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Glen Schultz

The Biggest Challenge In Life and Ministry

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Are You Ready?

Change and transition are a part of everyday life.  Whatever role we currently find ourselves in will change at some point in the future.  The ultimate transition comes when a person departs this life and enters eternity.  The question we must answer is not whether transition/departure will happen but when it does, will we be ready for it?

Over the past several weeks we have focused on Paul’s parting words to his son in the faith, Timothy.  Paul was ready for his departure from life to eternity when he penned these words.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.  2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NKJV)

Paul was ready for his departure because he had disciplined himself in three very important areas of life.  I have written about the first two disciplines that Paul practiced in my last two posts.  Paul fought the good fight and he finished the race.  The third characteristic of Paul’s life that is noteworthy is that he kept the faith.

Keeping the faith was the key to Paul’s success in life and ministry.  Keeping the faith is the most important thing you and I must focus on if we are going to have any hope of finishing well.  In fact, keeping the faith determines whether or not we can fight the good fight and/or finish the course.

What does it mean to keep the faith?  Dr. Tony Evans reflected on this with these words.

I didn’t walk away from my faith.  Life must close out with Jesus no matter how bad things get.  You don’t walk out on Jesus.

Life and ministry are hard.  The daily battles one faces can become seemingly overwhelming.  The pressures that seem to hit us from all sides challenge everything we stand for.  However, no matter how hard the battle, how tired we become, or how alone we find ourselves, we must keep the faith.

In order to keep the faith, we must understand what faith is.  A. W. Tozer wrote that faith is confidence in the character of God.  We all know that God is faithful.  If you were asked what does that mean, no doubt you would say something about the fact that God always keeps His Word.

Therefore, keeping the faith can be compared to staying true to God’s Word.  If we are ever tempted to leave the faith, it will result in us walking away from a biblical belief system.  We will no longer think and act from a biblical worldview.  The world and its ideas will have taken us captive (see Colossians 2:8).

Paul did not “walk out” or “walk away” from Jesus (Word) when the first sign of trouble showed up.  He didn’t “give up” on Jesus when everybody else started following the latest fad.  Paul was determined to close out life with Jesus.

One of the most dangerous obstacles to keeping the faith is human tradition.  Paul warned the Colossians about this when he told them to be careful not to be taken captive by false philosophies.  In Colossians 2:8, Paul explained that false philosophy was always according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world.  I can remember hearing my former pastor, Dr. Michael Catt, say that it is always easier to be traditional than it is to be biblical.

This is especially true when it comes to education.  Over my 50+ years in education, I have seen a lot of ideas come and go and, then, come again.  Many of these ideas included some very good and helpful elements.  The danger was, and continues to be, chasing after these at the expense of a biblical philosophy of education.  What I have seen take place far too often is that parents and educators become so focused on the latest research or “best practice” that they end up taking a biblical philosophy of education for granted.  Soon the what becomes more important than the why!

When this happens, it can become very easy to ignore or, even, deny God’s purpose for education.  In reality, we are in danger of leaving the faith.  The result is that education produces a lot of experts but few disciples of Jesus Christ.

Over the past few weeks I have been asking myself some questions.  I share them with you so that you can reflect on them and make sure that you will be ready for any transition that God may bring into your life or ministry.

  1. What is most important to you in life and ministry?
  2. Are you living primarily by tradition or God’s Word?
  3. Is a biblical worldview the foundation of your decisions that you make in life and ministry?
  4. Which is more important to you — a biblical philosophy of education or the newest trend in education?  Which are you emphasizing and giving the most time and attention to?

The good fight is getting more and more intense and it is becoming a greater challenge to stay on the right course.  It will be impossible to successfully do either of these unless we are committed to keeping the faith.

Why Did God Create You?

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The Finish Line

I find myself so busy “doing” God’s work that I don’t take time to think about this question like I should.  It is important to consider this question each and every day of our lives.  God not only created you and me but, if you are a believer, He also redeemed you.  God does not create and redeem a person without a purpose.  My friend, Pastor James McMenis, regularly shares with people that every person is a purpose with a name.  

