Being a young Christian leader is both a great joy and a great challenge. For me, I believe I am exactly where God has called me and I feel really blessed to be put into a place of leadership… The Lord has been gracious to me by giving me life experience and much help as I have grown as a follower of Jesus. He has also been gracious to me by placing these men in my life who are so very different from me…Here’s what I’ve learned about leading those who are older than I am (so far).
One area of cultural concern I’ve been anxious about gospel-driven sanctification taking root is the teen abstinence movement. One year I attended the local crisis pregnancy center’s annual fundraising banquet and listened to a speaker decry teen pregnancy and the abortions the pregnancies often lead to, and while of course I shared the concern—I wouldn’t have been there if I didn’t—I was chagrined to hear only the minor notes of the gospel, and even those were covered by the din of fearmongering, enemy-identifying, and law-building. Must we teach our teens to be responsible, to cherish their purity, and to save the gift of sexual intimacy for marriage? Yes, without question. But so many of our efforts amount to condemning present affections without that expulsive power of a new one. We give them the “no” to sex with a “yes” to virginity or freedom from disease and pregnancy, but no “yes” is as propulsive for saying “no” to sin as the “yes” that is in Jesus.
I love the local church. It’s God’s church, despite its flaws. For ten years, I’ve had the privilege of consulting with churches seeking to grow. Here are my reflections of those years – one reflection for each year.
In case you missed them this weekend, here are a few eBook deals I’ve found (plus a few others that are still on sale):
- The Joy of Calvinism: Knowing God’s Personal, Unconditional, Irresistible, Unbreakable Love by Greg Forster – $4.61
- Behold Our Sovereign God: All Things From Him, Through Him, and To Him by Mitchell Chase – $2.99
- The Essential Works of Richard Baxter - $2.99
- The Essential Works Of Thomas Watson - $3.99
- The One True God – Biblical study of the Doctrine of God by Paul Washer – $3.04
- Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree – $3.01
- What Did You Expect? by Paul Tripp – $3.74
- Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence – $3.99
- Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard – $4.01
- This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence by John Piper – $4.46
- When the Darkness Will not Lift by John Piper – $4.59
- Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper – $4.64
- God, Marriage, and Family by Köstenberger and Jones – $4.61
- Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood by Gene Edward Veith Jr. – $5.38
- Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken – $5.02
Some critics of Calvinism persist in referring to the doctrines of grace as “hyper-Calvinism.” But as that great philosopher Inigo Montoya once said, “You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”