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Personal Proverbs

08 Apr Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Personal Proverbs
Personal Proverbs

A proverb is “a brief popular saying that gives advice about how people should live or that expresses a belief that is generally thought to be true” (source).

I first discovered the power of simple proverbs when I was getting my feet wet in youth ministry. To help our small group leaders remember and live out their commitment to the students in their group, we boiled down what we were asking of them to just three action statements:

  • Be Prepared. Look over the small group material in advance, and attend the weekly pre-gathering volunteer meeting.
  • Be There. Show up to lead your small group each week, and attend the quarterly volunteer trainings.
  • Be Involved. Contact each student in your small group twice a month, get your group together outside of the church twice a year, and pray regularly for the students you lead.

I can still remember the first time I shared these “3 B’s” with our volunteers. I said something like this … To be a successful small group leader, all you need to do is be prepared to lead, be there each week, and be involved in the student’s lives. That’s it. These three 2-two word statements told them everything they needed to know, and they really grabbed ahold of it. Not only did they know what was expected of them, they could easily remember how to succeed as a small group leader.


Since stumbling into those 3 B’s, I have been applying the power of short proverbs to every other area of my life. Here are a few of my personal proverbs:


  • Remember why. Weekly dates and twice a year get-a-ways help us remember why we got married in the first place … because we really enjoy being together!
  • Not alone, not in my phone, not keeping it from home. This is how my wife and I protect our marriage. I wrote about this one here.
  • No Bricks. Couples in a bad place often talk about a “wall” between them. You can’t build a wall without bricks, so we remove the “bricks” (anything we have done intentionally or unintentionally to hurt each other) every day by giving and receiving forgiveness.


Children & Parenting

  • Grandparent Parents. Grandparents tend to enjoy every moment they get with their grandkids because they know from experience how fast they grow up. We want to be parents that enjoy our kids like grandparents do.
  • Four Hours of Face Time. Because quantity and quality time are both important, I strive to have four hours of quality face time with my kids on my five workdays. This goal helps me get up and get home on time. Usually it works out to 1 hour in the morning, and 3 hours in the evening before bedtime.
  • You Are Who You Run With. Growing up, this is how my mom talked about 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” She must have said it a 1000 times!



  • Live Today. When we dwell too much on our past or our future, we forget to live today.
  • Big Little Things. Handwritten notes, surprising a co-worker with their favorite coffee drink, or sharing a kind word, the little things we do for others are actually really big things.
  • You, Not Me. This is how my family talks about Paul’s challenge in Philippians 2:3-4 to live an others focused life.


Now that I have shared some of my proverbs, it’s your turn to pass along some of your wisdom. What are one or two proverbs that guide your life, marriage, parenting, or ministry?

For further reading on this idea, check out Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs by Bill Hybels

Josh Rhodes
NextGen Pastor at LCBC Church
Josh is the Next Steps Director at LCBC Church, York Campus. Prior to LCBC, he served at Chestnut Ridge Church in Morgantown, WV. Josh received a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministries from Lancaster Bible College, and a Master of Arts in Theology from Biblical Seminary. He and his wife Hillary live in Lancaster with their three children - Sephora, Levi, and Pierce.