Friday, August 28, 2009


Since posting my review, I sought out my friends at David C Cook and checked out their website-they're the ones who gave me an advanced copy of his book to read.
And I think I have found something that may interest you-a word from the writer himself...Francis Chan. Please check out THE FORGOTTEN GOD by simply clicking on it and order your copy today!
Below is a portion straight from their website:

When is the last time someone used that word to describe you?

It doesn't make sense that Almighty God would have children characterized by fear and insecurity. He put His Spirit in us so we could be known for our power (Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:7). Sadly, most believers and churches are known for talent or intellect rather than supernatural power. What's worse is that we're okay with it.

Could it be that we've forgotten the One who distinguishes us from every religion and cult in the world?

Through scriptural support and compelling narrative, breakthrough author Francis Chan reminds us of the Holy Spirit as the Bible describes Him. He reminds us that we were not created and saved merely to survive our time on earth. Chan contends that we've ignored the Spirit and are reaping the disastrous results.

It's time for the beloved church of Jesus Christ to reverse the trend of neglect. Let's pursue the Spirit-filled life of effectiveness God desires and we desire.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


He has done it again! Not since Rob Bell's 'Velvet Elvis' or David Kinnaman's 'unChrstian' have I read a book that 'hits the nail on the head' for me. It's true that in today's church there's something wrong, but it isn't easy to identify because of our unwillingness to listen or even have the conversation.
I had the privilege of listening to Francis Chan at the National Youth Worker's Convention last year and I had a feeling he would be coming out with another book-he was so conflicted and convicted it was empowering. While I don't want to ruin the book-which is due to be released sometime next month, I do want to share some of the things he said at the Convention which should give you a pretty good idea as to what you can look forward to concerning the book.
Francis brought up a good point when he spoke to us youth leaders...he basically called out everyone in attendance really. It was when he said 'we spend too much time watering rocks' (this was after he got done reading about the parable of the sower and the seed: Matthew 13:3-23) that it hit me-he's right. It's one of the many things that frustrates those in ministry-the 'rocks' that are in our lives-friends, family members, and even those in leadership in the church who don't seem to listen....or those in a situation of power or influence who only indulge in what's beneficial for them in the here and now, rather than God's Kingdom.
Francis followed it up with something along the lines of: If Jesus was the pastor of a church...mine would be bigger, if Jesus was a youth pastor, my youth group would be bigger. Why? Because Jesus' words were too harsh.
If you read carefully in the parable it was the disciples who came to Him and sought out the meaning of the parable...everyone else left confused. I think that sometimes we get confused and choose to stay that way instead of asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We sometimes forget that God hears our grumblings and concerns for the things that only He can provide (patience in times of uncertainty and loss and guidance and strength in our times of great need).
READ: Romans 8:26-28
I don't want to ramble on too long, but when his book come out...get yourself a copy! See if you don't agree that the Holy Spirit has been neglected in today's church and in God's people. We have the power within's just a matter of tapping into that never-ending flow of power and energy which enables us to do great things in His name.
My closing...a challenge: Go read the whole book of ACTS. Let me know what you think about the unstoppable church back then and the very stoppable church today (which argues over the color of paint or carpet, and even manages to keep talking about the way things were-basically talking about what God and the Holy Spirit were doing in the life of their church years ago while forgetting about what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in their midst). I'll get off my soap box, but be sure to check out Francis Chan's new book...

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Due to the nasty weather there is no youth group today. Please pass this on to others.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I have again picked up another book that I haven't read in a while. It's called UnChristian by David Kinnaman-if you haven't read it, I suggest you get yourself a copy. This isn't just for Youth Pastors or anyone else in a leadership position in the's for everyone who calls themselves a Christian!
I can't seem to get over the fact that nearly 79% of our graduating high school seniors will walk away from the church during their college years. On the same token, I totally understand it...I mean look around. The culture around us has changed and our youth have begun to see through our facade.
It's not just because of our lifestyles as Christians but the way we convey the priorities of being a Christian. The common message they hear/get is that Christianity is a religion of rules and regulations. They think of us as hypocritical because they are measuring us by our own standards. Ironic huh?
Here's another nugget the book unveiled:
Christians are not defined by transparency but by adherence to rigid rules and strict standards.
So the question becomes: as a follower does your response to moral issues reflect complexcity? Are you honest with yourself about your own struggles? Do they motivate you to turn your heart-and that of others-towards God, seeking His ways to handle issues? Or are you too focused on maintaining the rules and regulations?
Now, there are those who would rather ignore the negative perception others have of us Christians-strugging it off saying 'it doesn't matter because outsiders just dont get it'. But what if God is revealing something to us in shift? I mean we can either get defensive about our image problem (that we are hypocritical), ignore it, or we could take culture's accusations of hypocrisy as God's wake up call to the overwhelming needs of others. What if He is using our culture to make us aware of our own hollow attempts and answers? Should we really ignore God's warning to us?
For example: Victoria left the church because of encounters with it's hypocritical churchgoers-they frustrated her and left her outside of the church.
Spirituality isn't measured by the number of sermons you hear, the piety of our lives, or the goodness of our actions. It's in the simple interactions and conversations we have with others in the hallways of our church, in the invitations we give (or don't give), the genuineness of concern, and how people respond to you and your child.
Victoria gave Christians a chance and found us hypocritical and judgmental. The way we react to people and to their life circumstances is also the measure of our spiritual maturity. Victoria didn't say we as Christians are hypocritical because she chose to reject kindhearted help that Christians offered her. Did she misunderstand the dozens of well-intentioned people? Was she oblivious to the men in the church who were trying to help, perhaps by taking her son fishing or to a basketball game? Nope! Instead she watched, waited, and listened for people like you and me to embrace her needs, to restore her life-and that of her son-to God's purposes. Did she make a mistake? Sure, but so did the Christians around her.
You see, the 'UnChristian' faith says it is important to remind Victoria that a single parent family is not as good as a married family. It tells us to keep giving her advice, without love or genuine interest, about how to raise her son. It leads us to believe we should know because we have it all together.
Chew on this for a challenge: Read Matthew 23:4 and think about the overwhelming perception young people have of us as Christians-as hypocrites. Does your life point people to a life in Christ that bursts with freedom to love, restoraiton, purity, and transparency? Or are you burying people-insiders and outsiders-under the weight of a self-righteous life?