Blog

January 2020

Treasuring in the Midst of Busyness

By |2020-01-26T00:01:40-05:00January 27th, 2020|Alvin Lau|

January to March is our high season with five events over 10 weeks. I (Alvin) admit I'm not good at taking a step back to be in the moment with God. Too many times, I'm thinking ahead to what's next. And yet, when I think back to Luke 2, twice the author points out that Mary "treasured" two moments: Jesus' birth along with the jubilant exclamation of the shepherds, and

Avalanche 2020 – review

By |2020-01-20T10:57:50-05:00January 20th, 2020|Alvin Lau|

An avalanche came this weekend. Sure, there was a lot of snow. More importantly, the message of Jesus was clearly presented and available for all to consider. Our speaker, Shawn Naylor, talked through our 4 sessions: the projected identity, what's behind the scenes, when it all falls apart and the raw self. He challenged to almost 500 jr. high students and youth leaders to consider who Jesus calls them to

Accessibility

By |2020-01-08T23:59:05-05:00January 12th, 2020|Alvin Lau|

Accessibility for those with physical, mental or other exceptionalities is becoming a higher priority in the church. While we are not experts in the field, we continue to look for and find ways to accommodate individuals who require some additional assistance. Some thoughts to consider: Do you know what exceptionalities exist in your group? Sometimes they are obvious; other times it may take some investigating. As parents, my wife and

December 2019

Centre Court (fall 2019) review

By |2019-12-02T00:40:01-05:00December 2nd, 2019|event recap|

Last night, we hosted our 20th+ Centre Court event. Not only did the Raptors come away with a convincing victory, almost 700 of us got to hang back after the game for our own program. This year's speaker was Stormin' Norman Powell. He shared how his faith has continued to shape him (he previously shared at Centre Court about three years ago), especially after last summer's NBA championship. More importantly,

November 2019

Youth Ministry Highlight: Malvern Baptist Church

By |2019-11-28T23:57:07-05:00November 28th, 2019|ym highlight|

The youth from MBC went on a 3 day retreat this past summer in Guelph. The weekend was filled with games, food, reflection, mediation, sports, and prayer. Our church partnered with another church (who meets at Tyndale) and had a badminton tournament accompanied with worship (led by Nicholas Wong). Our church celebrated Thanksgiving with a turkey and all the

Book review: Before the Screen

By |2019-11-26T23:37:51-05:00November 26th, 2019|Alvin Lau, youth ministry thoughts|

Recently, I (Alvin) finished reading Andrew Zirschky’s book Beyond the Screen: Youth Ministry for the Connected But Alone Generation. This short book highlighted some profound insights on how Generation Z engages social media in the context of community. Some specific insights that caught my attention: One key reason why many youth gravitate to technology is “not primarily for its entertainment value or cool factor, but because of its potential to

Youth Ministry Highlight: Agincourt Baptist Church

By |2019-11-28T23:58:05-05:00November 20th, 2019|Uncategorized, ym highlight|

Our VBS camp this August brought in a lot of new faces to our youth group, as new volunteer leaders from the local high-school and current youth group members were brought much closer as a tight-nit group. The new members transitioned into our weekly youth group seamlessly. Now we have a larger group with a strong drive and motivation to be at church as much as possible. Every member attends our

Advent Prep

By |2019-11-17T22:56:58-05:00November 17th, 2019|Alvin Lau|

Snow is falling (and staying depending on what area of Quebec or Ontario you’re living in). Retailers have already set up their Christmas decorations. How is your youth group preparing for advent? Some considerations: What transitions are worth keeping? Contrarily, what traditions should be adapted into something different? What expressions of Advent would speak to your neighbourhood? How would the message of Jesus resonate with your community? What media would

Youth Ministry Highlight: Kingsway Baptist Church

By |2019-11-28T23:58:39-05:00November 14th, 2019|ym highlight|

I (Jon Matthews, youth pastor at Kingsway) had a really encouraging phone call with one of our students who is in University now (3rd year). As we were talking and she was sharing how she now has a church in town she goes to weekly, arranging her work schedule so every week she can have Sunday mornings free. And that she is part of discipleship group with another Para-church organization.

Collaboration

By |2019-11-08T15:35:57-05:00November 8th, 2019|Alvin Lau, best practices|

In the last few months, I (Alvin) have had the honour of working alongside the Church Life team with the Small Church Envisioning days (the last session is this Saturday at Immanuel Baptist Church in Toronto). While there have been several inter-department collaborations in the past, this round reminded me of its importance. Here are a few insights. I can (and should) learn from others. Admittedly, I sometimes have a

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