Why we need to pray for GenNext (Part 2)

This is the final article in the series “Raising GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.

image

Yesterday, we looked at why prayer is so critical in the effort to raise GenNext. Remember, GenNext is not just children; GenNext also includes new converts and current Christians. Like Jesus, we long for the growth of those who will follow in our footsteps. The effort to train “replacements” begins today, for today is all we have. As with any endeavor for the Lord, we need to be praying throughout the process.

What specific requests should be included in our prayers?

Continue reading

Why we need to pray for GenNext (Part 1).

This article is part of the series “Raising GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.

image

What do you believe about prayer?

Do you think praying is a rote activity?

Is prayer an active or passive endeavor?

Does it have value?

Is it helpful?

Does it actually work?

Continue reading

Back to School Prayers

Clogged up parking lots. Fresh, clean backpacks. Crisp new clothes. Sharp pencils. Eager young faces… Yup, it’s back-to-school time!

No matter what form of education you choose for your child—homeschool, private school, or public school—we need to pray diligently through this season of life. The education process is indeed challenging.

I realize that many children are already in school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shift your focus toward school-time prayers!

 

Below are links to some PDFs with prayers for you, your child’s teachers and (of course) your children. Some of you have only one child in these situations,some of you have multiple children. Your child may have special needs. These printables are merely springboards to guide your thoughts. I have made three PDFs; one for homeschoolers, school-aged kids (for public or private school), and college students.

I welcome additional suggestions in the comments below!

For those of you teaching, may the Lord grant you a calm spirit, a heart of patience, and diligent hands. Thank you for your efforts to teach the children entrusted to your care!

For Homeschool, click here.

For School-Aged Kids (Attending Public or Private Schools) click here.

For College Students, click here.

I hope these are beneficial to you!

 

Edify: Building a Strong Generation

This article is part of the series “Raising GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.

image

Edify comes from the Greek “oikodomḗ” meaning ‘the act of building.’ We often use this word as a reference to spiritual encouragement. Edification is more than perfunctory praise; it is the endeavor to construct something strong.

To date, we have covered the first 4 E’s of Raising GenNext—Engage, Exemplify, Equip, and Entrust. This next E—Edify—is a critical part of the process. There is nothing worse for a person than to put out the effort to do something challenging, only to be ripped to shreds with the knives of criticism.

The millennial generation stands accused of being coddled with superficial praise. However, I believe that many of them (and other generations) can distinguish between genuine encouragement and false flattery. If we truly want to edify our children, new converts, and current Christians, our encouragement must be authentic and constructiveContinue reading

A Christian Blogger’s Prayer

image
Heavenly Father,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach out to believers and non-believers through this medium.

Grant me wisdom to respond properly to those with whom I interact both here and in other places that you may be glorified. Continue reading

Expanding the Core of Workers

 

This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.

photo-1458696765561-12142eaead13.jpegThe preacher looked wearily at the building as he shifted into park. When he had begun the work here, he’d had such high hopes of helping the tiny church grow into a massive group of believers. Over time they could establish elders and deacons and have the youth participate in community outreach.

He pressed his fingertips into his eyelids and slowly rubbed his temples. What is the point in going on? He had been doing all the visitation, hospitality, preaching, building repairs, teaching classes, evangelizing—and to what avail? Continue reading

Entrust: Involving Children in the Important within the church (part 2)

This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.

03bf30c8b8517328f0804d775f30ba86
image borrowed from greatschools.org

Somewhere in the past, someone concluded the primary reason children were leaving the church was somehow related to it’s boringness. There was a slow movement toward making entertainment more important than education and edification. And yet, in spite of the hyped up programs and entertainment schemes, kids are still exiting the church in droves.

One truth has become abundantly clear: Retainment by entertainment is ineffective.

If we want children and young adults to remain in the body of Christ, they need to be an integral part of it’s work. Continue reading

Entrust: Involving Children in the Important (part 1)

This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.

It is a valuable exercise to read books such as Little House in the Big Woods and In Grandma’s Attic. These stories reveal how children used to be entrusted with so much more than cleaning up their rooms. They had cows to milk, dishes to wash, horses to tether, fires to tend, wood chips to gather and so much more. I highly recommend reading these books with your kids!

