Parker Family Update (Pillar church)

Yo, its been several months since my last public communication to you. God has been doing some fantastic things that I want you all to know about! The main thing being...



Kaynenn leading the set-up team in prayer before the info/prayer meeting.

Kaynenn leading the set-up team in prayer before the info/prayer meeting.

Derek Carson discussing multi-ethnicity with the gathering.

Derek Carson discussing multi-ethnicity with the gathering.

We had our first Pillar church info/prayer meeting on August 5th, 2018. This was a big day for us seeing that it was almost exactly one year away from our projected target launch date. We had 88 people in attendance! This was a wonderful time of info sharing, mixing and praying. We walked the people through the history of how all of this came to be. We were then lead in a time of prayer followed by a group mixer, where people got to meet each other (many for the first time) and share their reasons for wanting to be a part of or in support of Pillar church.  This was a cool night!

Community Partnerships

God has blessed our efforts to build relationships with local groups/institutions/non-profits and ISD organizations for the spread of Jesus's name in east Fort Worth. These groups have a pulse on our community and the resources to serve it. A few of the organizations we have relationships with are listed below.

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  • Newman Acadamy (title I elementary school)
  • Scott D Moore Juvenile detention center
  • Justin's Place (serving single moms their kids)
  • The NET (serving those experiencing homelessness, sex trafficking and children)
  • Community Frontline (community education, male community leadership)
  • Traveling medical care (emergency room physician providing medical care in custom RV)
Scott D Moore Juvenile detention center in Fort Worth, TX

Scott D Moore Juvenile detention center in Fort Worth, TX

Over the last month, I have been blessed to teach character training and Bible studies for the youth locked-up in the Scott D Moore Juvenile Detention Center. These young men have incredible minds and a ton of potential to make a positive impact on their families and our community. Many of the youth that reside there are from east Fort Worth and are an extension of our community. On Wednesday, August 8th one young man asked me why he should care about a world that hates him? This young man's story would bring tears to the most reserved person eyes. He needs Jesus! They all need Jesus! And it's our duty and joy to share the good news and unrelenting love of Jesus with these young men. Please pray for me as I continue to shepherd them and invite them to our church family upon their release.


Since my last update, I have gained three new monthly supporters and have had a small handful of one time givers. Thank you all so much for your support. Your support is going toward Kingdom work here in Fort Worth. I am currently at 49% support for my 2 year goal. If the Lord is leading you to support the work of the ministry, please email me at, and I will be glad to send you instructions on how you can partner with us in this work!

Web Presence

As we work and nail down theological and philosophical direction for Pillar church, we will update our website Pillar.Church.  Feel free to check it out from time to time to see whats new.

The Family


The Parker family will be welcoming a new addition to our home. Sarai and Mya's little sister should be making her grand entrance late November or early December. She is much anticipated by her big sisters, and we are all excited to meet her. Diana has been doing well, considering that a little person is zapping all of her energy all the time. 


In June I was dealing with some heart issues that seemed to have been aggravated by acid reflux. I was experiencing heart palpitations that were aggressive and frequent. After a few trips to the ER and a phone call with a knowledgeable friend, I decided to see a cardiologist. All of my test results came back negative for anything serious. I went ahead and asked the elders of the Paradox church to pray for my healing and to anoint me with oil. I immediately experienced a reprieve from my symptoms. This was followed up with a prescription from the doctor. By God's grace, I haven't had an issue since!


A small group of church planters and I have the blessing of being trained on a weekly basis by the TBA. The information provided to us has been incredibly helpful to us as we develop our day to day operations, leadership principles and overall church culture. They play an instrumental role in helping us launch well.

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We recently had a session on biblical counseling by Ryan Keeney of Grace church Benbrook (our soon to be sister church sent from the Paradox church). Ryan is gifted in the realm of biblical counseling and did a great job of walking us through how to apply the gospel to the heart.


