Skip to main content
Category

Church Life

What is a Family Pastor?

By Church Life

As I travel around the country  and speak at mid-sizes churches I have been introduced to those who have the title of Family Pastor. Interestingly, when I ask them to describe their responsibilities, I hear varied answers. In larger churches, the title is usually given to a young person who is responsible to minister to the youth and oversee the children’s ministry. He also might be given other roles that accompany an associate pastor. But his primary responsibility is to oversee the children and youth. As one who has a heart for family discipleship and as a former lead pastor,…

Read More

A Tale of a Men’s Retreat and a Father/Son Retreat

By Church Life

This past week I had the privilege of speaking at our men’s retreat. Sharing our camp was another church that was having a father-son retreat. I came away with several thoughts. 1. A men’s retreat can include young men. The children in our church are relatively young. But we did have one teen come along with us. He circulated among the men, sitting at different tables when eating. He was appropriately engaged and listened.  And he sat in on men talking about, among other things, their struggle with pornography. This fits well into my understanding of the teen years. In our…

Read More

Fighting for Unity: 12 Practices that Lead to Family (and Church) Harmony

By Church Life, Family Discipleship

Where two or three are gathered… there is conflict waiting to happen. So reads the back of Peacemaking for Families. But we can create a home culture where peacemaking is practiced. In fact I would argue that we should fight for unity. I originally put the following list together for life together in the church. But as you will see, it also applies to the family as well. These are things to practice in our family and teach others. I cover much of this in Chapter 13 of The Disciple-Making Parent. 1. Pray for unity. Jesus is praying this way….

Read More

Funerals, Grieving, and Discipleship

By Church Life

Part of disciple-making is bringing our disciples into new situations and coaching them through those. We see this strategy in the life of Jesus. He brought his disciples with him as he went out to minister. Recently, I had an occasion to hear a godly women who received her Ph.D on the subject of how the church can help those who are newly widowed. This subject became personal for her when she became a widow in the midst of writing her thesis. Her burden is for the church to care for widows in appropriate ways. In her presentation, she made…

Read More

Cookouts, Family, and Discipleship

By Church Life

    How does family discipleship fit into summer activities? One simple response is to encourage natural intergenerational relationships. How? Just this week, my 20-year-old son unexpectedly reminded me of an event that happened when he was around seven. That year I was participating in a midweek men’s Bible study. To break up the routine and to celebrate summer, we decided to have a cookout/pool party and then end with a time of prayer. We would also invite our sons to come. In a low-key way, we cooked, swam, and prayed. (Oh yes, as dads we debated if they should…

Read More

Welcoming Church Guests as a Family Ministry

By Church Life

“I was a stranger and you invited me in.” (Matt 25:35) One summer, I was at wits end. The elders graciously granted me a sabbatical of several months. During the Sundays of those two months, my family continued to attend my church while I took Sunday morning road trips to different churches. Several impressions remain from those visits. First, I remember how intimidating it was to go to a church where I did not know anyone. Second, I clearly remember how few people greeted me or took an interest in me. Of the eight churches I visited, exactly one person…

Read More

Reading and Discussing the Bible – Help from Henry Halley – Repost

By Church Life No Comments

Reading And Discussing the Bible Together  Our church family has had the tradition of using a church-wide reading schedule. Up to the present day, our family of church has given a handout to aid in personal and family devotions. And they have used that topic for Sunday School. The goal of this activity is to provide structure for our daily reading and connect the reading of the family members and the church. It provides the basis for our biblical fellowship. I remember when I first saw the idea in practice how helpful I thought it was. But this idea was not original with…

Read More

Ways My Church Cared for My Kids

By Church Life

I love linking to important articles for my blog readers. So today, I would like to link to one I wrote. Its up at the Gospel Coalition website. The subject is How Churches Can Care for their Pastor’s Kids. My main points were: 1. Give grace to the pastor’s children on Sunday. 2. If you have a concern, talk to your pastor about behavior that characterizes the children. But do so with an attitude of loving acceptance. 3. Be generous in your praise. 4. Limit church criticism and complaint to private conversations among adults. 5. Be brave and rebuke the…

Read More

Spurgeon on Idlers (Untried & Critical)

By Church Life, Discerning Culture

“Idlers may indulge in a fond conceit of their abilities, because they are untried; but the earnest worker soon learns his own weaknesses. If you seek humility, try hard work; if you would know your nothingness, attempt some great thing for Jesus.” In my words, stop being a movie critic and actually make a movie. Before you go criticizing the bride of Christ, try attempting some great thing for Jesus. Then come back and see me.

Read More