Rearing Children to Stay in the Church

large_praying_handsA Pastor friend of mine from North Carolina shared with me that one out of every four children who grow up in the Church abandon their faith once they get out on their own. (Usually off to college) Startling, but true facts.

How do we prevent our children from being on the bad side of this statistic? Many friends, including fellow Pastors  have asked me what Susanne and I did to rear 3 boys who are all active and solidly planted in a local church, and who continue to walk faithfully even after becoming adults. Rearing children, especially boys seems to be a very hard task in the age we live in. Here are my answers to those who have requested my help with this over the years.

1. The New Birth – Be careful to make the new birth in Jesus a constant and clear message. Refuse to allow church membership or attendance to become a substitute for spiritual life. Gathering with other believers with commitment is important, but nothing meets the importance of true Spiritual life through faith in Christ! Attending church without the new birth is only a religious exercise. Attending with a genuine faith makes it alive and refreshing.

2. The Totality of Life – Make sure that the Christian faith is expressed in the context of the full expression of life, and do not let it become lost in a ‘religious’ framework of ‘church.’ A robust faith in every facet of life is a healthy and biblical faith.

3. Demonstrating Repentance and Openness – As parents, be quick to live out the humble and real practice of repentance and openess before your children. Repent to them whenever you fail before them. Nothing makes Christianity more real to our children as our brokenness and repentance. Using godly wisdom, discuss your own journey of maturing in faith, and be open about your struggles of seeking God’s will. Continue reading “Rearing Children to Stay in the Church”

Why It’s Good to be the Minority Sometimes

Rick's GranddaughterI love to share what other leaders in the body of Christ are saying. As many voices as possible need to be heard from men who understand culture and who are using their gifts and talents to reach others with the gospel. Here is a great article by Rick Whitter. He does a good job of relating the experience of his granddaughter to our call to be strangers and pilgrims. Let us all be sensitive and wise as ambassadors for Christ. Well worth the read. Here is the link:

Why It’s Good to be the Minority Sometimes | Thoughts on Life and Leading.

Shaking the Gates of Hell

a-wesley-windowMy friend, Marty Schoenleber Jr, posted an article on his blog which is worthy of reposting. In fact, I would encourage you to read all of his posts. Marty is an experienced Church Planter and Pastor, and has a heart for encouraging and all who seek to build God’s Kingdom through service and sacrifice. Above all, Marty is a man of prayer. He heart beats with God’s compassion and desire for His bride to be holy, merciful and active! All of Marty’s posts breathe with his desire to see the Gospel proclaimed to this generation with clarity and conviction.

Here is the link to the article and to Marty’s blog:

Shaking the Gates of Hell « ChosenRebel’s Blog.

You Are the Salt of the Earth

The beauty and insight of the teachings of Jesus is how He used the language of common people to illustrate the treasures of God’s wisdom. He taught using examples from farmers, carpenters, bakers, storms, weddings, relationships and many others. In the sermon on the mount He said we are the “salt of the earth.” (Matt. 5:13)

In this verse, Jesus is warning believers about losing their saltiness and making their life worthless for the Kingdom’s sake. Why does He call us ‘salt’ and how does it apply to our life as Christians?

The Good

Salt purifies – It brings purity to every situation and thereby offers healing. We bring heaven’s prospective instead of letting bitterness, hatred and strife control the situation. We will either be contributors to the damage of the situation or agents of God’s truth to offer healing.

Salt preserves – It protects and preserves from decay. We seek to restore, protect and preserve instead of seeking to destroy and cast out.

Salt flavors – It brings the fragrance and taste of heaven to difficult situations. The presence of God can make the most difficult situation endurable. The enemy loves to Continue reading “You Are the Salt of the Earth”

My Best Friends Are Drunk

I don’t need ‘beer buddies.’ All my closest friends are already drunk…drunk with the Holy Spirit. We gather all the time and the best thing about it…we offer the same drink to anyone who wants it. It’s free of charge. Business is always open. The tab never goes over. The drinks are always refreshing and they never leave you with a hangover.

Beware though, some people try to sell a form of it with gimmicks and false promises. Others claim to have the drink, but it is obvious they are only pretending to be drunk. I’m sure you’ve seen them; they show up every week but never display the characteristics of those who are really enjoying this beverage. Their ‘drink’ has no real kick, it only makes them appear acceptable within their social club.

The intoxication from the real fountain has several earmarks. They are: Continue reading “My Best Friends Are Drunk”

Meeting New Friends – Twitter Style!

The week of March 6, Susanne and I traveled to Charlotte, NC. I was invited to speak at First Wesleyan Church in Kannapolis (outskirts of Charlotte) on going through affliction as a believer. On the way, we arranged to meet Russ Butcher and his lovely wife Jill. I had met Russ through twitter. After exchanging a few emails and enjoying some phone conversations, we were looking forward to meeting them.

Russ and Jill are great people. Russ is a pastor in a church plant in Logansville, GA. Their gathering, Church at the Grove, is an exciting and living demonstration of the simplicity Continue reading “Meeting New Friends – Twitter Style!”