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At the end of August, I will be flying to Raleigh, North Carolina to begin my monthly cohort with Elliot Grudem and the Leaders collective. The Leaders Collective is a unique/rotating group for lead pastors and church planters that majors on the overall health of the Pastor/planter; because the healthy leaders lead healthy churches. They have a stellar reputation and receive incredible reviews from those who have gone through the cohort. I'm excited to start this process.

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In October I will be flying to California to join Bryan Loritts and the Kainos Cohort. This is a several-day intensive, covering the best practices of building and sustaining a multiethnic congregation. There is more to developing and shepherding a multi-ethnic congregation than what meets the eye. Pastor Bryan has had much success in this as he is the former Pastor of Fellowship Memphis, a trailblazer in this area. He now pastors a church in California where I will be apart of a small group of 12 men who have been selected to participate in this rare opportunity. (I am being blessed by a fellow supporter who is covering the cost of this trip for the sake of the Gospel and east Fort Worth. Thank you!)

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In November I will be flying to Chicago for the Christian Community Development Association conference. This group, of which I am now a part of, specializes in community engagement. I have dreamed of the day that the community I live in is transformed not only by economic investment but by the gospel. I share a heartbeat with this association, and I hope to build many new connections with the people I meet there. (I am being blessed by a fellow supporter who is covering the cost of this trip as well for the sake of the Gospel and east Fort Worth. Thank you!)

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for spiritual fruit from our community partnerships
  • Please pray for my physical health as I seek to better my nutrition
  • Please pray for our leadership team's plans and meetings as we plan for the work ahead
  • Please pray for the health of our baby yet to be born
  • Please pray I continue to build influence and trust in the community I have been sent to serve

Will you Pray for us!?


A number of weeks ago I took a prayer drive around Fort Worth and was deeply grieved at the amount of brokenness I saw and interacted with; no one was exempt. People from every nation and from every economic class are suffering in ways seen and unseen. As I observed the city I instantly felt a rollercoaster of emotion. I was angry at God, I was sad and I was overwhelmed. God has called me to this city to proclaim his grace, mercy, and justice in the name that's above every name, Jesus. But as I looked around I saw a task way to big for me to handle. I indicted God of abandonment and was confused as to how to handle it. 

Photo by Arrangements-Photography/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Arrangements-Photography/iStock / Getty Images

But by God's grace, he led me to Micah 6:1-8 and recalibrated my thinking. He called me to remember his past works. How he cared for Israel, even in the direst circumstances. He reminded me that in the midst of all the pain, he was working. He reminded me that I was never sent here to be an answer to the brokenness of the city. But that Jesus is the answer to the cities needs. He reminded me that he never abandoned this city, but that he has boots on the ground, including mine.

God has called my friend Eric and I to plant a Jesus exalting church in this city. And We need your help. 

This is a covenant call to prayer! I need your prayer! We need your prayer!

Would you consider interceding on our behalf as we endeavor to follow all that God has for us in this city?

Things to pray for:

  • Pray that we can maintain family health as planting can be a strain on families (especially families with kids)
  • Pray that we would gain favor with the people of our communities
  • Pray God would send us the RIGHT people to help launch this new work
  • Pray that God would send us an army of "doers" eager for the task at hand
  • Pray for the logistics and planning

Thank you for praying for this new work and feel free to email me if you want to know more about what God is doing here in Fort Worth.

8 month update

Welp, it's been 8 months since my family and I made the move from Webster, NY to Fort Worth, TX. It has been a whirlwind for sure! The Lord has been faithful in so many ways! We have been able to build friendships with people from the Paradox church. I have personally been able to make friends and build with the people at my workplace, Tarrant County College. The Lord has provided for our needs despite living at a financial negative since our move. And we have made some significant connections with organizations that focus on city renewal.

Hows the training going?

