The top priority for Christian families is to transmit your faith to your children and grandchildren. Living on the Edge is committed to support you in this process of discipling the next generation. In my August Coffee Break update, I’d like to help you seize these teachable moments and show your pre-teens, teenagers, and young adult children what it looks like to model Christ’s love, truth, and hope.
Your gift this month will be used to disciple believers in the US and around the globe.
As we participate in the passionate discourse about abortion in our country, we have a unique teachable moment in our parenting and grandparenting journey. What do our preteens, teenagers, and young adults observe in our words and attitudes? Do they know what we believe, why we believe it, and how to respond in a winsome way to those who vehemently disagree? It’s a great time to bring light to our kids and teach them how to lovingly respond with the truth.
Are you bringing heat, light or simply silence to this moment of cultural conflict surrounding abortion?
Dear Ministry Partner,
Reaching the next generation is one of our highest priorities at Living on the Edge.
Researchers tell us that despite all the impact of social media, movies, peers, and the current educational system, PARENTS still have the greatest influence on the thinking and lifestyles of their children.
Unfortunately, when controversy heats up and hostility intensifies in our world, it’s easy to run to an extreme or just simply try to play it safe. You can’t listen to the news, look at social media, or walk into a coffee shop without hearing strong opinions and raised emotions about the abortion issue.
My question for you parents and grandparents is this:
What are your children hearing from you?
What does it look like to be a fully committed “Romans 12 Christian parent” who helps their children understand what’s fueling all of the anger they see around them?
And what does it look like to be a “Roman 12 Christian grandparent” who can explain what they believe about life and abortion in a clear, calm, thoughtful way, backed up by the best scientific and biblical research?
I fear far too many preteens, teenagers, and young adults are only hearing, “We’ve won a great victory!” at home, while they’re hearing a far different story from friends, social media, and culture.
I fear the same group is hearing far too many comments about “us and them” instead of being helped to understand WHY we believe that abortion is wrong and why we support life, and when it begins.
Getting your children to agree with you while they’re young is easy; getting them to learn to think clearly and have biblical convictions based on truth and honest discussion is hard work.
But that’s what we must do!
In the midst of a huge answer to prayer with regard to Roe v. Wade, we need to “seize the day” to demonstrate the following to the next generation:
1. What we believe
2. Why we believe it
3. What others believe
4. Why they sincerely believe it
5. How to respond with Truth and love
In other words, with regard to the issue of abortion and all the emotions, anger, protests, and division, does your preteen, teenager, or young adult know what you believe, why you believe it, and how to respond to those who radically oppose your views?
I believe that you have one of the greatest opportunities in your parenting or grandparenting journey right now. And I would like to help you make the most of it.
Meaningful dialogue and healthy relationships with those who hold radically opposing views always begins with empathy. The next generation needs to understand why people are so passionate about what they call “reproductive rights.” Simply dismissing these claims, responding in anger, not saying anything at all, or merely saying the Bible teaches that life begins at conception will not help guide your kids and grandkids on this journey.
To help you make the most of this teachable moment, I’m including a link to a chapter of my book, Culture Shock, to help guide you. You can find it in the section below.
In it you will find:
- An outline of the beliefs and presuppositions of abortion-rights activists, including ways their thinking has evolved as scientific knowledge has expanded over the past two decades
- An explanation of what the Bible and scientific research reveal about the origins of life and human development
- A compassionate view of the heartache and pain that men and women who’ve had abortions endure.
My prayer is that you find this content helpful in framing and then explaining your understanding of this issue to your kids and grandkids. Now is not the time to bring more heat to the cultural conflict; it’s a time to bring light to our own children and teach them how to lovingly respond with truth.
The attack on life, marriage, and gender is not casual or random: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
Our enemy uses lies to convince people that their causes are just, even while they result in death, destruction, and heartache.
I’ve spent the majority of my ministry life in the most progressive and liberal culture in the United States, the San Francisco Bay Area. What I want you to know is that these people are not your enemies. They are lost; they are hurting. Few have met a Christian who will listen to their story, be concerned for their welfare, and then be able to clearly articulate with compassion what they believe and why.
Let’s not lose this great opportunity!
I encourage you to read the chapter excerpt and process with your children or grandchildren in a way that models Jesus’s way of “speaking the truth in love.” Show them how to shine light in this dark world with a loving heart and a winsome spirit even when facing social ostracism and rejection.
Here at Living on the Edge, we CAN support parents, grandparents, and families in this way because of the faithful support of ministry partners like you. Thank you for your continued support. I am so grateful.
Reaching the next generation TOGETHER,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Living on the Edge helps Christians bring their faith to life by living before God, in community and on mission. God is at work through Living on the Edge and your partnership. Read our quarterly newsletter to hear first-hand stories of transformation.
Small Groups Make a BIG Impact
Who could have imagined that a Bible study, a daily radio broadcast, and a large lawn to mow would change Jaqueline’s life? It’s a story that only God could have written!
A few years ago, Jacqueline found herself soul-searching after a Bible study (required for all parents at the Christian school her son attended) left her thinking through what it meant to be part of the Church. As she processed this, she felt God’s calling in a fresh way. She dedicated her life to Him and decided to get baptized.
“That water was wet and my commitment was genuine,” Jacqueline remembers. “And soon after being baptized, I felt like a dry sponge; I just couldn’t get enough of God’s Word!”
