6 Questions Every Communicator Must Ask Before They Preach

 

We live in an age where there is more information available to us than ever before. When I was a kid I did my research papers using encyclopedias, studied using a concordance. If you are under the age of 30 and are reading this you have no idea what I am talking about. Here is where our world has change for the better and for the worse, we no longer need those study methods because we have the internet. The problem with the internet is that even though you can get lots of good information you can also allow your thoughts and ideas to be diluted and even confused by the diversity of thoughts and ideas available online. One of the ways I try to overcome this is by passing thoughts and information through a series of questions. If you are a bible story-teller for kids church, a youth pastor or on an adult preaching team these questions will apply.

5 Questions every communicator must ask before they preach

1. Could I preach this message in a synagogue or in a Mormon Tabernacle? If so it’s not the gospel. –
2. Am I being faithful to the text? Am I allowing the text to speak or am I trying to get the text to say what I want it to say?
3. Do I have any practical application?
4. Does my application leave people with a sense that “if I do this then….” or does my application leave people with a sense “That if I do this and trust Jesus then….”
5. What’s my motivation? Will at the end of the message will I have been thought of as a brilliant communicator or will I point those in attendance (myself included) to their daily need for a brilliant savior.
6. Will the end result of this message be the worship and glorification of Christ?

I am honored to be doing two breakout sessions at Lifeway’s Etch Conference for family ministry leaders this October. I have been so impressed with Jana Magruder  and Jeffrey Reed . They and their team have an amazing passion for Family ministry leaders and have put together a conference with an amazing set of speakers that I can’t wait to hear from myself. If you are coming give me a shout out I would love to meet if you aren’t going yet it’s not too late to sign up!

Date: March 10, 2016—May 10, 2016
Event: Etch Conference
Topic: Lead Follow Or Get Out Of The Way
Sponsor: Lifeway
Venue: Music City Center
(615) 401-1400
Location: 201 5th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Great resource for Middle School Games

How to tweak them for Kidmin

Finding fun games for any age is never easy. Most of the time you get in a game rut and play the same ones over and over. We have a few favorites that we have either come up with ourselves or tweaked or straight up stolen from others. In looking to expand our game options for our Middle School ministry and for Children’s Ministry I stumbled upon a YouTube channel that is a goldmine.

One note for kidmin leaders out there the best ideas for games are not on kids ministry sites they are on youth ministry sites. The problem is they are often complex or physically demanding. This is an easy fix. You just change the rules. If the game says crab walk with a spoon in your mouth with a raw egg on the spoon for youth kids. To make it kid friendly do hard boiled eggs and have them walk with the spoon. Take the idea just change the rules.

One of the games on the above mentioned YouTube channel that is solid gold is called Puck of Destiny. It is amazing. Cudos to whoever thought it up, simple fun and cheap.

Dear Pastor: Stay Where You Are.

The power of staying where you are in a transient world.

The blog post is part of a two others. My friends Kenny Connely and Carey Nieuwhof both wrote blog posts today around this idea. I wrote about the importance of staying, Kenny is talking how to leave well and Carey is addressing when you should stay and when you should leave. This is a conversation that needs to be had because of the ramifications it has on the local church. I hope you find each of our posts helpful, encouraging and challenging.

We live in a transient culture. The US Census Bureau found in 2007 the average person moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. Growing up in the home of a Bio-Vocational Pastor I moved a bit more than that, leaving your home and your network of friends to start over is not easy it takes courage. I have now lived in the same town and worked at the same church for 19 years and I can tell you staying takes as much courage as moving.

One of the things I missed by moving so often as a kid was seeing people get older. I always saw everyone in one stage of life. We moved every 3-5 years I saw people in snapshots of their lives. I didn’t attend my first funeral until I was 19 years old. I was never around long enough to either see people suffer or know them well enough to know they were suffering. When you have walked through life long enough with friends to both teach them in kids church, watch them get married and then dedicate their babies the relationships are deep. The beauty and the pain of deep relationships is that the further deep the relationship goes the more painful and bittersweet the sorrows of life become. Some would say why invite pain and sorrow into your life? But it’s not that way. Pain and sorrow need no invitation they visit each life those and those who know you see. I have found that more than any conference I have attended or speaking invitation I have accepted what has changed my life most is holding the hand and praying for a dear friend in the last moments of their life. To care for people deeply enough, to allow them in, to walk through life with them and to watch them as Paul says “Be swallowed by everlasting life” is an honor and a privilege. Two weeks ago I held the hand of a dear saint the night before she passed. I told her the beauty of the Christian hope is we never have to say goodbye only see you later. She gave me a hug and told me to keep taking care of the church. I hugged her goodbye, and she looked at me and said: “See you later.” What they don’t tell you in Seminary, in books, and on blogs, it’s moments like that when you see the grace of God in the face of old friends you realize the pain of the courage to stay is worth it.

Why a Successful VBS Has to be a Church Wide Event

In an earlier blog post, one of a the points that I got the most questions about was why a VBS has to be a church-wide event. My reasoning behind this statement was because I have done VBS as a departmental event and a church-wide event. VBS is such a large event that it either adds to the life of the church or it drains life from the children’s ministry department within the church. Here are a few of the differences I have found between a departmental VBS and a church-wide VBS.

A department VBS is lost in the sea of summer promotions. A church-wide VBS every department feels the pressure so they each push its importance. We canceled our worship team practice because we needed the space but it said to worship team that we are in this together. It served as a reminder that they should register their kids and invite others to come. We canceled our regular programming for youth ministry the week of VBS because of space and because so many of our youth are involved in making VBS a reality.