Since beginning the church planting residency with the Paradox church I have benefited from written resources such as Center Church by Tim Keller, Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer and Daniel I'm, Saving Eutychus by Gary Millar and Phil Campbell, Simple Church by Thomas Rainer and more. I have completed the Acts 29 pre-assessment process which entails theological and pastoral probing and a series of short videos from church planters from around the country. I am about to join the Texas Baptist church planting center for weekly training in all things church planting and in the summer of 2018, I plan to join a church planting leadership cohort with Elliot Grudem.

The Vision (In development)

The vision of our church, right now, is 2 fold. We want to be Biblically Formed and Community Focused. We believe that we need seek the welfare of our city by inserting the gospel into its veins. That takes biblically formed people being intentional about caring for and shaping our community's identity.

Biblically Formed: This means that we need to be a people who eat, sleep and breath empathetic biblical truth in a life on life manner. We will be intentional about teaching the whole counsel of God during Sunday services and in Discipleship groups as our primary means of biblical life on life community. 2 Timothy 3 outlines the importance of both the Word and Discipleship. We have adopted our method from that principle.

Community Focused: We love our community too much to huddle up in a building and hope for people to come to us. Jesus tells his disciples to “Go”. Therefore, contrary to most churches, we will not be a church that starts projects, ministries or missions that already exist in our community in various forms (not an absolute statement). On the contrary, we believe that our presence in the city will be most profitable by inserting biblically formed people into projects and missions that already exist, with a focus on sharing the good news of Christ with both the volunteers and consumers there. For example, instead of starting a soup kitchen (and all that comes with it), we’d rather bring a gospel witness to an existing one.

All of this is still in development stages, so prayer is appreciated as we continue to wade these uncharted waters.

The Ministry

As of right now my church planting partner (Eric Darjean) and I are building relationships with people. We have had the opportunity to preach a number of times and have plans and desires to get more involved in our community's school systems, teen centers, and other city renewal projects. We have been greatly hindered in this, however, by our jobs. We are both working a bunch of hours to provide adequate income for our families. Thus, the time we ought to be spending in and on the ministry is being eaten up in other places. As a result, we will be raising support to free us up to pursue this work full throttle!

Keep us in prayer and keep your eyes peeled for further updates in the near future.

God bless!!!


We're moving (Update)!

Diana and I would like to express our most sincere thanks to all who have sought to bless our family during our time of transition. It has been humbling to see God’s people at work!

Here is an update for those who would like to know where we stannd.


All set (We have been blessed to receive these items or promised to receive them)

  • Bunk Bed

  • Refrigerator

  • Boxes/Newspaper

  • Car transportation

Thank you to all who helped us with these things!!!


Prayer Requests (Material needs)

  • God to provide a 2nd part time job for Kaynenn that can provide for our HEALTH INSURANCE, utilities, groceries and also not sacrifice too much time away from home

  • Diana to find per diem work

  • To obtain a used car in good condition (+ Insurance)

  • Grocery gift cards (Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Gas)

  • Any financial gifts are also welcome


Prayer Requests (Emotional/Spiritual/Providential needs)

  • For Diana's heart while parting from friends and family ; uprooting again

  • Travel mercies to DFW

  • Safety/protection as we transition into new neighborhood and environment

  • For our family to be a light in our neighborhood

  • God to begin working on the hearts of the people we will encounter and seek to minister to

  • God to send like minded/burdened workers to pray for and begin this ministry

  • Our desire is to continue homeschooling, but wisdom is needed with all these changes; to recognize if the Lord is leading us to sending our children to school instead

Again, we want to express our sincere thanks to all those who have blessed us over the past few months.

May the Lord richly bless your sacrifice as you give to servants who are trying to follow His leading!

We're Moving!

As many of you know, my family and I will be transitioning from Webster, NY to Fort Worth, TX in hopes of planting a church with a group of amazing men and women! As with any cross country move, there are a number of things that we need in order to make the transition successful.


Thus, my wife and I have been asked to put together a prayer & item list for the people in our lives to consider. We most certainly covet your prayers and would be extra blessed for anything additional the Lord would have us receive. 

p.s. This is a "living" list, so things may be updated based on how the Lord provides.


