Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Volunteer Caught on Camera!

This blurry picture caught one of our volunteers (her initials are CB) sneaking a snack before service started. She was trying to run away from my phone camera but I got her. So now you know what goes on behind the scenes at CATB Children's Ministry. And you trust your kids to these kinds of people? LOL!

Seriously, we have some of the best volunteers in the country and I love to brag on them. You should have seen the Kindergarten kids singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus on Christmas Eve. It was awesome. And then watching their eyes light up when they saw the snow coming down and Santa Claus and his elf- it's what I live for.

Guys, you lit it up this week. Thanks to all of you who gave so unselfishly so these kids could get it. I can't wait to see what God does in the coming year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Trains

When I was a little boy, every year at Christmas my Dad put the Lionel trains under the Christmas tree. One year he took a picture of me kneeling in front of the trains, watching as they circled the tree. Last year I took this picture of my grandson doing the exact same thing at my home.

It's amazing how much influence we have on our kids. They imitate us is so many ways, often when we least expect it and frequently with behaviors we don't want to duplicate. Ever heard your kid say something bad and then realize they learned it from you?! Whether you want to be or not, you are a role model to the kids who observe your life.

But the good news is that imitation is a great teaching tool and when we leverage it for positive outcomes, everybody wins! I'm convinced that most of what kids learn from us is caught from observing our behaviors and attitudes, our responses to life situations- and not nearly as much from what we say as from what we do. That means that we will improve our influence- by improving ourselves- by being passionate Christ followers. The more we imitate Christ, the more kids will imitate us- and ultimately Him.

I want to lead by example and the best way for me to do that is to chase God as hard as I can. It's cool that Tyler kneels to watch trains like I did. But I'd be more impressed if he learns to kneel and pray from watching the example of my life.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Sorry about the wrong link on my last post. It has been corrected. Here is the correct link for The Gift Revolution.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Generosity Plus!

Today I went with some of our volunteers to deliver all the Angel Tree gifts that our CATB family provided for the Salvation Army. This is the third year we have done this and every year we have exceeded the previous year. It was so rewarding to hear how these families will be blessed by our generosity.

It took 4 vehicles to carry all the stuff. I calculated that it represented over $10,000 worth of gifts! What a church! I am so happy to be a part of such a caring group of people. As we launch the Gift Revolution, I know we will see even more examples of unselfish caring as we focus on others. As we taught the kids this weekend, "Christmas is not about what I get; its about learning to give like God, my best."
Whatever you do over the next 25 days, look for ways to express God's love to people around you. We can change the world, one heart at a time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What more could a guy want- a huge turkey dinner and football on TV! If you can't be thankful for that, you've got issues. But quite honestly, as much fun as those things are, they really don't express my gratitude for so many more important things. Like my family, my health, the fact that I get to serve in a great church with some of the best people on the planet, and that's just a start.

But even as valuable as those things are, there is one thing for which my gratitude can never do justice. It is the one thing that I need more than anything else and without which I have no hope and no future. I cannot provide it for myself and yet I am hopeless without it. It is the greatest gift I could ever receive. It is FORGIVENESS.

Without God's forgiveness, nothing else matters. If I don't have that, I have nothing of any value. And since God offers it so freely, I could easily take it for granted. And given the price He had to pay for it, my gratitude seems feeble and insignificant. But it is all I can offer.

And so on this Thanksgiving Day, I say, "Thank You, God, for forgiving me and letting me into Your family." And now I'll go and enjoy my turkey and football!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rockin' Weekend!

Lots of cool stuff at CATB this weekend. Its just fun hanging out with kids.

* Heard another story of a family who is coming regularly now because the kids just love their classes.
* Christina Box and Sarah Shea launched Discovery Play this weekend. It went great and helped relieve some pressure from other classes.
* Jennifer Allinder found a train table on Craig's list to add to our SandBox class where the kids just love playing with Thomas the Tank Engine!
* Love watching the increase in boys in the Pier 45 class. 4th & 5th grade can be a tough age for boys because they usually get bored with typical church fare. Our classes are now dominated by boys!
* Love the enthusiasm of new volunteers and the excitement they bring to kids. Want BayKids to be too much fun to miss.

