Monday, November 8, 2010

Slavery is Alive and Well

Lately, God has been laying a passion and compassion to bring attention to the global pandemic of child trafficking - specifically sex trafficking!  My spirit is in pain when I think of what is happening, right now, to children around this world at the hands of abusive and evil men.  I'm still in the process of doing some research of agencies that exist to help with this amazing area of need - and I have no idea where this will lead for me to help - but perhaps it will help to bring another "voice" into the mix.

I ran across this video after reading about the A21 Campaign - or you can check them out on Facebook - in an article in a magazine:

Here are a few other sites to check out:
And, yes - it happens in the United States, too!  Another article exists HERE.  So what are we gonna do about it???

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Curious - What do ya think?

This is quickly becoming a serious issue for families to deal with!  What does everyone think?

Who is Making the Call?

Ran across this video yesterday and thought it fit nicely with the last post on Service.  Besides thinking that serving in ministry is optional - when according to God's Word it is not - we also tend to think that serving in Children's Ministry is something we do only because "they are desperate and really need me."

Here's the thing:  as a Children's Director I am only God's mouthpiece!  I am not the one who asks or calls you to serve - that's God department.  What we do every week in Children's Ministry is JUST as important, if not MORE important, than "big people service."  Think about how many believers accept Jesus before they turn 13???  It is a staggering percentage of adult believers came to Faith before they were in 6th Grade.  These kids are impressionable, mold-able, and ready to alter their lives for the sake of the Call of God.

So, when you tell someone you can serve - or CANNOT serve - who are you answering!?  God.....or "Pastor Bob?"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is Serving Optional?

If you've followed this blog or the Anchor Children's Ministry Facebook page for very long, then you know how often I put messages out there about needed volunteer and service opportunities.  In fact, you may say to yourself, "Man, he sure is needy!"  LOL.  But, on top of trying to fill open service positions within Children's Ministry, there is a much bigger picture at stake here:  Our on-going relationship with Christ!

As Christians we are called to model our lives after Jesus - He is to be our Ultimate Example (among other things) in life!  He is the one we are supposed to pattern our lives after!  So, the question becomes "Why did Jesus come to earth in the first place?"  (You know where I'm going with this.....)

You remember the argument that James and John - and their mother - had with Jesus about who was going to sit  at the right and left hands of God???  The Sons of Zebedee wanted to know how to be great!  Jesus' answer would I'm sure have been rather shocking:  If you want to be great, you must become a slave / servant to each other!

"Huh!?!?!?  Jesus came to serve?  But, he's the Son of God - the One who created the world.  He shouldn't be serving anyone, but should be served by us!"  As followers of Christ, if we truly desire to be committed to Him, WE MUST SERVE!!!!!  There is no way around it.  In fact, the Bible is riddled with verses and themes about serving others.

Fellow Believers - Serving is NOT optional!  If you simply come to church every week, maybe give a little money, then go home - you are NOT following Christ.  You may be a Christian - but you are not a Christ Follower!  We are CALLED to serve!

Are you willing to step up to the plate?  Do you want to make a difference in the lives of your kids?  Service opportunities abound - will you answer the call?!?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Visionary Parenting Conference

I cannot fully express how excited I am to announce (again) of an exciting opportunity for parents to attend a conference next February!  Dr. Rob Rienow is a gifted communicator and loving husband & father - you won't want to miss this!  Here is a brochure with all the information on it:

Visionary Parenting Seminar Brochure

Be on the lookout for more information as the time approaches!

Out all Week

This is where I will be all next week:

Association of Marriage and Family Conference

I'm hoping to pick up some new insights and ideas to take the Family Ministry at Colonial Woods to the next level!  How can our Take-it Home Events be better?  What will hosting the Visionary Parenting Conference on February 18 & 19, 2011 help parents take the next step in discipling their children?  How can we begin to incorporate the youth ministry of CW into the Family Journey in Faith model?

What are some of your thoughts?  What would you like to see happen in the next 2 years at Colonial Woods to boost up Homes and Families?

I'll try and do some blogging while I'm there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bosch Mixer Giveaway

OK all you Children's Ministry men and women - you gotta check out this giveaway!!!

There are tons of ways to enter - so get started!  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lead Me - From Sanctus Real

Fathers:  in light of Father's Day yesterday, and the fact that our wives and children are SCREAMING for us to lead them, this video is just what I needed!!!!

Song is sung my Sanctus Real.  Here is the story behind the song from Matt:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Better Way

OK, so I've gotta get something off my chest - so allow me to vent for a brief moment!

