Scam Alert: Facebook Friend Requests

Are you getting lots of odd Facebook Friend Requests?

People are reporting strange activity on Facebook lately — many of them receiving odd friend requests from all of the world.

A University of South Florida Professor of Information Systems, Grandon Gill, told WTSP-TV in an interview that there may be no precise reason for the influx of friend requests you are receiving, but you should be cautious.

“For example, if there happens to be someone from the military in these networks, they might be able to start to pick up information from their profile that would identify for example who they are, where they are,” Gill said.

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Some people who try to friend you on Facebook may try to scam you.
Some people who try to friend you on Facebook may try to steal your identity.


1. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK FRIEND REQUESTS – Don’t just automatically click “accept” new friend requests. Take a few moments to look over the profile and verify that account is a real person, not a scam. I delete requests daily from erroneous profiles. Scan your list of current Friends to see if any show up twice (the newer account is going to be the scam one).

2. DON’T BLINDLY TRUST FRIEND’S RECOMMENDATIONS – Just because a link, video, or other information is shared by your (credible) friend doesn’t mean that it’s safe for you to click. It could be a fake account, a hacker, or mean that your friend hasn’t done his or her research.

3. WATCH FOR POOR GRAMMAR – Scam accounts are often full of posts that are riddled with typos and poor English. This is a good red flag.

4. ALERT YOUR FRIENDS – If your Facebook friend suddenly starts posting links to work-at-home schemes, scandalous videos or other odd content, tell him or her directly about the suspicious activity. Otherwise, they may never know that their account has been compromised.

5. REPORT FAKE ACCOUNTS TO FACEBOOK – Facebook does not allow accounts that are occupied by users who are pretending to be someone else.

Terrace is the author of Going Social, and speaks frequently on the subject of Social Media. [Click here] to see if you might like to partner with TC to host your next Social Media event! 

[Podcast] ★ How to Recruit & Keep Volunteers ★

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 7.15.53 PM The 40th episode of This Week in Youth Ministry podcast is LIVE. We bring these to you every Thursday.

from the description: This Week in Youth Ministry – Episode 40 – ★ How to Recruit & Keep Volunteers ★ TC interviews youth ministry veteran and blogger, Chris Wesley, on the subject of Volunteers!  Plus+ We’re giving away 2 FREE Tickets to the Orange Conference in Atlanta!  Listen for details on how YOU can win them!

Thanks for listening!  And please share the word with friends online about the new podcast.  You can also check out – our official podcast page.

Subscribe in iTunes by clicking [here].

Free Christmas Gift for Every Student!

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My friends at The Life Book are giving you FREE Christmas Presents for all the students in the schools you are trying to reach!  Give the gift of The Life Book.

Get this: Life Books are completely FREE to church youth leaders and pastors! You can request from 100 to 2500 Life Books for your students to give as Christmas gifts to their friends, peers and classmates. There’s nothing better than the gift of the Gospel for Christmas.

It really is possible for every student in every school you reach to receive the gift of the Gospel and it won’t cost you a dime. We’ve seen as few as 5 students hand out as many as 1,000 Life Books as gifts to their peers.

Click here to request your FREE Life Books.  Do it now to get them in time for the holidays!

What is The Life Book?
The Life Book contains a short recap of the Old Testament, the entire Gospel of John (ESV), interactive comments and questions, scriptural answers to issues teens face, and an opportunity to trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Life Book measures 5″ x 5″, is 110 pages and can be viewed online.
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Pastors Becoming Entrepreneurs

Every chance I get, I like to talk with other church leaders (typically youth workers) about how they need to explore the idea of entrepreneurialism.

I think I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit within me. And it didn’t take too long to find it years ago when my church made budget cuts and gave me 30 days notice that my pay would be cut in HALF (with that kind of notice you get innovative real quick …).

But I’m surprised other leaders aren’t open to exploring other income sources. Perhaps they don’t feel permitted? I understand that. In fact, in the winter of 2010 I began having car trouble and needed to supplement my income, I did the responsible thing and got a side job at Starbucks. I wish I could say that my boss respected that decision. Instead, I took some heat for it.  Others may think they aren’t permitted because pastors should only work in the “churchy-field.”

In the Old Testament, there was a dividing line between the classes — priests and farmers. The farmers got land as an inheritance in the promised land. The priests got no land, but, hey, they got “the Lord himself.”

There was a clear divided line here.

Then Jesus comes. The temple veil was torn. And then the farmer could enter the priests’ territory. The holy of holies. And meet with the Lord.

Farmers were no longer confined to being farmers anymore. They could all be priests.

