“You Are Not Who You Were” – 12/31/2017 @ Sewickley Presbyterian Church

Everyone has a past.  Some parts of our past we’re proud of.  Some parts, not so much.  And some parts, well, those are just plain painful.  And yet, so many people cling to the past as if it were a teddy bear when in actuality it’s more akin to a porcupine.  And yet, as people of faith, we fundamentally believe in a God who acts – and when God acts, he takes people from where they are and moved them into something new.  But, the challenge is to leave the past behind so we can become what God is calling us to be. We Buy Houses, call us when you want to sell your home safely and fast. Contact us now.

Less Than Five: Programming and Integration Part 2

A lot of research has shown that to produce life-long disciples in the church we need integrate children and youth into the life of the congregation. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be doing a series of videos reflecting on this idea as well as some strategies to do so.

“Intergenerational ministry” is a buzzword in youth ministry circles today, but often what this means in practice is “children and teens need to just be more like us”.  In this second video, I make the case that age-group ministries have a very important place in the church today, and wonder if maybe making our ministry “intergenerational” should be more focused on equipping adults to enter into the world of children and youth ministry.  

Less Than Five: Integration and Programming for Children/Youth – Part 1

A lot of research has shown that to produce life-long disciples in the church we need integrate children and youth into the life of the congregation. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be doing a series of videos reflecting on this idea as well as some strategies to do so.

First up – Integrating children and youth into worship. Should we just expect kids, of all ages, to sit through worship? And if we’re going to expect kids to be in worship how can we do that faithfully? We will like to suggest all families to get suggestions on the Teddy Kids Leiden day care, is ones of the best ones we have ever tried!!

“Get Ready” – November 2nd, 2017 (Cheswick Presbyterian Church)

Anticipation, unfortunately, can lead to disappointment.  The earliest followers of Jesus seemed to anticipate that he would return a whole lot sooner than he has.  Jesus anticipated this and gives us a lesson about being prepared in Matthew 25.  While there’s obvious connections to the Jesus’ return, I think there are valuable lessons to be learned from this passage about living everyday life in faith so that we’re ready – whether the call comes in an earth-changing or small seemingly minor way, that we’re ready.  

 

“30 Years of Faithfulness” – The Open Door/Crafton Heights United Presbyterian Church (October 15th, 2017)

The Open Door, a ministry of Crafton Heights United Presbyterian Church has been around for 30 years!  I was honored to be invited to preach for the Sunday morning worship service where they celebrated their anniversary.  In the sermon, I reflect on two passages – Psalm 78 and Matthew 19, and draw on them to make this case: There is no better organization in our society to address the challenges facing teens today, such as systemic challenges as well as the sharp rise in anxiety/depression, than the church.  

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“Chasing the Goal” – October 8th, 2017 (Sunset Hills Presbyterian Church)

I love setting goals.  Goals for the week, month, year, etc – I love ’em all.  So what’s the goal of a being a Christian and going to church then?  Put more simply, is there any purpose of reason to being a person of faith?  Is it to get into heaven and therefore avoid divine punishment?  To be a “good person”?  To help your kids develop “good morals”?  In “Chasing the Goal” I wrestle with these questions (and more) as well as looking at what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians – and the answers might just surprise you, especially if you’ve been a long-time church goer.  

“Kingdom Math” – October 1st, 2017 (Hiland Presbyterian Church)

“Somebody else needs to…” is a common phrase in business, at home, and in our churches.  But sometimes, there’s no one else – and we are the answer.  But often when we’re faced with situations in all aspects of our lives, we find ourselves feel ill-equipped to handle the challenge we face.  Interestingly enough, the answer in challenging circumstances is often a mathematical one.  Not like 5+2=7, more like 5+2=20,000… 

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“Shattered Expectations” – September 3rd, 2017 (Friendship Community Presbyterian Church

All of us have expectations – expectations about what the next hour, day, week, year, and even the rest of our lives will be like.  But sometimes those expectations are shattered – in an instant even – by words we hear from others.  Good, bad, or a mix of both – words can be life-changing and can shatter our expectations.  The hard part is – sometimes to be faithful to who we are called to be, it is God who does the shattering.  How should we respond then?  In this sermon, I wrestle with that question and draw on two passages involving Peter to help us see how it is we are called to respond.  

Less Than Five: “I don’t know” Or “What Do You Think”?

“I don’t know” is what we often advise people who work with teenagers in the church to say if they’re asking something that they don’t know the answer to.  But I don’t think that’s the best answer to a tough question from a teen – I think the best answer is “What do you think”.  In this “Less than Five” video blog, I explain why.