3 Lessons Pastors Can Learn from Joshua Harris’ Statement on “I Kissed Dating Good-bye”

Joshua Harris and his books, I Kissed Dating Good-Bye and Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship were household names in my student ministry and friend group when I was in high school in the early 2000s. His books had a far-reaching effect on a generation of young evangelicals in those days. Recently, Harris has disavowed himself from the books and announced that he will discontinue publication. I want to offer some lessons for pastors to learn from Harris’ experience. But first, I will give my personal history with his teachings and examine his official statement.

MY PERSONAL HISTORY WITH HARRIS’ BOOKS

When it came to a Joshua Harris book when I was in high school, we’d meticulously pore over every word looking for the keys to a better, more godly way to pursue relationships with the opposite sex.

We took Harris’ word as gospel and oriented our dating (or non-dating) worlds around it for that season of our lives. We took sometimes year-long “fasts” from dating so we could focus more wholly on our relationships with God. Then we would break those fasts prematurely and feel guilt over it. Contrite and repentant we would restart the fasts.

His books basically produced a lot of guilt in us over failing to meet arbitrary rules that we misinterpreted as biblical mandates.

For someone like me who had no skills to begin with when it came to talking to girls, Josh’s teaching made it even more intimidating. Not only was I not good at talking to girls, but after reading Harris’ instructions I would have to ask a girl’s dad for his blessing in our MARRIAGE as we begin our courtship – before I ever really expressed my feelings to her! I can think of few things more awkward than that conversation. Ugh.

I slowly but surely began to tire of trying to pursue relationships according to Harris’ prescribed method. I eventually rejected most of his teachings while holding on to the basic heart of it which is to honor God in your relationships.

Continue Reading →

0

How to Start a Sermon for Maximum Impact

The opening words of your sermon can fall flat if you don’t have a good plan. It’s good to be intentional about the way you introduce a message. I will walk you through exactly how to start your sermon for maximum impact and engagement. We’ll focus on how to capture and maintain the interest of your listeners in the first 5-6 minutes of your message. Let’s jump in to the most important part – the first 1.5 minutes. Continue Reading →

How to Build Tension When You Preach

In the days before Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other streaming services ruled the media viewing world, I was really into box dvd sets. They were all the rage, and I was all in.

Lost was the first TV show I watched on dvd with each episode in immediate succession. I was in college at the time and had a load of classes for which I should have been studying. But instead I would watch an episode and go immediately to the next and the next and the next. I would tell myself, “This is the last episode tonight.” But inevitably I would push it to one or two more. Why?

Tension.

The producers of Lost (and every good TV show before or since) were masterful at building tension. They knew the secret to keeping people on the edge of their seat and coming back for more.

Television and movie producers understand something a lot of preachers do not: You have to make people care about your content before they’ll give their attention to more of it.

Continue Reading →

How to Start a Self-Hosted Blog in 20 Minutes

I dove into blogging four years ago, and I absolutely love it. Blogging is how I share my passion with the world. It has helped me reach an audience that I would have NEVER been able to reach. And it enables me to share a message with thousands of people … and more every day.

Many people have asked me along the way how they can get started blogging. Perhaps you would like to start blogging as well but you’re not sure how to get started. The good news is it’s easy to start a blog and you can get it up and rolling quickly – in 20 minutes or less.

In this article I will walk you through a simple, step-by-step process to start your blog. I will guide you through determining a topic, picking a domain name, choosing a platform to host your blog, and writing your first posts. But first…

Continue Reading →

Four Destructive Mindsets That Can Wreck Your Preaching

Mindsets that wreck preaching

It was Henry Ford who said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” He was conveying a powerful truth: the way we think about ourselves effects the outcomes we see in life. This is never more true than how we think about our preaching.

I want to share with you the four common destructive preaching mindsets that I have seen wreck people’s preaching. What is a preaching mindset? Simply put, it is the story we tell ourselves about our preaching. And that story drives more than we think.

As I share these four mindsets, I am speaking largely to my own experience with a few of these because I’ve been guilty of telling these stories to myself as well. As you read, you may see yourself in some of these, too. Here are the mindsets that every preacher must learn to overcome.

Continue Reading →