Archive - June, 2014

Are You Deceived? The critical difference between hearing and doing.

Modern day Christians have mastered the art of hearing.

We live in a time when we have more access to hearing the truth of the Bible than any other time in history. Beyond the typical Sunday sermon, we have Bible studies, small groups, conferences and seminars. Add to these online sermons, television sermons, books, blogs, podcast and smart phone apps.

Let me be clear, I am not against any of these things. To the contrary, I am a proponent. I personally utilize them and encourage others to do the same.

My concern is this, many Christians have confused the good act of hearing with the better priority of doing.

Hearing Doing

James warned us against this when he said, “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)

How do we deceive ourselves? At least two ways. First, by believing that hearing is the main goal… it simply is not. Second, by thinking, “Because I am engaging with the truth of Scripture, I am growing, changing, applying… living it out.”

The truth is, there is no correlation whatsoever with the amount of our hearing and the degree of our doing. Because of this, a person can be a Bible scholar, able to quote verse and reference, understand Hebrew and Greek, and bear little resemblance to Jesus in their character and lifestyle. In fact, hearing is a great disguise for doing.

Doing is the priority. Application is the key. Life transformation is the goal.

I have said this before and it’s worth repeating. If most Christians heard nothing more from Scripture and simply started doing what they already know, they as individuals, their communities, and our world would be radically transformed. However, as long as we deceive ourselves into thinking that hearing is the objective, we will be content in our own self-deception.

What have you been prioritizing in your own life? What ideas do you have to keep “doing” as your focus?

7 Questions for Campers Coming Home

This is the time of year when thousands of young men and women will head off with their church youth group to experience camp. It is well spent time that creates lasting memories and often serves as a catalyst for significant spiritual growth.

Camp Sign

When our kids return home and stumble out of the bus/van, we have the unique opportunity to take part in and continue their experience.

The first order of business… peeling the clothes off your middle school boy, incinerating them, and dragging him into the shower. After that, here are seven questions to ask your camper.

1. What did you learn about yourself?
Camp shakes things up and puts campers in environments that force self-discovery.

2. Who did you spend time with (fellow campers and adults)?
Camp relationships are both significant and telling.

3. How did it help being away from TV/computers/phones/video games?
Modern-day life is filled with distractions that keep us from hearing from God.

4. What did the speaker talk about & how can you apply it?
Good camps have a theme and the speaker will encourage practical life-application.

5. What did your counselor or youth group leader say that had an impact on you?
Adults make it a point to speak into the lives of their campers.

6. What did you learn about who God is?
God is not more present at camp, campers are just more aware of His presence.

7. What did you learn about what God wants for your life?
Many major life decisions have come as a result of a camp experience.

A few bonus tips to keep in mind:

  • Limit questions that can be answered with a “Yes” or No.”
  • Give plenty of time for answers and don’t be afraid of silence.
  • Have the conversation away from phones/TV/computer/etc.