Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Youth’

Last Week’s Report And A Challenge For The Future

Just a few days ago we hosted a county-wide baccalaureate service for the graduating seniors of our home county. God blessed in a marvelous way. Hundreds of seniors, parents, grandparents, and friends gathered at a local high school auditorium. The Lord used a great team of volunteers, local churches, business sponsors, donors, and prayer partners. It was truly an exciting thing to be a small part. Seniors from area schools testified, led the music, and sang. Stirring challenges were shared by the State Highway Police Chaplain and a member of the State Board of Education. (Read the local newspaper article here.) It was my privilege to give a simple message about life and eternity. When the gospel was shared 38…

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Advice To A Teenage Preacher

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 Word to Younger Preachers

Recently a precious friend introduced me as “a young preacher.” I love those words. In fact, I am now at the age where I want to hang onto them as long as possible! As a younger preacher I am increasingly aware of the investment that older men have made in my life. All of us are building on foundations that have been laid by the generation before us. Sadly, many in my generation have decided that they do not need the instruction and influence of older men. You know the reason: “It’s a generation gap.” Perhaps technology and the rise of new mediums of communication have contributed to this gap. Or perhaps the enemy has planted the seed and we…

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Suicide is More Than A Statistic

Scott Pauley

Suicide is up 300% from my father’s generation. Over the last few months I have read an alarming number of articles on the suicide rate in our nation. A quick Google search will reveal that suicide is on the rise in almost every region – and most alarming, it is on the rise among pre-teens. Would it surprise you to know that a number of the greatest people in the Bible at one time thought they would rather die than live? Job gave up on life. Elijah prayed to die. Moses wanted the Lord to kill him. Jeremiah said he wished he had never been born. Jonah thought death was better than life. What a list! Yes, good people sometimes…

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How To Keep the Next Generation

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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A Post By My 17 Year Old Daughter

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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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Go East Young Man!

Our culture is obsessed with the ability, beauty, and virility of youth. Somehow in all of this obsession we have forgotten the wisdom of age. Young people miss the examples of parents and grandparents. Young couples fail to draw from the experience of more mature married couples. Young ministers often reject the insight of seasoned pastors. The mantra is the same, “They are from another generation…they wouldn’t understand.” This is a lie of the devil. Listen to the words of Scripture… “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee” (Deuteronomy 32:7). “With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding”…

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10 Suggestions for Those Who Work With Youth

Thank God for faithful youth workers. As a parent of two teenagers I realize more than ever that no one raises their children alone. My wife and I praise God for every youth pastor, youth pastor’s wife, teacher, coach, administrator, and choir leader who influence our children…and we pray for them. We need them. Our kids need them. The role of youth leaders is more indispensable than ever. They cannot take the place of parents or the pastor, but they can extend the influence of both. Youth workers are key in strengthening two God ordained institutions – the home and the local church. Much of our ministry has been with young people and helping to train those who work with…

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What I Learned from a Child About Singing Hymns

You can learn a lot from a child.  Sometimes those we are teaching become our teachers.  This happened to me again recently.  As I walked through a certain place I heard the voice of a young man singing a great hymn.  Not just singing it…singing every word…with abandon! Suddenly so many things were clear.  This young boy has parents who love the Lord.  He is being raised in a church where the great hymns of the faith are being sung.  Now he loves them too. Young people love old hymns.  Many churches today have followed the assumption that kids only want “new music.”  In fact, they want something that is real.  They want truth.  It doesn’t have to be new…

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Happy Homes

One of the most wonderful gifts that my parents gave to me growing up was a happy home.  Yes, they had rules.  No, we did not get to do whatever we wanted to do.  But there was never the sense that we were “missing out.”  After all of these years it is the joy of the Lord that I witnessed in my parent’s lives that has stayed with me. Many years ago Pastor Sexton preached a message titled “Living on the Sunny Side of Life.”  One statement that he made seems especially appropriate today: “Don’t just live on the right side – live on the bright side.”  Christ has designed it so that we can have both! One of the…

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