Teaching Wood Shop

“Working on my carpentry skills – wanna be like the Master!”

The beginnings of my first wood shop projects since 8th grade in 1982.

I just became the “Industrial Technology” teacher at Clute Intermediate and I’m excited about the possibilities! As a former Social Studies teacher who has very little experience in wood shop, I never imagined myself in this sort of position. However, I love students and I love creative pursuits. This might very well be the perfect position for me once I get my feet on the ground a bit.

My woodworking experience includes:

– Jr High Woodshop Class
– cutting 100’s of designs for my mom as a Jr Higher (She painted and went to craft shows.)
– Built skate ramps in High School as well as later on as a Youth Minister
– Built speaker cabinets in High School
– Built an entertainment center which we still use in my house today.
– Built our current kitchen table as well as one for my first apartment many years ago.
– Built wheelchair ramps, decks, and handrails for UM ARMY and Faith in Action camps throughout the years.

Anyway, I’ve certainly got some things to learn, but this will be a fun experience combining my creative side and my love for students. As I work on my carpentry skills, I also know God will be carving away at my character. There will be times when it’s painful, but I also know He’ll be there every step of the way. I pray that with every stroke of the hammer and swipe of the blade, He’ll be molding me into a better man. Someone who can truly reach these students. Someone who can be an incredible tool in His hand.

Jesus was the Master. He was able to challenge people where they were (much like a simple block of wood) and mold them into something more. He also puts people together and shows them how to connect to make them strong structures. He is able to take our “knots” and make them beautiful.

This is my shop. Where I'll be teaching 7th & 8th graders every day.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to be a great teacher. Allow me to get to know my students so I can truly teach them. Keep us all safe as we use these dangerous machines and let all our creative juices flow steadily. Guide my students hands as they use the equipment and as they paint – give them steady hands. Let them have fun in my class and help us all learn to work together. Allow us all to feel good about our experiences and the projects we build. Let them gain some confidence in who they are and in what they are capable of accomplishing. Use our time together to make us all stronger and better people. Allow me to represent You to my students and other teachers in ways that are appropriate. AMEN.

Blazin’ a Trail

I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve climbed around that tree.

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  ~ Unknown. (Sometimes attributed to Emerson & McAlindon)

Meridian State Park (Texas) is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s where I first understood the cross. (I guess I’m actually still working on understanding it’s magnitude, but. . .) Anyway, one of my memories of Meridian was a time when my friend Shayne Hackworth and I went exploring. We blazed trails all over that park. We found natural springs and uncovered fossils. We saw and experienced things the rest of our group missed. We’d take turns leading each other. We waved big sticks in front of us as we traveled in order to clear the spiderwebs from the trail. In spite of our efforts, I still remember getting covered in those webs. Cuts and scratches all over our legs were common as well as the occasional poison ivy rash.

Leadership was not glamorous or easy. It was a sacrifice. It was a way to honor those behind you. The leader may have been out front, but he served his followers. He was in the lead position, but he placed himself underneath them. He believed they were more important and understood that they could travel further and accomplish more if he served them by taking the lead position. He got more dirty, more bloody, and more sweaty than the rest of the group.

Leaders serve.

Servers lead.

 

Teaching Job

I have been working as a 6th grade Social Studies teacher for the last semester and will be “let go” this May due to the financial struggles of Brazosport ISD and the status of my contract. The decision does not reflect my ability to teach or work with my co-teachers/administration. My principal, Robin Pelton has written a recommendation letter which you can read here: Principal’s Recommendation

I’m NOT just looking for a job, but a position that I can passionately pursue – one that I’m excited to do each day – one where I can truly make a difference in the world and impact/influence people. My teaching experience this semester has reaffirmed my desire to teach and I plan to continue pursuing this career in spite of the current situation in our district.

Previously, I worked as a full-time youth minister for 18 years. I did not have an educational background in the school system, however, I believe that my experience teaching students within the church has been a real asset. I entered the school system this year, with much more real life teaching experience than other first year teachers and I have a real love for students.

