Enjoying the Journey

If you are a teenager I am quite sure that your social life has been disrupted and your school year has been less than you imagined. (Or perhaps, better than you imagined – depending on your perspective!) After a few days at home most young people begin to get bored. Maybe you are way past that. First let me say, join the club. We are all a little stir crazy. The truth is that throughout life there will be things that disappoint and interrupt. The sooner you can learn to accept and adapt to these changes the better your whole life will be. Please do not think that I am minimizing the impact that COVID-19 has had on your life.…

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When I was a young man someone told me, “Choose only a date who would make a good mate.” That was good advice. A casual relationship can quickly turn into a serious one. Friendships often become lifelong commitments. There are many choices in life, but few have more lasting consequences that who you will marry. In Genesis 6:1-2 the Bible describes an ancient society where “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” This would set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the worldwide flood. Civilization was destroyed because of evil imaginations and carnal desires.  What can we learn from this…

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We are all concerned about the direction of our communities and our country. It is easy to spend all of our time listening to the commentators and talking about how wicked the world has become. God’s people have a work to do – the one work that can truly make a difference. Only the gospel of Christ can change hearts and homes. All people need the gospel. My pastor often said, “You can’t witness to the wrong person!” People of every age and background need the Lord Jesus. Yet in many ways the heat of the battle for souls is to be found among young people. As go the young people so goes another generation. Satan knows this. Adolph Hitler…

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The last two days I have been speaking in Michigan at a wonderful Christian Educator’s Convention. It has been a privilege to spend time with men and women who are giving their lives to help families as they seek to provide their children with a true Christian education. Tammy and I both had the joy of being a part of Christian schools and are grateful for the outstanding Christian academy the Lord has allowed our children to attend. I thank God for Christian education. Christian education is undoubtedly more than Christian schools. It is done in the context of home and through the ministry of local churches. In the words of one of my mentors, Dr. Clarence Sexton, “Christian education…

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1801-16 Enjoying the Journey Guest Articles Slide

Kurt Copeland has been a faithful youth pastor at the Franklin Road Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for many years. God has used he and his wife to make a difference in the lives of countless young people. His faithfulness is an example to me and his friendship an encouragement. You will enjoy these thoughts from his heart. It has been my goal since the day I started preaching to reach teenagers for Christ. Now, nearly twenty-seven years later, that goal has only gotten stronger. How can we effectively reach teenagers for Christ in today’s society? I have heard it said, “It’s not how you start the race, but how you finish that really makes the difference.” I do agree…

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Over the last few weeks I have been privileged to spend time with a number of high school seniors. One of them is living in my own home! Just yesterday I was on the campus of the school I graduated from twenty-four years ago. My heart was filled with both memories from my past and thoughts of the future of the seniors who now walk those halls. Parents, pastors, teachers, coaches and youth workers have a big job every day, but the spring months are especially crucial. Remember your senior year! The senior year is one of the most exciting times in life. Big days and decisions lie ahead. The senior year is one of the most anxious times in…

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Recently a teenage boy wrote to tell me that God had called him to be a preacher. What a joy to see another generation of young people yielding their lives to serve Christ! He asked if I would give him some advice. Below are the simple things I wrote to my young friend. It is my prayer that other young people will be helped by them. 1. Work on your devotional life. Everything else grows out of your own walk with the Lord. 2. Spend time with your pastor and youth director. Ask them questions and learn all you can. 3. Begin now to witness and serve. If you don’t start now you won’t later. 4. Plan to attend a…

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A few days ago I had the joy of addressing a group of college students in a local church. There were freshmen and upperclassmen, full of hope and excitement as they approached the beginning of a new year. Life is divided into seasons and every season has a purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). The college years are a time of preparation. In these days God is at work in so many ways to prepare young people for all He has for them. All of college was good for me. Dorm life. Student Events. Even History of Civilization. As I reflected on my college years I began to see that it was in this season of life that I began to understand that some…

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A fellow preacher and personal friend asked me recently how I believed we could do a better job of retaining young people in our churches. It is a problem of epidemic proportions. The vast majority of young people are exiting the local church by the time they are eighteen. For many years I said to prospective youth workers that we must get young people connected to more than the youth group. It is my conviction that, as early in life as possible, young people must find their place in the church. It must be their church. The pastor must be their pastor. And some work for the Lord must be their ministry. This cannot begin when they graduate from high…

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Tammy and I thank the Lord for our children. Like every parent we pray that they will desire to follow Christ. More and more I understand the words of John, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4). Recently our oldest daughter Morgan posted some thoughts through social media on the subject of teen suicide. The Lord used them to speak to some young people and I asked her for permission to share her thoughts here. It is our prayer that they will encourage others. The following are Morgan’s own words… As I look on my generation I see a group of teenagers filled with questions, filled with pain, and filled…

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