Mother’s Day Sermon 2010

6 05 2010

At the end of the day, motherhood matters because we are charged with the awesome task to train the next generation and, together with their fathers, arm them to be warriors for Christ.” – Mary K. Mohler

Still doing some studying for the message Sunday morning, but as I read and reflect I thought I’d give you the basic outline of the sermon…

First off, my “Series” for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is “Faith Legacy.” As I’ve blogged about before I’m trying to emphasize the importance of parents cultivating their children’s relationship with Christ.  My title, Motherhood Matters, is not really creative or original but it grasps my proposition that motherhood is a high calling.

My text is only one verse: 2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”

Here’s why we honor our mothers, not only on Mother’s Day, but also year round:

I. Mothers have Purpose- A mother’s primary purpose of course is to have a child! That may be by birth or adoption. Notice, I did not say a woman’s primary purpose is to have a child.  There are some godly women that God has not called to motherhood.  Although, I still believe all women are born with a certain “mothering” instinct even if some are not called to be mothers.  Anyway, a mother’s ultimate purpose is to pass on her faith legacy. I know that some would say “Well, yes, faith legacy is important, after I clothe my kids and feed them, and take them to school, and clean the house, etc.” But what I’m saying is if a mom is fulfilling her ultimate purpose of handing down her faith legacy then all these other things will fall into place (see Matt. 6:33).  In Timothy’s life we see a faith that was passed down from his grandmother, to his mother, and then to him.  Why are there so many pages of “generations” at various points in the Bible? Why did God tell Israel to do things like leave a pile of stones in certain places, write down records of events, etc.? Because handing down the faith from one generation to the next is God’s idea!

Not only do we honor mother’s because they have purpose, but also because,

II. Mother’s have Power-  Do you know what Moses, David, Jesus, Paul, Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, and Cuatro have in common? We all have a mom!  Let’s look at grandmother Lois in our text.  How does she have power? Let’s look at Timothy- He was the pastor of one of the greatest churches we see in the New Testament: Ephesus.  Lois’s influence on her daughter and grandson played a part in God’s redemptive plan! Since she was faithful in sharing the Scriptures (O.T.) with her daughter and grandson, Timothy was molded by God to do great things (see 2 Tim. 2:14-15).

I want to ask all moms: How will you use your power? Do you know what Stalin, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Darth Vader all have in common? They all had a mom!  Now, I’m not saying that bad people have bad moms and good people have good moms, but what I am saying is that mothers have tremendous power in shaping the minds and hearts of their children.  You see, if as a mother your ultimate purpose is to pass on your faith legacy, then God has given you the power to do so! How? Look at Deuteronomy 6:5-7!  Mom- Use your power and influence to teach your children about God and His ways. 

It’s great to bring your children to church, but if that’s all you do for them spiritually it’s not enough.  Pray with your children (more than just meal times), read the bible together, talk about the things of God.  And here you might say “Cuatro, you don’t understand, I don’t have a husband, or my husband is not a believer, or my husband is not as committed to Christ as I am.”  I do know those situations can be tough and are not God’s ultimate design for the family.  But look at Acts 16:1…Eunice (Timothy’s mom) was a Jew and her husband was a Greek! The point is, don’t excuse yourself from your calling as a mother, even if your husband is not cooperating.  Motherhood is a special, beautiful, and high calling! Never let anyone tell you that you aren’t making an impact in this world… You have more power than you even know!

A last note on a mom’s power is Titus 2:3-5.  Mom’s that no longer have children living at home still have a huge role to play in the church!  What kind of faith legacy are you older moms/women leaving for these younger moms/women?  Who will walk alongside this younger generation of moms and show them what it means to be a godly wife and mother?  Let’s face it, there are just some things that only women can teach other women (men have no clue)!

Finally, not only do women have purpose and power, but,

III. Mother’s are people too- Another thing I know for sure about Lois and Eunice is that they were human beings.  And the thing I know about human beings is that we mess up (Rom. 3:23).  In fact, take a look at another biblical mother found in Matthew 1:5.

