Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Who is my neighbor....?

And what do I do with them? Lately, I have been impressed several times to think about how I am treating others and to review my relationships with my friends, my kids, my wife, my co-workers, my volunteers. Let's face it, life always seems to be in hyper mode - always on the go but never going very deep. We touch on so many things in our daily lives, but we never spend too much time on anything or anyone.

But is that they way it's supposed to be? Is that all here is? In the New Testament, there is a word used there to indicate what we SHOULD be focused on -at least when it comes to relationships with others. It is koinonia. It's the word used in Acts 2:42: “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The rest of that passage gives even more clues as to what this “fellowship” is all about:

Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:43-47, NIV)

Highlighted in green are simply the side effects of having genuine fellowship. The side effects were not the focus, but what happened as a result of having true fellowship with one another. Is it so far off to think that the modern-church should have these going as well? Do we already?

Ponder these things over the next few weeks as we will be discussing them more at our next Equip Meeting on October 14th at 6:00 PM.


FJIF Take-Home Event

Well, the next Take-Home Event is finally upon us. This coming Sunday, in the gym at Colonial Woods, we will be having our next two events. The purpose of these events is to try and give the parents a few resources and tools to be intentionally passing on their faith to their children. Here is the run-down:

  • 1st Service (9:00) 2nd Graders & Parents (Missions )
  • 2nd Service (10:45) 3rd Graders & Parnets (Get your Hands-on the Bible)

Also, in case you were not aware, Missionary Church Pastor Mark Holmen (Ventura Missionary Church) has written a new book entitled "Building Faith at Home." This is the 2nd installment of books by Mark as he seeks to spread God's vision of partnering with families to intentionally pass on the Faith to children. I have a copy of it sitting on my desk, but have not had the chance to read it yet.

Well, hope to see some of you at the event this Sunday. You will regret missing it if you cannot make it.
Til then, Dean

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When I think 10 years down the road...

What will Colonial Woods Missionary Church look like in ten years? Better yet, what will Anchor Children's Ministry look like in 10 years? You may never think about that, but I sure do. In fact, I recently started meeting with a Children's Ministry Leadership Team once a month to help us address that very question (among other things).

We asked ourselves the question, "If money was not an obstacle, what would we like Anchor CM look like in 10 years?" I was blown away with what the group would like to see! Here are some of their dreams:
  • Computer & Internet access in each room
  • Physical play area Inside & Outside
  • So many volunteers we have to put people on a waiting list
  • Kids coming to Christ through a joint effort of parents and teachers
  • Bigger facilities for Kid's Church
  • Center-based teaching (Pre-school AND Elementary)
  • 5th & 6th Grade Discipleship Program
  • Comprehensive Safety & Security Plan

Boy, these guys sure do know how to dream big! In essence, in 10 years, I would like Anchor Children's Ministry and Family Journey in Faith to be known as "THE PLACE TO BE FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES' in the Blue Water Area! That's not asking too much, is it? Can God accomplish it? In the words of our French Canadian neighbors, absolument.

So, what are your thoughts? What ideas do you have about what you would like to see in the future at CWMC?

In Him, Dean

Quality of a Legacy Family - Conflict Resolution Skills

Often when studies are conducted they look at things from a negative perspective. For instance, researchers try to study what a good family looks like by studying what dysfunctional families are and then try to reverse it. This causes potential problems. If you look at a dysfunctional family, you can see that they argue a lot.

Well researches then say, "To be a successful family, you should not argue." Well, even strong, legacy-focused families are not immune to stress and crisis, but they are not as crisis-prone as troubled families tend to be. IT'S WHAT TAKES PLACE IN BETWEEN THE ARGUMENTS THAT MAKES A FAMILY SUCCESSFUL OR TROUBLED.

Legacy-focused families possess the ability to manage both daily stressors and difficult life crises creatively and effectively. They know how to prevent trouble before it happens, and how to work together to meet the inevitable challenges when they occur.
So next time you are in an arugument or tiff with your spouse or child, remember that to be a legacy family, you simply must strive to make peace. Here are two links that may help in making that happen. From Peacemaker Ministires, this LINK is called the Four G's to help bring positive resolution and outcome to conflicts. Or, if you simply need to confess, this LINK provide 7 A's of Confession.
Yes, it's that important.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Quality of a Legacy Family - Communication

I know you've seen in done in movies - two people start to like each other and spend a romantic evening together. Next thing you know, something gets misconstrued or misunderstood and then they get mad at each other. It's the kind of scene that makes you want to scream out "Why don't you just communicate?!?!" (Maybe it is just me who wants to do that?)

Next to having a strong faith in Christ Jesus, this is the biggest need in leaving a legacy of faith as well as a legacy of a strong marriage. Parents, it is essential to communicate with each other and with your kids. Let me challenge you do read the book pictured to the right, The Good Listener by James E. Sullivan. It is only about 130 pages long and a very quick read.
However, it is powerful in expressing the importance of listening. It shows how listening is equated with Love, when we do listen a clear message of love and belonging is heard. When we are distracted and do not clearly listen, a message of apathy is received. None of us are perfect (if you are, I would love to talk with ya), but we need to strive to listen with nothing else distracting us.
His, Dean

Birage of Information

OK, here it comes...the mother load of information. OK, that may be a little bit of an over statement, but hopefully it got your attention.

Family Journey In Faith
There will be another Family Journey in Faith event coming on September 30th. In the 1st Service we will be meeting with 2nd Graders and their parents teaching about how to become Mission minded within their family. In the 2nd Service we will be meeting with the 3rd graders and their parents to look at the importance of reading the Bible and doing devotions. Be sure to look for information in the mail and in church announcments about this great event.

We will be having our next Equip meeting on October 14th at 6-7 PM in the Carpenter Rooms (note this is a change from last year). We will primarily be using this time to re-connect with each other since the summer and also review any needed information about the coming ministry year.

Woo-hoo. My family and I will be on vacation from September 14th through 22nd. We will be in town some of the time, but will also be making a trip to AuSable Institute near Mancelon, MI for a cabin getaway. Lori is of course excited about also getting to to to Mackinaw Bridge and Island.

Along the same lines, I have one more time of going away for school to Bethel Seminary coming up from October 21st through November 2nd. This will be the last time to be gone before I graduate next May with my Master's. I CANNOT WAIT!

Distant Horizon
Coming up also in October is the Annual Clothing Giveaway and Trunk-or-Treat. This year we will be combining these events with the national Make A Difference Day. There will be more information coming up about these events in the futre.

His, Dean

It's been a while...

I know it's been a while since I last posted, but things are almost finalized for the new ministry year with nearly all volunteers in place. A HUGE THANKS to all the summer volunteers who made a difference in kids lives. You made it great! Thanks to each of you who are volunteering this school year, there are exciting things on the horizon. Be on the lookout for the letter and new sub list in the mail, if you have not already received it.

We have started a new program during the 2nd hour with the 3rd to 5th Graders called Disciplemakers! This program focuses on teaching kids to live for God in all aspects of life in the fun and engagning format of small groups. Stop by room 205 sometime and check it out, you won't regret it. As always, if you know someone who may be interested in volunteering in Children's Ministry, pass along their information.
Stay tuned for more as we go.