**And you heard it first right here- BayKids Volunteer Christmas Breakfast- Sunday December 14th, 8:30-9:00AM Coffee, donuts, Christmas stuff, and prizes in the cafeteria. Mark your calendar NOW!

Keep up the good work, Gang!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jelly Telly is here!

I am very excited that Jelly Telly has launched their Beta version of a new website for kids. This is a safe site where your kids can play games and watch cartoons and videos, produced by the guys who created Veggie Tales. It looks really cool.

I know my grandkids love to play games online and now they can do it with a Christian theme. There is a free trial version you can test drive and then an inexpensive subscription if you like it. And this is just the beginning. I expect lots more to come as they grow and develop the idea.

So check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another great weekend!

Here's another "Go God" story from this weekend. Got an email from one of our Friday set-up team members who brought 2 kids on Sunday. Here's what she said: "both were VERY RELUCTANT to attend this morning. I've been trying to get her to come for a few weeks now. When I picked her up today at noon, these were her exact words: 'I LOVED it & I want to come back every single Sunday!'"

That's why we do this thing, Gang! Lots of fun stuff happened this weekend, including a visit from Alicia's cockatoo! The kids loved the bird and it was a great visual illustration for one of our classes.
For all you volunteers, you are creating memories and experiences that will last a lifetime and beyond. Thanks for your passion and dedication. You bring it every weekend and it is making a difference!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

RayHawk Fun!

We had some fun last Sunday with some of our kids getting RayHawks! Unfortunately the Rays lost last night but we're still proud of them.

Lots of cool stuff coming in the next few weeks. Our Angel Tree goes up this weekend as we start the drive to collect Christmas presents for needy kids in our area. Last year we sponsored 135 kids and we expect to blow by that number this year.

We're also going to participate in a Fall Festival at Westchase Elementary on Friday Nov.14th. If you can help between 4-7pm, let me know. We want CATB faces to supervise an inflateable and pass out balloons and stuff to kids.

We're also looking at visiting some kids at the Shriners Hospital around Christmas to bring some cheer to them. If you want to go, email me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kids Love It Here!

Nothing makes my day more than hearing about a kid whose life is being changed by CATB's children's ministry. This weekend we will see that clearly in the kids who are being baptized. Every volunteer, from the nursery to the elementary groups, gets credit for creating an environment where kids can find God and take their first steps with Him.

This past Sunday a Dad told me that, on their way home the week before, his daughter said to him, "Daddy, I love this church so much. I don't ever want to leave it." WOW! Unlike the NFL, we don't penalize for celebrations or taunting so I'm thinking of some hyper ways to vent my excitement when I hear stuff like that. Makes me want to stand over the crumpled body of the enemy and yell, "That's one more you won't get on your team, Loser!", followed by a fist bump to heaven for another victory.
Don't ever give up on reaching out to kids. You are changing eternity for them and that's one investment that will never fail.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Taking Adventure Play to a Whole New Level

Our Adventure Play program has been retooled and upgraded to an exciting new opportunity. AP is designed to provide an alternative environment for elementary kids who have already attended the 9:30 service and who are staying while their parents serve at 11:00AM. Our new focus will be on Positive Coaching in athletic skills, personal character, fitness, and coordination. Our coaching team will consist of Anthony Box, Chuck Bolles, and Bill Oakley, all experienced coaches with a passion for making a difference in the lives of kids.

Kids will be encouraged to improve their personal skills through exercise, practice, and teamwork in a variety of sports. Since sports are a great metaphor for life we will use the opportunity to build character and self esteem in a fun environment of competition and challenge.

If you know kids who are into sports, encourage them to go to AP after attending the 9:30 Pier classes. They'll have a blast!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Review

BayKids Rock! You guys are the best and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve with you. Here are a few props:

1. Volunteer staffing was great- lots of help and everybody was so unselfish and flexible.

2. We had almost 20 new kids on Sunday! That's a whole new class in 1 weekend!

3. Good feedback from people who escorted new guests to their classrooms- that really made the new environments comfortable for the parents.

