What is a Family Pastor?

As I travel around the country  and speak at mid-sizes churches I have been
introduced to those who have the title of Family Pastor. Interestingly, when I
ask them to describe their responsibilities, I hear varied answers.

In larger churches, the title is usually given to a young person who is responsible to minister to the youth and oversee the children’s ministry. He also might be given other roles that accompany an associate pastor. But his primary responsibility is to oversee the children and youth.

As one who has a heart for family discipleship and as a former lead pastor, I would like to think through this. Might we be changing the name without changing the philosophy? Perhaps we should keep calling those who oversee youth and children’s […]

Church Life|

Levels of Delegation – What Smart Leaders in the Home and Church Understand

I find delegation difficult. It is much easier for me to do something myself. I know how I want it and cannot put it into words. In addition, over the years I have had a number of delegated projects that failed. As a result, I shy away from delegation.

But that is not a godly attitude. Whether you call it delegation, equipping, training, or empowering, one job of a leader in the church is to oversee. Oversee what? Among other things, oversee the saints carrying out the ministry of the body of Christ.

Leaders Are To Equip

Ephesians 4:12 states this explicitly when God tells us that he has gifted the church with leaders who are to equip the saints for the works of ministry so […]


Parenting Q and A with Chap

What if you could invite me to your Sunday School and ask me some parenting questions to fill in the corners of The Disciple-Making Parent.  

That’s exactly what this recording is.  A friend invited me to his church to finish up their study of  The Disciple-Making Parent. In that time, we covered all sorts of subjects including ones I did not talk about like: prodigals, advice to young parents, and commitment to the local church.

Listen below or on itunes here.



Are We Dishonest in Our Praise?

At a recent conference, a kind grandmother who was also a public school teacher asked my thoughts about overpraising.

When I asked what she meant she explained that she had noticed parents praising every little thing their child did. In a desire to be positive, encouraging, and perhaps not hurt their esteem, they were praising poor work. And she felt the children could sense their dishonesty. It was affecting her classroom.

After we talked more, I had to admit that I agreed with her. Overpraising starts with a wrong view of my child as fragile and breakable who must be protected from every evil. It makes praise cheap and contributes to the sin of people-pleasing.

Finally, I think it makes us insecure. We need evaluation and […]


Nine Elements of an Effective Donut Date

I guess I am becoming somewhat of an expert on the donut date. I regularly took my children out on donut dates, have written two journals for donut dates, and (at conferences) people love telling me their donut date stories.

I truly believe that a donut date might give some of the best return on the investment of time of anything we do as parents. Other regular activities that produce significant results would include regular church attendance at a healthy church, regular meals together, and regular conversations about Jesus. But for the amount of money and time (five dollars and one hour a week) a donut date gives a high ROI.

With those thoughts in mind, I would like to suggest nine elements of an effective donut […]

Power of the Heart|

Seven Thoughts on Apologetics in a New Age

I recently had the privilege of presenting several workshops at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville’s annual Pastor’s Conference. In particular, I was asked to speak on How Apologetics Can Strengthen Families and Youth.

I chose to focus on what I believe are seven new realities from when I grew up.

The Ubiquity of the Cell-Phone and the Arts.A Change in Values in Our Country.A New Minority Status.A Need for a Clear and Compelling Christian Sexual Ethic.We Need to Think Clearly about the Inoculation Theory.We Need to Think Clearly about our Goals.We Need to Think Clearly about our Strategies.

Listen below or on itunes here.



Repentance: God’s Loving Invitation to Refreshment

We may think of the word repent as an outdated term, associated with men who walked around downtown with sandwich boards proclaiming, “Repent for the end is at hand.” The term seems odd, patriarchal, narrow-minded, and restrictive

I think what you will find in this short sermon is that it is a very relevant term. Relevant for your life, relevant for your growth and relevant for your family. 

To repent is to have a change of mind that results in a change of direction.  It admits there is a standard that we are not meeting up too. And it is a loving call to change. I think you will be edified as you listen to this podcast 

Listen below or on itunes here.



Book Summary: Teaching to Change Lives

These words that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Teach them diligently to your children. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Fathers (and by implication mothers) are to teach the Word of God diligently to our children. Indeed a church has this divine responsibility.

Unfortunately, too often this teaching is B…O….R…I….N…..G. We think about what to teach but not how to teach.

The late Howard Hendricks was a beloved and influential teacher in the last quarter of the 20th century. His Teaching to Change Lives is a classic work not on what to teach but on how to teach. Though written a humorous style that may seem a little dated, this is a classic and accessible work. It will help you become a better teacher. […]

Book Reviews|

Greater Than Do

I am a person who likes to work. I love ministry. I don’t work for validation, I work because I truly enjoy it. Indeed, we find that hard work is commended by the Bible.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might. Eccl 9:10Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance. Col 3:23-24Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Cor 15:58

But there is a danger with this temperament as a Christian. That danger is to make myself the center of the story, to believe that it all who […]

Christian Living|

Dr. David Murray: Helping Our Children Read the Bible

Dr. David Murray has written a helpful resource to help children seven to twelve years-old read the Bible on a regular basis. It is entitled Exploring the Bible.

Listen in as we talk about it.

In addition, we talk about his book Christians Get Depressed Too.

Listen below or on itunes here.

The Disciple-Making Parent will give you confidence in your parenting.

If you are a parent, God […]