My academic background includes two years of engineering at Texas A&M, two years of music education at Texas Wesleyan, and two years at the College of Biblical Studies where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Leadership. I believe that I am a great teacher and would love the opportunity to work with students in your school.

I have completed the “act houston” Winter 2010 Institute for alternative certification and passed the 4-8th Generalist content exam with a score of 282 out of 300. This makes me “highly qualified.” I have received a Probationary Certificate from the State of Texas and am currently working through the remainder of my internship requirements.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Leadership from the College of Biblical Studies and have written many articles describing my philosophies/ideas about leadership. If you’re interested, you can check out some of these articles here:

Leadership:

Leadership Compass & Teaching
Lions and Leadership
Little Shovel
Bottom Leaders
Changing a Culture
Wizard of Oz Leadership

During this time in our lives, God has granted us peace. I’m not sure how to explain it, (Jesus is the “Peace that passes understanding.” Philippians 4:7) but we are resting in the fact that He has never let us down and that as His children, He loves us. We don’t know how we’re going to survive and keep our house from one month to the next, but we feel that He is leading us down this road toward a teaching position. I ask for your prayers, your advice, and your help. We need our friends (the body of Christ) to help us through this difficult time. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Want to contact me?
Steve Corn
Dv84JC@yahoo.com
979-415-4522 (cell)


Teacher’s Prayer:

I want to teach my students how to live this life on earth.
To face it’s struggles & it’s strife & to improve their worth.
Not just the lesson in a book or how the rivers flow,
But how to choose the proper path wherever they may go.
To understand eternal truth and know the right from wrong,
And gather all the beauty of a flower and a song.
For if I help the world to grow in wisdom and in grace,
Then I shall feel that I have won & I have filled my place. .
And so I ask your guidance, God, that I may do my part.
For character and confidence and happiness of heart.
– James J. Metcalf

rePost: I Want to Teach

family 02smTeacher’s Prayer:
I want to teach my students how to live this life on earth.
To face it’s struggles & it’s strife & to improve their worth.
Not just the lesson in a book or how the rivers flow,
But how to choose the proper path wherever they may go.
To understand eternal truth and know the right from wrong,
And gather all the beauty of a flower and a song.
For if I help the world to grow in wisdom and in grace,
Then I shall feel that I have won & I have filled my place. .
And so I ask your guidance, God, that I may do my part.
For character and confidence and happiness of heart.
– James J. Metcalf


As an 18yr veteran of full-time youth ministry, I have decided that I want to move into the educational system. I’m NOT just looking for a job, but a position that I can passionately pursue – one that I’m excited to do each day – one where I can truly make a difference in the world and impact/influence people. A teaching position seems to be the direction that God has been leading my wife and I. There are a couple of reasons:

1. I love working with students and this would put me with them every day. I have also always had an ability to connect with students who were different from the average “church-going” type of student and look forward to being able to work with them more regularly.

2. I believe my varied youth ministry experiences will be a huge asset in an educational environment. I have experience teaching, counseling, writing curriculum, training other teachers, leading groups, and supervising people. I also have experience with multimedia, interactive learning, team building, group work, and other creative teaching strategies.

I have completed the “act houston” Winter 2010 Institute for alternative certification and passed the 4-8th Generalist content exam with a score of 282 out of 300. This makes me “highly qualified” and eligible for a Probationary Certificate from the State of Texas.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Leadership from the College of Biblical Studies and have written many articles describing my philosophies/ideas about leadership. Some were even published by smallgrouptrader.com. If you’re interested, you can check out some of these articles here:

Leadership:
Leadership Compass & Teaching
Lions and Leadership
Little Shovel
Bottom Leaders
Changing a Culture
Wizard of Oz Leadership
SmallGroupTrader
Bio:
Steve Corn

Articles:
I Don’t Know What We should Study
Leadership is Service
Practical Ways to Connect as a Group

