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A Growth Cycle for Those Who Lead

By Christian Living, Church Life, Leadership

As I have been writing and thinking about leadership, it caused me to think about how I have sought to grow over the years. Without realizing it, I have regularly practiced the following cycle. If I had time I would picture these components in a complete circle. For the sake of writing, though, I will lay them out in a linear fashion.  Let me start with a foundation. I believe an effective Christian leader will be convinced of two things: 1. The Lord wants to continually teach me. The Lord is continually bringing circumstances into my life to make me…

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Gospel Secrets That Parents Can Forget

By Christian Living, Family Discipleship, Leadership, Parenting: Childhood, Parenting: Early Years, Parenting: Teens and Beyond, Podcast
On this episode, I share my personal experience as a homeschool parent, reflecting on the importance of not losing sight of the big picture in the day-to-day of parenting. We’ll look at some key gospel principles that we may have forgotten in the midst of the busyness of raising our children. I highlight the importance of making discipleship the true goal of homeschooling and of finding our identity and significance in Christ. Even if you don't homeschool, but you're in the middle of your parenting years, I think that you will find this information immediately applicable.   Episode Transcript I'm...
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Loving and Leading Your Children Can Teach You Patience and Persistence

By Christian Living, Family Discipleship, Leadership, Parenting: Childhood, Parenting: Early Years, Parenting: Teens and Beyond

The following is from a section the current book I am working on. In it, I argue that learning to care for your children teaches you how to care for the church. Let me know your thoughts. – Chap “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord has compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14 “I thought I was a patient person—until I had children. Then I learned how impatient I really was.” I have lost count of the number of men who have said…

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One Aspect of Working with a Prodigal

By Family Discipleship, Parenting: Teens and Beyond
I recently gave a talk on prodigals to a number of parents. I hope to get a recording of that up on the podcast soon. In my talk I focused on things we can control. I listed five areas to focus on: Focus on your heart. Focus on your parenting dynamics. Focus on your relationship with them. Focus on their view of Jesus. Focus on their behavior if they are still living at home. There is too much to print for this article but let me just include the second section - Focus on Your Parenting Dynamics. This is much...
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Training Our Children to Expect Slander

By Apologetics, Family Discipleship, Parenting: Teens and Beyond

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. Matthew 15:19 They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Romans 1:29-30 [B]ut in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good,…

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Chap Bettis: Leaving a Legacy

By Family Discipleship, Leadership, Podcast
Life moves quickly for parents and children alike. As a parent, I was reminded of this when my children shared something they learned in history class. What was once real life to me had become history to them, passed down through a textbook. Passing on God's great works and truths from generation to generation is a responsibility of parents, grandparents, and churches. In this episode, we look at Psalm 78 and its commands for us to leave a legacy of faith and encourage the next generation to put their hope in God.  
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A Mature Leader Knows He or She Needs Wisdom

By Christian Living, Family Discipleship, Leadership

A mature leader will know he needs wisdom to honor the Lord and not hurt people. As mentioned in the introduction, knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is the art of skillful living. It is living in line with God and the way he has made the world work. It is weighing all the biblical information and knowing which principle to apply now given the current situation.  Leading well, whether in the church or home, requires wisdom. As Solomon began his reign, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and invited him to request anything. Solomon asked, “Give your servant therefore an…

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Made to Rule and Reign

By Christian Living, Family Discipleship

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. You know those names well. They are, of course, the children from C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. In Narnia the wicked witch has made it always winter but never Christmas. The four of them, as Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve, are meant to rule and reign in Narnia, to bring the rule of Aslan back to a cursed land. This quest involves bravery, battle, faithfulness, and, of course, growth in their character. Who are Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy meant to represent? You and me!  You and I are meant to bring the…

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Pulling the Fire Alarm

By Family Discipleship, Leadership, Marriage

Several months ago our church hosted a marriage conference. You can hear one of the speaker’s sessions on conflict here. During the last session, there was a panel with couples who had been married for different amounts of time. Sharon and I were asked by our senior pastor to be on the panel as the older couple. At first, we objected. “We are hear to learn,” we told him. On the panel, we were open and honest about how hard we have had to work at our marriage. In Sharon’s words, “If marriage is a dance, then there are times it felt…

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Marriage Panel – A Real-Life Conversation and Encouragement

By Family Discipleship, Leadership, Marriage, Podcast
Marriage conferences can encourage and challenge us with the principles they teach. But how does it work in real life? Would you like to hear from some not so perfect couples? We’re continuing a short three-episode series on marriage and in this episode, you’re going to hear from two couples who have been married a while. They talk about how their marriages have endured and flourished over the years. ----- We want to help you raise strong disciples of Jesus Christ, who can stand strong in today's culture, and you can get the audiobook of the Disciple Making Parent absolutely...
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