Summer doesn’t slow down for churches. In fact, the opposite is true. While many people travel, go on vacation, visit family, and hit the lake, the church takes it up a notch when it comes to ministry. Summer is one of the most busy and fruitful times in the life of the church.
For instance. The first week of June was Beach Retreat, last week was College Week, this week is VBS. Then in July we have Preteen Camp, and missions trips to Brazil, the Ukraine, Las Vegas, Cherokee, NC, and around our city. Busy, busy, busy.
But this week is Vacation Bible School week here at the church. And, if you know anything about Vacation Bible School, it is anything but a vacation for the workers. A lot of planning, preparation, prayer, and (something else that starts with a “p”) went into this week. The goal is to show genuine love to kids and families, teach them the Word of God, and see many saved through the grace of Jesus Christ.
With all the energy and activity around here this week I began to think – I really love this time! It’s a joy to see all the kids, workers, leaders, helpers, and teachers. There are several reasons I love VBS. Continue reading
Sunday is a special day. As you know, it’s Father’s Day. To my pastor friends out there. Let me give you a brief word of encouragement. Normally we build up moms on Mother’s Day and beat up dad’s on Father’s Day. Don’t do that! Instead, offer them encouragement. Give them hope. Cast a vision for what it means to be a dad.
With that in mind, I thought I would share with you a few things I learned from my dad… Continue reading
My family and I just spent a week at the beach. By the way, if you have four kids and one on the way, a week at the beach is not considered a “vacation.” It’s simply moving chaos from one location to another!
We spent a week at the beach with about 200 other folks. Teenagers, adults, preachers, band members, and friends. That’s right. My family and I just got back from Summer Camp with our students. Affectionally known at Second Baptist Church as, “Beach Retreat.”
I love summer camp. Not only because it holds a significant place in my spiritual formation as a teenager (see here). But also because every time I go I see God work miracles. Salvations. Baptisms. Calls to ministry. Calls to mission work. And the list goes on.
So, here are a few reasons why I love summer camp… Continue reading
This is a follow up post to last week’s thoughts, What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say. As a pastor, I talk to a lot of people who tell me they just don’t know what to do. They want to obey God. They want to follow His will. They want to do the right thing. But, they just don’t know what that is.
I’ve been there before. Maybe you have too. You know your heart is in the right place. You want to follow the will of God. But you just don’t know what His will is in this particular situation. I can remember when I was 18 years old praying about where to go to college. Even though I knew I was going to be a pastor I struggled about where to go to school. In the end, God made His will clear to me. But there was that strange time that every Christian experiences when it seems like God is silent.
If you’ve ever been there, or if you’re there right now, I just want to share one simple thought with you. It’s not life-changing. It’s not earth-shattering. It’s not revolutionary, crazy, or radical. It’s just simple. But this one thought has helped me many times as I have tried to faithfully follow Lord.
What should you do when you don’t know what to do? Here’s what I’ve learned. Continue reading
Sometimes you don’t know what to say. What are you supposed to do in moments like that? If you’re like me, you say something anyway. And whatever you say is something you probably shouldn’t have said. I think all of us have put our foot in our mouth at least once or twice before. I’m writing this blog post for me more than anyone else. I’ve been thinking lately about what I should say when I don’t know what to say.
Maybe you’re a pastor and you’ve made a mistake. You hurt someone’s feelings. You turned left when you should’ve turned right.
Maybe you’re a husband or a wife and you wish you could have some of those hurtful words back. You spoke too soon. You spoke too harshly. You didn’t mean it.
Maybe you’re a son or a daughter and you’ve finally realized that your parents aren’t as dumb as you thought. You look back at all the hurtful things you did and said.
Maybe you’re a friend and to be honest, you haven’t really been a very good one. Instead of being there for someone you were nowhere to be found. Instead of helping someone out, you ended up hurting someone unintentionally.
No matter who you are or what you do, you will find yourself in a situation at some point when you just don’t know what to say. Here are a few things you should practice saying so when those moments come you’ll know what to say. Continue reading