He goes on to explain that design defines purpose.  A wrench is not designed to drive nails into a wall.  Its design determines its purpose.  So it is with you and me.  God’s design of me defines His purpose for me.

Why is it so important for each of us to remind ourselves that God has a purpose for our lives?  It is because knowing our purpose will cause us to understand the course we are to run.  God has given each of us a unique course that we are to run as we go through life and ministry.  If we never know our purpose, we will never know the course God expects us to run.  Once again, I want us to think about Paul’s parting words to young Timothy.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV)

Paul told his son in the faith I have finished my course.  Dr. Tony Evans explained what Paul was saying was this.  I did all I was designed to do.  Paul completed what he was created and redeemed to do.  He had finished his course.

I ran cross country in high school.  Each day at practice the coach would map out a course that we were to run.  At the end of practice, we had to finish the course that he had laid out.  When race day came, we would travel to the race site.  Then we would get out and survey the course.  You didn’t want to get off course because you would be disqualified — even if you ran farther than required and crossed the finish line.

There was never an excuse to get off course because there were markings made to keep you on the right path.  Sometimes a white line was spray-painted on the ground.  Colored flags were placed at corners so that you knew when and in which direction to turn.  God does the same thing for you and me.  Of course, we need to spend time in His Word daily and surrender and be filled with His Spirit constantly so that we don’t miss His guidance along our course.

Stay The Course

Running a cross country race was hard.  Sometimes you had to run through rough terrain.  Some courses included steep hills that would cause your legs to ache and your lungs to feel like they were going to explode.  But you had to stay the course and you had to finish the race.  It would be tragic to expend all that energy but quit running when the finish line was in sight.  If that ever happened, you would know that all that effort was a waste because you were finished but you didn’t finish the course.

When the time comes when God might transition you from what you are doing now to something else or when it is time for Him to transition you from this life, you will want to say that you finished your course!  It would be a travesty to come to the end of life or some work and have to wonder why I lived or served in that ministry.  It is good to know that whenever God chooses to move you from one thing to another that you have completed what you were put there to do.

As you and I begin a new week, it would be wise to stop and ask ourselves a couple of questions.

  1. Why did God create me?
  2. Why did He redeem me?
  3. Am I on the course that He has set for me to run?
  4. Am I allowing anything to get me off course either in life or ministry?
  5. If God transitioned me to something else today, could I say that I have finished my course?

May Paul’s words to the Corinthian Christians ring true in our daily running of our course.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  1 Corinthians 9:24 (KJV)

Fighting The Good Fight

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What fights have you been involved in over the past month, week or day?  Have you had any battles at home, work, school or even church?  It seems like we are always fighting something or someone.

The Apostle Paul understood the reality of fighting battles on a daily basis.  When Paul realized that his time on earth was coming to an end, he wrote to his young son in the faith.  He summed up his life and ministry when he penned these words.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV)

This week I want to share with you what God has been laying on my heart about Paul’s statement — I have fought a good fight.

Fighting battles is simply a part of living in a fallen world where all relationships have been fractured.  The question is not am I fighting a fight?  The important question is am I fighting good fights?

Think of all the fights you and I can choose to enter and are probably engaged in right now.  There are family matters that we fight about.  There are work related fights we face.  There are battles that we encounter with students and their parents.  Of course, we are all aware of the heated political fights that are in the news headlines on a daily basis.

One can argue that there are a lot of “good” causes that we need to fight about.  But when it comes to choosing the fights that we will enter into, what is the good fight  that Paul is talking about?

As I have been studying this issue and trying to discern what is the good fight, I have come to the conclusion that it is not an outward fight.  The most important fight that I am confronted with every day is an internal one.  It is the fight over what or who is controlling my mind.

My biggest battle is the one that determines what I think and believe about all areas of life.  It is a spiritual battle that I must engage in from the moment I open my eyes in the morning until I close them at the end of the day.  It is a cosmic battle of worldviews that takes place right inside my own life.

