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...]

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...]

Dad: Coach, Cheerleader, and Companion. (Guest Post by Dave Brown)

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For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of boys and men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys and men face in the 21st Century.  Twice a month these writers will be posting the same posts on their various media formats to spread the word and to introduce their audiences to the great work of their peers.  Today’s post features Dave Brown, Director and Pastor-at-Large, Was … [Read more...]

Use Your !@%&* Words?

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When I was in 7th grade, my friend Gary and I were walking along a busy street in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.  Gary had a squirt gun, which he hid under his arm as he squirted cars passing by.  (Sounds like boy behavior, doesn’t it?)  The cars were going so fast and the gun was so cheap that maybe a couple of drops landed on an occasional car. Unfortunately, a couple of drops landed on a sports car driven by a man in his late 20’s or early 30’s.  He hit the brakes, jumped out of his car and began … [Read more...]

A Grandpa’s Prayer for his Grandsons

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Dear Phoenix (age 3), Judah (almost 3), and Decker (4 weeks),Following Jesus has been an important part of my life since I was your age.  My grandpa was a pastor who prayed for me and modeled a compelling faith for me. As you grow into men, I pray the following for you:That you will always know, no matter what, that God loves you, believes in you, and is proud of you That you will always know, no matter what, that you are God’s beloved son and that he will never give up on you … [Read more...]


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