All posts tagged teaching

Thoughts On Blogging…

I’ll never forget the first time I heard the word “blog.” It sounded like my friend burped. And the concept sounded about as stupid. That was years ago, and—well, it is self-evident that the concept caught on, not only for me but for millions of others. We live in a day when everybody and their brother has a blog. And like every other form of media or communication—blogging has its positives and negatives in contributing to daily life on earth. Some people blog for business reasons. Some blog for family. Some blog for gossip and criticism. Some blog for platform…

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Spiritual Weapons for Wayward Kids

What can you do when your grown children begin to stray spiritually? I’ve seen a lot of parents hurt, mystified, and shaken by sudden and radical spiritual changes in the lives of their adult children. I realize, one day I may be one of them—and so could you. In these moments, some parents grasp for control—trying to maintain a mythical strangle-hold of childhood authority. This always escalates a situation to become worse and creates greater distance relationally and spiritually. In a wild swing to the other extreme—some parents abandon their post of parental influence. They mentally, emotionally, and spiritually disconnect with an…

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Ignite Vision in Your Students

If there’s one thing that modern culture, technology, and the evolutionary world view have killed in even our Christian teenagers, it’s a life vision. Today, we desperately need an army of student ministry leaders to awaken vision in the hearts of young people. While some teens have some small form of vision for their future, most do not, and those that do usually shoot way low! Most don’t see at all beyond their XBox, iPod, and Facebook page. The result? Lethargy. Apathy. Deadness. A “what’s the point?” perspective on life. The thought process is something like this, “If nobody else…

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Announcing the SM127 Podcast for Students

We are excited to announce a new podcast flowing from the ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church—SM127 Podcast, which simply stands for Student Ministry! This podcast will be a part of the free Ministry127.com family of resources and will be for teens. It will feature messages from our ministry events for teenagers—West Coast Baptist Teen Camps, Youth Conferences, Winter Retreats, Chapels, and regular Student Bible Studies. It’s a place where teens can subscribe to regularly keep in touch with sound biblical preaching. To subscribe to the SM127 Podcast, simply click here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sm127/id388432069 Be sure to share this information with young adults…

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Ministry Idea: 3 Questions

Are you looking for a good way to get to know your students or those to whom you minister? Here’s a quick and simple way to get a glimpse into the heart and cause someone to think more deeply. This past week, in our 12th grade Sunday school class and at our Single Life retreat, we did a short assignment that really helped me understand where the students are in their hearts and on their spiritual journeys. It’s an easy exercise, but informative, and it causes someone to pause and take inventory spiritually.

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The Precious Pauses of Parenthood…

Learning to seize the teaching moments that may never return… On a breakfast date this past week, Haylee asked me, “Why did you choose to like Mommy instead of another girl?” Wow! What a cool question! And what a wide open door. That’s like someone asking a Christian “Why did you choose Christianity over all the other religions!” It was a golden opportunity to paint a portrait in her young mind of what qualities are truly, deeply attractive. At the very instant she asked the question, the Holy Spirit immediately began to prompt me to not miss this teaching moment….

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Why Use Sunday School Curriculum?

Are there some really compelling reasons to use Sunday School curriculum? We believe YES! For nearly two and a half decades, God has developed strong Christians at Lancaster Baptist Church, and a huge part of that process is the Adult Bible Class Ministry and curriculum. Several years ago, through Striving Together Publications, we made a serious commitment to produce curriculum for local church ministry. Here’s why:

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Why Young People Stay Faithful

Have you ever wondered what contributes to young people staying faithful to the things of God, while others wander away? What contributes to two kids in the same local church, hearing the same preaching, ultimately going dramatically different directions? Ultimately, it’s free will—everybody makes their own decisions. But what influences those decisions? One of our youth group graduates, Josh Tanner, just began serving the Lord in youth ministry. Josh recently emailed me, asking what I would place on a list of “things that help young people stay faithful.” My quick reply was simply “a good relationship with godly parents,” but…

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The Hidden Values of Preparation

Have you ever conducted an event that was ill-prepared? Have you ever been disorganized or caught off guard in some ministry environment? There’s nothing worse than being thrown off balance by a lack of preparation. I could fill the pages of a book with tough lessons learned through a lack of preparation. Even after years of learning the hard way, I still get bit by this at times. There’s a side of preparation we don’t usually think of—benefits that are not readily apparent. Whether you are leading a church service, a youth activity, or a Sunday School class—your preparation produces…

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The Forgotten Side of Submission

Not long ago, my wife and I were faced with a really difficult decision. We were faced with two very important schedule conflicts and there was no way we could fulfill both. For several days we worked the situation over in our minds and in talking together. No matter what we chose, something very important in our lives would lose. It was literally a choice between a rock and a hard place.

