Thursday, February 26, 2015

It Can Be Controversial . . . Do You Have Children in "Big" Church - or Not?

In Children's Ministry there are a few things which dedicated people disagree upon and can easily get into a debate over. One of these things is whether or not we should have children in the "big" church service or in classes which focus on engaging them in the learning. Today and tomorrow I'm going to look at this question; today I'll focus on including children in the "big" church service and give some reasons why we should as well as reasons we should not. I'll wrap it up today with some ideas of how to engage children in the "big" service if this is what you do at your church.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Lauren is the winner in my The Berenstain Bears God Made You Special give-away (you'll find the review at this link.) Thank you Lauren for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address by March 5, 2015 so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away.

Continuity . . . Connect the Children's, Parent's and Family Ministries With Your Church!

If you have paid attention to be sure all areas of your children's ministry connect so the Sunday, Midweek, Summer and other ministries have continuity and are taking the time to connect the children's ministry with the parent's ministry, the last area to connect with is the other areas of your church! If your church is going to have a strong and healthy children's, parent's and family ministry, it is important for the entire church to know what is happening in these ministries. Consider the following . . . 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Continuity . . . Connect the Children's and Parent's Ministries!

So . . . you have a vision and purpose for your children's ministry and you are watching to be sure each part of your ministry connects to the others, but have you collaborated with the leaders of your parent's ministry to be sure the children's and parent's ministries connect and have continuity? Consider the following . . . 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Continuity . . . No "Islands Unto Themselves"

Image result for clipart for stranded islandsStop and think for a moment . . . do the various parts of your children's ministry "connect"? Do they compliment and reinforce one another or does each area "do their own thing" and are actually, "islands unto themselves"? If we are truly serious about being effective, then not only do we have to have a vision/plan for our children's ministry as a whole, but we have to be sure each area is connected to the other things we do in children's ministry. Consider the following . . . 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Continuity . . .

As we think about family ministry, I want to talk about an important topic . . . continuity. So, what is continuity and why does it matter when we talk about Family Ministry? What does it look like in children's ministry and how do we have it? How do we know if we do not have it? These are important questions to think about . . . and find answers to. Consider the following . . . 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Children's Ministry and Parent's Ministry = Family Ministry!

If you are serving in a children's ministry, then you have to care about the parent ministry of your church as well. Deuteronomy 6 makes it pretty clear the primary responsibility for pointing children to God lies with parents. "4Listen, Israel! The LORD our God is the only true God! 5So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. 6Memorize his laws 7and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 8Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. 9Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates." (CEV) Obviously, the parents are the ones who are with children at home, at bedtime and in the morning, so clearly, this call to disciple children is for parents.

Friday, February 20, 2015

From One Generation to the Next

I have always found a reading of the Old Testament to be exciting . . . and heartbreaking. You find real people and how their real lives were impacted and changed when they came to know and walk with God; such as David. He went from being a lowly shepherd boy to being the King of Israel. Yes, there were a lot of years between the two, but he knew and walked with God; even as a young teen . . . so much so he was able to trust God to fight for him when facing a real giant none of the older soldiers in the army were willing to fight . . . they just ran and hid! He knew, walked with and trusted God to keep him through the years when he was being chased by Saul. Yes, he made some really horrible choices over the years, but when faced with his sin he turned from it and asked God for forgiveness and grace. He wrote the Psalms and modeled for us, even today - how to talk with God as well as how to worship and praise Him!

Yet, in spite of the amazing way David knew and walked with God, his children did not follow and share in his love for God. This is the heartbreaking part. If you spend time looking at the kings of Israel and Judah, some followed God and then in a generation or two they turned their backs on God. If you read Psalm 78 you see how over and over the Israelites walked with God and then forgot Him. Something bad happened and they turned back to God and then in a generation or two they forgot Him again.

I find this frightening. I love God! I want to know and walk with Him  I want my children and grandchildren and future generations, should Jesus tarry, to continue to know, love and walk with God. I do not want them to forget Him. It only takes a casual glance at the evening news to know our world is broken because it has forgotten God. It is heartbreaking.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Benefits of Being Focused!

Image result for images for children knowing GodI've been writing about losing focus in our Children's Ministries and asked if our focus on "fun" ends us "cheapening" our faith. Today I want to think about the benefits of being intentional about staying focused on what really matters in our children's ministries. Consider the following . . . 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How Do We Stay Focused?

Image result for images for prayerSo, I've been talking about keeping our focus on helping children know and walk with Jesus and not being distracted by anything else. How do we do this? Consider the following ideas for how we can keep our focus . . .