One of My Most Productive Hours

by Hans on February 6, 2018 in Prayer

Phrases like “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17) or pray “on all occasions” (Eph 6:18) intimidate the best of us. How are we supposed to do that? When are we supposed to do that? I’m not sure of every way—there are many in my church who diligently pray. I lean on those people. Still, I always want to grow in how I pray and help others to pray and be prayed for.

I have found, many times, that one of my most productive hours in ministry is not Sunday morning. Those moments on Sundays are definitely where I see the most people and, by God’s grace, see the Scriptures transform people. I love Sundays. However, a small group of folks I gather with regularly on Monday mornings to pray has become one of the essential elements to my ministry rhythms.

Tensions in Grace and Growth

by Hans on February 1, 2018 in Grace, Growth

This Sunday we will be continuing in our Resolved series. Every Sunday we are pulling back the curtain on our motivations and, by God’s grace, praying for the Scriptures to take root and produce new convictions and habits. Personally, I have found this series both challenging and encouraging. It has been challenging because I am finding so many areas where I leave my life unchecked. It has been encouraging because grace always stands to receive me when I realize that.

This Sunday we delve into just that idea—how do we think about the grace we have in Jesus and, at the same time, our own personal growth as believers? These topics bring tension—both for the preacher and for the listener.

The Benefits of Synced up Family Bible Reading

by Hans on January 30, 2018 in Discipleship, Family, Worship

If you’ve read the blog before then you know that I write about my attempts at family worship. We sing, we read Bible stories, we act out Bible stories, we make up catechism songs, and probably other things. As the kids grow (and Courtney and I age) we change our tactics, so I thought about an update.

In 2018 we are trying something new (to us). With a little help from Replicate Ministries, the family and I have attacked a modified Bible reading plan that puts me, Courtney, and the older two boys reading the same passages and memorizing the same verses. This is a first for us, but it has (one month in to 2018) been incredibly beneficial. Allow me to explain the structure and the benefits:

Things I Didn’t Learn in Seminary [Updated] | Premarital Counseling

by Hans on January 25, 2018 in Counseling, Seminary

Four and a half years ago I wrote this post about premarital counseling. I had visions of grandeur and making post after post of things I wish seminary had taught me. Well, I wrote a total of three posts and my post on premarital counseling was the whole reason I started the “series” (that’s poor word choice, it was really one post with two other ones tacked onto it).

Since that post, I’ve actually gone almost another four whole years in seminary (again) and added another batch of weddings and their counseling to my pastoral experiences. I don’t think that I do the best weddings. I endeavor to make weddings Christ-centered, personal for the couple, light-hearted, and relatively brief.

Thus, I felt like it was time to update the post with what I do, what I still don’t do, and what I’ve learned.

The Technology-Free Zone

by Hans on January 22, 2018 in Discipline

Last week I shared about my no Netflix resolution for 2018. This resolution wasn’t about movies, or Amazon video, or Watch ESPN, or anything like that; the resolution was specifically about too much of one specific source of media consumption. However, this resolution did not come about in isolation. No, this resolution has a fraternal twin:

No technology in the bedroom.

You might think this resolution came from a desire to be a better husband and devote more time to Courtney, but it didn’t. You might think that this resolution came about through careful examination of my heart and my habits, but it didn’t.

No, this resolution came about from a random conversation with one of my kids.

No Netflix 2018

by Hans on January 17, 2018 in Discipline

This Sunday, we’ll be in week 3 of our series Resolved. If you’ve been at The Chapel for any amount of time, you’ll see that we’ll do a run for several months through a book, then we’ll run through a topic. As you will see right now, this series focuses on a topic—resolutions.

So, here’s a resolution of mine: No Netflix.

A lot of resolutions are general—be nice, do more good things, give more, etc. I try (and often fail) to make my resolutions specific and, to one degree or another, annoying for me.