Alvin Lau

Blog posts from Alvin

20 01, 2020

Avalanche 2020 – review

By |2020-01-20T10:57:50-05:00January 20th, 2020|Alvin Lau|0 Comments

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

12 01, 2020

Accessibility

By |2020-01-08T23:59:05-05:00January 12th, 2020|Alvin Lau|0 Comments

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

26 11, 2019

Book review: Before the Screen

By |2019-11-26T23:37:51-05:00November 26th, 2019|Alvin Lau, youth ministry thoughts|0 Comments

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

17 11, 2019

Advent Prep

By |2019-11-17T22:56:58-05:00November 17th, 2019|Alvin Lau|0 Comments

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

8 11, 2019

Collaboration

By |2019-11-08T15:35:57-05:00November 8th, 2019|Alvin Lau, best practices|0 Comments

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

5 09, 2019

Kick-off Tips

By |2019-09-05T15:49:29-04:00September 5th, 2019|Alvin Lau, best practices|0 Comments

Are you ready for another ministry year? Chances are, you’re preparing for that first kick-off event of the year (or maybe you’ve already done it). As you putting on the finishing touches, a few reminders to make this kick-off an effective one: Be mindful of the first impression. That first impression, especially for first-ever visitors, will leave a lingering memory (positive or negative) with your students (and their parents). This

4 09, 2019

CLEAR: seeing the unfiltered truth in you

By |2019-09-17T23:22:24-04:00September 4th, 2019|Alvin Lau|0 Comments

There’s a scene in the movie “National Treasure” where three characters who are all looking for treasure view a map. With it are spectacles with different coloured filters. Each filter reveals a different clue on the map (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqVxaRiekac).  Like those spectacles, we reveal different parts of ourselves in different filters...in different lights. How do you define yourself? Is it based on your role like “student” or “only child”? Is it

24 05, 2019

Planning for Next Year

By |2019-05-24T13:09:13-04:00May 24th, 2019|Alvin Lau, best practices|0 Comments

You’ve got a few more weeks of youth group left before the summer season comes. For some of you, the summer brings rest and a break. Others of you switch into another gear. Either way, it’s important to plan long before September comes. Do you know what you’ll be doing next year? You may be asking, “Why am I already planning next year?” A few reasons: It gives you and

1 05, 2019

Book review: Reimagining Young Adult Ministry

By |2019-05-01T21:54:22-04:00May 1st, 2019|Alvin Lau|0 Comments

For the last couple of decades, the church has been asking: How do we minister to young adults? Many people have ideas, but few are sustainable. Scott Pontier and Mark DeVries offers some insights in their book Reimagining Young Adult Ministry. (https://www.amazon.ca/Reimagining-Young-Adult-Ministry-Guidebook/dp/0998806404) Pontier and DeVries guide a conversation focused on what young adults are looking for and how the church can meet them where they are. The authors draw on

25 04, 2019

Volunteer Appreciation

By |2019-04-25T23:41:33-04:00April 25th, 2019|Alvin Lau, best practices|0 Comments

The ministry year is less than 2 months from finishing; youth ministries are making the final stretch and are starting to wrap things up. One key opportunity we urge you to take is to thank your volunteers. Here are some suggestions.   It’s Not One-Size-Fits-All In a previous blog post, we noted that different people receive appreciation differently. That being the case, now’s a great time to find ways to

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