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Current Events, Current Events, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology
Smartphones are addictive and our brain’s instinctively respond to pings and social media updates, triggering dopamine rewards that make it a pleasure to check your phone. The expectation of text messages and the dopamine reward override the judgment of the prefrontal cortex where most judgment and reasoning occurs.
Click here to get the full story. Want stories like this and more delivered to your inbox each week? Go here to order your next four issues for just $1! Why this story matters for church leaders: Cell phones present almost irresistible distractions, and this can impact more than our safety in our cars. We can miss out on valuable time with family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Always with us: Cell phones are always with us, and that can create a nervous habit of always needing to check something, even during a conversation.
  • Turning off notifications: One step we can take toward being more fully present is disabling notifications so that we have less pings to distract us.
  • Building community: Smartphones can be community killers if we don’t talk about the way they change our interactions with each other and our families.
Are there steps you can take to become less distracted by your cell phone or smartphone? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.
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Current Events, Current Events, Leadership, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology, Trends
While most adults use social media in order to connect with friends and to find entertainment, teens who grow up with social media are finding a world without boundaries and tools that they are using to define themselves. Instagram and SnapChat enable teens to tell the world who they are, but the world can also comment back. Parents need to help teens find healthy boundaries and model good use of social media.
Click here to get the full story. Want stories like this and more delivered to your inbox each week? Go here to order your next four issues for just $1!  Why this story matters for church leaders: Church members use social media frequently, but teens are especially immersed in the world of social media and using it to define themselves.
  • Social Media Perspectives: Get in touch with some teens in your church to hear how they use social media and what some of the potential downsides could be.
  • Model Healthy Behaviors: Besides understanding the challenges of social media, model healthy social media use so that your congregation can learn from your example, not just from sermons.
  • Empower Parents: Are there discussions or training events you can host for parents related to healthy social media use?
What are your personal challenges when it comes to using social media? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.    
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Current Events, Current Events, Leadership, Leadership, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology, Trends
From work emails to phone calls and social media, more employees are struggling to divide their personal and work lives, especially executives. One third of Americans never even turn off their cell phones, and the constant access to work communication can prove stressful, especially for the extroverts who fear missing out. More introverted employees can sometimes disconnect better from work communication while at home, but the most important factor of all was having a clear, intentional plan for using social media and communicating with work while at home.

Click here to get the full story. Want stories like this and more delivered to your inbox each week? Go here to order your next four issues for just $1! 

