“The waves of discipleship materials that have swept over the church in the past sixty years have in many cases caused people to be more confused than ever when they think of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ,” writes Michael J. Wilkins, Professor Biola University. 1
According to Thomas Tarrants, Director of Ministry at the C.S. Lewis Institute, “There is a crisis of discipleship in the American church today. Reams of research confirm the simple observation that in many ways the lives of most professing Christians are not much different from their non-believing neighbors. Like ancient Israel and the church in some periods of history, we have adopted the beliefs, values, and behaviors of the surrounding culture to an alarming degree. Although there are exceptions among individuals and congregations, they only serve to confirm the reality. Read the rest of this entry »
More than 10,000 congregations have committed to active participation in National Back to Church Sunday on Sept. 16. By registering their names and locations, these congregations have signaled their intentions to invite family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, who, for a variety of reasons, no longer attend church.
The largest community outreach in the nation is expected to draw the participation of more than 14,000 churches. Read the rest of this entry »
Many efforts to train children are based on “behavior modification” techniques. These usually focus on symptoms rather than on the heart. The Bible teaches that the heart is the control center for all of life. A person’s conduct mirrors what is going on in his or her heart. Proverbs 4:23 summarizes, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life.” Ted Tripp explains further, “The heart is a well from which all the issues of life gush forth. This theme is restated elsewhere in the Bible. The behavior a person exhibits is an expression of the overflow of the heart.” Read the rest of this entry »
Kids are heading back to school. To help you equip children for lifelong learning and success, we have provided the following keys adapted from Cheri Fuller’s series entitled “Equip Kids for Lifelong Learning.” 1
5 Keys for Lifelong Learning
- Build Responsibility: Kids who learn responsibility tend to be more competent and successful at school. Empower children by encouraging self-reliance and responsibility. Read the rest of this entry »
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).
Dr. Scott Turansky writes, “Children need to know what godly character looks like in practical terms. We love the character quality of honor, not just because God commands it, but also because it has so much rich meaning for parents, teachers and children. It can give direction in many of the frustrating moments we experience in family, ministry and in life. In fact, every form of selfishness has an honor-based solution.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4)
In his book, The Strong-Willed Child, Dr. James Dobson writes, “Let’s begin by acknowledging that rearing boys and girls can be a difficult assignment, especially today when the culture is battling mightily with parents for the hearts and minds of their kids. To bring them up properly requires the wisdom of Solomon and the determination of an Olympic champion. Admittedly, the job looks much easier than it is in reality. Overconfident parents, particularly those who are new to the responsibility, remind me of a man watching the game of golf for the first time. He thinks, ‘This is going to be simple. All you have to do is hit that little white ball out there in the direction of the flag.’ He then steps up to the tee, draws back his club, and dribbles the “little white ball” about nine feet to the left. ‘Maybe,’ he says to himself, ‘I ought to swing harder. That’s what Tiger Woods does.’ But the more he hacks at the ball, the farther into the rough he goes. So it is with child rearing. There are sand traps and obstacles everywhere for parents who are blessed with strong-willed kids. What those moms and dads need is a well-designed “game plan” for the inevitable challenges they will face at home. Without such a plan, they will find themselves muddling through by trial and error.”1 Read the rest of this entry »