10/31/2011 11:03:00 pm

The Cup

Posted by Tom French |

My Prediction for the Win:

Jukebox Jury.

Trust me. I'm an expert.

10/29/2011 01:29:00 am

Leading and Bossing

Posted by Tom French |

I was at a school recently and as often happens I sat through an assembly. Schools enjoy piggy backing chapels with assemblies sometimes which means in the last two years I have seen a lot of merit awards handed out. In fact on a few occasions I've even handed out merit awards. I've shaken kids' hands and said "Well done" because I was the most auspicious person in the room. That was weird.

Anyway, that's not the point. On this day, after the assembly. a year nine class got held back. They were all asked to write a report on what had happened in an English lesson the day before. Apparently there had been some chair throwing or something. The teacher told the class they were expected to write a report on what happened and they were expected to name names.

That got me thinking about what I would do were I asked to write a report on the behaviour of my peers. Say we had a staff meeting and while my boss was out of the room a few of my staff mates threw some chairs around and set fire to a table. Then the head of our organisation called us in and asked us to write a report and name names. I don't know what I'd do. My first response would probably be to refuse, though I'm not sure why. I guess I've grown up with the notion that you don't dob in your mates. I also think I have a problem with adversarial authority. Like when a teacher sets themselves up against a class, or management set themselves up against employees, It gets to me and makes me want to rebel.

However were my boss to sit down with all the staff and have a conversation about who threw what chair and who lit what fire, and why it happened, and what message we might be trying to send management or each other, or society, by having small riots (ri-ettes, if you will), I would be much happier to talk about who did what. I respond well to relational leadership. I think that's why I haven't had any dreams about rebelling against my bosses at work. I have good bosses who do things within the context of relationship rather than enforcement. I do however have dreams about rebelling against teachers, and my managers at the cinema and the entertainment centre. In those places my compliance was expected because they were in-charge and I was their subordinate. It seems I'm not keen on being bossed but I am keen on being led. Good leaders lead through relationships built and respect earned. Bad bosses boss through relationships ignored and respect assumed.

So all this I guess is to say, I still don't know if I'd dob on my friends, but if I had a good boss (which I do) I probably wouldn't need to.

This leads me back to thinking about how you relate to teenagers. In general, leading teens is the same as leading adults, it's best in the context of built relationships and earned respect. In schools, it doesn't really work like that. The teachers are the bosses and the students are the workers, teachers often expect teenagers to obey because authority us inherent within the role. So when an adult comes along and asks for obedience and responsibility which is not expected but earned, young people are going to be much more likely to repsond positively.

None of this stuff is really new, but I think it's what I got thinking about while watching the chair throwing inquisition. It reminded me to not be lazy in my relationships with young people. My job is to lead not to boss.

10/25/2011 10:33:00 pm

Tumba Movies

Posted by Tom French |

I stuck the video I made with youth group up the other day.

If you haven't already seen it, here it is for your viewing pleasure:

10/25/2011 10:31:00 pm

Handball

Posted by Tom French |

Haven Handball

On Saturdays we have Community Brunch at our place. Come over if you want. 10am.

We've done it twice and they've turned into a long winded affairs. Lots of sitting around and eating and meeting new people. Last week brunch was scrambled eggs on toast followed by pancakes followed by yoghurt and fruit followed by bacon and eggs on toast. It was excellent and full belly making.

At around 2pm we ended up out in the front yard playing handball. It was great. We had a ref with official hand signals and everything. I'm gonna play for Australia I reckon. Maybe go pro and sell the TV rights I reckon.

It was pretty fun. Makes me excited for summer.

10/16/2011 10:17:00 am

The Memorial

Posted by Tom French |



When I had only had my camera for a week or two Howie and I went out and made this video. It was entirely done just to play with my camera. However, us being us, we cannot just play with cameras, if there is injustice around we must fight it, and hence, this video was born.

10/16/2011 12:26:00 am

Like Jagger

Posted by Tom French |



When we were away last weekend the kids were having a wonderful time singing along to Moves like Jagger. Jenny, one of the leaders, turned to me and said "I wonder if they actually know who Jagger is." So I told her to ask.

