May 26, 2014

Why Inviting People to Church Won't Work...

Gone are the days when simply “inviting people to church” was enough to get the salvation ball rolling, so to speak. Today's average Joe (or Jane) doesn't care much for getting up early on a day off work, dressing up (to some measure), and taking his/her family to a church service. And with the bad rap that health/wealth preacher-thieves, priestly pedophiles, and the terminally unfaithful have given the church…most viewers of the nightly news think that houses of worship are disdainful. Heck - due to technological advances, even many so-called Christians prefer "streaming" services online to an in-the-flesh gathering of believers these days. So, how can we expect to non-believers to get all hopped-up about attending church?

May 22, 2014

We Are God's…Sons?

If we are in Christ, we are daughters of the King. How awesome does that sound?

In Isaiah 43:6-7, God called out, “Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.”

In 2 Corinthians 6:18, God said, “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.”

May 20, 2014

ALL YOU YOUNG, WILD GIRLS: The Sexploitability of the "Scene Girl" Subculture

Girls' ministry involves long talks with young women about their hopes and dreams, their walks with God, their frustrations with parents, their questions about relationships...and the way they choose to present themselves to the world.

I was talking with a young woman the other day who gravitates toward the "scene" look. [For those of you who are unfamiliar, the scene subculture applies to both guys and girls who identify largely through fashion and music. Having been labeled everything from emo to grunge to punk, scene kids generally have the same "look": an ultra-slim frame, outrageously-colored hair, dark makeup, facial piercings, tattoos, etc.] If you are involved in youth ministry of any sort, I'm sure you have seen your fair share of scene kids (ba-dum-tsss!).

May 12, 2014

#BringBackOurGirls: A Call to Prayer

"How is it possible that 276 girls could be taken from their beds in the dead of night in a place that is supposed to"

This quote from a CNN World report attempts to make sense of the horrific, April 14th abduction of nearly 300 teenage women in Nigeria. Over the past few weeks, awareness of the atrocity has traveled worldwide - largely by means of the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. For the few of you who may be currently positioned under a rock somewhere, militant Boko Haram terrorist group (whose name means "Western Education is Sin") kidnapped these girls in order to enact their extremist view of the Islamic faith upon them. Since it is reported that the girls' school was "Christian," their captors - of course - are trying to convert them to Islam. And, claiming that these girls should not be pursuing education or careers, the terrorists also declare the girls will be sold as brides or sex slaves to make their point heard 'round the world.