Tag Archives: Ministry

Blog, It’s Time to Say Goodbye

12 years ago, I started a blog. Since then, it has seen over 75,000 views on 463 posts by 649 followers. The most viewed blog was the 5th Quarter Party blog. Over the years, I have written about youth events, parenting, book reviews, and life. Hopefully, my words brought you a little more insight, saved you from the mistakes I made, provided some laughs, and encouraged you when you really needed it.

Although I am saying goodbye, my blog will still be here for your ministry needs. Just type in http://www.jeffbeckley.wordpress.com and she will be there waiting for you with youth event tips and sound youth ministry veteran advice.

What’s next for me? Well, I will soon be releasing another devotional. You will be able to check it out here – http://www.bottomlinedevotional.org. Soon, the Bottom Line Devotional will come in 30, 60, 90 & year-long versions.

As for ministry, you can pray for me. I am transitioning into the lead pastor role at my church. Yes, I still love youth ministry and always will, but God is leading myself and my family into our next chapter of ministry. I’m excited for what the Lord has in store.

Until we meet again, thank you for reading. For now, this is goodbye. God bless you in your pursuit to Giving Future Faith to our Faith Future.

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Book Review: The Pastor’s Justification

Book Review:  The Pastor’s Justification by Jared C. Wilson

The Good:

Honesty is the Best Policy.  Ministry is not always rainbows that are made of Skittles.  There are difficult tasks, difficult people, and difficult situations.  Wilson does not steer away from the difficulties, but embraces them in a humble, sometimes humorous, but realistic and straightforward way.  The newbie pastor reading this book will not be sheltered, but will read a fair assessment of the daily grind of ministry.

Pastor’s Handbook.  This the pastor’s handbook of today.  It provides detailed outlook of a pastor’s role, along with the balance of daily tasks and responsibilities.  All of this, while appropriately using Biblical support and foundation for the behavior, leadership, and ministry of a pastor.

Emotional Roller-coaster.  I found myself living out the array of emojis on my phone’s keyboard.  There were moments where I would chuckle out loud.  Other times where I would sternly read the next sentence as I was being taken to the woodshed, challenged and disciplined to be better.  Then, I would be lifted up and encouraged through Scripture and the experience of the writer.  As long as you buckle up, the roller coaster experience is worth the ride.

The Bad:

N/A.  Nothing negative comes to mind.

The Grade:  A.  This book came by way of a recommendation by my pastor.  In preparation for life and ministry, he knew this would be one I needed to read.  In fact, at times, he couldn’t wait to share the lessons he was learning as he read, and would read excerpts out loud.  I was not disappointed either.  He was right, it is a must read for all those in pastoral ministry.

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6 Resources on Helping Young Adults

Check out the new blog post youth specialties.  Hope it helps your ministry!

6 Resources on Helping Young Adults

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5 Practical Ways to Balance Family & Ministry


In case you missed it, here is my guest blog over at The Middle Years Ministry.  Check it out!

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Book Review: On Being a Servant of God

Book Review:  On Being a Servant of God by Warren Wiersbe

The Good:

Grandpa Wiersbe.   You can imagine the words of this book coming from a grandpa, giving their grandson advice about ministry.  Maybe I think that because both my grandpa and my wife’s grandpa were in ministry for decades.  The advice is not in a condescending tone, but come across as loving and caring.  You want to get to the page to learn more, like you are sitting on your grandpa’s proverbial knee.

Quotes For Days.  This man has a quote for everything, and each one is dynamite.  Seriously, how does he do it?  Wiersbe doesn’t just reference one or two servant books and take some nuggets to build on.  No, he grabs quotes from deep in history, professors, old preachers, and the list goes on.  No stone was left unturned to drive the point home.

Ministry A to Z.  This is like the Amazon logo of ministry books.  It takes you from A to Z of every aspect of ministry.  Both practical aspects of ministry and also the personal/spiritual side as well.  Such wisdom in these pages from a man who has lived it.

The Bad:

Nada.  Nothing bad to report.

The Grade:  A+.  This book will be on my “read again and again and again” list.  OK, I don’t really have that list, but if I did, this book would be at or near the top.  So much wisdom and practicality to this book, where it walks alongside you in ministry and drops truth bombs on every aspect of your life.  It is a must read for all those that are going into ministry, non-negotiable.

