Food Fight

Written by evan on February 29, 2008 at 8:15 PM

Help, I Need Somebody - Easter Artwork

Written by evan on at 12:11 PM

The other day I posted some artwork that Travis and I were working on for our Easter service at First Assembly. I gave no background information on the art for a reason. I just wanted your gut reaction.

First off, thanks for all the criticisms, encouragements, and ideas that were posted here, twitter, xanga and myspace.

Our Easter service is going to be based off of The Beatles' song Help.
A live band will cover The Beatles song.
Multiple stories from people.
Creative elements from children and student ministries.
All centered around one center. Help.


rough draft

final draft

Any thoughts the on revisions?

The Beatles Help {embed video}

Turning 30 soon, I need style advice

Written by evan on February 28, 2008 at 9:42 AM

I turned 29 1/2 monday.

Multiple choice. What do you think? What advice would you give me.

1. Looks great. Trendy.
2. You need to quit holding on to your 20s.
3. You look high.
4. Looks like you are trying to arm wrestle a ghost.

Our Easter promo. I need your gut reaction.

Written by evan on February 27, 2008 at 10:01 PM

I need your gut reaction on our working promo piece for our Easter service.
Comment away.

How do you stop a crying baby?

Written by evan on February 26, 2008 at 6:32 PM

because i have no idea. {embed video}

This video was original blogged about here.

Helping Parents. The 5 Love Languages

Written by evan on February 25, 2008 at 6:47 PM

What an incredible night! Each month we hold a parents gathering to teach on parenting. Tonight we had almost 20 parents brave the rain, that is suppose to freeze in a couple hours for a night to learn how to love their children better.

Joy (Travis' wife) did most of the teaching tonight using Dr. Gary Chapman's five love languages.

The Five Love Languages

  1. Words of Affirmation - Verbal appreciation
  2. Quality Time - Focusing all of your energy
  3. Receiving Gifts - Visible symbols of love
  4. Acts of Service - Doing simple chores
  5. Physical Touch - Receive physical contact

Next month's gathering. March 31 @ 6:30pm. Safe Surfing: Using the internet @ home.

Connecting People to People

Written by evan on February 24, 2008 at 8:23 PM

In 60 seconds

We had a great time at The Pipeline tonight, we encouraged our students to connect with other Christians. We also promoted 2 small groups we are starting.

Family Centered Ministry by Reggie Joiner

Written by evan on February 22, 2008 at 8:09 PM

Four ways youth ministries are

  1. Our job is to stop kids from going to Hell
  2. Stop them from raising Hell
  3. We want to scare the Hell out of them
  4. (he either didn't say it, or i missed it)
5 words youth pastors think about during the week
  1. Student
  2. Content
  3. Production
  4. Age group focus
  5. Growth
Across the country, churches are losing influence.

3 major dials needed to be in a life
  1. Relationship with God
  2. Relationship with others
  3. Relationship with yourself
Shift from production to relationship.
As much money we spend, we still will not be able to out produce culture.
Culture can not out do you in your relational content.
The greatest gift you can give a student is relationship.
The greatest gift you can give a parent, is to give them same thing that their parent is saying.

Family ministry focus
We can't compete with the family, we need to compliment with the family.
2 combined influences make a greater impact, then just 2 influences.
Nehemiah 4:13
One day someone else will be doing my job, but nobody can be the kind of father to your sons and daughter that you can be.

Reggie Joiner in 60 seconds

Building Your Team by Dan Hunter

Written by evan on at 2:37 PM

Dan Hunter
Seven Student Ministries

Dan shared on developing a team.
You can not do everything
You should not do everything
You must step away so that they can step up

Why do we do it alone?

  1. We want to do it alone.
  2. We feel like we can do things better ourselves
  3. We are insecure and feel threatened
Why we should build a team?
  1. Helps people develop and discover their gifts
  2. Prepares your ministry for success tomorrow.
Building a team.
Effective teams just dont happen, they are built.
  1. Spread the dream.
  2. Recruit constantly
  3. Give away ownership
  4. Grow together
  5. Pay the price

Dan Hunter in 60 seconds

Perceptions of Christianity by Gabe Lyons

Written by evan on at 10:58 AM

3 Questions we asked.
  1. How do non-christians 16-29 view Christians?
  2. How did we get here?
  3. How can we change this perception

Perceptions of Christianity
  • What's the first thing they think of when they hear the word Christian.
  • Anti-homosexual - Christians show contempt for gays and lesbians
  • Judgmental - Christians are prideful and quick to find faults in others
  • Hypocritical - Christians say one thing but live something entirely different
  • Get Saved! - Christians are insincere and concerned only with converting others
  • Sheltered - Christians are boring, unintelligent, old-fashioned, and out of touch with reality
  • Too Political - Christians are primarily motivated by a political agenda and promote right wing politics

Changing the perceptions
1. Respond to anti-homosexual by being compassionate
Christians show compassion and love to all people regardless of their lifestyle
That homosexual isnt the only sexual sin taking place in the church.
They are made in God's image.