4. One new kid said to his mom as she was picking him up- "Mom, can we come here every day?" That makes me want to scream!!
5. We doubled our sno-cone team! The kids consider it an honor to get to do sno-cones. I want more volunteers like that!!
6. We put a DVD player at the info kiosk to show new people what happens in class.
7. And here's the best of all, even though it isn't directly related to kids, 7 first-time guests jumped off the path to hell and joined the family of God!!!!
This thing works, people! What a way to celebrate our 3rd birthday! Go God.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We're Printing More Money!

No, the economy in BayKids is not in a recession but we are printing more money! Starting this weekend we are giving DOUBLE BAYBUCKS for the month of September! That means if a kid brings a friend to church, they will get 10 BayBucks for that guest, plus all the other ways to earn BayBucks! In anticipation of increased spending, the presses are cranking out new money!

These next few weeks will be exciting as we see lots of new kids coming into our environments and we're ready to plug them in to all the cool stuff at CATB. We've even doubled our Sno Cone Team and we'll be ready to serve everybody this month. When you see some of our kids volunteering, be sure to tell them how cool it is for them to serve!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Kids Network

Have you ever wished there was a Christian version of Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel so your kids could watch some safe programming that would teach them good stuff? Coming this Fall- Jelly Telly! Its being produced by Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales. It's in the developmental stages right now and may have some promise. Time will tell if it develops into something big but I like the concept.

The video intro is almost 30 mins. long but if you want to stay up on what's hot with kids, you should check this out. It's worth the time to watch it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Persistent Kids

One of my goals in Children's Ministry is to make a kid's church experience so much fun that they can't wait to get there. CATB volunteers are making that a reality.

This past weekend a dad told me this story. They had gone to Disney on Saturday, come home late and tired, and decided to let the kids sleep in on Sunday morning. But to his surprise, he was awakened by his 3 year old daughter. She had gotten up, dressed herself, and came into her parents bedroom to announce, "Come on, Daddy, we've got to go to church!"

You guys rock! You have made the God experience so compelling that our kids don't want to miss it. When a kid grows up associating God with good things, they are much more likely to follow Christ as they grow to know Him better.

Ya'll did it again! Way to go, Team!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Crying Kids

Of course we hate to see kids crying at church but last week I got very excited when it happened. One of our volunteer families was helping with the gym set-up and had their young boy with them. It was time to leave and he pitched a fit. He didn't want to go. Mom tried to console him but he kept saying, "But I want to go to church, Mommy."

When I heard that I did a Tiger Woods fist pump. That's the kind of environment I want to create, where kids fuss about having to leave church. Sure beats my experience as a child, huh?

I guess I say it too much but you guys that serve with BayKids fulfill our mission statement every weekend by being a Difference Maker. You have made God and church a vital part of the life of a boy who is only 3 years old. How cool is that?! Imagine what kind of Christ follower he might turn out to be! I love working with you guys. Let's nail it again this weekend.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Big Move

Wow, do we have a terrific team or what? People have been working overtime this week to make our gym move a reality and its going to be killer. BayKids rooms will be bigger and better. And the gym- well, you'll have to see it to believe it.

Then, if that weren't enough, our church people have donated over 300 loaded backpacks to a local church we helped start and we're going over there on Saturday to help hand them out to neighborhood kids. Several of us took the backpacks over today and that church is really excited.

I love being a part of what God is doing at CATB. If you want to help this weekend, email me at and we'll get you plugged in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's Infectious

I love the simplicity of a child's faith. Last weekend we had a big baptism party at the beach and 5 of our kids got baptized. This past week, one of those kids had a friend over to her house and she was taking about her baptism the week before.

Her friend asked her what baptism was all about. She explained it and how it was a next step in her relationship with God. Bottom line- a few minutes later, after hearing the story of salvation, the girl prayed to make Jesus the leader of her life! Woot!!

That's why I do this stuff and I hope its why you volunteer. How cool is it to see a kid experience the excitement of leading a friend to Christ at such an early age.

I know sometimes volunteering with kids can get a little tedious. Sometimes they have a bad day too and we get the frustration of trying to deal with their issues but stories like this should make it all worthwhile. Helping kids learn to cope with life's challenges and make God a part of their experience is an awesome privilege. Let's get ready to rumble and see what God has in store for us as we move to the gym and see our church grow to the next level.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kids Are Wet Cement

Whether you are a parent or a volunteer, you are shaping the lives of kids in very permanent ways. Remember carving your initials in wet cement when you were a kid? When they poured a new sidewalk piece at my parent's house in Pennsylvania, we got our kids out there and they each put a hand print and their name on one section of the walkway. Many years later when Mom and Dad moved to Florida, those prints were still there.

