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mjohnson

Children’s Ministry Current Affairs Uncategorized

Teaching Creationism To Kids

Recently, a couple of questions have come up from Elevate users asking about which lessons teach the Creation story and which can be used to teach Creationism. In Elevate, we believe in teaching kid’s God’s Word as early as possible, and because of this, we have several lessons that teach the Creation story, the story of Noah, and an entire series on those Bible stories for younger age groups. These Bible Lessons don’t include specific apologetics when it comes to Creation, dinosaurs, or the worldwide flood because we are providing you as the teacher with the flexibility and time to discuss the lesson as your ministry decides.

For those of you looking for lessons specifically about Creation and Noah’s Flood, here are the ones from Elevate, based on age group:

Creation Lessons for ages 3-6 – The Roanoke Jones Jr. series is eight lessons on the overview and story of Creation. It is probably our most comprehensive lesson plan for Genesis 1. Another lesson on Creation is Lesson 1 from the series Upsidedown Town Jr.

Noah’s Ark Lessons for ages 3-6 – The entire series of Port of Call Jr. is the story of Noah spanning all the way from the building of the ark to the rainbow. Other lessons where the Bible Stories are about Noah can be found in Upsidedown Town Jr. Lessons 5 and 6.

Creation Lessons for ages 6-12 – There are three lessons on Creation for this age group. Allaso Ranch Lesson 3, Adventures in Science Lesson 1, and Zooplosion Lesson 1.

Noah’s Ark Lessons for ages 6-12 – There are two lessons from the story of Noah for this age group. The Great Skybridge Showdown Lesson 2 and Zooplosion Lesson 8.

If your ministry already has these series, you can create something similar to what we do at Fellowship Church – we put together a few weeks we call ‘the Best Of Elevate’, and pick different series. Or if you need to purchase these series, you can find them all on ElevateAtChurch.com.

For those of you interested in more information on Creationism vs. Evolution – there is a place called the Institute for Creation Research that has a local center in the Dallas area. They have several resources on their website: http://www.icr.org/.

Children’s Ministry Parenting Uncategorized

It's Time For A Summer Adventure!

Summer is here, and you know what that means! Kids are out of school and ready to have some summer fun. This summer at FC, we’ve created a way for children to take their favorite Elevate characters with them and learn about the Bible wherever they go!

Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? You print him off and take photos with him on your vacation. Kids love to take their picture with Flat Stanley, so we thought, why not make a Flat Wonder and Palette as well as a Flat Tex and Cookie for kids to take their photos with this summer?

Children ages 3-6 will embark on a Summer Adventure with Flat Wonder and Palette. Parents can go online at LeadershipForKids.tv/WonderPalette to download the .pdf.

Children ages 6-14 will saddle up for a Summer Round Up with Flat Tex and Cookie. Parents can go online at LeadershipForKids.tv/TexCookie to download the .pdf.

Sound like something your child would like? Here are the steps to create your own Flat Wonder and Palette or Flat Tex and Cookie:

1. Print the .pdf from LeadershipForKids.tv/WonderPalette or LeadershipForKids.tv/TexCookie

2.  Follow the instructions provided to create your very own Flat Wonder and Palette or Flat Tex and Cookie

3. Take photos of yourself or your child with Flat Wonder and Palette or Flat Tex and Cookie while on vacation, or hanging around the house

4. Post the pictures with the hashtag #FlatWonderPalette or #FlatTexCookie to have your photo featured in the Photo Gallery!

Kids leadership is important. And that’s why this summer, as a part of Wonder and Palette’s Summer Adventure and Tex and Cookie’s Summer Round Up, there is a 12 week Summer Bible Plan for ages 3-6 and ages 6-14. Have your child watch one or more of the listed videos per week whether at home, or traveling across the globe. Each weekly video has been specially chosen for your child with a Bible verse for every day, as well as Elevate music videos that your child will love. Your family can also download the free LeadershipForKids.tv App on their iPhone or Android device to access Wonder and Palette’s Bible Plan as well as Tex and Cookie’s Bible Plan under the ‘More’ section on your mobile device.

