Monday, July 27, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Ahhhh, got your attention, didn't I.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I mean, it appears that the best Children’s ministries are the ones at churches larger than 2000 and have large budgets. It also seems that the CM directors that are most talked about and well known in the blogging world are the ones @ these larger churches as well. But what about the little guys? (Of which I still fancy myself one.)
For instance, I know some great CM directors from seminary that are in small to medium churches doing great things in bringing about the spiritual formation of children. I look at Ryan Frank, Children’s Pastor at little known Liberty Baptist Church in Sweetser, IN, a church of less than 900; but his ministry at Kidz Matter provides CM resources all over the country. Is Bigger REALLY better?
Certainly having a treasure of resources and access to a bigger pool of volunteers (though I am sure we all struggle with finding qualified CM volunteers) does have its advantages and allows for greater flexibility. But being smaller comes with some great opportunities as well: necessity for creativity, ability and time to develop more 1:1 relationships, flexibility if one happens to make mistakes, etc...
So, if you are reading this and struggle with being at a “small church/ministry,” take heart!!! God can and will use you to make a difference in the lives of kids & families. Remember, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Col 3:23-24).
In Him, Dean
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I used to do a lot of Bus Ministry. Things have changed in the last few years where running busses is not feasible right now… but I still have a little place in my heart ready to pounce when the time is right again.
Bus Ministry is a great place to learn a lot… hard and fast. You make a lot of mistakes… and you ask a lot of internal questions… and it challenges the living crizzle out of your beliefs and makes you wonder if it’s worth it at all.
Once I remember questioning whether pulling a kid out of their situation for only a couple of hours a week was actually doing any good for them at all. I was explaining to God how they’re bombarded with family issues, inner-city pressures, peer-pressure like you’ve never seen… how was my little song-n-dance once a week going to provide any help… especially for those who didn’t half listen?
God told me—I must stop here for a moment and make sure you understand that when I say “God Told Me”, that it works like this: I get a really excellent idea in my mind that I know in a million years would never come from my own jacked up, over functioning brain—flatly”:
“When you’re in a fire… any moment you’re not burning is a great moment.”
I knew exactly what He was telling me. These kids were in the worst of situations… and though I was questioning our effectiveness, God was making it clear that every moment they were free from that situation was a precious, precious time for them. It helped me so much. Suddenly I saw their hyperactivity in a new light. They were excited to just be kids for once. They were getting a chance to play, a chance to connect with adults who truly cared about them as people. I wasn’t allowed to downplay any of the time we spent with them after that.
This concept doesn’t only apply to Bus Ministry… but to any ministry to children. Sure, we only get them a few hours a week… assuming they come every time the doors are open… but that time is precious. Especially from God’s point of view. Even if all we did was play with our kids rather than teach, for some of them it would be the most spiritually refreshing moments in their week. Experiencing God’s unconditional love in a safe, accepting environment should be the foundation of every children’s ministry experience.
Monday, July 6, 2009
- It is Biblically mandated for the church and all Believers to teach the things of God to children (Psalm 78:1-8, Deuteronomy 6:1-9).
- Jesus warned us not to hinder children from coming to him (Matthew 19:14).
- The most effective way to make disciples is by raising them yourself! Having more children means more people for you to disciple (Matthew 28:19-20), which is the goal of the Christian life!
- We are loosing Christians FASTER than we are replacing them! This includes stats from both new conversions and new births into Christian families. For more stats on this, listen to my previous post: Click Here!
- If what happens in the home becomes the center of one's life, personality, goals, etc., then God NEEDS to be taught in the home. Otherwise God becomes someone one "does" once per week.
- Kids will eventually grow up and become adults. If they are set to believe God is the center of their life, they are more likely to stay connected to Him when trials come and big decisions are made.
- The end goal here is to produce Fully, Committed Disciples of Christ who go and make a difference in the world. We can all use reminders to keep that in mind while we make decisions for and about our kids: Homeschool, public school or Christian school; sports, music, community, or no activities; devotions at home or no devos at home, etc. KEEP THE END IN MIND!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Typically, when my family is out and about, we get lots of people looking at us - some even make comments about / to us. You see, with 5 kids we are one of the larger families in the area (Port Huron, MI). We hear things like:
- I could never do that!
- It's hard enough with the two that I have!
- She must be a saint! (Interesting they never say 'He' must be saint??)
- You know what causes that right?
- Are you done yet?