Updated Requests: 

  • Refrigerator
  • Boxes/Newspaper


So without further ado, 

Prayer requests/Needs
[ ] For Diana's heart while parting from friends and family ; uprooting again
[ ] Travel mercies to DFW
[ ] Safety/protection as we transition into new neighborhood and environment
[ ] For our family to be a light in our neighborhood
[ ] God to begin working on the hearts of the people we will encounter and seek to minister to
[ ] God to send like minded/burdened workers to pray for and begin this ministry

[ ] God to provide a 2nd part time job for Kaynenn that can provide for our health insurance, utilities, groceries and also not sacrifice too much time away from home
[ ] Diana to find per diem work
[ ] Our desire is to continue homeschooling, but wisdom is needed with all these changes; to recognize if the Lord is leading us to sending our children to school instead
[ ] If we end up homeschooling, to find a solid homeschool community for support prayer and access to resources
[ ] To obtain a used car in good condition
[ ] For car insurance for that second car

[ ] Bunk beds for the girls
[ ] Storage or organizing bins or systems for homeschool supplies (cubbies)
[ ] Plastic storage bins
[ ] Shipping costs for our now owned car

[ ] gift cards for grocery:
[ ] Walmart
[ ] Kroger
[ ] Sam's club
[ ] BJ's
[ ] Gas cards

Spirit & Truth

God has called the church to worship him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4).


What does that look like?


1.    Worship goes where you go

In the Old Testament there were regulations for worship (Hebrews 9).

But Jesus said “the time is coming and has now come”, in reference to the implications of his atoning work on the cross, when we will no longer worship God at a singular location.


Rather, Christ’s death on the cross and the subsequent tearing of the temple curtain gave and symbolized direct access to God for all who he chooses to reveal himself to.


2.    We praise Him in light of revealed/proclaimed biblical truth

In today’s church culture we have dumbed worship down to setting the “mood” in the auditorium. (Dim the house lights and turn on the lasers, close your eyes and get lost in the world of your own feelings).


That’s not worship.

In many respects that could qualify as idolatry. 

How? You say…


Matthew 15:8 - This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me


This form of worship often isn’t done in light of the TRUTH of God’s Word, but rather the comfort of our own preferences.


We have become the object of worship.

It’s about our comfort, our style, our mood.         


What does Gods word say?


Ephesians 5:19 - be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart


Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.


Notice it tells us to sing to one another.


But when the lights are off we can’t do that!

When the laser is hitting me in the eye, I can’t see my brother anymore!!!


Doxology without Theology is Idolatry.


Misdirected worship will miss the mark every time. The shift may be subtle, but the results can be catastrophic.

Only properly directed worship can satisfy the soul!


Not to mention That God ought to be our primary audience in worship (Psalm 96)


As long as we’re concerned about us, we’ll never be satisfied in Him.

We are fully satisfied in worship when we worship as God prescribes!



3.    The truth of God’s word ought to move the affections of the heart


Charles Spurgeon said, “God does not regard our voices, he hears our hearts, and if our hearts do not sing we have not sung at all.”


When you read of:

·      God’s Majesty / Your Inelegance

·      God’s Wisdom / Your Stupidity

·      God’s Power / Your Inability

·      God’s Justice / Your Crooked Thinking

·      God’s Love / Your Bitterness

·      God’s Grace / Your Lack Thereof

·      God Splendor / Your Clumsiness


When you read about who God is in light of who you are, the heart of the church can’t help but praise!


Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

True Story

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Ge 1:1–2).

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Ge 1:3).   And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters (Ge 1:6).

“Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” (Ge 1:9).

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed…” (Ge 1:11).

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years… and to give light upon the earth.” (Ge 1:14–15).

“Let the waters swarm…with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” (Ge 1:20).

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Ge 1:22).

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth…” (Ge 1:24).

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish… and over the birds… and over the livestock and over all the earth…” So God created man in his own image… (Ge 1:26–27).

