Ministry in the Family

Teach Your Children Christ

God designed the home for ministry. This is a fact that can be easily overlooked as families set about the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The kids need to get to this event, mom has this meeting, dad is running late from work. The struggles never seem to cease. Even when the family is collected all together, it can be a temptation for mom and dad to simply let them be. A quiet, or occupied household can often be a treasured treat. And yet, the Lord tells us that the home is for more than just running errands, making it to practice, doing chores, etc. The Lord created the home for intimate, gospel-centered ministry. Read these words about parenting…

...that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:2-7)

From this text, we need to see three things. [Read more…]

Common Misconceptions 

Parkwood’s purpose is to glorify God by laboring together for the growth of all believers while going with the gospel to all peoples. At the core of that purpose is discipleship, maturing disciples within the church or making disciples without. The Growth Group is the primary means of discipleship at Parkwood. Several common misconceptions about the church, though, may negatively affect one’s engagement in Growth Groups. These misconceptions may be felt by Christians and non-Christians and rest in ignorance, in the flesh, or in tradition. The follower of Christ is then behooved to correct wrong thinking and encourage others to join in disciple-making. To this end, consider several misconceptions that hinder discipleship.

1. The church is too big.

The church is not too big, and such a misconception often reveals two flaws. First, the complaint originates from a personal perspective rather than a gospel perspective. What is meant by such a statement is that the numerical size of the membership presents larger crowds than one personally prefers or than one is traditionally accustomed. This complaint is counter to the ministry and work of the gospel. If the size of crowd is legitimately problematic, then simply moving to a different local body would be a sufficient solution. Criticizing the church as too big, however, argues that it is too big for my preference, which is fundamentally a wrong perspective. Second, this complaint misses the purposes of Growth Groups. The Growth Group is the natural solution to the large church since they provide a small group inside the larger church. Regardless how large the local church grows, the Growth Group is always a place to engage, to know everyone, and to be accountable and show accountability. The Growth Group is the small congregation inside the larger one.  [Read more…]

Trump, Clinton, and the Christian Voter

The coming election dominates the headlines and the conversations of many.  I am asked daily about the election and my thoughts on the candidates.  Like you, I confess that I am often perplexed and confused.  I have prayed, read the Scripture closely, conversed with thoughtful believers, and read widely.  I would like to share with you several guiding principles, some of what I have been reading and a few conclusions that I have come to personally.


Guiding Principles

  1. As a follower of Christ, I must seek to think about these things biblically.  I must not simply turn on my favorite news program and draw conclusions and make my decisions solely off what I hear.  I must not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2).
  2. As a citizen of the United States, I must seek to understand the candidates, their platform, worldview, and stance on the issues facing our Nation.  Do not make decisions from one source or based on your impressions of a candidate.  Educate yourself.  Further, I remind you there is far more going on in this election cycle than the election of a President.
  3. As a follower of Christ, I must not separate my faith from my responsibilities as a citizen of this Nation.  I do not lay down one and take up the other.  I must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.  What is God’s?  Everything!  I must love and serve Him with all my being, mind, heart, life and vote.  Here lies the dilemma that many are facing and rightly so.  How can I love God and walk in faithfulness to Him and vote for one of the Presidential candidates that will be on the ballot in November?
  4. As a part of the Body of Christ, I must not attack my brothers and sisters personally in conversation or collectively on social media.  We should be marked with a sober humility and prayerful, thoughtful discussion as we move through these days together.  Whoever is elected President will come and go.  Life will go on good or bad until Jesus comes.  Then, He will set all things in order.  As followers of Christ, we will do all of this together.

[Read more…]

3 Goals for Vacation Bible School

Parkwood just completed her 2016 Vacation Bible School, and we had 3 goals for the week:

1. Show kids love.

Our first goal is very simple yet supremely fundamental. We want to show kids love. Of course we want them to have fun and enjoy themselves. But more than entertain and impress, we want to show love. Many children are no doubt brought to VBS by parents who love them and tell them so every day. Some children, though, are not loved well, and they live in a home that is far from demonstrating or communicating love. For all kids, but for this second group in particular, we want VBS at Parkwood to be a time and place that is unambiguously characterized by love. We want kids not only to know and experience love from adults who care about them, but we also want them to know and experience the love of God which transcends the time and space of VBS.  [Read more…]