What's up with the "in a relationship" statuses on Facebook?  I see tons (and I do mean tons) of young people's "relationship status" changing almost daily!  Going from single, to "in a relationship," to "it's complicated" all in a week's time!  Young people, take it from someone who's been there (albeit a loooong time ago):  THERE IS A BETTER WAY."

I realize that as God-created humans we have a need to be relationships - even ones with those of the opposite sex.  But I think we've gotten this whole relationship & dating thing all messed up!  Teens:  God doesn't want you to waste sooo much time on some random boy or girl, trying to "define" the relationship, then letting everyone know about it (through Facebook or otherwise).....He wants you to focus on the things that matter:  Loving Him, THEN loving others!  There is so much you have yet to experience, memories to be made - but you are so focused on the present you cannot see it, yet!

Parents:  help your teenage sons and daughters understand that being "in a relationship" is not the epitome of the teenage existence!!!  There is much that God has in store for your child/children - encourage them to spend time on that!  Help them understand that all that relationship "stuff" will work itself out as we follow Him.  Dads, let your daughters know they don't need to seek the approval from anyone other than you and their Heavenly Father.  Moms, let your sons know you love them unconditionally no matter what!

When I was in high school and even college, I spent an incredible amount of time trying to figure out who I could "go out" with or who would be my girlfriend.  It was a waste of time!!!  Instead, 5 months after finally deciding I would "Kiss Dating Goodbye" I met the love of my life.  She will even tell you that the first thing out of my mouth after meeting her was "Hi, my name is Dean and I'm NOT interested in a relationship."  That turned out to be a challenge for her - and she won!!!!

OK, I'm done with that rant!  Thanks for listening!

Aslan is on the Move!

Chronicles Of Narnia 3

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

" Faithbook" Summer Volunteers needed

Are you ready to have THE BEST Summer of your life?  Would you like to change the life of a child?  Are you looking to take the next step in your relationship with Christ?  If so, THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!!!  For a short-term commitment (3 months), you can make a lifetime of impact.  We are in need of at least 25 more volunteers to volunteer this summer allowing our school-year Children’s Ministry volunteers to have a reprieve!  You can volunteer weekly, twice per month, once per month, for one month only (taking the rest of the summer off), as a sub only…..we will do our best to fit your schedule!

If this sounds like you, and you’re ready to take this next step, send an email to Dean answering these questions:

1)     Which service time would you be willing to serve?
2)     Which age group would you prefer to serve with?
3)     How often would you be available?
4)     What capacity – teacher, helper, large-group instructor, etc.?

Our Summer Program, faithbook, starts June 13th and runs through August 29th.

Dean Butterfield
Colonial Woods Missionary Church
3240 Pine Grove Ave.
Port Huron, MI  48060
Work   810-984-5571
Cell    810-300-9221

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fun in The Sun

Lots of Great things happening this summer in and around Port Huron.  Come enjoy time with your families during our Wednesday night programs.  Check out the brochure below:
Summer Fun 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

To what are we called to be?

If I believe there is a God, and if I believe that God has His hand in creating and running things on this planet, but what would His desire be for my life?  For what purpose do I exist?  Well, we may have not got that answer figured out completely yet, but I would venture to say there a place we can go to help us.....

  • "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..." - 1 Peter 2:9
  • Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  - Romans 12:2
  • Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  - 1 Peter 1:16
  • We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  - Romans 6:6
There are lots of versus in God's Word that point to how we are supposed to be "different."  Different than the world around us.  Different than those who don't have the Spirit living within them.  Different than those we run into every day.  But if you look around, can you tell if someone is a Christ-follower?

We hear a lot of talk today about "Being Culturally Relevant" - a phrase common in modern & emergent churches.  It's another way of saying we are to be "in the world, but not of the world."  But did you know that phrase is not anywhere in the Bible?  It's for it!  Furthermore, the Greek word is cosmos, and is most often referred to the place where Satan reigns.  We are to be physically present in this cosmos, but not follow its values.  

So I'll ask a different question:  Are we called to be 'relevant' or to be 'set-apart?'  Because I don't think we can be both!  I believe that we are to "be Holy as God is Holy."  And, as we are growing Holy, that gives us the opportunity to be light in the darkness and to be "inf the world, but not of it."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Review - Our Home is like a Little Church

I recently ran across a wonderful "new" resource for homes with young children desires to be a Faith@Home family.  They folks at Sojourn Community Church Kid's Ministry were kind enough to send me a copy of the book to review.