But in the same right, priests (or occupational clergy) could become farmers (or entrepreneurs).

In the New Testament and beyond, there is always a cost to the Gospel (and there still is). And biblically, it was\is paid for by one of three groups:

1. The congregants (through tithes)
2. Outsiders (through raising support – missionary style)
3. You (bi-vocational work)

Sadly, the third way is always treated with indignity. Or pastors refuse to consider it because they think it means working at some fast food joint.

But there is a noble pathway here for church leaders.

The pastor who writes a book is an entrepreneur (that’s me).

There is a business model (a marketable book idea). There is an investor (a publisher). And there is hopefully ROI (if you sell enough books you get royalties and can buy nice things).

So Rick Warren is an entrepreneur. Bishop Jakes is an entrepreneur. Steven Furtick is an entrepreneur. Andy Stanley is an entrepreneur. And yes, Doug Fields is an entrepreneur.

(In case you need those people’s permission.)

So what is holding you back?   Let me know YOUR thoughts in the comments.

And if you have some extra time, listen to THIS podcast episode. I interviewed Kendra Creasy Dean, professor at Princeton, who feels very strongly that youth pastors should be entrepreneurs.

Let me put some more inspiration in your email box each week … 

[ps] For subscribing I’ll immediately send you a FREE eBooklet I put together for leaders to help them assess and master their leadership!

Win 2 Tickets to the #NWYC15!

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This is BIG. I’m giving away tickets to the National Youth Workers’ Convention in Louisville. Last week Kali, a youth worker from LaGrange, GA won 2 tickets to the convention and TOMORROW I’m giving away 2 more pair of tickets!  That means 4 MORE people will be headed to the convention.

Don’t wait to enter.  Once you enter, and then share your link on social media you get more additional entries, which equals more chances to win!    Go [here] and enter now!

If you can’t go to the conference would you please share the news about this giveaway online with your tribe?  There may be a youth worker who would LOVE to go and this literally could be their ticket to get there!

[Podcast] ★ Hot Topics (Part Two) with Mark Matlock ★

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 7.15.53 PM The 39th episode of This Week in Youth Ministry podcast is LIVE. We bring these to you every Thursday.

from the description: This Week in Youth Ministry – Episode 39 – ★ Hot Topics with Mark Matlock ★ Terrace Crawford continues his conversation with Mark Matlock, Executive Director of Youth Specialties, about some Hot Topics — including racism, the church being labeled “anti-science,” gender identity, and the subject of homosexuality. Plus+ We’re giving away 2 more pair of tickets to the National Youth Workers Convention!

Thanks for listening!  And please share the word with friends online about the new podcast.  You can also check out – our official podcast page.

Subscribe in iTunes by clicking [here].

And enter our BIG giveaway for the FREE tickets to the National Youth Workers Convention [here]

A Word to the Chasers

Do you know what I’ve discovered? People aren’t actually too busy for you.

They pretend like they are.  But everyone, I repeat, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.  And I don’t care if you are the CEO at a Fortune 500 Company, or some lowly youth pastor in the cornfields of Kansas, we all make time for what is very high on our priority list.  

This is not a rant. But it’s a helpful word (hopefully) to all the chasers.

I’ve been done for a while chasing people.   No one should have to chase you.  No one.

You aren’t that important.  And if you think you are, may God humble you.

I wrote a post last week and mentioned that I made an ask of someone notable to come on my podcast a few weeks ago.  And I only use the word “notable” so I don’t have to use the word “Big” so that you get what I mean.  His assistant sent an email back to me and asked for a list of people that have said “Yes” to me.

I haven’t emailed back.

Yesterday I reached out to someone who I thought it might be fun to collaborate with. Within an hour I got an email from his assistant who told me that he is booked for months and could probably get back to me in the late Spring.  Excuse me?  (I may have to start training admin assistants…)

He isn’t that important.  We just aren’t very high on his priority list.

Because people who are too busy for you are certainly making time for people like them. People they value. Important people. Hanging out. Shooting the breeze. Enjoying plenty of margin. That’s just the reality.  Just check out their social media feeds. They have time for that.

I direct messaged a very high profile Christian pastor on Twitter and asked if we could talk. I expected that he, too, would be “too busy.”  Apparently he was not. He messaged me right back, said “yes”, and we made a plan to connect.

Don’t be discouraged or dismayed.

Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand so that in due time, he might lift you up.

Get more from articles, posts, and freebies from me each week…

[ps] For subscribing I’ll immediately send you a FREE eBooklet I put together for leaders to help them assess and master their leadership!

