Factors in Passing the Baton

/Factors in Passing the Baton

Two Tips for Connecting Your Children with Spiritual Mentors


Connecting Our Children to Spiritual Mentors

I was recently interviewed and asked how parents can connect their children with other mentors in the church. In The Disciple-Making Parent I quote Kara Powell who suggests trying to connect our children with a least five adults in an informal way.

But how can this happen? The church can certainly help but what can we do as parents?

I have written extensively on this in Chapter 6 of The Disciple-Making Parent. But in addition to that material I ended up adding several other things in this interview.

1. Teach your children to greet other adults.
Children can and should greet adults. Did you know that “Greet one another” is a NT command that is repeated four times?

Yet many parents never encourage their children […]

Power of Example|

Teaching Children the Substitutionary Atonement Based on Luke 23

I have often used the story of the two thieves on the cross to explain the substitutionary atonement of Christ. Both children and adults can learn from this simple chart!

The pertinent verses are Luke 23:40-43.

The penitent thief says, “Don’t you fear God, since we are under the same sentence? We are punished justly for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

When using it:
1. I would draw the three crosses.
2. I would ask what was true of the two thieves. Then I would fill in the boxes above their heads. The two criminals are guilty. Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23), then they and […]

Power of the Gospel|

Using an Anger Journal to Grow in Godliness

One reason that young people give for walking away from their faith is hypocrisy in the home. What they mean is not that we sin. We all sin including them. What they mean is that we sin and we don’t seem to do anything about it.

One particular prevalent parenting sin is anger. Anger in the home often continues because we feel it is justified in the moment. In addition, only our family sees us get upset. It is a secret sin.

But in our hearts we know this is not the way Jesus would have us act.

I should know. This is a sin I struggle with.

An Anger Journal
I am in the middle of developing a video teaching tentatively entitled Patient Parenting: Overcoming […]

Power of Example|

Not the Critic That Counts – Teddy Roosevelt on Courage

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcomings, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and […]

Power of Purpose|

Prophesies Prove Jesus is the Messiah

A natural question for every child growing up in a Christian home (and even adult unbelievers) is,

“How do I know that the Bible is the Word of God?”
“How do I know that Jesus is the real ‘religion’?”
Often time there is nagging doubt that, “If I would just take time to read the holy books of the other religions I would find them to be similar to the Bible.”
“If I really want to be open-minded about this I should read about the other religions.”

But the answer to that is quite simple. “Save yourself a lot of time. Look at the only holy book that has had predictive prophesy come true and look at the only religion that has had its founder rise […]

A Biblical Prayer – Greater Love and Greater Discernment

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Phil 1:9

How shall we pray for our children and ourselves?

Paul tells the Philippian church that he is praying for them that their love will increase. Sin is naturally selfish, focusing our attention on self and making us the center of our universe. The exact opposite of that is love for God and love for our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39). That amount of love is not static, it can grow and abound.

But […]

Power of Prayer|

How TV Affects Our Family and World

Here is research proof  to what we already know.

As TV spreads, it changes culture. This article points out how the spread of TV  has reduced Brazil’s birthrate and influenced social mores in India gradually.

The article goes on to point out how TV has changed our culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.

Some applications as I see it.

1. We are imitators. We can’t help it. The question is what will we imitate. We will imitate those we admire. If I am saturating myself with TV characters then I will want to emulate them. If I put myself around those who are godly and admire them, I will want to emulate them.

2. Our children are imitators. They can’t help it. The question is who will they imitate? They will imitate […]

Pleasing Christ – An Underemphasized Doctrine


So we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

The greatest joy of a Christian is giving joy to Christ. So says Charles Spurgeon.

Have you thought of the Christian life this way? Are you modeling this to your children?

Living to please the Lord is an underemphasized doctrine in the evangelical world. And I think it is vital for passing on a non-moralistic view of the gospel to our children.

Here is what I have written in a forthcoming book:

Pleasing God

This discussion of pleasing the Spirit, leads us to a surprising doctrine related to fighting sin. We evangelicals love to emphasize the doctrine of justification by faith. It is a glorious truth. When we […]

Power of the Gospel|

Thom Rainer: Five Things Pastors Should Say to their Kids


As a pastor, pastor’s kids have a special place in my heart. They sometimes see the more sordid side of church life. So I am especially concerned that they walk with the Lord as adults.

The Gospel Coalition has published two articles I wrote on this subject:
How Churches Can Care for Their Pastors’ Kids and How Pastors Can Care for Their Children

Now Thom Rainer has published an article entitled Five Things Pastors Need to Say to Their Children.

His five include:
1. You have the freedom to be a normal kid.
2. I’ve got your back.
3. I want to spend more time with you than church members.
4. I love your mom.
5. There is a lot of good in this church.

I think I would have also included some apologetics training in that […]

Asking Life Questions Around the Holidays

The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. Proverbs 20:5.

The holidays are a great time to reconnect with our family.  One of the ways we can encourage our children to grow wise is to ask questions when they are in the presence of older and wiser people. Just a few questions can draw wisdom from a humble, self-effacing saint. Our American culture values the young and disparages the old. The church is not immune to this blindspot.

But what questions to ask? I recently stumbled upon a pdf that has a number of good questions to ask. I highly recommend you take a look at this pdf. Pick out one or two questions and use it around the holidays […]