This book, "Our Home is Like a Little Church," is a children's book that tells the story of how "Pastor Dad" leads a family in passing on Faith to his kids.  It's a rhyming book - which kids TOTALLY dig - and has some great visuals to go with it!  I briefly showed it to a couple of families here at church and they immediately said they wanted one.  I read it my kids a couple of nights ago and they loved it as well.

This resource speaks the truth of God's word that our homes is where we are to live out our faith 24/7 - and not just as a 1 hour Christian on Sunday mornings.  The home is the front line of battle to win the hearts and lives of children - a war we are fighting against the powers of Hell and Satan.  Will you stand and fight against the tide of seeing young people walk away from the church?  I highly recommend getting this book NOW so we don't loose anymore of our kids!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Family Worship Guide

A Family Pastor, Rob Rienow from Wheaton Bible Church and Visionary Parenting, has put together Family Worship Guide to help families conduct some Worship events in their own homes.  This guide coincides which what is traditionally known as Ascension Week - the time when Jesus rose to Heaven and commissioned the Disciples.  Thought I would pass it along to you!
Family Worship Guide From VP

Faithbook - Summer Children's Ministry

Come be a part of living out Faith @ Home by ministering with your kids in faithbook!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Blessing of Your Home

Mark Holmen visited our church last week and conducted a Parenting Workshop.  One of the things he talked about was conducting a Home Blessing.  I went online and did a little research and found a few helpful resources.  The one I like the best is this one:

Home Blessing

Here are a few more:!&id=120835

If you live in the Thumb area of Michigan or attend CWMC and would like help conducting this ceremony, give me a shout!

God Bless

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Noticer - The Movement

I ran across an author today after he "followed" me on Twitter - his name is Andy Andrews.  Andy is an author and speaker who has begun quietly influencing some of the most well-known people in the world.  His most recent work - The Noticer - is a allegoric, fictional work written from his own story.  While homeless and living in garages and under a pier in Southern Alabama...
"...a mysterious old man named Jones has a miraculous way of showing up. A man of indiscriminate age and race with white hair and wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and carrying a battered old suitcase, Jones is a unique soul with near angelic qualities. Communicating what he calls “a little perspective,” Jones explains that he has been given a gift of noticing things about life that others miss. In his simple interactions, Jones speaks to that part in everyone that is yearning to understand why things happen and what they can do about it."
 I haven't yet read the book - I just found out about it - but watching this video intrigued me.

First, what a great idea!!!  To ponder and then contact the 5 most positively influential people in your life to let them know how they have influenced your life!  That could be very powerful in one's life!!  I wonder who mine are and would be??  Who have I influenced - would I be part of someone's 5???  How was I influenced by my family???

As a Christ-Follower, as I watched that video, I couldn't help but think "Who was / is Jones?"  Was he a real angel.....a demon?????  (Yes, they REALLY do exist!)  At first glance, you may think, "Well, it MUST HAVE been an angel!  How else could this guy have gone from homeless to influencing major famous people!"  But, allow me a little latitude.....

One thing I didn't hear on the video or read on the websites is anything about Jesus or even God.  I actually began to get a little bit of a sinking feeling the more I watched and read.  I may be WAY off base, but is The Noticer influencing people towards the Trinitarian, Loving, REAL God?  Or to somewhere, someone else?  Could this just be a distraction from pointing people to a loving, all-encompassing relationship with the Creator and His Son, Jesus Christ?

Jesus spoke clearly on this, " He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters" (Matt 12:30).  Also, every angel we read about in God's Word gives all glory to God and points us back to Him.  Did The Noticer do that?

As Believers, we MUST be discerning of what we allow to influence us.  There are lots of things out there that want to take us and our families down paths AWAY from the most important Thing.  I wonder if this movement is indeed a GOOD thing for Believers.  I think it CAN be, but.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Family + Church = Collaborate / The Book Review

The latest book to hit the virtual shelves of Amazon and other websites in the genre of Family Ministry is called Collaborate!  This book is a compilation of 35 different authors that focus on different aspects of the  intentional partnership between the church and the home.  I was given the opportunity to receive an advance copy (for the purposes of reviewing it on this Web-Log) from Ministers Label and Michael Chanley - the collaborator of Collaborate!

