Why is the “Passion-Level” so low?

JW-WPI was a little shocked to see a new application in the iTunes store for iPhone called, “My Time”. It’s an application that is specially designed for Jehovah’s Witnesses. To me, it’s amazing, that while most Christians are wondering how to do just the “bare minimum” – to just (some how) slide into Heaven, here’ comes the Mormons & JW’s! These people are passionate for what they believe in. While Christians are wasting time, goofing around with downloads like iFart, the JW’s are utilizing technology to evangelize their Watchtower paraphernalia. While you’re drooling on your pillow, just remember this: The Devil never sleeps.

The late (and Great) Dr. Walter Martin used to say,

“Are you willing to do for the truth what the cults do for a lie?”

When I first heard that I thought, “God, am I supposed to be going door-to-door for You?” But the real question needs to be, “God, am I just as passionate for You as the Mormons, JW’s, and the…… Marathon Runners, the new Business Owner, the XBOX 360 Enthusiast?” If not, there really is a problem.

Why is the “Passion-Level” so low these days in most Christians?

Evangelize or Fossilize

So many people get bored in Church. Why? Well, here’s one hypothesis: Because we never invite anyone to Church! Isn’t that true? We think the problem is with the preacher, with the people, with the uncomfortable pew we’re sitting on, but noooooooo… “the problem couldn’t be with us.” But it is. We’ve become a fossil, and the Church has become our “museum”. The only person we’re concerned about is ourselves. [Ouch]. But if we’d take a pro-active stance to evangelize and hand out invites for our Church when we’re at the grocery store, gas station then maybe “Church” wouldn’t be so “boring”.

How about inviting that co-worker to Church? I know, I know… you asked them before, right? But that was a year ago! No doubt the Holy Spirit has been working in their life, so it’s time to ask them again. Go for it, and see if it doesn’t make “Church” more exciting. Because when your friend finally comes, and find the Lord, you will be ecstatic!

Get Off The Criminal Road!

This week I was at the Illinois African-American Economic and Social Empowerment Summit in Springfield, IL with my Pastor. Now, as a ”white guy”, sure I felt a little out of place, but there was something that the representative of the Department of Corrections said about “Re-offenders” that really got me thinking. He said… “You gotta get ‘em off the criminal road!” It got me thinking about the parallels of the sinner who gives his heart to Christ, but that’s merely the beginning.

What is “The Criminal Road”? And how do you know you’re on that road? Sure, you repented of your sins, or asked God to forgive you of some sin you committed, but are you about to “re-offend”?

Matt 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”

Here’s some of the warning signs that you may in fact be on The Criminal Road:

1. YOU HAVE A POLLUTED SOCIAL NETWORK.
I see this all the time with young people. Their close friends are using profanity on their MySpace page, they’re still trying to “be cool” at school and fit in at Church, It just doesn’t work. “Who you hang with is who you’ll HANG with!” The noose is ready, the executioner is wearing his black hood! Why? Because you’re friends are bent on sin. They eat it up like a hungry pig in a garbage dump. Your social network has got to change. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” [1Cor. 15:33]

2. YOU HAVE STINKIN’ THINKIN’.
Sure Jesus is in your heart, but the Devil is still controlling your thoughts. If you’re thinking about dope, Hennessy, or getting down at the Club, where do you think you are? You’re not on the Highway of Holiness, you’re on the Criminal Road, and you’re about to re-offend and get locked-up! Isaiah 35:8 says, “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein”.

3. YOU’VE GOT BOOGERS IN YOUR NOSE
Have you ever talked to someone and noticed they had a booger in their nose? They didn’t check themselves in the mirror beforehand. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” [Matt. 7:3] Many times the person on The Criminal Road has got his nose in everybody’s business but his own. He’s lost his focus on getting his own live on track, and somehow validates himself by correcting others.

4. YOU HAVE DIRTY HABBITS
Habits are something that you do day-in and day-out. A habit can make you or break you depending on what kind of habits you have. Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No!” campaign didn’t work, because there was nothing to say “Yes” to! If you take away the Alcohol you’ve got to replace it by drinking the New Wine. If you take away the Marijuana or Crack pipe you’ve got to replace it with a passion for prayer and praise. You’ve got to exchange those dirty habits.

5. YOU’VE GOT BAD BREATH
I’m almost aghast at how many “Christians” these days use profanity or take the Lord’s Name in vain. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45. Cuss on, my friend – you’re on the Criminal Road and the Holy Spirit is about incarcerate you if you don’t take a detour – quick!

