The Hand of Growing in Godliness

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Working in ministry—and particularly youth ministry—the one question that I get asked often is “how do I grow in my walk with Christ? What practically can I do to grow in my faith?” Every time I am asked this, I give the same response. “Look at your hand.” What does this mean? Let me show you.

I could just give you a list, but a list might not be helpful, because lists are in and of themselves usually forgettable. So, to make this more memorable (at least for me), I use my fingers to help me remember how spiritual, godly growth happens.… Continue reading

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Youth Ministry Done Right

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Almost 4 years ago, I began full-time youth ministry in a local church here in NW Arkansas. This is certainly not my first go-around with youth ministry in terms of leading and volunteering. However, this is the first time I believe I am doing youth ministry in a way that pleases God and is faithful to His Word. How do I know this?

Before I arrived in Arkansas, I wrote up a Philosophy of Youth Ministry in order to get my head on straight of why I do what I do with the youth and church I serve. I wrote a summary of that here on PS23 in a past blog.… Continue reading

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Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 3 (Final)

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Three fairly significant biblical examples appear to support a believer’s participation in the military:[1]

  • Jesus’s approval of a king who waged war against wicked people (Matthew 21:33–41).
  • In Luke 3:14 John did not command them to resign from military service, but to be content in that position with its wages. Their behavior was to be just and honest — even while remaining soldiers.
  • In John 18:36 Jesus stated that it would have been proper for His disciples to defend His kingdom with swords if it had been an earthly kingdom.

In addition, New Testament writers employ a variety of military metaphors to describe the character of the believer:[2] the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10–20), being a “good soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3–4), and waging spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:1–6).… Continue reading

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7-Marks of a Youth Leader (reprise)

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This weekend (actually tomorrow), I will with two of my youth leaders in Dallas at a Tough Mudder Event (if you have no idea what that is, click the link and find out how much I love my youth leaders to do something like this 🙂 ). I have spent much time with these men in discipleship, prayer, and ministry. I love these men as my brothers and I wanted to write about them. However, I realized, I have already done that in a post I put up about a year ago. So, today I merely want to reprise.

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You must have other leaders besides the youth pastor in youth ministry!… Continue reading

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Reading the Bible Prayerfully

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clockHappy New Year, dear reader!  It’s that time of year where we all make commitments that we know we’ll never keep.  I’m only kidding of course (sort of!).  Although there is nothing inherently different about the beginning of a new year from any time throughout the rest of the year, the turn of a new year is a good opportunity to re-evaluate the direction of our lives, reset our priorities, and even make some reasonable commitments to pursue growth in the coming year.

A couple of helpful posts have been written in the last week about these things here on the PS23 blog.… Continue reading

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