This type of book is, from what I know, a one-of-a-kind approach within the field of Family Ministry.  It was enjoyable to hear the different stories of how certain ministries and programs came into existence.  For instance, Carey Nieuwhof's chapter on his journey into understanding the centrality of the family for evangelism and discipleship was excellent!  Maybe it's just because I feel a slight connection with Carey (he lives in Canada and I live near Canada - goofy I know) - even though I'll likely never meet him - I enjoyed hearing his story.

Another chapter filled with Story is Fred Stoeker's chapter called "Doing Book."  Fred, one the authors of the "Every Man's Battle" series, put his heart into explaining how he was able to have difficult, yet meaningful conversations with his pre-teens and teens.  You should check it out!

Basically, I liked just about every chapter that put the family BEFORE the programs and ministries of the church:

  • "The Missing Piece - Developing a Biblical Worldview in your Children" by Jim Wideman
  • "Paramount Parenting" by Matt Markins
  • "The Small Conquering the Big" by Steven Dilla (again one with a dramatic personal story)
  • "Living the Shema as a Dad" by Timothy Smith
My favorite chapter, by far, was Dr. Rob Rienow's entitled "Building a Theology of Family Ministry."  Rob does simply an amazing job at laying a whole-Biblical approach to the importance of Family Ministry - far beyond the standard Deuteronomy 6 and Psalm 78 passages.  His linking of the First Commandment (Genesis 1:28) and the overarching Meta-Narrative of the Covenant of God, the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-36), and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is exactly what every church needs to read / hear to see just how central the family is to the Covenant Plan of God.  I love this quote:
"If we are passionate about seeing the advance of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Christ, let us begin by turning our hearts toward home.  Let us ask God to help us begin our ministry in this world by 'making disciples' of our family members, even if they are scattered around the country - our parents siblings, spouses and children.  Let us passionately and biblically defend God's plan, structure and purposed for the institution of the family, as well as the institution of the church."
If we accept on any level what Dr. Reinow lays out, then that calls for a serious evaluation of how we do ministry! Is the Church missing the mark?  Has the modern church moved too far away from the plan of using the family to be the first and central place of discipleship and evangelism?  If that's the case, then it is a move that is AT BEST, ineffective or AT WORST, un-Biblical!  To that end, there were some frustrations with some of the chapters within Collaborate.

One such chapter for me was Justyn Smith's chapter on "PJ's All Stars Leadership Team."  This chapter about PJ's (Pastor Justyn's) seems like a great way to develop kid leaders - even including components for the kids to do at home.  But underneath this program is the idea that what happens at church is more important than what happens at home.  It puts the onus of raising discipleship squarely on the church - PJ specifically - and not onto the parents.  There are others that do a little of this as well: 
  • "Selling Out - Sold Out" by Rob Bradbury
  • "Family Nourishment" by Joyce Oglesby
  • "Parent Liaisons" by Anna J. Light
  • Even the logo on the front of the book puts the "church" about twice as big as the "home"
The problem is not that our churches DO NOT or CANNOT do discipleship with kids effectively, nor do I believe that we should stop all Children's Ministry programming ('cause then I would be out of a job!☺). But, are our ways of doing ministry with kids, youth and adults minimizing or even violating scripture by taking the responsibility away from parents.  Common objections would be:  "Well, parents aren't doing it effectively" or "This is how we choose to partner with the home."  Well, if that's the issue, what about if the families in our churches are not tithing or giving financially?  Do we begin to give FOR them?  Or do you teach and instruct them on the importance and commandment to give financially back to God?

I realize this may make me unpopular with many Children and Youth workers, so feel free to disagree.  In fact, I encourage it as I believe we are all still works in progress - ME INCLUDED!!!  I too am trying to work this stuff through and bring honor to God in my family and service in ministry.  Thanks Mr. Chanley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this though-provoking book!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fasten Your Seatbelt!

Ladies & Gentlemen:  Start Your engines!

Get ready for a barrage of information!  Over the next two months there are just a ton of things happening around Colonial Woods for kids & families.  So here you go:
  • April 18th - Kindergarten FJIF Take-It Home Event - "You Want Me to Worship Where?
  • April 18th - CM Equip Meeting - ALL Children's Ministry volunteers are encourage to attend this Summer ministries preview - faithbook!  6 PM @ CWMC!
    • May 1st - Faith @ Home Church Seminar - Pastors & Leaders in Family Ministry will hear from Mark Holmen on how to start Family Ministry within your church.
    • May 16th - 2nd Grade FJIF Take-It Home Event - "Bringing Missions Home"  10:45 Service
    • June 6th - Mom, Dad & Me - Families of 1st through 5th Graders are invited to attend our 3rd Family Worship event during the 10:45 service in the Gym at CWMC.
    • June 13th - Promotion Sunday - This is the day that all kids entering Kindergarten through 6th Grade are promoted.  Be on the lookout for that information.
    Well, how do you like that???  Summer is just around the corner!!!!