Why this story matters for church leaders: Technology can sometimes make church leaders too accessible, especially when they should be resting or at home with family.
  • Keeping Work “at the Office”: While pastors can’t keep everything at the office, how can they set up healthy barriers between themselves and the demands of ministry?
  • Setting Expectations: Sometimes it can help to set expectations for how soon someone can expect a reply. Most of the time a text message or email can wait.
  • Direct Elsewhere: If you prefer to receive messages in a particular place, consider creating an autoresponder to let others know how you prefer to reply to messages.
Is there a particular type of technology you use that tends to be particularly invasive or difficult to manage? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.
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Controversy, Current Events, Current Events, Leadership, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology
Adam McLane writes that most people don’t care about personal privacy, sharing significant personal details on websites and on social media apps. Most apps on our phones are allowed to track our locations, and Facebook’s latest technology is capable of using biometric scans to determine which photos are of you. However Facebook could run into trouble under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, which forbids the collection of biometric identifiers like fingerprints or faceprints without a person’s explicit consent.
Click here to get the full story. Want stories like this and more delivered to your inbox each week? Go here to order your next four issues for just $1!  Why this story matters for church leaders: Technology is pervasive and invasive in our congregations. How do we use technology for ministry without being used by the technology?
  • What boundaries do you set? Before pastors can speak about the impact of technology and use of boundaries, they need their own policies and boundaries in place.
  • Caring for more than souls: While pastors can speak to the negative impact that technology can have on one’s soul, it can also leave people exposed to physical threats or robbery.
  • Positives and Negatives: Churches need to meet people where they’re at and communicate with the apps they use. How do you model healthy communication via apps and social media?
What does pastoral care look like at a time when people spend significant time online every day and share personal information very freely? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.
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Current Events, Generosity, Leadership, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology, Uncategorized
Whether churches are large or small or have old or young members, online giving and automatic fund transfers are becoming important ways to collect the offering. Some churches pass out cards that members can drop in the offering plate to indicate that they gave online. Most importantly, make it clear that members can set up automatic gifts, can donate from their IRA’s, or donate to the church through their wills.
Click here to get the full story. Want stories like this and more delivered to your inbox each week? Go here to order your next four issues for just $1!   Why this story matters for church leaders: Giving is below budget or just barely covering costs for the majority of churches in America, so each congregation needs to maximize giving opportunities.
  • A Plan for Planned Giving: When looking at your church’s long term financial situation, consider offering materials on planned giving through a will or other legacy gift. These can prove helpful in the future.
  • Giving Beyond Cash: Many members of your congregation may hold stocks and bonds that could be donated today or signed over to the church in the future. Offer a wide variety of ways to give.
  • Small Churches Receive Donations Like Large Churches: Small churches that have set up clear, effective online giving pages are proving that you don’t have to be a large church in order to benefit from online giving programs.
How can your church offer more giving opportunities to members? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.
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Leadership, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology, Uncategorized
A survey of 3,000 adults found that 74% are personal learners and only a third of them use online classes. Classes at schools and libraries remain popular, while online learning is only being used by a segment of adults who have a bachelor’s degree.
Click here to read the full story. Get stories like this and more each week with Ministry Briefing! Order now and receive your first four issues for just $1! Online streaming has become a popular tool for many churches, but the majority of adults still prefer to learn in person, and, most importantly, those who are poor are often unable to access online outreach.
  • Where does the internet fit into your outreach? Online streaming a sermon is a helpful tool for keeping members involved while they travel or providing visitors with a clear idea of your church. However, the online component of ministry has limits.
  • How can your church prioritize in-person ministry? Social networks help churches remain organized and keep in touch. However, small groups, Sunday services, and one-on-one meetings remain more effective for discipleship.
  • What does balance look like? Churches can go in the other direction with in-person events and meetings, scheduling most evenings throughout the week. How can you work toward balance in this area?
What are the particular challenges your church faces in providing events and classes? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.
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Current Events, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology, Uncategorized
Among the 41% of Americans planning to attend Easter services, over two thirds of them own smartphones and will most likely look up information about your church online. Do you have service times and location information in clear, easy-to-find locations? Also check out your website to make sure you have staff information, children’s ministry notes, and information about your mission and values along with links to past sermons.
Click here for the full story. Get stories like this and more each week with Ministry Briefing! Order now and receive your first four issues for just $1! Why this story matters for church leaders: Some simple changes to your church website can make a huge difference in helping visitors find your church and prepare for a visit, let alone helping them decide to visit in the first place.
  • Is Your Church Website Mobile-Ready? Several of the most popular website creation tools today have ready-made themes that show up well on the tiny screens of mobile phones. Assuming that the majority of your members and visitors use smartphones, is your website optimized for mobile viewing?
  • Where to Share the Basics: The two most important details on any church website are you location and your service times. Contact information should be easy to find as well. You can place this essential information on your home page in the top (or header) section, at the top of a sidebar, or at the bottom of your page, provided visitors don’t have to scroll down too far to find it.
  • What makes your church unique? If churches include information about their mission, values, and beliefs, they tend to share too much. What are the most important details you can share about your church in a few brief sentences so that visitors know who you are and what makes your church unique?
Can you run a test on your church website today? Ask a few members of your church to share their input. Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.  
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Leadership, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology, Trends, Uncategorized
The popularity of cell phones are driving a striking decline in empathy as more regular users are missing out on the benefits of in-person conversations. Couples are writing via text messages rather than conversing in real person, families spend time “together” but on their phones, and job applicants struggle in interviews after writing excellent letters. The use of smartphones isn’t just cutting into our time, they’re cutting into our ability to connect with each other.
Click here for the full story. Get stories like this and more each week with Ministry Briefing! Order now and receive your first four issues for just $1! Why this matters for church leaders: Church leaders need to be aware of any threats to their empathy in order to minister effectively, but as they seek to counsel their congregation and support their spiritual growth, they need to know the kind of impact that technology is having.
  • Reclaiming the Conversation: In this new book by Sherry Turkle, we learn that research reveals young people are relying too much on text messages and aren’t developing interpersonal skills and, worst of all, aren’t developing empathy because of this missing face-to-face interaction.
  • Marriages and Angry Text Messages: The down side of technology appears to be showing up the most in the context of marriages where couples rely on text messages rather than having a discussion.
  • Addressing the Impact of Technology: Pastors have an important role in both setting their own boundaries with technology and helping others do the same. Are there ways your staff and your family can model better cell phone habits?
How can you help your congregation through these challenges presented through smartphones? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.
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Current Events, Current Events, Ministry Briefing, Start Here, Technology, Uncategorized
The Internet is going mobile today, with 54% of users accessing it on their phones compared to 46% accessing it on a desktop computer. Most importantly, 60% of religion news is shared on a mobile device, compared to business-related fields such as finance and economics where 38% are accessed on a desktop.
Click here to read the full article from ChurchMag. You can have stories like this and more with a subscription to Ministry Briefing! Get your first four issues now for just $1! Why this matters for ministry leaders: More people are managing their lives on mobile phones, and churches need to consider key ways to connect on mobile platforms.
  • Phones are more than social media tools: Smartphone users are managing their finances, reading news articles, and reading the Bible on their phones. Churches need to think of how they can use mobile apps or mobile websites to provide spiritual growth opportunities.
  • Mobile Giving Is a Must: Banks are making big investments in mobile apps and mobile banking. Churches who want to keep up with this important trend should consider options such as text-based giving and mobile giving.
  • Responsive Websites are the Future: How does your church website appear on a mobile device’s tiny screen? There are plenty of responsive website options available that can make this switch easy and effective.
Do you use a smartphone? If not, is there someone you can consult for direction? How can your church begin to use this trend to minister more effectively? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!
logo_ministry_cSave Time. Lead Better.  Ministry Briefing finds only the top news items, cultural trends, and resources that you need to know about each week… stories that will help you save time and lead better.

