Skillful Hands AND an Upright Heart
In church leadership, too often we think that what we need most is a training environment that leads to better ministry and we attend a conference in order to get equipped for that ministry.
Now, I appreciate many things that conferences provide: training, networking, innovative ideas, etc., but effective and fruitful ministry does not come only from the work of our hands; it flows from the faithfulness of our hearts.
Equipping our hands for better ministry is good but it is not always the wisest approach. At times, one of the best things to do is to place ourselves in an environment that seeks to encourage our hearts.
In Psalm 78:72, King David shepherded God’s people with an upright heart and a skillful hand. Effective leadership skills are important but so is the sincerity of a leader’s heart.
Both are needed.
Do you remember the 1983 song by The Police called “Every Breath You Take”?
“Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you.
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you.”
Thanks to smart phones, these words by the old rock legend, Sting, may be a little truer and easier than ever.
Check out EFCA Today to hear how youth leaders responded to the question, “If churches could do one thing to help parents disciple their children, what would it be?” Read the responses HERE.
Listen in to what one professor at Nyack (N.Y.) College has to say about the strength of our EFCA youth ministries. Check out the story at EFCA Today.
Check out some powerful resources at efcatoday.org for building up the faith of young people in your life.
What resources would you add to the list?
Read HERE about the impact of disciplemaking relationships in one Texas church.
How does the Gospel speak to our youth culture? Read more HERE from EFCA Today.
Grace was only 13 when she started prayer-walking block-by-block through her hometown. Rain or shine. Whether friends joined her or not. Read the EFCA Today story about this young woman and her influence.
I know we’re over a year out, but I want you to know we are well on our way to planning Challenge 2014 – the EFCA’s national student conference.
Here are five things I’m excited about and you may want to know about Challenge 2014:
1. Kansas City
Kansas City has two things I really enjoy: BBQ and Chocolate. The Kansas City Barbecue Society reports that KC has more barbecue restaurants per capita than any other city in the nation. KC is also the home to the largest maker of boxed chocolates in the world. Since 1932 Russell Stover Candies still hand dips more than 25 million pieces of chocolate each year.
But more than that, it’s a great mid-sized city where God is doing some great things, and I’m grateful that we’ll get to be a small part of that.
2. Group’s Big Day of Serving
This year we’ve asked Group Big Day of Serving to partner with us in regards to a good portion of our afternoon ministry in the city. They know how to deploy thousands of people to serve a single city like no one else.
3. A Peek at the Direction
I can’t share the full theme with you yet, but here is a peek into some of the direction of Challenge 2014:
Adolescence is often described as a search for identity–a consistent, durable sense of self that gives youth confidence that they will not disappear—enabling them to live for something worth dying for. Young people are in search of a rendering of reality that defines where they are, who they are, what’s gone wrong and how they can contribute to the solution. Void of a biblical framework that can answer such questions, young people are left to find their identity in the endless stories of brokenness, selfishness, and idolatry that are continually echoed throughout our culture.
Through a tracing of the storyline of the Bible – Genesis to Revelation – Challenge 2014 will help students ground their identity and calling in the context of the story of God and His mission to restore the world through Jesus Christ.
4. Ongoing Stories
Challenge is simply a tool. Like any event, it can’t do everything. But I’m always amazed at what God often begins or builds upon at Challenge. There are some great stories that we’re hearing now a full year after Challenge 2012. You’ll have a chance to hear some of them in depth this fall.
5. Love Moves: Berlin
In 2014, Love Moves will focus students on Berlin. We’re excited to shift our focus from third world countries and give students an opportunity to see the need for gospel workers in complex urban centers in the US and around the world.
If you are in an EFCA church you should have received a brochure about Challenge in the mail. (If you are not a part of the EFCA but are interested in attending CHALLENGE 2014 contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve got a story of something God began at Challenge 2012, we’d love to hear it!