Friday, September 28, 2018

If you don’t offer this service then you’re clearly saying that you don’t want families to attend your meeting


I could wrap this post up now and my point would be made.

No matter what it is about, if a church doesn’t offer some form of child minding then they are sending the message that those with small children don’t want to be heard.


Because, the reality is, the majority of families will not attend otherwise.

For a demographic which is so highly desired by churches, to make important decisions without their input is foolishness.

No childcare shows them that they are not valued.
No childcare strips families of their voice.
No childcare alienates them from contributing.
No childcare stops them from feeling truely included.

If you wonder why churches seem to be guided by those in retirement age, it might be because they don’t put in systems for families to effectively be involved.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The awkward preaching of Naked Boy

For years, at my home church, there was a picture of an apparent nude teen going down a waterslide. Unfortunately, this was labelled Naked Boy.

I was Naked Boy.

Years later I worked at my home church; Naked Boy was their youth minister.

By that time, the picture had long since disappeared, so few people knew what Naked Boy was, never mind that it was me.

Nonetheless, some knew.

And I wonder if they remembered Naked Boy whenever I did something at church.

Naked Boy was leading an activity.
Naked Boy was giving a report to church council.
Naked Boy was saying a prayer.
Naked Boy was preaching about Jesus.

This is the danger of leading at your home church.

You have a history.
You have baggage.

While having a history of growing and developing within a place buys you valuable grace and an allowance to make mistakes, it is a double edged sword.

A similar thing exists then it comes to being a witness before you’re family or longtime friends.

You have a history.
You have baggage.

They know more of your dirty secrets.
They saw you as a tantrum-throwing child.
They remember the things you deeply regret.
They have heard the hurtful things you have said.

But, while this baggage can inhibit your witness to a degree, it can also work in your favour.

Those closest to you should be able to see your changed life better than anyone.
Those closest to you can see for themselves, in light of your baggage, that God can use those who are far from perfect.

This was the opportunity before Naked Boy at his home church.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The importance of saying that you’ll go first


Above is the order which enable bible study responses to work most effectively. 

The secret is in the middle of this list. Once you’re given instructions to a group, you should insert the phrase which can ease a lot of anxiousness from the room.

I’ll go first.

If you tell a group, especially if you’re inviting them to create something or share something about themselves, informing them that you’ll go first can relieve a lot of the pressure of going first.

Furthermore, if you then give the group a moment to consider your response before they contribute, then it can help them be comfortable that they’ve accurately answered what you’re asking.

Doing this simple task...
Allows you to share as a member of the group, not just a facilitator, clears up confusion over what you’re asking of them and removes fear that their response will be totally off track.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Why breaking habitual sin is so hard

A few days ago I heard someone make a really good point about changing long-term behaviour and why it is so difficult.

They drew the analogy that our actions create paths - grooves if you will - which, over time, become progressively easier to follow amd more difficult to steer out of.

This is certainly true for sin.

We fall into familiar patterns.
We stumble in the same ways.
We surcome to the same temptations.


Because we’ve created a deep groove for that sin and we fall back into the familiar tracks.

The difficulty we find is choosing a different path. Luckily, we don’t fight, even the most familiar, allure of sin alone, but with the help of the Spirit of God. This is what keeps us on the track of holiness and faithfulness.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

We all have Something

Now that I’m not in vocational ministry I don’t read anywhere near as many articles about church and church culture as I used to. The articles from various blogs still appear in my newsfeed, and a few days ago, this one jumped out at me.

It reminded me of an illustration I did with a lot of the young adults at my last church and resonates with me far deeper now.

Now, I’ve got a big something.

I’m divorced.

That is my thing.
That is the thing which I should keep hidden from others in church.

And, as the article mentioned, everybody has a thing.

It might be something in their past...
It might be something they are entwined in today...
It might be something they fear will spring up unexpectantly in the future...

An active porn addiction.
Regular drunkenness.
An abortion.
Sleeping with their partner.
Having depression.
Being on anxiety medication,
Having a miscarriage.
They are a victim on domestic violence.
Being abused as a child.
Taking drugs.
Engaging in casual sex.
Being deeply unsatisfied with their career.

While you might think these are extreme examples, they are the reality for a lot of people.

This is their something.

And they feel like they can’t share about it to anyone. 
Especially those in church.

We need to remember, no matter how good we might look on the outside, a haunting something might be lying under the surface.

Something they are ashamed of.
Something they struggle with.
Something they want to remain hidden.

The church should be a place where your “something” is welcome because God doesn’t reject you because of your “something” and can even redeem your “something” in order to reach others.