Parenting should be about a heart-to-heart connection—not control
Our children are professional mistake makers. They are all on a learning journey. When we are afraid of their mistakes or their sins, our anxiety controls our responses to them and the spirit of fear becomes the “master teacher” in our home.
Even though 2 Timothy 1:7 clearly tells us that we have not been given a spirit of fear from God, we often partner with that spirit to train our children toward the goal of obedience and compliance.
For many, like it was for me, intimidation is our only real parenting tool. We have various levels of intimidation. We try to convey to our kids that we are in control of their lives from the time they are tiny. Once again, the problem with that lesson is that heaven is not trying to control your life. God doesn’t want to control you.
Note: This is the third of a three-part series about Christian marriages.
Here are some simple but effective steps you can take to strengthen your church’s ministry to marriages without increasing your staff or budget.
The rise of the Internet and mobile technology has ushered church communications into a new digital era. As a result, churches have worked hard to create a flawless user experience, engaged social networks and search engine-optimized websites. We’ve come far, but I fear we’ve left people behind. Meet the “unplugged.”
Despite popular belief, the unplugged are not just senior citizens, they are those in our pews who are not regularly visiting the web or aren’t socially engaged online.
So how do we keep up our online strategies while still caring for the unplugged?
I imagine communication as if it were a hub and spokes on a bicycle. A bike has two wheels (online and offline) and is capable of moving us forward. Just like using Facebook, Twitter, email and other tools to bring everyone back to your website, you can use platform announcements, posters, people, etc., to point back to one central hub with all your communication pieces.
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A strategy for turning men into a driving force behind your church’s mission
Most pastors dream of having a strong and vibrant men’s community that drives the mission and vision of their local churches. But this dream rarely becomes a reality because most churches have no compelling vision for men that is articulated, visible and connected to a meaningful process in the church context.
So it’s no surprise that men remain affiliated versus activated in the local church. This sad reality is on the church, not on the men. Men like clear targets they can hit—but the church hasn’t painted the target!
On the flip side, it is possible to have strong vision, a defined process that helps men see the vision, and solid outcomes that make men stakeholders in the ongoing success of the church’s mission. Men long for that kind of significance!
The subject of blessing and prosperity has become very controversial among those in the church. We want to be blessed and live the abundant life Christ died to give us, yet we don’t want to approach God as if He is a lottery or a slot machine—if you put in the right amount of prayer, praise, worship, faith and good works, out comes your blessing. But for some, that is all they see God as, and they get beside themselves when He doesn’t come through the way they wanted Him to.
Blessing and prosperity are more than money. According to Strong’s Complete Concordance of the Bible, one Hebrew word for prosperity is shalom. We often associate the word shalom with peace, but the peace that Christ went to war for on the cross is a complete, whole kind of peace. Also according to Strong’s, shalom is “completeness, soundness, welfare and peace.” It represents completeness in number and safety and soundness in your physical body. Shalom also covers relationships with God and with people.