Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What Do You Do to Engage, Equip & Encourage Grandparents?

In this day and age it is ever so much more important for us to do all we can to engage, equip and encourage parents and grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith. The world around us is doing what God's Word said it would do; turn away from Him and set their own "rules" for what is "right". If we want to see the children in our ministries reached for Jesus and grow to know and walk with Him in an increasingly godless society, we have to do everything possible to help parents and grandparents teach the children they love at home.

So, what do you do to engage, equip and encourage parents? Many churches do this, but what do you do to engage, equip and encourage grandparents? If children in your ministry have grandparents who are believers, these grandparents have a unique position from which they can be very effective in passing on a heritage of faith. 

Fall Curriculum Sale!

If you are looking for curriculum to use this Fall, take a look at Deeper in 4 Children. Not only will it have your children opening their Bibles, discovering what God's Word says, praying Scripture and learning how God's Word is for them, but you will experience significant savings as it is only $75 per quarter for Preschool/Early Elementary age and $75 for Elementary age. Deeper in 4 Children is a digital curriculum which you are welcome to make as many copies as you need for use in your ministry - no paying more if you have a lot of children! Plus, if you buy two quarters, you will receive one quarter for free!

You'll find more information at this link - just place your order for two quarters and then email me which quarter you would like for free! (lynda@kidzconnection.us)

Monday, June 29, 2015

What Are You Looking for in Curriculum?

Are you looking for curriculum to use in your ministry this Fall? If so, what are you looking for? Do you want . . . 
  • A Biblically sound curriculum which gets children to open their Bibles?
  • A curriculum which engages children by having them not only open their Bibles, but learn how to search it to discover what it says?
  • A curriculum which focuses on helping children think through what God's Word says and how it looks lived out in their everyday lives?
  • A curriculum which helps children learn to pray Scripture back to God?
  • A curriculum with a unified scope and sequence, so all children in your ministry learn the same lesson each week?
  • A curriculum which is digital, downloadable and which you are welcome to make as many copies as you need for use in your ministry - no extra charge to make copies?
  • A curriculum which once you purchase it (at just $75 per age, per quarter), you are welcome to keep it and reuse it?
  • A curriculum which you are welcome to share with church plants and missionaries supported by your church?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Family Ministry on a Shoe-String - Summer Minute to Win It!

I love Lindsey Whitney's ideas for "Minute to Win It" for church and her Summer Edition gives even more ideas to help you hold your own "Minute to Win It" at your church! Thank you Lindsey for allowing me to re-post these articles from your site - Growing Kids Ministry. Please be sure to take a minute to check her site for more excellent ideas for your ministry!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Family Ministry on a Shoe-String - More Minute to Win It!

Image result for clipart for family gamesAgain, I'd like to thank Lindsey Whitney for allowing me to re-post her "Minute to Win It" articles from her site - Growing Kids Ministry. This post goes on to build on the first with more ideas for games!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Family Ministry on a Shoe-String - Minute to Win It!

First of all I want to thank Lindsey Whitney for graciously allowing me to re-post her article on "Minute to Win It for Church!" Lindsey writes Growing Kids Ministry - be sure to take a minute to check her site for all the great ideas, articles and resources you will find there! 

As you think about the ministry opportunities you want to offer the children and families from your church and community, think about having your own "Minute to Win It!"

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Family Ministry on a Shoe-String - We Have Talent!

All this week I've been talking about some family ministry possibilities you could offer the children and families in your church . . . all on a shoe-string! Here's idea for you . . . you could plan a "(your church's name) got talent" show and involve children and families in sharing their "talents" . . . you could even do this in conjunction with your picnic in the park for "entertainment" at your picnic! 

Family Ministry on a Shoe-String - Family Picnics in the Park!

If you are looking for something you could do to engage children and families in your church and reach out to your community at the same time . . . all on a shoe-string budget, think about offering Family Picnics in the Park! 

Think about the following - 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Family Ministry on a Shoe-String - Family Service Squads!

When we think about family ministry we most often tend to think about providing ministry opportunities for the children and families in our church and community, and while we certainly want to do this, family ministry can also - and should also - include opportunities for our children and families to serve others! We can serve others "on a shoe-string" . . . consider the following ideas -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Family Ministry on a Shoestring - Family Amazing Race!

I asked people on CM Connect what they were planning to do during the summer with the families in their church and community. Derek Weaver is the Kid's Pastor at Remedy Church in Delmar, MD and he mentioned they held their own version of "The Amazing Race" for their children and families. I told him I'd love to hear the specifics and asked if he would be interested in writing a guest post for my blog . . . he was kind enough to do so! I'm going to share Derek's guest post with you again, with some ideas on how to do an event like this - on a shoe-string!

What Do I Need to "See"?

In our children's and family ministries "imparting information" is important, but it is infinitely most important for us to pray for "eyes to be opened". In our ministries we "impart" a lot of "information". We teach Bible lessons, we train volunteers, we encourage parents . . . we "impart" a lot of "information". But, do we focus on asking God to "open eyes"? 

What are some things where we need to have our eyes . . . and the eyes of children, parents and volunteers . . . opened? Consider the following . . . 