I recently read something during my morning quiet time that jumped off the page and has been front and center in my mind ever since.  These words were in a daily devotional guide by Billy Graham.  The entry for January 27 was titled, Above the Din.  It was based on Philippians 2:5 that reads, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

Think about what Graham said when he wrote,

The world…is engaged in a gigantic brainwashing…The world’s sewage system threatens to contaminate the stream of Christian thought (emphasis mine).

Being involved in education for so many years, I would take these truths and apply them to what the world is trying to do to other people — especially our children and youth.  Therefore, I believed that the good fight was for the hearts and minds of the next generation.

However, God impressed on my heart that the real battle was for my heart and mind.  The world’s sewage system wants to contaminate my stream of Christian thought.  The devotional ended by asking a penetrating question.  Is the world shaping your mind — or is Christ?

Ever since I read this a couple of weeks ago, I have been engaged in some serious battles.  I found myself trying to shift this question away from myself.  It went something like this.

  • I know it is important to have a biblical worldview but it is more important to challenge others to develop one.
  • I have to engage in the battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation, not so much my own.  After all, the main target of every culture war is the next generation.
  • It is my duty as a citizen to fight some of the political battles of today because our country’s future is at stake.
  • How can I take the time to fight the world’s desire to brainwash me when I see so many others in worse shape than me?

This is when God laid a heavy burden on my heart.  It was as if God was asking me a question I wasn’t prepared to answer.  How can I help someone else successfully engage in the battle for his/her mind if I didn’t see my own mind as a battlefield?

It has become clear to me that if I want to be successful in a lot of important fights in life, I must first make sure that the battle for my mind is being won by Christ.  If that happens, and only when that happens, will I be prepared to fight other fights.

2 Corinthians 10:5 has taken on new meaning for me.  I must be diligent in fighting the good fight.  Every one of my thoughts must either honor Christ or be taken captive until it does!

When the war for my mind is won, it will impact every other fight that I am confronted with.  It will affect how I fight about family issues.  It influences how I fight over political matters.  It gives me the wisdom to know how to face the fights that take place in my work/ministry.  It definitely determines how successful I can be when fighting for the hearts and minds of future generations.

Are you fighting the good fight?  Is the world shaping your mind — or is it Christ?  Who’s winning the war in your mind?  I want to be like Paul when faced with the end of life here on earth.  I want to be able to say with confidence, I have fought the good fight!

Everyone Will Keep This Appointment

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Uncertainty of Life

Recently, I have been reminded of the brevity and uncertainty of life.  Two things happened that brought these truths front and center in my life.

On January 26, 2020, the world was rocked by the news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash.  It was later learned that 8 other people perished in that tragic accident.

Even though Bryant’s untimely death was and continues to be part of today’s headlines, there was another death that occurred a few weeks prior to this that caused me to number my days.

I can clearly remember receiving a tweet that shared the news that Lois Evans had passed away on December 30, 2019.  Mrs. Evans was the wife of Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas.

Dr. Evans preached a message a couple of weeks later that reflected on his wife’s life.  He used Paul’s words that were written to young Timothy as his text.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV)

I have given much thought to Dr. Evans’ words over this past week.  They have been a sober reminder that every person who has ever lived has a time when life here on earth will end.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.  Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)

Evans said something related to this verse that caused me to sit up and take notice. He said,

How old you are is not determined by your birth date but by your death date…Many people think they are younger but they are older than they think.

As I contemplated the brevity and uncertainty of life in light of Scripture, I also realized that these same truths apply to one’s ministry.  There will come a day when what you and I are doing right now will end.  Even though our lives may go on, our ministries will change.Just as life is a vapor, so too is one’s opportunity to serve the Lord in a particular work.

Just as life is a vapor, so too is one’s opportunity to serve the Lord in a particular work.  As I look back over my years in education, I realize now that I never knew when God would change how He would use me.

I have often thought that one of the greatest threats to productive service to the Lord was experience and success.  Whenever God put me in a new position, I found myself praying and looking to Him for all of the strength and wisdom that I needed in the new role.  However, as time passed and I became “better” at the job, sometimes my dependence on Him waned.

Today marks the start of a new week for each of us.  It is another opportunity to serve the Lord in a way that will bring Him glory.  Here are a few questions I have recently asked myself.