2. Respond to judgemental by showing grace
Christians show grace by finding the good in others and seeing their potential to be Christ-followers
3. Respond to hypocrisy by being authentic
Christian are transparent about their flaws and act first, talk second
4. Respond to proselytizing by being...Relational
Christians cultivate relationship and environments where others can be deeply transformed by God.
5. Respond by sheltered by being informed.
Christians are engaged, informed and offer sophisticated responses to the issues people face.

Gabe Lyons General Session in 60 seconds

Transformation by Bo Bosher

Written by evan on February 21, 2008 at 7:39 PM

Bo Boshers - Willow Creek Executive Director of Youth Ministries

Bo asked some direct questions.

  1. (sit down with students and ask) What does it mean to be a Christ follower
  2. (instead of asking, why are students leaving the church? ask...) Why should they stay?
Bo drew a beaker.

Talked about the boiling point of water being 212 F, and that we want our students to be at 212, but they are really living at 106.
Students are living beneath their privilege.
We need to help students understand 212 F intentionally.

If you had to put a degree on your youth ministry, i would put it at what level?
How do students get to a place in their life, where transformation is intentional instead of by accident?
How do we turn up the degrees in students' lives?

Some thoughts from Reveal by Greg Hawkins
How does spiritual transformation take place?
  1. Prayer
  2. Community
  3. Serving
That if people attended events, that their love for Jesus would grow.
But coming to something showed that their wasn't a life change.

My take on Bo Bosher's session in 60 seconds

Leadership lunch w/ Scott Hodge

Written by evan on at 2:20 PM

On our way to Target Leadership Conference today, we talked and had lunch with Scott Hodge (Lead Pastor at Orchard Valley Community Church in Aurora) and his creative arts director Mike Jones at Chilis.

What I learned from Scott.
  • Hearing God everyday is important.
  • Set high standards for volunteer leaders.
  • Whenever change happens, some people will leave.
  • Don't take people leaving as personal.
  • Ron Kenoly isn't his cup of tea.
  • Meet the needs of your community
  • First Assembly is in a great spot for continued momentum & growth
Thanks scott for taking the time.

Bloggers Lunch @ Target Leadership Conference

Written by evan on February 20, 2008 at 11:43 PM

Travis and I head to Rockford tomorrow for Target Leadership Conference. We are making a stop on our trip, for lunch with Scott Hodges. Scott is the pastor of an innovative church, The Orchard, in Aurora. I'm excited about talking church leadership with him.

Target is an emerging leadership experience where over 300 youth pastors and leaders gather from around the Great Lakes Region to spend three days experiencing what it means to be an effective youth minister.

There will be 6 general sessions with the following speakers.
Reggie Joiner - The reThink Group
Gabe Lyons - author of Unchurched
Bo Boshers - Willow Creek
Dan Hunter - Seven Ministries
Dave Mudd - FAZE Youth Church

I'm going to be blogging & twittering (my twitter) during all of the sessions, and will be sending utterz after each session. In a little piece that I am going to call, "In 60 seconds." So, if you aren't going to Target, I will give you the jist of the session "in 60 seconds."

Attn Bloggers.
Let's get together.
Let's share ideas and thoughts.
All blogger experience is welcome.
Friday @ Lunch, approx. 12:30pm @ Don Pablos in Rockford.

I'll be on chat during all the sessions.
mufan96 - yahoo, aim
ecourtney@hotmail dot com - msn
evan.courtney@gmail dot com - gtalk

Black bandana, sweet Louisiana

Written by evan on at 9:31 PM

Last night about 15 students came over to rock.

{embed video}


Packing up my iBook

Written by evan on February 19, 2008 at 4:30 PM

Today, i packed up my iBook to ship to Apple for repairs.
It runs, but whenever I try to reboot, it just hangs.

My Grandma in Concert - Church Sign

Written by evan on February 18, 2008 at 4:19 PM

Saw this church sign today and lol.

