Tag Archives: HolySpirit

Objectives for My Life

If a fruit fly was asked to submit a list of things he’d want to accomplish in life, it would probably be pretty short and sweet.

If he could write, it would go something like, “Eat, procreate, and die.”

I am not a fruit fly. Yet, back in 2012 while in seminary I was asked to provide a list of my personal ministry objectives. Wasting no opportunity, I wrote a blog post about them and even incorporated them into my resume (where they remain to this day).

But as I was reviewing them this morning, I realized they were points that defined something more than just ministry: they are my life!

Ministry (including preaching, teaching, counseling, etc.) is more than just a job, a career, or a chosen field of service; it is my calling, my personality, my way of life. It’s who I am.

The following “objectives” shouldn’t only describe the things I want to accomplish; they should be a description of the man God has molded me to be.

The only question, then, is how well am I being ME in the context in which I’ve been given?

When people say “Just be yourself,” it’s good to know who yourself is.

My ministry objectives:

  1. To bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ in all that I do,[1] and all I go through.[2]
  2. To “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine,”[3] and “to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”[4]
  3. To affect future generations yet to come as children are grounded, parents become responsible, singles are emboldened, and the aged get a second wind.[5] [6]
  4. To be known as a humble and consistent husband and father whose household serves the Lord;[7] [8] a forgiven sinner who understands grace;[9] and a fearless soldier of the Cross[10] who never compromises the truth.[11]
  5. To promote the preaching and teaching of the Gospel in every part of the world.[12]

Update: Literally, just minutes after I posted this, a friend sent out a group text (which I received) that included the following sermon by Tony Evans. Awesome.

http://subspla.sh/x7f9wq9

Confirmation 🙂


[1] Psa 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

[2] 1Pe 1:7 – That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

[3] 1Ti 4:13 – Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

[4] Act 6:4 – But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

[5] Jos 4:21-24 – And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What [mean] these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it [is] mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

[6] Pro 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

[7] Jos 24:15 – And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

[8] 1Cr 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

[9] 1Ti 1:15 – This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

[10] Mar 8:34 – And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

[11] 1Ti 4:16 – Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

[12] Act 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

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Sunday School – Something Has to Change!

 This week I was given a discussion question. I was asked to “present a list of diagnostic questions that can be used to evaluate the theological foundations of the discipleship program of a local church.” At least three of the diagnostic questions needed to address God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in response, I prepared several evaluation questions aimed at discovering how God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are being presented to our youth, including questions aimed at discovering the level of understanding regarding the importance of teaching theology on an applicable level.

Questions to Evaluate the Theological Foundations of a Youth Discipleship Program

In The Teaching Ministry of the Church Octavio J. Esqueda defined the word theology as “the study of God,” which comes from the Greek words theos (God) and logos (speech, reason, word). Then he went on to say, “To do theology is to reflect on God. Our theology, or the lack of it, affects the way we think and live.”[1] So, the first question is

“What are we teaching our youth about God that will not only inform them of his nature, but will cause them to live differently than they are taught in the world?”

How we think about God should affect how we live, but even though many may learn about God’s attributes, they rarely learn to appropriate the truth that He is ever-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful in their lives. The problem that many churches face, including ours, is scores of children who learn enough about God to describe him intellectually, but know little of him from an experiential perspective. Do they fear Him? Have they ever made the personal connection that what God did to his Son should have been done to them? Do they know that how they live outside of church is more important than their Sunday school attendance? How they really understand God as a real person will affect how they think and live outside of the classroom. They need to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1) in the world, not just church.

In two different places (Matt. 16:13; Mk. 8:27) we read how Jesus asked, “Who do men say that I am?” Who do our youth say that Jesus is? Is He a perpetual baby wrapped in swaddling clothes? Is He just the namesake of the club (the church) they were forced by their parents to join? Do they think of Him as God, or as a moral teacher akin to the founders of other “great” religions? Michael J. Anthony wrote in A Theology for Christian Education that being able to articulate one’s understanding of the deity, humanity, earthly ministry, and work of Christ is essential to one’s spiritual maturity.[2] Are we turning out “mature” young adults when they leave our youth department? The second question is…

“How are we teaching who Jesus Christ is, and in what ways can we determine what we are teaching is effective?”