  1. Do I understand the brevity of life and my opportunity to serve the Lord again today?
  2. Am I as dependent on God to lead my ministry as the day I began it?
  3. As each day passes and my departure (both life and ministry) draws nearer, do I have greater spiritual clarity in all that I am and do?
  4. What needs to change so that I am prepared for my appointment that God has set for me?

Over the next couple of weeks I want to share with you some things that God has brought to my attention from Paul’s good bye to his son in the faith that is recorded in 2 Timothy 4.

Can Life Have Meaning?

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Unraveling Life

I want to continue trying to answer the question I was asked a couple of weeks ago by one of this blog’s subscribers.  He asked why is it so essential that our children be given a biblical worldview?

It is important to understand that developing a biblical worldview cannot be the ultimate end for education.  However, the ultimate end for education requires that a biblical worldview be developed.

Last week I shared how the ultimate end of education must lead the student to understand God’s purpose for why He created man in His image.  The main reason for this was that man could know God.  I agree with J.I. Packer who said,

Once you become aware that the main business you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems will fall in place of their own accord.

A biblical worldview is the only belief system that can lead a person to know the true God.  Knowing God causes us to discover another reason why biblical worldview development must have the highest priority in a child’s education.

First, we must remember that a biblical worldview can be defined as what the Bible says is true about:

  • God
  • Creation
  • Mankind
  • Knowledge
  • Morality (right & wrong)
  • Purpose
  • Future

A biblical worldview fulfills the greatest need that every person has.  This need is the desire to find true significance.  A biblical worldview is the only worldview that gives life authentic meaning.

It begins with a knowledge of God which will in turn give meaning to all the other components of life.  For example:

  • a biblical worldview defines what it means to be human.  This provides meaningful answers to such things as the sanctity of all human life, including the life of the unborn, the gender dysphoria that is plaguing society, and the value and worth of all individuals regardless of color of skin, mental ability or economic status, etc.
  • a biblical worldview provides the only universal moral code by which society can function and survive.  No other worldview can explain why evil exists and that right and wrong are not determined by those in power but is a reflection of the very nature of God.
  •  a biblical worldview gives meaning to work.  Other worldviews view work as something to be avoided or, at best, tolerated.  A biblical worldview leads a person to see work as a vocation that is pursued so one can be a steward of some part of God’s magnificent creation for His glory.
I am sure that you can articulate some other ways that a biblical worldview gives true meaning to one’s life.  In closing, I want to share something that Dr. Albert Mohler recently stated in his January 14th The Briefing.

 

When the Christian biblical worldview is not the basic structure of societal thought, then the confusions between the Creator and creation and between humanity and the rest of creation become not only possible, but inevitable.

The home, church and/or school cannot strive to help the next generation develop a biblical worldview just so that our children adopt a similar perspective on life.  Parents, church leaders and educators must be committed to a higher goal of having future generations not only think but, more importantly, act from a biblical worldview.  When this happens, culture is changed because life has true significance.

Be sure to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

 

A Penetrating Question

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WHY?

Last week I wrote about the need for Christians to develop a biblical worldview so that they are equipped to give a biblical worldview to the next generation.  The key point that I made was that you can only give what you possess.

One reader posted a comment that was quite profound.  As you read this person’s comment (emphasis mine) in its entirety, I believe you will find his questions to be extremely important.  He writes:

It’s clearly a very serious problem and our churches and our nations are suffering the consequences of its absence [a biblical worldview] right now.  But the larger question, the one that needs to be answered, and answered well, is – “Why? Why should we bother teaching a biblical worldview in the first place? Why do we need it?”  Isn’t it enough just to ‘get everyone saved’ and then wait for our entry into Heaven or for the Lord’s return, whichever comes first?  On the other hand, would it be good enough to just have every Christian adopt the same perspective on life (i.e. worldview), leaving the world around us largely unchanged while we maintain a lukewarm but biblically correct faith?  Can a biblical worldview be our highest goal or should it be an essential part of something even more important? Maybe we need to declare what that something is.