Every day and every weekend you are imprinting kids with information about God. On Monday one of our leaders met a family that had visited our church on Easter weekend. They have a 3 year old little girl and they were raving about the fact that their daughter can still remember her memory verse from that Easter Sunday- and its July! I'm telling you, your influence is powerful, probably more than you realize.

This coming weekend you will again make an impression on some kid that will last for years. And statistics show that a kid's world view is pretty well set by the time they reach 12 years of age. Let's make a mark for God while the cement is still wet. Thanks for being such a Difference Maker!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dunkin' Kids

This Sunday we will be having a Beach Party & Baptism at Honeymoon Island and we'll have several kids from our BayKids classes getting dunked! For me there is nothing cooler than seeing a kid get baptized- I take that back- seeing parents baptize their own kid- now that is as good as it gets!

At CATB we ask kids to wait until they are 8 years old before being baptized. I know, its an arbitrary number and some kids make a commitment to Christ at an earlier age- save me the theological lectures. But we believe baptism is important enough to be remembered as the next step of a life-altering commitment and we want kids to be old enough to remember it for the rest of their lives. We also want this to be a conscious choice they have made, not something they do because they are pushed into it. That's why we interview them to be sure they understand what they are doing and why.

This may sound even more heretical but we don't even push kids into making a commitment to Christ. We work very hard at creating an environment where they will hear the message of Christ loud and clear but we want to LEAD them to Christ, not manipulate them into a childish decision that has no roots. In a room full of kids I could get them all to recite a prayer and then declare them all Christ followers but I won't do that. We want to provide the environment where that choice will be a logical and natural result of their understanding of God and His love for them.

So if you are a volunteer with Baykids, every one of you should share in the celebration of each kid that is baptized this weekend. At every age level, you have contributed to the environment that produced that commitment, regardless what age that decision was made. I can't wait until our church is old enough to have kids who started in the nursery and worked their way through preschool and elementary classes and then come to Christ and get baptized. That will be way cool! I hope all of you will come out and see first hand what a huge difference you are making every weekend. And let's celebrate with these kids and let them know what a big deal it is to become a Christ follower!

Check out a Beach Baptism at CATB!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where are you leading them?

Are you good at following directions or do you, like I, think you know how to get where you are going? I have a pretty good internal compass so I usually don't get lost. If I've been somewhere before, I can get back there. But going to someplace new is a little different. Now, thanks to Garmen, I can get wherever I need to go.

If you are a parent or volunteer, you function sort of like a Garmen to the kids in your life. You are giving them directions for living in situations where they have never been. Every day for them is a new learning experience and your influence, by example and instruction, will guide them. You can shape the direction of their development by your actions and your words.

I'll bet if you think back over your childhood you can recall someone who was a guiding influence in your life, someone who pointed you in a certain direction that had long-term implications. Now you have become that person. You are the one giving direction, even when you aren't aware that you are. You are an influencer. You are a world changer. You are a guiding force in the lives of kids- so let's do good job of it.

Now here's the question- if kids follow your directions for life, where will they end up?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's working!

This morning I was talking with a dad whose kids had recently invited some neighborhood friends to come to church with them. He told me how excited these new kids were about coming back to church because they had so much fun. They had even taken some of their BayBucks to school with them and were showing them off to other kids.

I share that story to encourage all of you who volunteer with BayKids. It's working! All your time and energy is making a difference in the lives of these kids. Imagine how cool it must be for them to grow up with such a positive experience from inviting somebody to come to church. When they become adults it will be the most natural thing in the world for them to invite people and become a difference maker.

You guys are literally changing the world by shaping the future for these kids and pointing them in the right direction. Every weekend you are adding another stone to the foundation of their lives and solidifying the basis of their world view. Make it count. Give them all you've got and let's watch as God changes our community one kid at a time!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

If you've ever watched the TV show, you know there are some pretty smart 5th graders out there. AND, you may also have concluded that you are not as smart as you thought you were! I'll confess that I don't always know the facts as well as those kids do but it does challenge me to step it up when it comes to ministry to kids.