Monday, June 22, 2015

I Have Two Winners!

I'm happy to announce Karen and Virginia are the winners of The Gospel Truth About Children’s Ministry! (You'll find my review at this link.) Thank you Karen and Virginia for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address by June 25, 2015, so I can have it sent to you - lyndafreemanatcd@gmail.com) and thank you AWANA for making this book available for me to review and give away!

Free Family Event . . . My Bible Journey - Trusting God Journey!

One reason we do not offer family ministry opportunities, is because we do not stop and think to plan ahead. We are so busy with the day-to-day ins and outs of our ministries, we don't take the time to plan ahead for a special event. 

So, today I'm delighted to give you a back-to-school family event . . . My Bible Journey - Trusting God Journey! As children return to school they often feel apprehensive and even afraid - what will their new classes be like? What will their new teachers be like? Will they have friends? There are so many questions . . . potentially so many things to be concerned about. Parents also have many concerns . . . will they make the right decisions when it comes to raising their children? Will they be able to keep their jobs? If they do not have a job, will they be able to find a job? Will they be able to make their house payment? What will they do if gas gets even more expensive? So many potential things to be concerned about.

Make Prayer THE Priority

I recently heard a sermon from Dr. Jim Samra about the most important thing we can do . . . Pray! (You can check this link to hear the sermon - it just takes 26 minutes and 48 seconds to do so . . . you'll be glad you did!)

So, Dr. Samra said we need to do the most important thing . . . pray. Yes, teaching the Bible - giving information - is important, but the first thing we need to do is pray.

Do you pray, really pray, before you do anything else in your ministry? It can be far too easy to just go about the work of the ministry and plan, organize, train, prepare, teach . . . all without really spending time in prayer. Consider the following ways to make prayer not just A top priority in your ministry, but THE top priority . . . 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

How Does Your Children's Ministry Support Parents With Special Needs Children?

Loretta Baughan wrote a powerful and thought provoking post on Modern Day Eugenics on her blog, STRAIGHT4ward with Loretta Baughan. Please take a moment to read this post and then consider the following . . . 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Prayer For Your Ministry - Pray For the Most Important Thing!

Image result for free image for the most important thingThere are certainly many things for us to pray about when it comes to praying for the children, families and volunteers in our ministry, but I think we can take a cue from Jesus as to the most important thing for us to pray about. In Matthew 22:37-40 someone asked Jesus which command was the most important; He said, "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Please Check Out "The Invisible Gift" on Straight4ward with Loretta Baughan

My sister is Loretta Baughan and she writes a blog, Straight4ward with Loretta Baughan. In  her post, The Invisible Gift, she writes, "Have you noticed? There’s someone missing from church. People with disabilities make up about one-fifth of our population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. These are our friends, neighbors and family members. They are, though, for the most part an invisible segment of our society. Some may be homebound or otherwise unable to move about in our communities, but many are mobile. Then why are so few attending church?"

Friday, June 19, 2015

What is Most Important to You & What Do You Want Curriculum to Do?

There is no shortage of curriculum resources available for churches to use in their children's ministries, so when it comes to choosing a curriculum for your ministry you need to know what is most important to you and what it is you really want curriculum to do.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

An Amazing "Resource" at Your "Fingertips"! (& a Free Gift!)

Image result for clipart for the word grandparentsIf you had an amazing resource of people at your "fingertips" who, for the most part, are already passionate about reaching children, people who are highly motivated and who could become engaged in actually reaching children, would you want to engage them? Would you want to equip and encourage them? Would you want to "tap" this "resource"; and do so as quickly as possible?

Well, you do! This resource is grandparents and you have them in your church. Most grandparents care very much about their grandchildren and want to see them reached for Jesus and then grow to know and walk with Him. True, some see their "job" as "completed" when they raised their own children, but even these grandparents sincerely love their grandchildren and if you are able to help them see how their "job" is not "completed" and equip them to pass on a heritage of faith, most of them will willingly step forward and focus on doing exactly this.

As I have been saying, grandparents know something important. They know how very quickly their grandchildren not only, "will" grow up, but how very quickly they "are" growing up. Grandparents have already experienced how, while it may not have felt like it at the time, they know how quickly their own children grew up. When we tell grandparents there are just a few short years where their grandchildren are most open to the Gospel, they believe you and they understand how these years truly are, "short".

You can do this by . . . 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Some Thoughts About Deuteronomy 6 & Psalm 78

Children's ministry matters because children matter. God gave very specific directions to parents, grandparents and to His people in general about how important it was for them to love Him and then pass this love for Him to their children. 

I'm a grandma. There is nothing more important to me than to know my dear grandsons will grow to know and love God with their whole selves. When I look at the world around me it can be frightening, as there are so many messages woven into nearly every aspect of life telling children they can believe in God or not and they can believe in anything they want because all religions are the same. Among my siblings I see the results of choosing to do whatever you want and accepting eastern religions over the truth of God's Word. It is heartbreaking. If I forget to look to God's Word I can feel anxious about the world my grandchildren will grow up in.

