Brian Cosby’s work Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture would either settle overwhelmingly well with student ministers or overwhelmingly terrible with them. You see, the question of entertainment in ministry happens to be a highly debated question among student ministers in today’s culture. Cosby writes in the book that he has been a part of both sides of the spectrum. He’s been a part of a student ministry (as the student minister) where the goal was always to “one up” the Wednesday night the week before. He admitted in the book that at one point in time in his ministry, he actually had people swallowing … Continue reading Book Review: Giving Up Gimmicks
Several months ago, I made the statement that 2 Timothy was becoming one of my favorite books (click here for article). When I first admitted this, it was for a different reason than I anticipated. At the specific season of life and ministry that I was in, I needed to heed the latter truths Paul wrote to Timothy in chapter 4 regarding the battles he would face in ministry simply because I was facing some battles myself. But now things are a bit different. This time, the Lord directed me there for a sermon. I was asked to preach on a Sunday night and was contemplating … Continue reading God’s Call: Specific or General?
In my daily Bible readings, I’ve been working through the book of Romans. It has taken me quite a long time to work through simply because sometimes I would only focus on specific phrases in a verse. For instance, I was recently studying through chapter 12 and specifically the marks of a true Christian in which Paul gives several commands for Christians to obey. Because of those short commands, I would focus and meditate on one per day while working through chapter 12. One day was the command, “Abhor what is evil.” The next day would be the next phrase, “Hold fast to what is good.” Of … Continue reading Non-Essentials: Thoughts on Christian Liberty
I am one to admit, there are many, many days where I am not productive in the office. What do I mean by “the office”? I mean my job as a student pastor. In fact, I’ve felt incredibly lazy for the past couple of months, as if I haven’t gotten anything done whatsoever. But there is a different aspect to a vocational ministry position compared to a job in the secular workplace. Vocational ministry is different for a couple of reason. First, there isn’t (necessarily) a “to-do list.” Now, some churches do provide job descriptions for the position of which you were hired, but many churches … Continue reading 3 Steps (plus 1) on Being Productive in the Office
For the past couple of years, I have been battling with what my philosophy of student ministry consisted of. I’ve never been one to take the side of pragmatics or what our current evangelicalism would call “Entertainment Driven” ministry. Within these past couple of years, I’ve begun a personal relationship with discipleship. I started reading books, specifically Student Ministry and the Supremacy of Christ by Richard Ross, and becoming better acquainted with discipleship and its purpose. However, Ross’s book was not the only one with rich, theologically sound material on discipleship. There are several books of which have impacted my philosophy of a gospel-based, Christ-centered, discipleship-focused student ministry … Continue reading What is Discipleship?
We live in a culture where media is truth and absolutes are fluid. We are living in a day where the internet is our doctors and our doctors are know-it-alls. We could argue for days as to why times like these have surfaced now days, but it would be time wasted. Whether we like to admit it or not, television affects us. Media affects us. Social media affects us. The internet affects us. Texting affects us. These things listed do not affect us in some physical sense. They not only affect the way we think, but the way we view reality and the world around us. … Continue reading The Theology of Television
It’s been a little while since I’ve written in this “series” (or whatever you’d like to call them) of blog posts. In fact, it’s been close to a year since I’ve written anything about student ministry in general. Vulnerability Over the past several months, I’ve faced some tough challenges in student ministry. Some challenges, I would rather not say. Some others, I wouldn’t mind sharing. One of those challenges has been the numbers game. I know, I know – I shouldn’t be worried about numbers, but sometimes my human nature gets obsessed with attendance. I want students to come to my church. It’s not the correct attitude to … Continue reading My Thoughts on Student Ministry – Part 3
2 Timothy has most assuredly become one of my favorite New Testament books. For the past couple of years, I have dedicated myself to studying and learning the ins and outs of effective discipleship. Throughout this time and study, I have realized that the only true way to have an effective discipleship model is to have mature, committed disciples (followers) of Christ who make disciples. This seemed to be Paul’s model, especially in regards to Timothy. We read in Paul’s final exhortation to Timothy (2 Timothy) what Paul encourages Timothy to do. In fact, Paul really gives several exhortations within the letter. The first exhortation from … Continue reading Hardship in Ministry
“I know there is not a plethora of words that will guarantee students to stay in the faith once they graduate high school, but when students understand what I would call “gospel lingo” they will have a better understanding of and commitment to the faith they’ve been acquainted with for their short life.” Continue reading 4 Words Students Must Learn Before They Graduate
“A parent who has his hope in the Gospel will pursue his teenagers and will not stop until they leave the home.” Continue reading 6 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Parent
Pastoral ministry in general is a rewarding line of work in which to be. I know without question this is what God has not only called me to do, but has provided me with the gifts and abilities to do it well. But ministry has a totally different makeup and responsibilities related to it than other jobs. Although ministry is the most rewarding, fulfilling calling of a lifetime, it also has some of the most treacherous situations that a person could experience. Ministry has many, many areas of rejoicing, but also many areas where mourning or sorrow would be an appropriate response. While I was in … Continue reading A Sure Calling
In the book of Mark, Jesus has an encounter with children. In fact, this is one of the few times Jesus actually becomes angry in his ministry. Mark wrote, “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God’.” This verse gives us a great basis for children and their importance in the Kingdom. We really aren’t sure why the disciples were so apprehensive to not let the children … Continue reading The Kingdom in Regards to Children