These Summer Bible Videos, Flat Wonder and Palette, and Flat Tex and Cookie will be able to travel with you and your children wherever you are headed this summer. Whether your adventures take you to Paris, San Francisco, China, or the living room, be creative, have fun, and make this summer one your child won’t soon forget!

Note: If you haven’t yet signed up for LeadershipForKids.tv, you can sign up for 30 days free.

Uncategorized Volunteers

3 Ways To Adapt Children’s Curriculum For Any Mission Trip

Mission Trip Curriculum For Any Destination

If you have ever volunteered with your friends or youth group outside the walls of your church, you know that what you plan to do, and what you actually do, are two totally different things.

What if there was a way to plan for the best, and the worst, possible scenario when on a missions trip? There is – it’s a list of three things to keep in mind when planning your mission trip curriculum. No matter what curriculum you use (the below examples are from the Elevate Children’s Curriculum), you can use this checklist so that your only concern is ‘how do we boil water for brushing our teeth?’, and not ‘what are we going to do with the kids’?

Three ways to adapt for 1) Culture, 2) Logistics, and 3) Volunteers:

1.What do I need to adapt for the culture?

Family Structure – Do the kids have parents or not? For an orphanage in Haiti the application when talking about authority figures needs to change from ‘parents’, to ‘teachers’ or ‘adults in the house’.

Possessions – Do the kids have access to toys, games, or electronics? In Uganda, where the children have no access to video games, we took out the application of “your little brother spilled orange juice on your video game, what should you do?” Also, sharing may take on a whole new meaning depending on what they actually have to share.

Acceptable Practices – Talk to your point person on location before you plan the lessons and their application. Ask what the main cultural difference is between kids there and kids where you are from. There are some things kids in a first-world, western culture are ‘allowed’ to do that around the world is unacceptable, usually related to authority and the other gender.

Games – Many games we think of as universal (tag, red light/green light, etc) may not be universal after all. When preparing your games and activities, think of the simplest way to play the game that still gets the point across. Also, plan on taking a longer time to explain the game if it’s being translated. On a trip to take Elevate to Malawi, it helped to sit down with the translator at dinner before the lesson the next day, and talk through how to play the game.

2.What do I need to adapt for logistics?

Electricity/No Electricity – Plan for no electricity at all and be creative when it comes to sound effects or capturing the children’s imagination. For a video based curriculum like Elevate, that may mean printing still shots of the animation as posters and using the “Perform It Live” version of the Bible Lesson or recruiting the children to act out the Bible Lesson. If you are only using the music, plan on bringing a portable CD player and lots of extra batteries.

Printing – Paper activities are great…if you have a printer that isn’t 45 minutes away. Figure out your ‘must print’ list and print it ahead of time if it’s possible to take it with you. Or plan activities with no print outs. For Elevate, this means going through all the activities and adapting the drawing activities (maybe you can draw in the dirt or with chalk on the sidewalk) and for the activities with picture printables, print the pictures big enough to use with the whole group and laminate them.

Supplies – First pick all the activities that don’t require supplies – these are the best activities to use. Then, find the activities that require easily portable supplies – it’s amazing how many games you can play with an inflatable soccer ball, hand pump (hand pump needles must be on your check-in luggage, not carry on!), bean bags, bandannas, or rope. For a list of Elevate activities by series that are the most adaptable for a mission trip, go here.

Video/Sound – Would a portable DVD player or laptop with speakers be helpful? Elevate is a video-based curriculum, and yet, if there is not enough space, we want to adapt either the group or the schedule so everyone can watch. This may mean a rotating schedule of small groups inside, or bringing big enough speakers and an outside projector for a large group setting.

Weather – You may be at a place with electricity but the power may go out. Or you may be outside and it rains. Always plan what to do when you have inclement weather.

3.What do I need to adapt for volunteers?

