youth worker, youth ministry, leadership


By Doug Franklin February 22, 2011

I have a great friend in South Carolina, Van Arrington, who is the pastor of a church called The Father House. He just started a new blog and his first post hit me hard and I wanted to share it with you. Check out Van Arrington blog at http://vanstravelingtips.wordpress.com/

Lessons learned walking 30 years with Jesus.

On October 10, 1980, the Lord Jesus Christ touched my life so profoundly that in return I gave him my life and I set my heart to follow him and to serve him for the rest of my days here on earth. As a disciple of the greatest teacher that ever lived, the Lord has taught me some life lessons which I with joy want to share with you. I call these lessons Traveling Tips. Every believer who accepts Jesus must be ready to take a journey with the Master. This journey at times will be tough and costly but never without purpose or meaning. These tips are not meant to save you from the troubles of this Christian walk but rather to encourage you to stay faithful to the journey that is before you. My prayer is that whoever reads these words will be empowered to follow the Lord Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Tip Number One:  FIRST PLACE!

Do not worship any god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. [Exodus 34:12-14]

Walking through the ages and stages of life I found that people, places and things will become important in our lives. Jesus, being the great teacher that he is, will always test us to make sure God is number One. The Lord will never accept 2nd or 3rd place. Here are the exams we must take: The Needs Test. In Matthew 6:33 it says “seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you…” What about food, money, clothes and possessions. Are they in first place? The Lord will put you in a situation of need to expose your answer. Who will you seek first? The economy of this world must never become greater than our God!

The Serve Test. Matthew 6:24 says “no man can serve two masters …” Who do you serve, God or Man? Do you have the same energy, commitment and effort to serve God as you do your job? Your school? Your family? God will put your service to the test.  When he calls you will you come? You may have to come early or go late. The season may be hot or cold. You may be feeling happy or very sad. When God is number one there is no bad time to serve our Lord and Savior.

The Love Test. “He that loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me…” (Matthew 10:37). Husband! Wife! Children! Who is number One? Remember on this journey with Jesus, he will never accept second or third place. He must become the one we have first in our hearts period. To test us he will bring us to a place in which we must choose! The test will not end until we finally make the right choice!

The Death Test. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus confronts us with a serious decision. “If anyone will come after me he must take up his cross and follow me…” Are you willing to let your dreams, visions, goals and plans die for the plan of God? Will you sacrifice what you want for what he wants? Even though you don’t want too (Jesus didn’t want to get on that cross either) will you make the decision to be obedient unto death? Hear me my brothers and sisters, The Lord will not only test you to see if you will live for him but most importantly will you die for him!


About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More