Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3570

Jump Start # 3570

Ecclesiastes 12:12 “But beyond this, my son, be warned; the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.”

  A Jump Start reader asked for suggestions on how to best use the Jump Starts. That’s a great question, because it shows someone who is wanting to be effective and do what he possibly can to the utmost. When I first started preaching more than four decades ago, as a poor young man, I got on the mailing lists of as many church bulletins that I could find. My mailbox was stuffed every day with bulletins from all over the country. I read and read and filed those articles. Later, as I could afford books, my library grew.

  Today, there are not many publications from our brethren and most congregations are not mailing out bulletins anymore. Podcasts, Facebook and blogs have taken the place of adding thought to our studies of God’s word. Jump Starts Daily has become a tool for many to use in their walk and work in the kingdom.

  Let me share with you a few ways that I know Jump Starts are being used by others:

  First, many are copying and sharing them with others. There is a huge segment of people that are not on our email list but they receive them because of you. A certain article fits right in where someone you know is at. That article can encourage and help someone not give up. The wide network of sharing these can springboard to studies and discussions.

  Second, some are using the Jump Starts in special women’s studies and in prison visitations. They begin with reading one of the articles and starting there, they study their Bibles together. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to approach a topic. Using the Jump Start articles can be the bridge to help with that. Some are using the themes, such as Shepherding and having studies using the Jump Starts.

  Third, some are using the Jump Starts for Wednesday evening invitations and even for sermons. There have been times when I read a portion of a Jump Start in a sermon. More than anything, they can be the seed for an idea that will be developed much further by you.

  Fourth, some have used a Jump Start in funerals. I know I have. I’ve written a lot about death. Finding the right words can be hard and some have found reading a specific article to express what was most needed.

  We are deep into 3500 Jump Start articles. How can I find what I need?

  We have some themed booklets. Currently there are 29 specific booklets. On the Jump Start website there are two search engines. One allows you to look up key verses that I have used. The other allows you to type in specific words.

  I know some who have printed out the Jump Starts and put them in notebooks. I know others who have saved them electronically and put them in specific folders that would be easier for them to find later on.

  We have never had a major advertising campaign to get people to sign up. It has all happened via word of mouth. I find it amazing that anything I write is of interest to anyone else. The purpose of Jump Starts has always been devotional. It is not a deep dive into the Word of God. It is not technical. It is not scholarly. That’s not been the intention. More than anything else, I have just wanted to encourage, remind and help all of us in the kingdom of God. I have appreciated the suggestions that you have given me through the years. I think about those suggestions and many have become articles. Some have not always agreed with what I wrote, but I have appreciated your kindness and gentleness in expressing what you feel is correct.

  I think if I were a young preacher today, I would have really liked Jump Starts as a source of ideas and encouragement. There will be a day when this little venture will come to an end. I just hope for this moment in time, Jump Starts has found a way to be useful and helpful to you in your walk with the Lord. This was never designed to replace your own study of God’s word, NEVER. It’s just yet another tool that can make things easier for us.

  Will Jump Starts find a place in the big picture of the Restoration Movement? I doubt it. But, centuries from now, when we are on the other side, I think it would be amazing to meet someone who says, “Jump Starts—I read them.”

  If you find a way to use these, please do. Through the years some have asked if they could reprint them in church bulletins, and the answer is always, Absolutely. Find a way to help and then do it!