This post is part 2 of a message I spoke to our church on passing our faith to the next generation.
3. We must take care not to forget God. – Connect truth to life – When life is going well don’t forget that kids need the gospel more than they need a set of rules or instructions alone. Our grandkids need to know the story of our past of our church and our family, they need to understand Salvation belongs to the Lord. We must convey that Jesus is our Treasure and our great reward. He is our life and joy. – We must view our lives in light of God’s saving grace. We must remember who we were before God redeemed us. When our lives are full of the good things God gives us, and we forget that we are great sinners that were taken from slavery and made sons we walk in humble gratitude for such a great salvation.
12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
Remembering the radical change that took place when we were redeemed keeps us humble. Humility makes us dependent, and dependence keeps us in touch with God’s power. This ensures that our life will be characterized by security and strength in the face of temptation.
Hughes Kent R.
4. We must serve God without conditions – Trust Jesus explicitly – Submit our desires and ambitions and read the scriptures with a view to obey them — don’t test God.
16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. 17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you.
At Massah, Israel said if God loved us, If God were good he would give us water to drink. – To test is to consider a party guilty until he or she proves him or herself innocent. Guilty until proven innocent. It is the exact opposite of trust that says that someone is innocent until proven guilty. To “test the Lord” is to say basically, “I’ll follow you as long as my life is going the way it ought to go. I’ll follow you as long as I’m getting explanations and answers to all my questions. I’ll follow you as long as you prove yourself worthy.”
We test God by needing explanation or forcing him to prove his love to us. I’ll serve you if… I will follow you if you help me understand why.
Everyone wants to know their work matters. We want to feel a part of a team. We want to contribute something that is unique. We want to be thought of as irreplaceable. These are not improper aspirations but how we achieve them matters.
Here is how you become irreplaceable
- Know your leader’s vision for the church and organization.
- Know what you leader is looking for in other leaders.
- Know what your job is.
- Begin training someone to replace you as soon as you know 1-3
The biggest mistake we make in making ourselves irreplaceable is thinking that we are irreplaceable or failing to understand that we will be replaced. If you lead in any capacity you need to understand two things you will not be doing what you are doing forever so 1. You can replace yourself and leave a legacy or 2. Do not replace yourself and leave a mess.
We all struggle with insecurity to a greater or lesser degree. It is often those insecurities that keep us from giving to others what we know about what we do. We fail to turn over key components of our job because we are afraid of being replaced. When we lead with such a protectionist mindset we fail to fully develop those we lead. We must give away to advance. We must empower others to do what we do and remove obstacles that hinder them from doing things better than even we were able to do.
If you begin your job day one striving to replace yourself you will never be replaced. The irony is the thing that actually makes you irreplaceable in whatever you do is by being really good at replacing yourself. Anyone can do a job but someone who can empower others to do their job better than they can do it themselves is truly valuable.
So start this week. Know your leader and identify your replacement and start making yourself irreplaceable.
If you regularly attend church conferences you will no doubt hear the rallying cry for excellence in the church. In some ways this is a good thing. I am all for pastors working hard and doing all they can do to reach people with the greatest message ever told. Where excellence starts to kill the church is when we make our church a polished flawless exhibition that we invite people to be impressed by.
When the church takes its cue from the business world and perfects its processes so that it can extend its reach and solidify its brand we have lost our way.
When excellence drives us to be efficient with people so we can be innovative with problems we are no longer the church we are simple a 501c3.
So I had this random idea a couple of days ago to help push the family ministry conversation forward. I thought. What if we held a live twitter conversation with some of the sharpest minds in family ministry out there? And what if you in the Youth Pastor, Kids Pastor, Family ministry joined in with your thoughts and questions? So here is what we are going to do Tomorrow August 13th at 3pm EST we are going to hold a #asknextgen conversation on twitter.
Here is where you come in. We need you to engage and ask questions. You can chime in with your own questions, you can ask follow-up questions to questions asked by others. This is your opportunity to ask some of the brightest minds in family ministry a question you have always wanted. All you need to do is search out the hashtag #asknextgen and you will find the conversation. When you ask your question make sure you include the hashtag #asknextgen or you question or comment might be missed.
Looking for a way to make sure you don’t miss any of the action on Thursday? Use Tweetchat.com
all you do is enter #asknextgen when prompted followed by your user name and password for twitter and you will be able to monitor the conversation, tweet, or respond to tweets all from one browser window.
So who will be on the #asknextgen panel?
With a string of videos coming out of the past few weeks showing Planned Parenthood for what it is. These things are unavoidable for us and the kids we minister to. We have to understand how to logically understand these events so we engage rather shut down. My friend Scott Klusendorf writes the following argument in his book The Case for Life
The SLED Defense of Life
Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today. As Stephen Schwarz points out using the acronym SLED, differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant in the way that abortion advocates need them to be.
Size: Yes, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more valuable than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value.
Level of development: True, embryos and fetuses are less developed than you and I. But again, why is this relevant? Four year-old girls are less developed than 14 year-old ones. Should older children have more rights than their younger siblings? Some people say that self-awareness makes one valuable. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings. Six-week old infants lack the immediate capacity for performing human mental functions, as do the reversibly comatose, the sleeping, and those with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Environment: Where you are has no bearing on who you are. Does your value change when you cross the street or roll over in bed? If not, how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-valuable tissue mass to valuable human being? If the unborn are not already human and valuable, merely changing their location can’t make them so.
Degree of Dependency: If viability bestows human value, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.
In short, it’s far more reasonable to argue that although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal (and valuable) because they share a common human nature. Humans have value simply because of the kind of thing they are, not because of some acquired property they may gain or lose during their lifetimes.
Armed with that understanding what must we do with what we know to be true? What must we do?