That’s when she found Chip Ingram’s sermons on the radio. Jacqueline has a very large property that takes her three hours a week to mow. “I set my mowing schedule so I could listen to all of Chip’s podcasts during the week. I looked forward to mowing like never before. The time just flew by, even in the sweltering heat. I felt like Chip was talking directly to me. One lesson I will never forget was Chip’s encouragement to start small, go with what you do have, don’t worry about what you don’t have, and watch God make things happen.”
Jacqueline, like many other moms in her town in North Carolina, was dealing with isolation and loneliness due to her rural setting and a global pandemic. After hearing Jennie Allen’s special weeklong broadcast, “Get Out of Your Head,” she knew that it was time to follow Chip’s advice and start small, so she launched a small group.
Her small groups gets together and listens to Chip’s sermon and discusses what they are learning. “We appreciate how down to earth Chip is and his knowledge of God’s Word.”
“I am so thankful for Living on the Edge,” Jacqueline says. “It really is making a difference, one person at a time!”
Igniting a Chain Reaction
Pastor Sam’s story
When Kenyan Pastor Sam attended our training in The A.R.T. of Survival nine months ago, God ignited
a chain reaction that’s still in motion.
Pastor Sam, the bishop of a church with 70 branches (6,000 people) throughout Nyanza Province in Kenya, was so moved and inspired by this teaching, he sensed that God wanted to use him to take it to more people.
By God’s grace, Pastor Sam has already shared the message of The A.R.T of Survival at a large family camp, Easter services, and at dozens of local churches. He has been able to speak on the radio and television in the area, and is investing in the lives of 11 regional pastors through an ongoing study group. And he’s just getting started!
Pastor Sam says that three messages emerge when he teaches The A.R.T. of Survival:
- God uses adversity to make us mature because we are forced to depend on Him at a new level.
- We are weaned from the temporary and urgent issues of life and are forced to reexamine our values, priorities, commitments, and futures.
- Trials allow us to witness firsthand the reality and power of the Most High God.
He shares, “The phrase I hear most often from discouraged believers on the verge of abandoning their faith is ‘I will not give up.’”
God’s Persistent Pursuit
Born to parents struggling with substance abuse, John remembers carefree summers and weekends with his grandparents at their country home.
“I lived in two different worlds,” John says. “At Grandma’s house, things were calm and easy. I knew what to expect. But at my mom’s place in the projects, the atmosphere was loud and hectic. I always longed to escape and head back to Grandma’s.”
“Some of my earliest memories are being surrounded by a bunch of joyful people at Grandma’s energetic church—folks singing about freedom they’d found in Christ,” John says. “She always told me, Things will never be right until you give your life to the Lord.”
Despite grandma’s good advice, John found a form of escape by stealing candy and other small items with “his boys” in the neighborhood.
Swiping candy gave way to stealing bicycles—and then cars. By 13, John found himself in a detention center. He spent his teen years bouncing from one correction facility to another. In his late teens, the promise of easy money lured John into dealing drugs—and so his felony record began.
John spent the better part of six years in and out of jail. Eventually he found himself alone in a prison cell waiting for his fourth felony conviction. John recalls: “I’d never felt so alone. No friends to impress, no distractions. Just time to think about what a mess I’d become.”
“In the silence, I could hear my grandma’s voice telling me that she never stopped praying for me, that God loved me. She had always told me that I should read the book of John. So right there in that cell, I found a Bible and began reading. I asked God to forgive me and to make something good out of my life.”
While serving his 14-month sentence, John was befriended by an older man who talked openly about his desire to serve Christ, even in prison.
“I decided that day that I didn’t want to just do time. I wanted the time to do something for me.”
John found a lifeline in the prison church, where following Christ became his number one priority.
After serving his time, John began getting his life back on track. He got a job, served in a local church, and met his future wife, Tamara. While attending a men’s conference, John realized there were gaps in his spiritual development.
“I cried out to God and asked Him to show me how to become a healthy, godly man.”
Soon after, on his way to work, John heard Chip Ingram’s voice on his car radio. “There was something so genuine about this guy,” John says. “He drew me in.”
“Chip became my ‘pastor from a distance.’ I looked forward to tuning in every morning. Chip taught me how to dig into God’s Word, where I could find everything I needed to know.”
Today, John is a Bible-school graduate and a leader in his church. He and Tamara have four children and one grandchild. Their greatest joy is telling others about God’s life-changing power and guiding them toward spiritual maturity.
John is forever grateful for his ever-praying grandmother and his “pastor from a distance.” He continues to learn fresh truth from Chip every day!
Have a story to share? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at [email protected].
Every month, we’ll share with you the top three prayer requests and praises from our team at Living on the Edge. This update is one of our favorite, as it’s so clear the many ways that God is at work in our ministry. Chip and our entire team encourage you to celebrate and pray alongside us.
We Thank God For…
- Speaking through Chip as he taught a new series at Awakening Church in San Jose.
- Blessing the pastor trainings in India on The A.R.T. of Survival in July. Thousands of pastors were trained to serve their churches and impact their communities.
- Protecting our global team as they have been traveling. Our team was in a car accident in Malawi—by God’s grace they walked away with only minor injuries!
We ask God to…
- Give Chip fruitful study time as he prepares multiple new messages.
- Empower our international team members, Dave Holden and David Tamez, as they bring The A.R.T. of Survival training to pastors in 15 cities in Mexico.
- Bring gifted team members to the San Jose office to serve the growing ministry opportunities.
Living on the Edge helps Christians bring their faith to life by living before God, in community and on mission.