She turned around and asked bus of young teens, "In this song, who is Jagger?"

They all just stared at her for a while, there were a few murmured "dunno"s. Then one kid piped up "Someone who's got good moves?"

It was a pretty special moment.

10/15/2011 01:15:00 am

Shoulda Shabbat

Posted by Tom French |

It's Saturday. And for the first time in 21 days I haven't had any ministry activities to do. Very happy to rest.

10/12/2011 09:50:00 pm

Tumbaling

Posted by Tom French |

I took the youth group away to Tumbarumba on the weekend. We went from Thursday to Sunday. It was good fun. Four leaders, nine kids, happy times. We weeded gardens, cleaned windows, run a kids club, a youth night, and a church service. We also shot a lot of video for the now annual Tumbarumba music video. It's gonna be even better than last year's.

We hired a bus which made things much fun. I got to drive the bus for the entire 1100kms, it made me feel very important.

Of the 12 or so hours I spent driving the bus, I only spent about a second of them driving the bus into a fence post. Unfortunately you can do a large amount of damage in a short amount of time. About $600 worth of damage it turns out.

I was a little bit concerned about the bus and the money when I did it. I was most concerned about telling the guy who we rented the bus off, because when we'd picked up the bus he'd spent a long time telling me to look after the bus and about how it was brand new. I did the crashing on Saturday and plucked up the courage to call him on Sunday. When I told the guy I told him I was sorry and he said "I'm sorry too, that was a new bus." Poor guy.

Still when I took the bus back, while he was upset as I was leaving he excitedly bonded with me over the fact that I had the same air conditioning in my car as in the bus. So I'm glad he cheered up in the end.

Despite the bus damage, I think it was a trip worth doing. The kids had a lot of fun, the leaders were excellent, and everyone got in and served. Fence posts can't cancel out that goodness.

10/10/2011 11:35:00 pm

Good Lives

Posted by Tom French |

This is good. You should watch it.

10/06/2011 12:02:00 am

Crazy Stupid Love

Posted by Tom French |

Crazy Stupid Love

I went and saw Crazy Stupid Love the other day after work. I didn't really go in expecting much at all. I only remembered the bit from the trailer about the Ryan Gosling having photoshopped abs. That didn't really seem like much to base a judgment of a film on.

Turns out the film, is smart, funny and honest. The film is, funnily enough, all about love. It's about marriage, divorce, crushes, soul-mates, casual sex, sexting and family. In the opening scene of the film Cal (Steve Carell) finds out while out to dinner with his wife that she wants a divorce. In the car on the way home he is silent about the divorce, until he can't handle it any more so he jumps out of the car. It's a fitting image of a man who no longer works at wooing his wife and isn't willing to fight for her. Throughout the rest of the film he learns to fight for his wife. I heard Matt Chandler say something in a talk recently about how the Godly man never stop pursing his wife. I think it's a good image of God who never stops pursuing his church.

So the film had a lot of stuff I agreed with.

I found it interesting to note how much porn influenced the film. Having recently heard Melinda Tankard Reist talk about how pornified our society is, I definitely noticed it in the film. The film wasn't pornographic at all, but there were references made. The playboy of the film talked about how the internet has changed the landscape for sleeping with women, the mother of the film just assumed her son was looked at porn and it was the done thing, and one of the girls gave a guy who had a crush on him nude photos of herself which was meant to be a really sweet gesture. That wasn't one of the bits I agreed with. But I did find it interesting.

Aside from that, I liked the film a lot. I love a good marriage film. And I like funny films. So Crazy Stupid Love was a winner.



10/03/2011 12:16:00 am

Quick Happy Poll

Posted by Tom French |

I'm doing a Bible Study on Homosexuality in Bible study tonight (Monday).

Would you be so kind as to let me know:

a) If you believe that a monogamous homosexual relationship is a valid lifestyle for a Christian
b) If you think that gay marriage should be allowed
and
c) Any biblical support you have for your position.

I understand you're probably all off doing long weekends, so don't stress. But if you feel like giving me some opinion, that'd be awesome.

Thanks friends, readers and friendly readers.

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