As I contemplated the questions in this comment, I realized that having our children and youth develop a biblical worldview cannot be the ultimate end of their education.  Developing a biblical worldview must be a means to a greater end.

Throughout this week, I have wrestled with why do we need a biblical worldview and what is the ultimate end that requires us to develop such a belief system?  The answers to these questions are not easy ones to grapple with.  In fact, they cannot be answered in merely one blog post.

In an effort to answer these questions, I was reminded about the importance of understanding one’s purpose.  Understanding one’s purpose gives meaning to life.  Therefore, developing a biblical worldview must be an essential component for knowing and fulfilling God’s purpose for mankind.

It was fascinating to study God’s Word and see something that God stresses over and over again when it comes to His purpose for you and me.  God created man in His image so that man would know Him.  I have been completely enthralled by this truth over the past several months.

This past week I have been studying the account of God bringing the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.  I was amazed at the number of times God said that He was going to do something so that someone would know that I am the Lord.  God does miraculous works for one reason — so that He will be known.

J.I. Packer asks a series of questions that all have the same answer.

  • What were we made for?  To know God.
  • What aim should we have in life?  To know God.
  • What is eternal life that Jesus gives?   To know God.
  • What is the best thing in life?  To know God.
  • What in humans gives God most pleasure?  Knowledge of Himself.

How does one’s worldview relate to knowing God?  I have shared some basic components of every worldview in other articles.  Every worldview is made up of one’s beliefs about:

  • God
  • Creation
  • Man
  • Knowledge
  • Right and Wrong
  • Purpose
  • Future

All of these components are important building blocks that form one’s worldview.   However, the foundational building block of any and every worldview is one’s beliefs about God.  What one believes and knows about God shapes every other component of one’s worldview.

Therefore, it is essential that every child develop a biblical worldview because it is the only worldview that will lead them to know the true God.  So, one part of the answer to why it is essential for Christians to develop a biblical worldview is so that they will know Him.  Here are some questions I have asked myself this week.  How would you answer them?
  1. Do I know God or do I merely know some things about God?
  2. Are my beliefs about God in line with how He is revealed in Scripture?
  3. What impact does my knowledge of God have on my everyday life?

Knowing God must be our highest goal in life.  However, there is more to answering the question, why is it essential for us to develop a biblical worldview?  Next week I will share some other answers I have found to this penetrating question.

Be sure to share your thoughts to this question by leaving a comment below.

Addressing Today’s Worldview Crisis

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We Are Facing A Worldview Crisis

Last week was a busy one to say the least.  Wednesday evening I had the privilege of presenting the second part of a seminar on Raising Kingdom Kids in an Anti-Christian Culture to adults at First Baptist Church Snellville in Georgia.  Saturday I participated in a Kingdom Parenting Summit at Spring Baptist Church in Texas.  Both of the these events reinforced my conviction that there must be an intentional effort to equip Christians with a biblical worldview and philosophy of education.

In preparing for these seminars, I was reminded of what Dr. George Barna presented at some recent worldview conferences at which we were both speaking.  His research on the worldview of adults in the country shows that there is a major worldview crisis facing us today.  This is especially true for Christian parents, church leaders and educators.

Dr. Barna found that the percentage of adults that have a biblical worldview has declined over the past few years.  Adults who possessed a biblical worldview dropped from 10% in 2016 to 9% in 2017 and 7% in 2018.  According to this trend, the percentage of adults who have a biblical worldview today is most likely less than 7%.  This is clear evidence that we have a worldview crisis today and this crisis will have disastrous effects on future generations.

There was one slide that Barna presented that really caught my attention.  This slide gave a profile of adults in the United States.

Metaformation Inc. and American Culture & Faith Institute, 2018

One of the findings in this profile is that 70% of adults still self-identified themselves as Christians.  I can remember reading Patrick Morely’s book, The Rest of Your Life.  He referred to similar statistics and asked a penetrating question.  Where are all these Christians?  If 70% of adults are Christians, why aren’t they impacting the culture in a meaningful way?