The War on Red Cups


My Facebook feed has been taken over.

There is apparently a “War on Red Cups.”  And I’ve been asked to serve the ‘Christian Army’ who has declared said war.

You see, there’s basically 2 types of Christians these days.   Those who would rather be known for what they are FOR, and then those who would rather be known for what they are AGAINST.

Just for the record: I’m in that first group. And I dislike the behavior of the second.

In fact, I’m completely embarrassed by the second group.  They do not represent me.
And the second group has now declared war on Starbucks.

And get this … it’s because of a solid RED CUP.

Starbucks loves the holidays, and Christmas is no exception. But this year unlike others,
their cups lack some design, according to some.The last few years (as you may recall) they’ve been decorated with snowflakes, stars, snowmen, and words like “Joy” and “Peace.”   But this year they decided to keep it simple: a solid red cup.

(Honestly … doesn’t “simple” at Christmas sounds nice?)

Well, the second group of Christians flipped.  Or perhaps it’s just that one former pastor in Arizona who issued the challenge to every patron of Starbucks to demand baristas write “Merry Christmas” on their cups instead of their real names as a prank.

Are we in 4th grade?

People have sent me links to that video and asked me to share it.   You can stop now.
I won’t be sharing, thank you.

And sir, the joke may be on you.  You’ve just asked millions of people to go buy coffee
at Starbucks because you are upset.  Perhaps they should treat you, Mr. Christmas.

Bottom line:
To say that Starbucks is anti-Jesus because they serve coffee in a solid red cup is ridiculous.  Here’s why:  Has Starbucks at any other time presented a scripture or the word “Jesus” on their cups?  No.  So declaring war or asking for a boycott of the company (like Donald Trump just suggested) is absurd.

After all, no one is declaring war on Red Solo Cups.  And you have every right to!
Solo has ever printed a scripture on or the word “Jesus” on it’s cups.  Just a solid red
cup that you can fill up.

Let’s get real here.

Boycotts embarrass us all.  I’m really speaking to the second group of Christians here. I’m sincerely convinced it’s not the way of Jesus.

For example: I’ll never forget a couple years ago several people asked me to sign a petition to take action against comedian Kathy Griffin because she told Jesus to “suck it” on live TV.

I never signed that petition because I didn’t think Jesus would boycott her shows. I think he would have a conversation with her and show her love. (If you disagree with me here, you have my full permission to stop reading my post and start reading the Bible).

Yet a “Christian” organization purchased a $100,000 full-page ad in USA Today to smear Kathy’s name and ask people to boycott her.

Side note: Why do professing Christians seem to demand that those who don’t even worship or follow Jesus Christ act like they do?  For the record: Starbucks has never claimed to be a “Christian” company.

Think of what GOOD that organization could have done with ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS for the cause of Christ.  Instead, they were apparently convinced that taking Kathy Griffin down would advance our mission and compel more people who don’t know Jesus to want Him.

Before declaring “War” or boycotting anyone, let’s think about what message we are sending.  Many of my barista friends have questioned me personally over the last 48 hours about my stance on this cup situation. And I’m completely disheartened that I, a member of the first group of Christians, got labeled as one from the second group the last few days.

I pray that one day there will only be one, united group of Christians. A group that is united over the only cause that matters – Jesus lifted high.

And I pray that the war, between us, and over silly things (like Red Cups) will soon be over.

If you feel me on this, feel free to comment and share this post with others.

Get more from articles, posts, and freebies from me each week…

[ps] For subscribing I’ll immediately send you a FREE eBooklet I put together for leaders to help them assess and master their leadership!

For more hot topics, join me for this week’s Podcast. I’m hosting with special guest, Mark Matlock, the Executive Director of Youth Specialties. We’ll be discussing how the church has been labeled anti-Science, mean-spirited, and anti-Gay… among other things. You don’t want to miss it!

Master Class with Will Ferrell & Taylor Swift

I love a good Master Class.

Probably because I love learning from others.

I ran across this series of screen tests from the New York Times.  They are like mini-Master Classes with your favorite celebrities. I’ll include 2 of my favorite, featuring Will Ferrell and Taylor Swift.  You can go [here] to binge watch the others like I did.

I believe we all need to learn. We especially need to learn from those who have
gone before us, and have more experience than us.

I love pouring into rookie youth workers. Leaders who have been in the field for 5 years or less. If you want to learn, let’s talk. Here’s more about the Coaching Program I offer [here].

[ps] For subscribing I’ll immediately send you a FREE eBooklet I put together for leaders to help them assess and master their leadership!