Preparation Time – Cut down on preparation time. Volunteers may only have a couple of days to review the activity and may need to be ready to go the moment their feet hit the ground. Get all your prep work done ahead of time or pick activities that can happen in the spur of the moment.

Training and Flexibility – Have at least an hour or two training time to teach the volunteers how to adapt the specific activities they are given and/or give them a ‘go to’ list of activities you can do without supplies or planning best slimming aids. Have fun, and even play the games to teach them! Train everyone, so that in case you get sick or have to change locations, they can still run the entire curriculum.

Hopefully this checklist will help as you plan your curriculum, whether this is your first time on a mission trip, or you go every year. And know, this is just a checklist to do before the trip, things will happen on your mission trip that you have no control over and that you couldn’t expect. Remember to find your peace in God. Even if you lose everything you brought on the trip, a high five and a smile teaches the lesson of God’s love in any language.

How have you adapted curriculum for your mission trip? We’d love to hear your stories and ideas in the comments below.

Uncategorized Volunteers

Going Fishing: Recruiting Volunteers Part 3

Over the last few weeks I’ve been talking about recruiting volunteers. I’ve talked about not neglecting all types of potential volunteers. I’ve talked about why, biblically, we are to serve others and involve others in serving as an administer even more than as a minister. And now, for the practical side of recruiting volunteers. Fishing.

There are three types of fishing and each type snags a different type of volunteer.

#1. Go fishing with a Net

It’s basically a large call out to the people of your church. It could be an announcement in the bulletin, it could be a flyer you hand out at the door, or a booth in the lobby. This is getting the word out for vacation bible school, or summer camp, or a build project. Make sure they have a way to respond or a call to action.

Example: After one of our campaigns to increase awareness we handed out volunteering cards to everyone in the service. We had talked about it, been praying for them, and we got back 150 cards from people interested in volunteering. So that gave us a hot list to start calling to plug people into volunteering.

#2. Go fishing with a Pole

You are going after a specific type of fish or volunteer. To get this specific type of fish, you need to go to the ‘pool’ where these fish are swimming. If you need a builder, go to the men’s ministry to a bunch of guys to help build. If you need someone on stage in a kind of ‘ra-ra’ get kids excited way, go to the drama team. You need to be strategic when recruiting volunteers for a specific role.  We even use our database and print out a list of people based on their hobbies or jobs to call about specific opportunities in our ministry.

You can also create a pool to fish from! Example: We have a class called the Newcomers Class for people interested in joining our church. That is a pool we want to fish from because those people are obviously interested in finding out more about the church, so they may be interested in serving once they hear about the different ministries. Another thing we do is called our Volunteer Tour. We take people behind the scenes to see the different areas within the church in action and to answer the question, ‘what type of ministry do I want to serve in?’ Then we take the list and find out exactly where they want to serve.

#3. Go fishing with a Spear

This is when you make a deliberate effort to go after a specific person. Maybe you’ve noticed a man or a woman or teenager that you want to get serving. They may be one of those that you have been praying for for a long time. Or you may not even know them and may have watched them and noticed them. Usually these types of people do not respond to the net or pole, they only respond to direct conversation with you when you share the vision of your ministry. And they can turn out to be the best volunteers.

So there you have it. The who, the why and the how of recruiting volunteers. Every principle I’ve talked about is a principle we use at Fellowship Church to involve everyone in loving God and loving others. You can’t be a week at Fellowship without hearing about volunteering and you can’t be here a month without expecting to be asked. Again, volunteering is not about you, or even the kids, it’s about involving everyone in God’s kingdom so they can grow into fully mature followers of Christ. So be bold, and as we say at Fellowship Church, “Go for the ask!”

You can download our recruiting campaigns for free on ElevateAtChurch.com.

Uncategorized Volunteers

The Most Important Part: Recruiting Volunteers Part 2

Last week I said “God has called me to not only involve those who want to volunteer, but to involve those who don’t want to volunteer as well. And you know what? God has given you that calling too!” Now I know that that is a bold statement, so before you hyperventilate, let me explain why I believe the Bible tells us so.