During this time in our lives, God has granted us peace. I’m not sure how to explain it, (Jesus is the “Peace that passes understanding.” Philippians 4:7) but we are resting in the fact that He has never let us down and that as His children, He loves us. We don’t know how we’re going to survive and keep our house from one month to the next, but we feel that He is leading us down this road toward a teaching position. I ask for your prayers, your advice, and your help. We need our friends (the body of Christ) to help us through this difficult time. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Want to contact me?
Steve Corn
Dv84JC@yahoo.com
979-415-4522 (cell)

I Want to Teach

family 02smTeacher’s Prayer:
I want to teach my students how to live this life on earth.
To face it’s struggles & it’s strife & to improve their worth.
Not just the lesson in a book or how the rivers flow,
But how to choose the proper path wherever they may go.
To understand eternal truth and know the right from wrong,
And gather all the beauty of a flower and a song.
For if I help the world to grow in wisdom and in grace,
Then I shall feel that I have won & I have filled my place. .
And so I ask your guidance, God, that I may do my part.
For character and confidence and happiness of heart.
– James J. Metcalf

As an 18yr veteran of full-time youth ministry, I have decided that I want to move into the educational system. I’m NOT just looking for a job, but a position that I can passionately pursue – one that I’m excited to do each day – one where I can truly make a difference in the world and impact/influence people. A teaching position seems to be the direction that God has been leading my wife and I. There are a couple of reasons:

1. I love working with students and this would put me with them every day. I have also always had an ability to connect with students who were different from the average “church-going” type of student and look forward to being able to work with them more regularly.

2. I believe my varied youth ministry experiences will be a huge asset in an educational environment. I have experience teaching, counseling, writing curriculum, training other teachers, leading groups, and supervising people. I also have experience with multimedia, interactive learning, team building, group work, and other creative teaching strategies.

I have completed the “act houston” Winter 2010 Institute for alternative certification and passed the 4-8th Generalist content exam with a score of 282 out of 300. This makes me “highly qualified” and eligible for a Probationary Certificate from the State of Texas.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Leadership from the College of Biblical Studies and have written many articles describing my philosophies/ideas about leadership. Some were even published by published by smallgrouptrader.com. If you’re interested, you can check out some of these articles here:

Leadership:
Leadership Compass & Teaching
Lions and Leadership
Little Shovel
Bottom Leaders
Changing a Culture
Wizard of Oz Leadership
SmallGroupTrader
Bio:
Steve Corn

Articles:
I Don’t Know What We should Study
Leadership is Service
Practical Ways to Connect as a Group

During this time in our lives, God has granted us peace. I’m not sure how to explain it, (Jesus is the “Peace that passes understanding.” Philippians 4:7) but we are resting in the fact that He has never let us down and that as His children, He loves us. We don’t know how we’re going to survive and keep our house from one month to the next, but we feel that He is leading us down this road toward a teaching position. I ask for your prayers, your advice, and your help. We need our friends (the body of Christ) to help us through this difficult time. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Want to contact me?
Steve Corn
Dv84JC@yahoo.com
979-415-4522 (cell)

Paul was a Trader

chutesladdersSmallGroupTrader.com‘s mission is: “Helping people trade in the pursuit of the American-Dream for a world that desperately needs Christ.” Remember the old game Chutes and Ladders? To me, this carries some of the same ideas.

Paul didn’t exactly trade in his pursuit of the “American-Dream,” but he traded in a similar pursuit – one that placed himself at the center of the universe. Paul traded the life of ladder climbing and achievement within the Jewish religious system for a life of self-sacrifice. He even longed to suffer in order to have fellowship with Christ where he knew his true identity could be found. He traded a facade of worth for fullness in Christ. Paul was a trader. He traded the ladder for a ride down the chute.

The Ladder:

Acts 8:1-3 describes Paul (Called Saul at that time) as one who made havoc of the church and dragged Christians off to prison. He breathed threats and murder against believers (Acts 9:1-2) and was exceedingly zealous (Gal 1:13-14) in persecuting the church and trying to destroy it. He was a blasphemer, persecutor, an unbelieving insolent man. (1 Tim 1:13)

Why?? Cause Christianity threatened the old Jewish religious system where he had found his whole identity. It struck at the roots of who he was. Paul (Saul) had worked very diligently at climbing the rungs of the religious ladder. He was well educated and well respected within that system and was perfectly happy with the way others perceived him. He was comfortable in that system and Christianity didn’t play by the same rules.

