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!!

“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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“Freed to Fail” – August 27th, 2017 (Verona Presbyterian Church)

I hate getting answers wrong.  I was notorious for and obnoxious even about arguing with my teachers in school over test questions.  I hated getting wrong answers.  The truth is, no one likes to be wrong.  But does the fear of being wrong hold you back?  Does it hold you back from living the very life God has called you to?  I know for me it often does.  But what about grace?  What if grace, this radical concept that is at the very core of the Christian faith, actually frees us to fail sometimes?

“Think Different” – August 20th, 2017 (First UP of Tarentum)

Ever noticed that nothing in your personal life changes until you change how you think about it?  The biggest road blocks and hurdles can become minor inconveniences or even amazing opportunities when we change how we think about them.  Paul encourages people to “think different” and Jesus was constantly challenging his followers to “think different”.  So how do we learn to “think different”?  In this message, I share about how learning to “think different” has helped me love God and love others more

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