Because the post-election coverage made it pretty clear that a big contributor to the Trump win was the evangelical vote, many young people, already cynical of Christians, may harden their views of believers and the Gospel. They may view evangelicals as even more narrow-minded, racist and callous than ever before.
1. The greeting team looks like they've been baptized in lemon juice.
1. Ask God to open the door for you to share the Gospel today (Colossians 4:3.)
First of all thank you. Thank you for your investment in current and soon-to-be youth leaders. Your investment in these young and spiritually potent lives could result in the radical transformation of the next generation.
There is no justice without Jesus.
Ask the typical church member what words come to mind when they hear the words "youth ministry" and most will probably use words like "games" or "fun" as part of their description. Youth ministry is known for its ability to entertain teenagers. But it's also recognized for helping teenagers know and grow in Christ.
Dear Worship Leader, I have a confession to make. It's hard to type these words but here it goes ... I've vastly underestimated the power and importance of what you do.
If I gave you the choice between drinking a muddy glass of water or a clear one, of course, you'd choose the clear one. Nobody wants their water mixed with dirt and sediment. The clearer the better.
We live in a society where tolerance is elevated to a high virtue and theological certainty is viewed as angry, narrow-minded dogmatism.
I talk to youth leaders across the country, many of whom feel like their pastors are not fully behind their youth ministry efforts. Speaking as a former church planter and preaching pastor, here are a few tips that will help get your Sr. Pastor on board with you and your youth ministry:
I had parenting all figured out before I had kids. I watched the videos, read the books and even preached a few sermons on it. Then my wife and I had children and all but a handful of key principles blew away like dust (from the top of a teen boy's desk) in the wind.
During this time I have had several gut-level conversations with youth leaders and have noticed a pattern in the majority of youth ministries that are headed for trouble. There are at least 4 clear warning signs.
If I could get in a time machine and go back to teenaged Greg I'd tell him one thing...learn how to pray.
Think about it this way: There are 12,000(ish) Starbucks and well over 300,000 churches! So Starbucks can saturate the United States with caffeinated drinks, but almost 30 times more churches can't saturate the United States with the Living Water. Seriously?
What it is about is how such a lightning rod subject Donald Trump is and how easy it is to use him as a Gospel conversation starter. Because EVERYONE seems to have an opinion about him and many are just itching to express it.
My heart broke along with yours as I watched the tragic events in San Bernadino unfold last Wednesday. 14 people were massacred and many others wounded in another senseless shooting.
What happened at Umpqua Community College was at a level of malevolence beyond any earthly explanation or solution. Like a river of magma underneath the earth's crust, unimaginable evil burst forth yesterday. Tragically, it's eruption extinguished ten precious lives and devastated countless others.
After having co-planted and co-pastored a church for ten years in the Denver area and having preached in churches across the nation, quietly evaluating what makes them work (or not), here is my list of non-scientific reasons why some churches don't grow.
So how can Starbucks saturate the physical cravings of decaffeinated Americans and the church cannot satisfy the spiritual thirst of Americans with the living water? After all, there are only 12,000 Starbucks coffee shops in the United States and there are over 300,000 Protestant churches! That's right! We outnumber Starbucks by 25 to 1!
1. Make it about you, not Jesus.
1. "Just what exactly is a youth ministry budget again?"
You don't know, I mean really know, many non-Christians. Possible Solutions: Get to know your neighbors. Or you couldn't explain the Gospel clearly if you tried.
Tis the season for, well, resolutions. And when it comes to resolutions we tend to think of a limited amount of categories. These categories can range from exercising off our newly acquired egg-nog induced fat layers to doing a complete financial makeover. While Tony Horton and Dave Ramsey may be able help you in these two areas, I cannot. But what I can do is challenge youth leaders
We know that you are in the movie/money making business. So, in light of some of the box office stumbles you've made recently (Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings) I thought I'd pass on a little advice from a Christian who appreciates good film making and who is excited about the prospect of epic Biblical stories being turned into epic blockbuster movies.
It depicted God as an angry 5th grade-ish looking boy who kept appearing throughout the movie to awkwardly confront Moses. The previews made the movie look like it aligned with the Biblical account. It wasn't even close.