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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Ministry

Feature Friday (3/24/17)

The service started at 5:00, and we were pulling into the parking lot at 4:58. My wife would tell you that we were early; I knew we were late. We got the kids out of the van, bags in tow, and began heading toward what seemed like the entrance. The closer we got to the doorway, it became evident those doors were not the entrance. When we eventually found the right door, a younger guy greeted us, then quickly turned around and ensured the door was closed. I looked left and right and saw no sign of where to drop our kids off. I felt confused, out of place, and partially unwelcome.

Ever have an experience like that? Unfortunately, this is the reality for too many visiting families when they arrive at church for the first time. As the saying goes, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Check out today’s Feature Friday, where I wrote a guest post for Disciplr blog. I share 6 How To’s on welcoming church visitors to a children’s ministry. Enjoy and as always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (1/9/15)

imagesModesty. An issue that almost makes you cringe. However, when you speak of such a topic around Christians and in regards to church attire, the debate will rage. So this week’s collective post brings great insight into the question of modesty in answering the question: “What To Say to That Immodestly Dressed Girl at Church“.

Enjoy and be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Getting Outside of Me

More Important than Getting Things Done

Donny. Just another name, another face, another person in the endless sea of faces (as the band Kutless once put it in a song title) someone may interact with everyday. However, Donny taught Tony Anderson an important lesson; a lesson I believe every human being needs a reminder of daily. But also a lesson every believer in Jesus Christ needs challenged with and encouraged with. In a world full of getting things done, checking things off of to do lists, and getting to the top of our dreams, Donny is a much needed rebuke and reminder. This video speaks volumes about relationships and the importance of them. But even greater this video speaks volumes about a a lifestyle of discipleship the church needs to be focused on. Who helps you get outside of yourself?

Back from Brazil!

It’s summer. Summer means vacation, visits, weekend get away’s, and mission trips. And this past month I had a great opportunity and privilege to embark on a mission trip to one of the most desirable places this year…Brazil. With all the World Cup hype and futbol frenzy Brazil is a country of great focus this summer. While I, my wife, and the six students that went, did not go to Brazil for the World Cup; we realized the great prospect for furthering the Gospel of Jesus Christ God gave us. Here is a brief recap of our trip. I hope to share more in the posts to come, but for now enjoy the sights of Porto Alegre Brazil!

Christian Education: the Methods

Node-Christian-Education1-large1Education: there are so many forms of it today–public, home school, Christian, private, adult, special, informal, primary, secondary, higher learning, and the list goes on. With so many choices, how do you know the best option for yourself, your children, and your family? I am not one that thinks there is a one-size-fits-all mold for education. However, I do believe as a follower of Jesus Christ, that any education we undergo ourselves or in which we place our children should be Christian. I am not arguing that every set of believing parents must put their children in a Christian school or they are sinning. No! What I want to continue sharing today in a series of posts concerning Christian education. This series is not about why you should send your children to a Christian school. Far from it! Instead I hope to help you frame your thinking about what “Christian education” really is and is not. Last week we discussed the content of Christian education. This week,  I want to discuss the methods of Christian education.

The Methods of Christian Education

Christian education must have a holistic approach if it is to have any lasting, life-changing results. In other words, if Christian education wishes to form people into the image of Jesus Christ, it has to focus on more than simply relaying information. Information is a great starting point, but if the only result of education is intellectual individuals, then the educational process has failed. Christian education must speak and teach to a person’s head, heart, and hands. It must change not only what a person knows about God, but how they feel and what they do in response to the knowledge they have.

When speaking of a holistic approach there are three elements in focus: intellect (Col. 3:10), emotion (Gal. 5:22), and will (Phil. 2:13).[1] Christian education must address these three areas if it is to make any progress in being used by God in the sanctification process.[2] In Deut. 6:5, God calls believers to love Him with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their might.[3] He wants people to love and serve Him with their whole being. Christian education must equip students to understand and fulfill the purpose of loving God with all they are. This means that the education process should include service trips, mission trips, Bible studies, worship time, prayer times, time for interaction and discussion, and a place to use their whole being to worship and love God. Peoples’ intellects, emotions, and wills must be addressed in the educational process.

Christian education must not only be holistic, but also varying. Christian educators must utilize differing teaching methods throughout their time with students. These different methods can include thinking activities, active learning, interactive learning, field trips, hands-on activities, drama, and music.[4] Christian education should mimic the teaching of Christ and the many differing teaching methods He used in educating and growing His disciples while on the earth. From parables to object lessons, Christ employed many methods to teach his disciples (Lk. 19:11-27; Matt. 21:18-22; Jn. 2, 10).[5] Estep quotes D. Lambert saying, “The world’s worst teaching method is the one you always use”.[6] His point is that variance in educational methods is essential.

One varying method of Christian education that is becoming popular and highly utilized is online learning. This experience should not be banned by Christian educators, but it must be thought through in a discerning manner in light of the entire educational process. Online experiences can be helpful because they enable people who typically could not get a specific education to gain that education since it is more readily available to the masses. Education should be extended and accessible to all socioeconomic classes which is the opportunity that online education provides. However, online education can prohibit or exclude an important feature of education—community. Community is not just important to Christian education; it is essential.

Christian education must take place in community. God is one who is by nature (Gen. 1:26; Matt. 28:19-20)[7] constantly in community. He has also designed mankind, particularly believers, to live in community (Gen. 1:26-27, 2:18-25; Acts 2:42-47; Ps. 78; 1 Cor. 12:12-30).[8] If the goal of Christian education is to cause people to be formed into the likeness of Jesus Christ and He is always in community, then Christian education must pursue a setting where community is highly valued and employed. Lack of community can be a downfall of online education; however, it is possible for Christian educators to intentionally include a community aspect to online education.

Christian education flows in every way out of God’s Word as mature believers model and mentor younger believers to spiritual maturity. Understanding what the content of Christian education is vital to having an education that is truly Christian. In case you missed part 1 of the series: Christian Education: Definition and Goals, or part 2: Christian Education: the Teacher, or part 3: Christian Education: the Student, or part 4: Christian Education: the Content, check them out here. Stop by next week where the topic will be Christian Education: the Various Philosophies.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, (Wheaton: Good News Publishers, 2003), 984, 975, 981

[2] Michael J. Anthony. Introducing Christian Education: Foundations for the Twenty-first Century. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 86-87

[3] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers, 2003), 151

[4]  Thom & Joani Schultz. Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church: And How to Fix It. (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 1996), 107-108, 133-134, 179-180

[5]The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers, 2003), 878, 826, 887, 896-897

[6] James R. Estep Jr. A Theology for Christian Education. (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2008), 289

[7] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers, 2003), 1, 835

[8] Ibid., 1-2, 911, 959

 

Feature Friday (1/17/14)

church-clip-art-10Healthy churches are messy!” What? There is alot of truth in that statement. The article goes into more detail as to why. Whether you agree or not, the truth is all churches are messy, but what kind of messy should they be?

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

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