Michael Spencer never wrote a book about parenting, dealing with issues related to raising children and teens in a Christian environment. If he had, he would have written that forming Christian identity is a better course in the long run than programming Christian behavior. This podcast episode explores some of those issues.
A friend in-real-life was listening to one of my sermons recently and had a question. He wanted to make it clear that I was not going over his head but wondered if everyone in my congregation was always able to follow. I told him that some of points in the case I was making were repeated from things we had either studied or I had preached before. I kind of figured they would remember some of it. The other thing I pointed out was that my particular audience had a lifetime of experience; some of those church members had been at that church since before I was born. I would tailor my presentation for a youth group or a congregation with many new believers. You gotta know your audience.
That conversation got me thinking. A speaker should know their audience but at the same time a church congregation, men’s meeting, conference organizers or Sunday School class should know what to expect from a speaker. Here is what to expect from me personally. Continue reading
I don’t write much about the youth ministry I’m involved in, but feel like I must share this story. A Christian should be able to share his or her testimony. Maybe not in front of a church congregation, maybe not even in a group. But a believer should be able to tell another person, even if just in a one on one conversation, what God has done in their life. So tonight at BCM Celebration! (Baptist Campus Ministry) we talked about what it means to share a testimony. Continue reading
If you love pizza, and I mean love it so much you could never get tired of it, consider becoming a youth minister. I’m only half kidding. I’ve been involved in youth ministry for about 16 years, and have reached a point in my life I think I’ve had enough pizza. My profession is working with high school age youth, and the favorite meal of teen age students, especially if it’s an informal gathering for some occasion, continues to be pizza. In addition to what we get once a week in the cafeteria, I spring for pizza once or twice a year in BCM (Baptist Campus Ministry, formerly BSU). We’re also involved in drama, and I drive the bus for a couple of sports teams. At church, we’re sort of leaders for the youth leaders, who are upper level high school to mid-20’s. So after Back-Yard-Bible Club, planning for VBS, get together with the mission team, we go for a round of pizza. For that matter, one of our church deacons OWNS a local pizza establishment, and his daughter is one of our leaders. There’s no escaping it.
I’m not complaining; not really. I’m just trying to share from my experience. If you’re crazy about pizza, find a position doing what I do. It’s like perpetual college student diet (assuming you went to a Baptist college that didn’t allow beer).