Do you remember Rahab? She was a prostitute in the city of Jericho!  But God used her to be in the lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ.  The only type of people God uses are those who are broken!  So, even if you are not the perfect mother, stop trusting yourself and turn to Christ.

The point is not to read this and go away with added weight on your life and feel like a failure. The point is to feel the calling and conviction of God to be a biblical mother, and turn to Christ as your foundation for being a godly mom. If God can use a prostitute to be a mother in the lineage of Himself, then He can use you to make difference in your home, church, and world.

I hope those who aren’t moms that read this understand a little better about why we honor them.

Dads, tune in for Father’s Day…





Family Worship

27 04 2010

A point that we are working on driving home with parents in our youth ministry is the necessity of establishing biblical discipleship in the home.  One thing essential to discipleship in the home is family worship! Now, family worship is not the only thing necessary for well-rounded discipleship in the home but it is vital for cultivating the work of Christ in the hearts of your children.

When children are taught to worship in the home, they can be taught to worship in the church.  When children are discipled in the home they can learn so much more from the preaching and teaching that goes on in the local church.  The importance of the local church cannot be overemphasized! Family worship should never take the place of corporate worship. Nonetheless, 3 hours a week at church must not be all the biblical teaching your students are receiving…

I’ve already wrote one blog about this subject (How we do family worship) but I wanted to share some more insight on this subject… Below is some information you can use to begin family worship in your home:

Three Main Steps to Starting Family Worship 

(found at http://thegospelcoalition.org/)





Parenting and Pornography

27 04 2010

Unfortunately pornography is an issue that many people face at all ages of life.  Although men are more prone to look at pornography, recent studies have shown that women fall prey as well.  Pornography is dangerous for several reasons.  Not only is it a sin against God, but it warps students’ views of manhood/womanhood and can form unreasonable expectations for future spouses. 

Below is a great post on helping students with this issue… Parents, please remember this is not a minor issue, and something that should just be written off as a normal part of being a teenager.  Pornography can be a dangerous trap for a lot of people. I hope you find the article below useful…

http://whyonline.org/parenting-and-pornography/





Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry… Ideas for Fall 2010

6 04 2010

I just want to blog about some ideas about how we plan to involve parents more in our youth ministry this Fall. I’ve got a couple other blogs about the importance of parents in youth ministry categorized under ‘youth ministry’ if you’d like to read those…

I know these ideas aren’t new but they are new to our ministry. Maybe they’ll give you some ideas. I’d love some feedback on what others may be doing to help involve parents.

Ok, here we go…

1. Family Night: This is actually something we did last year. We plan to do this 8/25 to kick off our new semester. This is primarily geared for youth and parents but we like to invite the whole family so they can all be together. We do it on a Wednesday night and basically just eat, share stories, play games, and then I’ll share a devotion and a calendar of the events we’ve got coming up. This helps me communicate my vision to parents and helps new families in the youth ministry get to know one another.

2.SuperTraining: This is something new this Fall. Early in the semester we are going to meet for about 4 weeks on Wednesday night an hour before service. I’m going to teach students how to ‘write’ their salvation testimony. I’m inviting parents to just be there with us during this time. Hopefully I can both teach and learn from them during this process.

3. Parent Night: Later in the semester (probably November) we plan to invite parents to the Youth Service. We want them to experience our ‘style’ of ministry. That night we’ll have some great games that parents can play and the lesson will be geared toward parents and youth.

4. PRT: Parent Round Table. I’m really excited about this idea and I may still tweak it a bit before this Fall. What I’m planning on doing is setting aside 1 hour on Monday nights to meet with families. I’ve got 14 different Monday
Nights set aside. I’m going to ask parents to sign up for a night. Then, I’ll go to their home from 6-7 and personally share with them what we’ve
been doing and what we plan to do (lesson wise) in the ministry AND give them some handouts and ideas on how they can build more on what we’ve been teaching, in their own home. Long range I plan on training a volunteer to help me with this so i don’t have to be gone every Wednesday night.

