Doing Ministry Together: Priorities of a Good Family Life

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week’s post on family ministry priorities comes from Talbot Seminary Professor of Bible Exposition, Dr. John Hutchison. This blog post was originally posted on the Good Book Blog, and you can read it, and other posts from Talbot Faculty, here.

Dr. Hutchison has 30 years of pastoral experience, and he is presently serving as Pastor-Elder at Oceanside Christian Fellowship in El Segundo, CA. He writes this blog from the perspective of a husband and wife balancing full-time public ministry, and private family life. Whether you are engaged in ministry with your family or not, his insights are wise and relevant to busy families living and learning together.

Photo of an open Bible siting on a home end table in front of a family photo

One of the greatest assets to effective ministry is a positive message coming from the home—specifically a healthy marriage and stable relationships with children. Patterns of dysfunction here can be disastrous. Paul provided for two young pastors, Timothy and Titus, a list of qualifications for church leadership (1 Tim. 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9), most of which emphasize character qualities. One notable exception is the more visible factor: “He must manage his own household well . . . for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Tim. 3:4-5). Read more

Writing Objectives: The ABCDs of Clear, Concise, and Measurable Actions

Woman typing at her desktop, writing objectives for learning

One of the most conceptually difficult, yet extremely essential pedagogical skills is that of writing good lesson objectives. New, experienced, and veteran classroom and homeschool educators alike often experience difficulties developing clear, concise, and measurable objectives. However, without the presence of such objectives, the purpose of the lesson can quickly become unclear to both students and teachers. Consequently, being able to write or identify clear, concise, and measurable writing objectives is crucial to the success of any lesson or unit of study. What does it look like? Read more

About My Father’s Business – Trust, Control and Adolescent Behavior

William_Holman_Hunt_-_The_Finding_of_the_Saviour_in_the_Temple - Painting of Jesus as an adolescent boy in the Temple

This morning I read Luke 2:41-52 where Joseph and Mary were looking for their adolescent son, Jesus, for three days. They were clearly upset when they found Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your Father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them (verse 49), “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” And then verse 50 is the startling commentary, “And they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.” Read more

In the World, But Not of the World — Cognitive Dissonance and Altering Student Perspectives

Girl reading bible in fieldIn November 2015, I was fortunate enough to present at Biola’s biannual Justice, Spirituality, and Education Conference. The theme for the conference was “Raising Flourishing Children in a Perishing World,” a subject that has been relevant — as we all know — since the first set of brothers (i.e., Cain and Abel) roamed the earth. My own particular presentation was titled, “Paradigm Building and Paradigm Shifting: How Jesus’ Dialectical Approach Can Assist Us in Teaching Our Children to Be in the World, but Not of the World.”

Given this focus, I began my presentation by introducing Bronfenbrenner’s “Ecological Theory of Development.” This was done so I could illustrate the plethora of factors that can impact a person’s development (e.g., family, church, peers, culture, extended family, neighbors, school boards, government agencies, mass media, economic situations, teachers, health services, religious organizations, neighborhoods, biology). Our children are — like it or not — influenced by all of these factors as well. Consequently, there are three choices we, as parents and teachers, can make in light of such influential domains. Read more

The Young Entomologist


For a number of years I taught writing classes to homeschooling children. I loved teaching this class. I’ll never forget one particular young man (let’s call him Charlie) and his keen interest in insects. When I asked him to write a story, he would create insect characters. When I asked him to write a poem, it would be about an insect. When I asked him to write a report, he would choose an insect to study. Charlie was completely enthralled with insects. Read more

Fresh Starts: A New Year’s Blog Post

Pen on open notebook and coffee cup

As we enter into the new year, I am thinking about fresh starts. For example, I love that I can start a new calendar, set and reach a new set of goals, begin a new journal, work on new habits in health and exercise, read some new books, or explore a new hobby. Fresh starts are like clean slates … and most people like fresh starts … they find it … well … refreshing! Read more

With God, All Things are Possible


I am slowly going through a book called Journey with Jesus by Larry Warner as part of my daily quiet time. Larry basically took the spiritual exercises of Ignatius of Loyola and aligned them to the Protestant context. A particular meditation on Luke 1:37-38 recently moved me deeply. This was the scene where the angel, Gabriel, had been sent by God to Mary, announcing that she was to conceive a son by the Holy Spirit and that He would be the Son of the Most High. Mary asked, “How can these things be?” And the angel replied, “With God all things are possible.” Read more

Anxious Grasping


Have you ever found yourself anxious about whether or not you would be successful as a home educator? Have you ever found yourself stressing and ruminating as you struggle with one child and his or her grasp of a particular subject or character trait? What if this? What if that?

You are not alone. We all want success for our children, and we all take daily steps to ensure proper training for the children for whom we are responsible, whether they be our biological children, foster care children, friends’ or neighbors’ children, or nieces and nephews. Read more

Deeper Thinking

scubaConsider this, some scuba divers won’t go deeper than twenty or thirty feet; others, however, are willing to take the deep dives and explore hidden treasures. Teachers and home educators are the same way. How do you get your students to think for themselves, rather than to simply absorb someone else’s thinking? It begins with modeling true curiosity, asking the deeper questions, and habituating the students to explore their own questions. Read more

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