On Halloween, Don’t Be That Parent

So it's Halloween and parents everywhere are finalizing their plans for next week. Candy is purchased and placed in the requisite pumpkin bucket near the front door. Costumes are selected and purchased. And evangelical car trunks stand ready to be decorated for the church parking lot. It's go time. But before you venture out at the end of this week, make sure you are ready, as a parent, for the holiday. To get you ready I'm here with some important things not to do. 1) Don't Be That Parent Who Judges What the Other Parents Do.  Regardless of your parenting posture on Halloween (and if you need help, here's a helpful guide from Russell Moore), don't be the parent who either self-righteously talks about how you shield your kids from the devil's holiday or how you are so much more enlightened than the parents who shield their kids from the devil's holiday. Follow 1 Corinthians...

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Multigenerational churches and offering plates

I've been writing recently about the shape of worship in our churches. First, a piece for Christianity.com about the importance of multi-generational churches: I recently said goodbye to one of my dearest friends, who taught me more about ministry than anyone else I knew. He recently succumbed to cancer in his early eighties. Until this quick-moving disease ushered Him home, Bill was a font of wisdom about how to do ministry. It was timeless wisdom good for dealing with every generation. Another of my close friends is a Boomer. I can’t tell you how many lengthy phone conversations I’ve had with Rich over the years, gleaning precious insights on family and church life. I’ve seen this dynamic played out in church life if the leaders are willing to embrace a multi-generational approach. Churches that worship at the altar of relevance, who are constantly chasing the next trend might be tempted to so vigorously divide...

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Why I’m Thankful for Christian Music

This headline seems a bit redundant. After all, I'm a Christian and, of course, I'd love Christian music. But this is not always the case. In fact if you listen to a lot of the conversations young Christians are having today, you'd find that Christian music is a kind of punching bag. It's fashionable for us to take a sledgehammer and bash, with great glee, the art that our brothers and sisters are creating. To be sure, there are songs for the Christian that are worth rejecting. Songs that have little or no theological teeth and songs that create a kind of Christian subculture, yada, yada, yada. But I think we're often really, really unfair to Christian music artists. Peter Chin's recent article at Christianity Today is a good place to start. Sometimes our critiques are legitimate. Other times, I suspect, we're out to prove how sophisticated we are or how "unlike those other kinds...

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