Today’s students get a bad rap. Recent books on Generation Z make much of their short attention spans (See James White’s book Meet Generation Z). They mention how today’s youth would rather watch a video than read a book (See Jean Twenge’s book iGen). It’s common knowledge that students’ use of online access has had a profound impact upon how they think and process information. Students have more information at their fingertips than any other generation in our nation’s history; however, they need help filtering the information and thinking deeply about it. They possess the capacity to … [Read more...] about 5 Ways to Engage Your Students’ Minds
If you spend any time in ministry, you will have critics. People might criticize your appearance, your preaching, your leadership style, your personality, or how you spend your time. Whenever we encounter criticism, we are tempted to become defensive or discouraged. There are times where we might also become angry and lash out at our critic. While such times can be painful, and some criticism might be invalid, there are occasions where constructive criticism can help us grow in our ministries and leadership. I’m reminded of Solomon’s words regarding criticism and correction. He wrote, … [Read more...] about Critics: 5 Tips for Engaging Them
I have a confession to make: I love youth camp. God began calling me to surrender my life to Christ at youth camp. As a camp counselor and program director, I began to sense God calling me into the ministry. As a youth pastor, I saw my students’ lives transformed while they attended camp. I also began to sense God calling me into Christian higher education while taking my students to a camp hosted by a Christian university. Camps have played a pivotal role in my walk with Christ. I also believe that camps can have a major impact on the spiritual lives of your students. There are three … [Read more...] about Camp: Three Reasons It Helps Your Student Ministry
Elders are the subject of arguments raised by some Southern Baptists on social media who are opposed to a plurality of elders. Here are some of their points of contention: Churches with a plurality of elders are more Presbyterian than Southern Baptist. Pastors who believe in a plurality of elders are playing semantic games with the current Baptist Faith and Message 2000, which mentions “pastors and deacons” as the offices of the church. A plurality of elders is not a Baptistic approach to church government and is not supported by the history of the Southern Baptist … [Read more...] about Elders: Are They Baptistic?
I remember during the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting being somewhat perplexed. A motion came forward to change the name of the SBC. As my memory serves me, the thought process behind the motion was to help Southern Baptists who plant churches in the northern states and in other parts of the country not located in the South to avoid geographical baggage that might accompany the current name of the SBC. Rather than change the Convention’s name, the motion proposed that the Convention allow these church planters and any Southern Baptist congregation to use the name Great … [Read more...] about The Southern Baptist Convention: What’s in a Name?
Peacemaking. It’s a word that probably won’t get this post many views or likes. It seems that we currently are like the drivers who frustrate the stew out of me on the interstate. They slow down traffic while passing an accident scene to rubberneck and see the carnage from the collision. Or perhaps we are like sharks who participate in a feeding frenzy after they sense blood in the water. We have a frustrating tendency in the SBC to distract ourselves with fights over tertiary issues rather than focusing on the Great Commission. As I read recent posts and comments on social media arguing … [Read more...] about Peacemaking: 4 Lessons Southern Baptists Can Learn From Whitefield and Wesley
One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in leadership involves standing in a chow line with other officers waiting for our enlisted soldiers to get their food. The reason we stood in line rather than going ahead of our soldiers directly related to the 3 M’s of leadership taught to us in our officer basic courses. Our cadre taught us to lead with these three priorities: my mission, my men, myself. If you think about it, these 3 M’s apply to leading as a Christ follower as well. Whatever your role in the Kingdom, applying the 3 M’s to your leadership will help you develop more … [Read more...] about Leadership: Learning the Army’s 3 M’s