My Grandma
My Grandma's Mypace

Going to bed, backing up on Time Machine too.

Written by evan on February 17, 2008 at 12:11 AM

Mobile post sent by mufan96 using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Tom Hanks' hands

Written by evan on February 16, 2008 at 5:36 PM

Taken in 2002, outside of Grauman's Chinese Theater

Some Tom Hanks trivia

  • Dislocated his shoulder when he fell through a rotting floor in a building in Germany while scouting locations with Steven Spielberg for the HBO series "Band of Brothers"
  • Was asked to play the title role in Jerry Maguire 
  • Has another brother who is a professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, IL
  • Gained and later lost 50 lbs. for his role in Cast Away
  • Was considered for the role of Peter Banning (Peter Pan) in Hook
  • He is an environmental conservationist and often advocates and supports natural causes.
  • Sold popcorn and peanuts as a teenager at the Oakland Coliseum.

My Fav 5 Tom Hanks movies
  1. Saving Private Ryan
  2. Terminal
  3. The "burbs"
  4. Big
  5. Cast Away

I think Saving Private Ryan has one of the greatest movie endings of all time.

But some think is should have ended different. {Video Embed}

What's your fav Tom Hanks movie?


Written by evan on February 15, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Welp. My iBook went down for the count today. So I have to sent it off for repair. Gulp.
So that means that i will be without the following for almost 2 weeks.
Photoshop. Final Cut Pro. Dreamweaver. InDesign. iLife. iWork. Office.
My Music. My Photos. My Contacts. My Life.

So my blog posts will be a little different including this one. So, here goes.

I found this picture today, and facts about it.
Taken in 2002.
Taken outside the Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Day after Star Wars Episode II, Attack of the Clones premiere.
The only Star Wars movie i've seen is Empire Strikes Back.
I'm wearing a borrowed Illinois sweatshirt. If you know anything about me, you know it had to be cold for me to wear that.
Photo was taken by Jon Keck.
I spent a week in southern california for a Purpose Driven Church conference.
Taken a less then month before I got married.
Directly after this picture was taken, i gave the stormtrooper a knee to the crotch.

Ugh! LG Chocolate & Verizon

Written by evan on February 14, 2008 at 10:40 PM

When Katie and I moved to Mattoon in April 2007, we switched to verizon, and I bought the LG Chocolate (comes w/ 1 yr warranty). In December, my LG Chocolate died. So I went to verizon, and they sent replaced it. But not with a new one, but with a refurbished one. Same day, I got that one, it stopped working. So, they gave me a 3rd one. Then this week, that one shuts off whenever it feels like it. So since Monday, I've been on my 4th LG Chocolate in the last 10 months.

Here's the kicker.
Verizon's policy is that, they will only replace your phone (which they sold me with a 1 yr warranty) with a used refurbished phone. Thats right. When you buy a new phone, and it breaks, and fulfill their warranty by giving you a used refurbished one.

Oh but wait, they will replace it with a new one, if you extend your service commitment.
Ugh! LG Chocolate & Verizon.

others with lg chocolate phone problems
411 - the number of days until i will be free from my verizon contract.

Soul Searching: A Movie about Teenagers and God

Written by evan on at 2:53 PM

A documentary was put together from the research of Christian Smith and National Study of Youth Religion.

It's only available on amazon for $20. ouch.

center for parent/youth understanding
national study of youth religion
relevation studios

Free hugs squeezes into local newspaper

Written by evan on at 12:35 PM

Look who made front page!
Read the article here.
YouTube a valuable tool for local youth pastor, coach - Journal Gazette Article

Can you love your enemies?

Written by evan on February 13, 2008 at 9:26 PM

Wow. The Plow posted some incredible artwork on loving others. These are incredible and very thought provoking.
Did Jesus really say love your enemies, and mean these type of people?

Doing another book review. Creative Prayer Journal

Written by evan on at 2:24 PM

I follow Shane Yancy's blog, and he mentioned that he was going to publish an interative prayer journal called Creative Prayer. Shane is a youth pastor in the deep south, at a baptist church. I'm familiar with Shane's stuff, and creativity in the book Engaging Worship.
I'm looking forward going thru it, and I will post a review later this weekend.

