Everything and Nothing

empty-office-1519291

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/empty-office-1519291

In the gospels Jesus asked this simple, yet haunting question–“What good is it to gain the world, yet lose your soul?” In other words, what if you have it all, but you’re missing what matters most?

Is it possible to be incredibly full and yet painfully empty? Can someone have it all together, and yet, be utterly and irrevocably depleted? Jesus was entreating us to think about our lives and what we’re striving for. He was inviting us to consider what constitutes a meaningful life.

Continue reading…

Living To Please Him

grape-vine-1-1197605

Used with Permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/grape-vine-1-1197605

The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians that our aim, when we realize our salvation in Christ, is to live to please Him. This is a theme that dominates much of Scripture, but how often do we forget this simple goal?

As Christ followers, where do we place our focus in this life? Are we actively pursuing a life that seeks to please Jesus?

Continue reading…

Optimism and Realism in Youth Ministry

balance-3-1564612

If you’re going to do youth ministry for any length of time, there are two perspectives you need to balance. First off, you need a good amount of optimism–a passion for seeing life change and believing that God can change anyone.

But you also need a dose of reality, realizing the truth of brokenness in the world and our own limitations. Because sometimes students come to Christ, and sometimes they walk away. Both optimism and realism are needed if you’re going to have longevity in ministry.

Continue reading…

The Importance of Short-Term Mission Trips

ecuador

I just got back from a short-term mission trip to Ecuador. Like most churches, we seem to take a couple trips a year to various parts of the world. Our trips range from construction and building projects, to evangelism and training opportunities.

Of course, taking a short-term mission trip is not easy or always financially viable. Some have argued that instead of going on these trips, we should just send resources or money. But there’s a beauty in going. Short-term mission trips are important for several reasons.

Continue reading…