Gospel Centered Family

Why I Need Friends

Pat AldridgeComment

Jared, Jeff, and I have been friends for years, more years than I care to keep track (because math is involved, and I hate math). I regularly thank God for their friendship. Our friendship started out of a need to find like minded people serving in similar ministry positions. It's grown into something deeper. I've come to depend on these guys to give me unbiased interpretation of events to which I'm too close. I am seemingly incapable of coming to those interpretations on my own. It's not an exaggeration for me to say that I wouldn't be in the position I'm in without them. My prayer is that I've been as encouraging to them as they've been to me.

I believe all of us need relationships like this. Here are the biggest reasons:

  1. We need to be corrected. Like I've already mentioned, I don't always see my situation clearly because I'm too close. I need an outside perspective. My friends have a tendency to talk me off the worst case scenario ledge. Without their correction, I'm liable and likely to do or say something that is not helpful. Another perspective helps. As Hebrews 3:13 says, "Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." 
  2. We need to be encouraged. Being a pastor is hard work. It is simultaneously hard and yet glorious. Sometimes, without friends, my focus is on the difficulty and not the glory. I need the guys to remind me where my hope is. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 and 5:11 remind us that our ultimate hope is found and experienced when Christ returns. I need this reminder often.
  3. Friends demonstrate the love of Jesus. The words of Jesus in John 15:12 say, "“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." My friends show me Jesus's love. I know I can pick the phone and call or text them and they will sacrifice their time and point me to Jesus. They remind me that both power and joy are found as I abide in Him, and quit relying on my own power and wisdom.

If you don't have relationships like this, reach out to others of similar conviction. Find people in your tribe that will walk with you. As they are there for you,  you can be there for them. Be a friend.

D6 General Session #6 - Best Things Heard

Pat AldridgeComment

Final session. The cup is full, but God has more to say.

Reggie McNeal

Discipleship is supposed to be a life transformational experience, not somewhere we go.

Take people’s interests and dreams and connect discipleship to it.

People don't tend to learn well when they are taken out of their environment and information is put in.

Jim Burns

Marriages and relationships that aren't intentional, die.

Communication is a learned trait.

Get serious about spiritual growth.

D6 General Session #5 - Best Things Heard

Pat AldridgeComment

This session was multiple speakers; shorter, rapid fire style.

Megan Marshman

How is your soul?

Ministry happens on the way through, so don't miss out on His plans while you're working on yours.

Your past can either be satan's greatest tool against you, or God's greatest weapon for expanding His kingdom.

Terry Williams

When thinking through making disciples, start with the why, it's the core, then develop the process.

Information + formation = transformation. (Galatians 4:19)

Learn to journey with your kids through their questions.

Jeff Wallace

Develop in your kids the heart of a champion. Use Matthew 5 - 7 as your guide.

We teach what we know, we reproduce what we are.

We need to live with intentionality because souls are at stake.

Josh Mulvihill

God designed grand parenting.

If you're going to spoil your grandkids, spoil them with the gospel.

Grand parents, don't be afraid to do devotions with your grandkids ... of any age.

Parenting Panel

Just like God relentlessly pursues our hearts, we should relentlessly pursue our kids' hearts.

Engaging conflict with kids: Clear boundaries, clear expectations, clear consequence can make you less reactive!

As a parent you need a tribe. You can't go it alone.

Family Friday Links 9.23.16

Pat AldridgeComment

This week's links could be renamed Friday "Parenting" links.

Paul Tripp has a new book on parenting out and wrote a post about things parents forget. He says, "When we, as earthly mothers and fathers, forget the daily mercies we've received from the Heavenly Father's hands, mercies we could have never earned, deserved, or achieved, it becomes much easier for us not to parent our children with mercy." Kids learn about things like mercy, grace, forgiveness, love and joy (or the lack of the these things) from their parents. While the may experience them other places, in both good and bad ways, the learn them from the people they are closest with. Parents you get what you model.

All Pro Dad had a post on helping kids finish strong. He comments, "Finishing strong will train us to keep pushing forward when faced with times of trial." As a parent who often desires to help my kids just finish, I forget that trials are a means of teaching perseverance.

Joshua Straub wrote about how to make discipline easier. He quote another post when he writes, "Discipline “rescues children from the ‘tyranny of their own desires.’” Discipline guides. Discipline directs. Parents don't be afraid of it.

Desiring God had a post by Jason DeRouchie about the training up of a child. He wrote, " ... the overall context of Proverbs suggests the act of dedicating in Proverbs 22:6 is focused more on an intentional, sustained, God-dependent shepherding of our children’s hearts as they grow into adulthood — one in which the children themselves are aware of the parents’ trajectory-setting intentions." Parents this is hard work. Work you are not capable of on your own, you need God's help. You need a growing faith and belief in God so that you can pass it on to your kids.

What have you been reading online lately? Leave a link in the comment section and we will check it out.