      “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Re 4:11).

  All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. (Jn 1:3).

      For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col 1:16–17).

Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven. (Ps 148:1–13).

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Ge 1:31).

      but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Ge 3:3–6).

The Lord God said to the serpent… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Ge 3:14–15).

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned (Ro 5:12).

  In those days... Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Jdg 21:25).

      For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Ro 1:21–23).

      None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Ro 3:10–18).

      because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Ro 2:5).

      Behold the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind. In the latter days you will understand this. (Je 30:23–24).

      But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Ga 4:4–5).

      He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Pe 2:24).

      In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace... (Eph 1:4–7).

I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. (Is 43:11).

Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” (Is 63:1).

      And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Ac 4:12).

      so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:10–11).

      “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Re 5:12–14).

I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (Is 42:8).

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Ro 12:1).

let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name (Heb 13:15).

      Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? (Ex 15:11).

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Ps 150:1–6).

Through my eyes pt. 1 (Advice from a Youth Pastor to parents)

The aim of this post is to give the parents of my teens a bit general advice in parenting the teens I see on a weekly basis. Admittedly, parents know their children better than I do. But I think that my position grants me unique insight that might be valuable to share.

Pic from

Pic from

1.     Ask your child what they learned at youth group; then actually take the time to learn about the subject for yourself

I have taught some pretty substantial Bible lessons to Middle/High and College students over the years. Imputed righteousness, the hypostatic union, the authority/necessity/clarity of scripture, soteriology, lower criticism etc. have all run through the halls of Roc Solid Student Ministry. Topics such as these provide a wonderful grounding for the Christian. If you (the parent) take the time to learn these things, you may have the unique opportunity to have a Word based conversation at the dinner table. Learning together is fun for all, but rest assured that you must initiate that convo.

2.     Pray with your child

I have found that may parents make this a priority until about 6th grade. My advice is to press on with the practice of praying as a family. Not just at mealtime. Praying as a family gives you the opportunity to be vulnerable with your children. Recent studies have shown that generation Z (approx. 1995-2009) are a relational bunch with a love for transparency. Keep it "100" with your children. Many parents hide their flaws (or don’t own up to them) from their children. Monkey see, monkey do. They will go elsewhere with their feelings of failure (if not the youth pastor, they will seek out their peers). Pray prayers of repentance, dependence, joy, and victory in Christ with your children. Teach them how to pray!

3.     Remember that they were born with a sin nature

Just to clarify, this does not mean that you tolerate sin in the home, nor in their lives. However, lowering the boom on every offense will lead to a cold child who is good at hiding sin from you. A friend of mine told me their philosophy of child rearing, which they got from their parents, “Set high expectations, but parent with grace”.  I think that’s wise counsel. They will sin. Don’t freak out and don’t shame them into oblivion. Knee-jerk reactions often cause more harm than good. Take time to pray and evaluate your discipline. Make sure the punishment fits the crime. They are sinners just like you. Show them grace just as you have been shown.

4.     Teach them to respect adults and authority

This should ideally be taught during their single digit years. But if you notice that your teen only respects your authority and not the authority of others, you may want to sit and talk to them about it. I happen to have a very dominant presence/approach to teaching large numbers of teens. Many other teachers do not. And they shouldn’t have to. Remember that your teen is not primarily your friend; they are your child. Teach them basic social skills “Hello Mr., Mrs.”, “Can I hold the door for you”, etc. Often a lack of respect comes from ignorance in communication. 

The shackles of confidentiality

Has anyone ever told you told you a secret and made you promise not to share with anyone?

It happens to me at least once a month.

That awkward sensation between wanting to know what the secret is and the weight of responsibility in being the “sole” person with this secret knowledge can be a very tense position to be in.

This has come up a lot lately in and around me, thus I would like to offer you a few observations and suggestions from my own life.

