Monthly Archives: December 2017

Target: Middle School

I received a comment yesterday about a Benton Quest House blog in August, 2016—“What Is it About 4?”

The comment: “There is a great ministry in Texas called Academy 4, which provides mentoring and character coaching to 4th grade students.”

I appreciated the comments at the original blog publication. It is great to see a church which is specializing with 4th graders. They work in public schools.

The link to their website is:

Genesis says that God chose Abram because He knew Abram would teach his children. I’m sorry the Bible does not include the curriculum God expected Abram/Abraham to use. In my work in progress—Meanderings—I have included my view of what such a program might look like. Academy 4 shows what works for them.

I’ve been consulting with a church about focusing their mission on a niche that will include a stream of unchurched and under employed Jesus followers. How about 4th graders? Or 4-5-6—middle school—or 3-4-5. “Touch the head of a child and reach the heart of a family.”

Original Benton blog:

We are building a octagon-shaped building at SouthWood. There are education/seminar/experience rooms surrounding a performance center. Each room is constructed to equip a middle schooler to grow in specifics that touch their lives. The building is revealed in my 2018 book The Carafe Mission.

2018–The year of mission.
(c)2017 D. Dean Benton

Taste of Gladness

There was just enough left on my Starbucks gift card from last Christmas for a white chocolate mocha. (Thanks!) I took it to the car in the sun to seek God, enjoy the warmth and let the white chocolate bless me.

I’ve been reading Mark Batterson’s book, Whisper—How to Hear the Voice of God, (Multnomah, 2017) Batterson quotes Fred Buechner:

“The voice we should listen to most as we choose vocation is the voice that we might think we should listen to least, and that is the voice of our own gladness. What can we do that makes us the gladdest?…I believe that if it is a thing that makes us truly glad, then it a good thing and it is our thing.”

Batterson adds, “It is a God thing.”

Voice of our own gladness. That throws a bright light on the subject. Pleasant. Delicious. And a huge clue. That ranks right up there with white chocolate. And God is into gladness. Merry Christmas.

©2017 D. Dean Benton