5. Parent Breakfast: We did this once this Spring and it worked out pretty well. We had some volunteers cook breakfast on a Sunday morning and met at 8:45 (30 min befor Sunday School). We invited the whole family. Parents, children, and volunteers all ate together. At 9:15 I dismissed the students and children to their Sunday School and then the parents and me just did a lesson together in place of their Sunday School. I was also able to share more about events we had coming up.  We’ve got this set for 10/3 and plan on doing it once in the Fall and once in the Spring.

6. Parent newsletter and Parent helps: We already do these two things but I thought I’d include them. We send out the ParentLink (group publishing) once a month. This is a newsletter already put together by Group. I just add 1 page about things coming up in our ministry. The other thing I’m still adding to is our Parents Help page on our website. Here I’ve just given parents about 20 different links that they can go to and get help and ideas about parenting teenagers. Feel free to use our links from www.fbcdewitt.com

7. Parent Leadership Team: This idea will probably not be implemented this Fall but I still love it and hope to get it worked in ASAP. This idea is drawn from Steve Wright in his book reThink. Basically the team is just parents (the youth pastor is not on it!). The parents would be committed to meeting periodically throughout the year and discussing the ministry. They would offer insight, encouragement, and ideas from their perspective to the Youth Pastor ever few months or so. This would help me understand better how to minister to our families…

Hope those ideas help. I’d love to know what you’re doing to minister to families or how I can make these ideas better!





The Priority in Christian Parenting

1 04 2010

We recently took a survey of 31 students in our youth ministry asking them how much time they spend with their parents reading the bible (we got the survey from Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC, you can find the survey by CLICKING HERE). Here are the results:

20/31 (65%) Said they NEVER/ALMOST NEVER read the bible with their parents
10/31 (32%) Said they SOMETIMES read the bible with their parents
1/31 (3%)       Said they OFTEN read the bible with their parents

Now what if I asked questions like “How much time do you spend with your parents practicing/talking about sports?” or “How much time do you spend with your parents discussing/doing homework?” Or what if I would have asked “How much time do your parents spend helping you have proper hygiene/clothing etc. for school so you fit in with everyone else?”

Parents find/make the time with their children to do homework/sports/vacations/social events/etc.  I’m not saying that these things are “wrong”, but when they take the place of cultivating a relationship with Christ they become an idol!  How many parents would allow their children to skip a baseball/basketball/football game or tournament? Yet, those same parents let their children skip church and church events all the time! How many parents go out of their way to make sure their children are keeping up with their school reading but don’t care to make sure that their children are reading their bibles?

I don’t think I’m being an idealist here.  Discipling our children is a biblical mandate (cf. Deut. 6:5-7). It is possible to make time to read the bible with our children and intentionally cultivate godly character (godly Christian character is more than “morality”).  Parents must think about the message they are sending their children when church and the things of God are not a priority. 

How do you know when things in the home are out-of-order? When parents are ensuring their children are committed to sports, school, and friends but not to church.

You see, the second part of our survey told us that 74% of students wished they read the bible with their parents MORE OFTEN! This means an overwhelming majority of our students desire to be discipled by their parents.  Why do they desire this? It’s God-given!

Parents, this post is not to drag you down, but to lift you up! Your children want you to tell them about this God that you serve.  This should encourage and motivate you to learn more about and grow closer to Him yourself!  As a youth pastor, I want to apologize for our current trends in youth ministry. We have said for so long “drop your kids off parents, and stay out-of-the-way, and let us disciple them.”  You know what that has resulted in? The largest group of college freshman leaving the church in history! I know that youth pastors can make a difference.  I had a few that made lasting Christ-like impressions on my life. BUT, we must realize that God has appointed parents to be the primary disciple makers…

Parents, remember your privilege and responsiblity of being a Christian mom or dad.  I’d like to end with my own modern paraphrase of Matt. 6:25-33… God bless!

Don’t worry about the clothes your kids wear or their ballgames, grades, or what college they will go to.  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

If you’d like more ideas/help/info. on this topic, I enourage you to visit our Parent Helps page at www.fbcdewitt.com.





