It means "writings." I write things.

10:53 AM

Feel like another face in the crowd?

Posted by Brad Polley |

This search engine that I found today will either help you with that problem or make you slip further into a crippling depression, depending on the popularity of your name.

There are 6 other people in this country that have my name. And, for your information, there is only one person in the USA named Seymour Butts. I am the pinnacle of maturity.

8:25 AM

Blown Away

Posted by Brad Polley |

I always have people at church tell me that I'm such a good guitar player. I always respond with something to the effect of, "You obviously have never heard a good guitar player before." This isn't false humility, it's the truth. I'm a total hack. To prove it, I want you to watch this video of a guy named Trace Bundy.

Now you know what an amazing guitarist sounds like. Incidentally, you can find more videos on his website:

8:00 AM

Gnawing on the bone of youth ministry

Posted by Brad Polley |

I was thinking about something yesterday. That's an earth-shattering fact for anyone that knows me, but that isn't really relevant to this post. Being a youth minister, I think quite a bit about the nature of youth ministry, where it sucks, where it's going well, that sort of thing. I'm constantly trying to improve how I do youth ministry, I don't mean improve it by using flashy stuff, because I don't do that. No, I mean really improve it at its very core.

Anyway, I had a thought yesterday about how adults really don't want students to be a part of the Church. That's actually why I have a job at all. Parents don't want to do their job (biblically speaking) of raising their kids in the ways of God, so they ship them to me for an hour or two a week and then pat themselves on the back for sacrificing their time to bring their kids to church. It's nice and convenient, and they don't miss one down of the Colts game in the process. So what churches do is they hire a youth minister to develop programs that are both edgy (please pick up my sarcasm because I'm swimming in it right now) and x-treme (notice the "x" instead of "ex." I'm the coolest and most happening youth minister ever), so that parents can shirk their responsibility. This way, the adults don't have to mess with their kids and they can have big people church in peace without being bothered by the ones they decided to spawn.

This, however, is only part of the reason that I say that churches don't want students to be a part of the Church. I started thinking about all of this when a lady at my church told me that she had "a perfect project for the kids to be a part of." This "perfect project" was actually nothing more than a menial task that she just "didn't have the time to do." That triggered something in me. I started thinking that students in a church are nothing more than a scapegoat for people. Do you have something that will take up too much of your precious spare time? Call the youth minister and tell him that you have a good "service opportunity" for the youth group. So people are more than happy to have the students do menial tasks and call it "service," but ask if they can preach sometime or be a part of the leadership of the church and you will get something to the effect, "Oh, no they aren't old enough or mature enough for that." Don't get me wrong, my church does better than most I've seen at involving the youth, but I still get perturbed when they're constantly asked to do things for "service," when really someone was just too lazy to accomplish the task.

Don't think that the students don't understand what's going on, because I've had conversations with them before where I've asked them if they feel like they're a part of the church. They understand when people are just throwing them a bone. They understand that people only want them to be a part of the Church when they need something done. Kids aren't stupid. This kind of stuff has to stop. I think that this is a contributing factor as to why so many kids leave the faith when they go to college. They have no youth group anymore, and they were never connected to the Church, so why be a part of it now.

8:19 AM

Great quote

Posted by Brad Polley |

I have a quote on my office wall that I look at regularly. It's from Tony Campolo and I think it's fairly damning for the American Church today.

Jesus never says to the poor, "Come find the church," but he says to those of us in the church, "Go into the world and find the poor, hungry, homeless, imprisoned," Jesus in his disguises.

I think the Church today is delusional. I think we're still assuming that we live in a "Christian" country. Looking back throughout history, I'm not sure this was ever a Christian country, but if it ever was, it certainly isn't now. I think the Church still assumes that people are just going to walk through the doors in droves when they realize the mess they've made of their lives. That may have been true at some point in American history, but certainly not now. You aren't going to find a great many homeless and poor people just waltzing into church on Sunday morning. The problem is that the Church doesn't understand this. We build our multi-million dollar buildings, throw a coffee shop in them, design elaborate programs, and then wait for people to show up. This is so contrary to the Bible.

It's time for a movement to begin in this country (and maybe it has begun on a small scale) where Christians will realize that they've wasted millions on buildings that don't matter, programs that make no difference in the lives of anyone but themselves, and slick worship "experiences" that just give people a fake temporary spiritual high, and go out and find the poor in their communities to make a difference. And when I say "make a difference," I don't mean just throwing money at them. I mean investing time into people to improve their lives and expand the Kingdom of God. Teach the homeless how to find a job, and keep it. Teach the poor how to be better parents. Help addicts get over their addictions and rely on Jesus who will bring them real life. This takes time, it takes patience, and it takes love.