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    New Resource: Faith Begins @ Home Devotions

    Uh, we go again!!!  The 'D' Word - Devotions!  The next book review in the Faith @ Home series from Mark Holmen is on quite possibly the toughest topic to talk about.  Family Devotions (which we will somewhat define in a bit) is ESSENTIAL to producing Faith filled children; but it is one area that is often the biggest struggle in our families.  So to that end, Mark starts off with an "Attitude Check."

    "You don't HAVE to..."
    Mark relates a personal story from his teenage years when he did NOT want to go church.  Every Sunday he would ask him mom if he HAD to go to church.  She would typically respond simply by leaving the light on and not saying anything.  Then one day, she responded "You don't have GET to!"  What kind of comeback could he have?  Maybe we need an attitude check - we don't HAVE to do devotions, we GET to do them!

    Would you like to know God more?  Would you like to be able to hear God's voice better?  Would you like your kids to spend Eternity in Heaven?  Then remembering who God is and what He has done for you and SHARING THAT WITH YOUR FAMILY is a great way to start!  "Devotions are not about what you do, but about what God has done and is doing all around you."

    Family Devotion Myths
    So what do family devotions look like?  Well first, here are some myths about FD:

    1. Family devotions are long & boring - they can be a 2 minute "God Moment" or just about anything that points our kids back to Jesus.
    2. We don't have to do family devotions because our kids are involved at church or attend a Christian school.
    3. You have to have all the answers to lead family devotions.  
    4. Family devotions require hours of preparation.  Look for the teachable moments.
    5. You have to be a Biblical scholar or expert to lead family devotions.  This is not something we can "call in the experts" on!  It can only be done by us as the parents.
    6. You have to stop everything else you are doing to do family devotions.  
    But what IS family devotions?  They are how you bring Jesus and Christ-like living into you everyday life!  They are about taking the "God Moments" and capitalizing on them.  It's about being Wholly and Holy committed to Jesus and seeking to know the Truth and apply it to our families.

    Devotional Tools
    "Half the battle is having the right tools."  If you want to win the war for the souls of your children, you have to have the right tools.  So here are a few:
    1. A Personal Relationship with God - You cannot give away what you do not possess yourself!
    2. God's Word - You can also use a concordance, a topical Bible, access to an online version, etc.
    3. Music - Bringing music in your devotional living can be a great way to connect families to God.
    4. Online Messages - Listen to some of the greatest Christian speakers out there by just a click of a button.
    5. Your Eyes and Ears - Again, pay attention for the "God Moments."
    6. Devotional Resources - a simple Google search could list thousands of resources available that will fit your life's schedule.
    In the last section, Mark gives 6 Family Devotion outlines that just about anyone can do!  

    Convinced yet????  If not, keep this in mind:  What is at stake here?  What is the end product if we do NOT teach our kids about Christ?  Keep in the end in mind!  We want our kids to walk daily with the Lord as they grow up and go out on their own; but that takes US doing the hard work now!

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    New Resource: Faith Begins @ Home Dad

    I will be reviewing a series of books by Mark and Maria Holmen from the Faith Begins @ Home Movement.  Here's the first one!

    OK Men, it's time for a little 'man-to-man' talk!  Let me ask you a couple of questions:

    • What is the most important thing you want to pass on to your children?
    • What do you think when you hear that your child's faith will be a mirror image of your faith?
    • What are you willing to do so that your, your children and grandchildren will one day enter eternal life in Heaven?
    These are just some of the hard hitting questions Mark Holmen address in this new resource:  Faith Begins @ Home Dad.   This book will convict and inspire you to truly change the way you live your life and the priorities you have set up.  I found myself saying, "OUCH!" several times as I read through the first few chapters.  A short read, one that packs a powerful punch, you can finish it likely in just a few hours.  Even for people like me who fall asleep when they read!!!  

    Challenge to Our Priorities
    Mark lays out a clear challenge to the things dad often prioritize for our kids.  We all want various things for our children, not the least of which is a strong faith in Jesus; but do we act like faith matters?  "Here's the deal, dad:  You can raise your children to be a Cubs fan, a soccer star, an avid hunter, a straight A student or a successful business leader, but if they end up spending eternity in hell, will you be proud of what you did?"  Yup, that one hurt!

