A few months ago, I sat down with my colleagues Kevin Smith and Kevin Jones to discuss the dynamics of discipleship and family ministry in African-American communities. Rev. Smith is the executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware. Dr. Jones is a scholar of the history of education and coauthor of the forthcoming book Removing the Stain of Racism. The resulting conversation with these men was fascinating, instructive, and challenging. If multiethnic ministry and racial reconciliation matter to you, these videos will help you to understand the unique opportunities and challenges that have resulted from the broken and beautiful story of enslavement and oppression, tenacity and triumph, that is woven through African-American history.Continue reading.
Do you want to cultivate your older children’s curiosity and shape their souls at the same time? Here’s a new book that will help you to fulfill both of those goals. As I flipped through page after colorful page in The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith, one thought kept recurring in my mind: When I was around ten, this would have been one of my favorite books.
The Radical Book for Kids is not exactly a devotional or a discipleship guide. Many chapters focus on possibilities and curiosities in the created order while others look at events in Scripture or church history. And yet, the text clearly intended to shape a child’s soul by combining an appreciation for history, for creation, for the Word of God, and for the works of God.Continue reading.
Childhood identity theft.
It’s a real thing.
Thieves steal children’s Social Security numbers and then appropriate their financial identities for personal profit. “Children represent an emerging market for identity thieves who steal their Social Security numbers because they offer clean slates that can be used to commit fraud for years without detection,” one CPA has observed. “Many victims don’t learn about the crime until they are young adults and find their credit in tatters as they are rejected for student loans, jobs, and places to live.” (For guidance if your family is facing this sort of childhood identity theft, here’s a helpful and free educational kit: Child Identity Theft Education Kit.)
But childhood identity theft is also a real phenomenon in another, far more central aspect of life.Continue reading.
Pastors’ children see the best and the worst of the church.
My father served as a pastor throughout much of my childhood, and my oldest daughter spent her first several years in our household as a pastor’s child. Although I no longer serve as a paid pastoral staff member, I teach and preach frequently in my church and in dozens of others; so, all of my daughters know very well the challenges of being seen as the children of the person who proclaims the Word. Having seen the life of a pastor’s children from both sides, I can assure you that churches possess the power either to encourage the pastor’s children or to embitter them.
So what can a congregation do to encourage the pastor’s children?Continue reading.
This week, 480 years ago, William Tyndale was strangled to death and then burned. One of his offenses was the translation of the Bible into English from Hebrew and Greek—a capital crime at that time.
Not even death, however, could stop the impact of Tyndale’s translations. The words that Tyndale left behind would reshape not only the work of English-speaking theologians and pastors but also the English language itself. This story of how we got the Bible and how these words have shaped the world is a story that every believer in Jesus Christ should know—including our children.