The Battle in Our Homes

4 01 2010

I’m taking a class this week taught by Dr. Randy Stinson: Leadership and Family Ministry at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.  The following blog is based on my notes from his lecture…

 “ I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

                                         -Genesis 3:15 

“The home is the centerpiece for an epic battle. And you are at the center of it.” –Dr. Randy Stinson

As a husband and father, what if you found out right now that someone was on the way to your home to harm your wife and children? What would you do? Wherever you were and whatever you were doing you would stop immediately and rush home to defend your loved ones… Unfortunately, I have some alarming news for you:

Dads/husbands: There is someone in your house right now trying to harm your wife and children.  The basic biblical structure of the family is an attack on Satan and his kingdom.  There is a bull’s eye on our homes as Satan is attempting to turn the hearts of children away from their fathers, mothers and fathers from the hearts of their children, wives and husbands from the hearts of one another.

Note some problems we see in our homes today (Christian and non-Christian homes!): Infidelity, divorce, abuse (physical, mental, emotional), rebellion, disrespect (children and parents), etc.

The ultimate prophecy from the verse above (Gen.) was fulfilled in Christ as He came to destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8). However, as the family structure has been God ordained from the beginning of creation to teach others about the Word and ways of God, (and as a secondary means to thwart the influence of sin (and the devil) in our present time) the Devil is still actively engaged in attempting to destroy our families. We MUST guard our hearts from the wiles of the Devil.  Our first step is that we need to recognize that there is a battle focused on destroying our homes.

After we recognize that there is a battle raging we must fight for our homes. S0, how do we fight this battle? 

Step #1 Lead Biblically cf. 1 Peter 3:7.  As men we cannot just lead in whatever way we want.  There is a biblical structure for leadership in the home.  Do we really want to lead our wives? We must take time to understand them.  Our wives are our equal before God, but we are called to lead them.  As men this takes sacrifice on our part (Eph 5)… We must understand that the Devil will try to distort this leadership on a daily basis! Instead of wanting to be a biblical (i.e. loving, sacrificial, understanding) leader, we will desire to be a “do what I say” leader. Remember that our wives are being asked to submit to a fallen man, let that bring us back to a state of humility.  Part of leading biblically is understanding that you are a fallen man, called to lead a fallen family, all for the glory of Christ.  You aren’t trying to create a “perfect” family so that others can pat you on the back.  You are trying to lead a family in light of the realities of the Gospel- you aren’t perfect but Jesus is and through the power of the Holy Spirit not only do you want to, but you have the ability to lead your family to be Christ-centered, Christ-honoring, and Christ-glorifying.

Step #2 Pray and teach your family to pray by example.  Note that these steps should not be understood in terms of “chronology”.  You can’t do Step #1, then check it off and go for Step #2! Rather, these steps should be happening simultaneously.  If you grasp the sincerity of this battle then you will understand the importance of prayer in your personal life and in front of your family (more than just at meal time!). 

 Step #3 Disciple your family.  How can we disciple our family if we are not being discipled ourselves? Where can we be discipled? The local church!  Any attempts at fighting this battle in your home is going to fail unless you are actively engaged in the body of Christ.  After all, who did Christ die for? The family? No! He died for the church! Sometimes I believe men get prideful in this area and because of weeks, months, or even years of not actively being discipled they are not ready to teach their family.  How do we fix this? Humility! So you’re not spiritually mature enough to teach your family biblical truth? Swallow your pride and learn! Start with what you know.  Read the Bible with your wife and kids. Ask them questions.  Let them ask you questions! If you don’t know the answer, find it!  Let your family know by example that the Word of God is the final authority. Then take your family to church (don’t just send them).  Ask them questions about the sermons and lessons you are involved in.  Don’t buy the lie that the church is responsible for disciplining your family, because it’s not. You are! These steps are by no means exhaustive but hopefully will be a good start to fighting the battle that is raging in our homes.