Here’s a statement that will probably make most pastors and church members pause: Children’s ministry may be the most important ministry of your church. D.L. Moody once said, “If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8)
Certain life experiences often deepen the richness of certain Scriptural passages.
I’m a first-time father. I’m absolutely loving it! One of the things I love the most is watching my wife care for my beautiful daughter. And if there are two qualities that encapsulate my wife’s relationship to our new baby girl, it would deep affection and personal sacrifice. Taking care of an infant is literally a one-way street. The mother gives and gives and gives with zero reciprocity from the baby (other than the frequent “deposits” she so generously presents us). The baby can literally do nothing for the mom, and yet the mom gives her time, her energy, and her body to nurture and care for her child.
When you hear “repentance,” what do you think of? Often we mean little more than reading off our list of bad actions so that God will forgive us. Perhaps we go a little bit deeper and acknowledge our wrong thoughts as well. Both of those are good, but they’re not enough. Do your prayers go down to the level of your heart, not just your head and hands?
Do you share with God your hopes, dreams, disappointments, and feelings? Do you ever admit to God that you’re depressed because you didn’t get what you want? Or that you are frustrated because someone failed to recognize you publicly? Have you ever told God that you didn’t feel like going to church Sunday evening, or that you’re scared to share the gospel with your co worker?
You’ve read the articles and gone to the seminars about it. You’ve seen the info graphics and watched the videos about it. You may have even sought out the advice of the self-described “professional” on how in the world to reach this demographic known as The Millennials. Yet there still doesn’t seem to be much conclusive help as to how to reach this group.
The problem is that we’re not treating millennials as individuals. Instead, there’s a common misconception that millennials are all the same and you can reach them all in the same way. I’m a millennial, and I’m much different than other millennials that I work with and interact with on a daily basis. We’re not all the same!
If you come to my office today you will find an entire shelf of books that are all written by on man – C.H. Spurgeon. I love the preaching and ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Some of my favorite books to peruse through when I have the time is a 10-volume set consisting entirely of Spurgeon’s sermons. Spurgeon was a great writer of sermons and was masterful in his prose and insights. He possessed tremendous imaginational capacities and could craft a sermon that would hold an audience’s attention even to this day.
Much of what I do as I prepare to preach I borrow from Spurgeon’s book entitled Lectures to My Students where he instructs young ministers. But there is one thing that Spurgeon did that I will never be able to do. You see Spurgeon was not a pure expositor, he frequently chose to preach topically. I follow Spurgeon’s example in many ways but I don’t tend to preach topically. Instead, I choose to preach verse by verse.
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