Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A True Story of Love

Dr. J. Robert McQuilken had been the President of Columbia Bible (International) College for nearly 22 years. But his wife, Muriel, came down with Alzheimer's and he found himself torn between to divine callings. He made the right choice!

If you would like, you can get more information about Dr. McQuilken's story HERE.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The only Thing This seat is good for....

...is for my son to rest his butt on.

I think he may have pooped in his diaper then too! Go Bux!!!

A Caveat To: Yet Another Huge Controversy

After talking with a dear friend (via email), I thought I would add a caveat to the previous post. This article is harsh! There is no question about it. For many of you it is offensive and judgemental. I DO NOT FULLY SUPPORT Dr. Baucham methods and do not necessarily fully support his conclusions, but I do think that homeschooling should be an option considered (via prayer, God's word, seeking the advice of wise believers and being given a genuine peace about the decision) when it comes to educating our children. And not just blown off as too radical to impossible without weighing out the pros and cons.

For some, this is simply not possible (single mothers, families in which both parents must work). For others, parents have chosen to have their families in the public schools to be a light for Christ. [Again, this is all under the assumption that parents are actively engaged in the learning process, which I think we all would agree should be the case.] So let me direct you to a more balanced article when it comes to the options for Christian parents to educate their children.

Pink Sun Drops: Homeschool vs. Private School vs. Public School

This blog entry does a nice job (it is rather long though) at laying out thoughts and questions to consider given where you are and if you are considering a change.

Also, since I put a link to a strong homeschooling article, I'll put on on a strong Public schooling option. This blog entry, in fact the entire blog, is written by a parent who purposefully sends their kids to public school. I have not read these blog entries fully yet, so will not comment on them now, but there are lots of voices out there talking about this.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yet Another Huge Controversy

NOTE OF CAUTION: If you click on this link, you will delve into another huge controversial issue among Christian families and the church - that of public school education and Christianity.

Dr. Voddie Baucham, who've I mentioned before, makes a strong case about "The Top 5 Reasons Not to Send Your Kids Back to Government Schools." Again, for most people we land on one side or the other of this issue. Meaning, you are either OK with public schools or you are not. Which is why people get so upset about this issue. But, that's not why I bring it up!

I bring it up to help people to start a dialogue about the issue! Since most Christian families send their kids to public schools (85-90% according to the link), the voice NOT being heard is the one choosing to home school or Christian school their kids. As a homeschooling dad myself with my 5 kids, my voice is typically played off as being "radical" (at best) or "asinine" (at worst, and yes that IS an actual word). I'm also curious what my fellow Children's Ministers think about this issue as well.

Have any thoughts?


PS - I've been gone for a couple of weeks moving into a new house and taking a few days off work. So I thought I would come out with a bang!

Family Ministry - Part 5 (Last One)

As I look at the lay of the land in Children’s Ministry, there are a lot of churches in America today debating whether or not to start some type of Family Ministry program. Well, if I may be as so bold as to put this question to rest: YES YOU SHOULD! Parents are struggling in the face of a culture that tells many of them they have made wrong decisions having kids, going to church, or choosing at all to teach about God. They need to know they are doing some things right.

Parents also need to know that the church will help give them ideas, resources, and a place to connect with other parents. It is my belief that this should all be part of a family ministry program that crosses the silos we typically see in ministry. But if that is not an option, start somewhere. I personally recommend doing some Take-It-Home Events or Key Age events. Check out the Faith at Home books by Mark Holman.

Even more churches have started Family Worship events bringing kids and parents together in a kid friendly worship environment. That is also a good place to start, but should not stop there. Why? I think, and this may hurt a little bit, that it continues to perpetuate the idea that the families need to come to church to connect to God. What happens at home is far more important for faith building then what takes place in the church. The church cannot, and should never have, taken the primary responsibility for the discipleship of children. For more thoughts on this issue, read Family Driven Faith by Dr. Voddie Baucham.

If we want to have kids that do not leave the church after high school, let’s focus our efforts on having kids follow the Great Commandment: to Love God with everything they are!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Connect the Dots - Part 4

We’ve been on a journey looking at how to connect the dots from Sunday to Sunday to bring about spiritual formation and the discipleship of children. We have discussed the issue IF we should try and connect with kids throughout the week and listed some ideas on how to make that happen.