What’s Most Important?

The Bible speaks of a time when a Pharisee came to Jesus to ask Him which commandment of the Law was most important (Matthew 22:36-39 NIV). Now personally, I say that’s a great question (even if the motives of this Pharisee weren’t the purest). After all, my inquiring mind tells me that if there is one thing that God wants me to be doing above all else, I want to know what it is so I can make sure that I am doing it! Well, believe it or not, Jesus gave the Pharisee an answer. He told him that there were not one, but two commands. The first and greatest was to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. The second one, which was like it, was to love your neighbor as yourself.

There you have it. The Top Two. The Twin Towers of power. The Two Beacons of light that will guide us in our deepening walk with God. Jesus said, and I paraphrase, “So you want to be obedient? OK, then love God in your actions, in your words, in your thoughts and in your worship; and love others as much as you love yourself.”

Simple right?

Yeah…not so much. Especially that “love your neighbor as yourself” statement. That’s a tough command for all of us, and it’s one we usually try to sweep under the rug and casually act like it’s not there. The problem, however, is that we can’t do that, because without obeying this second command we will not grow spiritually.

Grow in Love

To show you what I mean let’s turn to the book of Ephesians, chapter four (Ephesians 4:14-16 NIV). Here Paul says that all baby believers should desire to grow and become mature under the head of Christ. In real life babies are cute and cuddly…for a while. Soon however we expect those babies to grow up, assume responsibility for themselves and become fully functioning members of the family. This is true for us spiritually as well. Paul says we must grow and mature as a member of God’s family (His body) so that we can assume responsibility for ourselves and become functioning members of that family.

To make this happen Paul says that we must grow and build ourselves up in love. Love for who? Why the very ones Jesus commanded us to love of course!  Love for God and love and others!

Interesting huh? If we merge the divinely inspired words of Paul with the words of Jesus we discover that in order to mature, each of us must grow and build ourselves up in our love for God, AND each of us must grow and build ourselves up in our love for others.

But we’re still not done yet, we have one more question. How do we grow and build ourselves up in this love? Paul gives us the answer. We grow and build ourselves up in love as we WORK. And that my friends is the hard part. We must work at loving God (through Bible study, prayer, obedience, church attendance, etc) and we must work at loving others (through acts of kindness and service). If we do this God promises us that we will grow and become a mature part of the body of Christ that He will use to do His work.

OK, so you might be asking “what does this have to do with recruiting volunteers?”. My answer…Everything! If we can fully understand the process involved in becoming a mature believer it will completely change the way we recruit volunteers. Let me explain. Our job as Children’s Leaders is two fold. To bring children into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and to bring to maturity the leaders who serve alongside us in completing this task. In God’s eyes, one is not more important than the other…they are equal. Someday I believe we will all stand before God and be accountable for the children He placed in our care. But I also believe we will be held accountable for the adults He put in our church that He wanted us to help grow and become mature by getting them involved in serving others. What a privilege it is to be a children’s leader! God has chosen you to have the greatest opportunity to help people mature in their walk because you have been afforded the place with the greatest need for people to be serving in the church, the ministry to children! We need to keep this in mind when recruiting volunteers. There is no other area in the church that has as many service opportunities (opportunities that will cause a person to grow and mature) as what the Preschool and Children’s ministries have to offer. We should rejoice in the fact that God has given us this privilege of being so involved in the maturation of others (and the rewards in Heaven for doing so)!

So here it is in a nutshell. If I truly believe that people only grow and mature when they are loving God and loving others, then it is my responsibility to help them to accomplish both. My job is not to do the work of the ministry all by myself, my job is to give the ministry over to God’s people so they can become mature as they serve. In a very real sense I am more of an administer than I am a minister. My job is to organize and provide opportunities where people can can work at loving God and work at loving others! This is a great task!

volunteer to grow
How to Ask

When I ask a volunteer to serve, I shouldn’t go to them with hat in hand asking them to do me a favor by serving in the Children’s Ministry. Instead I should go to them boldly telling them that I want to do them a favor by getting them involved. If I have this attitude, I will now see recruiting volunteers in a whole new light. When I ask someone to volunteer, I will not feel guilty about putting them out, or about bothering them. Instead I will see their life as my responsibility, given to me by God, to grow and mature through service. I will say “I love you enough to keep asking you over and over and over because I know that if you don’t serve, you won’t grow. And I love you too much to let that happen.”