EIU free hugs video buzz

Written by evan on February 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM

Back in September our church did a message series called "Changed to Bring Change." I had heard about the Free Hugs Champaign about a year before that, and I thought that I would try it out on campus, and show the video during the message series. So Aaron and I headed out to EIU with a camera and a sign. You can read about the experience here

So back to the buzz part.
I got an email yesterday from a reporter from a local Mattoon newspaper, saying he wanted to ask me a free questions about the free hugs video/YouTube/faith, because he had seen the free hugs video on my YouTube page.
So I twittered about it

and a pastor from Cincinnati, Ohio that I follow and he follows me, read the tweet, and posted a blog about it.

And if you havent seen the video yet, go watch it.

changing the world one hug at a time article i wrote
what is twitter?
my twitter
tim dunn's twitter

Time machine makes the cost of leopard worth it

Written by evan on February 11, 2008 at 9:05 PM

8:05am - arrived at staff meeting 5 minutes late. again.
8:15am - i notice my RSS feeds aren't updating in Safari
10:30am - backup iBook with Time Machine onto an external hard drive
11:30am - fed up with Safari, and reboot my iBook
11:35am - iBook trys to restart but hangs at the apple screen
11:37am - iBook trys to restart but hangs at the apple screen
11:39am - iBook trys to restart but hangs at the apple screen
11:41am - iBook trys to restart but hangs at the apple screen
11:43am - iBook trys to restart but hangs at the apple screen
11:45am - frustrated. i close the lid
12:00pm - drive to my house for leopard install dvd and apple care
12:30pm - call apple care
12:33pm - problem is troubleshooted
12:35pm - software issue. wiping hard drive clean
12:40pm - reinstall leopard
2:03pm - restore back to 10:30am with Time Machine
6:35pm - restore finishes
6:36pm - :)

I was so worried that my hard drive was dead.
So I called Apple Care, and immediately was told, it was a software issue.
And that if I back up with Time Machine I will have no problem, and no files will be lost.

The only problems i dealed with, with a complete install and restore were the following.
1. Mail had to resynchronize with gmail and hotmail.
2. iTunes wasn't reading my music library. Luckily there was a new update today. Downloaded and installed, fixed it.
3. My RSS feeds are back up and working, but i'm not sure how far back it went to grab feeds. see pic. thats a lot of blogs. ha.

I gotta new lunch menu

Written by evan on February 8, 2008 at 11:39 AM

So the mega crappy pizza rolls are out, remember?
Here is my new lunch menu.

bottle of black cherry propel
ham and cheese sandwich
original pringles
8oz sam's choice twist up
8oz sam's choice root beer

chocolate vanilla poptarts

The Journey

Written by evan on February 6, 2008 at 11:14 PM

We start this new series this sunday called The Journey. Its about a lifelong process of spiritual growth. If your in the area come check it out.

Here's our video teaser. For the RSS Feeders

Our banner for the series.

real gone by sheryl crow
don't stop believin by journey
simple church

I won at settlers of catan

Written by evan on February 5, 2008 at 8:49 PM

i'm purple.
played against a couple friends from around the country, phil, will & lola
settlers of catan
settlers of catan online

Whoa! Mega Pizza Rolls

Written by evan on at 3:14 PM

im what you'd call a pizza roll connoisseur and snob.
i only like the totino ones.
i really didn't like the mega rolls.
you'd think they are exactly the same as the original, but mega size, right?
well you'd be wrong.
the sauce tasted different. the pepperoni tasted different. and their seemed to be less grease (which is a bad thing.)


Written by evan on February 4, 2008 at 11:29 PM

I'm wiped.
I arrived at the office today, at 8:06am (6 minutes late to a meeting). We had tons to accomplish. ie. sermon planning. got a new series brewing. The Journey.
But an emergency took place where time and energies had to be shifted.
I just walked into my house from a very long day at 11:00pm.

A quote from my Menards days, ring loud in my ears. "People don't interrupt your job, they are the reason you have one."

I'm looking forward to my day off tomorrow. Here is what's on the dock-it.
looking at a few houses
thrashing on guitar hero
designing on some websites
watching helvetica

Super Bowled Out

Written by evan on February 3, 2008 at 9:52 PM

I bowled my highest game of the night, in my first game. 145.

Tonight was The Pipeline's Super bowl party. We rented out the Mattoon Bowl bowling alley for 4 hours. That is a lot of bowling. There is probably something like 12 lanes there. We collectively bowled over 150 games!!

What is Love?

Written by evan on February 2, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Breakin Video
- for rss feeders

jib jab
stan courtney. the bigfoot blog.
columbia rock
what is love by haddaway

Snow Day!

Written by evan on February 1, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Katie and had snow day today. So I decided to work from home, that and our shared driveway/alley with the apartments next door is crazy messy.

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