As youth leaders and parents, we have to help students experience what it means reflect the love of Christ—through experience—it’s how they are wired to learn. It is what is necessary if our students are going to thrive and create change. You don’t need a new program or some complex system, you just need a few simple steps. Let me show you what I mean.
There is no amount of protesting, no amount of legislation, no removal of statues, and no amount of reparations that can mend the wound short of the gospel. The only solution for racism is God's solution—it's in the gospel of Jesus.
There’s no question our lives have been a little out of sorts lately. We have seen the articles and heard the news. We have seen the hardship of so many around us and have watched the disappointment in our kids—first school, then activities, then an abnormal summer and now massive uncertainty with the fall approaching.
The effective discipleship of our kids means they have to listen to and trust us. Pastor or parent relational equity is non-negotiable. Creating that relationship starts with understanding how current cultural trends affect them and how they affect our ability to disciple them.
A few months ago, I wrote a post about the opportunity to create a new normal, to lean into time with family, and to take advantage of the time we are given. Now there are a few new questions on the horizon that I think we need to consider before we get sideswiped when we weren't looking.
Don’t trade the truth of convenience. But teaching our kids to be smart and stubborn when it comes to truth will not only preserve the gospel but also move it forward and introduce others to real freedom and real hope.
The unrest, hate, and division we see in our world is cry for help. It's a cry for hope. But there is no legislation, no erasure of history, or admittance of privilege that will satisfy our culture's longing for goodness, truth, and beauty. Only the Gospel can do that.
A strong intellectual faith, coupled with parents’ and students’ desire for emotional moments, became the beginning of a formula that I soon required anywhere I taught. I had four specific goals I was after to make my students more mature Christians who think “Christianly”:
It is my aim to talk about the Word every chance we get, encourage my kids to read—even if they don't fully understand—ask questions and pursue more than just knowledge of the Word but of the Word Himself.
We have to help our students discover their creative calling and fully realize their potential to take who they are, what they love, and what they can create—and how they can uniquely point others to Christ.
Our effective witness to others as followers of Christ is so much more than just communicating the gospel when given the opportunity. It’s more than just talking about Jesus and asking another person to “accept” Jesus. Effective disciple-making requires the formation of a relationship—even if that relationship is only for a small moment in time. It requires us to listen to another’s story, their concerns, objections, frustrations, and questions—and to do so with gentleness and respect.
Here we are. Still stuck at home. On the one hand, wondering when we get back to normal. On the other hand, a bit scared for what that will mean when that times comes. This house, which at one time seemed too big, now seems to be closing in on me. We homeschool, so this shouldn’t be hard right? We can still do school. The kids are always together. But over the last few weeks, I think we can all agree that this time spent at home—however necessary—is anything but easy.
Learning that lasts is driven from experience first. Experiences are incredible teachers. It not only captivates our attention, it engages our imaginations, stirs up emotion, causes us to ask questions, and, peaks our curiosity. Experiences creates a deeper need to know.
We all want this virus thing to end and life to return to normal. I just hope when we return, we return to a new normal, a better normal.
Questions compel us to ask why. And as I have taught students over the years, if Christianity is true, then no question ought to be off-limits. That, of course, does not mean every question can be answered. But at the end of the day, we must ask ourselves which worldview has the best answers to life’s most important questions—and do those answers provide a consistent and coherent framework for reality.
One of my responsibilities as a teacher was to oversee the spiritual growth of the entire student body. Every year, I would ask similar questions at the beginning and end of the school year of the students, parents, leaders, pastors, and myself. The wide variety of answers would help me guide students in their walk, so they could not only have a sure foundation, but to build on for a lasting faith and a prepared faith for what ever comes next.
I needed my kids to see something greater. I needed them to lose something to gain something. What might seem confusing, frustrating, even unfair at times, may be the very thing we need the most. I wanted my kids to experience something far more important.
the conversation Rhett and Link started is an important one. It’s a conversation the church cannot afford to ignore and a conversation families cannot pretend doesn’t exist. So what can we as devout believers, disciple-makers, apologists, pastors, parents, etc. ought to learn from their journey?
Recognizing the lordship of Jesus and the desire to be holy means first to recognize one’s need for Jesus in the first place. If our students can’t properly recognize the presence of sin in the world and in their lives, then what need do they have for Jesus?
Research is now showing that the attention span of the average student is actually less than that of a goldfish. And more often than not we believe that the solution is less teaching time. Do I run the risk of losing their attention for the sake of the message or sacrifice the message for the sake of their attention spans? It feels like either way, you lose.
Most parents are desperate for ways to talk to their kids about their faith, politics, daily events, and news. And if they just had a way in, a conversation starter, imagine what might happen in the lives of those students. After all, the primary disciple maker in a child’s life was designed to be a parent. We should empower them where and when we can.
I know what you’re thinking: “wow, this guy is late to the party. This Kanye thing was last month.” And you would be right. I am a little late to the party. But hang in there with me for a minute.
In the spirit of the new year and the kinds of things we all do in the new year, I wanted to reflect back on the high points of 2019.
Christmas is a time to recapture God’s intention for humanity and set our sights on something far greater than any of us. A child we would come to know as King and Lord of all Creation could only accomplish all of this.
Talk about sin. Because we don’t.
Every one of your students have questions. There is no way around it, and there is no way of avoiding it, so please don’t. Students need to feel a part of a community and culture where questions are encouraged and answered.
Let's make sure that those who have chosen to dedicate their lives to growing ours to be more like Christ are adequately taken care of. It may be pastoral appreciation month, but I want to challenge all of us to take this month and create a habit of appreciation that will last all year.
Cultural trends are not swinging in our favor giving us all the more reason to immediately stop what we believe is important and address what our students are telling us is crucial to their spiritual growth.
So you have this great idea. You pitch it to your boss, and he loves it. You have the green light. So you return to your office thrilled and energized, ready to dig in. That is until fear, distractions, obstacles, naysayers, loss of interest, or frustration that your idea is not turning out as expected … Continue reading Have an Idea? Here’s How to Make it Happen
Students are genuinely and rightfully concerned about how they should respond to recent events in the classroom and with friends and family. Your students most likely want to be like Jesus and respond biblically, but they often have a hard time making sense of recent events in light of biblical teaching. So rather than debating whether or not Jesus would have voted for Trump or if Jesus would rather live in a state that denies abortions, I want to dial in on getting back to the basics of discipleship.