10 Reasons Why There Is No Higher Calling than Ministry to Children

A high percentage of people in our church are involved in some sort of formal children’s ministry. If you’re like me, you may struggle with discouragement, wondering at times whether your ministry is really making a difference at all, so I put together a short list of reasons why there is no higher calling than ministry to children: Continue reading

Why Summer Adventure Club?

Around this time of year, I get a steady stream of direct-mail advertisements from Christian publishers touting their latest and greatest Vacation Bible School programs. In a few weeks, you won’t be able to drive through your neighborhood without seeing banners promoting the VBS at the church around the corner. Nearly all conservative churches hold summer programs like this for various reasons.

Given the fact that VBS (or, as we call it, Summer Adventure Club) is business as usual for American churches, I’m a little fearful that we might fall into a we’ve-always-done-it-this-way mindset when it comes to this endeavor. Of course, we haven’t “always done it this way,” so there’s still time to really think through why SAC is meeting some crucial needs: Continue reading

Summer Adventure Club 2010

In case you weren’t able to stay after church last night, we announced the name and dates for this year’s Summer Adventure Club, Restaurant Rumble (July 12-16; 9am-noon). Here is the video we created to break the news:

Book Review: Teach Them Diligently

14685109Lou Priolo. Teach Them Diligently. Woodruff, SC: Timeless, 2000. 130 pages.

So, whose responsibility is it to disciple your children? When I ask the question that way, the answer is obvious: YOU. Yet we often operate our households in such a way that the lion’s share of the discipling is left to the church, the Christian school, our spouse, or (scary!) the hours of media our children take in while watching TV, playing video games, reading books, etc.

The message of this book flies in the face of these tendencies. No surprise there, considering Lou Priolo’s commitment to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture (we sell several of his books in our bookstore). Continue reading

Kingdom Principle/Verse of the Week

ad_2009_cm_sac_kingdom_questIn case you missed the Sunday evening service, I wanted to underscore something Pastor Campbell introduced to us that is both exciting and helpful. Over the next eight weeks, we’re going to join together as a church in memorizing a key verse that ties in with a “Kingdom Principle,” a truth about the way God’s kingdom works.

We ask our children to memorize verses all the time. They do so in their Christian school, at AWANA, and in Sunday School. But we adults don’t memorize so much as a single verse in a given year (there are a few happy exceptions to that rule in our church). Hiding God’s Word in our hearts is like taking up a sharp sword that can hack away at the tangled vines of worldly thinking that often overgrow the pathways of our lives. It’s tantamount to shutting the mouth of Satan–silencing his wicked whispers. The bottom line is: we need to do it.

Making this a family affair will explode its power in your home. Quote the verse to your kids and let them tell you if you missed a word. Talk about what the verse and the principle means for you and your family in your particular circumstances.

Take this week’s Kingdom Principle (“God owns it all“), and the verse that goes with it (Psalm 50:10-12 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.”) as a case in point.

Maybe realizing that God owns your house may lead you and your family to use it for more of God’s purposes (like having your neighbors for dinner–even though their kids might track a little mud on the carpet). Maybe understanding that God owns the money you were planning to use for a new lawnmower will lead you to use some of it help your brother-in-law who lost his job. I don’t know, but you do.

Teach your children the principle and then tell them how–this week–specifically–you are going to live it out. Encourage them to do the same.

Maybe by the end of the summer we can all share the stories of God’s greatness as we sought to live out the principles of the Kingdom. This is a golden opportunity for you and your family. Don’t waste it!

Why Aren’t You Having More Kids?

ad_2009_cm_sac_kingdom_questIn case you didn’t figure it out from the title of this post, I am about to wander in to dangerous territory. Even the most socially adept individuals break into a cold sweat when you try to talk about the number of children they plan to have–especially if you encourage them to try for “just one more.”

Just having come out of a distinct college culture (I know, I know; we left Greenville, SC nearly two years ago–but I’m still a graduate student at a seminary), I remember coming to the conclusion that my wife and I should refrain from having children until we were in a good financial position, I had finished my education, and we had spent some quality time together “as a couple.” That was pretty much the standard philosophy of most of the newlyweds who tied the knot around the same time as Mandy and I did. I now wonder whether that take on life borrowed more from the culture around us or from the teachings of Scripture. Continue reading

For Parents with Babies

smile-babyAs the parent of a toddler (Breanna, 18 months old), I have been tempted to think that I have all the time in the world to figure out how to engage in the task of parenting in such a way that my children grow up to be Christ-loving, God-fearing adults. That was even more of a temptation when my daughter couldn’t crawl or walk or say any words. When your child is a baby, or just growing out of that phase, it seems a little out of place to speak of “reaching the heart,” or “discipleship.” Sometimes it even seems weird to read a Bible story to an infant–let alone pray with them.

So when is it appropriate for us as parents to begin addressing the heart issues our child needs to face? When should we be gathering the necessary tools to point our children to the Savior? When is it time to think through family devotions? When does it become crucial for our little ones to be in church on a regular basis? I don’t have an exact answer to that question, but the following verses help me keep things in perspective: Continue reading