Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Worshiping With Kids

A current trend in ministry is actually a harking back to “the old way of doing church” – Parents and their children attending worship together.  Of course, there is a fancy name for it now, Intergenerational Worship.  Basically, it is a response to the decline in seeing young people stay with the faith upon graduation from high school and entering into college.  Christianity Today and LeadershipJournal.net recently posted two great articles on this very issue.  One is based on kids – and the other is youth!  

Keep in mind, the idea of age-segregated ministries has only been in place since the middle of the 20th Century.  With the rise in Baby Boomer children, and a lack of effective churches, age specific ministry was a natural response.  That is when groups such as InterVarsity, YFC and Navigators got their start.  But I think we have done ourselves a disservice in separating the family SO MUCH and we are beginning to see the effects of it.  Age separated and appropriate teaching has its place in the church, but efforts should be made to support the families in their decision to worship with their kids.  It is, after all, Biblical!

Keep in mind, also, the parents are indeed the ones responsible for the spiritual nurturing of their children, regardless of their age,  If we set up structures and programs that even HINT that parents can rely on church to “take care of it,” a lot of them will do just that!  We must be intentional in partnering, encouraging, equipping and inspiring parents to use everything in their arsenal to discipleship their children.

Dean L. Butterfield

Monday, December 28, 2009


I hear these 3 little words more than I want to admit!  And, like Mike Johnson from Fellowship Church, it IRKS me!  Kids deserve our best!  They deserve to be trained properly before sending them on the front lines of the battle field!  Watch this powerful video for a great illustration of what it means when we DON'T train our kids to follow Christ:

What I love about the volunteers of Anchor CM and Family Journey in Faith is that they care about giving kids the suit of armor they need to stand against the schemes and battles they will face.  WAY TO GO TEAM!!!!


In a Nutshell... (a rather LARGE one)

This is how you do it...raise fully committed disciples of Christ. Just follow these 9 simple steps...but it is harder than it appears! The 5 principles of passing on your faith to your children and 4 keys to instilling Christ in your kids and family life listed below are from The Youth and Family Institute located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Check them out:

FIVE PRINCIPLES for passing on faith
1. Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal, trusted relationships—often in our own homes.
2. The church is a living partnership between the ministry of the congregation and the ministry of the home.
3. Where Christ is present in faith, the home is church, too.
4. Faith is caught more than it is taught.
5. If we want Christian children and youth, we need Christian adults and parents.

FOUR KEYS for daily living
1. Caring Conversations
2. Devotions
3. Service
4. Rituals and Traditions

These are also some of the concepts we will be focusing on with the Family Journey in Faith team and the events/programs we put together. Begin to focus on applying these in your homes and get prepared to see God do wonderful things in your homes.

His, Dean

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Family Gotcha Running Ragged?

Then this site may be just what you're looking for:  Cozi!

No, that's not an inviation!  But the name of a family organizing website to help famiiles keep their events, plans, lists, and calendar in one place.  It's completely free!  It also has other add-ons like E-Christmas Cards (for those who don't do 'Snail Mail' anymore) and a family journal site.

Check it out when you get the chance.


Monday, December 7, 2009

How to T.R.A.I.N. your children

Those of you who attended the FJIF Take-Home Event, you heard some of this; but I wanted to take a bit more time to look at how we can and should intentionally T.R.A.I.N our children. Proverbs 22:6 encourages us to train our children and offeres a promise in return. Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 tells us to teach our children the commandments and Love of God, and do it ALL THE TIME! In fact, there is never a time in which we are NOT teaching our children about God and His Love / Promises.

Therefore, since you're doing it anyway: WHY NOT BE INTENTIONAL IN IT?! Mark Holmen, former Senior Pastor at Ventura Missionary Church, and found of the Faith Begins @ Home movement, wrote a book called Faith Begins at Home. He takes the word T.R.A.I.N  and makes it into an acronym for us to easily remember 5 key principles in how to intentionally disciple our children.

For this post, let's only focus on the first letter "T." T, if you were not able to quess, stands for Time. In today's world, time is one of our most precious commodities. The primary question I hear from parents is, "When is there time to talk with my children about faith?"

For most parents the stereo-typical image that comes to mind when you say "faith-talk" is having an hour-long, sit-down discussion at the kitchen table with the Bible open and a candle burning. Of course, the realty today is that a lot of families don't even have kitchen table, and they certainly don't have a full hour when they can talk together! In our increasingly busy lives, we must make the best of the time that we have. So when is the best time to discuss our faith with our children? The only reasonable answer is anytime.
Here are 3 of 7 times that are perfect times for starting to converse to your children about God and Faith:

1. Car Time - Doesn't it seem that the most time you spend together as a family is when you're in the car, on your way to the next thing you have to do? Try turning off the radio and asking your children what "highs" and "lows" they had during the day. Then take a moment to pray for the event that you’re headed to next.

2. Sick Time - Another significant block of time that you have with your children occurs when they are sick and have to stay home from school. While no one looks forward to his or her child being sick, it does provide time to have a healthy conversation. Sick time gives you a chance to watch videos or listen to music together. So why not chose videos that will naturally lead to talking about issues of faith and life?

3. Bed Time - There might not be a better time to talk about faith than at bedtime. Share the highs and lows form the day and then take time to pray for each other. With teenagers you can ask, "What's on your schedule tomorrow that I can pray for? Do any of your friends need prayer for anything?"

(These sections are taken directly from Mark Holmen's book.)


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Have a Fancy Yancy Christmas" CD Review

Yancy Richmond is an up and coming (and nearly arrived) Christian artist.  What makes Yancy unique is that, so far, she has stuck with kid's music.  I have especially liked her Little Praise Party "My Best Friend" DVD for pre-school praise.  So, I jumped at the chance to review her new CD, Have a Fancy Yancy Christmas!  [Not to mention they sent me one for me - SWEETNESS!]

By checking out the track list, you can see this CD contains a nice blend of "traditional" Christmas carols, and 3 originals (2 by Yancy herself):

  1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  2. Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas
  3. Wonderful Christmastime
  4. Joy To The World
  5. Christmastime
  6. The First Noel
  7. Medley: Jingle Bells, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Feliz Navidad, We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  8. Angels We Have Heard On High
  9. O Come All Ye Faithful 
  10. The Greatest Gift*
*Currently getting air play around the country.

This is not just music for kids, though!  As you listen to the "Fancy" album - and yes, I'm that old to know what albums are - you are taken on a journey from the rockin' tune of Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas down to the mellow Christmastime.  Her cover of Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmastime will allow a new generation continue to enjoy this Christmas classic.  Lastly, The Greatest Gift wraps up the CD with what is basically the the events of the night and morning of Christmas put to music, telling the purpose of why Jesus came to earth!

If you're in the market for some new and fresh Christmas music, yet still love the classics, I highly recommend Yancy's "Have a Fancy Yancy Christmas."  You can purchase the CD at Amazon, Yancy's own website, and certainly Itunes.  Enjoy!