Tag Archives: growth

Sacred Pathways

Hosea pursued by the LordThe prophet Hosea used some strong language to make his point to his fellow countryman.  Hosea not only shared the Lord’s message, but he felt it.  He felt what spiritual adultery was like based on the human adultery he was experiencing with his wife.

The word ‘acknowledge’ is translated in the NIV for the Hebrew word yadah.  Acknowledge is found six times in the early parts of the book.  Yadah is more than a head nod to someone as they are passed on the sidewalk at the mall.  Yadah is knowing in a much more intimate, personal way.  More than a head nod, it is real interaction and real knowing.

In Hosea 6 yadah is found three times in close proximity.   Verse three is quite commanding in nature, “Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him.”   Then in verse six, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

You see, it is all about relationship with Father- –   not the trappings of religious worship that dumb down the original purpose of those religious rites.  They usually start with good intention and focus on the Lord, but without the why, they result in lifeless duty.

I don’t want lifeless duty.  I want life in the Lord.  I want a life filled and a life fulfilled.  I want all I can be for a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants the absolute best for us.  I want to know Him and know how I was made to worship Him.

This past Sunday to further press into knowing how we best can know Him and know how to worship Him fully, we explored, ever so briefly, the Sacred Pathways idea by Gary Thomas.  We took an abbreviated assessment to further propel us into knowing how to best connect with the Lord.  We followed with some Small Group time to talk about some of the ideas and used some questions to prompt healthy, life-giving discussion.

If you are interested in doing the survey yourself, (which is highly recommended for growth in Jesus), it and other information can be found here.  Find May 5, 2013 and open the documents.  The Powerpoint presentation has all sorts of information about each pathway.

Also this link has a really good PDF on knowing more about your particular pathway to connecting with the Lord.

Shalom.

“Why Youth Stay in Church When They Grow Up”

As a former youth pastor, it pains me when I hear about young people who appeared so strong in faith as young people, yet when they venture off to college, move out of their homes, finish high school, or join the military, don’t participate in church life as they did earlier in life.  

The Gospel Coalition posted an article by Jon Nielson a youth pastor in Wheaton, IL on what we can do to help keep our young people faithful to the Lord.   Enjoy!

Why Youth Stay in Church When They Grow Up

 “What do we do about our kids?” The group of parents sat together in my office, wiping their eyes. I’m a high school pastor, but for once, they weren’t talking about 16-year-olds drinking and partying. Each had a story to tell about a “good Christian” child, raised in their home and in our church, who had walked away from the faith during the college years. These children had come through our church’s youth program, gone on short-term mission trips, and served in several different ministries during their teenage years. Now they didn’t want anything to do with it anymore. And, somehow, these mothers’ ideas for our church to send college students “care packages” during their freshman year to help them feel connected to the church didn’t strike me as a solution with quite enough depth.

The daunting statistics about churchgoing youth keep rolling in. Panic ensues. What are we doing wrong in our churches? In our youth ministries?

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