Are we responsible “to” people or “for” people?

Are we responsible to people or for people?

Yes.

I got an email a couple weeks ago talking about how we can’t be responsible FOR people- only TO people. The point was that we can’t make people do things. We can only serve them, help them do what’s best for themselves, and give them opportunities to do what God wants from and for them.

I agree. We shouldn’t be enablers.

Yet, I also disagree. Dare we ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” as Cain did? If we are going to say we are not responsible for people, we better clarify our distinction between the KINDS of being responsible for people.

Continue reading Are we responsible “to” people or “for” people?

Applying HPC’s Vision: Questions from an Empty-Nester

Below is an email message I got from an empty-nester after the vision talks I gave a few weeks ago. I thought s/he asked some really good questions, and I wanted to pass along the answers I gave.

As we go forward and you’re fleshing out the vision and finding ways to help us all get involved with it, here are some questions empty-nesters wrestle with that may have an impact on how they participate in our inter-generational church. Continue reading Applying HPC’s Vision: Questions from an Empty-Nester

Youth Pastor Candidate’s Testimony

Derick’s Testimony:

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My life began in a quiet town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of North-East PA. I was born into a family that would occasionally attend a liberal mainline denominational church (U.C.C.) and was not concerned with following Christ. As I grew into a teenager I naturally adopted a “seek me first” ideology of life which led to an increasing depression. At its peak I would sleep 12-16 hours a day and would often act out violently towards my parents and brother. By the age of 16 I was at a place in life where I knew something had to change. Thankfully I had a close friend who was a Christian and I decided to “check out this Jesus thing” before I ran to alcohol or drugs, or seriously attempted suicide. As I searched, the Holy Spirit softened my heart and convicted me of my sin. I gave my life to Jesus at a youth conference in Hershey, PA.

Continue reading Youth Pastor Candidate’s Testimony

Youth Pastor Candidate – Get to know Derick & Beth Valencik

Throughout the interview process, Derick wrote responses to several questions. Get to know him (and his wife) more through some of his responses below: 

Greetings High Point Church!

I am honored to candidate to be your next youth pastor. It is my desire that through this written Q & A you get to see Beth and me as we really are, quirks and all! You are in our prayers as you prayerfully consider how you will vote in regards to my candidacy for this position. Seeking God’s will and Glory!

Derick (and Beth) Valencik

How We Met:

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FROM BETH: Derick and I met during our sophomore year at Philadelphia Biblical University, through a ministry group to

freshman students. I first noticed his indoor soccer shoes, but was too shy to introduce myself. As the year continued, we got to know each other through the ministry team meetings and through sharing our personal prayer requests. Our relationship deepened as we realized shared goals and vision for our future, and in November 2006, he proposed and we got married on March 8, 2008. I did not want to get married in March, because the weather is usually bad, but we eventually decided that we’d rather get married and trust that God has control of all kinds of weather. On our wedding day, we experienced torrential rain, beaming sunshine, a rainbow, high winds, and snow!

FROM DERICK: I first noticed Beth a few months into our freshman year.  At the time I was admittedly a little bit “girl crazy” and was on the hunt for a girlfriend.  I remember waiting in line in the cafeteria at school when I first noticed her blue eyes.  (when she wears her contacts the blue REALLY pops J ) I remember thinking to myself “this is a small school, and I’ve never seen her before, or her friends so I guess I have no chance.”  I left it at that.  I saw her a couple more times that first year in passing but was never able to strike up a conversation.  THEN…I was pleased to realize that we were both selected to be a part of a ministry team our sophomore year to the new freshman class.  God in His grace allowed me to build a friendship with her over the course of that year which led to us beginning to date our Junior year.  After a short rough spot that I loathingly call our “Dark August” (because we broke up for the month of august) We worked out some kinks grew deeper and were eventually engaged and married.  We’ve been happily married for a little over 5 years now!

Favorite Things To Do:

FROM BETH: I enjoy spending time outside, collecting and reading well written and funny children’s books to young children, having a good conversation, taking time to try new recipes (especially cooking with Derick in the kitchen helping me), and eating any kind of breakfast food. I like a good “chick flick” with a great batch of homemade popcorn. I enjoy dancing at Zumba classes. I love finding a great deal when shopping. I love listening to music, especially to Rich Mullins.

FROM DERICK: I enjoy trying new things and going on an adventure!  I enjoy hiking and being outdoors.  I’d love to get more into sailing and kayaking.  I am a BIG soccer fan and am pretty rabid about the Philadelphia Union.  I also enjoy sports and competition in general.  My dream vacation would be to visit Ireland and England, and to tour the amazing castles, cathedrals, cities, and towns all around the Islands.  I would also love to attend a Chelsea FC game.  I also enjoy good food (and eating it with Beth).

Random Info:

FROM BETH: I went skydiving once; I’ve been to China and Brazil-my faith was solidified and my life changed when at 15 I was asked to teach English in China- I finally saw God as personally involved in answering my prayers and being in control. I almost drowned in the New River in W. Virginia while white water rafting on a high school senior trip. Since being married and graduating, I’ve been a nanny, a teacher’s aide, and presently a preschool teacher.

FROM DERICK: I have been able to go sky diving twice, and would love to go again if anyone is interested!  I have been diagnosed with a neurological disorder called Tourette’s Syndrome that I feel allows me to minister more effectively to teens and has helped to develop a fighters spirit in me.  Even though I am days away from being 29 (as I write this) sometimes people still think I am in high school.  Over the past 10 years I have had the opportunity to minister in affluent suburbs of Philadelphia (Dresher PA) and Princeton NJ (Pennington NJ), and also in a highly poverty stricken and drug riddled section of inner city Philadelphia (Kensington section).  Most recently God has sent me back to my home town on the edge of what’s known as the coal region, and the Susquehanna valley to minister to teenagers and adults who come from broken and dysfunctional homes and to begin planting a new church in town.

Things We Like To Do As A Couple:

101_0349FROM BETH: We love driving and taking trips together in the car, walking together, laughing at our quirky cats, hosting guests at our house, and having good heartfelt conversations.

FROM DERICK: We sometimes like to go on a long drive on a day off, planning to intentionally getting lost and to stop and checkout whatever we find interesting. We like to go on brisk walks together at the end of the day and depending on our moods we enjoy going to a coffee shop and reading a book or watching a local musician play.

Read about Derick’s Thoughts on Ministry

Watch a Sermon given by Derick