The Summer of no Television

6 09 2012

We purchased our first home just before Memorial Day weekend.  My wife and I decided that for the benefit of our budget and walk with Jesus that we would not purchase a satellite subscription.  Since Labor Day weekend just passed I’d thought I’d write a few things about our “Summer of no T.V.” and our plans for the future.  Here are some things we’ve learned so far this summer:

1. We don’t really miss our “shows”– I never really had a set number of shows that I liked to watch except The Office and Law and Order.  My wife had a few other shows and I’d surf back and forth between the History Channel, ESPN, and Discovery.  Come to find out, we can live with out those!  It’s been great.

2. We spend more time as a family– Let’s face it. When we were watching T.V. every night we weren’t really spending time together.  We were just sitting there glued to a little box without much real conversation.  Now we play together more, sing together more, communicate in the evenings more… It’s amazing to see the freedom from something we didn’t realize was consuming precious moments.

3. We have more time for more important things– Besides just spending time together as a family, we have more time to read good books, plan things together for our family (goals, how to pay off debt, the future, etc.), talk about God’s work in our local church FBC Oppelo (what He’s doing, new ideas, goals, etc.),

4. We still watch t.v. sometimes– while we don’t have local channels or satellite we are subscribers to Netflix.  We get about 1 movie every 1-2 weeks.  We still enjoy the entertainment but now it’s just drastically limited.

5. Television is just a “fruit” issue–  In other words, if we could get every Christian to quit watching TV, we still haven’t addressed some root issues.  These root issues include laziness, lack of appreciation for the gift and responsibility of family, “practical” denial of the sufficiency of Scripture (in that many don’t read it and study it together), prayerlessness- and perhaps these are not the real root either, since these all stem from a lack of trust and love for Christ.  Truth is, we can all find other wasteful things to replace TV.  Christians did it for centuries!

6. We are still growing– I can’t honestly say we’ll never have television in our house again.  I hope we don’t.  We still need to work on limiting the time our children spend watching their movies.  We still need to work on not just sitting around together staring at our iPhones.  There is still much sanctification that needs to happen in the Nelson household!  Turning off the T.V. has freed us in some ways, and revealed areas where more growth is needed in other ways!

Concluding thoughts:

I don’t think every Christian has to give up their satellite subscription.  If they did, how would I watch College Football!? But I do think Christians need to be more disciplined in their use of t.v.  For us, it was most helpful to just unsubscribe.  Others may be able to be more disciplined while also having satellite and I think that’s fine.  I do think we will be held accountable as Americans for all the time that God has richly blessed us with.  Be careful not to waste time God has given you by sitting around a talking box (or glued to an iPhone Cuatro!).

Soli Deo Gloria.


Where are the men?

1 09 2010

The middle school in the town that our church is in recently started a Christian club called “Impact”.  The club meets every Tuesday during the 2nd half of lunch.  I am excited about this idea and glad to see some Jr. High kids taking the initiative on beginning this club!

After going to the meeting however, I am somewhat concerned…

There were 27 students at the meeting! I personally felt that was a great number. The problem? 20 of those students were girls and only 7 were boys.  That’s roughly a 3:1 ratio.  I know that it was only one meeting and that to cite those numbers as statistical fact would be unwise, but still it got me thinking… Why such a low number of boys?

I believe it’s because we are losing our MEN in the church! The same day I went to “Impact” I also went to another “meeting”.  This meeting was for the DeWitt Touchdown Club and it was held at the High School practice field.  There were about 20 or so men from our community that showed up to encourage the Jr. and Sr. high football teams.

I personally do like football and am a member of the touchdown club.  I think athletics can teach young men a lot.  HOWEVER, why is it so easy to get men to encourage boys to play a game, but not encourage them to serve the living God?  It’s because slowly, but surely we’ve allowed distored teachings of biblical manhood to enter our churches.

 Where are the men who God has called to love their wives and disciple their children?

It is hard for some of us in ministry to teach biblical manhood because we’ve never been taught it ourselves! Are you practicing and teaching biblical manhood? Search the Scriptures! They are not silent!

I conclude with another link from the Connecting Church and Home conference (8/20-8/21/2010)… This is general session 2, Dr. Randy Stinson speaking about Biblical Manhood (definitely worth your time!): CLICK HERE

No time to disciple our kids?

26 08 2010

I’ve been reading a lot about family-equipping ministry lately and I would like to quote a paragraph written by David Prince in a book coming out soon entitled: Trained in the Fear of God edited by Randy Stinson and Timothy Paul Jones.

In this chapter Prince says this about families that don’t have time for “family worship and daily conversations about God”…

“What if you think you are too busy for such things? Then perhaps you should ask yourself: do you eat? do you provide meals for your family? If so, you have just admitted that physical food is more important to you than spiritual food.  Do you watch television? If so, then you have declared entertainment a higher priority than worship.  Do you partake in extracurricular activities? If so, you are saying that recreation is more important than your  children’s spiritual well-being.  Do you sleep? If so, you are telling your children that comfort has a higher priority than godliness.  These are dangerous messages to communicate to children.”

I really don’t have anything worthy to add to that.  Wow.  May we as parents reexamine our priorities and really think about the message we are sending our kids by what we say and do…

Connecting Church and Home

23 08 2010

I plan on writing a more descriptive summary within the next week or so, but for now I just wanted to jot a few thoughts I had about the Connecting Church and Home conference held at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on August, 20-21 2010.

“There’s something of a tragedy in having to have a conference about connecting church and home…”  – Al Mohler

To me, this quote really helped to sum up the conference.  American evangelicalism has lost something in its current paradigms of youth and children’s ministry.  In the process of trying to gain more kids for the cause of Christ we have actually out thought ourselves!  We are in a desperate situation as it seems we are losing younger generations.

As a side note, I want to say, that even if we weren’t losing younger generations, we still must evaluate our current ministry models to make sure that they align with Scripture.

To have a conference about the need for connecting church and home is telling about where we are as churches.  We’ve spent so much time in children’s and youth ministries focusing on “what can attract students” that we have forgotten about “what can build lasting faith.”  And I know there are some solid children and youth ministers out there that are thinking “wait, I am trying to build lasting faith” or “I am discipling my students” etc.  Sorry, that just doesn’t cut it. 1 hr, 2 hrs, 8 hrs, a week is not enough for any youth pastor to make a difference in enough students’ lives to really make a difference!

Where are we missing it? HOME!  God’s design for discipleship of children (and teens) begins in the home.  (cf. Deut. 6, Eph. 6).  We’ve worked ourselves to death trying to come up with new methods and models for doing things when it’s already outlined in God’s Word!

I will write more about this later, but until that time, here are a couple of links that you can go to read notes from the Connecting Church and Home conference or watch video of the plenary sessions…

Video of the 4 Sessions
(the quote from above is in Dr. Mohler’s session at about 40 seconds)

Notes from the Conference