Friday, August 16, 2013

Fix The Fathers

I have been blessed to spend time with many children. We have a large family, but I have also worked with kids in a variety of settings such as Sunday School and youth groups. I consider each opportunity to teach or just provide supervision a real honor. We have definitely met some wonderful young people. Some come from good Christian homes. Many are the only light in their family. My heart breaks for these kids. What has happened to families over the last couple of generations? Why are there so many single moms or grandparents raising these kids?

I attended a conference  last year for homeschool families in Pittsburgh and set in some excellent sessions for fathers and husbands. The speaker made an argument that church youth groups have largely been unsuccessful. While I didn't fully agree with all that was said, one statement has been glued to my brain ever since that day. When talking about how to reach our young people he simply said, "We have to fix the fathers". There is no deep meaning to search for in this statement. It is just pure truth. The Christian life is difficult enough in the most Christ-like homes. When Mom is doing her job plus the fathers it is even more challenging. You just can't improve on God's design for the family. The man is to lead and nurture. I certainly feel God is capable of performing any miracle with  any young person. I just find it to be a shame so many men put a low priority on what God has trusted them with.

As with most sin I think it all boils down to pride. Pride is a family destroyer. When hobbies and career come first we are just asking to fail. We dads need to wake up. Our time is fading and many families are failing. I have always heard everything rises and falls on leadership. I think youth groups and bus ministries are awesome and needed, but this only scratches the surface. As uncomfortable as it may seem, there is a great need to reach the dads. I think we need to fix the fathers.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Church Family

I am not completely sure where to begin on this subject. I could go on and on about the impact  of my church family in my life. I could write about the investments made in my children by so many. There has been men who influenced me with teaching, preaching, and in their actions of how they care for others. My wife and I learned about serving and what is God's design for a Christian marriage and family.

We recently moved to a new town. This has meant saying goodbye to some and the excitement of getting to know others. It was certainly difficult to leave people we love dearly. I was certain we would suffer from some type of "church depression". We felt nothing could fill the void of the place we grew to love so much. However, as usual, God knew what we needed and took care of us. We had this plan where we would visit a church for a few services and then visit somewhere else. Repeat the process until something stuck. The funny thing is, the first place we went was clearly where God intended us to be. Everyone loved us as if we had been there for years. Many have made a point to learn our kids names. God's infinite wisdom is so amazing. While we miss our former church family very much, we suffered no "church depression". We will gain a new family when we become members tomorrow.

Through these events God has emphasized something we already knew. His people are meant to be together. It is important we are in His house when the doors are open. Fellowship is by design and very vital for Christians. The Bible says "iron sharpeneth iron". I pray our family can be a blessing and encouragement in our new church. We are full of excitement and looking forward to the future.