I hope you can now see that if a volunteer is to ever reach their full potential, they need to lead a balanced spiritual life. If a person’s only focus in life is to love God by feeding on His Word, then that person will become spiritually obese. However, if a person only focuses on serving others, that person will burn out due to a lack of spiritual nutrition. Everyone in the church needs to be doing both; loving God AND loving others. When they do, the Bible promises us that they will become a mature part of the body of Christ, ready to do even more of His work. When that happens, we will have all the volunteers we will need.

So challenge yourself this week to personally ask at least two people to come volunteer in your ministry. And remember – it’s not, “Do me a favor,” it’s “Let me do you a favor – come volunteer”!

Next week I’ll be talking about the top three ways to recruit volunteers. And it’s all about fishing.

Uncategorized Volunteers

The Big Box of Potential: Recruiting Volunteers Part 1

When I think about recruiting volunteers, I think of a big yellow box with the word “Potential” emblazoned across the top of it (Why yellow? Because when it comes to recruiting I try to envision as many happy things as I can!) When I open this cheerfully colored box I see inside it every person who is part of my church. As I look closely I also see that every one of these people fall into one of four distinct groups.

In The Big Box

  • The first group of people are wearing t-shirts and hats that say “I LOVE KIDS” . These awesome folks are jumping up and down with their hands raised yelling “Pick Me! Pick Me!” I like this group because they often come with their own “object lesson tool kits” and sometimes even provide their own snacks.

  • The second group of people are those who are looking up at me and casually wondering why I am looking at them. They’re somewhat interested in volunteering but definitely not as fanatical as the first group.

  • The third group consists of people who are totally clueless that the lid is even open and that I am standing there watching them. For these people, children’s ministry is not even a blip on the radar.

  • The fourth and final group are those who, the moment I took the lid off, scampered off to the dark corners of the box trying to hide. They are the ones who, for some reason, see me as a threat to their normal everyday life of bliss and happiness.

As I look at these four groups of people my natural inclination is to primarily focus on the first group. Why? Because they make my recruiting task easy and even fun, two words not usually associated with volunteer recruitment.

As for the other three groups? Well I try to get them involved. I either call them (but only when I know they won’t be home so I can just leave a message) or I type up a sincere, heartfelt letter and click the Send button. Beyond that I don’t give them a lot of effort because, quite frankly, when I reach out to them I almost always hear the word NO more than I hear the word YES! And, since I don’t like the indigestion the word NO gives me, I tend to push these three groups out of my consciousness.

Recruiting Volunteers, What Now?

But, to be honest, if I do this it presents a couple of big problems for me. The first is that there just isn’t enough of those “pick me, pick me,” people to cover all the areas I need. The second is that as a church leader (and if you work with kids you are a church leader), God has called me to not only involve those who want to volunteer, but to involve those who don’t want to volunteer as well. And you know what? God has given you that calling too! So this week, when you look for people to ask to serve, don’t just look for those ‘pick me types’, go for the ask when it comes to the other types of people as well – even those who don’t even know you have a kid’s ministry. Biblically, we are commanded not to neglect those other three groups of people.

Now I know that is a bold statement, so before you hyperventilate, in my next blog I will explain what the Bible says specifically about volunteer recruiting.

FC Kids Parenting Uncategorized

Does Your Child Dance To Music Videos?

One of the greatest things about Elevate’s Radio E music videos is getting to see your child sing and dance along. I enjoy watching my two girls dance along to the music videos while simultaneously learning leadership principles. They learn leadership principles such as being “All In” for God, or saying “I’m Sorry” to those who wrong them while having fun singing and dancing along to music videos!

