The one thing that will change your family forever.

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What if I told you that if you did just one thing as a parent it would change everything. What if I told you doing this one thing would mean, less trouble with drugs and alcohol, eat healthier, show better academic performance, and report being closer with their parents.

Well tell us already! What is the one thing?

What’s durable trumps what’s visible.

Louie Giglio's challenge to young leaders

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I came across this instagram post on Louie Giglio’s instagram account. In his intagram post Louie challenges young leaders to go deeper. His challenge is challanging for young leaders and old leaders alike. I love that Louie does a college conference and gets the best youth speakers out there but always has John Piper speak. He wants new voices but recognizes kids need tried and true voices as well. I love that Louie is challenging young people to look past the glitter of youth to what matters most. That he pushes people to think deeply about their faith and to focus on what matters most.

We live in a superficial age where followers matter more than following. Where sermons are more about tweetablity than biblical reliability. Where being liked, friended, and followed seem to be an end in themselves. I am grateful for seasoned leaders who push young people to find fruitfulness in the faithfulness. Here are Louie’s thoughts to which I can only add “Amen.”

Hello young leaders. What’s durable trumps what’s visible. So often we are tempted to go for what looks good over what is good. Conditioned by an instant culture, the approval of others and a climate of comparison, we can lose ourselves in the quest to be seen, when the goal is to be steady. Don’t get in too big a rush to tell the world what you know. Get to know the One who is unseen and walk with Him as if you really believe He is the best treasure of all. Work diligently toward the mission He calls you to, embracing the reality that what you do in secret will be rewarded in the open. Go from acceptance, not for acceptance. From approval, not for it. You’ll never lose by digging deep, staying true, not giving up, building character in the crucible of challenge, breathing in, hanging on and becoming more weighty below the surface than you are impressive above it. Stop waiting for the world to applaud your branches and keep asking your Father to fortify your roots. Time proves character, reveals motives and confirms calling. Faithfulness always wins in the end. – Louie Giglio

How big is your church?

What question you should ask instead

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C. S. Lewis in “The World’s Last Night” said:

“For my own part I hate and distrust reactions not only in religion but in everything. Luther surely spoke very good sense when he compared humanity to a drunkard who, after falling off his horse on the right, falls off it next time on the left.”

Life if full of tensions. In every aspect of church and life we see one way of doing things and we overreact. We do exactly what Lewis is describing we see something we don’t like in the bible, in church, or in life. Rather than holding onto both reigns and moving forward. Like a drunk rider we fall off one side only to get back up and fall off the other.

The one thing I wish I knew 20 years ago

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One of the questions I get asked often and find myself asking myself  as I get older is “What would I do different if I could go back in time and tell young Sam something. I started doing ministry right out of bible college I went to four years of bible college and was thrown into ministry at the ripe age of 21. I helped a few of my friends from bible college re-start our youth ministry and took over the existing kids ministry. I was young, full of energy and stupid. If I could go back in time I would tell myself lots of things. If I had to tell myself only one thing it would be

“What you win them with is what you win them to.”

The struggle that every pastor has is relevance. Deep down we all want to be relevant. That’s because we are pastors and we want to meet real needs not perceived needs. The problem is not in the desire to be relevant but how we define relevance and who we elevate as the mentor, leader, prophets that help us understand what relevance means.

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What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? (Crossway, 2015)

Just finished this short book. It was by far the best book I have read on the issue. Kevin does a masterful job of staying true to what the bible says about homosexuality. This book is a must read for any pastor or parent. The issue of homosexuality and the christian response will be one of the defining issues of our time. It is shocking to me that so many Christian leaders are trading in centuries of orthodoxy for momentary “relevance.” Kevin paints a picture of whats at stake not through fear tactics but through faithful exegesis of scripture. The first half of Kevin’s book deals with the biblical passages on homosexuality the second half deals with common objections to the Orthodox view of homosexuality.

DeYoung’s handling of the topic is fair, loving, and biblically faithful. In the second appendix he urges us christians to do three things that will keep us from getting into extreme positions either way.

“More work needs to be done to help Christians think through the issue of same-sex attraction in a way that is biblically faithful, pastorally sensitive, and culturally conversant.”

I could not agree more. Doing those three things will keep us anchored in biblical truth but in a way that allows us to love people.  Not everyone will see this as loving as our culture has a radically warped view of love and what it means to be loving. We must fight to stay faithful to scripture in a ever-changing landscape of theological mushiness.