To The Scaregrounds

Western culture has become very compartmentalized. We divide our lives into work time, leisure time, family time, church time, and mission or outreach time. In many ways, we seek the ever elusive balance which so many books, blogs, and teachers prescribe. Those of us who have sought balance have found it like trying to catch fog. Right when you think to can latch on to balance, it slips through your fingers.

I have come under the conviction that we only have one present life to live. We should live our present life in light of our eternal life. The attempt to maintain the false divide between life, work, family, and play brings exhaustion and anxiety all for the sake of balance. The divide and discontinuity have filtered into the church. People want a form of evangelism they can stick in their schedule, switch off, and leave behind when they go home. Jesus calls us to a lifestyle of love.

The realm of our spiritual community is divorced from our daily routine. Now, before I go any further, what I am not advocating for is a life where you should go to a “church event” every day. Rather, as the body of Christ, we bring the church into the world.

For many years the growing myth in evangelicalism that there is a difference between one’s spiritual life and one’s personal life. Many wonder why Millenials and Generation Z are charting a new course. They want a faith which affects all of life and not just a segment of it. In particular, this is why social justice issues have been thrust to the forefront of evangelical discussion (rightly so). They are willing to leave a faith or seek a new course charted through a worldview which deals systematically and totally. I think one of the main reasons is the awakening to the futility of the divided life and the freedom of a single-minded one.

Living one life in light of eternity has very real implications for seeing more people come to faith in Christ. Evangelism must regain prominence in our vocabulary and posture.

One challenge the divided, or even balanced life leads to: We want to spend more time in evangelism, but because this can happen only at the expense of something else. The result: it never happens. Church, evangelism, and even discipleship are seen as something additional that needs to be tacked on to life.

15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5:15-16

We want to build relationships with unbelievers, but often our lives are so fragmented there is little crossover between worlds.

The non-Christians in our lives need to be introduced to the network of relationships that make up that believing community so they can see Christian community in action. The Christian relationships in our lives need to be introduced to the relationships with non-Christians we have so that they can begin to awaken to the idea of life as mission–where life is lived from the overflow of what God is doing in your life.

Here’s a series of simple questions to measure your engagement with others:

  • How many meals did you eat last week?
  • How many meals did you eat with a non-Christian?
  • How many meals did you eat with Christians?

34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ – Luke 7:34

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We need to be communities of love where honest friendship and kindness reign. We need to be seen as communities of love by those who do not subscribe to a Christian worldview. The lines need to be blurred so that regular people see how faith impacts all of life. People need to encounter the church as a network of relationships rather than a meeting you attend or a place you enter. Mission–the idea of partnering with God in what He is doing in the world–must involve not only contact between unbelievers and individual Christians but between unbelievers and the Christian community. I am convinced conversion will flow from communion with others in community.

Last Friday, I went with a few students and adults to the Clark County Scaregrounds. While it may not be profound or world-changing, it was one small step to allow faith lived out with Christian and non-Christian students.

CP Parents Taking Home the Word (10/4)

 The GATHERING

This week we continued our series called, “Lies We Believe.” This series is based out of a resource that has impacted my walk with God called The Gospel Primer by Caesar Kalinowski. Throughout this series we will be working from the perspective that every sin in our lives comes from disbelief in the character of God (Romans 14:23). When we cease to believe God is who He says He is we rebel in our depravity. We exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25).

When we cease to believe that God is good…we think we can find satisfaction in other things or people. Hence, why we try to fill that God sized hole with awards, food, alcohol, sex, approval, lack of stress. Ultimately, we try to seek comfortable stress free easy lives, which proves our satisfaction and happiness is rooted in stuff other than God. We make choices that make life easier, rather than involve God in the choice process. We become selfish and self-absorbed when we believe the lie that God is not good. However, when we realize that God is good…we don’t have to seek comfort, but pleasure that truly comes from Him

We challenged your students not seek postures of influence of comfort, rather surrender their life over to a God who loves us for exactly who He created us to be. He is good, so we can live lives of faith that reflect His goodness in our priorities and character. In order to do this, we must abide in Him to discover that He is the only one who sustains us and fulfills us. Because, once again, if we truly believe that God is good, that He is more important and we find true satisfaction in Him, then we can rest and repent of stressing out over people, circumstances or your future. We must walk by faith that God is good even in the midst of pain, suffering, and brokenness.

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” — C.S. Lewis

Parents, does your child fear stress or demands? Or, do they constantly want for life to be easier?  Do you sense that your child seek comfort in the midst of tough situations? Do they desire to quit when things get tough or stress gets high? I’d encourage you this week to lift God up as good.

The good news is that we can live a free life because a good God exists. We can let our redeemed and rescued lives reflect that God’s story is bigger than our own.

KEY TEXTS: John 6

CRITICAL QUESTIONS: What does it look like to believe God is good? Do the conversations about whats important reflect God’s goodness, or satisfaction in something else?

CP Parents Taking Home the Word (9/27)

 The GATHERING

This week we continued our series called, “Lies We Believe.” This series is based out of a resource that has impacted my walk with God called The Gospel Primer by Caesar Kalinowski. Throughout this series we will be working from the perspective that every sin in our lives comes from disbelief in the character of God (Romans 14:23). When we cease to believe God is who He says He is we rebel in our depravity. We exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25).