All Radio E music videos can be viewed on LeadershipForKids.tv for your children to sing and dance to at home, in the car, and everywhere you go! When you sign up for LeadershipForKids.tv, you will have access to over 50 unique music videos that will help your child learn valuable leadership traits and enjoy singing and dancing!

Through LeadershipForKids.tv, you can access the Elevate Music Videos your child gets to watch and participate in every weekend, at home! Some of my favorite Radio E music videos are “Big, Big Love”, “Hosanna”, “John 3:16”, and “<a title="God Is Bigger Music Video" href="https://www This Site.leadershipforkids.tv/watch/kids/god-is-bigger-music-video.html” target=”_blank”>God Is Bigger”.

“It’s so easy to access the song videos on Leadershipforkids.tv! My kids will watch all of them if I let them!” – Holly Bennett

“My daughter Landon loves to go to LeadershipForKids.tv to sing and dance with the music videos at home. She likes to be able to show her mom and sisters all the fun songs at home that she gets to sing on the weekends at church.” – Jordan Day

“Can we watch that video again?!” – Lynley (age 5)

Children’s Ministry Uncategorized

VBS Is Almost Here, But What About The Weekend?

Vacation Bible School

With all your VBS planning, don’t forget to plan the weekend!

Summer is right around the corner and with summer comes Vacation Bible School! Do you already have a plan for what theme or series you are doing this summer? Whether you do or don’t, Elevate can help. There are 5 years worth of Elevate Kids and 3 years worth of Elevate Jr. curriculum to choose from that can help enhance your weekend experiences surrounding and supporting your VBS material that you utilize during the week. And then you can decorate once for the whole summer!

Below are a couple examples of VBS curriculum and their suggested Elevate series by theme, in alphabetical order. Special thanks to Kidzmatter Magazines VBS 2014 Showcase in their January/February issue that we used to create the chart below.

VBS Curriculum Elevate Series
AgencyD3: Decide, Discover, Defend Spy Chase or Roanoke Jones Ace Detective
Arrow Island: Choosing God’s Way Treasure Quest or Shipwrecked
Basic Elements Adventures in Science
Blast Off Starlight Station
Faith Expedition Journey Below The Earth, On The Trail, The Great Race
Game Plan Super Sports Spectacular or Goodman’s Global Games
Gangway to Galilee Shipwrecked, Port of Call, To The Depths
God in Action Heroes of Mega City or Epic
Gotta Move Center Stage
High Power Sports Super Sports Spectacular or Goodman’s Global Games
International Spy Academy Spy Chase
Jungle Safari Treasure Quest
Living Inside Out City Streets or UpsideDown Town
Praise Break Center Stage
SHINE Center Stage or Entourage
SonTreasure Island Shipwrecked or Treasure Quest
Under The Stars Allaso Ranch
Weird Animals Zooplosion or To The Depths
Wilderness Escape On The Trail
Workshop of Wonders The Great Skybridge ShowdownRobot Repair Shop, or Make Things Industries

Are you planning your own VBS? or using another VBS not mentioned above? Let us know or use some of the series below:

Are you doing a circus-themed VBS? Check out Under The Big Top

Are you doing a medieval times-themed VBS? Check out Kingdom Tales

Are you doing an undersea-themed VBS? Check out To The Depths

Are you doing a round up or rodeo western-themed VBS? Check out On The Trail!

You can base your VBS around an Elevate series or you can purchase an Elevate series to go along with the VBS you have already selected, whatever you choose, we would love to help you Elevate your VBS!

 

Also, check out our Pinterest boards to see great decorating ideas from these series and more!

Children’s Ministry Parenting Uncategorized

What Can Kids Learn From Biblical Judges?

Biblical Judges

Gideon, Samuel, and Samson are familiar names to those of us who grew up going to church as kids, but what about Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Eli or Abimelech? Who were they and why do they matter today? Why does it matter what a couple of people over 3,000 years ago did? More importantly, why is it relevant today for kids to learn from the Biblical judges?

