Family Love Makes The Triune God Visible

If we emphasize the unity of God, we picture in our mind, a lonely, mysterious God who, we think, may have created man and woman because he was lonely. Much as a widower might purchase a dog to overcome loneliness, God made man and woman to have a relationship with. The truth could not be further from this thought. Our God who is one in essence, is nevertheless three in persons. Before time began, God dwelt in perfect community, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Tim Keller states it this way: "So we believe that the world was made not by a God who is an individual nor by an emanation of an impersonal force. But by a God who is a community of persons who [...]

Oobleck and The Qualities of a Good Leader

There is a unique quality of substances that can be liquid and solid. Normal substances change from liquid to solid based on the temperature. These substances change based on the pressure. Scientists tell us it is a nonNewtonian fluid. You can make oobleck, which gets its name from Dr. Seuss, by simply mixing cornstarch and water. With the right mix, you have a substance that you can dip your hand into and the fluild will move away. But if you hit it, the fluid solidifies for a moment. It feels like you are not hitting jello but a brick wall. (For a fun link click here. For demo videos simple search Youtube.) Oobleck and Leadership In walking through the qualities God looks for in an [...]

For Church Leadership|

How Pastors Can Care For Their Own Children

The Gospel Coalition published a followup article on How Pastors Can Care for Their Children. My thanks to TGC for help in getting this message out. My points were: 1. Think long-term. 2. Be intentional about your children's behavior on Sundays. 3. Praise your congregation to your children. 4. Don't talk about church conflicts in the hearing of your children. 5. Train and deploy the elder team. 6. Focus on the heart. 7. Guard your special family times. Pastors, let's make sure to shepherd those closest to us!

For Church Leadership|

Leadership: The First in Battle, The Last Off

Haven't seen the movie and don't know the backstory, but I love this portrayal of leadership. Dads? Elders? Will you be the first one on the field of battle and the last one off? Here's the text. Colonel Hal Moore Look around you. In the Seventh Cavalry, we got a captain from the Ukraine. Another from Puerto Rico. We've got Japanese, Chinese, blacks, Hispanics, Cherokee Indians, Jews and gentiles — all Americans. Now, here in the States, some men in this unit may experience discrimination because of race or creed. But for you and me now, all that is gone. We're moving into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where you will watch the back of the man next to you, as he will [...]

Wisdom for Parents with Young Children by Steve McKoy

I love this list by Steve McCoy. We were blessed with some great teaching and followed almost all of these (or tried to follow).  Thankfully there was agreement on these in our church. Though  you cannot point to a chapter and verse of the Bible for many of these, there is great wisdom here. Believe Kids Are A Blessing Read The Jesus Storybook Bible To Them Pray With Your Kids Concerning Taking Risks Teach *First Time Obedience* Give Rules For Respectful Disagreement Give Rules For Respectful Interruption Give Rules For Being Respectful in Public The Five Minute Rule (Warning) Pre-Event Preparation/Conversation Titles of Respect for Adults Use Timers Sharing Is Not Requested, It's Essential Boys Treat Girls Differently Than Boys . Play Rough & Teach [...]

Timothy and the Power of Apologetics in Overcoming Doubt

I recently had the privilege of speaking at Crossway Church and spent some time talking about how parents can disciple their children in the faith. In this talk I answer: 1. What influences were there on Timothy's life (and should there be in our children's lives)? 2. What process did Timothy go through growing up as a believer (and our children will go through)? 3. Why is apologetics so important in overcoming doubt? 4. What is inoculation and why is it important? I would be happy to give a similar talk for your group. Enjoy. Download here

Are We Training Our Young Adults in What to Look For in a Church?

Kevin DeYoung has a helpful article about how churches that would seem to be in agreement on the surface can actually get off track. I am sending this article to my older children. Below are his ten points. As he says, the problem is not liberalism in churches but "squishy evangelicalism." Read his whole article to help your children (and you) diagnose squishy evangelicalism. 1. The mission of the church has gotten sidetracked. 2. The church has become over-accommodating. 3. The gospel is assumed. 4. There is no careful doctrinal delineation. 5. The ministry of the word is diminished. 6. People are not called to repentance. 7. There is no example of carefully handling specific texts of Scripture. 8. There is no functioning ecclesiology. 9. [...]

When Should Your Child Be Baptized: Three Criteria

Over at the Gospel Coalition there is an excellent article about when to baptize young, professing children. This is an area fraught with blessing and danger. No parent should take the issue lightly. Trevin Wax has an article that I really like. If churches really are throwing tiny children into the water that certainly is not honoring the Lord. I love the comment,“If your child still believes in Santa, he’s probably too young for you to know just what he believes about Jesus.” 9 Marks posts an article that is on the other end of the spectrum. Smith argues against a young age and for an older age. (I believe they baptize in the late teens.) All in this discussion are arguing for believer's baptism. [...]

Hints on Parenting from 1 Timothy 3:4-5

He must mange his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 1 Timothy 3:4,5 This verse is filled with fruit both for family leadership and church leadership. 1. Men live out the gospel at home. This verse makes clear that one aspect of spiritual maturity is how men live in their homes. Living out the gospel means ruling our homes well and parenting well. This issue is so vital that God makes it an issue for elders and deacons. We cannot become so "spiritual" that we ignore how we live in [...]

Our Children Will Learn What We are Excited About

I heard this at the conference and it made an impact on me. I have reprinted it below with my italics. HT: CJ Mahaney If I have learned anything in 35 or 40 years of teaching, it is that students don’t learn everything I teach them. What they learn is what I am excited about, the kinds of things I emphasize again and again and again and again. That had better be the gospel. If the gospel—even when you are orthodox—becomes something which you primarily assume, but what you are excited about is what you are doing in some sort of social reconstruction, you will be teaching the people that you influence that the gospel really isn’t all that important. You won’t be saying that—you won’t [...]