The church planting journey we are on has lead to several major changes in our lives. Moving 10 hours from family, living in a townhouse with a small yard, and tapping into savings to live have been just a few.
It’s also lead to some amazing conversations as husband and wife and some really candid conversations with God.
As I’ve matured in my faith over the years, I’ve had to move from asking God to help me deal with the situations of my life to asking Him what He wants me to learn in each situation.
Currently, I’ve been praying, talking and thinking a lot about financial provision. While I have the faith God is going to provide for us, I still have a role to play. The earth will produce our food, but God clearly told Adam mankind would have to work for it.
So, we have decided to change directions a bit. We had been thinking our financial provision would come through donations. And, while I see nothing wrong with this approach to ministry it wasn’t right for us.
We have decided that I will be a bivocational pastor instead. Now, you either don’t care, think bivocational pastors lack faith or think it’s a great idea. For me and my family, this is the right decision; here’s why.
A bivocational pastor is not reliant on the income from the church; therefore, he tends to speak more freely. There isn’t a foothold for the devil to lie and say “whoa there fella if you say that people might get made and hold back their tithe.” In fact, I’ve worked in the past with many pastors who wanted to make a certain decision but were afraid to because of their job security. For me, I can struggle with what others think of me; so I could easily fall into this.
Being a bivocational pastor will give me contact with unchurched people to witness to that otherwise I wouldn’t have the opportunity.
I’m better positioned to model “every member a minister”. In other words, being in the marketplace isn’t an excuse to not participate in the work of Kingdom building.
The church will have more of its monies available to do mission work. Now, for some churches they believe that paying a full-time salary is the best way to allocate their funds. I support them. God has entrusted them to handle their funds prayerfully the best way they can. The same is true for Coastal City Church. And, as the senior pastor, I believe this is what’s best for our funds.
By necessity, I’ll have to invite and equip more people to do the work of the church….which is what we are called to do in the first place.
I believe this will make me a better communicator of the Gospel. I’ll stay in touch more with how the world talks, what their fears are, what excuses they have holding them back from accepting Jesus. There are 5.5 billion people on the planet out of the 7.5 billion people alive that have no relationship with Jesus Christ. I for one feel urgency to reach these people anywhere and everywhere I can. I need to be the best communicator I can be.
I’ll have to be hyper aware of my time management and productivity. I can easily major in the minors if I have margin in my calendar. By working with my wife to prioritize my time I’ll be a more attentive Christ-follower, husband, father, friend, leader, and pastor. I’ll have to say no to knucklehead stuff and focus on the important.
So, thanks to a good man and a great leader, Kirby Hasseman, I’m hanging out my shingle to put my creative side to work helping people develop promotional programs to achieve business/organizational goals under the Hasseman Marketing umbrella.
In other words, if you want or need a promotional product with your logo on it to help with client acquisition, employee retention, resale, customer appreciation, etc….I’m your new go-to guy. Together we will answer some key questions in leading us to the perfect product that helps you achieve the goals you have. From pens to shirts, hats to calendars and teddy bears to signs; I’ve got you covered.
One of the questions I’ve been asked most by parents goes something like this. “Can you help me connect with my 12-year-old daughter?” or “I just don’t get it, we use to be so close. What happened?”
The way we approach parenting our children need to change from child to child and as each child get’s older. This is one of the things that can make positive parenting so challenging. Just as we think we have it figured out, our kids change.
But isn’t that what you were going for? A kid who is maturing and changing into the productive adult God desires them to be?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a road map or some guidelines on “how” we should be parenting our kids as they grow older? Well, there is.
One of the things I’ve been able to document about kids over my years of working with thousands of youth in summer camp is the developmental and relational changes they go through from one age group to another. I’ve literally seen an entire generation grow up; one week at a time, once per year, year after year. And, I’ve seen trends in age gouging that I’m now applying to my own parenting.
Here is a brief overview of the five stages of parenting. I’ve adopted the wording of each stage that I heard Andy Stanley use.
Birth to approximately 1 year.
Connecting. It’s important in the first several months for parents and kids to connect. A baby cries, and get’s comforted. A baby has every need met by a parent. A baby cries again and get’s comforted. This cycle continues and the child realizes that mom and dad are there for them. Mom and dad will take care of their needs. Mom and dad love them. Mom and dad make life safe. Mom and dad will be there.
Ages 1 to 5.
Discipline. Laying down a foundation of cause and effect will help your kids believe you when they are older and you tell them; “this relationship is going to hurt.” or “that behavior is bad for you.”
