encouragement

Our Loving Father

Our ability to approach God as a loving father is an important one for a healthy spirituality. When we think of God as a father, our dad's can colour our perspective. We need to work through those issues to better understand God, and to gain more health.

A skewed perspective of God can cause a lack of health, not just in our spirits but in our souls, body, relationships, ministry etc.

Drinking Fresh Water

Jesus said to the woman at the well, in John 4, that if she had asked then he would have given her living water. And more than that, that the living water will become a spring of water in her, welling up to eternal life.

Every day we need the fresh water that can only be received through Jesus. As a Christian who is looking to become more Christ-like, in a world that can have its challenges, we need fresh water each day.

Reflecting On 2019

As we come to the end of the year, it is a natural time to reflect upon the year that was. In the craziness that is Christmas, New Years, and summer, I encourage you to proactively reflect on the year. What I mean by proactive, is to consciously choose the things that you will think about. Ask questions about the things that are important to you. Things like relationships, spiritual growth, emotional health etc.

I want to encourage you to reflect on your personal spirituality. More specifically, where has God been working in you and on you?

Mark Cole: It's All About People

Leadership is all about people; always has been, always will be.

If you’re like me, you love to get things done. Maybe you tend to be task driven and action oriented. As I’ve traveled around the world with John Maxwell I’ve observed many leaders who share these characteristics. Which makes the most difficult thing about leadership the one thing we can’t remove from leadership:

People.

Remember

As we focus on volunteers this month, can I encourage you to look back on your journey to this point. Whether you are in full-time, part-time or spare-time ministry, you probably started as a volunteer. We can get caught up in the busyness and challenges of life and youth ministry and forget why we got into ministry.

So stop for a moment and remember how you got started, and why you got involved. Did you offer to help, were you asked to help, did you grow up into it, were you willing or reluctant? Was it something in you that stirred, or was it a leader that brought you in?

Fruit and Fruitfulness

Galatians 6:9 - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Keeping volunteers in youth ministry has difficult moments. It is especially hard in seasons where it feels more like hard work than harvest. And in reality, sometimes that harvest is years after the seeds are planted. And then the harvest may be reaped by another ministry or church.

Understanding fruit, fruitfulness and fruit that lasts is important. If we don't, we might become weary and stop doing the good we should be doing.

Be A Caring Adult

 

It has been said that it takes a tribe to raise a child. Part of the tribe is caring adults who step into the world of young people. They can give perspective, help them learn and give them hope. As we spend October looking at small groups, the role of a small group leader is crucial in the lives of young people.

The clip below reminds us that we have a part to play. You don't have to be young to be relevant, you just have to care enough. Care enough to push past any awkwardness in the early stages of connection. Young people are worth pushing past our reservations. There have been times when I have felt awkward and irrelevant, and I have chosen not to connect. But I was challenged by God that my hesitation is robbing those young people of another caring adult.

Rest—Investing Time to Become a Better Leader

This article was originally published on JohnMaxwell.com on September 3, 2019. For the article on the original site and other resources, please click here.

Recently, one of our team members at the John Maxwell Company shared an interesting struggle in his life: he’s forgotten how to rest. Some of the team was gathered for lunch and he volunteered his thoughts as everyone was talking.

Righteousness In Its Right Place

Ephesians 6:14b - the breastplate of righteousness in place

The breastplate is a protective plate that covers the vital organs, including the heart. We need to protect our heart, for as Proverbs says it is the well spring of life. Our heart is the core of who we are, our identity, our passion, our life.

But why righteousness?

Stand Wrapped In Truth

Ephesian 6:14a - Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist...

Why do we need truth wrapped around us, securing everything? Because we are battling against the Father of Lies. He lies to us about our position and security, he lies to us about the character of God, he lies to us about our future, our past and our present, he even lies about who he is, in an attempt to limit our effectiveness.

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