Tuesday, August 26, 2008

School is in Session

School has started back (parents cheer, students sigh). This past Sunday evening our church recognized this phenomenon by a prayer walk experience. Students and adults of all ages traveled to local schools and prayed for the school year. The schools we prayed for were - Dowell Elementary, Patuxent Elementary, Appeal Elementary, Mill Creek Middle, Southern Middle, Patuxent High and Shiloh Christian Academy, which the last is hosted at our church.

*We prayed for student and bus safety during transportation to and from schools.
*We prayed for school faculty and administration to make wise & godly decisions when it comes to discipline, curriculum choices and teaching methods. We prayed they have both patience and passion for the new school year.
*We prayed for students to experience a deeper relational connection to their friends and to people who care about them. Every student has value in the eyes of God and we prayed they became aware of that this year.
*We prayed for Christian students and teachers to take courageous steps of faith and be a faithful witness for Jesus this year.

This was our second year of doing this and each time has been a neat experience as we get out of our comfort zones (church building) and into the culture.

Another interesting tidbit about church attendance and student education can be found here. A part of it can be found below:

Researchers found that church attendance has as much effect on a teen's GPA as whether the parents earned a college degree. Students in grades 7 to 12 who went to church weekly also had lower dropout rates and felt more a part of their schools.
On average, students whose parents received a four-year college degree average a GPA .12 higher than those whose parents completed high school only. Students who attend religious services weekly average a GPA .144 higher than those who never attend services, said Jennifer Glanville, a sociologist at the University of Iowa. The study does not suggest God is smiling
on the students, per se. Rather, it identifies several reasons the students do better:
- They have regular contact with adults from various generations who serve as role models.
- Their parents are more likely to communicate with their friends' parents.
- They develop friendships with peers who have similar norms and values.
- They're more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.

Interesting indeed. Hope to see your children at church :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rethinking Youth Ministry

Listen to Steve Wright from his new book: reTHiNK: Is Student Ministry Working?

Is student ministry accomplishing what we think it is? Roughly two-thirds of students leave the church after graduation. Baptisms are down. Student pastors are walking away from ministry at startling rates. It s time to rethink student ministry. This book pairs the most up-to-date research available with an overview of a Biblical framework for ministry. It will arm you with facts, Scripture, and real-life ideas that will help you find new ways to involve parents back into the equation and help you escape the busy, bigger-and-better, number-driven model of student ministry.

Check it out @

Monday, August 11, 2008

Teaching The Next Generation

Teaching the next generation is not an easy task. However, it is a calling that the church cannot refuse. The psalmist said, "We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacon and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments" (78:4-7).

The heart of this passage and other commands to teach the next generation is a call to carefully teach the Scriptures. Unfortunately, many children & youth curriculums fail to do such. Oh, it's not that they do not make an attempt and blatanly disregard the Bible. It's that they reduce the Bible to a moral handbook or ethical code rather than a book that teaches the commands of a holy God flowing from his character. An example is when Jesus feeds the multitudes. This is reduced to a story on sharing because a little boy shared his lunch, rather than fueling faith in an all-sustaining provider God named Jesus, who can perform miracles such as this. In other words, the point of the Bible is to introduce and strengthen faith in God. All the other characters in the Bible stories are subplots in the grand Story. We must be faithful to teach the next generation how to read and apply the Bible accurately (2 Timothy 2:15).

For a deeper look at our church's children's ministry curriculum please check here.

For an interesting article on this topic check here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Growing Godly Generations and Anniversary

Many parents feel the weight and responsibility to grow godly generations. For certain, it is an awesome task that only comes by the grace and wisdom of a loving God. Each day we as parents must point to this God - in our faults as in our instruction and discipline. I'm thankful for an incredible wife of 7 years (8/3) to journey this calling. Happy Anniversary, Danielle. I love you.
Also, check out this link for how we can teach our children about God's character and not just his commandments.