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Five Values of Successful Homeschooling

Educating Your Children with a Winning Philosophy Recently I had the privilege of meeting with a wonderful group of families in our church that homeschool their children. I fully believe in the value of traditional, Christian education and schooling, but I also have respect for Christian parents who, out of necessity or by preference, choose to homeschool. I shared with these families a short list of values that I’ve seen in successful homeschool families.

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Great Books for Christian Parents

Frequently someone asks what books I would recommend on youth ministry or parenting. They are generally the same books. While there are some good books on youth ministry, the most helpful to youth ministry are those on the family. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor, or a pastor, I would urge you to read everything you can on biblical parenting and working with young hearts. Over the years, these are a few books that have been profoundly helpful to me as a parent and youth pastor. I encourage you to read and pass along the information found in…

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Andrew Murray on Trials

This quote about trials from Andrew Murray found its way to me through Dr. Mark Rasmussen. Perhaps it will encourage you! “First, He brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.” “Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.” “Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.” “Last, in His good time He can bring me out again—how and…

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New Curriculum—Salt and Light!

Striving Together Publications is excited to announce the soon availability (Feb. 12) of this new adult curriculum from Dr. Mark Rasmussen! This 13 lesson series was over two years in development, and I’m extremely happy with the finished product. Dr. Rasmussen is one of the greatest Christian educators alive today, and you will find this resource helpful for both adults and teens in your church! The study features a close examination of 13 metaphors for the Christian life—sheep, soldier, runner, salt, light, etc. It’s just a great study, and your church family will benefit from it. The resource comes with…

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You Are What You Listen To (Part 1)

You’ve heard the statement “you are what you eat.” And, physically this is true—your body and health are merely products of what you digest. But rarely do we make the same connection to our spiritual lives. In other words, “you are what you listen to.” Have you ever considered that your musical listening habits have a direct correlation to your spiritual condition and direction in life? Music is a powerful influence that helps to create a direction and then feeds that direction at the same time. It shapes emotions and attitudes that become desires and decisions, which ultimately become destiny….

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Making God’s Will Less Confusing

Life is complex. God’s will isn’t. In fact, at any given moment, there’s a powerful question you can ask to determine if you are in or out of His will. It’s simply this: “Did I follow God to where I am right now?” The Holy Spirit will instantly resonate the answer in your heart—you will know it by conscience! When you look at the circumstances and situations of your present—did you arrive here by obedience or disobedience? Did you follow God into this? If yes, then press on! The obstacles or questions are a part of His bigger plan, and…

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Welcome, Guests—Meet Mystery Babylon

Breaking the church growth rules, the Bible works once again! How would the seeker-sensitive, church growth experts and the leaders of the emergent church movement answer this question: What passages would you not preach on when you have the most first time guests at your church? Certainly, on that short list would be Revelation 17—The Great Whore of Babylon! Save that one for much later. Staying in his series on prophecy, Pastor Chappell preached this week on “The False Church or the True Saviour.” His message to a room of first time guests was from Revelation 17—the coming one world…

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How to Help a Wounded Person

One of the most difficult circumstances of life and ministry is to try to help someone who has been deeply hurt. These are hard moments. More than anything, you want to take away the hurt, undo the pain, and fix the problem. But it’s just not that easy. Woundedness—regardless of how it occurred—requires time and God’s grace in order to heal. Here are a few thoughts (not exhaustive by any means) that you might be able to place in your tool box to encourage and help those who are wounded. First—Teach through Hebrews 12. Much of life’s pain is not…

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The Top Questions of Young Christian Singles

Throughout the year, our ministry to College and Career and Singles brings us into counseling, retreats, and venues where young Christian singles are airing really good questions. I have previously shared the details behind our Q&A times (both for teens as well as singles) and also the top 15 questions that teens ask. Here’s the most oft asked questions that come from our College and Career department as well as the Singles: 1. How do your parents’ roles change as you get older? (What do I do if my parents are very controlling?) 2. How can you be 100% sure…

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Three Reasons to Get Good Advice

Isn’t it amazing how often people venture into major life-changing decisions without getting any outside, biblical advice. Why do we do this to ourselves? Sometimes we fear that a counselor will have a private agenda and won’t counsel us honestly. At other times, we presume to know what our counselors will say, and rationalize it away without even talking to them. But the most common reason we don’t get advice is because we would rather not hear what we already know. Self deception is a scary thing—we would rather be wrong and fantasize that things will work out, than really…

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