The Imperative for Brain-Washing our Kids

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I’ve been a pastor for over 30 years. For the last 9 years a part of my focus has been on the challenges boys face in the 21st Century, and the challenge churches face in keeping boys engaged. 70-90% of all boys will leave the Christian Church, and most won’t come back.Often, when I write something about how the church is losing boys, I’ll get a response that says something like this: Good! That means less kids being brain-washed!  I assume the writer of that comment believes that religi … [Read more...]

Are Children’s/Youth Ministries the New Leper Colonies?

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The little children were being brought to Jesus in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them…(Matthew 20:13) The disciples had a knack for protecting Jesus from those they considered unimportant. They wanted to send away the 5000 to feed themselves. They wanted to send away the Canaanite woman who wanted the scraps from Jesus’ table. And, they wanted to send away the children. Because Jesus was simply too tired, too busy, and per … [Read more...]

Sunday Schooling Our Kids Out of Church

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About 40 years ago a profound shift took place in many Christian congregations across the country…for all the right reasons…with one troubling unintended consequence:In the 1960’s and 1970’s, my generation, Baby Boomers, rebelled against the “institutional church” just as we did with every other institution our parents built/supported.  We rebelled by dropping out: 2/3rds of my generation dropped out of church.  In the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, innovative pastors and congregations of all size … [Read more...]

It Takes a Man to Raise a Boy Into a Man

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In the twenty-first century, the overwhelming majority of boys are being mentored primarily by women: moms and grandmas, female preschool teachers, female elementary teachers, female Sunday school teachers, and, more often than not, educational TV shows skewed to girls. A few fortunate boys have a dad, uncle, or grandpa to pour male energy into the boy. For far too many boys, however, Dad no longer lives at home, is disengaged even though he does live at home, or feels inadequate to … [Read more...]

Real Boys Don’t “Fall in Love” with Jesus

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Imagine dropping your son off at football practice and as he’s walking toward the field you yell out: Son, one of my hopes for you this season is that you fall in love with your coach!Or imagine saying to your son: Son, my greatest desire, as your dad/mom, is that you fall in love with me.Creepy!  Ick!  Yuck!Yet that’s precisely what much of Christianity says today to boys (and to girls) about Jesus.  I’m reading an absolutely exceptional book on parenting that starts out with this fl … [Read more...]

The Key to Building a High Impact Men’s Ministry

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If you’ve worked in men’s ministry, or if you know anything about men’s ministry in the Church today, you no doubt read the title of this post and thought, “yah, right!”  More smoke.  More mirrors.  No substance.It’s tough slogging in the men’s ministry world in most churches today.  First of all, most churches aren’t doing a great job of reaching men at all let alone getting some of them into a ministry focused on men.  Second, while there are all kinds of great, exceptional programs and cur … [Read more...]

What Does it Profit Parents to Over-Program their Children….and Lose the Souls of the Kids in the Process?

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At the end of a seminar I led on boys a man in his 70’s pulled me aside to ask a few questions.  In doing so he made some interesting observations.  He noted that, in his opinion:Far too many parents today over-program their children often at the expense of building character in them.  Rather than starting with the question: What kind of person do I want my child to be?, parents today seem to be asking, What kinds of activities does my child need to participate in in order to keep up with th … [Read more...]

Why Should the Church Care About Reaching Men?

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I was interviewed the other day by a newspaper reporter on the topic of men and the Church.  She mentioned the statistics about how men are leaving the Church or not attending church in the first place and then asked, “Why does it matter? Why should the Church care about reaching men?”  The essence of the question was: If men don’t want to go to church, so what?  It wasn’t asked negatively.  The reporter followed up with great questions.  But the initial question had that undertone of why should … [Read more...]


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