6. YOU’VE GOT A SMELLY SCHEDULE
The person who’s on the Criminal Road is consistently lazy with fulfilling their priorities. They say things like, “Yeah, I’ve been busy lately”, “I just haven’t had time”, or “I know I should have but…” My Pastor once said, “Excuses are like buttholes – everyone’s got one.” I tell my young people, in regards to homework, etc. “Do the worst first.” We must set our priorities, and then everything else is secondary. The Criminal Road is filled with a smelly schedule. Get it cleaned-up and the fragrance of Christ [2 Cor. 2:14] will go before you!

Kingdom Strategies for Carnival Kids

joker-energyCotton candy and corny clowns are not what will draw this generation into the arms of the nail-pierced Saviour.

This morning this title phrase came to my mind – almost out of nowhere… Kingdom Strategies for Carnival Kids. As Youth Pastors, how in the world do you get to the heart of these kids that are so wrapped-up in video games and the like? For many Youth Pastors, we think that if we put a bunch of video games in the youth center, and then make our youth services “fun, fun, fun!” that we’ll reach the masses. Could it be that we’re perpetuating the problem? I’m not against video games as a pre-service draw, but are we failing to receive the kingdom strategy for these “carnival kids”? How are we so sure that we’re right?

Prov. 16:1, “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.”

When I got saved as a teen-ager I saw our Church’s youth center with all it’s video games and “fun” and thought, “these kids should be getting into the Word!” Now, they actually were getting into the Word, and had Worship, etc., but my initial thought was, “Huh?” Being newly born again, what I saw, wasn’t attractive to my New Man.

I believe for every city and demographic there is a unique Kingdom Strategy that the Holy Spirit wants to give to every Youth Pastor. We just need to get on our knees, open our ears, write down with our hands, and then proclaim with our mouths what He has spoken to us. Our kids will be changed!

Successful Daniel Fast

21 days of “non-pleasant food”, and seeking God were what the Doctor ordered for me, my leaders, and the UNITED YOUTH in Chicago. So proud of them all.

UNITED YOUTH CHICAGO

4 Facets of Ministry

Last Sunday a Pastor John Harper prayed for me after the service, and spoke words that I had just read in the Bible just days before. Has that ever happened to you?pastor-john-harper-at-evangel The Holy Spirit had been speaking to me about the 4 Facets of Ministry within Ezekiel 1:10. It’s one creature, yet with 4 faces…

THE MAN= RELATABILITY
Ministry is serving people, and people can’t relate to someone who “pontificates”, and “waxes eloquent”, they need something they can grasp. Also, Man refers to the human side of the minister – the Husband, the Dad, the Friend.

THE LION= RULING & REIGNING
As a Youth Pastor God has given you authority, and He expects you to exercise it with boldness, wisdom, maturity, and responsibility. Christ in you is the Lion of Judah! And remember that He’s never out of control, and He knows what to do.

THE OX= WORKING & PRODUCING
The Youth Pastor is not just a preacher who works kids up into a frenzy, and then sits back in hi office watching YouTube videos. No, he’s a minister of the Gospel who works hard. The Bible says,

” It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth.” [Lam. 3:27]

And through that hard work he produces results, and brings forth much fruit.

And then lastly, one of my favorite facets of ministry…

THE EAGLE= SEEING & SOARING
As Youth Pastors we need to see into the future. You might say, “Pastor Robb, that sounds a bit New-Age-y.” Not at all. For Jesus Himself declared in John 16:13

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

God has positioned us to see from a different vantage-point than the youth we’re ministering to. And it’s as we take time to be alone with Jesus that He will begin to speak to us – giving us fresh vision and fresh revelation, which will also be confirmed by His Word. It’s then that we’ll begin to soar. Joy will fill our hearts, and faith will be released, and we will have clear direction about where we’re going.

To sum things up :: Make sure you’re balanced in these 4 areas. If you’re a bit lop-sided ask God to help you become more complete in each area, and you’ll begin to see tremendous results!

Poem of Fire!

I WANT TO FAST AND PRAY!! [robb gorringe]

When I think about the inward condition of my heart….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the condition of the American Church today…
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the plastic TMZ society that glorifies fame and sin….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the Youth who are going thru so many problems….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the strategic efforts of Gangs to recruit….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about bubble-gum chewing, yawning “Christians”….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the Power that’s available to bring Salvation and do miracles….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the lost who are still waiting to hear the Gospel….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think about the Judgment Seat of Christ….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

When I think of the torment of souls crying in Hell….
…I want to Fast and Pray!!

I WANT TO FAST AND PRAY!!