Every culture has certain standards that distinguish good and respectable people from the bad and disreputable people. Every culture has ways of compelling people to adhere to its standards. Some force adherence through guilt, some through fear, and some through shame.
Since children’s ministry is a serious endeavor, we must carefully consider how to minister to and reach children. As one pastor says, “what we win them with is what we win them to.” Though there is much more that could be said, consider with me five ways to strengthen our children’s ministries to better reflect a biblical view of parenting and of children.
My son just turned three and is in the stage of life where his response to everything I say is “why?”. Sometimes I have patience and calmly explain something for the hundredth time, yet other times my patience wears thin and my response is “because, buddy, that’s just how it is”. I remember feeling this way when trying to explain why I believe the Bible to an unbelieving friend. She asked, ‘why, why, why?’ and I didn’t have any concrete answers other than ‘I just believe.’ In 1 Peter 3:15, Christians are called to give a defense for the hope that is in us, and to obey this exhortation we must study why we believe what we believe.
There are many helpful resources on the Canon of Scripture, and I hope you join me in using this brief article to kick start your study of why Christians believe the canon was divinely authored and therefore is completely trustworthy.
In a strict historical sense, Christians are not Pharisees. Pharisaic religion rejected Jesus as the Christ, and therefore when someone worships him as God’s Son, he is no longer a Pharisee.
But is there an essence of Pharisaism alive today, even active within creeds that embrace the divinity of Jesus, the doctrines of grace, and Trinitarian orthodoxy? If we leave aside the doctrinal and historical elements of Pharisaism, the following six areas of examination might expose our own inner Pharisee.
This is helpful.
My advice: beware of the allure of writing. Don’t allow Satan to make you think that just one popular blogpost, one book, or one article will validate your identity. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that whatever work God has for you is lesser than another. A small few write for a living, but most even prolific authors have other jobs. The glamorous life of writing all day, every day is like the apple in the Garden, promising something it can’t actually deliver.
A favorite from the archives:
And yet, people do deny Him. Thousands of people die every day clinging to this rejection of God… Thousands live every day clinging to it, and embracing its fruit with abandon. Idolatry, foolish thinking, sexual immorality, gossip and slander, disobedience to parents—evil of all sorts and kinds. For these, who are haters and enemies of God, only one thing awaits them at the end: the unrestrained wrath of God.
And even as we know this truth, that punishment awaits, we are also called to love the lost, to love our enemies. So what is one of the most important ways for us to love them?