Ages 6 to 12.
Training. In this stage of parenting, you’ll still be responding to and correcting behavior, but you’ll be adding in more training. Both in regards to skills, but also habits. Study habits, chores, choosing good friends, work ethic, etc.
Ages 13 to 18.
Coaching. In this stage of parenting, the name of the game is proactive vs reactive. With kids at this age, parents really want to focus on upcoming decisions vs how the school day just went.
Ages 18 and up.
Friendship. God didn’t give you kids to fill your need for companionship and friendship. That’s one reason you get married. But, once your kids are 18 or older; they should be living their life. It cracks me up to no end how many moms call me asking if I’m hiring because their 20 year old “is looking for a job”. No they aren’t…mom’s looking for a job for them. (PS. Moms, I never hire anyone over the age of 18 who’s mom or dad calls me to inquire about a job. Never.)
Glow Sticks are perfect for an afternoon of family fun. But most people think that you have to wait until it’s dark outside to do activities with Glow Sticks. Not true friend. Watch the above video and try out some of these family fun ideas.
While doing these activities with your family you will have a wonderful opportunity to connect glow sticks and the light that they produce to God. Who, after all, is the light of the world. Talk about the time that Jesus said “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill can’t be hidden. Also, people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house.“In the same way, let your light shine in front of others. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.
When we have Jesus living in us, He wants to shine through us. Ask you kids how much fun it would be to get the glow sticks, only to hide them under their bed. Not fun at all, the point of the glow sticks is to play with them. The point of God living in us to is share Him with others. What’s the point of having Jesus live in us, if we are only going to hide Him from those around us.
Our two and half year old has developed a habit of saying “I can’t” when attempting almost anything new. I never thought much of it until last week when I heard something else with the words.
I heard fear.
Here’s what happened…
Our four year old daughter had just jumped a very short distance off something. Ever imitating his sister, our son walked to the same spot, looked down, prepared himself to jump and then froze. He began crying and said “I can’t. I can’t.” But it was the fear in his voice that I heard that caught my attention.
After thinking it over and talking with my wife about it, I decided to help my son change his language.
Now, we are correcting him when he say’s “I can’t” to say “I won’t”.
“I can’t” is a victim of circumstance term.
“I won’t” is a choice I make for myself.
Now, there are things my son can’t do. He currently can’t swim and he can’t ride a bike. These are “I can’t, yet” issues.
He’s in the 95% for height and weight, most likely he can’t be a horse jockey in the Kentucky Derby, he’ll be too big. There will be other things he can’t do in life, and I’m okay with that.
I want to help my boy grow up and realize that he is less of a victim of circumstance and more in control than he thinks.
I don’t believe in teaching kids; “you can do anything you sit your mind to.” That’s simply false.
Instead, I want to discover along with my kids what God has gifted them uniquely to do for Him and for others.
What about you? Do you use “I can’t” when really you should use “I won’t”?
My kids jump onto the couch with excited glee. “We get to do a Bible” they both squeal.
They then fight for about 60 seconds over who get’s to pick the story. In the end, I decide who get’s to pick the story, and the other kid cries as if they have just watched me toss all their toys into a bonfire.
After we all calm down, we start the Bible app. It reads us the story, and the kids listen to the first 3 words and then argue about who get’s to push the button next.
To be honest. I can’t remember a time somebody didn’t cry. So why do we keep doing this?
Because our five year can pretty much retell the entire story of Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt. Our three year old know’s that God sent an angel to keep the lions from eating Daniel.
Is this knowledge going to get them into Heaven? Nope. But, one day…hopefully after they ask Jesus to be the forgiver of their sins and the leader of their lives….they will recall these stories when they need him. When a bully is teasing my son, he will hopefully recall God’s promise and ability to protect us. Our daughter will be able to recall God’s desire to lead his people to safety.
Our kid’s get excited about engaging in God’s words every night. That’s worth the parenting challenge.
Will it ever get easier? I sure hope so…at least that’s what I’m telling myself. But until then, it’s working.
To many parents think they can’t lead their kids in Bible study because their kids won’t “behave” during it. To often parents believe this myth that Bible study should be calm, peaceful and full of religious muckety-muck. Trust me, get your kid’s engaged with the word of God. It’s going to be messy, and that’s okay.
It’s not always fun, but it’s worth it. Right now, as toddlers, I’m trying to simply lay a foundation of the habit.
I’d love to hear your idea or thoughts on Facebook.