Skip to main content

Lifeway hits a mark

Last year, in June, I criticized the Southern Baptist Convention's Lifeway Christian Resources over their advertising of a few products.  You can read it all here.  However, in the interest of fairness, I thought I should share a good thing I saw from them this past week.

Last week I went to M-Fuge, part of the student summer activities Lifeway puts together.  It was a well-run camp/mission activity that we'll talk about later.  One of the activities was an adult Bible study while the youth had their own Bible studies, and as we were getting ready for this Bible study time, there was always a short video profiling some aspect of Lifeway's student ministries system.  (Ok, it was a commercial.)

One of these was for the curriculum directly related to young women.  It was a video showing some of the various temptations and issues girls face, and and expressing some of those emotions.  It also shared the viewpoint, repeatedly, of "you can't protect me," addressed to both parents and youth leaders.

And when you reach the end of the video, the statement was essentially that you can't protect, but you can prepare, encourage, guide spiritually.  And then Lifeway expressed that they can help adults know how to handle being there for teenagers.

This is good.  Very good.

Why?  A few reasons:

1.  Lifeway isn't claiming they can solve all of a student's problems with a book or a class. 

2.  I took the primary audience for this advertisement as parents, with church ministries as a secondary target.  Which is good: parents, especially Christian parents, are responsible for helping their children grow in Christ.  The church should help, but one of the dangers we've fallen into is farming out our kids, even to churches.  How do we expect church to be more effective than the home?  If the home is filled with Believers, then church is a supplement, not the whole meal.  Kids whose parents aren't in church is a whole different story.  Still, and this is a whole long thought, the ministry to youth and children is a ministry of the church not a small or solo volunteer or a hired gun.  Any ministry that separates the church into isolated groups is not building the body of Christ.

3.  The point was, to me, clear: no one program is the solution.  Individual relationships are the the key.  This is a good point for all involved in discipling (which should be all Christians).  Relationships are the center: relationship with Christ, with fellow believers, and with those who need to come to Christ.

Anyway, I just wanted to post that bit of positive. Something I've seen in my personality is a tendency to see problems and express that I've seen problems but not to express positives. It's not that the problems aren't there or aren't serious, because they are.  We have a lot of issues that we've borrowed into the church that we don't need.  Yet I want to do a little better about highlighting the positive.

So, just as I pointed out a missed point, here's a hit mark: literature doesn't solve your problems, but it can help you be able to know how to work through your relationships to build disciples.  And that's a good thing.

 

Doug

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…