When we cease to believe that God is gracious…we think we have to prove ourselves (to ourself, to others, to God). Hence, why we check Instagram or Facebook to see how many likes we are up to. Ultimately, we try to impress God with our lives so that he will bless us or be happy with us. We think the same way with other people. We even seek positions or postures of power over others in potentially destructive ways. However, when we realize that God is gracious…we don’t have to strive, we can simply respond in gratitude.

We challenged your students not seek postures of influence or power over others, rather surrender their life over to a God who loves us for exactly who He created us to be. He extended us grace, while we were still living wrongly. We must live lives of gratitude and grace where we don’t pressure ourselves to earn respect or fear humiliation. Because, once again, if we truly believe that God is gracious, that He is more important and His grace-filled relationship to us carries the utmost importance in our life, then we can rest and repent of stressing out over people, circumstances or your future. We must walk by faith that God is the most gracious not what we can see with our own eyes.

Parents, does your child fear humiliation or a lack of respect? Or, do they constantly argue for control over situations?  Do you sense that your child seek approval from others to be accepted, or fears rejection from friends? Do they struggle with jealousy and envy? I’d encourage you this week to lift God up as gracious. As a parent you don’t have to prove yourself, stop trying to prove yourself and your value through the success of your students. Make a conscious effort to encourage your student to follow God in such a way that Jesus’ name is made famous, more than your family name & more than their name. If you struggle with validating your parenting through the success of your children, check out Trophy Child.

Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God in response to our sin by sending Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of our sin. We didn’t earn our salvation, God gracious extends it to us. Let’s let grace characterize our relationships, attitudes, and posture.

The good news is that we can live a free life because a gracious God exists. We can let our redeemed and rescued lives reflect that God’s story is bigger than our own.

KEY TEXTS: Matthew 6:25-34

CRITICAL QUESTIONS: What does it look like to believe God is gracious? Do the conversations about whats important reflect God’s glory or proving oneself?

CP Parents Taking Home the Word (9/20)

 The GATHERING

This week we continued our series called, “Lies We Believe.” This series is based out of a resource that has impacted my walk with God called The Gospel Primer by Caesar Kalinowski. Throughout this series we will be working from the perspective that every sin in our lives comes from disbelief in the character of God (Romans 14:23). When we cease to believe God is who He says He is we rebel in our depravity. We exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25).

When we cease to believe that God is glorious…we think we have to fear people. Thus, we have to keep up an image or put on a good face for people because we fear disapproval. We even seek affirmation from others in potentially destructive ways. However, when we realize that God is glorious…we don’t have to fear what others think.

We challenged your students not seek affirmation or affection from others, rather surrender their attention and their life over to a God who loves us for exactly who He created us to be. We must live courageous lives and fear only God. Because, once again, if we truly believe that God is glorious, that He is more important and His relationship to us carries the utmost importance in our life, then we can rest and repent of stressing out over people, circumstances or my future. We must walk by faith that God is the most glorious, not what we can see with our own eyes.

Parents, does your child fear your disapproval? Or, do they look for affirmation from you? Maybe your opinions and your standards have been held up as more desirable that God’s? DO you sense that your child seek approval from others to be accepted, or fears rejection from friends? I’d encourage you this week to life God up as glorious. Make a conscious effort to encourage your student to follow God in such a way that Jesus’ name is made famous, more than your family name & more than their name.

The word glory means “weighty,” as in “a person of importance, a weighty person.” Who do you seek to bring glory to?

The good news is that we can live a free life because a  glorious God exists. We can let our redeemed and rescued lives reflect that God’s story is bigger than our own.

KEY TEXTS: Matthew 6:22-24, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

CRITICAL QUESTIONS: What does it look like to believe God is glorious? Do the conversations about whats important reflect God’s glory or fear of man?

CP Parents Taking Home the Word (9/13)

 The GATHERING

This week we kicked off a new series called, “Lies We Believe.” This series is based out of a resource that has impacted my walk with God called “The Gospel Primer” by Caesar Kalinowski. Throughout this series we will be working from the perspective that every sin in our lives comes from disbelief in the character of God (Romans 14:23). When we cease to believe God is who He says He is we rebel in our depravity. We exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25).

When we cease to believe that God is great…we think we are in control of our own lives. Thus, we need to live out our plan for our life. However, when we realize that God is great (powerful, sovereign, mighty)…we don’t have to be in control of every situation or person.

We challenged your students not be anxious or worry about controlling their destiny, rather surrender their plans and their life over to a God who is in control of everything. We must be good stewards of what God has given to us in our lives. Because, once again, if we truly believe that God is great, that He is large and in charge of EVERYTHING in life, then we can rest and repent of stressing out over people, circumstances or my future. We must walk by faith that God is in control, not what we can see with our own eyes.

Parents, I know you want what’s best for your student, but are you forcing them to think through every detail of their life in advance? Are you letting the culture of the educational system in Lexington cause fear and anxiety in your student that they may not get the best schooling? The opposite of worry and anxiety is peace. Does peace characterize your student when it comes to their future? Here’s two stats:

  • 58% of Gen Z’s are either somewhat or very worried about the future.
  • 77% believe they will need to work harder compared to those in past generations to have a satisfying and fulfilling professional life.

The good news is that we can live as if a powerful God exists and let our redeemed and rescued lives reflect that God’s story is bigger than our own.

KEY TEXT: Matthew 6:19-21

CRITICAL QUESTIONS: What does it look like to believe God is in control? Do the conversations about the future reflect God’s sovereignty or our planned life?