In August 2016, my wife and I took a trip to South Africa to visit a pastor friend and his small church in Nelspriut. I was amazed at how much it felt like being at my home church during our two-weeks visit. It dawned on me after our trip that the reason we felt at home was because the true church of Jesus Christ will always be the same no matter the location. If a local church is being faithful to God’s calling—that is, they are being obedient to the Scriptures—then they will have the same vibe as other faithful churches throughout the globe.… Continue reading
I have now been a full-time, vocational youth pastor for almost 3 years (party hats! Whoop whoop!) Every year I grow more and more in love with teenagers and in the conviction of the importance of specific ministry toward them. To pass on seeing the importance of youth ministry in the local church is to pass on faithfully shepherding a needy section of the church. It is enjoyable and fun, but youth ministry is also challenging and demanding. It is in every since, work! Why? Simply, youth are people (against popular opinion 🙂 ) who have emotions, make decisions, must live with the consequences of those decisions, and who also have a spiritual life that God is interested in.… Continue reading
A long, long time ago in …no wait that’s an entirely different story. Last year as I was working on furthering my theological education one of the classes I took had each student write an obituary of sorts. The goal of the assignment was to write a short biography of one’s life and ministry thinking forward to how one would like to end the race. As God’s providence would have it, I have been giving more thought to such things lately as I have been confronted repeatedly with evidence that I am not as young as I was or think I am now.… Continue reading
I now come to the final blog post of my series on youth ministry as a mirror for your church. Thus far, my thesis has been: when you look at the youth ministry of your church, that should give you a good idea what is going on in the rest of your church. So when you wander down the hall to Sunday school or show up on a Wednesday night or join a youth small group, you are going to find out what is most important to a church because those values have made their way into the youth ministry. In other words, if you have excellent Bible-teaching, Word-driven music, a maturity of leadership, and a heart for evangelism (all four I have already discussed here and here), then you can rest assure that the rest of your church is following the same pattern.… Continue reading
REPRISE Note: I have been giving a bit of thought lately to some of the “basics” of the Faith and have a desire to pursue the course more fully. Therefore, as I lay out a plan for that particular pursuit and for sharing it with our readers I thought I would reintroduce you to our Back to the Basics series with this post from 2014.
Note: This post is written from the Believer’s or Credo Baptism point of view. For a more exhaustive treatment of this subject I would recommend the following book; Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Shreiner & Shawn Wright.… Continue reading