Monthly Archives: April 2018

Book Review: Growing Young

Book Review:  Growing Young by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin

The Good:

REAL Solution.  I don’t know about you, but I am tired of books, articles, and social media posts that just surmise an issue with this current generation and the church.  I’m tired of reading about the problems, and I was refreshed to read in this book – REAL and REACHABLE solutions to the issues of growing young.  A heartfelt thank you to the all the work the writers put into this.

Dedicated Research.  This was hard work to put this together.  It was a clear dedication of the writers and research team to not leave a stone unturned.  They went to the small churches to the megas, and found answers to the growing young question.  That is something the reader will appreciate.

REAL Testimonies.  These aren’t just ideas.  These are real people who have been affected by churches that have intentionally reached out to this generation in their church.  The testimonies were not just glossed-over stories from pastors, but from people inside the church who have benefited and lived out the ministry changes and direction.

The Bad:

Nope, nope, nope.  There was one quote that made me quote Petrie on Land Before Time and say “Oh, no no no no”.  “We wonder if sermon preparation and preaching is an area in which some leaders could invest less time”.  While they did give this quote with the caveat of holding God’s Word at the “highest value”, it still is a dangerous statement.

The Random Boxes.  This is a minor complaint, but it seemed to break the flow of the chapter when a box of random information was placed in the middle of a chapter.  Suggest maybe placing this in the context of the chapter or at the end.

The Grade:  A.  I tell ya what this book did.  Honestly, it gave me great encouragement that my philosophy of ministry was on the right track with this generation.  On the flip side, it challenged me immensely in the weakness of my own ministry in reaching this generation.  That is what this book will do to you, encourage and challenge you and your ministry.

 

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Book Review: How to Keep Your Kids on Your Team

Book Review:  How to Keep Your Kids on Your Team by Charles Stanley

The Good:

Been there, done that.  Charles Stanley had both the view of the counselor and the parent when he brought personal illustrations to play.  The counseling situations were enlightening and eye-opening, and the family illustrations brought a personal touch.  Each produced a break for the mind and allowed for smooth reading.

Homework?  With each chapter, I walked away with homework.  There were parenting skills that needed sharpened, conversations that needed to take place, and changes that needed to happen.  I have a long ways to go, but there were measurable steps I could take in improving my parenting.

This Quote – “The only hope they have is to undergo a transforming experience by Christ in their life and thus gain an understanding of who they really are in Jesus Christ.”

Handing Down Your Faith.  The chapter on this very subject was priceless.  My favorite part of the book and made the whole read worthwhile.  Such an important concept and I’m indebted to the author for the wisdom that was shared.

The Bad:

Not too sure.  There were a couple specific parenting situations that I disagreed with the take of the author.  Nothing sinful or even anything wrong, but a stance I probably wouldn’t take.  I am still learning on the job, so maybe my view may change as my kids get older.  Seems most of my disagreements had to do with discipline that was at times on the weak side.

Not One Mention of SnapChat.  It’s no fault of the author, but the book is outdated in the area of technology.  Writing in the mid-80’s, there is no mention of the constant battle of cell phones, gaming, and technology that this generation of parents face.  (Disclaimer:  Looks like an updated version was written in 1996, but would still lag behind in some technological issues.)

The Grade:  A.  Any parenting book that teaches you practical ways of improving your relationship with your children and your role as a parent gets an A from me.  This book provides valuable insight in parenting, while providing personal ways of improving the day-to-day grind of parenting a child.  Written over 30 years ago, it just goes to show, Biblical parenting does not go out of style.

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You Just Got Asked to Do a Funeral…Now What?

Your heart sinks to your stomach, you feel a little light-headed, sweaty, clammy…nope, it’s not the flu.  You have just been asked to officiate your very first funeral.  Are there some guidelines to work from?  What are some do’s & don’ts so you don’t embarrass yourself?  Don’t worry, I got you covered.  With the help and guidance of my senior pastor, here are some protocols that will help ease your mind.

 

  • Prior to Funeral
    • Attend calling hours – be kind, ask how to help/service requests (leave after short visit)
    • Print off Obituary online
    • Review with family what needs to be included in service
    • Order of Service – give to Fun. Dir., Musicians/Participants & Head of Family Prep.
      • Leave preacher’s thoughts LAST; all other parts of ceremony early (allow appropriate special music at end if needed)
    • Arrive 30 minutes prior to funeral
    • Speak with Funeral Director prior to service
      • Ask if anything different in service (poem, music, military, etc) needs added to schedule
      • (If Out of Area) – Ask for any special/local customs
    • Service
      • 15 minute message
      • Finish with prayer and pay respects & stand by coffin
      • Start compiling list of funeral passages and remarks now, so you have a resource for when unexpected happens
    • Gravesite
      • Follow the lead car, do not agree to leading the group
      • Order: Preface Scripture, Read Scripture, Short Recap, Close in Prayer (5 minutes or so
        • Shortened service– depends on weather, quick reading of Scripture only & prayer
      • After prayer, pause for Funeral Director, go and greet family & stand to side
      • As family begins to leaves, depart
    • After Service Meal
      • Call church on way back from Gravesite – ladies with food set-up/prep.
      • If invited & schedule is clear – stay with family & eat; dismiss yourself when appropriate

Hope this helps.  What are some tips that you might have for the novice funeral officiant?  Bottom line, make sure those who hear your message know how their story will end.  Give a clear Gospel and invite the audience to make a choice in their lives before it is too late.  All while giving a personal tribute to the deceased.  You got this.  Depend on the Lord and prayer, and to God be the glory.

 

 

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