I want children's ministry to push kids to think about how to connect God into their lives. I want to challenge them to think big about God and to see Him as a normal part of life, a personal friend without whom they could not function. A lot of the facts they memorize in school (remember all the dates you had to learn?!) are necessary for a well-rounded education but they don't necessarily translate into life application. Similarly, knowing a ton of Bible trivia might help a kid in a quiz format but unless he or she KNOWS God personally, they will find those facts to be of little help when they need spiritual direction. I want them to know God, not just know about Him.

It's the difference between knowing about prayer and knowing how to pray. I know about flying but you wouldn't want me in the pilot's seat because I don't know how to fly a plane. Whether you are a parent or a BayKids volunteer, let's be sure we know what we're teaching because we practice it ourselves and let's push kids to experience God at their level and learn to know Him for themselves.

Friday, June 6, 2008

BackPack Bonanza

You can be a “Difference Maker” for some urban kids in Tampa by providing them with a backpack full of school supplies through one of our church plants.

* Get their education off to a good start next year.

* Help a local church share God’s love.

Purchase these items and bring the loaded backpack to CATB any weekend in July.

1. Backpack (none with wheels)

2. 2 pkgs. of notebook paper (wide ruled)

3. 2 boxes of tissues

4. 2 8 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer

5. 2 pkgs. of standard number 2 pencils

6. 1 box of crayon (24 count) or colored pencils

7. 1canister of wet wipes

1 rain poncho (optional)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Do Kids Really Matter?

I often tell our volunteers that they are "Difference Makers." It is actually a slogan for CATB. The reason I say it so much is because it is true, but also because it hits one of the basic drives we all have- the need to feel significant. Volunteers need to feel that their contribution is valuable. And all of us need to know that we matter to God.

In 1943 psychologist Abraham Maslow formulated a heirarchy of basic human needs. In his book, "Effective Parenting in a Defective World," Chip Ingram reminds us that "the most important thing you can do to help your children reach their potential is to meet their two primary emotional needs: significance and security. In other words, your kids need to know that they matter, and they need to know that they're safe."

As we work with kids, whether as parents or CATB volunteers, we can make a difference in their development by treating them with the significance they deserve. Why is that so important? Because, as Maslow theorized, until that need is met, a person will struggle to find that significance and they might find it in places that are not helpful to them. I know a lot of adults who are still looking for that answer and their behaviors reflect that unmet need.

So you can really make a difference by treating a child as if they mattered, to God and to you. Call them by name. Get down at eye level and talk with them. Listen to what they say and give them personal attention. You'll be amazed at how kids gravitate to you when you act like they are important. And here's another reason- if they don't think they matter to you, what are the chances that they will believe they matter to a God they can't even see?!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Summer is Here!

"School's Out!" My memories of those words are nothing but positive. Can you remember the way you felt as those last few days dragged on? But that last day of school was so exciting, to think that I could play all day, not worry about homework, and just do whatever I wanted- way cool. Your kids are probably getting excited about that day and some have even finished already.

Anyway, I want to encourage you to be very supportive of your kids as they close out the year. Of course they didn't get it right every time and they had some misses along the way but let's focus on the positive growth that they achieved. Praise them for their effort and the things they have learned. Don't drill them for what they didn't do; that will only set up unreachable expectations that discourage them from trying harder. Find some good and let them know how proud you are of them as your child. Rewarding achievement is far more motivational than punishing failure.

One of our most exciting family traditions was a scavenger hunt I would set up on the last day of school. When the kids came home there would be a series of clues that they would have to follow to find their reward for the school year. It was a blast and they loved finally discovering the last clue that led to the treasure- something like a box full of tokens to Chucky Cheese or something like that.

These are prime opportunities to create lifetime memories. Seize the moment and make achievement a big deal. Your kids will never forget it!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Parenting Is a Stretch

Hey Parents,
Hope you don't think I've got all the answers to your parenting struggles cause I don't! Back before I had kids of my own I used to tell parents how they should be doing it. Not any more! So I suspect that like me you have concluded that parenting just might be the hardest job you will ever have. If you don't feel that way its because your kids are too young to have pushed you over the edge yet!