I know. I know. Some of you are saying, “How could you say that Paul’s identity was in the Jewish religious system?” Here’s how: Check out what he wrote himself about those days.

Galatians 1:14 – “I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.”

Philippians 3:4b-6 – “If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.”

Galatians 1:10 – “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

There it is. Paul said himself that he had been trying to please men. Why? ‘Cause it esteemed him. He was a people-pleaser. These verses make it clear that Paul had been trying to be better or more worthy than others. He was compensating for his own inner feelings by working for positions and bragging rights – climbing the religious ladder.

The Trade:

Acts 9 describes Paul’s conversion experience. It’s a beautiful trade. I will not ruin it by trying to recount the story – you should read it yourself. Here’s the link: Acts 9

Now, check out how Paul’s thinking was changed. Look at what he wrote afterwards:

Philippians 3:3-11 – “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

It’s clear that his identity is now in Christ alone. He even calls his past accomplishments “rubbish.” His position in the Jewish religious system, his reputation, his esteem. . .rubbish compared to Christ. His new values are to gain Christ, to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. It doesn’t sound like his position is important to him anymore.

In 2 Corinthians 12:5-11, Paul goes so far as to say that the greatest position he could find himself in is actually the lowest rung on the ladder. He says he’ll boast only in his weakness, ’cause it’s in those circumstances where he finds Christ’s power resting on him.

Andrew Seidel writes of Paul after his conversion in this way:  “He is no longer seeking their approval; he is no longer competing with them. As a result, they have lost their power over him and he is free. He has the confidence to do what he believes God is calling him to do, no matter what the opposition to him might bring. The one Person he cares about pleasing is God himself. ”

In the end, it’s clear that Paul was a trader. He traded a life of facades, positions, people-pleasing, and never-ending ladder climbing for a simple life in Christ. And it is there that He found fullness. He was loved and secure simply in being a child of God and his new identity in Jesus Christ could never be stripped away.

Paul traded the ladder for a chute. Paul was a trader.


chartingPS – These ideas are not original. They are from Andrew Seidel’s book, “Charting a Bold Course.” I’d recommend it highly for anyone interested in the study of leadership.

Job Search

family 02smOur church has struggled through this rough economy. Every full-time programming staff position is being made “part-time” in January. They have been very intentional about communicating that this is not a “performance related” decision. Here’s a letter drafted by the SPRC chairman describing the circumstance: Clarification Letter Anyway, I have until January to find another way to support my family.

In spite of the title of this post, I’m NOT looking for a job, but a position that I can passionately pursue – one in which I can bring Jesus glory and make a difference in the world. This might be another church position, a teaching position, or any number of endless possibilities.

Over the years in youth ministry, I have developed many skills and believe I can be an asset to almost any setting.

I have experience in:

Speaking
Teaching
Writing
Discipleship
Small Groups
Missions
Leading contemporary worship
Multimedia and film Production

I love dreaming, leading, casting vision, and chasing after God’s preferred future.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Leadership from the College of Biblical Studies. You can get some ideas about my philosophies and ideas about ministry from these articles:

Leadership:
Bottom Leaders
Change
Changing a Culture
Follow the Servant Leader
Lions and Leadership
Little Shovel
Man, Movement, Machine, & Monuments
Wizard of Oz Leadership
Church Thoughts & Ideas:
Harvest
Planting a “Practice”
Social Media and the Church
Welcoming or Welcomed?
Worship by Sweat

I have also written a couple of articles that were published by smallgrouptrader.com. These are the direct links:

I’m not too proud. I ask for your prayers, your advice, and your help. Miranda and I are confident in God’s hand of providence, but we will also need our friends (the body of Christ) to help us through this difficult time. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Want to contact me?
Steve Corn
Dv84JC@yahoo.com
979-415-4522 (cell)

Bottom Leaders

 

As the leader of my son, there are (or will be) times when it’s appropriate for me to allow him to lead me. Of course I will only allow him to lead me to certain places – it’ll always be within the boundaries that I set, but still, I will choose to follow him sometimes so that he can grow into a leader himself.