    Challenge to Obey
    Instead of asking WWJD - What would Jesus Do - the real question is WWJHYD - What would Jesus have YOU do?  When someone "gives you the bird" on the expressway, WWJHYD?  When you're on a trip alone in a hotel room, and pornography abounds, WWJHYD?  When you haven't read the Bible in a week but it's opening day of Tiger baseball, WWJHYD?  Men, are we living in obedience to God's Word?  

    Challenge to Choose then Commit
    "At the end of the day it comes down to a choice.  You have to choose whom you are going to serve. It is an unavoidable choice."  Left alone, children will NOT follow God - it is part of our fallen nature.  As parents, we have to intentionally show our children how to live for God.  No choice is STILL a choice - it's a choice to NOT follow Him.  

    We must commit to spending time with Jesus and then passing that story down to our children.  Can we be as committed to our raising Godly children as much as we are committed to our favorite sports team?  Can we be committed to following Jesus even when "times are tough."  

    Your Influence
    Now the good news!  You still have the chance to turn things around!!!  Men, you have the 2nd most influential position in your child's spiritual development - 2nd only to your wife!  You exert more influence than pastors, sport figures, youth group, youth sponsors, and (believe it or not) well above their friends!  Are you ready to stand and fight for your kids to escape an eternity of fire and pain?  Are you ready to fight for your kids against the powers and schemes of Darkness?  It's time to take a STAND!!!

    His, Dean Butterfield

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Another Video Re: Faith @ Home

    Check out this video from Mark Holmen!  Mark will be the guest speaker the weekend services of May 1st & 2nd at Colonial Woods Missionary Church.  Enjoy!

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Volunteering @ VOX

    As VOX Church begins their preview services over the next several months, there is a strong desire to begin seeing kids have a safe and fun place to engage Christ on their own level.  As part of our on-going partnership with them, we would like to see several volunteers from CW to assist them in their children’s ministry programming.  

    Volunteers are needed to help with Infants, Toddlers and Elementary kids three Sunday nights in April – 11th, 18th and 25th.  Would you consider making an impact with this “daughter church” as they begin to make a difference in the lives of young families?  If you are interested, contact either Dean Butterfield Matt Woodburn or Kate Mayer.

    Kate will be working towards developing safe and fun environments that foster spiritual growth for the children who come to VOX Church. She will be putting programs and strategies in place to disciple children at VOX as well as equipping parents to disciple their children at home. Along with this, Kate will organize and train the volunteers who want to be involved in the ministry. We are excited to see what God will do through Kate's love and passion for children and their spiritual well-being. Please pray that God provides Kate with children's leaders and volunteers with a heart to see children grow in their love of Jesus. Also, pray for the children who will be coming to VOX and that they will see just how much they matter to God through the words and actions of our team..  

    If you are interested in helping more long term with VOX Church, I'm sure Matt would love to talk with you more.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    How is the Family Different? - A Facebook Comment Transplant

    A Co-Worker recently asked a great question on Facebook that I think has implications for how we do Kid's & Family Ministry, so I thought I would share it here:
    In what ways has the concept of "the family" changed from Biblical times until now? In what ways do conservative Christians view "the family" similarly and differently than they did in the New Testament era? In what ways are these changes good and in what ways are they not so good?
    There were several responses, but here are my initial thoughts:

    The definition and make up of family has changed drastically over the centuries - and it is hard to put labels on those, but here are a few:

    1) Extended Family vs. Nuclear Family - in NT extended families living in the same abode (or on the same compound) was common place.  Aunts, Uncles, G-parents, cousins grew up and often stayed in the same area their whole life.  Nowadays, in CC circles, extended families are the exception and not the norm.  Of course, nuclear families in the "traditional sense" (mom, dad, kids in one house) is quickly becoming the exception as well.  This is not a statement of good or bad, just one of observation - but one that does carry implications for ministry

    2) Transience - families today are far more mobile than they were in the OT.  Simply b/c of the inability to cover vast areas of land easily and quickly, families in OT and NT times most often just stayed together.  Today, children are often living in different states and different countries than where they grew up and where their parents may be.

    3)  Individual vs. Corporate - Families are far more isolative today than in Biblical times.  When we lived in Colorado, the neighborhood I lived in looked like cattle stockyards b/c everyone had a 6 ft privacy fence keep their own piece of land separated from everyone else's.  Also, with the invention of the garage and garage door opener, families never even have to come in contact with others if they choose to.  They simply press a button to open and close their home without ever being seen.

