Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Tim Challies on 6 deadly enemies of marriage.

Marriage is under attack. Marriage has always been under attack. The world, the flesh and the devil are all adamantly opposed to marriage, and especially to marriages that are distinctly Christian. Marriage, after all, is given by God to strengthen his people and to glorify himself; little wonder, then, that it is constantly a great battleground.

Thom Rainer on 11 things I learned from pastor’s wives.

The number one challenge for pastors’ wives is loneliness. That issue arose again and again. Many of these ladies have no true confidants. Some have scars from bad relationships. More than a few have experienced depression. Some still are.

Ann Voskamp on The cure for burnout.

The only way to lead a symphony is to turn your back to the crowd, the critics, the court.

Busy all the time: over-scheduled kids and the freedom of the gospel.

As a suburban youth pastor in a context where nearly all of my students attend college, I witness every day the madness and fallout from the frenetic, overloaded schedules of these children. Parents feel helpless and trapped in this lifestyle, while kids are flat-out exhausted and overwhelmed. Three terms capture the tone of statements I hear from parents when they lament over the busyness of their family: robbery, obligation, and inadequacy.

Kevin DeYoung on Yes, we are judgmental, but not in the way you think.

Evangelical Christians are often told not to judge. If there is one verse non-Christians know (after, perhaps, some reference to the “least of these”) is that’s Jesus taught people, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). Of course, what the casual Christian critic misses is that Jesus was not calling for a moratorium on moral discernment or spiritual evaluation. After all, he assumes five verses later that his followers will have the wherewithal to tell what sort of people in the world are dogs and pigs (Matt. 7:6). Believing in the sinfulness of sin, the exclusivity of Christ, and moral absolutes does not make one judgmental. Just look at Jesus.

Jim Gaffigan on Parenting 4 kids

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Rebecca Watson on 6 ways to get more done. These are helpful ideas to be more productive.
  2. What churches can learn from Chick Fil-A.
  3. Thom Rainer on Millenials reject Christians fighting. I’m a pastor and I’m tired of Christians fighting, which makes me wonder how sick our culture is of it.
  4. 5 ways a pastor can handle people leaving their church.
  5. Will Mancini on How to reach 20-something’s. Great profile of what makes Austin Stone so strong.
  6. How Andy Stanley and Tim Keller preach to Non-Believers. Great profile of two great communicators.
  7. Brian Howard on How to find a great youth pastor. This is so true.
  8. An open letter to Mark Driscoll. This whole thing is sad that he would lie on social media to push his book forward.
  9. How to be leaders of meaning in an age of information overload.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. 8 Ways You Might Be Losing People in Your Sermons.
  2. Derek Rishmawy on Oprah Puts Rob Bell on Her Spiritual A-Team.
  3. Dear Parents with Young Kids in Church.
  4. Mike Lee on 5 Kinds of Youth Ministry Parents.
  5. God does not create all pastors equally.
  6. Barna on The most post-Christian cities in America. Not surprised, but saddened, at how high Tucson is. Revolution, let’s plant more churches!

#Hashtag w/ Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake

5 Things I Learned from Teaching in Kids Ministry One Week

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This past Sunday I didn’t preach and took the opportunity to volunteer in Planet Rev, the kids ministry at Revolution Church. It was quite an experience for me and hopefully for the kids in the class.

So, here are 5 things I learned from teaching kids ministry one week:

  1. Tell stories. Everyone loves stories, but kids especially love stories. It is how they imagine things. Kids don’t do reason, they do stories. It is how things get passed down.
  2. Have one idea. Don’t have more than one idea. This is the same for a sermon. If you have more than one point, no one will remember it. I love that our church uses the gospel project in our kids ministry and how each week we point to Jesus in our lessons with the kids. Whatever lesson you are teaching to kids, students or adults, have one point.
  3. Sermon needs to be done on time. 75 minutes is a long time to keep any child entertained. Pastors, me included, often neglect this idea and say, “I went long cause the Spirit was moving.” That may be true, but the Holy Spirit can speak through a 35 minute sermon just like He can through a 55 minute sermon. If you say your service is 75 minutes long, it needs to be that long. Your volunteers plan for the amount of time they’ve been told and if you go long, it makes it hard on them.
  4. Say thanks to volunteers. Always say thanks to your volunteers. If you have 1 service, really say thanks as those who volunteer with the kids come to church JUST to serve that week. They miss interacting with adults, singing, taking communion, hearing a sermon. They are my heroes. They do this because they believe it matters and children need to hear about Jesus and parents should hear about Jesus in a way that makes sense to them.
  5. Interact with parents differently. It was fun serving in the kids ministry because parents did some double takes, is that really our pastor?

I think every pastor should take a week off from preaching and teach in the kids ministry at least once. At Revolution, all of our kids volunteers wear red vests to mark that they work with kids. Our Kids/Student Pastor asked me if I was going to wear the vest. I told him, “Whatever expectation you have for volunteers, you need to have for me.” I got over 20 comments that went something like this, “I can’t believe you volunteered in there and wore the vest.” What’s sad about that is the reminder of how as pastors we allow ourselves to be above things and not servants.

Lastly, if you volunteer with kids and students at Revolution Church. You are my hero. You poor into one of the most important ministries in the church today. You are shaping generations by the work you do. When you love on a child or a student, open the Bible to them and tell them about Jesus, you have the potential to affect every person they ever interact with, the person they marry, the children they have and one day the job they will hold. The influence you can have in that young person’s life is enormous.

Never forget that.