A new church year is upon us and just like the new supplies and tools kids need for school, we often need to sharpen our tools and/or add new resources to our ministries to ensure we are Gospel-centered. so get that new year started, finalize all the details about promotion, and secure your teams. then, sit back and join us for a chance to talk Gospel @ Center in Kids Ministry.

Sam, Jenny, and Danielle will be sharing some of the most important steps we have taken to help lead Gospel-centered ministries, but we also want to answer some of your questions about Gospel-centered kids ministry. the links are provided below and it is all free. gather your team, share this information with your ministry friends, and let’s focus on what matter most in ministry as we begin this new church year.

Date: September 20, 2018
Time: (2:00pm-3:00pm)
Event: Gospel At Center Webinar
Sponsor: Gospel At Center
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

In the fall of 1997, Pastor Mike Servello Jr. and the youth of Redeemer Church founded the Generation Conference. Within several years, the Generation Conference created a youth movement in the Northeast uniting churches, pastors and students. The vision was simple and remains the same to this day – to see students encounter and be transformed by Jesus Christ. 

This simple vision has done things that we could never have expected. Thousands of students have been saved, many powerful conferences and ministries have been birthed, and the youth culture of the northeast and beyond has been shaped.

Over the past 21 years the Generation Conference has changed in look, location and even name, but our core vision will never change. We exist to see God’s kingdom established in this world. The past 21 years have been a blessing and we pray that God sees fit for 21 more.

Date: November 9, 2018
Event: Encounter Conference - Albany
Topic: The Gospel for Leaders
Sponsor: Redeemer Church
3157924748
Venue: Redeemer Church Albany
3157924748
Location: 183 Schoolhouse Rd.
Albany, NY 12203
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

In the fall of 1997, Pastor Mike Servello Jr. and the youth of Redeemer Church founded the Generation Conference. Within several years, the Generation Conference created a youth movement in the Northeast uniting churches, pastors and students. The vision was simple and remains the same to this day – to see students encounter and be transformed by Jesus Christ. 

This simple vision has done things that we could never have expected. Thousands of students have been saved, many powerful conferences and ministries have been birthed, and the youth culture of the northeast and beyond has been shaped.

Over the past 21 years the Generation Conference has changed in look, location and even name, but our core vision will never change. We exist to see God’s kingdom established in this world. The past 21 years have been a blessing and we pray that God sees fit for 21 more.

Date: November 10, 2018
Event: Encounter Conference - Utica
Topic: The Gospel For Leaders
Sponsor: Redeemer Church
(315) 792-4748
Venue: Redeemer Church Utica
(315) 792-4748
Location: 931 Herkimer Rd.
Utica 13502
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Why Online Church is Helpful But Not The Church.

In our right desire to reach more people with the gospel, we have made faith relevant, accessible, and easy. I am not advocating for unnecessary barriers to getting people to church at all. The question I am raising is this “What is the True Church.” Can I sit at home and with a bag of Cheetos and pull up an “online campus” on Facebook and “have church?”

Most people say yes. I say no.

The problem comes down to how we define the church. Historically the church has been understood as comprised by three realities.

  1. The Gospel is Proclaimed. – Very little controversy here. Are we preaching the gospel of Christ or are we meeting to swap recipes and sell each other essential oils? As good as those things may be if we are not proclaiming the gospel of our sin and Christ sufficiency we may be a lot of things, but we are not being the church. This can be done over the internet very easily. The reason that we believe that online church is a viable way to live in community is that we have over personalized our faith and have reduced the church to gospel proclamation. Gospel proclamation can and should happen over the internet, but we must not believe that the transmission and the reception of the gospel message alone constitute a church.
  2. Where the Sacraments are given – This is where the idea of online church breaks down. You can not partake of communion by yourself, and you should not be baptized in private either. The sacraments of communion and baptism are communal graces for our good and God’s glory. This is something that can’t happen over the internet and shouldn’t happen in private. In most churches, the sacrament of communion doesn’t happen as often as it should. We must continually be reminded of what Christ has done and look forward in anticipation of the marriage supper of the lamb. This cannot be done over the computer and can not be done alone.
  3. When church discipline is administered Across all types of church and denominations of the church this aspect of the true church is most lacking. In wanting to not offend members and be sensitive to seekers we have lost this aspect of the church altogether. This is something that can’t be done over the Internet but must be done in the context of relationship. The goal of church discipline is not primarily to teach someone a lesson but to walk alongside them and continually apply the gospel to their hearts and minds until they see their need and Christs sufficiency.Are online church services helpful and convenient? Yes. Should we provide them as a way to temporarily connect those who are sick or away from their church family? Yes. Is online church, church? No. Can you love Jesus but not love his Church. Biblically speaking I don’t think you can. My encouragement to you is to find an imperfect local body of believers, get to know them and allow them to get to know you. You need to hear the gospel proclaimed weekly but you also need people in your life walking with you to loving apply the gospel to your heart. Find a church where you can commune spiritually and physically with local believers and hear the gospel proclaimed and applied. Love the church. Be the church.

There is No Such Thing As a Pastor’s Kid

Pastor's kid

A few nights ago I had a conversation with my wife because our son was in a play that had some language in it (he didn’t have any lines). There were also a few suggestive ideas in the play. My wife asked me “should this be a play that a Pastor’s Kid is in?” My response was there is no such thing as a pastor’s kid.

Being a pastor’s kid is challenging. The expectations are more than most people realize. Some people are waiting for you to mess up so they can say “See, told you so” others see you make a mistake and they act as if this is a total shock that this should ever happen. What doesn’t help is your peers tend to view you with suspicion or with the expectation that you should know every answer to every Sunday school question. There are some benefits to being a pastor’s kid, but in general, the crushing burden that you feel from most people can be overwhelming. In my experience with being a pastor’s kid and knowing lots of them the reaction to these expectations tends to create either rebels or Pharisees.

I was a Pharisee. This is still something I struggle with, I was a good kid that goodness led to pride until I failed to live up to the expectations that others had for me, then my failures were both public and crushing. I strove so hard to be a good kid and not to embarrass my parents or the church that I ended up being a professional people pleaser. I don’t want that for my kids. I don’t want that for any pastor’s kids.

How as a church community do we help the children of our leaders not become rebels or Pharisees? How do I as a pastor raise my kids to love the church and cherish Christ? Here are a few things I have learned the hard way.