Save Time.

Who doesn’t want to be a better leader, right? But it takes time to develop and learn new leadership insights. And it takes an intelligent plan. Ministry Briefing puts everything you need to develop your leadership in your hands each month. You’ll find the top 40 resources nicely summarized and fully linked so that you can drill-down on your specific areas of interest.

Lead Better.

Great leaders learn from great leaders.  Each week, our editors read hundreds of church leadership resources (the great, the not-so-great, and the ‘really’?) and pick only the best of the best to share in Ministry Briefing.  You’ll learn great concepts and ideas from really sharp minds… things that will stretch and mold you into a better leader for your local church.

Our Commitment.

We’re not in the business of selling a bloated program or complicated process that guarantees (or suggests) that we’ll make you the next Andy Stanley. We don’t claim to be the best thing since sliced bread. We simply have a passion for the church and ministry and collecting the best resources we think can help you be a better church leader, one idea at a time. Great church leaders keep up on what’s happening in the big “C” church. We make it easy to keep your head out of the sand without wasting your time. Read this week’s full edition with your no-risk trial subscription now.
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Technology
Twitter is gearing up to offer a new feature. You will soon be able to record and add short videos to your twitter feed. All within Twitter. Best Ministry Practices wrote about this new offering, that according to Twitter should be available in the first half of this year. According to Kevin Weil, a Twitter VP: “Aside from just watching video more easily on Twitter, you should be able to record, edit and share your own videos natively on Twitter too… Alongside short looping Vine videos, we think you’ll have fun sharing what’s happening in your world through native video.” Big whoop, you might say. But hold on. Is this the next BIG thing? Who knows. But you should be prepared, or at least thinking through how this might change things. How might your church use short-form video on social media? Short Announcements? Reminders to attend on Sunday? Promos? Follow-up sermon material? This could be a new venue for you to communicate with your peeps throughout the week. So… what do you think?  Is there a way to use this new Twitter feature to enhance your local ministry? Todd
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Technology
OK… I turned 50 this year… so if my math is correct, it’s been a full 31 years since I’ve been a teenager. But ‘back in the day’, things were a lot different. I remember being bullied on the bus by a kid three grades older than me that said he was going to do something terrible to me with a knife (which he pulled from his pocket).  Of course, it was harmless.  Not that the 1 1/2 inch blade on his pocket knife wouldn’t have hurt.  He was all talk (which I know now)… but when you’re 8, you don’t have that filter. I also remember having to wait in line at my high school to use the pay phone.  I needed to call home to ask my mom to come and pick me up after a practice or event.  (For those under 30, pay phones were these weird contraptions that acted much like a cell phone does today, only they were about a hundred times larger than a cell phone and had a slot for a dime (or later, a quarter) to make a call. Today things are much different. No more pay phones.  We carry more technology in our pockets today that we could have ever dreamed of 31 years ago. And while in-person bullying takes place today, much of that has moved online; and many times is much meaner and much more serious that what I ever had to deal with. Take for instance this graphic describing some of what our teenagers are dealing with: keep reading
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