As a minister, I'm tired of being forced to design programs. I'm tired of being expected to build a youth program or build a church. It seems like the longer I'm a minister, the more I have to stop following Christ's example of ministry and the less people I actually help. I can't tell you how frustrating that is. I just want to help people and I'm not sure I can as long as I have the tag "minister."

11:57 AM

I love this picture

Posted by Brad Polley |

Great picture of my boy. I love the pensive stare, accented by the small bit of drool out of the corner of his mouth. He loves being in nothing but a diaper.

He almost has a bit of a "You talkin' ta me?" mafia look about him in this picture. Maybe I should start calling him "Drools," it could be his mafia name. Or maybe Ezra the Bull. Who knows. All I know is that if I find a dead union boss in my trunk, I'm going to be frightened.

1:44 PM

Christian nut-jobs

Posted by Brad Polley |

I'm so sick of hearing about people like the lady in this article, I could just scream. Read this:

For starters, I could understand making an argument that the book was trying to "indoctrinate children in the ways of Wicca" if, in fact, J.K. Rowling was a Wiccan, but she's not. Why would someone try to indoctrinate millions of children into something that they don't practice themselves? The answer: they wouldn't. So bye-bye to that argument.

Next on the list, show me a teenager that claims to be a witch or wizard because they read Harry Potter. I have yet to find one. If your child becomes a witch because of reading a piece of children's fiction, then you suck as a parent and your child had a number of issues to begin with.

Most of the people who claim that Harry Potter books are evil have never read them, and if they did read them, they read them with a pre-judgement of what the books were going to contain. Anyone who has read these books for sheer entertainment (like myself) will see that the books are, essentially, the story of good seeking to triumph over evil. That sounds familiar...where have I read something like before? HHmmmmmm...oh yeah, I read it in the Bible.

Lastly, the people who shield their kids from Harry Potter are generally hypocrites because they will let their kids read Lord of the Rings (written by a Christian) and the Chronicles of Narnia (also written by a Christian). Those books also have witches, wizards, and incredibly dark and evil people in them as well. What makes those books any different than Harry Potter? If you're going to throw out Harry Potter, then you have to throw out Frodo and Aslan as well.

The worst part of all of this is that people who don't follow Jesus see this and think that this is how all Christians are. I can't wait to read these stories to my son, if that makes me evil, then...well, I guess I'm evil.

8:14 AM

My boy Hercules

Posted by Brad Polley |

So I realized yesterday that my son, who is almost 12 weeks old, is tougher than I am. We took him yesterday morning to get his first of what will be something like 8,000 rounds of immunizations. And by "immunizations" I mean, "extreme needle torture in which they inject your baby with a number of viruses." As we drove to the clinic, I had flashbacks from when I was a small child and my mom and a nurse had to literally chase me around the doctor's office to pin me down before I got shots. Seeing as how Ezra can't move enough to be chased, I didn't foresee this being much of a problem, but I was praying to our Lord in heaven that the experience would go better than that.

He was smiling all morning, obviously not realizing that he was about to be shot up with a few ounces of deadly disease. We got him into the room and the nurse was very nice. She had me hold him facing out, which was nice because he couldn't give me the, "I thought you loved me, why are you doing this to me?" look. She jammed the first of three needles into his thigh (at this point, it took everything in me to not jam the needle into the forehead of the nurse and scream, "How do you like it!!!???") and he let out a scream that I can only describe as something akin to the noise made by the Raptors in Jurassic Park. The nurse (mercifully) was very fast with all three needles. Then the funniest thing happened. Ezra stopped crying after about five seconds. It was at this point that my proud dad, uber-male instinct kicked in and I realized that my son is, in fact, Herculaen by nature. Whereas I still wince and almost vomit at the thought of a needle, my twelve-week old son cryed for about five seconds, then smiled as we put him back in his car-seat. It was a knowing smile; a smile that said, "Hey dad, you're a pansy and in a couple of years, I'll be kicking the crap out of you and your giant love handles." Ah, I couldn't be more proud.

9:27 AM

The sweetest boy alive

Posted by Brad Polley |

I haven't posted a picture of the boy on here in quite awhile, so I thought I would indulge you.

Indisputably the cutest kid ever, except for the excessive vomitting and amazing amounts of poop. But I suppose I can handle all of that, seeing as how he's one of the most laid back babies I've ever been around.