This is even more evident when it comes to another anomaly found in Barna’s research.  He found that 79 million adults believed that they possessed a biblical worldview.  However, when responding to 40 questions related to principles that form a biblical worldview only 18 million actually lived by such beliefs.

Over the years I have found that this is one of the most challenging problems facing the home, church and school.  Most Christians believe that they think and act biblically.  When faced with the findings of research such as Barna’s, they believe that the alarming results apply to others not to themselves.

I continually have Christians acknowledge that there is a crisis of belief within the body of Christ.  However, they tend to put qualifiers on the reality of the worldview crisis facing Christians today with statements such as:

  • our church is different and we are making disciples of Jesus
  • the secular schools (primarily public) in our area are “good” schools
  • our Christian school is effective in biblical worldview integration because we have “strong” Christian teachers
  • our homes (parents) are doing a good job raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord

As long as we shift the focus of such research from ourselves to others, the necessary changes that need to take place will never become a reality.  When we believe that “we” are the Christians that have a strong biblical worldview, we will never see the need to engage in biblical worldview formation activities or efforts to develop a biblical philosophy of education.  It will always be others who need this — not us.

God has allowed me to conduct two staff development seminars, one board training session and two parenting seminars in the past four weeks.  In each of these events, I have focused on the need to understand God’s ultimate purpose for education and the necessity to embrace a biblical worldview and philosophy of education.

The responses have been overwhelmingly positive.  I found Christian parents, church leaders and educators to be very hungry for the truths that were presented and they all wanted to learn more.

This is why I have made the commitment to put all of my energies into challenging as many Christians as possible to be intentional in their own biblical worldview formation and understanding of a biblical philosophy of education.

There are hundreds of Christian schools that need to become a KEM Prime Member and give their staff and board members access to key training resources in these areas.  If you are an administrator of a Christian school, I want to encourage you to have your school become a Prime Member today.  This membership is the most economical source of biblical professional development resources available today.

Simply click here to join now or email me at glen@kingdomeducation.org to see if you and your school are eligible for a special school discount.

I am often amazed that so many Christian school leaders do not have an ongoing, intentional plan to make sure all of their teachers and board members have a biblical worldview and know, understand and are fully committed to a biblical philosophy of education.

Could it be that they believe that today’s worldview crisis is someone else’s fault?  Could it be that they are like Pogo in the comic strip where he said, We have met the enemy and he is us?

Barna’s research shows that every one of us needs to be determined to develop a biblical worldview so that we can effectively shape the worldview of our children and students.  If we are not successful at this one task, we are failures no matter what else we accomplish.

Please share your thoughts on today’s worldview crisis by leaving a comment below.

Some Things Need To Change!

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Make A Difference In 2020

2019 is in the rearview mirror.  I think you will agree with me that it was a year that was marked by overwhelming moral decay throughout society.  We continue to see the vast majority of our children leaving the church.  How do we survive the assault on biblical values that once guided life in America?

At a recent worldview conference I was speaking at, George Barna told the audience that biblical education is our last hope.  The reason this is true is because children and youth spend more time at school than they do at church and at home (when you don’t count sleeping).

He went on to say that we must give our children a biblical worldview if there is any hope that they will be able to stand against the culture that is trying to destroy everything we believe to be true.  However, there is a problem.  We can only give the next generation what we, ourselves, possess!

These facts have haunted me for the last several weeks.  Are we going to be up to the challenge?  I do not believe we are ready to accept this challenge unless some things drastically change.  Today, I am announcing that I am determined to do all I can to equip Christians to be able to take on this overwhelming test.

While visiting family in El Paso over the holidays, the pastor preaching the new year sermon said something that I cannot get out of my mind.  He asked us, what is your plan to make sure that 2020 is not merely a repeat of 2019?

According to Barna’s research, only 9% of Christians possess a biblical worldview.  Even worse is the reality that only 4%, 1 out of 25, millennials have developed a biblical worldview.  Barna went on to explain that a young person’s worldview is pretty much shaped by the age of 13.  This means, that the primary parenting generation today is the millennial generation.  As I have been speaking in various Christian schools around the country, I am finding out that the primary teaching generation is fast becoming the millennial generation.

