Telling teenagers that faith is irrelevant to real life will not keep them from leaving the church. It may hasten their exits.
There is something about the Christmas season that is sure to light up most any face (except for the most die-hard Scrooge), especially as we get closer to the big day. And it seems that the Christ of Christmas shows himself to us in several meaningful ways that we would least expect this time of year.
While the 21st Century church has more increased competition for members’ time than ever before, men and women who volunteer still make up the majority of those serving the Kingdom of Christ. In other words, even though our multimedia world gives us more options for how we spend our time, volunteers are still the critical backbone of most churches.
For 21 years, I’ve pastored a church within three blocks of our state Capitol. I’ve seen Republicans and Democrats come and go. I’ve prayed with and argued with governors and legislators from both parties. Have I handled every situation correctly? Not a chance.
Let’s see a show of hands. How many of us grew up hearing testimonies and sermons at Vacation Bible School, church camps and revivals, implying that God’s will is an ironclad, one-option only maze?
One wrong turn, and you’re toast.
Earlier this summer, I was asked to prepare a paper for a workshop at the Baptist World Alliance in Zürich, Switzerland. The topic was children and justice: how biblical perspectives on children can inform our larger work of justice for all humans. My study and preparation took me on an amazing journey.
Do you and your family have any rituals or traditions that you practice on a regular basis? Maybe every time a person enters your home, they must take off their shoes to keep the living room carpets clean and the hardwood floors unmarked. How many of these rituals did you start on your own and how many were handed down to you by family or friends?
What are the ways you or your family recognize significant accomplishments that occur in life? If you are like my grandmother, there is a mantle in your home where athletic trophies and academic ribbons and plaques stand.