Sermon: The Gift of Children

Sermon Text: Mark 10:13-16 Sermon Excerpt In many churches the simplest way to identify which rooms are intended for children and which are reserved for adults is to observe the size of the furniture.  Since so many of you are parents and grandparents, I hope you know that children are not miniature adults. Some of the adults here have talked to me about our recent use of many different versions of the Lord’s Prayer.  The most common comment is that this variety has led you to really Read More …

Most Important Values to Teach Children

The Pew Research’s new American Trends Panel survey asked respondents to pick the three most important values to pass on to children (from a list of twelve).  Overall, respondents selected being responsible - 55% hard work - 42%, and religious faith - 30%. So What? When an additional filter is applied, the results look quite different.  When you compare the most conservative respondents with the most liberal two rather different sets of responses emerge: Consistently Read More …

Sermon: Persisting for the Children

Sermon Text Luke 18:1 -8 Sermon Excerpt In both the modern retelling and the original parable, you can't miss the huge power difference between the judge and the widow.  The widow has limited resources, limited mobility, and limited options.  The judge is supposed to play by the rules but has decided he is above them. The persistence of the marginalized widow is appealing.  It is an admirable quality that resonates with readers and viewers alike.  They want what she wants.  We want Read More …

Don’t Lie to Kids

Geoffrey Holsclaw, affiliate professor of theology at Northern Seminary, recently blogged about what he deems the biggest lie often told to children: sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.  Regarding this reality of the saying, Holsclaw writes: A broken bone will heal in a couple weeks, but a broken spirit can last a lifetime. Don’t we all know people wounded and scarred by words (ugly, failure, worthless, unwanted), living out of those lies as if they were Read More …

Memorable Moments in Worship

Some church services are more memorable than others.  While many faithful churchgoers have heard hundreds or even thousands of sermons, most can only recall a few in any detail.  The following video from Hickory Grove Baptist Church illustrates what I imagine was the most memorable moment for almost everyone present in that service. Catch The Kid from Hickory Grove Baptist Church on Vimeo.   So What? Pastor Clint Pressley likely prepared for many things, but apparently not Read More …

The Other Half

Protestant churches have done exceptionally well among those who are married and even better among those who are married and have children.  These groups, as a percentage of the total American population, have been shrinking for decades and likely will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The latest data from the Pew Research Center shows that only half of adults (51%) aged 18 and older were married in 2010.  Additionally, the median age for first marriage has risen steadily over the Read More …

The Influence of Technology

"The Family and Technology Report" is one of the Barna Group's latest publications.  The report is based on research conducted in partnership with Orange, which is part of the reThink Group. "The innovative study included nationwide interviews among parents and 11- to 17-year-olds from the same households, allowing comparisons between the parents and the tweens and teenagers who reside in the same home." Recently, Church Juice's Jerod Clark discussed the study's five findings and provided a Read More …