My Re:newed Perspective

glassesI went to college to be a teacher.  When I graduated that is what I did for three years.  I worked with some pretty tough kids who had some really difficult backgrounds and stories.  Every day I would see them walk into my classroom with heads down, discouragement on their faces and defensiveness in their posture. My goal was always that they walked out feeling like everything was going to be ok and a little bit better about their situations and themselves.

I’m fairly comfortable saying I wasn’t a great teacher.  My lesson plans were always disorganized and the day to day planning of content, scope and sequences and details was not something I was good at.  But, I’m also very comfortable saying that I was really great at engaging students, making them feel cared for, being approachable and always willing to help.

My last year of teaching I also was an intern at a church in Southern California.  That year as I did both jobs I really felt that the role in the church suited my gifts better than the classroom.  That summer the youth pastor resigned and they asked me to become the interim.  Leaving the classroom was not difficult but leaving the students and the relationships I had at school was really hard.

Fast forward:  For the past 18 years I have worked full-time in the church world as some sort of Youth Pastor.  My roles began to change the longer I did it and I found myself moving into bigger and bigger positions that required more and more meetings, planning, details and all of the things that I admitted earlier I wasn’t great at in my teaching world.  I also found that I began to be less and less connected to students.  To be transparent though it wasn’t the churches where I worked fault for that. My gradual disconnection from students had a lot of contributing factors but the biggest one was my own struggle to manage all the plates I had started spinning and the roles I had chosen.

In April of 2015 I left my pastoral role my church.  I love that church and they were so great in helping me lean into where God was leading me. I had a number of different things that I was looking into but funny enough none of them worked out.  In June a friend who is the pastor of a small church asked me if I would consider being the part-time summer interim Youth Director. I said yes and jumped in.  And I loved it.

When your youth group fits in your car you can do many great things easily.  When you only have a few students you can get to know them on a deeper level. When there are no committees, few meetings and flexible responsibilities you can relax and enjoy.  So I did that for the summer and now it’s December and I’m still doing it.

Then God did something that I’m guessing he is still laughing about.  I was offered a teaching job at the local high school. And not just any teaching job. I’m creating a whole new program for students who have struggled in the past or are currently struggling to pass classes. From scratch I’m building a whole program to give them as my principal calls it “A little Tender Loving Care.”  Every day I go to school and I basically just care for students and help them navigate their lives while encouraging them to succeed.  It’s pretty much taken all the things I used to be so good at and given me an opportunity to remember those gifts God gave me and feel good about them being used.

In another total God thing all the pieces of being a teacher that I wasn’t great at 20 years ago are completely non issues anymore because I found I was just living in the wrong era for my skills. With computers, the internet and online organizational tools I’m actually so much more efficient and prepared for what I’m doing.

My perspective has been re:newed.

I’d love to speak at your youth or parenting event.

This has been a great summer of speaking and teaching. God has shown up in amazing ways. I have been totally blessed by some amazing camps and churches.  I’m still at a camp as I type this. I finish up tonight speaking to 500+ Junior Highers at Thousand Pines Camp from Mariners Church. It’s been a great week. I was just listed by Parentministry.net as one of their top 24 recommended speakers in their speaker guide 2015-2016

Why Do I do this?

Why am I doing this? I love to teach and speak to students and their parents. It’s something  I’ve been doing for a long time and I love it.  As I have left full-time pastoral church ministry this year I’ve had the freedom to really get back to connecting with students and it has been so fun and life-giving.

When you get me you get:

  1. Authenticity- I’m open about my story and my life and the way God leads even in struggle.
  2. Someone who is culturally relevant and “gets” what the messages our students are hearing every day from culture.
  3. A communicator who knows how to talk to students in style and language they understand. I know how to engage them.
  4. A pastor who will care about your students and leaders and not just someone looking for a paycheck. This is a ministry for me and I love to connect.
  5. Someone who doesn’t take himself to seriously but take the message of the Gospel very seriously. I love the Bible and being involved in the faith journey of students.
  6. Great follow up resources to use with your students in the form of my Middle and High School Devotional Series. 

Places I love to teach:

  1. Camps of any kind. I love the focused chunk of time with students.
  2. At an event or activity. I can bring a solid, fun and real message to students.
  3. With their parents. I wrote a parenting book that is aimed at giving simple tips and ideas for their parents to  better engage with them. It’s called Bold Parenting. 
  4. I am super flexible and have spoken on the top of houseboats, churches, large camp settings and around small fire pits.

For more info check out my speaking page here.

For more info about Lars click here

Contact me here

 

Welcome to the world Headquarters of everything Lars

I suppose its probably ok to start out relaunching my website by calling this my world headquarters. The reality is I’ve found that I connect with so many people online that I might as well just claim that as my space where I “live.”  I’m not Tron and do have a physical presence but I’m going to try to put as much of “me” as I possibly can into this site.

Is it a blog? Probably some times it will be or at least I’ll add a page for random daily musings.

Is it a bookstore? No!!! but I figured I would add links to things I’ve written on the writings page and you can go to Amazon if you are interested in buying anything.

Is is a Marketing tool to make money?  That’s probably a great question and one that I will be honest and say that is partially true but not the main goal. Yes I am hoping this helps generate some more speaking and writing projects because those things really give me life and I love to do them but no this is more about having a place where I can call home to all my projects.

So here I go. Back to creating something and hoping it helps to make a little difference.

Feel free to check me out at:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram