the road ahead

The NEXT Spiritual Generation
March 14, 2010, 12:18 pm
Filed under: ministry, spirituality


The Navigators‘ calling reads, “to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers living and discipling among the lost.” Did you notice the phrase “spiritual generations of laborers“? As I think about that phrase Paul’s challenge comes to mind: “Pass on what you heard from me . . . to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2 MSG).

One of the responsibilities every believer has is to pass along what he or she has learned to other followers of Christ. Christianity is all about spiritual generations–one generation passing on to the next what they have learned and experienced from following Christ.

The goal is that as we have learned the truths of God’s Word, we can share those insights with others who then can also pass them along to the next generation.

So how are you doing? Do you have some people that you are passing along your spiritual insights? It is all about the NEXT spiritual generation.


The Power of Image
February 28, 2010, 6:16 pm
Filed under: business, ministry, spirituality

As a publisher I have been facing a growing reality about the future. As a Baby Boomer, I have and will live the rest of my life in a text-driven world. “Reading is fundamental” is a phrase I have heard all my life. But as I observe the next generation’s behavior, I am stunned by the power of images and their impact on their learning processes. The evidence is growing that the next generation starts with an image and then moves to reading text.

Consider this: Children and young adults are bombarded with an overwhelming number of images everyday, and technology supports this image-dominant reality. We can connect to images from our mobile phones, TVs, computers.The power of image is a reality. A picture is now worth more than a thousand words.

Here is an example of the power of images: NavPress is excited about these innovative image-based resources. There will be more to come–hope you will stay tuned.

Online Obscurity?
February 21, 2010, 6:51 pm
Filed under: business, ministry, spirituality

How would you rate yourself and your online activity? Is the pressure for a bigger, broader online interconnectivity causing anxiety and stress in your life? When you get that strange “friend” request from an absolute stranger, do you pause and wonder if this is really what you wanted from an online experience?

The things that some people will tweet in order to get a broader audience seem to stretch the real purpose for all of this online reality. For some, the allure of an online platform gives them the chance to tell us (me) more about them than I really want to know, from the food they are consuming to the exercise routine that consumes them. I currently am pausing and asking the question:  Is it time for online obscurity?

I recently was drawn to these thoughts from a very thoughtful blog post from Clive Thompson. (It’s a great article–you should read it.) I remember a few years ago talking with a man who said that the average person in life will only have about 5 to 7 real friends. His thought was that in order to really have time with someone, you have to invest deeply in the relationship, and because of time constraints, you can only invest deeply in a few friends. So perhaps Facebook has become for many Acquaintance Book or Connection Book? Could it be that the larger our social network grow, the more it lessens our virtual connectivity?

I want my social networks to be about real conversation and connection. How about this: I want to talk with my digital friends, not talk at them!

Any thoughts? Am I the only one?

Media Kids
February 14, 2010, 3:16 pm
Filed under: business, ministry, spirituality

New research has recently noted continued changes among children in the use of various types of media technologies. New electronic devices continue to show up in the hands of young people, and the impact on reading and learning will be significant.

It’s incredible to consider the amount of time the average young person spends using new technological tools. All the debate about the digital generation is over! Businesses, ministries, and parents need to understand the changes that impact the next generation.

Are you ready for all of this?

Facebook Beats Google?
February 7, 2010, 7:56 pm
Filed under: business, ministry

Who will be the leader of the online world? Will Facebook move ahead of Google? Or will Google be able to maintain its powerful leadership position? And why would that matter? Why would that be important to the casual user of the internet?

The incredible number of individuals who use these online platforms make Facebook and Google the center of the virtual universe! Facebook’s growth will soon surpass Yahoo and make it third place behind Google and Microsoft.

It is hard to imagine, but soon Facebook could beat Google in page views. Think about it: Facebook is all about online relationships; Google, well, it is all about searches for information. So even in the virtual world relationships are at the center of the experience.

This is something that believers who deny that the virtual world is the new global mission field should consider.

Are you connected?

What? Spiritual Priorities???
January 17, 2010, 10:07 pm
Filed under: ministry, spirituality

A recent Barna Group survey regarding religious themes for 2009 has been released. The report provides some interesting insights into the thinking of individuals and ministers concerning personal spiritual life. Here are some of the things that interested me in the research.

1. Faith/Spirituality, Not Christianity.

Today it is all about personal spirituality that may or may not be based on historical biblical theological principles from the Bible.

2. Customized/Individualized Faith

Many customize their own personal brand of faith with elements from many faith traditions.

3. Biblical Literacy Is Declining

The Barna report states: “Bible reading has become the religious equivalent of sound-bite journalism. When people read from the Bible they typically open it, read a brief passage without much regard for the context, and consider the primary thought or feeling that the passage provided. If they are comfortable with it, they accept it; otherwise, they deem it interesting but irrelevant to their life, and move on. There is shockingly little growth evident in people’s understanding of the fundamental themes of the scriptures and amazingly little interest in deepening their knowledge and application of biblical principles.”

4. Personal Spiritual Evaluation Is Unimportant

The Barna research says, “Our research found that a majority of churchgoing adults are uncertain as to what their church would define as a ‘healthy, spiritually mature follower of Christ’ and they were no more likely to have personally developed a clear notion of such a life.”

Have we lost any sense of spiritual priorities? What do you think? I would really like to read your thoughts on this report.

10 Questions for the New Year?
December 27, 2009, 9:26 pm
Filed under: ministry, spirituality

Happy New Year! It’s the time when people typically do some self evaluation and make resolutions. For the coming year, in addition to making changes to my schedule, exercise plan, and personal relationships, I have been giving some real thought to the condition of my spiritual life.

I want to pass along some questions from NavPress author Donald Whitney that I have used during this season to evaluate the condition of my spiritual life. I hope that they will help you, too, as you consider your spiritual condition. God’s plan is for us to live at full spiritual capacity! We are as spiritual as we want to be. Happy New Year!!!

1.  Do you thirst for God?

2.  Are you governed increasingly by God’s Word?

3.  Are you more loving?

4.  Are you more sensitive to God’s presence?

5.  Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others?

6.  Do you delight in the Bride of Christ?

7.  Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you?

8.  Do you still grieve over sin?

9.  Are you a quicker forgiver?

10.  Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?