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Book Review: The Pastor’s Family

Book Review:  The Pastor’s Family by Brian & Cara Croft

The Good:

It Takes Two.  Probably my favorite aspect of the book is each chapter provides two perspectives:  the pastor and the pastor’s wife.  This did two things.  First, as a pastor it provided encouragement, challenge, and practical training for the years ahead.  Second, it provided a whole new perspective of what the wife feels, deals with, and the challenges they face.  It allows the reader to come away more sensitive to the other spouse and a willingness to see the other side of situations.

Big Eye Emoji.  I was shocked.  Maybe I need to be a better student of church history, but I had no idea of the struggles some of the greatest preachers in history had in their family life.  Marital struggles, parenting regrets, and family difficulty…how was I so naive.  If these fellas struggled, I need to be even more on guard and fight for my marriage, my family, my children.

Heart to Heart.  At the end of each chapter, it allows the husband and wife to ask questions.  Each of these questions were well thought out and are valuable to a ministry marriage.  Put these into practice and allow it to be life-changing material rather than just head knowledge.

The Bad:

For Real.  This is stretching it, but for someone early in ministry there needs to be a warning here.  This book is real and honest.  It speaks of difficulties, depression, struggles…just make sure you are ready to read this.  It acts as a warning, and an important one, but prepare yourself if you are just entering ministry or have a young marriage/family.

The Grade:  A.  Those in ministry need to read this book.  It won’t take you long, but it will have great impact.  It’s highly practical, challenging, and encouraging along the way.  It’s like a pastoral mentor and his wife taking you by the hand and leading you through the next years of your marriage and parenting.  The value goes beyond the price of the book.  Without a godly family, how will you have a godly ministry.  Sometimes we get things backwards…this book will help put you back on track.

Extra Credit:  Read the reflection article on pages 107-109.  It is dynamite.


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2017 Youth Ministry Goals

Another year and more goals for the Lord to accomplish!  It’s great to look forward to another year of serving in youth ministry and another year of God doing amazing things.  This is just the tip of the iceberg…because I know God will do so much more.  But still, it’s always good to put goals out there to aim at as the Lord directs our shots.

Goals for 2017

  • New Book! –  Blessing to announce my 1st book has been published and my goal is for 1,000 copies to be sold to help people fall in love with God’s Word.
  • New Curriculum Plan! – Hard to believe this is my 6th year ministering at MBC, which mean a new 6 year plan will be put in place—with the input of parents, students, and research this plan will be implemented in the fall of 2017.
  • Mentoring – Teach a 2 week Mentoring series to encourage mentoring of generations within the church.
  • Short Term Mission Trip – Due to monthly local mission project, the 3 year cycle is now work trip, out-of-state, international trip. This year we will be traveling for our work trip.
  • Life After High School Series—Special speakers to speak on after high school temptations like drugs, how to witness after high school, and leader advice for the young adult years.
  • Public School Partnership – Continue to find ways to partner with local schools to serve them and bring the hope of Jesus Christ to students.
  • Social Media Interaction – Bolster ministry social media footprint with student leadership help and more interaction on Facebook.
  • Implement G.R.O.W.T.H Chart– Encourage parents to follow chart of spiritual growth for their students and provide training and help for students to reach these spiritual goals.


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Book Review: Test, Train, Affirm, & Send into Ministry

51IHuStydJL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_Book Review:  Test, Train, Affirm, & Send into Ministry by Brian Croft

The Good:

How’s that for an introduction. Wow! What an introduction. A biblical survey of shepherding can be found on the opening pages of this book. It certainly sets the stage for the rest of the book.

Can you hear me church? The author does an incredible job at holding the local church accountable in the process to training those who are called to ministry. Also, it does not tip toe around the necessity of protecting the church from those who do not qualify for these positions as well. I appreciate how this book upholds the church’s responsibility.

Do I need my appendix? Well, your body might not need your appendix, but your church body might need this book’s appendix. Don’t skip over the valuable preparatory material found in the back of this book. It will be quite valuable for the training and confirming of one’s call.

The Bad:

Could you be more specific? If you are looking how to conduct a youth internship, children’s ministry intern, or a more specific role…you will not find those specifics here. This book is not very big and it paints a broader stroke in training those in ministry. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something I wanted to warn the reader.

The Grade: B+. I wouldn’t call it earth-shattering, but I certainly would call it effective. It puts the local church’s feet to the fire, so to speak. It is a challenge to the church to do its job in training and sending people into full-time ministry, all while confirming the call. This is serious business, and I appreciate how this book treats it as such and provides an effective way of making the calling sure.

