Ministry Fertilizer

Spiritual Appetite
January 29, 2008, 3:37 pm
Filed under: Principles of Youth Ministry

 Last week as I read over Luke 14 I thought of a conversation my wife and I have quite often. Around 7 pm she will ask me if I am ready for supper. If I answer “yes” she will say what would you like. However, if I say “no” she will come to wherever I am ask and with a grin on her face will say “where did you go to lunch today”. She works as a teacher so doesn’t have the opportunity to go out to eat as often as I do. The lesson of my rambling story is that she knows if I do not need her food to satisfy me it has to be because my appetite has been filled by something else. 

When it comes time for me to spend time with God in His Word and I do not make time for Him — the problem is not a scheduling or reading problem.. but a appetite problem. “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great.” (John Piper, A Hunger for God). 

Text: Luke 14:14-18Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

I. WHO gave the invitation?        

He is a man you should not ignore. Worship        

Many of us have accepted his first invitation (Salvation)        

The invitation was to a man and not just to a meal (Ezekiel 45:15,16)Ezekiel 45:15  And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD.        

In this man we will find all we need. (Colossians 2:3)Colossians 2:3  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 

II. WHAT was prepared for them? (v.16)         What is waiting for us to enjoy. Praise         All the “hidden riches” (Isaiah 45:3)Isaiah 45:3  And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

         Exactly what you need is waiting for you.

 III. What time was it? (v.17)        

It was time to eat. Why did they have other plans?         If you do not make a plan to eat you will just eat whatever is convenient.         We do not live in environment that should cause hunger, not bring satisfaction.         Hunger pains (Psalm 42:1, 2a)Psalms 42:1  To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.> As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (42:2)  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 

IV. Why they did not come? (v. 18,19)

Three excuses “the care of this world” (v. 18) “the deceitfulness of riches” (v. 19), “the pleasures of this life” (v. 20)Ill. “I do not have any peanut butter!”        

We are to easily satisfied with the table of the world. (Jer. 2:13).

Jeremiah 2:13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.        


Are you hungry for time with God?Has the world satisfied you appetite?What is replacing your time with God?Would you be able to pray the prayer of Isaiah 26:8, 9?Isa 26:8  Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. Isa 26:9  With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.  


Chapel Service @ Our Generation Training Center
January 24, 2008, 12:42 pm
Filed under: Principles of Youth Ministry

Are You Making Progress? 

2 Chronicles 26:5

And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.

There are times we feel this in our life with the Lord. We’re pulling this way and the Lord pushing that way and there is no progress. We’re putting in tremendous amounts of energy only to find ourselves exhausted at the end of the day.
 “We are never closer to failure than during our greatest successes! If we fail to recognize God’s part in our achievements, they are no better then failure.” 

Famous king  (made engines)– no accounts of him ever stopping to give thanks to God. Lack of thankfulness.


  1. A Leader of Leaders. (v.13)
    1. Provided the resources they need. (v. 14)
    2. Are you enlisting men?

  1. Had a Mentor. (v.5)
    1. Sought God during the days of Zechariah.
    2. Borrowed convictions will not last.
    3. Godly mentor does not guarantee success
  2. Followed a Godly pattern. (26:4)
    1. He followed after his father.
    2. Follow as far as you can with the Bible in your hand. Go farther when needed.
    3. Uzziah’s dad followed the Lord, did some great things for God, brought godly reforms to the land but he left the high places (2Kings 14:1-4)
  3. Went forward with pride. (v.16)
    1. Took a job that was not given to him.
    2. Do not move forward with pride.
    3. You will never merit the right to be missionaries.

I would rather preach then…
January 24, 2008, 9:01 am
Filed under: Principles of Youth Ministry

When I was sixteen years old, during a high school chapel service, God begin to work in my heart in a very powerful way during the message. I had thought about being a preacher. I had even wanted to be. However, I didn’t think surrendering to that fact was all that important at that age in my life. However, on that Wednesday morning as the chapel speaker preacher all I could think of was that God would not guide me any further until I took the next step he had laid out before me.

After I surrendered to preach that day I was given all kinds of opportunities to preach. I was in a very small church and a quite small Christian school. I preached a great deal but was given very little instruction. I could tell when I preached no adult was listening they were just there smiling and being so happy little Trent was going to be a preacher one day when he grows up. I remember hearing things after I preach like “so you want to be a preacher that great”. I would think to myself “want to be a preacher, what do you think I just did”. As I think back on the messages I preached I am not sure how much of it was Bible, so I am not sure if it was really preaching at all. When I get to heaven I my have to sit a the kids table during the Marriage Supper because of all the crazy things I preached. (Which will work out okay for a little while, it will give me a chance to talk with some of the famous tv preachers today)

I do not know exactly how the story goes, or if this is a figment of my imagination – I once told a man in my church that I was close to that I would rather “preach then eat”. He said that is good because that is the decision you will have to make. He was a wealthy man and thought that a surrender to ministry was equivalent to taking a vow of poverty.

