Church

7 Models Parents Must Give to Their Kids for Faith Formation

7 Models Parents Must Give to Their Kids for Faith Formation

I once heard an administrator say to high school parents, "You are now consultants to your kids." 

Yikes! One moment, you were your child's superhero, and the next you have become relegated to a mere consultant, a casual informant, for the life of your kid - as if you are now some kind of 1-800-number parental technician who is only useful for insolvable problems, or let's be honest, charging up empty bank accounts. 

Personally, after hearing those words, I imagined my 7 month old sweet Hannah growing up as a teenager, smudging my advice aside for her lame boyfriend's. 

As much as I want to disagree with that statement, it is kinda true. The role of a parent dramatically alters during the teenage years of your child than any other season of life. 

The 5 Relationship Cycles with God

The 5 Relationship Cycles with God

Creating a devotional life with God can be a difficult discipline to cultivate. 

I have experienced seasons when my devotional life with God seemed unstoppable. I can recall a period of time in seminary when I could not set the Bible down. It was like being addicted to Netflix - I just could not get enough of it!

Conversely, I have also gone through long slumps when my alone time with God felt like sledging through mud. Each step felt hard and exhausting. I still loved Jesus and valued my faith, but my desire to invest into it wained - and sometimes for unknown reasons.

Doesn't it seem odd that any of us would feel that way when spending time with the Creator of the Universe who rescued us from sin and death?

4 Ways to Integrate Teenagers into the Life of Your Church

4 Ways to Integrate Teenagers into the Life of Your Church

One of the very first posts that I ever wrote was titled, "Why the Church Needs Teenagers (And Why You Do, Too)." I shared the importance for why your church or organization needs to include the voice of teenagers in its overall direction and culture.

The key question, however, is how does this practically, systematically, and structurally happen? How do we as youth workers and leaders persuade our communities to put into practice these very ideals?

Just a few short years ago, as a 16 year old, the leadership of my church thrusted me into a position of power and authority by encouraging me to preach a half dozen times throughout the year. They recognized a gift within me, and they assumed that I would have something to say that the rest of the church needed to hear. As a result of this decision, two consequences occurred:

Drop the Bricks

Drop the Bricks

Yesterday I offered a sermon at Hillside Church titled "Drop the Bricks." You can listen to it on my site here

If you examine your life honestly, then I would suspect that like all people - me included - you carry around unresolved pain from past hurts caused by either other people or yourself. 

We lug these hurts around like bricks in a backpack. Over time, these bricks weigh us down, strain our relationships, and drive a wedge between our us and our faith in God. 

No matter how well we deal with the weight of these bricks, however, all of us must confront the truth that the weight and strain of these bricks always steals our freedom.

Don't Worry, Monday's Here!

Don't Worry, Monday's Here!

During the Easter season, I heard a seminary professor once say: "We live in an in-between time — between despair and hope — between the Resurrection of Jesus and the Return of Jesus - between the inauguration of the Kingdom of God and the final redemption of all things."

In other words, my professor wanted us to know that we live in the promise of redemption, but not yet in the fulfillment of it.

And I absolutely agree!

I see a world famished with sin, groaning in pain.

A Case and Instruction for Background Checks

A number of components comprise a healthy, faithful, and trustworthy ministry.

Among them includes a worked out process for hiring and releasing staff and volunteers, a specific and dedicated mission, and a concrete vision for direction. A list a mile long could span this post of all of the different pieces that make up a thriving ministry.

Additionally, a measure that must not be overlooked, however, are Background Checks.