Why Discipleship Is Essential In The Time of PandemicThe other day I listened to a podcast by a very famous pastor who assured his church that there would be no services of any kind except online until 2021. Social distance is the new rule of the day. Because we are in a pandemic I understand that. Safety is so important.
However, while that’s true, I’ve begun asking the question: what if, in some ways, we are being taught to value safety and health above our need for community, discipleship, and connection with God and others?
It feels like overnight our culture has gone from considering politics a somewhat taboo topic to becoming the only topic people are talking about.
Social media, the News and even ESPN are ablaze with protests, racial tension, anger, violence, and political unrest. I rolled up to a gas station the other day and saw people fighting about what seemed to be politics. It's everywhere.
How should we approach these issues as Christians? What are some things to think about as we process what's unfolding?
It feels like overnight our culture has gone from considering politics a somewhat taboo topic to becoming the only topic people are talking about. Social media, the News and even ESPN are ablaze with protests, racial tension, anger, violence, and political unrest.
I even rolled up to a gas station the other day and saw people fighting about what seemed to be politics.
If you’re not having conversations about this subject with your kids already you’re probably thinking about how to approach it. Maybe you’ve tried to talk with your son or daughters about it and it’s resulted in conflict. How do we navigate these issues with teenagers?
Navigating the current crisis as disciples of Jesus
Which part of the book of Revelation are we in today? It’s the question we’re all thinking when we wake up. It seems like we hit a new dimension of a not only a pandemic but a cultural crisis daily.
How do we face the current trials, battles and landmines? We need guidance more than ever. Here’s how to survive the Apocalypse in three simple-but-not-easy-steps.
At 16 years old I went from disbelieving in God to Baptizing every dude I knew. Pretty quickly we started a make-shift bible Study on the ground at a gas stations by Gresham High School at lunch time. After school we would drive kids to youth group, packing them well beyond capacity in my dads astro-van illegally. I should have been arrested.
Why were we living this way?
As former non-christian dudes we discovered the secret being kept from us was the beauty of the local Church.
Finding substance in a world that offers nothing.Many of us would say that reading the Bible is hard. It’s hard to understand. It’s hard to stay consistent. So, why not just give up? Here’s the big idea today: It’s worth it. What the Bible offers you as worth wanting badly enough that you’ll give your life to studying it. Here’s THREE reasons you should be devoted to the Word of God.
A Relational Culture
A Relational Culture
As a teenager, I distinctly recall having a curiosity about God and an interest in the Christian God in particular. But there was this one thing that really deterred me from the Church. It was kid in my freshman computer class. He was loud, obnoxious, immature, disrespectful, distracted, annoying, and outspokenly Christian. He wore bad Christian tee-shirts, never cussed, and talked incessantly over the teacher. It was a class with assigned seating and as a non-Christian teenager obsessed with achieving a high GPA one of the closest ways I ever got to prayer was asking the universe not to sit me next to him. But guess who I got seated by?
D.L. Moody once heard Henry Varly, a preacher in his day say: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him.” And his response was: "By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
Moody then poured his life and work into that calling.
This is the kind of vision we need to give our kids! What would your life look like if you threw everything at Jesus? What if you were a young man or woman who was fully committed to His work and His will for your life?
Discipling Kids For The Day They Move Out
The psalmist of Psalm 127 poetically describes children as arrows. And like real arrows we must allow certain key anchor points or values guide our leadership toward the goal: to send of fully devoted disciples of Jesus.
I mentioned having principles that govern my parenting and leadership in the student ministry. These are the key cultural markers I want to drive into my kids and students before they fly off. I’m going to talk through the first today:
Discipling Kids for the day they move out
I can still remember when it hit me: I was free.
My cap was flying in the air, and what came down was the sense that the rest of my life was up to me.
Whether I walked with integrity,
whether I worked hard,
whether I was a faithful friend,
whether I lived an honorable life,
…and whether I followed Jesus
was all up to me.
Yet, the only thing that would determine what decisions I wouild make moving forward was the discipleship I received up to that point.
Two practices to fight anxiety from Stephen MadrosenIt seems that we can’t escape this message. It’s everywhere.
In fact, many of us voluntarily start and end our days by catching up with the latest news, seeing what other surprises 2020 and the infamous corona virus have in store for us. Fixating our vision on these things, while it’s often beneficial to be well informed, will only result in fear and anxiety.
It’s not easy to be optimistic during these times, and it can be even more difficult to bring ourselves to a place of worship, offering up praise and thanksgivings in the midst of what feels like chaos all around us. In the eyes of the world, this would be foolishness; giving praise to a supposedly omnipotent being who in his infinite wisdom and goodness allows his people to suffer. We, however; who are partakers in the life of The One who is restoring all things, are not persuaded by this line of thinking.
We fight anxiety with rejoicing.
Treasures we've gained from this tragedy.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The cases from this pandemic are starting to taper off in some the most intense regions it hit. One example is New York. That doesn’t mean this is over, but it does stir up the question: what happens after this?
Will things go back to being the same?
We look forward to life as it was. However, I want you to consider that there are some things that shouldn’t go back to normal.
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