Looking back through the Old Testament, the time of the judges was a turbulent time – a time when “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25b NLT). Sound similar to today’s world? Just looking at the news each night makes us reflect back and think, maybe this is relevant because similar things are going on in the world around me. For our Goodman’s Global Games series we take some Bible Lessons from these judges and make sure they are age appropriate so kids can learn that doing things God’s way is better than doing things the way we think is right.

What can children learn from the judges in 1-2 Samuel and Judges? They learn leadership traits such as:

  • How to live life God’s way
  • How to be a leader through actions instead of words
  • How to help others
  • How to be brave when they are scared
  • How to obey God
  • How to choose good friends

The judges of the Bible were leaders who lived a life that is an example to us. Your children can watch these Bible Lesson videos on LeadershipForKids.org or churches can use these lessons from Elevate’s Goodman’s Global Games series. There are no wasted lessons taught in the Bible. Many valuable leadership traits can be gained from each person in the Bible, including from each of the judges.

Current Affairs Parenting Uncategorized

Moms' Night Out – The Movie

Last night my wife, two daughters, and parents sat down and watched a pre-screening of the movie Moms’ Night Out. I’m not sure what is happening in Hollywood as of late, but three great Christian family films have hit the theaters recently. Heaven is for Real, God’s Not Dead, and coming Mother’s Day – Moms’ Night Out. To me the most exciting part is that, like Christian music, there are finally some high quality, faith-based films entering into the mainstream genre. And, with the success of Heaven is for Real debuting as the top new release this past weekend and number two movie overall, I hope that the trend will continue.

Here are my thoughts on Moms’ Night Out:

When I looked at the cast of the movie and saw that my favorite hobbit, Sean Astin, was going to be in it, I was immediately impressed. Add to this Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond), Sarah Drew (Gray’s Anatomy), and Trace Adkins (Country Music star) and this had the making of a top-notch film. I have to admit however, that when I sat down to watch, I still had a lingering doubt…is this just going to be a Hallmark movie gone to the big screen? Is there a way that someone is still going to mess this up?

What I discovered from start to finish was a well thought through plot and a hilarious story line. The verbal and slapstick humor caused all of us in the room to laugh out loud more than most comedy movies we’ve seen (we just watched the Secret Life of Walter Mitty a couple of nights earlier, and although we did laugh quite a bit throughout, it wasn’t near as much as we did during Moms’ Night Out.) Just for the fun factor alone this movie will be well worth the price of a movie ticket, both for you and all the members of your family. However the greater thing about the movie is that there is a deeper purpose to it than just making you laugh. The message is a heartwarming story of a discovery that we all should put aside our expectations of what we think a successful life looks like and just live the life that God has given to us, to the best of our ability, and look for the joy that can be found within it’s design.

In Moms’ Night Out the main character, Sarah Drew, feels like a failure, she has everything that she’s ever wanted in life and yet she still feels like she is not as happy as she thought she would be, or should be – her life is crazy. But, by the end of the movie, and a night of hilarious antics, she realizes that although her life will never be perfect, if she can keep the perspective that what she is doing is exactly what God wants her to be doing, she will find joy in whatever situation she find herself in.  That sounds like a message we all could learn from.

Moms' night out movie trailer

Take Home and Application:

1- Husbands take your wife, and your mom, to go see Moms’ Night Out, and then take a moment to affirm in them that they are very, very important.

2- Parents, take your kids to this movie and afterwards talk to them about the fact that our lives on this earth will never be perfect. Don’t set expectations on how you think your life should be, take your life as it is and do your very best to enjoy the many wonderful moments that come along with it. Teach your kids that if we only look at the negative things of life and the failures that come with them, our Christian life will fizzle. But, if we instead thank God for the life that we have, looking for and treasuring the positive things in it, our Christian life will be a sure success.

I highly recommend Moms’ Night Out. Go out and support it and let Hollywood know we want more of the same…the cool thing is, if that happens, it will only get better and better as it goes.