    4)  Family size - Families today are far smaller than in Biblical times as well.  I couldn't venture a guess what family size was back then, but I would imagine it is far more than the 1.8 kids per families today.  On the surface this doesn't seem like a big deal, but when you understand the reasons behind having numerous children back in OT & NT times, it becomes a bigger issue:  kids for working the family business/farm, kids to carry on the beliefs and values of the Spiritual family are just 2 of them. 

    5)  Priorities & Values - Overall the values and priorities of the family has changed drastically.  It seems one of the main thrusts of the family in the OT & NT was to promote certain values or at the least maintain certain priorities - maintaining a certain level of livelihood was one of them (i.e., you grew crops and raised cattle to make a living and to be able to eat vs. going to the grocery store and buying whatever is needed). 

    The priorities and values of our families today show a very different culture.  With the rise of entertainment - music, sports, computer technology, etc. - families have shifted into focusing on things that they believe will benefit their kids more in the long run.  Not that these things are BAD in and of themselves, but I often wonder what is being left out to make room for all of these things?

    6)  Outsourcing – We have become a nation that outsources just about everything.  We get our kids lessons for sports, music lessons, tutoring, spiritual training, etc.  We buy our groceries at a store rather than grow them ourselves.  We use technology to outsource our entertainment so kids don’t have to entertain themselves.  In part, this has been driven by necessity – working 40-70 hours a week doesn’t leave a lot of time for other things.  But there are also choices the family has made to value certain things over others; so to make time for those things we see how we can cut time to “make room” for it all.

    7)  Maturity & Rite of Passage - By and large, in European and American cultures, the age of maturity and marriageability has risen since OT & NT times.  We tend to think of young people not being adults until they reach 18-21 years of age; and even then they not really ready to be married until much later in their twenties.  This wasn't the case for a LOOOOONG time!  A Rite of Passage typically took place (Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs in Jewish culture) took place at age 13-16 - and it is then they were marriage eligible.  You still see this in various cultures around the world - Quinceanera, for example - but by and large has gone by the wayside.

    That’s all I got to say about that…..

    What are your thoughts????

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010


    This is a  promo video for the D6 Conference.  Church leaders - I encourage you to check it out!!!

    The line up of speakers there is INCREDIBLE:  Dr. Kevin Leman, Mark Holmen, Tim Hawkins, Rob Rienow, The Skit Guys, and so on....

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Annual Family Journey in Faith Report

    This year I decided to do an Annual Report for our Family Ministry as well - Family Journey in Faith.  Catch up on what's happening with FJIF!

    Purpose of FJIF
    Family Journey in Faith was started a little over 3 years ago as a ministry to families to encourage, inspire and equip parents to intentionally disciple their children in the home – not just at church!

    Take-It Home Events
    The primary way we attempt to accomplish that goal is through monthly Take-It Home events.  These events bring together kids of a specific age/grade and their parents to practice one way to pass along faith to their children.  Usually, a resource is given to the kids to help them take the Take [the practice] Home.  You can see the complete schedule online

    The Journey Newsletter
    I am also excited to announce that the FJIF team also recently released the 1st issue of The Journey newsletter to encourage parents to keep up fighting the fight in passing on their faith.  This unique blend of resources, encouragement and advice from church leaders and parents is available on the CWMC website.  We are even using pictures of some of our own Colonial Woods’ kids, so check it out!

    Mark Holmen Event
    Another event I am excited about, coming May 1st & 2nd, is in partnership with the Missionary Church’s Michigan District’s Family And Children Team (F.A.C.T.), Mark Holmen and Focus on the Family, called Faith @ Home Church Seminar.  There will be a time of training for church leaders and pastors on Saturday AND a parenting workshop on Sunday, May 2nd, from 5-7 PM.  This will be a great opportunity for parents to gain valuable insight on how to pass their faith onto their children.  Be on the lookout for details.

    Visionary Parenting Conference
    Another exciting opportunity I am excited to introduce to you is a weekend Conference FJIF is sponsoring February 18th & 19th, 2011 called Visionary Parenting.  This conference will be for all parents of Colonial Woods – infants through high schoolers – who wish to take the first step, continue, or rise up a level in the discipleship of your children.  

    Dr. Rob Rienow from Wheaton Bible Church in Wheaton, IL will be our featured speaker.  He will be presenting 5 Visions for how we can create a God-centered Home as we seek to make disciples of our kids.  There will also be times of connections with other parents over desert (Friday evening) and lunch (Saturday afternoon).  Check out the brochures at the information booth or contact the Children’s Ministry office for details.

