Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ben, Abby, Aaron, Drew,

I am including a link to a video.  It is long--51 minutes.  It covers a lot of subjects--youth ministry, Sunday Schools, family ministry, Biblical authority.  It is very provocative and I would say somewhat controversial.  Of course it promotes one point of view as the only correct one.  I know it would take a lot of time invested and you may not have it, but I would like to have a discussion with you about the issues raised in this video.

My first interest is your own reaction--you are great people of faith, how was this faith made possible?  What is the best way to reproduce what worked in your lives to become people of faith?  I am interested in what you experienced as valuable from me as a father and pastor and what I didn't provide--for the purpose of knowing how to counsel others.

Ben once said that he and Ab received more of their parents and Aaron and Drew got better parents.  All of you have given your hearts and lives to serve the Lord.  Ben and Ab have committed yourselves to personally providing your children's education and Aaron and Drew are not there yet.  Is the decision to home school making up for what you feel as a lack in your own personal experience as children or something else? 

Maybe this is just a late night flash for me, but our youth minister wants to discuss this with me--probably with a view to move in this direction some way.  Any comment would be interesting.  

I have put this in a blog so it would be easy to comment on.

The video is at the following address.


I love you all very, very much and obviously I'm very proud of all of you.



  1. I just finished watching the full video. I saw the trailer a few months back and it piqued my interest but I hadn't really given it much thought since.

    My initial reaction is that I need more time to process. As a youth minister, I found myself responding defensively...but there is a lot to think about here.

    In reference to my own experience, I feel like God got a hold of my heart pretty early on in life and I can't really remember a time that He wasn't at the forefront of my thinking. Don't get me wrong...I still made some poor decisions, and with regularity, but God never ceased to be relevant in my heart and mind. Even in the midst of personal sin, I wrestled with God.

    If I think back through my experience in youth ministry, specifically, what I recall is a lot of hurt and frustration and dissatisfaction. I don't have any significant ties to any of my youth ministers and not a ton of great memories of my experience in youth ministry. A lot of that was my fault...my attitude...and I did enjoy the special events (camp, CIY, etc.) but HANDS DOWN the biggest spiritual influence on my life was family. Knowing that I had a spiritual heritage and that my whole family was committed deeply to the Lord. Without that, I really don't know where I'd be at right now.

    Those are some of my initial thoughts. I'm looking forward to hearing everybody else's.

    Love you all,

  2. Thanks for the initial response, Aaro. I hope we can both go back over the material and discuss it some more.

    What made the family influence of your experience 'take' when other families (even your cousins) didn't have exactly the same outcome?

  3. "HANDS DOWN the biggest spiritual influence on my life was family. Knowing that I had a spiritual heritage and that my whole family was committed deeply to the Lord. Without that, I really don't know where I'd be at right now."

    I wholeheartedly concur. There's probably more to say here, but in the end, that is fundamental.

    Chris and I watched tonight & had some good initial conversation. I'll process more & respond more fully later, but I will say that I agree with much of the content (the bottom line being that parents are responsible for the discipleship of their children) though I did think that there were a few sketchy connections/logical leaps in getting to that point in some of the comments made.

  4. On the whole spiritual heritage point, I think that's a large reason why certain religious groups like Mormons are nearly impossible to convert. Strong families with a strong faith are hard to shake.

  5. Since I wrote a treatise and cannot figure out how to break it down into pieces small enough for the comment box to handle, I had to create a Google document that I invited you all to view via the email addresses that you have listed on your facebook profiles. :P

    I love you and miss you all!


  6. Ben,

    Whoa! A+ on that term paper. Seriously, thank you so much for all the time you put into your response. As I read your great thinking/writing, I am bewildered by what God is doing by not putting you in a place for your gifts to be used to benefit more people. But, He's in charge, not me.

    Also, thank you. It's not caused by this discussion but I woke up this morning a little weak in my faith and reading your response gave me a great encouragement.

    I've got a lot to talk with Zac about (our youth guy).

    [Where's Drew?]

    I love all you guys!!!!


  7. I have yet to finish the movie. I had the same experience as Ben and after seeing the concert bit being equated with "worldliness" checked out to return when my patience was renewed.

    Without a doubt my faith has been based and solidified through the instruction and love of mom and dad as well as all my siblings.

    I'm looking forward to hearing more from you guys. Ben's "dissertation"was great and seems an apt analysis


  8. When are we all getting together again? I miss you guys!