In all our leadership training, it’s been clear that a leader is not defined by his/her position, power, or authority but by his/her character, skills, relationships, and vision. My position will always be over my son, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the better leader. This means that the most incredible leader the world has ever known could be waiting on you at your favorite restaurant, or it could be the man who smiles at you while you’re pumping your gas. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the guy who stoops down and washes your feet.  (John 13)

Here’s where this stuff get interesting though. If a leader is not defined by his position and the best leader could be the guy in the lowliest of positions, then how much leadership should the man of position/authority assert? If a true leader can lead from the bottom position, and he’s the one with real vision, there most likely will be a clash between the real leader (with no position/authority) and the one who holds the position. The man of position may even recognize the value of this other man’s leadership, but stifle him out of his own fears of inadequacy. Of course the opposite could be true also – he might find that the man of position values his passion and ideas in such a way that he is able to implement them and help move things forward.

How can the man of position, remain humble and capable of recognizing bottom leaders? What role do bottom leaders have in leading positional leaders? Can a positional leader be led by a bottom leader who is a positional follower? When is the right time to follow a bottom leader? What boundaries should be set? If you do, are you still the leader or is it only a position? Will you be able to keep that position long if you allow a bottom leader to lead? Can a positional leader ever have true community with his followers? Can a positional leader serve his followers in such a way that he is actually a “bottom leader?” Can leadership be shared or does there have to be a position – a go-to guy – a buck-stops-here-guy? These lines between leaders and followers and positions get real blurry for me – because I see myself in each of these roles all the time.

It’s kind of a classic illustration, but the example we have from geese is pretty amazing. In their “V” formation, the leader is not the leader all the time. He cuts the wind resistance making it easier for the others to fly for a time and then he steps into one of the other positions so someone else (who isn’t as weary) can fly “lead.” While he sits in one of these other positions, he “quacks” loudly to encourage the one flying in the lead position. He “leads” from the back.

Anyway, leading from the bottom is an adventure. It’s a true calling. This world desperately needs more  bottom leaders, but it don’t recognize it’s need. Bottom leaders will most likely find themselves in the center of controversy, but hey, you’re in good company  – Jesus was a bottom leader. He was certainly in the center of controversy, too.

PS – The world needs more bottom leaders, not backseat drivers.

Church Leadership

Since I’ve been studying leadership, I’ve been paying a little more attention to how things are done at my own church. Our church is no different from any other Methodist church in that their main leadership roles are positions which are held for no more than three years – most are only 1 year positions. This is intended to keep things fresh – to keep from getting into a rut that you can’t get out of. But I’m wondering what we’re also missing out on? What are the benefits of leadership which is consistent and enduring?

It seems to me that many of the things a new leader may want to implement, especially big changes, take a little while to get going. And then in order to see those changes succeed, there will need to be a time of working with the change – you know give it a chance to make a difference. When a position is only a short time, it’s tough to endure this type of transition. As soon as things get going in the right direction – someone else (who may have the same passion as the original leader – or more often than not, someone who is frustrated by change and wants things back the way they were.) will come along and change it all up again.

I wonder if the Methodist system is actually hindering the work that needs to happen in the church? Of course in another system, it could go the other way – you could get stuck with a leader for a long time who isn’t doing anything at all or is happy with status quo. Where is the balance? How do you structure a church so that it’s healthy in regards to leadership? Are there other things which could be done to ensure proper Godly tenure of a leader? Scripturally, we see God raise up leaders for specific tasks and eras – I’ve gotta believe that’s still true today, and that He works in and through and around our systems, but I’m wondering if we’ve come to trust our systems so much that we’ve forgotten to be sensitive to God Himself when it comes to our leaders.