Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Ministry of Bowling

Children's Ministry is all about relationships- connecting kids to kids, kids to leaders, and kids to Christ. Everything else we do, from environment design to curriculum choices is all about facilitating relationships that ultimately lead to Christ.
Yesterday's bowling party was just that, a time to build relationships in a fun environment that will create lasting memories- memories of happy times with other kids who are following Christ. Not a very spiritual environment if you're a Pharisee, but I can tell you that parents and kids connected with each other at a deeper level than they normally do when passing in the crowd on a weekend.

I got a kick out of watching some little guys try bowling for the first time. You could see the excitement on their faces. And to rephrase a verse, if I smiled at their happiness- and they aren't even my kids- I know God was laughing at their joy as He watched His kids playing and having fun.

And that makes the point of my ministry mantra- Kids learn best when they're having fun!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It Really Works!

If you've ever driven in a whiteout or a torrential rain storm, you know how stressful it can be to be unable to see where you are going. Under normal circumstances you can see the lane markers and know you are making progress toward your destination. That makes the journey much more fulfilling but not knowing where you are or if you are making any headway is very frustrating.

Anybody that has worked with children for any length of time knows that there are times when you wonder if what you are doing is getting through. Even as parent, you will have those moments when you ask yourself, "Are we even speaking the same language?"

Rather than waste the money on an ENT to see if the audio channels are actually open, just know that kids catch a whole lot more of what you do and say than you think. The absorption factor is very subtle and so you may rarely get any tangible feedback that validates what you are doing. Since life change is a key measurable for ministry effectiveness, any observable feedback is very helpful and reassuring.

This past weekend a parent who has been attending CATB for 2 months commented that her 2 year old son prayed at dinner this past week, apparently something new for that family. She was sending kudos to the teachers in his class for the evident impact they were having on her boy. I'm not sure she actually told the teachers in person but I wanted to make sure they knew that they were making a difference.

And that's what it's all about. Who knows- discovering the value of prayer at 2 may shape the spiritual path of that young boy for life. That's life change and that's why we do this. So even if you don't see the evidence of your influence as much as you would like, keep moving forward, knowing that God is honoring your faithfulness. And I'd bet that some day you will be amazed at what God was able to do through you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Books For Your Family

I am not in the habit of promoting products or websites but this has value for families in lots of ways. For very little money, you can publish a full-color book using your own pictures and text. The possibilities are unlimited- make a personalized book about your kid or your family, a vacation journal, a holiday compilation, a very special gift for another family member, etc. Let your imagination run with ways to make your family or someone special with their own book.

I got one for my birthday, a story written by my daughter about an adventure with my grandkids, filled with pictures they had drawn. It was amazing!

My grandkids love to have books read to them. Imagine how much fun it would be for your child to have their very own book about them or your family. Check it out at Blurb.