Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thoughts on Youth & Family Ministry

In Ecclesiastes, King Solomon writes, "Remember your creator in the days of your youth."

I believe it is so important that we strive to reach out to the younger generations. We must pass on our faith and belief of God, reaching out to the youth.

I believe the key to success youth ministry is to minister to the entire family. The program driven ministry approach has fallen by the wayside. The "Lone Ranger" approach to youth ministry will burnout any youth minister. We must reach out to the entire family in order to make the real difference.

It is so important that youth ministers motivate and involve parents and volunteers in the ministry. Allowing the families and teens to develop their own ministries and activities allows them to take ownership.

Communication is essential in having a ministry that is effective. Lack of communication will destroy any ministry.

I believe this generation is desperately seeking and desiring some form of spirituality or connection to God. Styles of ministries may differ from congregation to congregation. I know some very successful youth ministries follow the purpose driven approach while others now are instituting emerging stratagies. I think it is so important that the youth ministry follows the direction that the church is going and not isolate itself from the church.

So, how is your youth ministry done? What style or approach do you take? Why does the program driven ministry fail? What are your thoughts on the "Lone Ranger" approach? Have you seen the consequences of program and "Lone Ranger" ministry? Why is it important to minister to the entire family? How does youth and family ministry build up and strengthen a church? How can we keep youth ministers in the ministry? Why is it important that we enable youth to institute and develop their own ministries within the youth ministry? How did youth ministry effect your life? Is there a youth minister that changed your life? How is your current youth ministry? What do you like or what would you change?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Is The Difference Between Faith & Belief?

I have been thinking lately about faith and belief. I wonder, is there a difference between the two? I mean, as children we believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and Easter Bunny. Yet can a child have faith? Does faith go deeper than belief? Is belief the beginning of faith? How does belief and faith work in our lives? Is it faith or belief that drives and motivates our lives?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Function of the Law

I love and have been reading Andy Standley's tiny little book, "Since Nobody's Perfect How Good is Good Enough?". It is fantastic and recommend it to everyone.

I want to mention, in this post, what the law was intended for. I know a lot of time when we think of the law we only think of the Ten Commandments, but there were way more commandments in Deuteronomy and in Leviticus.

Andy mentions, "If you read the entire book of Exodus, you will discover that there aren't just ten commandments; there are dozens of commandments, most of which none of us have kept" page 41.

Not only are there commandments, but also consequences. Stanley goes on and lets us know that in Exodus 21:17, just a few verses from God's Top Ten, it says, "Anyone who curses his father and mother will be put to death." I think that this definately extreme, do you?

If you look in the Old Testament, there is no promise of heaven if you keep the commandments of God. The standards are to high. Why do you think they need to offer sacrifices for sins? The Isaelites failed time and time again abandoning the law of God. Yet God never threatened them with the consequence of hell.

The law made the Jews aware of their sinfulness and need of a Messiah (even though they didn't undestand what the Messiah was about). We read in the gospels that Christ didn't come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.

While the Jews were guarded by the Law, however, the also became the law's prisoners. But listen to this great news by Paul, "Christ achieved the profection demanded by the Law, and thereby, freed us from the consequences of our disobedience (Gal. 3:13; 5:1).

Why do you think some Christians today are slaves to the law? Can you be a slave to the law and have joy in being a Christian? Why do those who live by law judge those who have been set free from the law? Can this happen in a church? How? Have you seen this happen in a church? What are the consequences of legalism and being enslaved by the law? Is there any hope of freeing someone who enslaved by law? How can it be done? Have you seen it done?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom I hope you have a wonderful birthday. You mean the world to me and I want to thank you for all that you have done for me over the years. You are the one who has passed on your faith to me and helped make me the godly and faithful man I am today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you more than you will ever know and hope you have a very special day today.

Leave a birthday wish for my mom if you like.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Crucifixion Legalized and Practiced In Darfur

God has laid on my heart the Christians that are being persecuted around the world. I watched a program the other day on the History channel on crucifixion. It showed the history and practice of crucifixion. The program showed that crucifixtion is now been legalized and being practiced in the Sudan. Religious genocide is going on right now. While thousands of Christian's in Darfur have been killed where is the outrage? Where is the condemnation of the leaders? We took action when the Jewish genocide was going on in Germany (although not until after millions had been murdered). Will we remain silent in acting in Darfur? I believe that as Christians we need to be concerned about human rights around the world. It is amazing the reports of human rights violations that are happening to Christians around the world.

The following are websites that I recommend in dealing with Human Rights:

The Voice of the Martyrs

The Voice of the Persecuted Church

Christian Monitor

Suffering and Persecution of Christians and the Persecuted church

Genocide in Sudan

Christian Persecution Around the World

Amnesty International

Amnesty International USA

Human Rights Watch

Save Darfur

United Human Rights Council

Human Rights Web

Help Sudan

Other Site about Sudan

How do you feel about this issue? How does it make you feel that Christians are being crucified in 2008? Should Christians be concerned? Why or why not? Should Christians get involved in helping our brothers and sisters around the world? How? Why has Darfur been ignored? Is it because it is Christians being persecuted? What will happen if the world remains silent to the genocide that is taking place? What will happen if American Christians ignore it? Is it important that Christians be concerned about human rights? Why or why not? How have you seen persecution? Do we as American Christians know what persecution is really like?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.