With that being said, it becomes evident that the home, church and school are not equipped to give the next generation a biblical worldview.  This is because one can only give what one possesses!

This is the major thing that must change if we are going to successfully engage in today’s culture war.  I am determined to make this my highest priority in ministry in 2020.  I want to do everything possible to help the home, church and school equip Christian parents, church leaders and educators with a biblical worldview and biblical philosophy of education.  If this is not accomplished, we will continue to see our children and youth adopt the secular, atheistic worldview of the culture and leave the faith.

Here is my plan to bring about this change.

Will You Accept The Challenge?

  1. I have written to several key pastors asking them to share with me how I can engage pastors to address the issue of education biblically.
  2. I have written to an influential seminary president asking him what seminaries can do to challenge future pastors and church leaders to address the issue of education biblically.
  3. I will continue to challenge every head of a Christian school to make it his/her top priority to conduct intentional, ongoing staff development in the areas of biblical worldview formation and biblical philosophy of education.  This is absolutely necessary if Christian schools are going to remain true to God’s ultimate purpose of education.
  4. I am in the process of developing additional resources and activities that will lead parents, pastors and educators to know the truth so they can be made free.
  5. I have set a goal to enlist at least 100 more schools to become KEM Prime Members so that their staffs will have access to the resources necessary to equip them to accept this challenge.
  6. I have committed to conducting as many live staff and/or board training sessions as my calendar will allow.

Last year there were over 6,000 videos viewed on the KEM Prime Member website.  This far exceeded what I had thought would take place.  But, it is not enough.  This needs to be doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled if we are going to be able to make a difference.

As I have prayed about this, I have asked myself what would happen if 10,000 board members, administrators, and teachers developed a strong, biblical worldview and embraced a biblical philosophy of education?  This may appear to be too big of a goal but when one breaks it down, it is actually quite low.

If a Christian school has a board and staff membership of only 30 individuals, it would take a little more than 300 schools to reach this goal.  If the number of schools increased to 500, it would result in 15,000 Christians educators equipped to give students a biblical worldview education.  It is not only mandatory that this takes place, but it is also very achievable.

When I was serving the Lord at Lynchburg Christian Academy, Dr. Jerry Falwell regularly challenged us by saying,

It is not a question if the rabbit can climb the tree, it has to!

The rabbit has to climb the tree!  However, it won’t happen unless each and every one of us commits himself/herself to pursuing this goal together.  Here is my challenge to you.

Do you want 2020 to be just a repeat of 2019?

If not, what needs to change in your life and ministry?

Would you join with me to do everything possible to give the next generation a biblical worldview education?  Let’s make 2020 a year that we see God do a miracle in the hearts and minds of thousands of children and youth.  It can happen!  It must happen!  It begins with you and me!

Be sure to leave a comment or email me with any suggestions you might have to help achieve this goal.

Immanuel – God With Us!

By | Public Blog

With Christmas just a little over a week away, I wanted to share with you something that continues to boggle my mind.  Of course, everything that surrounds the true meaning of Christmas is absolutely amazing.  However, there is one truth that I know I will never fully comprehend.  This truth is stated in both the Old and New Testaments.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Emmanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, “God with us. Matthew 1:23

Whether one spells this name with an “E” or an “I”, the meaning is the same.  When Jesus was born as a baby, God came to this earth.  It is hard to comprehend that the Creator of the universe took on human flesh and dwelt with man right here on earth.  I love singing the little chorus that speaks this truth over and over again.

Emmanuel, Emanuel.  His name is called Emmanuel.  God with us, revealed in us.  His name is called Emmanuel.

As I prepare for Christmas, I am consumed with the truth that God loved me so much that He came and dealt among us.  This should impact how we live our lives each and every day.  But then something else happened because Jesus became God with us.  He went to the cross and died for our sins and rose again forever defeating sin and the grave.

When I repented of my sins and believed in my heart that Jesus was Lord, I was born again.  What is amazing about that is that it was no longer simply God with me but now it was God in me!  His Spirit lives within me.  So this Christmas I am rejoicing that they called His name Emmanuel – God with us!  But I also praise Him because of what happened on that first Christmas, I can now say that God is in me.  I can’t fully comprehend this truth but I have a new creation in Christ.

