Teachable Moments

father and sonI’m often challenged by Moses’ words in Deut. 6:7 encouraging the Israelites to continually teach their kids about God. I try. I imagine most folks are like me—sometimes it’s gone well, others…not so much. I imagine I’m not the only one who struggles to identify teachable moments. I’ve tried to (figuratively) beat my kids with a Bible. That sort of response hasn’t proven to be helpful. Frankly, the greatest successes have come during the simplest times.

I find I need to be reminded of three things:

Laugh. Sometimes we (I) need to be reminded of this simple fact. Kids need to laugh and have fun. This involves things they think are fun; not things you think are fun. This doesn’t mean watching them have fun; you get involved and laugh as well. A wise counselor-friend of mine told me that if I wanted cooperation from my kids, I needed to have fun with them. Fun is the wrecking ball that destroys the wall keeping us from having an open relationship with our kids.

Look. They’re all around us; a sunset, a rainbow, fresh snow—all of these are opportunities for casual conversation to teach your kids (and yourself) something about God. In Psalm 19, David is singing about how the skies and all of nature remind us daily of God’s creative majesty. Or, it could be a circumstance that prompts the conversation. We just have to pay attention.

Link.  Don’t over-think it. Apply God’s truth to the conversation. Be open and honest—share your own questions. We don’t have to be professional theologians. Our kids don’t need another sermon; they need a guide. They need someone to point them to the Savior. Just like you, they need Jesus.

Without a doubt you are the greatest influence in your child’s life. Your words and actions mean more than you can measure. Choose them well. Be prayerful.

Yours in Christ,
Steve

Removing Ministry Limits

ministry-limitsI recently read an article by Dr. Paul Tripp discussing our tendency to place ministry limits on what we do in the church. And I thought I’d share some of his thoughts. We tend segregate our lives into tidy compartments. I lead a life group here; I work there, I help my son’s baseball team. But God calls us to be ambassadors. A good ambassador represents the will, work, and agenda of the leader that sent them. Ours is God himself. This isn’t a responsibility we can place in compartments.

Tripp lists four ways we limit our ministry:

1.       Limited by people

There is a tendency to think “professionals” are called to ministry. That is simply unbiblical. Every believer is called to be an ambassador for King Jesus. The staff’s job is to equip the church (Ephesians 4:11-12).

 2.       Limited by place

We often think of ministry primarily happening in the church building. Again, this is wrong. Ministry happens everywhere. The office, the ball diamond, the neighborhood, and your marriage are all places of ministry. Belonging to Jesus makes life ministry and ministry life. We are ambassadors.

3.       Limited by schedule

We place ministry as simply another category of life. He states, “The Bible makes it clear that the most important thing we can do is participate in the glorious work of the Kingdom of God, but we’re easily seduced to pursue our little kingdoms of self-glory.” We jam ministry events into our already crammed schedules. Those schedules reveal more about our priorities than we like to admit.

 4.       Limited by activity

Ministry is not simply preaching or even leading a Life Group. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we are called to reflect the character of God. Tripp states, “Talking with your spouse is ministry because you should speak in a way that represents God. Disciplining your child is ministry because you should express authority in a way that represents God. Serving your neighbor, even if you don’t mention Jesus explicitly, is ministry because you’re representing the service of God.”

We need to widen our understanding of ministry. God’s call to ministry is not a place or activity, but a lifestyle.

Ministry is every place we look. We simply need to ask God to soften our hearts to recognize what is all around us.

Yours in Christ,
Steve

Welcome To Overflow

home-overflowWelcome to Overflow: the Seerley Creek blog!

Sometimes, there’s just way too much to say. My heart just gets so full. There are so many things that are important to say, so many exciting stories to tell. I want to fit it all in on Sundays, but I’m afraid you wouldn’t put up with three-hour-long worship services. I needed an outlet where all that extra stuff could overflow.

Well, here it is. Welcome to our blog. Bookmark this page and return to it often. Or, subscribe to our mailing list by entering your email (under Subscribe on this page) and following the prompts.

You won’t want to miss.

In Christ,
Pastor Steve