Thursday, November 20, 2014

What Do You Do with the Potential "Controversies" at Christmas?

We are just a week from Thanksgiving and then a month of celebrating, special events, programs and parties leading up to Christmas! Definitely a busy time of year, but also a time of year which has great potential to stir up "trouble" as you try to discern the best way for your children's ministry to handle things such as; gift exchanges, special service projects, dealing with "Santa" and just how many special events should you plan in this month when families already tend to be so busy. Do any of the following sound familiar to you . . . 

I Have a Winner!

I'm happy to say Sandee Cole is the winner in my give-away! (You'll find the full review at this link.) Thank you Sandee for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address by November 27, 2014 so I can have it sent to you - lyndafreemanatcd@gmail.com) and thank you Zonderkidz for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How Do You Handle Hurt & Disappointment?

Serving in Children's Ministry means you will experience a great deal of joy . . . what
could be more joy-full than telling children Jesus loves them and being able to see children respond and then go on to know and walk with Him?!!!

But, sadly, serving in Children's Ministry also means you will very possibly experience hurt and disappointment at one time or another. While all of the church has a big "target" on it, Satan especially does not want us to be successful in Children's Ministry, because when we are and children put their faith and trust in Jesus, Satan loses them for life. So, if he can side-track or even derail Children's Ministry by causing hurt, disappointment and strife, he certainly will.

Some people, unfortunately, make it easy for Satan to do this. They may have a big ego, want things to be their way or no way, or have a negative, complaining, gossiping spirit and are convenient "tools" for him to use to hurt, disappoint or get people to step down from serving in Children's Ministry. They may make decisions, or get others in leadership positions to make decisions which hurt, disappoint or which you can not go along with. 

So, what do we do when we find ourselves in a situation where others have made decisions which cause us to have to step back from serving in Children's Ministry? Consider the following . . . 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Be Encouraged! God Sees & Remembers!

Serving in Children's Ministry can be one of the most joy-filled things you will ever do! Serving in Children's Ministry can be one of the most pain-filled things you will ever do. Both of these sentences are true. Serving can be joy-filled because you are able to use the gifts and abilities God has given you to help children learn of God's love and grace and how they can know and walk with Him for the rest of their lives! Definitely joy-filled! It can be joy-filled because you get the opportunity to serve with others who are giving their all to the Children's Ministry - some of the most wonderful people I've ever met serve in Children's Ministry!

It can also be pain-filled because far too often people give Satan a "foot-hold" by being negative, complaining, gossiping and insisting on having their way. Children's Ministry should not be a place where people end up hurt, but it is a place with a big, "target" on it because Satan does not want us to be effective in reaching children and helping them learn to know and walk with God. If he can side-track us or even better, derail us, he will do so and sadly, there are people who allow themselves to be used in this way.

So, if you are someone who is being negative, complaining, gossiping or insisting on having their way - stop it! Do not let Satan use you to side-track and derail ministry or to hurt others. If you are someone who has been hurt, check out Hebrews 6:10 -

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thankful for . . . Faithful Volunteers!

When it comes to children's ministry there are no shortage of things you need to provide ministry to children, but clearly one of the biggest needs is for volunteers. As you focus on being thankful this year, take time to thank God for the volunteers you have . . . even if you need more, be thankful, ever so thankful for the volunteers you have!

And, take time to show your thankfulness to your volunteers as well. Consider a couple ways to do this . . . 

True Effectiveness Requires Thankfulness - I'm Thankful for the Grace and Blessings God Gives!

When we think about thanking God, we often think about singing. There is good reason for this as a thankful heart is a happy heart and a happy heart often is one which sings! Look at Psalm 95:2 -
Let us come to him and give him thanks. Let us praise him with music and song. (NIrV)
Thankfulness and singing go together. One way for us to help the children in our ministries learn to be thankful, is to help them become people who sing praises to God. There are some really wonderful new songs being written today; songs which will "stand the test of time" and be songs future generations will continue to sing. But, there are songs which were written hundreds of years ago which have also stood the test of time; songs which speak to us today as they have spoken to believers for many, many years. As you think about the songs you teach the children in your ministry, don't forget some of the old "classics" as they can not only give children an opportunity to, "Praise Him with music and song", but they can also teach children truth.

The song I'm sharing with you today is once such song which calls us to focus on God's blessings, mercy and grace; and are not these the things we do when we are being thankful? It is an old song (written in 1757), but definitely a good one!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

True Effectiveness Requires Thankfulness - I'm Thankful God Hears & Answers Prayer!

Thanksgiving is just a week from Thursday! I've been writing this week about being thankful because I fully believe we can not be genuinely effective in our ministries if we are not thankful people. If we are not thankful to God, how can we help the children and families in our ministries learn to be people who are thankful and who praise God for His incredible grace and goodness which He lavishes upon us?

I've said I was thankful for God and shared the song, Life of Praise by Casting Crowns, and I'm thankful for the truth God forgives and shared one of my favorite songs; Before the Throne of God Above by Go Fish! Today, I'm thankful our God hears and answers our prayers! 

Just stop and think about this for a moment. Our God; the Creator of the universe, hears us when we pray! We all have had the experience of having a person not listen to us because they were too busy, or just didn't care to listen. If anyone is certainly busy, it has to be God, yet, He hears us when we pray and answers our prayers! Look at these verses . . . 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

True Effectiveness Requires Thankfulness - I'm Thankful for God's Grace & Forgiveness!

Yesterday I said, "I firmly believe if we are going to be effective in our ministries to the children and families in our churches and communities, we have to be people who know and walk with God. Knowing and walking with God involves several things, but one is being thankful. We have so very much to be thankful for, but far too often our lives do not look like the lives of people who are thankful." With Thanksgiving just a week and a half away I thought it would be a good time to encourage us all to take time to always be thankful people; each day until Thanksgiving I'm going to share something I'm thankful for and a song which expresses thankfulness to God.

Yesterday I said I was thankful for God and shared the song, Life of Praise by Casting Crowns. Today I'm thankful for God's amazing mercy and grace which He so generously gives to me! A guest pastor from Australia spoke at my church of how Jesus said He came to call sinners. He said, "Jesus called 'dodgie' people and ate with them,  because a sick person needs a doctor. (Matthew 9)" When we get saved, it is all too easy for us to judge others, but, "grace means loathing legalism and living grace means loving others". I needed; and continue to need every day, Gods great grace.

Friday, November 14, 2014

True Effectiveness Requires Thankfulness - I'm Thankful for God!

I firmly believe if we are going to be effective in our ministries to the children and families in our churches and communities, we have to be people who know and walk with God. Knowing and walking with God involves several things, but one is being thankful. 

We have so very much to be thankful for, but far too often our lives do not look like the lives of people who are thankful. With Thanksgiving just a couple weeks away I thought it would be a good time to encourage us all to take time to always be thankful people. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Are We Actually Unthankful Children?

Thanksgiving is just two weeks from today, so many of us are thinking about all the people and things we are thankful for. This is a good thing to do, but is it something we typically only do during the month of November? Oh, we likely say, "Thank You", to God in our prayers on a regular basis, but is this anything more than just words we say without really thinking about them as we move on to asking God for more things?

Don't get me wrong; yes, we can, and should, ask God for things. He tells us throughout Scripture to bring our requests to Him. But, do we really spend anywhere near as much time genuinely thanking God as we do asking Him for things? Do we sound like unthankful children who always ask for more and who do not really stop to genuinely express our thanks?

God has showered His love, mercy, grace and goodness upon us; we have so much to thank Him for! I thank God for . . .