Thursday, February 11, 2016

VBS 2016 - Pets Unleashed from Group Publishing

I'm delighted for the opportunity to once again share Group's weekend VBS with you . . . Pets Unleashed. The idea with this resource is to provide two affordable 2 1/2 hour sessions, plus a one hour celebration which churches could use over one weekend . . . or over three weekends . . . or they might be able to spread it out for one Saturday a month for a Summer of fun! And, if you do not mind repeating games and focusing more on the same Bible Adventure, you could stretch it for a week of VBS.

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

If you are serving in a Children's Ministry, then you have to care about the ministry to the parents and grandparents in your church as well. Deuteronomy 6 makes it pretty clear the primary responsibility for pointing children to God lies with parents and grandparents. "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, and the grandparents have a role assigned by God to pass faith on as well, so clearly, this call to disciple children is for parents and grandparents.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Make Intentional Prayer the Cornerstone of Your Family/Children's Ministry

Okay, I'm all for praying for one another, but how often when we pray for others do we pray "generic prayers" opposed to prayers specifically for someone? Even when we know someone has things we can pray about, how often do we actually talk to them to find out what they would most appreciate being remembered in prayer on their behalf? 

Yes, it takes time to sit down and actually talk to someone, but if we are serious about praying intentionally for those in our church and ministry, how can we do so if we do not first talk with the person we are praying for?

Don't Miss It!!! Mark Your Calendar for February 15th!!!

Yes, this Monday is February 15th! Why should you mark your calendar for it, you ask? Because it is the day after Valentine's Day. What is significant about the day after Valentine's Day, you ask?  Because . . . it is the day all the heart-shaped candies go on clearance!!!! If you haven't already, make plans to head for your local store first thing and pick up some for use in your ministry! Just think of all the things you could do with heart-shaped candies . . . if you have them . . .

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Get Intentional!

As I've shared with you a few times so far this year, I believe firmly we in ministry - whether it is Children's Ministry, Family Ministry or some other area of ministry in the church, must get serious about engaging, equipping and encouraging grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren. Most of our churches do not really have anything beyond get-togethers and Bible studies for grandparents, but grandparents have so much to offer their grandchildren and the relationship to build upon which allows them to connect in far deeper and more meaningful ways than any volunteer at church can do. We need to be intentional about engaging, equipping and encouraging the grandparents in our churches.

Yesterday on my other blog - grandma's cookie jar - I wrote about one of the things I am doing to pass on a heritage of faith to my grandsons; so I decided to share with you today what I'm doing to give you an idea of how you could encourage the grandparents in your church. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

What Encourages You in Ministry?

Yesterday I asked, "What discourages you in ministry?" and wrote, "Discouragement can so easily lead to doubt; did God really call us to serve in Children's Ministry? Are we really 'cut out out' for this? Can we continue on? Discouragement is difficult and can take a high price on our ministry. Anyone can be discouraged by the things which happen in ministry, but if we remain discouraged, not only will we be discouraged but our ministry will be damaged, or even come to a stop. It is so important; especially when we feel discouraged, to tell ourselves the truth." Then I shared several truths from God's Word! 

We can - and likely will - experience discouragement in ministry, but thankfully, ministry also has many things which encourage us so, today, I want to ask you, "What encourages you in ministry?" What is it about children's ministry which fills your heart with joy?

The things which encourage me are . . . 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What Discourages You in Ministry? Be Encouraged!

There are so many things about Children's Ministry which brings us joy - seeing children come to know Jesus, watching volunteers enjoy serving, seeing how God answers prayer . . . and so many more! But, there are also things which can be discouraging. Not having the volunteers you need, budget issues, conflict . . . and so many more.

Discouragement can so easily lead to doubt; did God really call us to serve in children's ministry? Are we really "cut out" for this? Can we continue on? Discouragement is difficult and can take a high toll on our ministry. Anyone can be discouraged by things which happen in ministry, but if we remain discouraged, not only will we be discouraged, but our ministry will be damaged or even come to a stop.

It is important; especially when we feel discouraged, to tell ourselves the truth. The truth is . . . 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Doubt - It Does NOT Stop God!

One of my all-time favorite books is, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World by Tullian Tchividjian. When it came out a couple years ago, I reviewed it and said, this "is a book which I will enthusiastically recommend; even to the point of saying if you only read one book this year, make it One Way Love!" 

The pastor at my church has said many times, "Every Christian experiences doubt." This is so true. At some point in all of our lives we experience doubt. We doubt if God really called us. We may doubt if God is really with us. We may doubt if God is going to answer our prayers. Even in our ministries we experience doubt - will God send the volunteers? Does God want to use me in ministry? 

Whatever the doubt, we all experience it. Often when doubt comes, fear comes with it, we lose our focus, and are distracted from God's Grace. God wants us to experience, power, joy and peace, but doubt makes us afraid. However, our doubt does not prevent God from saving us! Just as Jesus was not going to let Peter drown and rescued him from the waves; Jesus rescues us, too, because doubt does not stop God from doing what He was planning on doing!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Five ways to Get, "Out of the Box" in Your Children's Ministry - #1 - Connect with Your Pastor

I've been writing all week about whether your Children's Ministry is, "in the box" or, "out of the box" when it comes to interacting with other areas of your church, and we have looked at some specific ways you can do exactly this . . . get out of the box, and stop being "compartmentalized" in your ministry by connecting with the Youth Ministry, ministry to/with parents and grandparents, and by engaging your pastor. Today I want to talk about what I think is the number one way to, "get out of the box" . . . evaluate your attitude and be serious about making the changes you need to make.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Five ways to Get, "Out of the Box" in Your Children's Ministry - #2 - Connect with Your Pastor

Image result for clipart #2I've been writing about whether your Children's Ministry is, "in the box" or, "out of the box" when it comes to interacting with other areas of your church, and we have looked at some specific ways you can do exactly this . . . get out of the box, and stop being "compartmentalized" in your ministry by connecting with the Youth Ministry and ministry to/with parents and grandparents. Today I want to look at getting out of the box by engaging your pastor.