Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Youth’

Guest Post: “Reaching Children”

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Twenty five years ago I shared a college dormitory with a friend who would become my brother-in-law. Jason Caldwell and his family have committed themselves to reaching and teaching children for Christ. Their work is being blessed of God and I am happy to share with you the following brief article that he has written on children’s ministry. As we approach the holidays when much is done for children we must never forget that our primary work is to bring boys and girls to Christ. May God raise up an army of children’s workers to reach this generation! Eighty-five percent of all people saved today were saved between the ages of four and fourteen. Therefore, this should be our target…

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Thank God For Christian Education

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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GUEST POST: “Finish Strong”

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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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What Is The Most Important Lesson You Have Learned?

As I write these words I am sitting in northern Michigan. It is a beautiful summer day at camp. This morning at breakfast I had an engaging conversation with a young man who is starting out in ministry. Near the end of our time together he asked me a question that seemed very broad. And yet as I reflected on his question only one answer would come to mind. Q: “What is the most important lesson you have learned in ministry?” While a hundred great truths could be discussed, there is one that stands out above the rest. It is the answer I gave to my young friend. It is the answer the Holy Spirit gave to me. A: “My…

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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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