Here are the questions that I have asked myself as Christmas approaches.

  1. How is my life a reflection of the truth that Emmanuel came to this earth?
  2. How is my life different because He indwells me each and every day?

I pray that each of you has a blessed Christmas.  I look forward to being back with you in 2020.  Together let’s live our lives knowing that God is both with us and in us.  Can you imagine what 2020 might hold in store if the reality of Emmanuel consumed us each day?  Merry Christmas!

 

What Does It Mean?

By | Public Blog

It is amazing to see how the meanings of words change over time.  Unfortunately, many Christians fail to understand that this is even happening.  This results in them using words and thinking that everyone is defining them the same way they are.  The end result is utter chaos.

Another thing that I have witnessed over the years when it comes to the meaning of words is that we use common words and phrases and never really define them.  This leaves the meaning of those words and phrases left up to how the hearer defines them.  Once again, the result is chaos.  Words are important but knowing their meanings is equally, if not more, important.

My good friend, Mark Kennedy, recently sent me a brief article. Mark is the ACSI Director for Eastern Canada.  In the article, he illustrated the results that take place when definitions change or people use words without really knowing the true meaning of them.  He wrote,

Over time, the definitions of words change – occasionally they change quite a bit. An innocuous example is the word ‘silly’ which comes from the old English word ‘saleg’ meaning ‘happy’. Over many decades that meaning (and spelling) changed gradually so that saleg – ‘happy’-, came to mean ‘blessed’, then ‘pious’. From pious its meaning changed further to ‘innocent’, from ‘innocent’ to ‘naïve’ and then from the mid 16th century on, it evolved into its current meaning – ‘foolish’.

Over the centuries, some definitions just evolved on their own. But in our day, the functional meanings of a few key words have been intentionally altered for political and/or social engineering purposes. The word “Gay” is a prime example.

And for other words, their common daily usage has come to mean the exact opposite of their long-established definitions. So ‘tolerance’ now implies the furious rejection of any perspectives except those promoted by the wielders of worldly power. And ‘inclusiveness’ carries with it the intentional and scornful exclusion of anyone whose beliefs conflict with ‘political correctness’.

Most of us can relate to what Mark is saying in these few sentences.  You may have even been accused of being bigoted or worse because of how you “misused” some of these words.  Mark went on in his article to show how the changing of definitions has affected education.

Along the same lines, the term ‘liberal’ has been so misused in our culture that its roots are obscured. ‘Liberal’ comes from the Latin “liberare”, meaning ‘to set free’.  According the original meaning, the word ‘liberal’ isn’t about the rejection of traditional ideas or the unquestioning acceptance of the new.  From its root, the word ‘liberal’, is all about freedom.  This makes me think of Jesus’ words, “It is for freedom that you have been set free!” Gal 5:1. And of course, the Scriptures defines what freedom really is and who is able to supply it.  So, a ‘liberal’ education is one that sets students free according to God’s standards– the very thing I hope we are doing in Christian schools.

As I read this brief article, I asked myself this question.  Are we providing students with an education that sets them truly free?  Jesus also spoke these words.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:31-32 (NKJV) 

If the education we are providing our children is going to set them free, it must lead them to abiding in God’s Word to the point that they will know truth.  When they know truth, they will be made free.  Mark finished his article with a quote by a Catholic theologian named Peter Kwasniewski.  Kwasniewski wrote,

The point of liberal [freeing] education is not to form perfect beings on the model of already perfect beings but to initiate a lifetime of apprenticeship to the one true Master, Jesus Christ, freeing the mind from the debris of a collapsing civilization and freeing the heart from the chafing shackles of confined and self-centered desire. Students who receive such an education are granted the opportunity to find a spiritual freedom that is more precious than all the riches of this world (emphasis mine).

After thinking about the world that our children and youth are growing up in, I found myself in full agreement with Mark’s closing thought.

Young People Need an Education that Inspires Them to Seek God’s Face!