is more that a little ironic to me, considering that 10 years ago I hated leading worship. (How my heart did a 180 is a story for another post.) But, in this particular role, I've found tons of joy that I didn't know I could. And all of that joy has come from helping students learn how to be worship leaders.