Let’s be honest, Children’s Directors are NEVER short of work to be done! What we need to then focus on is how we maximize our resources and efforts to bring accomplish discipleship of children. What is the most and/or least effective?

One of the strongest messages of God’s Word is that parents are responsible for the spiritual formation of children. But if we believe that, why do we continue to set-up programs that do not include them? We should be focusing on events that bring kids and parents together. The weekend Christian Education programming will always be there, but what about special events and family ministry ideas?

I think we should also be striving to do everything we can to encourage and equip parents with the tools necessary to help them raise Godly disciples in their children. Parents are berated all day long (often from themselves) how they don’t measure up; we should take every chance we get to encourage and empower them with this clear message:

God chose THEM to raise their children! There is no one else He would rather do it. There is no one else that can do it and He will give them the ability to make it happen.

Those are key areas we should focus on as we seek to partner with parents to keep kids connected to the Vine.

Dean Butterfield

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The "Real" place of Volunteers

As I am writing up an article today for our monthly Volunteer Legacy Award, I was once again struck with some thoughts...

Volunteers, do you guys know how much we appreciate you?  Any given week, I work with over 70 of you - and I am wondering if you guys FEEL appreciated?  Am I doing enough to let you know of the awesome job I think you guys are doing?

Our legacy award is something we've done for well over a year now, but how many of you can actually name 1 volunteer who has received (not counting yourself or relatives)?  Do you truely feel valued?

I hear and read countless times a month how churches today struggle with finding volunteers, typically in children's ministry since that ministry takes the most people to make it happen.  Our church is no exception, though it seems to be getting better...

I wonder if we elevated the role and impact of volunteers more, if we would actually get more?  If we celebrated them once or twice a year with gifts?  If we sent them a thank you note every once in a while?  If we sent them a gift certificate on their birthday?  If we made these Legacy Awards A BIG DEAL rather than regulate it to a service in which, if we are lukcy, only 40 people show up to, out of 1400!!!

So...if I've never told you before (which I hope I have)....and if I never do it again (which I know I will)......


In Him, Dean

Monday, June 8, 2009

A couple of Activities

This week kicks off the summer programming at Colonial Woods with sooooooo much going on for kids, youth and families. If you never caught it, check out the previous post on Summer Wednesday night activities: http://anchorchildrensministry.blogspot.com/2009/05/summer-fun-in-port-huron.html.

This week we have Roller Skating at Skate Port 2 on Wadhams Rd. on Wednesday, June 10 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. It costs $5 per person (you actually will pay me, not the Skate staff) with skate rental costing extra. You can bring your own skates or blades too, if you have them.

Then coming up this Sunday, June 14th, is our last Family Journey in Faith event for the school year for parents of 2 year olds. This event will be held in the gym of Colonial Woods Missionary Church at 10:45 AM. We will be enjoying a time of connecting with other parents of 2 year olds and our kids seeking to continue to tell our kids the Foundational Stories of God's Word. You will also get a great resrouce to take home that your family will LOVE!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

If God sent the 10 Commandments via TXT MSG

I just had to post this from another blog...too funny! ENJOY!

What if God had text messaged the 10 Commandments? It might look like this:

  1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
  2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
  3. no omg’s
  4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
  5. pos ok - ur m&d r cool
  6. dnt kill ppl
  7. :-X only w/ m8
  8. dnt steal
  9. dnt lie re: bf
  10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.

ttyl, JHWH.

ps. wwjd?

Pull the Plug

I ran across this article regarding the now famous Gooselin family - AKA Jon & Kate Plus 8. I believe it does at great job at laying out a clear, biblical and appropriate response we should have to this family going through this tragic time.

A quick summary of what he says: Pull the Plug!

TLC, Kate, Zondervan, Churches, Paparazzi....US!!! This family needs to start getting on the mend but that will only happen if Kate can loose the fame she has accepted with being on TV.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Legend of the Seeker

I have been crazy busy at work these last 2 weeks getting the Summer programming set up and volunteers placed.  I'll hopefully be back next week with some more posts.

Until then, watch a few episodes of Legend of the Seeker on Hulu.com.  What a great show with some of the age old prophetic and messianic themes in them.  The seeker is on a quest to destroy the evil of Darken Raul.