In a chapter called “Schoolwide Success Factors” (in Teaching With Poverty in Mind), Eric Jensen spends the last few pages talking about common mistakes in education. He notes that high-performing schools avoid these seven achievement killers:
- Overdoing the Pep Talks and Hot Air. “Avoid the rah-rah speeches about how we all can and should do better. . . . Explain why hope is justified. Talk about what will happen, when it will happen, and how it will happen.”
- Planning Endlessly. “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the more time you spend getting the plan right, the fewer mistakes your plan will have. You will make mistakes; get over it.”
- Putting Kids First and Staff Last. Keep reading…
Have you ever been given an open door to be a part of an opportunity? How did it make you feel?
Last week, I brought some Allendale guys to a football camp at Furman University. My old position coach (Bruce Fowler) is now the head coach there. When I asked him if I could watch the practices so I can learn, he told me, “Joey, you can do anything you want.”
At the first practice, I noticed that one drill had two coaches, but three groups of players. I asked one of the coaches if I could help, and he said, “That would be great. Please do.”
David Platt reminds us that the problem isn’t that Christians too often mix religion and politics and all of life too much. The problems it that many Christians are not really driven by the core values of what they say they believe in.
“And the cost of nominal Christianity will be great for those who are lost in this world. For people in our communities, our cities, for people groups are the world who will go on without the Gospel, because we are content with not making disciples of all the nations. Because in our casual approach to Christianity we are leaving them on a road that leads to an eternal hell.”
Thanks to Grace Church for letting me contribute a guest post to their pastor’s blog. I hope you’ll click over and read Missional Parenting: There’s Nothing to It. Really.
Here’s an excerpt:
We cannot center our ministry around our children. We aren’t called to adjust our mission around our children, but to lead our children through God’s call for us.
Our kids’ nap schedules, dance classes, music lessons, and traveling athletic teams aren’t bad things. However, they can become idols that keep us from fully experiencing the purpose and joys that the Lord has for us.
Please read the full post, and leave a comment letting us know what you are learning about parenting with a missional mindset.
That’s a common question about this rural community in South Carolina, which is one of the most impoverished in the country. And a common answer (from local residents and from outside observers) is that things went downhill when the Interstate Highway system was built 50 years ago.
Before the interstates, Allendale was a important tourist stop for beach-goers. Criss-crossed by at least three main highways (278, 301, and 321), many travelers passed through this county on the way to Hilton Head, Savannah, and even Florida. One long-time resident told me that you could walk across over 301 in the summer time; now, you could lay down in the middle of the road and be safe. (Kidding! Maybe.)
But the building of I-95 and I-26 changed that. Over the years, the numerous hotels, gas stations, and restaurants slowly lost business. When the tourism and hospitality economies disappeared, Allendale decayed.
At least, that’s the common understanding.
For the past two years, I wondered how the building of a road could destroy a community? What makes Allendale different from neighboring counties, or any county in the rural south for that matter, to make the current situation so dire? Surely there had to be something else going on.
And reading A Slave of Circumstance (James Brewton) confirmed my suspicions. The dwindling economy didn’t destroy Allendale so much as it revealed the seeds of decay that were already there.
I get excited when I hear about other missionaries teaching the gospel. For example, my friend Joseph Osborn began a Bible study with some local co-workers in Paupa New Guinea (you can start with this post and then click around to get the full story).
Within the first few meetings, he was receiving great responses and questions from the men and women in that study. It is obvious that the Holy Spirit is working through him to bear much fruit. Encouraging stories like this are part of the reason why we support the Osborns.
Honestly, reading his stories not only challenges me, but they even discourage me. Why? I read his blog, and realize that I’m not an evangelist.
Now, we have to separate the gift of evangelism (given to some) and the call to evangelize (a command given to all Christ-followers). I know I don’t have the former, but I also know that I’m not doing enough of the latter.
After all, as a “missionary,” shouldn’t I preaching the gospel be my chief focus? Am I focusing so much on relationships (sometimes an excuse for getting other people to like me), and not enough on proclaiming God’s word?