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Why Kids are Leaving the Faith (and What We Can Do About It)

Why Kids are Leaving the Faith (and What We Can Do About It)

There are few things more painful for a parent than watching a child walk away from faith. As a pastor, I've had dads and moms break down in tears in my office as they recount the story of their child's departure from Christian faith.   "I don't know what happened," shared one parent. "She loved church growing up. She was so involved. We used to pray together every night."   "He ...

Back to Basics: Being a Disciple; Making Disciples

Back to Basics: Being a Disciple; Making Disciples

Jesus has one fundamental way of evaluating the success of any individual or any local church: Are we fulfilling His command to be disciples and to make disciples?  Simply put, do we look like Jesus?  Do we, as individuals, and does our church produce people who look like Jesus? Do we forgive like Jesus forgave? Do we love like Jesus loved? Do we pray like Jesus prayed? Do we value ...

What

What's So Great About A Racially Diverse Church?

From the earliest days of my Christian faith, I knew that God has only one family because I read passages like this one:  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not people, but now you are God's people; once you had not ...

Called To Be A Servant

Called To Be A Servant

Do you know anyone whose life goal it is to become a better servant? 21st century America has all but eliminated the concept of being a servant from contemporary understanding. The waiter at your favorite restaurant may be called a "server," and we still speak about civil servants and public service; but for the most part, this language is a holdover from a by-gone era.   Today, we are ...

Putting Children at the Center

Putting Children at the Center

The Jesuits famously boasted: “Give me a child for the first seven years, and I will give you a man!” They understood that the easiest way to shape a person for a lifetime is to impact them while they are still young. Scientists have observed that the brains of children are psychologically primed for religion. (This makes sense if the world was, as the Bible claims, made by God and ...

Improving Our Evangelistic Serve

Improving Our Evangelistic Serve

(The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book with Insoo Kim titled Both-And: Living the Christ-Centered Life in an Either-Or World.)  We Christians are witnesses-good witnesses, bad witnesses, ineffective witnesses; but we can't escape being witnesses. How do we improve our ability to bear witness? First, love matters! In order for us to become good witnesses, we must ...

Why Don

Why Don't You Share The Gospel?

One survey said that 95 percent of Christians have never led another person to Christ. I know there are people who live and breathe evangelism. But the vast majority of Christians do not share our faith with others on a regular basis.  In Matthew 28:18-20 we read Jesus' words that have been labeled the Great Commission:  Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on ...

Some Simple Ways to Pray - Using a Prayer Journal

Some Simple Ways to Pray - Using a Prayer Journal

I'll keep this brief, but another thing that I’ve done to encourage my own prayer life is to keep a little prayer journal listing all the people and situations that I am praying for. I know myself and when I say that I will pray for someone, if I don't write it down, I will forget and not remember to pray for them. So I went to Barnes and Noble and got a little moleskin book that I can ...

Some Simple Ways to Pray - The Lord

Some Simple Ways to Pray - The Lord's Prayer

A great way to engage in prayer is by praying the Scriptures, and one of the ways to do this is by praying as a response to a psalm or another meaningful passage of Scripture. Some work better than others, but one that I've really enjoyed praying is The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. So for example, I would start at the beginning of the The Lord’s Prayer reading: “Our Father ...

Some Simple Ways to Pray - The Litany

Some Simple Ways to Pray - The Litany

This weekend I spoke about the importance of prayer and keeping our "lamps lit" with the oil of prayer. Over the next couple days, I'm going to post 3-4 ways that have been helpful for me in my prayer life.   Here's the first one. The Litany The Great Litany is a prayer that is found in the Book of Common Prayer, the prayer book of the Anglican Church.  One of the ways that you can ...

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