Children for the past thirty-plus years have merely been expected to go to school, be involved in activities, and maybe do a chore here and there for mom. I have to restrain myself from eye-rolling when I hear people say, “Why are millennials so lazy? Why do people feel so entitled? Why is our country falling apart?”

It’s elementary, my dear Watson: When we fail to entrust our children with the important while they are young, they won’t see the value of work when they are older. Continue reading

Sharpening Christians

(This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.)

photo-1441034281545-78296c3a6934

What happens when you use a knife repetitively? Over time, the blade starts squishing tomatoes instead of slicing them.

Pencils need sharpening. Pens need refills, drills need charging. Tools have to be maintained in order to be effective.

In a similar way, we are instruments of God. Are we sharpened, filled, and charged for action? Or, are we gunked up, run down and dull? Continue reading

When life is overwhelming…

despair

Do you feel it?

Anger.

Apathy.

Angst.

The trio of trouble.

Anger abounds, fueled by perceived injustice, the prosperity of the ‘other,’ and the erosion of our foundations.

Apathy ambles about, numbing us to the downward slide, willing us to be indifferent to covetousness, deceit, and injustice.

Angst lives in the very air; we unwittingly inhale it’s noxious fumes and it’s effect spreads cancerously into every pore of our being.

Election years are always tumultuous here in the states, but the last four presidential elections have been particularly pernicious. One side foretells utter doom if the other side wins. One side threatens to abandon the country if so-and-so is elected (aaaand they never do). This house is divided, and if we don’t start getting our act together, it’s going to fall. Fear pervades every citizen.

Anger, Apathy, Angst—all are present for the show.

Do you feel these things?

Are we as Christians supposed sequester ourselves in a “joyful” bubble—unaffected and unaware?

I submit to you that even though the joy of the Lord sustains us, even though we know the world is not our home, we are keenly aware of the gathering gloom. It hangs heavily upon us and we are not immune to it’s influence. Temporal though it may be, we are living in this world and cannot isolate ourselves from the tumult around us.

What are we to do when the very fabric of our lives threatens to unravel?

Many who sit in the ivory towers of education negate the value of the Bible as an outdated tome of mythology. Professing to be wise, they have become great fools. The contemptuous treatment of ancient truths threatens to be our downfall.

To us who believe in the Lord, His words are the breath of life. A keen student of the word can observe patterns of human behavior, the consequences of pride, and the faithfulness of God. We find security in the wisdom an consistency of God. The words of the Bible may be ancient, but it’s truths are timeless.

No matter how we feel, nor how desperate the situation, the Lord will always be in command. While the world around us wears itself out with worry, we can rest in God.

Get down, look up, and zero in.

Get down.

Get down on your knees and pray. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

~ Philippians 4.6-7, ESV

Get down into the word of God so that you will know His promises.

  • He promises to be with us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13.5-6)
  • He promises to give us peace. (see above)

  • He promises to save us. (Mark 16.16)

  • He promises to return. (2 Peter 3)

 

Get some rest.

Find a quiet spot and let your mind have some peace. Don’t overbook yourself and live life in a frenzy. Make some time for quiet.

Look up.

I am as guilty of this as most people. I look at my screen way too much. I need to look up more and see the world and the people around me. The emails and messages on my phone are important, and require my attention, but I also need to address the emotional needs of my neighbors, my friends, my spouse and my children.

The concerns of the world are like those emails, phone calls, and text messages. They have to be addressed, but they should not consume us. We need to look up and into the eyes of the God who loves us. Only he can give us the peace we so desperately crave.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

~ Colossians 3.1-2, ESV

Zero in.

A rifle has to be zeroed-in before a hunt so the hunter can be sure of his aim when he shoots. In the same way, we need to spend time getting our mind zeroed in on God. Find a quiet place, shut off the distractions, and make a mental tally of what you are thankful for.  Commit the promises of God to your heart so that when all else crumbles you will still be standing on the foundation of God’s promises which cannot be shaken.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

~ Philippians 4.8-9, ESV

 Are Anger, Apathy, and Angst hanging out with you today?

Get down, look up and zero in.