Family Friday Links 11.3.17

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Here’s what we’ve been reading online this week:

Jamie Owens was over on the For the Church site writing on the topic of pastoral neglect of their families. He reminds us, “Our families are the closest people to us, and so our responsibility to disciple them and wash them in the Word is greatest.” He lists 4 lies that pastors tell themselves. If you’re a pastor, you need to heed this warning.

Our friend, Sam Luce, had a post on hearing God’s voice. He writes on the importance of listening and says, “Learning to listen is not a skill that is taught anywhere. It is a gift a few are born with, a skill most can learn, and is indispensable in our ability to hear God and love our fellow believers.” He goes on from to list reasons this is true. This will be a benefit to anyone who reads it.

Scott Kedersha had a marriage post on growing in your relationship with your spouse. He’s reminding reader of the need for continued growth in the depth of relationship, especially after the wedding. There is a great list of resources along with post that are well worth your time.

What have you been reading online this week? If you were encouraged by it, leave us a link in the comment section to check out.

Listen to The Team

A few weeks ago I gathered with some of the teachers and classroom helpers for two of our children's ministry classes. We met at the request of one of the class level coordinators. She had heard frustrations voiced by some of the teachers under her care. As I prepared to meet, my mind raced with possibilities:

  • Will we brainstorm ideas for the classroom?
  • Will this be a whine and complain session?
  • Do I really need to be here?
  • Do these people even really care about the kids?
  • How dare these people question me and the decisions I've made!
I saw that all my preconceived worry and stress was unfounded and unhelpful.

Before we met, I repented of the pride and arrogance in my heart. God brought James 1:19-20 to mind: "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." I acknowledged that was not my posture. I was judgmental. I was quick to assume, quick to judge, and quick to justify.

As the meeting started, I saw that all my preconceived worry and stress was unfounded and unhelpful. The team aired constructive criticism about their collective struggles with our current curriculum. It's a curriculum I had chosen. But as I listened to their concerns, I saw that change is necessary. As I listened to the team, I saw something else too. These people truly care for the little ones under their charge.

As I listened to their concerns, I saw that change is necessary.

James 1:19-20 is true for all believers. It is especially important for leaders and pastors. Learn from my experience. Be open and willing to listen to those who serve with you. Don't only be willing to listen. Actually do it. If the team brings critique, there is usually at least an element of truth in what they say. We need others to help be aware of our imperfections. We need a team of leaders to help us see when we've made a bad call. Rather than cling to authority or your first judgment, admit your wrongs. Trust that they pursue the same vision you do: to help kids grow into mature worshippers. Then listen to the team.

Family Friday Links 7.10.15

Here's what we've been reading online lately.

Russell Moore wrote a post on the hot topic of the moment, talking to your kids about same-sex marriage. He ended to post this way, "Marriage isn’t ultimately about living arrangements or political structures, but about the gospel. When your children ask about the Supreme Court, be loving and winsome and honest and convictional and kind." Parents, we have to be ready for the questions that will come; and we have to be ready to start those hard conversations. This post will help.

Brian Dollar had a post about kids and listening. He says, "So many parents feel like they have more success talking to a brick wall than to their child (especially their teenager).  Part of the reason for that is the tendency for parents to “talk down” to their kids." Parents, we (and by that I'm especially including myself) can learn from this.

Joe Rigney had a post on when to baptize believing children. He makes a distinction between a credible profession of faith and a mature profession of faith. He defines them this way, "A credible profession means simply a believable profession ... A mature profession is one made by a responsible adult." The difference is critical because the responsibility is real. This is a hard issue for both parents and churches, but this post helps.

Mike Breen had a post on youth ministry, asking the question, "Is it working?" This post is an interview with Rich Atkinson about his book Target. Rich says, "The enemy that I really wanted to take on with this book is the enemy of hopelessness that means people simply give up." Hopelessness is huge, especially among those of younger generations. If you are involved in youth ministry or have teens yourself, this is a helpful read and resource.

What are you reading (or writing) online and finding helpful or encouraging? Leave us a link in the comment section and we will check it out.