Dave Keehn

Underutilized Resources

By Dave Keehn Jun. 20, 2016 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Evangelism, Ministry and Leadership, Missions, Theology

Images of extreme poverty motivate those with financial resources to donate their money to help alleviate poverty; or that is what the producers of the images hope occurs. However, reducing the terrible and often deadly ramifications of poverty is not as simple as signing the ONE petition or buying RED products (both of which I have done). The problem is also not as straightforward as the global 1% of wealth (the “haves”) giving of their means as handouts to the “have-nots.” The position of wealth in the Global West often leads to a mentality that says we know what is best for the Global Rest – we assume that if they just do what we did then they will get the same results. However, this classification of foreign aid ignores the resources of the Global Poor and their local churches, and instead creates an unhealthy dependency on handouts undermining the dignity of the materially poor, while “their poverty is actually deepened by the very churches and organizations that are trying to help them” (Fikkert & Mask, From Dependence to Dignity, 2015, p. 20) ...

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Thoughts on Spring Break Missions Trips: Do They Help or Hurt?

By Dave Keehn Apr. 5, 2016 12:30 p.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Missions

Let me begin by saying I am passionate about exposing teenagers to the work of God around the world, as well as to using their talents to help continue that work both where they live as well as other locations both near and far.

However, I am concerned about how most short-term mission trips are planned, administered and experienced in ways that demean and undermine the people and ministries we seek to serve, while impressing upon our teenagers “missions” is something you do (i.e. an event) rather than an attitude or lifestyle. I am concerned because for many years as a youth pastor, I was the problem ...

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Value-Based Spending

By Dave Keehn Nov. 24, 2015 9:00 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The national pastime has become a sacred holiday: shopping on “Black Friday.” The day after Thanksgiving has developed into a manic state of sales and spending as retailers, seeking bigger holiday profits, offer new bargains and longer hours to lure holiday shoppers to good deals and great values on amazing products. The spending hype reaches fever pitch as stores open earlier and earlier each year, replacing the day dedicated to gratefulness with unashamed greed and giddiness for a purchase that is meant to show our love for another, bought in rushes of grabbing items that has led to fights, stampedes and debt. Many justify this intense season of shopping with the value of the purchase – the money saved on an item they would buy at a higher price later indicates this was a good value-based purchase ...

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Responding to Objections with Truth and Love

By Dave Keehn Aug. 31, 2015 9:45 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, New Testament, Theology

As a parent, my favorite word to say is “yes.” Saying this word puts me in a favorable position with my children. The look of joy on their faces when I say “yes” compels me to say it more and more. I even struggle saying “yes” when I know it would be wiser to say “no” due to budget restraints (“yes, take my last $20”), or health concerns (“yes, eat the whole gallon of ice cream”), or just common sense (“yes, you can play in the street”). My children expect a “yes” when they ask because I love saying “yes” so often. So when I say “no” they are surprised by my objections to their request. However, my disapproving “no” is just as loving as my “yes,” and many times it is a much more compassionate response ...

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Helping Your Teens Help Themselves

By Dave Keehn Apr. 21, 2015 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, Spiritual Formation

... Teenagers need to be coached, not controlled, to help the growth towards adulthood responsibility develop. Coaches may still insist on how the “play” is executed so this is not a call for the abandonment of rules; but good coaches do more of teaching others how to do the work and do not take over the game itself. How sad it is for me as a college professor to watch a student who is unsure of how to make decisions for themselves, to take care of themselves in healthy, emotionally balanced and spiritually growing ways. Parents of teenagers need to think of the tasks that will enable a teen to live responsibly and healthy after leaving the comforts of a parent’s home ...

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Passing On Our Faith – One Generation to Another

By Dave Keehn Sep. 10, 2014 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

A family had a priceless family heirloom – a vase – that was passed down one generation to the next generation. One day, the parents of the family who had possession of the vase, left the teenagers at home while they went out shopping for the day. When they returned home, their children met the parents at the door, with sad faces, reporting: “Mother, Father… you know that priceless heirloom our family passes down one generation to the next… while our generation just dropped it”

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A Father’s View of Adoption

By Dave Keehn Jun. 5, 2014 9:10 a.m. Church Life, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament

In November 2009 my family had the incredible honor to adopt Mfundo from South Africa. The journey to that point was filled with unknown challenges to us, as we happened to be the first adoptive family from the United States to legally adopt in South Africa. We were not the first to try to adopt from this country; we were just the family that happened to be furthest into the adoptive pre-work when the two countries came into agreement for international adoptions.

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