Archive for 2011

Boundaries in Student Ministry Part 3

This is the third and final post in this series. You can read part one here, and part two here. Before we begin, I want to clearly state that I am not LEGAL COUNSEL. Laws changes, and circumstances vary, so with this general information, I strongly suggest you obtain legal counsel when dealing with criminal…

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Boundaries in Student Ministry Part 2

Developing a Long-Term Ministry of Integrity We’re talking about boundaries in student ministry. In our first post we discussed boundaries with the opposite gender. Now we move on to understanding and protecting boundaries regarding parents and disciplinary situations. Here are a few thoughts:

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Boundaries in Student Ministry Part 1

Establishing a Long-Term Ministry of Integrity This is going to be a series of posts in which I want to discuss the establishment of appropriate boundaries in student ministry. I’ve dealt with my share of situations over the years where men and women crossed lines, hurt people, usurped authority, and in some cases even committed…

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Avoiding “Death by Meeting!”

Have you ever attended a meeting that drove you to the brink of insanity? Bad meetings are long, repetitive, and in-actionable. In other words, you sit forever through a lot of discussion, much of which may have nothing to do with you, that leads no where. You leave the meeting with no benefit—no information that…

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A Leader Worth Following…

What kind of leader would you gladly follow? We’ve all seen our share of bad leaders—but there are a lot of good leaders in the world. By God’s grace, I’m thankful to work for a very good leader. I know a lot of good leaders. Here is a list of qualities that are found in…

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Life Quest Curriculum Available!

A new curriculum for Senior High and Single Adult ministry is now available from Striving Together Publications! Life Quest features 13 weeks of lessons taken from the book by the same name. The lessons are focused on helping an older teen or a twenty-something young adult to move forward in a culture that continues to…

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Hitting a Wall

Have you ever hit a wall in some aspect of your life? This is something that I haven’t written much about, but walls have become somewhat of a regular occurrence in this cancer experience. First, there’s the physical energy wall. For instance, I can tell I’m getting a chest infection, so last night we asked…

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New Book—In Desert Places!

We are thrilled to announce the availability of Dr. Paul Chappell’s newest book—In Desert Places! This beautiful hardback book takes the reader on a wonderful journey of discovering what God can do in the “desert places” of our lives. The captivating narrative is woven together with the experiences of Bible characters in desert moments, as…

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Managing Behavior or Mentoring Hearts?

If you had to quantify your ministry or parenting focus with the following words, which two would be the most accurate? Managing Behavior… OR Mentoring Hearts It’s easy to default to the “Managing Behavior” position—in both ministry and parenting. Why? Because managing behavior is easier. It simply requires a strong hand of authority and a…

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What Really Matters Most!

Have you ever rushed through your day at a frantic pace, crossing off as many things on your to-do list as possible? Have you ever finished a busy day, collapsed into bed, and wondered what you did of value that day? Have you ever sensed, deep inside, that you’re getting a lot of “stuff” done,…

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12 Qualities of Unjust Criticism

Anyone who serves the Lord is going to face criticism. Some of it just. Some of it unjust. Just criticism is helpful, coming from a loving friend, handled personally, and can produce great strides of growth and maturity in your life. It flows between healthy relationships where hearts are like iron sharpening iron. No criticism…

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Reflections from a McDonald’s Booth

Note: This post was originally from the Hodgkins blog, but I hoped it would encourage readers here as well. I woke up this morning, grabbed my computer, and came to McDonalds. Today is a family day, but sometimes I like to get up earlier and get some quiet private time with the Lord and to…

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My Favorite iPad Bible App

iPad has pretty dramatically impacted my life and workflow, and the iPad 2 is an even better experience! For one thing, it has completely re-invented my “reading life” for the better. And reading the Bible on the iPad is a fantastic experience. In a previous post I wrote about the apps I use the most…

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New Podcast—Part 2 of Striving Together

Part 2 of last months Spiritual Leadership Podcast from Dr. Paul Chappell has posted. This is a great lesson dealing with the “how” and “why” of doing ministry. It will challenge you to labor together with your team with a right spirit. The Spiritual Leadership Podcast is a free resource from Pastor Paul Chappell that…

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Ideas for Equipping the Family

One HUGE responsibility of those in local church leadership/ministry is the strengthen the Christian family! Whether we’re preparing young people for future family, teaching them to honor their present family, counseling engaged couples, strengthening marriages, counseling parents, or encouraging grandparents—a huge percentage of scripture and of day to day ministry involves family relationships. Someone emailed…

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A Wrap Up to the “Saddest Letter”

Several days ago I called the young lady who sent me the letter. We had a great talk and I was encouraged by her spirit. We talked for 40 minutes. (She also commented today on my last response.) One of the most surprising aspects of her letter, to me, has been the tendency of a small…

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Response #3 to the Saddest Letter

I’ve been late in this final post—thanks for your patience. On top of that, I’m sure it will be too long. Several days ago I had a very good 40-minute conversation with the young lady who wrote the letter. Her heart is tender to the Lord and I will share some of that in a…

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Response #2 to The Saddest Letter

A Response to Parents As promised, I’m writing three responses to the original post called “The Saddest Letter I’ve Ever Read.” I must confess, I’m in shock at the response to this letter—it obviously struck a nerve about which we all have strong feelings. So many comments have included helpful thoughts! You can read my…

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Response #1 to The Saddest Letter

Wow! The “Saddest Letter” post provoked a lot of interesting discussion! Since I received it a week ago, I too have been pondering my response, and in many ways, those who commented touched on many of the things that have been on my heart. For reasons of length and direction, I think my response will…

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Saddest Letter I’ve Ever Read

Parents and Pastors—Please Read!! I received this letter from a young lady last week—a Bible college student who grew up in a Christian home and Christian school. I believe it’s the saddest letter I’ve ever read and right on the mark for so detailing the experiences of so many young Christians. I asked her permission…

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