Ministry Life

A Missing Demographic

d-MinLife-Men
How can your church intentionally reach and lead men?

God has a high opinion of men. That may sound presumptuous, but Scripture backs me up. He created man, so He obviously had in mind a purpose for men. And it's difficult to overlook the fact that Jesus founded the New Testament church on the hearts and minds of a handful of male apostles.
Yet according to polls conducted by Hartford's Institute of Religious Research and the Gallup Pollsters, the average church in America is comprised of only 7 to 11 percent men. What has robbed the church of its male leadership and effectual ministry?
When we attempt to answer this question, we find dozens of dynamics that researchers use to extrapolate explanations as to the various reasons why men don't see the need to be a part of a local church. One of the reasons they cite is that men feel pastors do not address "relevant" issues.

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Face Time

d-MinLife-Family
Avoid the pitfalls of electronic communication with practical action steps toward real conversation

My whole family seems to be addicted to their mobile phones and computers. How do we break this?"
I often get this question from concerned parents who, like this woman, are starting to realize that instead of having genuine, face-to-face communication, their family talks with one another and others through online chat, emails, text messages, tweets, Facebook and other social networking tools.
While there's nothing inherently wrong with using these communication avenues, we can look out for some warning signs. As leaders, it's important we're aware not only of how this issue affects our own families, but we also need to help the families in our church maintain a standard.
Communicating electronically has the benefit of expanding the ways we can talk to one another in families, but it cannot replace face-to-face communication. The danger can be that electronic communication replaces real, personal sharing and intimacy. Re-member that non-verbal communication is about 80 to 90 percent of the message. When all we send and receive from one another is a text or email, the full communication is missing.

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The Secret Place

True revival comes from the inner room of prayerD-MinLife-Prayer

 

The new breed of revivalist emerging in the earth must be a generation that has established a secret life with Christ. The Lord is releasing an anointing to see entire cities and nations turn to God, but that anointing can only be secured in the secret place.

There are some things you cannot get in public; you must press in for them in private. You can’t go to conferences or have anointed men and women of God lay their hands on you to get this anointing. It is an anointing that results from encountering the Anointed One in the secret place, the inner room of prayer.

Now, it’s crucial that you go to conferences and have anointed people lay their hands on you. But you won’t fully step into everything God has for you until you learn how to separate yourself to the Lord in prayer. Not one revivalist I have ever read about or met acquired his or her anointing through public gatherings. They received their anointing in the secret place of prayer. All of them have (or had) a secret life with God that, for the most part, they don’t even talk about.

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Train Up a Child—Without Fear

Parenting should be about a heart-to-heart connection—not controlD-MinLife-Parenting

 

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.

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Spirit Wars

God wants us to know wholeness in spirit, body and soulD-MinLife-Deliverance

 

One night, exhausted from a hard week of work, I got in the bathtub to relax my tired body while my wife, Kathy, lay sick in her eighth month of pregnancy. An hour later, I started to get out of the tub. But as I stood up, an intense thought hit me: I am going to die!

The thought caused panic to rush through my whole being like stampeding cattle. My entire body trembled as my heart pounded out of my chest. Strength drained from my limbs as I fell back into the water, shouting desperately for Kathy to help me. She rushed into the bathroom where I lay helpless. I managed to mumble something about having a heart attack. She strained to help me out of the bathtub, and then she ran into the kitchen to call our family doctor.

He relayed a few questions to me and concluded that I was having a panic attack, not a heart attack. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a journey through a living hell.

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Let’s Get Real

Successful youth ministry is about the life-altering reality of the  gospel, not gimmicksd-MinLifYouth

 

Youth ministry. The words alone are enough to strike fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned, accomplished ministry professional. They bring to mind laborious, draining efforts that don’t always have the results we want. How did it get this way? Why do church’s youth pastors tend to have such a high turnover rate? 

Out of a genuine desire to impact the next generation, many respond by trying to make church so entertaining or cool that young people will be too impressed or comfortable to walk away. So, expensive stage lights are installed and a café is set up. Nothing wrong with those things, but the problem is: When we give young people what we think they want—or even what they tell us they want—and deny them the life-altering reality of the gospel, we fail to give them the one thing they truly do want: something real. 

The few short years I’ve been blessed to serve as the director of Eagles’ Wings 9-month Internship and three-week Summer Discipleship have been a real crash course. Nothing like learning as you go! But as I have prayed, improvised and stumbled my way through, I’ve encountered some good news—actually, the Good News.

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