Anyway, rather than come across as some infallible know-it-all, I hope we can focus on some practical ideas with a Biblical foundation so all of us can get a little better at this before our kids turn into Bart or Cartman. And maybe we can take a serious look at the subject while making it a little more fun.

With summer rapidly approaching you must be thinking about what to do with the kids when school gets out. It won't be long before you hear the inevitable complaint, "I'm bored!" So what are your plans, if you have any? Summer camps are usually good but that only covers one or two weeks. Talk back and maybe we can share a few ideas and learn from each other. It's not an issue for me cause my kids are all grown but if I get any helpful suggestions I'll be happy to pass them on (for a small fee). Just kidding.

CATB will be hosting Summer Bible Clubs in July and you can be a host or just join a group as one way of plugging your kids into something constructive. Those will target neighborhood elementary kids and give them a taste of our weekend programming along with some messy games. Watch for more info on that soon. If you'd like to host one in your home, let me know.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sno Cones are back and that means summer is near. Sno Cones are fun but they are also strategic. We do it for two reasons: 1. Kids love it and we want their church experience to be fun. 2. It encourages families to stick around instead of jumping in the car and missing all the hang-time with other kids and families. Building relationships is a key part of our church family experience.

Yesterday I got a new flavor for sno cones this weekend- Root Beer! First reaction- not sure how visually appealing a brown sno cone would be! But heard it is very popular so we'll see. That got me to thinking about some bizarre possible colors and flavors for sno cones:
1. Black- licorice
2. Brown- chocolate
3. Green- jalapeno
4. Green- pistachio
5. Brown- barbecue
Got any other weird suggestions? Maybe we'll have Weird Sno Cone Weekend when school let's out!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Welcome BayKids Volunteers

You guys sure make church fun! I love getting to work with you and see the difference you make on the faces and in the hearts of our kids. As we get this thing rolling, I want to review some of our core operating principles or COP's, just in case you forgot (like I do too often these days) or didn't get it when you were enlisted to serve.

The first one is huge because it reflects our mission as a church, which happens to be,

To help people establish a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and equip them to become difference makers in the world.

Part of a growing relationship with Christ involves managing your own spiritual development. Unless that is happening, you can't make a difference to anybody else. It's like the preflight speech you get on the airplane- "In case of an emergency, please put on your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help anyone else." So, unless you are growing in your own journey with God, you will not be effective in ministry. That's why we require all BayKids volunteers to attend one of our weekend services in addition to the service in which they serve. I know most of you do that but if you need to adjust your schedule to make that happen, let us know.

In addition, make sure you are taking time every day to meet with God. It doesn't have to be a long, boring task; it can be and should be a relaxing time to reflect on God, what He is trying to do in your life, the challenges He is calling you to, and to express your heart to Him in prayer. I find early morning to be the most productive time for me, but if you're not a morning person, don't freak out. Just make it happen at a time every day that works for you. Then you'll find this journey to be a true relationship, not a religion and it will become a source of strength and growth. Few things will impact your ability to serve effectively more than a daily, growing relationship with Christ.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Here we go!

Leaving my world and entering the Bloggosphere! So as we launch this thing, let me give you some ideas about where we're going. My plan is for this to help us connect with stuff about helping kids chase God. Whether you are a volunteer or a parent or both, you know that interacting with kids is both fun and challenging. It's also a huge task and we want to do it with the best tools possible. So I'll be sharing lots of ideas, most of which will not be original, to better equip us to help kids get a good start in life.

I'll also keep you up to speed on what's coming at CATB BayKids. Our purpose there is to build a solid spiritual foundation so that when a kid gets to the age where he or she can consciously choose to follow Christ, they will naturally and easily make that choice. So the first few posts will probably deal with our beliefs about how kids understand God and what we can do to connect with them at their level of understanding. And we'll lay out the strategy for why we do things so you can see the big picture.

I also want this to be a vehicle for dialogue so feel free to chat back. I don't plan to do this every day; maybe once a week or so. It's not about me but about kids so you probably won't get a lot of silly details about my personal life, unless it helps illustrate a point.

So if you find this helpful, pass the word to your friends and tell them to sign up, or better yet, invite them to volunteer with you and let's take a run at this together.