However; thank God, His Word gives us the blue-print to follow so we can raise our children to know and love Him! We need to know the Lord is our God and He is the One and Only God. As parents, grandparents and believers we need to teach our children, grandchildren and the children in our ministries, despite what they hear from the world around them, they do need to know the Lord is our God and He is the One and Only God. God goes on to tell us to be sure we love Him with our whole selves. If our children see we aren't serious about loving God with our whole selves, then why should they? We need to model what it looks like to live a life where God really does have first place in our life. Intentionally plan to model this by involving your children in at least one service project.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

See a Need; Fill a Need - Grandparenting Ministry!

Legacy CoalitionSunday School began in 1780 as actual school for poor children which used the Bible as a text book. Religious education was a staple for children right up until the 1960's when parents stopped going to church so much themselves. Today most churches have a children's ministry because they understand how important it is to reach children for Jesus and help them grow to know and walk with Him. Churches saw a need, (for children's ministry) and filled the need.

As time went by, churches began to see a need for Family Ministry and started being more intentional in the way they engaged, equipped and encouraged parents, so they could teach their children at home about Jesus and how to know and walk with Him. Many curriculum resources began to include ideas for families to use at home. Churches saw a need, (for family ministry) and filled the need.

Now, churches are just beginning to understand another need; grandparent ministry. Young grandparents care very much about their grandchildren and are a very enthusiastic group in the church which could be leveraged to impact children in significant ways. Not only do grandparents care very much about passing on a heritage of faith, but grandchildren often truly enjoy being with their grandparents.

Monday, June 15, 2015

What Might You Do Differently?

Image result for images for changesFor the past few days I've been asking you some questions about your Children's Ministry, what you are doing, where you are spending most of your time and are you being truly effective. Today I want to ask you; "What might you do instead to become more effective at what is truly most important; reaching children for Jesus and helping them grow to know and walk with Him all of their lives?"

If what you are doing is effective, then you will want to continue what you are doing; but don't just think what you are doing is truly effective without first checking to be sure. Sometimes it can be difficult to be honest with ourselves about how effective we really are. Ask parents, volunteers and children what they are learning, how they are living it and how it changes their lives. If you discover they are truly learning how to know and walk with God, by all means, continue what you are doing!

The Gospel Truth About Children’s Ministry - I'm Giving Two Away!

I was recently invited to review The Gospel Truth About Children’s Ministry, which is based on research conducted by AWANA in 2013 & 2014 to “take the pulse” of the children’s ministry community. They wanted to, "fully understand the wants, needs, and expectations of children’s ministry decision makers."  Since I care very much about Children's Ministry, I thought the book sounded interesting and like something all of you who read About the Children's Department would like to hear about. Plus, AWANA not only sent me a pdf of the book in exchange for my review, but they said they would send me a signed, hard-cover copy to keep and two additional copies to give away!

Before I get to my review, I do want to say, whether or not you use AWANA clubs, the information in this book is important for everyone in Children's Ministry, everyone who cares about the Children's Ministry of their church, every parent and grandparent to see and understand.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

What Are Your Results?

Image result for images for resultsI've been talking about the things which are most important to us in our children's ministries and a few days ago I said; "These are very important questions for us to think about, but here is one more . . . how effective are you in accomplishing these things? And, how effective are these things in reaching children, bringing them to a place where they place their trust in Jesus and then grow to know and walk with Him? After all, this is the most important thing. Are the things which are most important in your children's ministry, really reaching children? Do the really help children place their trust in Jesus and then grow to know and walk with Him for all of their lives?"

Do the things you put your time into reach children and draw them to Jesus? Do they help children learn to know, love and walk with Jesus? Or, if you are truly honest, is your children's ministry really just entertaining children with Bible "stories" and music thrown in? What are your results? What do your results show?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Where Do You Invest Most of Your Time, & Why?

Image result for images of clocksWe are thinking about some important questions when it comes to our children's ministries for the next few days; today we are going to look at where we invest most of our time and why we spend it on those things.

Those who serve in Children's Ministry do have many things to think about . . . 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Let Your Conversation be Seasoned and ALWAYS full of Grace!

God's word tells us to “season” our words with salt, so they are always full of grace. Our words have power. Consider Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (NIV) We need to commit to be a people whose conversation has an "echo" which results in their lives and will "shape" them with the grace God so richly lavishes on us!

So, what does "salty" words look and sound like? Consider the following . . . 

What Are the Top Five Priorities in Your Children's Ministry?

Image result for clipart for top fiveYesterday I asked a number of questions about children's ministry. For the coming week we will look more closely at these questions beginning today with; when you think about your children's ministry, what are the top five things you want to see happen? 

This question goes to the core of your vision for your children's ministry. What do you see as the most important things for your children's ministry to do? What are your top five priorities? I think the first and most important priority is pretty easy to determine, and is likely the same for all of us - to see children come to know, love and walk with Jesus. After all, Jesus Himself said, "Let the children come to Me", so bringing children to Jesus is at the top of our list and is the reason we have children's ministry in the first place.

However; after this, the most important things can vary depending on our own vision for our children's ministries and can include things like: