In Matthew 21, Jesus reminded the Jewish leaders that God had ordained praise from children and infants (Matthew 21:14–16), and by extension this includes youth as well. The children and youth in our churches have been ordained by God to worship him—and to eventually become leaders in the Church. Older generations must come to grips … More Old and New Treasures
Young people can tell whether an older person truly likes them or not. They know instinctively whether they are included as “part of the family” or rather someone who is an outsider or stranger. Some church leaders who fear change have felt threatened by youth whom they suspect want to “take their position” in leadership. … More Generational Walls
Life is too short to spend it only with people your own age. Intergenerational relationships can be some of the most rewarding in life, but crossing the generation gap takes courage. I deal with this divide every time I walk into the cafeteria of the university where I teach. In that moment, I have to … More Can I sit here?
Ignoring the people around us every day is easy to do. We walk by so many people whom we don’t even see, let alone acknowledge—they just seem like part of the scenery. Can you imagine having this embarrassing conversation with another human being, created in the image of God, when you get to heaven? You: … More Prior Value
Other-focused people are great listeners. Listeners can be selective, attentive, or empathic. When we listen selectively, we focus only partially on others, hearing only part of what they say—often only the parts we want to hear. When we listen attentively, we pay attention to the other person and probably will remember what he or she … More Listen and Learn
The key to loving others is believing that we are loved deeply by God. We aren’t capable of becoming other-focused people until we love ourselves first. Doing so is not selfishness or pride: It is simply believing the truth of God’s love for us. Other-focused people are humble, not proud. One of the foundational secrets … More Self-conscious
We are all incredibly self-focused, self-centered people. It is only through great intentional effort that we can become other-focused people. The key is becoming so overwhelmed by the truth of God’s love for us that we look for our basic validation only from Him. Accepting and believing in God’s great love for us will free … More Are you other-focused?
When my youngest daughter Sammy became a senior in High School, I asked her how I could pray for her during that entire year. When she asked me to pray that she would improve her relationship with God, I suddenly realized I needed to be more intentional in my spiritual leadership in her life. As … More Pray for your kids!
You never know when your last communication will be with anyone, including your children. Children can die from many causes, but it is always shocking when it happens. I remember the shock and heartache I felt for Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman and his family when I heard about their little five year old girl … More Last phone call!
At 7:35 p.m. on March 20, 1985, I became a father for the first time. As I stood beside my wife in the delivery room of a mission hospital in the DR Congo, four people were in the room: me, my wife Julie, the doctor, and the midwife—and then suddenly there were five. Sarah Ann … More A Miraculous Gift!