Many times when I do not feel like I am not being successful at what I am given to do I do not ask for more to do. Makes since huh. Since my youth department is not booming as I want, I do not ask for opportunities to preach. Well, you and I have to get past that. My youth department is not booming becuase of gross sin in my life or laziness. It is growing in proportion to the “youth pastors heart” God is growing in me. Doing other things in the ministry I desire to do will not pull me away from this but will be like a stimulus plan for it. The last couple of weeks I have been praying for chances to preach. I am so excited that he have me an opportunity yesterday, twice today, and twice on Sunday. Also, if you read this blog all the way to this point I had to the chance to share my heart with my heart with yet another captivated audience. Thanks. 

January 21, 2008, 7:26 pm
Filed under: Principles of Youth Ministry

During the famine in Somalia, thousands of starving families left their homes and once-productive farms to seek shelter and food at distant refugee centers. Foreign nations and humanitarian agencies sent and distributed food to these starving people. Many received help in time to save their lives. Some, however, waited too long before seeking help. They were so malnourished that when they tried to eat, their bodies rejected food. Their digestive systems had shut down and would no longer process the very thing their bodies needed. Many died because their bodies no longer recognized or accepted life-sustaining nourishment. Their bodies didn’t recognize what they were hungering for.

On Saturday as we were out on SSI (Saturday Student Impact) I had the chance to spend some time with a teenager named Adam. It was freezing outside and we saw more snow then we have seen in GA in five years. As we went door to door he was so excited. As soon as we would get done with one door he wanted to go to the next. As soon as we finished one apartment complex he wanted to go to the next. He was hungry to talk about to people about our church.

When I was his age I hoped no one would come to door and wanted to go home as soon as possible. I went becuase I was convinced by quilt that I had to to be right with God. Adam knows it is an option and he desires to go becuase He is hungry to serve God.

I learned a lesson from the student that day.

When a teen comes to a church service
January 19, 2008, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Principles of Youth Ministry

I appreciate my Pastor leaving a comment concerning “is a church service the best introduction for lost teenagers”. I agree with him totally and if I didn’t I would not post it on a blog 🙂 If I disagreed I would go into his office and tell him. Not because I am so knowledgeable or arrogant but because he encourages it. I can tell anything I think.. as long as I am willing to allow the Word of God to be the final authority. He is a great pastor to work for.. and an even better friend to have.

Even though I believe we should do everything we can to get lost teenagers to the church services because we are given the job to teach them the gospel not just flash them with it, I am going to try do something. 

1. I want to encourage the teens to hang out in the youth room after services so teenagers who just come to a service can be velcroed to  some other teens.

2. Make sure they meet the pastor before the service, if at all possible. Then when they hear him speak they will see him as a friendly guy who is their friend.

3. I will continue to get the teens to sit together so they will see that there our other teens.

4. Have teens invite them to our next teen activity and give them info on what we are up to.

Represent “the oldest company” in the community.
January 18, 2008, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Principles of Youth Ministry

The chamber of commerce meeting was called to order. After the reception of new members and the introduction of visitors, the chairman asked who of those present represented the oldest company in the community. A young man in the back of the room hesitated a moment, then arose and said: “I believe I do, sir. I am a minister of the gospel. The company I represent was founded some 2,000 years ago. And I am happy to say that it is still flourishing.” His announcement was greeted with applause, for none of those present was inclined to contradict him. He did, indeed, represent “the oldest company” in the community.

Is this the best introduction?
January 17, 2008, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Principles of Youth Ministry
I am going to throw out a question and tomorrow I will give more of my opinion. I would like to hear from some of you concerning this question. One of the things I like about blogs is you have no idea how many other people read this blog.. let me assure you it is less then 10,000 🙂 I will leave the rest to your imagination.

Tonight we had a foreign exchange student from South Korea for her first service at our church. I believe the students were nice, the building was clean, the preacher was passionate and excited about his message, and we showed her that we anticipated her time with us. She professes to be a Christian and does not have an option about coming back, becuase of the family she lives with are “followers of the way”.

This made me think of a question. Last night we had a kid come with one of our faithful friends to church. I was so proud of the step he took. The kid he brought was from a Russian family and had only been to a church one other time in his life. He came to church met a couple kids, sat on the front row, heards somethings he had never heard, heard some things he didn’t understand, and went home.

This is something that has happened on many, many occassions. Not just in our church but in almost every church in America. From what I can tell, the kid did not come back to church tonight simply because he didn’t really enjoy his time last night. Why should he? He is unregenerated? The things that made us say “amen” made him say “what?”. He didn’t hear the gospel during the service and that is not to anyones discredit. We are a body of baptized believers who are joined together for the purpose of bring God glory by the furtherance of His fame! Simply, he looked into a business meeting that he had not stock or investment into.

Is a church service the best place to introduce a teenager to Christ? Since this kid did not enjoy the service will he want to come to any other activity we have? Would we be better off keeping the church for the saved and just taking the Gospel to them? Is the church service supposed to be an evangelistic arm of the church family?

I will state my opinion on this sometime tomorrow. However, I wanted to hear you opinions first.