Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Family Support

Once again this post is a response to a blog post I read by a Kidmin blogger named     .  My response is written in red below.

While on my last Infuse retreat with Bro. Jim, a very interesting discussion broke out while my fellow infusers were working on a project. We were talking about the church’s responsibility to support, equip and inspire parents. I strongly believe that to a certain degree, the church should be involved in all of these things. Most parents need inspiration. They need how important it is that they take the lead and what will happen if they don’t. Parents also need to be equipped. Either through classes, small groups or even resources, we can equip them to fulfill the role God has given them to do. Last of all, we need to support our parents. They’re going to need help along the way and we’re here to help, right?
Every time I lead a child dedication class, the last thing I say is, “Parents, you need to know that we’re here for you. When you need help, we want to be there and get you through whatever you are facing.” However, during my discussion this weekend I realized something kind of important. Although we say we’re here to help and support parents, I don’t feel that we do very much of it. As I look back over the months, it seems like it’s a rarity that our children’s ministry is helping/supporting parents. It’s not that we don’t do it because we don’t want to or we’re avoiding something, but I think that very few parents are coming to us for help. I think that MANY families need help, whether the issue is great or small, but they’re just not asking for it. We can’t help what we don’t know about.
I wonder what it would look like if we started seeking out opportunities to support parents. What would it look like if we went beyond the causal, “How are you doing?” and asked more probing questions? What would it look like if all our kidmin small group leaders and volunteers regularly asked the parents they had anything they could pray with them about or just asking, “How’s everything at home? I noticed (insert child’s name) has been mentioning (possible issue) during prayer requests recently. Is there someway that we can help?” Even if parents don’t take advantage of the offer, would they feel supported and that the church is a place they can turn to for help?
I’m just curious and speaking from my own perspective/experiences. How is your ministry helping parents? Do you agree? Are there ways we could support parents more by being more proactive in our offers to help?

I agree we need to our parents invloved.  I think as with most parts of my ministry there is a balance to be achieved. Could we do more family centered activities, yes.  Do we eliminate all age based activities in lieu of family ministry, no.  We need to remember that not all children come from homes with parents capable or even willing to disciple their children.  We also need to keep in mind that age based ministry programs, which are done properly, can train up a child very effectively.  As we look back to Jewish tradition to the time before and around Christ’s birth the establishment of formal education was key to a child’s success.  The parents were seen as partners with the formal educators.  I think that is the way we should do it today.  The church and the parent form a mutually beneficial relationship that grows together in the overall goal of establishing a disciple of Christ.

  How do we accomplish that?  We offer ministry programs that teach the Bible not just morality tales.  We teach in a manner that produces spiritual fruit.  We give the parents an opportunity to participate through learning guides.   We offer opportunities to worship together.  We offer opportunities to serve together in the local community.  We don’t treat our precious few hours on campus as baby sitting time we let the parents know that these times are set aside for discipleship.   We teach that as Christian families we are different from any other mainstream families.  We should not be afraid to hold each other accountable.  Our primary goal, even as families, is to reach the world for Christ no matter the cost.

Friday, January 7, 2011

SNOW! SNOW! The sky is falling!!!

So I went to Wally World today for our normal grocery run and wow what a mess.  The forecast for the greater Birmingham area is calling for the chance of snow and that white stuff makes people around here act down right silly.  I guess I could throw out the normal cliche of jokes about milk sandwiches and such but really why do we get so worked up?  Is it that its just something new, out of the ordinary?  Are people really afraid of getting "snowed in"  for some huge amount of time?  The most massive snow storm in recorded history of central Alabama hit in 1993 and it may be my revisionist history that recalls even with that historic event we were "snowed in" for no more than 2 days.  In fact I remember that weekend as being one of the most fun weekends of my senior year.  We were without electricity for four or five days but we made do and had a blast.  Who knows???

What I do know is that people will most likely get more worked up with anticipation about preparing for this "snow"event  than spend time getting ready to go and make disciples or just being discipled.  When is the last time you woke up with anticipation for worship and discipleship?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This a Blog post from a Kidmin named Sam Luce:

My Response is posted below in red:

I am reading this book called “The Grace Awakening” in the book Charles Swindoll talks about the importance of understanding grace and how much we misunderstand grace.
Swindoll quotes Martyn Lloyd-Jones as he talks about Romans 6: “Are we to continue in sin that grace may increase?”
If it is true that where sin abounded grace has much more abounded, well then, ‘shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound yet further?’
First of all let me make a comment, to me a very important and vital comment. The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel…..
….I would say to all preachers: If your preaching of salvation has not been misunderstood in that way, then you had better examine your sermons again, and you had better make sure that you really are preaching the salvation that is offered in the New Testament to the ungodly, to the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are enemies of God.
There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.
Grace is more than risky it’s dangerous. The power of the gospel is only fully realized when grace is understood and embraced.
In kids ministry we need to help kids understand grace to understand the power of the gospel in their lives. As I think about kids who walk away from their faith when they leave home I can’t help thinking that if kids understood grace in the context of the Gospel message it would change their perspective on who God is. A rule filled, Christian faith that has no room for grace also has no room for the gospel.
As I enter the new year I ask myself am I preaching my gospel to kids in a way that displays the power of the gospel in a way that leaves kids understanding the power of grace and forgiveness.
This year and every year following I want our kids to know one thing “Jesus is everything”
Narrowing down what you want you kids to learn acts as a filter and a compass. What is the one thing you want your kids to leave your ministry knowing

Well said.  Without Grace there is no hope. 

Ephesians 2:8-9  8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Through Grace comes our power as Christians.  Through Grace we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

In Kids Ministry I want our Kids to understand that they have access to Grace and therefore have access to the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish more than they could on their own.  I want them to comprehend that they can read the Bible and understand its teachings that they can serve and minister to the community that they can de disciples of Christ and also help disciple others.  On the flip side I want them to understand that Grace is a gift given that must be received.  If it’s not received then there are consequences to be paid.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Culture Wars

Kids are smarter than we often give them credit for. They have a way at looking at something that we try to throw past them without much thought or concern and they know the difference. Children’s ministry is more than just pushing play on some random DVD or using some canned generic material. Statistics show that we are raising a generation of Biblically illiterate children, children that aren’t challenged in the full Word of God. Teaching can be fun, entertaining and relevant, challenging at the same time. These concepts are not mutually exclusive.
The more challenging question may be, why we let modern culture dictate to the Church how, when and where we teach our children. No I don’t believe we need to go back to the King James Version of the Bible or just sing hymns I am talking about letting culture win during the week. For example I’ve heard on more than one occasion “Okay we are dropping mid-week services because our members are just to busy to attend”. In my not so expert opinion that is letting culture win. It’s an example of the tale wagging the dog. Let’s stand up! We are to be salt in light in an increasingly dark world. We are to be making disciples and that takes work and sacrifice. Yea you may miss that dance class or not be able to play on that softball team but you are being a disciple and that should be a priority in you life. Let’s rise up and be different!