    Calendar of Events
    April 18th          Kindergarten Take-It Home Event
    May 1 & 2       Faith @ Home Church Seminar
    May 16th          2nd Grade Take-It Home Event
    June 6th            Elevate Family Worship Event
    Sept 19th          3rd Grade Take-It Home Event
    Oct 17th           1st Grade Take-It Home Event
    Nov 21st           3 Year Old Take-It Home Event
    Dec 5th             Elevate Family Worship Event
    Feb 18 & 19    Visionary Parenting Conference

    Future Vision
    The possibilities for Family Journey in Faith are virtually endless as CW strives to be a church that encourages, inspires and equips parents to carry out their Biblical role of discipling their children.  Our hope is to see FJIF continue to expand into areas such as a Family Mission Trip, continued Family Worship opportunities, Parent-on-Parent mentoring, and so on.  Watch and see what God does!!!

    In His Service,
    Dean L. Butterfield
    Director of Children’s Ministries

    Annual Children's Ministry Report

    Below is the text from the Annual Report for Anchor Children's Ministry.  Thought you might like the preview long before the report comes out this early Spring.  Enjoy!

    What a busy, but GREAT, year this has been!  Anchor CM @ CWMC has grown by leaps and bounds as we have seen many new families attending Colonial Woods. 

    Purpose of Anchor CM
    It is my desire to see Anchor CM be THE PLACE for kids and families seeking to go deeper in their walk with Christ.  Children’s Ministry exists to partner with parents of children (Birth – 5th Grade) to see them become fully, committed Disciples of Christ.  It’s about Changed Lives & Hearts in the lives of our kids!  It’s not about Baby Sitting – It’s about serving our Lord & Savior, Jesus.

    Saturday Venue Live            
    For over a year now we have had full Children’s Ministry programming available during Saturday Venue Live.  We operate 3 different rooms that utilize volunteers to oversee, teach and help in each one.  Recently, in the 1st – 5th Grade room, we switched to using the same curriculum we use on Sundays during the 10:45 service – Elevate!  Elevate is a dynamic, engaging kid’s curriculum we use to encourage kids to take Biblical truths and live them out in their daily lives.  If you are interested in checking us out on Saturdays or Sundays, feel free to stop by!  Or, better yet, ask your Elementary kids all about us!

    The other part of Elevate is the on-going desire to see kids to grow in mentoring relationships with mature adult Believers.  As a church, one way to partner with the home to help kids become ‘Anchored to Christ’ is by having a 2nd adult (besides their parent) giving them the same message of God’s Love and Truth.  In order to accomplish that we are hoping to begin adding small group shepherds who will simply hang out with kids and encourage them in their walk with Christ.  Ultimately, we would like to have 1 adult for every 7-8 kids.  If that’s something you are interested in, let us know.

    Praying for Leaders
    One major thrust for the next year will be in the area of leadership.  There are nearly 150 volunteers in Children’s Ministry who serve either weekly, monthly or on a 6-week rotation – far too many for a single person to manage.  What I will be seeking God and others on is to identify and train 6 ministry coordinators who will be asked to oversee a certain sect of the on-going ministries – Sunday AM and PM, Saturday PM, & Wednesday PM. 

    One of those coordinators is already in place, Elementary @ the 10:45 service, but more are needed.  This will allow me to then work with these 7 individuals to manage and oversee the volunteers to ensure program needs are met and kids are effectively being ministered to.

    Kid’s Spring Musical
    Please take not that we are NOT conducting a Kid’s Spring Musical but will re-group the Kid’s Choir and hopefully perform the annual Christmas program the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  If you are interested in that leadership, please let me know.

    Anchor CM Blog & Facebook
    Keep in mind that Anchor CM is also has a blog: and is also on Facebook as a ‘Fan Page.’  It is a great way to stay connected with various happenings around the church – not just in Children’s Ministry.

    Calendar of Event
    Pinewood Derby             April 30th
    Tea for Two                    May 8th
    Happy Time Camp          June 21st – 25th  
    VBS                                July 18th – 22nd  
    Back to School Bash       September 1st
    Trunk or Treat                 October 30th
    Christmas Musical           Nov.  28th  
    Christmas Day Camp    Dec. 4th  (New Date)

    In His Service,
    Dean L. Butterfield
    Director of Children’s Ministries