There are times when keeping a secret is the right thing to do. The Bible says: “Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered” (ESV, Proverbs 11:12-13). To be sure, if a person confides in another, it is appropriate to keep confidence. However, there are also times where keeping confidence can be a hindrance to health, for the very next verse says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” We need to use decrement in our secret keeping.

I don’t have this down by any means, but these 5 observations and suggestions are things have come to help me in recent days


Keeping secrets…

1.    puts the one being told in shackles

When a person tells you that you can’t share a secret with anyone else, they potentially hand cuff you from being able to help. I’ve had students tell me things that are potentially dangerous. So much so that if something were to happen to them, and I didn’t tell someone else who could help, I would feel fully responsible for what had taken place. In like manner I have had adults share with me hurts and trauma that can most certainly be helped by the right individual. But when they tell you to keep something to yourself, they have affectively hindered any aid that you could provide. Now I’m not advocating putting someone’s issues on Twitter or Facebook, but my advice would be to tell people right up front that what they share with you may not stay with you if it’s potentially dangerous or bad for that person’s health. In the same token, one must be careful to confide in people whom they can trust and believe that any action they take has their best interest in mind.

2.    Can foster a sinful desire to know and tell gossip.

If you’ve ever been the recipient of a secret you know the feeling you get just prior to it being told. You want to know! So bad that often times, to not know would bother you for the rest of the day. Why do we need to know so badly? Sin. Secrets foster gossip and tend to make things bigger then they really are. We were fine before the secret was told to us. And guess what, we’ll be fine if they don’t tell us.

3.    Can foster a non-transparent attitude and hinders fellowship.

People love to keep their evil deeds in the dark and Satan loves to keep us under the yoke of sin. We thus learn how to hide things from the people who care the most. After a while, hiding sin and hurt becomes natural and we put up walls to keep people from getting too close. Fellowship with walls is impossible. It’s like putting up a fence between yourself and others at the dinner table. Allowing yourself to be the “wall warden” is a sure fire way to keep a person separated from fellowship.

4.    Can be an incognito cry for help.

I have noticed that when a person tells me a “secret”, it’s usually a cry for help. If it were truly a secret, they wouldn’t have shared it in the first place. Often times pride will cause us to cry out in the form of a secret. Don’t take the bait; get them the help they need. But tell them upfront that you are not a “safe place” for potentially hazardous secrets.

5.    Could be unfair to the person being left in the dark.

If the person telling you the secret was hurt by another who has no idea of what they did, my advice is to urge the one telling you to tell them! It’s not fair to allow them to grow bitter toward someone who has no idea what they have done. Keeping the secret would be hindering the potential for reconciliation between the two.   

I hope and pray that these experiences and suggestions can be a help to you in your relationships with people. Use decrement and try your best to be a help to people in need. 

Is what you do of Eternal Value or Temporary Acknowledgment?

The task of being a Bible teacher has proven to be a solemn and frightening task. This morning I read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 which reads: 

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

As I read these words from the Apostle Paul a few thoughts came to mind.

1. As an associate Pastor of an established church, I am building upon the foundation of another. What then should my ministry consist of?

2. What is the consistency of that which I am building upon this foundation? (gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hey, straw)

3. On that great day of testing, what will the fire reveal about my ministry?

4. How should this test impact my watch care of the flock entrusted to me and my diligence in the study of the Word?

This text caused me to sit back in my chair and truly evaluate what I give my students on a daily basis. Am I teaching the mind and the heart or am I simply presenting "interesting information"? What will that day prove about my ministry? What will is say about yours? Is what you do and what you give of eternal value or temporary acknowledgment?

As I read the text again I noticed verse 10: "According to the grace of God given to me"

Thus I had these final thoughts.

1. Am I being self sufficient in my ministry?

2. How can I make sure I am depending on God and not my own power?

3. Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.

I encourage you to evaluate your ministry in light of these sobering words from the Apostle Paul and pray that the Lord would grant you a ministry that will last the test of fire. 

We don't want flashy ministry, we want a lasting one! Give your people the TRUTH!