When it comes to the Holy Spirit, Baptists are typically scared to death. They are more likely to talk about fried chicken than the “fire” of the Holy Ghost. However, Jesus spoke very clearly when he said that he would send another Comforter to abide with us (John 14:16). The Holy Spirit is not only critical to our ability to teach, but to understand the Bible, the core of our curriculum. Do we ever teach our young people about the indwelling power of the Spirit which enables them to deal with peer pressure and temptation? Do they know about His ability to help them understand the “bronze-aged” document their atheist professors routinely ridicule? Therefore, the third question is…

“What are we teaching our youth about the Holy Spirit?”

The sad truth is that many youth programs, if not the majority, lack quality teaching, and we are sending our youth into the unbelieving world unprepared. Just take the word school in “Sunday school” – it’s a misnomer – it doesn’t exist. If it does exist, then most youth programs are the equivalent of a high school that sends students to college without ever teaching them how to read!

Something drastic has to be done, that is for sure. Regular teachers in regular schools try to prepare students to deal with life once they graduate. They teach with a goal in mind. They have lesson plans. They are forced to show that their students are learning. What are we doing in the church? Are our children any more prepared for the world than when they first started coming? Will their faith endure or fall apart once they reach college?

We have such a narrow window through which to teach our youth how to be Christians, not just wear a label. They spend eight hours a day in a school that teaches them how to “gain the world,” but what will if profit them, or us, if they lose their soul (Mark 8:36) due to one hour a week of poor Christian education? Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The reason so many are departing is not because the proverb is false; it’s because they have never been taught.

God help us. One day we will give an account.


[1] William R. Yount. The Teaching Ministry of the Church. 2nd edition. (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2008), 32.

[2] James R. Estep, Jr., Michael J. Anthony, and Gregg R. Allison. A Theology for Christian Education. (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2008), 125.

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Ministry Objectives

If a fruit fly was asked to submit a ministry objective, it would probably be pretty short and sweet. If he could write, it would go something like, “Eat, procreate, and die.”

I am not a fruit fly. Yet, I was asked to provide a list of my ministry objectives. I thought you might like to see them. And, instead of just listing references, I footnoted the verses.

My ministry objectives:

  1. To bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ in all that I do,[1] and all I go through.[2]
  2. To “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine,”[3] and “to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”[4]
  3. To affect future generations yet to come as children are grounded, parents become responsible, singles are emboldened, and the aged get a second wind.[5] [6]
  4. To be known as a humble and consistent husband and father whose household serves the Lord;[7] [8] a forgiven sinner who understands grace;[9] and a fearless soldier of the Cross[10] who never compromises the truth.[11]
  5. To promote the preaching and teaching of the Gospel in every part of the world.[12]


[1] Psa 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

[2] 1Pe 1:7 – That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

[3] 1Ti 4:13 – Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

[4] Act 6:4 – But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

[5] Jos 4:21-24 – And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What [mean] these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it [is] mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

[6] Pro 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

[7] Jos 24:15 – And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

[8] 1Cr 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

[9] 1Ti 1:15 – This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

[10] Mar 8:34 – And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

[11] 1Ti 4:16 – Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

[12] Act 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

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Prayer Before Writing

While reading a required book for one of my seminary classes, I came across something that convicted me. It was a prayer.

Holy One, you wrote my name in the palm of your hand before time began. You commanded the prophets to write down your will for your people. Please let me, as I write, share your love and grace and wisdom through my words.” – Deborah Core

The Seminary Student Writes is a small book, but it is full of helpful instruction and insight for writing at the seminary level. However, the above prayer, or its equivalent, should precede not only research papers and dissertations, but blog posts as well.

Every time I sit down to write I should say a prayer. Before I hit the “publish” button I should be sure my words comply with His words. For you see, words are powerful. Words are tools. Words are weapons. Words should be used with the utmost care and wisdom.

It never fails to amaze me when I see how my words reach so many place all over the world. Most of the places my blog is read I will never visit. Yet, what I write here has the potential to minister in ways I could never imagine. With so much potential to influence lives in places only God knows, how much more should I ask Him to give me the words?

Do you pray before you write?

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