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.