Church Life

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Ways My Church Cared for My Kids

I love linking to important articles for my blog readers. So today, I would like to link to one I wrote. Its up at the Gospel Coalition website. The subject is How Churches Can Care for their Pastor’s Kids.

My main points were:

1. Give grace to the pastor’s children on Sunday.
2. If you have a concern, talk to your pastor about behavior that characterizes the children. But do so with an attitude of loving acceptance.
3. Be generous in your praise.
4. Limit church criticism and complaint to private conversations among adults.
5. Be brave and rebuke the critics.
6. Give your pastors room to deal with their children’s hearts.
7. Give your pastors margin to minister to their families.

Read the whole thing. And pass it on to other church members!

Church Life|

Spurgeon on Idlers (Untried & Critical)

“Idlers may indulge in a fond conceit of their abilities, because they are untried; but the earnest worker soon learns his own weaknesses. If you seek humility, try hard work; if you would know your nothingness, attempt some great thing for Jesus.”

In my words, stop being a movie critic and actually make a movie. Before you go criticizing the bride of Christ, try attempting some great thing for Jesus. Then come back and see me.

Teaching Your Kids to Sit Still in Church

Ok, so it is not a gospel issue.

But training our kids to sit still is pretty important. And it can be a lost art. Mastering this leads to all sorts of other good fruit.

Read this excellent article by Tricia Gillespie.

It can be done. And it is important. Hmmm, maybe it is a gospel issue after all.

Church Life, Parenting|

What Parents and Marriage Have to Do with Resilient Faith

I don’t have time to dissect this great post and this article today. Ironically, I am putting the final touches on my Fully Convinced seminar for tomorrow. But this article could be a press release for The Apollos Project.

A key paragraph:

Not surprisingly, homes modeling lukewarm faith do not create enduring faith in children. Homes modeling vibrant faith do. So these young adults are leaving something they never had a good grasp of in the first place. This is not a crisis of faith, per se, but of parenting.

I will take some time in the future to see if it is also a crisis of our understanding of conversion as.

In the meantime, read the whole thing and pray for our churches that they might become better […]

Don’t Segregate the Youth

Here is a continued appeal not to segregate the youth on Sunday morning. In it the author describes a couple from his church out to eat who thoroughly ignored their child.

And then he describes how the young people were deliberately included in the church service including service and relationships.

Simply put, we do teens a disservice when we segregate them from the life of the church. When we build youth ministries that don’t fold students into the life of the congregation, the unintended consequence is a future of empty pews. Pew Research reports that 20- to 30-year-olds attend church at half the rate of their parents and one-fourth the rate of their grandparents. These young adults were teens a decade or two ago, and many of them were […]

Worshiping Together|

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 Kids To Get Over It
Kids Sit With You In Church
Ask Your Kids To Forgive […]

Do You Have Children’s Church?

Tom Ascol answers a question I answered multiple times as leader of New Covenant.

Do you have children’s church?

You can read his funny reply in his article. But his rational for keeping the children in worship is summed up:

The Bible recognizes that believers occupy a wide range of life stages and that there are particular needs worth emphasizing for particular age groups. We should note the ways the Bible specifically instructs these groups. Adults, both married (Eph. 5:22–33; 1 Peter 3:1–7) and single (1 Cor. 7:25–38; 1 Tim. 5:3-8), youth and young adults (Eccl. 12:1; 2 Tim. 2:22), and children (Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20) are addressed with respect to their ages.

A church that is given to an expositional ministry cannot ignore these and other age-sensitive passages in Scripture. The real challenge […]

Worshiping Together|

Why New Families Should Sing Old Songs

This article entitled, Why New Churches Should Sing Old Songs, is also helpful for parents. It could also be reentitled, Why New Families Should Sing Old Songs.

His main point?

teaches. It forms us.

We don’t need scientific studies to know that music and melody fuses truth into our memories and intellects. We can all observe how melody infuses meaning, emotions, affections, and experiences into words. It takes lyrics to new heights and depths that they couldn’t go on their own.

As a church musician, I’m not trying to downplay the formative importance of preaching. But I couldn’t tell you the take-home point of two sermons I heard growing up, no matter how clever the preacher’s alliteration. But I still sing “Holy Holy Holy” word for word. I […]

How Valuable is a Church to a Community?

As we approach an increasingly hostile environment for Christianity, we will need to be able to articulate how Christians bless an area. Toronto churches renting schools are facing a huge rental increase and are asking for prayer. You can read about it here and here.

My comment on the blog was this:

One underlying issue that we have found in the Northeast of the U.S. is the question of the value of a local church. When cities are hardpressed they have started to look at churches. One way I approached it in the past in my letter to an editor was value added.

Christianity Today just had a very important graphic and statistical support for the value of a church. Here’s the intro:

“Does a congregation’s tax-exempt status outweigh […]

Questions for You and Your Child to Ask When You Think About Ministry

Children are not just to be ministered to. They are also capable of ministry. We need to train them that to give to the Lord’s church. As a family, we stand against the common Christian culture by not being consumers but givers at our local church.

Here are two suggestions on a simple way to start:

In prayer, ask “Lord, what do you want to do through us to build up    insert your church name      .  Pray that prayer individually or as a family and see what the Lord puts on your heart.
In addition, ask the leadership of your church, “What can we do to help build up our church?”

Make sure there are opportunities to minister together as a family as well as separately. […]