This week at the Orange Conference has been a special one. We heard things about… same-sex attraction and middle school ministry…depression and the church… why the church kills so many marriages, and everything in between. I’ve seen it all and argued both sides of nearly every point in my church ministry career, so I can appreciate an environment with tension in the air.
This conference, this week, we embraced the tension. Just some of what we heard from Reggie Joiner on the opening night summed it up:
You can KNOW God, but God is a MYSTERY
You can become a Christian in a MOMENT, but it will take FOREVER to understand what that means
You can trust that the BIBLE is true, but everything true about LIFE isn’t in the Bible
TRUST leads to stronger faith, but DOUBT also leads to stronger faith.
You should enjoy the CHURCH and you should enjoy living in God’s created WORLD.
Your BELIEFS matter, but PEOPLE matter more.
God has an IDEAL for your life, but God also uses BROKEN people.
That God is GOOD and that you should DO good.
If you’d like to take some of The Orange Conference 2014 home with you, then keep an eye out on http://theorangeconference.com/ for information on how you could purchase recordings from breakouts and main sessions from this awesome week together.
My kids live in a mistake filled world, and if I’m not careful they could drown in enough mistakes that they can’t tell right from wrong over time. As their parent, it becomes my mission then to adjust the error in a biology teachers opinion about when life begins, correct the low expectations of what their friend says are good qualities in a girlfriend, and showing grace to a neighbor confused about what makes them valuable.
When the people in their schools and the kids in our neighborhood begin to interpret life in ways that are not God-centered, I then have to spot the mistake and correct them. This isn’t about standing on soapboxes and shouting the truth to a random passersby. This isn’t an advocacy for more Christian schools or more church services.
This is me suggesting that we could engage our world in a way that helps our kids begin to define the mistakes all around them, because eventually they’re going to have to do this on their own. The key lays in getting your kids to open up and tell you much of what’s happening in their own lives.
Here are some things we’ve done in our home to try and “Spot the Mistakes”
Find the times to talk. There are times where we can get our kids to share about school, and neighborhood things. There are also times that don’t work. Find what they are for your kids and then bounce down to this next tip…
Ask some questions. Real live questions like: “What were you talking about with them?” I’d suggest you don’t wait til you have teenagers before trying this method. It has to be a question that you sincerely care about the answer, and not an answer you’ll use to later punish them.
Don’t act shocked. Your kids will say some things that are crazy. I’m talking crazy on both sides of right and wrong. If you learn to stay calm and listen, I guarantee you that you will eventually have the opportunity to speak truth towards something less than crazy.
Know your stuff. Don’t just get good at finding the mistakes, get good as bringing wisdom when it’s needed. Becoming wise, begins with knowing Christ and the ways of the wise. Could I make a parenting suggestion? Read Proverbs. Read it every day. Read it with your kids. Make wisdom like a brother and sister
1 Timothy 1:5-11 // The whole point of what we re urging is simply loveâ€”love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven t the remotest idea of what they re holding forth with such imposing eloquence.
It s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It s obvious, isn t it, that the law code isn t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I ve been put in charge of by this great God.
Tim Keller on How to Read the Bible – “There is, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do, or basically about what he has done?”
Live a Visible, Exemplary, Everyday Life – “As I mentor and coach leaders in North American churches, I find a common theme among many pastors: They live and lead in such a way so as to disqualify themselves as an elder in their own church..”
How to Guard Sabbath for your Children – “Children don’t set the calendar in our homes—if they are overscheduled or sleep-deprived, the fault lies with us. How can we better discharge our duty of raising children to seek Sabbath? To value down-time to reconnect with God and family?” // This is so, so, so good to read as a parent. Make the time to at the very least read this first link!
5 Signs You Lack Integrity – “While there are many things that compromise our integrity, here are five signs that show your integrity is in question…”
The Right Questions to Ask About Yourself – “There’s no experience, no relationship, no childhood memory, no part-time job, no tragedy, and no talent that’s wasted on you. It all culminates into one beautiful compilation of purpose. I wrote down some of the defining moments of my life as an event producer. But here are some questions to ask about yourself.”