Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hold Tightly & Equip Parents & Grandparents to Do the Same

With the tragedy in Florida there is lots of talk about gun control, parental responsibility, mental health and if God is really real. Conversations the families in your church are likely having with the people they know as well; and questions the children in your ministry may have heard and are wondering about.

I have personally read a number of posts on facebook and there is a lot of pain and confusion out there - including among believers. One of the best comments I heard addressed the question others raised about if God was either powerless to stop the shooter or just didn't care and was either not really God or an evil god.

This comment said basically we do not know how many times God prompted someone to reach out to the person who shot and killed so many teens and teachers. We do not know how many times the Holy Spirit put on the hearts of those around the shooter to talk to him, befriend him and show they care. These are things God very well could have done, and likely did do; but for whatever reason, people did not reach out. People did not follow up when the shooter was expelled from school. People did not report the things he said and did so they could be followed up on by law enforcement.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Don't Forget to do Something Important . . .

In your Children's Ministry it is likely you focus upon introducing children to Jesus, so they will make the choice to trust and believe in Him; as well you should.

It is likely you also focus upon helping children who have put their trust and faith in Jesus learn to follow Him; as well you should.

It is possible you focus as well on equipping and empowering parents and grandparents, so they are able to hand down the faith; as well you should.

But, there is something more you should be focusing upon which many, if not most, Children's Ministries do not focus upon. What is this thing you should focus upon? It is helping the children in your ministry build solid friendships with one another.

We all know the influence and impact children make on one another. If they have Christian friends who are choosing to love and follow Jesus, they are much more likely to do this. We also know how devastating it can be to children to not have any friends. We need to be focused upon helping the children in our ministry build solid friendships. We need to be sure no child is left to themselves - to enter our ministry week after week and leave without making solid friends.

How might you do this? Consider the following -

Monday, February 12, 2018

CM Conference North America - Don't Miss It!

What are you doing April 30 - May 3, 2018? Do you have plans for this week which will impact not only your life, but the lives of the children, families and volunteers in your ministry? Well, you could participate in a week of training and encouraging which will leave you equipped to more effectively serve those to whom God has called you!

I know, kinda sounds like a "big build-up", but it is true! 

Children's Ministry . . . Equip Parents & Engage Grandparents

Children's Ministry, of course, is about and for children. You plan your curriculum, events, classrooms, resources and volunteers to serve, minister to and reach children.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Let's Talk Grandparenting Ministry - It's In the Simple Every-Day Questions

When we engage the grandparents in our churches, so they are focused on handing down a heritage of faith, we will help them understand sometimes this means they will plan intentional times to sit and have conversations with their grandchildren. But, there will also be times when questions or conversations just come up as part of every day life.

For example; the other day I needed to talk with my daughter-in-law on the phone for a minute and then, of course, I talked with my grandsons, too. One of them had been looking at some stickers I had given him and wanted to know what it meant when it said; "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Essential Ingredients in VBS Resources

Last month I reviewed the 2018 Vacation Bible School resources. Today we will consider some of the essential ingredients we should look for in a VBS resource. What are the most important things? 

Well, first of all the curriculum must be Biblically sound. If it isn't, do not waste your time looking at it. There are many well written Biblically sound VBS curricula available; choose from them.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Connect with a Group You May Not Think Of . . .

In your church there is a group of people you may not be aware of who care very much about the things you do in your Children's Ministry. These people are likely some of your most faithful prayer warriors and many even serve as volunteers as well.

Who is this group of people? Grandparents. Yes, grandparents. Grandparents are the second most influential people in the lives of the children in your ministry - second only to parents. In many cases it is the grandparents who bring their grandchildren to church. In many cases it is the grandparents to focus upon handing down the faith at home. In many cases it is the grandparents who encourage their grandchildren to love, know and walk with God.

Yes, an effective Children's Ministry must also engage and equip parents, but do not forget the grandparents. They need to be engaged, equipped and encouraged as well, because it truly does matter what they do.

Did you know . . . 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Help Families - Including Grandparents - Connect, Build Memories & Have Fun Together!

My church is intentional about holding special events for families . . . carnivals, picnics, pizza parties and even an afternoon at a local garden and sculpture park and a night at the zoo. My husband and I go to these with our son, daughter-in-law and grandsons and one thing I've noticed at these events is how many grandparents were there enjoying them with their grandchildren. Fun is had and memories are made - both excellent things!

What does your church do to provide opportunities for families, including grandparents, to connect, build memories and have fun? Yes, as a church you want to provide opportunities for grandparents to learn how to hand down their faith, but it is also important to provide opportunities for them to connect with their grandchildren in fun ways. This may be as simple as a picnic in the park, VBS which includes the grandparents or as big as a night at the zoo, but whatever you choose, plan at least one time a year to give families, grandparents and children the opportunity to connect, build memories and have fun together!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Involved Grandparents Make a Huge Difference - Engage Them!

A couple years ago on Moody Radio, Tim Kimmel was interviewed about how to, "Put the 'Grand' back into Grandparenting" and if there was a reason for churches to focus upon starting a Grandparenting Ministry.
They talked about how grandparents actually change culture and impact/influence generations for Jesus and asked if multiple generation households were better off than those which do not have multiple generations living under the same roof.

They talked about how an Oxford University study showed children are generally happier if grandparents are heavily involved in the upbringing of grandchildren and discovered -

Monday, January 29, 2018

Engage Grandparents - Make it Your Plan of Action for the Summer . . . and Beyond!

Three years ago this Summer I was invited to join a group of people to see what we
could do help churches engage, equip and encourage grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren. This group became the Legacy Coalition - Grandparenting Matters!

Larry Fowler, the founder of Legacy Coalition, wrote about how if the average child in your ministry only attends church, at best, every other week, then they are only receiving about 20 hours a year of your programming. Yes, I said 20 hour a year! Even the children who are there every week, still only receive about 80 hours a year. I'm sure you will agree it is insufficient in either case.

You are not able to be with the children in your ministry all the time - this is why God gave the primary responsibility for reaching and discipling children to their parents and grandparents. So, today I want to write about something important. Something we in ministry must focus on. Something we need to make a central part of our plan to reach and disciple children; engaging, equipping and encouraging grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

At the meeting I was blessed to be part of, Steve Bell (Willow Creek Church) said something which got my attention: "How we feel about our grandchildren is how they will feel about themselves."