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Book Review: Craftsmen

Book Review: Craftsmen by John Crotts

The Good:

Counseling Gold. Whether it is anger, lust, or greed…this book provides incredible counseling material. I would strongly recommend using this book for counseling opportunities. It gives great outlines supported from Scripture to help men overcome sin.

Here ya go son. I will one day say this with this book in hand, “here ya go son”. This book is primarily based on the content found in Proverbs. So, as Solomon wrote Proverbs with his son in mind, I often read this book with my son in mind and lessons that I desire my son to learn.

A Ministry Smorgasbord. Wow, the possibilities! There are so many avenues this book can be used both in vocational ministry and personal ministry. Church ministries such as men’s bible study, men’s retreats, and parenting seminars. Personal ministries may include parenting and discipleship of other believers. It is a book that should be on every parent and pastor’s bookshelf. I happen to be both, so it is on my shelf!

The Bad:

Confusion over eternal security. While I’m not clear on the doctrinal position of the article, there is some confusion over eternal security. While sin does lead the sinner to hell, there is some confusion at the end of chapter seven. The Gospel is presented well, but a new believer may be confused over what sin can do to one’s eternal security. I would have preferred some better explanation and a more careful language surrounding sin and its consequences.

The Grade: B+.

There are few books out there that have this type of impact on the teaching of godly manhood. Combining challenge with conviction, Crotts does a fantastic job at putting the reader face to face with God’s Word. A man reading this book is essentially presented with a choice: live a wise life or life a life of the fool. This book presents a powerful case for the wise, God-fearing life.

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Why Turning 33 is Significant

At a young age, people began realizing he was special. He had a gift. He was wise beyond his years. At times, even his parents were overshadowed by his brilliance and insight. Although we do not know much about his childhood, history picks it up in his early 30’s.

Although he lived in the early 1st century, we still find a plethora of information. We read how this man started a revolution. His exploits are still talked about today, worldwide. His compassion for people is an example to many. His life is the epitome of a life well-lived. His example is taught in many places as one to follow and replicate as close as possible. His teachings are studied closely on many academic levels. Those that follow him are sometimes called fanatics, freaks, or outcasts. But, even in the persecution both is word and in deed, people are willing to follow, even to the point of death.214106743_3aebc05551

You would think with the level of following, this man would have lived a long life. But who ever said that to live an important and significant life, you have to live a long life. To the shock of many of his friends, this man was murdered. Because of his teachings, which some viewed as radical and blasphemous, he was killed by the religious leaders of the day. Without proper trial and witnesses, this man was rushed to capital punishment, receiving torturous beatings and ill-treatment along the way.

Yet, most historians have told us his death was at the age of 33. So young for a man with such potential, such influence, such compassion…a tragedy to many. That is, until you hear the name of that man. That man’s name is Jesus, the King of Kings, and the Savior of the World. Jesus Christ, the Messiah! With only 33 years of life, He turned the world upside down. He defeated sin and death. He wrestled with the enemy and pinned him the ground for all eternity. A ministry full of miracles, timeless teaching, healing, encouragement, counsel, and wisdom.

For some, they would say His life was too short. But those that know who Jesus is, they know the significance of his life. They know what He accomplished, and the eternal consequences of His death and resurrection. They know His death was needed to be forgiven. They know the Savior’s life was given, not taken, so we might have eternity in paradise.

Why is turning 33 significant? Well, it was yesterday that I turned 33 years old. What have I done that even compares to the Savior? Look what he accomplished in 33 years of life. Sure, He is God, so I am at a bit of a disadvantage. But it doesn’t mean I should not try. Try to have compassion on people who many have left behind. Try to bring forgiveness to hurting hearts by sharing the Gospel. Try to teach God’s Word, because it is from my Heavenly Father too. Try to live by the will of the Father.

Turning 33 is humbling. I look back and see what all I have done for the kingdom, and it truly pales in comparison to just 3 years of the Savior’s ministry. I realize I will try many of things that Jesus did so perfectly and often fail. But it doesn’t mean I should not try. Jesus’ ministry on earth ended in this year of his life, but as mine continues, I hope to accomplish just one pinky nail of what Jesus did. I can’t do it on my own. I need Jesus. I need my Heavenly Father. Jesus, please help my ministry to have more in common with you than just age, because next year, I won’t have that in common with you any more.jesus-nazareth-585-300x225


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