Leadership

12 Aug Your Children Deserve – Part 1

Having been a children's pastor in a church for some 25 years, I have so, so many stories that I could share. I was reminded yesterday morning of a wonderful couple who came into my office one Sunday morning to tell me that they were leaving our church. I remember so clearly how they went to great lengths to assure me that they weren't leaving our church because of anything that I had or hadn't done. The reason I then learned was because they wanted to attend a much larger church in our community, one that had so much to offer their children. As a parent I could understand their thinking. We all want what is best for our children, don't we! Ready for this shocker? After listening to their explanation, I paused for a minute and then gave them a response that was different than what they had anticipated. I explained that after hearing this news, immediately my heart was troubled. I quickly acknowledged to these parents that their desired church was outstanding in so many ways. And, there was no way to deny that their children's ministry had so much that our children's ministry couldn't offer. That particular church definitely had the "wow" factor with incredible ambiance, state-of-the-art technology, and a seemingly endless budget. And yet, my heart was troubled. Why? After explaining that my discomfort had nothing to do with losing a family from our church or having fewer children in our ministry, I looked into their eyes and boldly told them that I believed that their children deserved more. I could tell that my comment confused them. More? I then explained that while this larger church had so much to offer, from what I had been told over and over again, there was one humongous deficit in their ministry. It was said that in the area of being a Holy Spirit knowing and Holy Spirit flowing children's ministry, this large children's ministry came up greatly lacking. I further told the parents that it was of the utmost importance that their children needed to be in a Spirit-filled, Spirit-demonstrating, Spirit-talking, Spirit-behaving (AKA having the fruit of the Spirit showing) nursery/Sunday school/children's church/mid-week Bible clubs/student ministries classroom. Their children DESERVED to be in an environment where the number one priority was for there to be a consistently seeable, hearable, feelable Holy Spirit. Anything less wouldn't be acceptable. I don't know if I made this couple happy or angry. I never saw them again. I hate to do this but I need to stop writing. I'll close this week with this thought. Your children DESERVE to know the Holy Spirit. I'll say it this way. YOUR children DESERVE to know the Holy Spirit. One step more and then I will quit for this week. YOUR children DESERVE to KNOW the Holy Spirit. I will continue this teaching next week ...

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01 Jul My All-Time Favorite Blog Post

The beauty of the longevity in writing this blog is that I have had almost twelve years to write about so, so many aspects of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The negative side of publishing a blog post week after week is that, oft times, the truths and revelations shared months and years ago become buried and rarely read again. New readers won't discover the truths from the earlier posts. Twelve years of posts? How important are these blog posts? I know for a fact that I could take three to four minutes to read any one of the over 600 posts and then walk into an auditorium to preach or a classroom to teach and use the content of that post and/or series of posts to minister for 45 minutes to an hour on that subject.  What is my all-time favorite blog post? To be honest, they are ALL my favorite. To me, the blog posts are like the old Lay's Potato Chip commercial, "No one can eat just one." For example, consider these posts ...

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18 Jun Here’s What God Said …

I know that the following statement will challenge some people's theology but I'll share it anyways. While Vickie and I lived in South Florida, I remember a time when God clearly spoke to me while we were sitting in a movie theater (some people will stop reading after that statement) watching the seemingly endless coming attraction previews. I will never forget Him telling me that I was to start announcing at the opening of our services the coming attractions for that service. When I heard this directive, I had been in the ministry at least 25 years and had never, ever heard anything like this before. In my early days of ministry preparation, there was no class at my Bible college called Ideas Gleaned from a Movie Theater nor was it taught at any children's ministry conference. Heaven was directing me to walk into the service with a confidence that I had heard from heaven and, at the beginning of the service, boldly announce what was going to happen during the service. Here is what you can expect to happen when you make coming attraction preview announcements. First, this will build faith in your spirit as you confidently proclaim what God has shown you in your quiet time with Him throughout the week. Your spirit will feel like a Texas cowboy sitting in a rodeo chute on top of a bucking bronco waiting for the chute's gate to open. You can be confident that something memorable is about to happen! Second, it will build anticipation in those in your service because Jesus is both the author and finisher of our faith. God always delivers what He promises! So, if you are preaching about healing, confidently announce at the beginning of the service that the Healer is in the room and will heal all the sick and infirmed. Then, preach/teach and flow in the anointing. The results will be Jesus being what you have previewed and then preached Him to be. One more note ...

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