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Children’s Ministry Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

Keeping Your Commitments

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (NLT)

Read 1 Samuel 14.

Making commitments is easy. However, being loyal and keeping those commitments can be much harder than we anticipated. Maybe you get tired, run out of time, or something else comes along that sounds more enjoyable. The important thing to remember during these times is that if we don’t honor our commitments, we will never experience some of the great things God has planned for us. In the story, Jonathan’s armor bear could have refused to go with Jonathan. Two men against an entire Philistine outpost? They wouldn’t even have the element of surprise. The plan sounded foolish and there was no guarantee of success. But the armor bearer had made a commitment to Jonathan and he chose to be loyal. As a result Jonathan and his armor bearer set something in motion that would become an incredible victory of the Israelites over the Philistines.
What victories does God have planned for you? Whether it’s your job, school, family, friendships, or your church, you’ll miss out on those victories if you don’t choose loyalty. A commitment that isn’t honored is useless.
Read Proverbs 17:17. Take a few moments to think about the people and things in your life that you have made commitments to. Spend time in prayer that God will help you to remain loyal by honoring those commitments.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Leadership Uncategorized

Exercise Your Faith

1 Corinthians 9:25 “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” (NLT)

Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Running is simple. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You can run barefoot, or in high-tech footgear. You can run indoors or in the elements. You can run on a path or across the wilderness. The size of your stride may be short or long. The tempo of your steps may be quick or relaxed. The speed of your progress may be slow and steady, or an all out sprint. These are just variables in technique. The basic discipline of running is just putting one foot in front of the other, over and over. Our spiritual life is not that different. The basic disciplines are reading the Bible daily, praying, worshiping together as a church, and telling others about Jesus. When we stop doing that, we have stopped running the race and started observing the sport. Don’t be an observer, be a runner! Putting one foot in front of the other is not always easy. It is not supposed to be easy. Some days your faith may be so strong that it is like an all out sprint and you feel like you are flying high on spiritual adrenaline. But other days will feel like the end of a hundred mile run in the desert where your body is exhausted and your feet are swollen and blistered. But no matter how it feels, runners run. And no matter how we feel, as disciples, we must discipline ourselves to read, pray, and worship regularly. Keep putting one foot in front of the other toward the prize of heaven.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

Small Steps Of Obedience

Hebrews 13:6 “So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?'” (NLT)

Read Judges 6:12-7:22

Gideon started with no confidence. (6:15) But step after step, he obeyed God. He started small by obeying God and destroying his father’s pagan altars. (6:27) He obeyed God and gathered an army to fight the Midianites. (6:34) He obeyed God by sending away troops as God directed him. (7:3-7) And he obeyed when God told him to sneak down to the enemy camp. (7:9-14) As he obeyed, God was with him and Gideon gained the confidence to say “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!” (7:15) The “6:15 Gideon” could never have said that!
Where are you when it comes to confidence? Are you “6:15 Gideon,” “7:15 Gideon,” or someone in between? What steps of obedience do you need to take to move from verse 6:15 to verse 7:15 in your life? We don’t need confidence in our selves. We need confidence in God. And we gain that confidence by each step of obedience we take. Whether small or large, taking steps of obedience to God will lead us to greater and greater things. Gideon’s small steps of obedience led eventually to a great victory.
What small step of obedience do you need to take today? Whatever it is, take it! If you do, you can have confidence that you will have great adventures of faith when you walk in obedience to God.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Children’s Ministry Leadership Parenting Uncategorized Volunteers

Weekly Devotionals To Develop Your Leadership Muscle – Lead By Example

On the curriculum team that I oversee are many talented writers. Each week they write a Devotional around a particular lesson or story in the Bible. At the beginning of every week I will be sharing one of these devotionals with you. I hope they help you and give you the ability to develop your Spiritual Leadership Muscle!

Titus 2: 7 “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” (NLT)

Read Acts 16:1-5, 1 Timothy 1:18, and 2 Timothy 2:2.

Take a few moments to think about some of your best teachers you had growing up. What made them the best? Odds are, they were passionate about the subject matter and they did everything possible to help you learn all you could.
Paul was that kind of teacher. Paul had made it his life’s work to spread the Good News of Jesus everywhere he went. He knew that there was no greater calling and no better way to spend his time. However, Paul also knew that he couldn’t do it alone. He enlisted the help of a young man named Timothy. But Paul didn’t just give Timothy some instructions and then send him on his way. No, Paul spent time showing Timothy how to live the life of a missionary. He taught Timothy how to handle persecution and rejection. He warned Timothy about the dangers he would face. And above all Paul encouraged Timothy. He encouraged Timothy not to give up and to train others as well. Timothy knew what it took to be a good leader because he had a good leader in Paul.

Read Titus 2:7. Are you being a good example to the people who look to you? Does everything you do reflect your seriousness of teaching others about Jesus? Spend time this week thinking about the people you lead or those who look to you as an example. Pray that God will help you to honor that leadership he has given you as you set an example through your words and your actions.

Children’s Ministry Current Affairs FC Kids Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

They're not "JUST kids", they're future leaders

Recently, I had the opportunity to present a message at Fellowship Church entitled They’re Not “Just Kids”. In it I presented the fact that our children are our nation’s and world’s future leaders, and the qualities and values we invest in them now will determine their success in life, and the success of our future.

This message is one that EVERY PERSON who has a child in their life needs to hear! For those of you who work with children within a ministry, or for a living, I hope this encourages you and reminds you again of the importance of what you do. For everyone else, I promise you, it will forever change how you look at children!

Children’s Ministry Leadership Uncategorized

Teaching Leadership in Uganda

In the midst of a war torn nation, children at the Christian Life Ministries Seeta orphanage are learning about the love of God, and learning how to be the leaders God designed them to be!

Many of these Ugandan children have been former child soldiers. While the orphanage is investing in them through food and clothes, shelter and schooling, they need something more — they need character training to develop them into leaders. As the country’s economy slows and HIV rates rise, the need for future leaders is great. According to UNICEF statistics, the percentage of children who attend primary school drops from an average of 82% of the population to 17% attendance in secondary school. Christian Life Ministries (CLM) wants to change that statistic.

Earlier this summer, CLM contacted us at Fellowship Church about the E Leadership Program and how they could use it in Uganda. We sent several lessons with them — Bible lessons on perseverance and encouragement – for the students to watch and experience during their chapel.

Over 800 students heard the stories and all of them received an award poster to keep track of the lessons they learned. This is just the first step of many to invest in the lives of these children. We hope that by partnering with CLM we will help these future leaders rise up and make a difference in their village, in their country, and in their world!

Students experienced the Bible Lessons during chapel.

The teachers worked with them to go through the study questions and cut out the Leadership Badges.

They gave the children their award posters. Several put them up in their homes so their ‘house mom’ could remind them of the lessons and help them continue to be leaders!


Children’s Ministry Elevate Leadership Uncategorized

Elevate Webinar: The Next Generation in Your Church

This month Dr. Claude Thomas and C3Global, a church leadership network, hosted an Elevate webinar on “How to Elevate the Next Generation in Your Church.” During this webinar I gave an overview of how we create the curriculum, how you can use the curriculum, and some of the new things we started this year! Children’s pastors Jason Tilley and Joanna Barnes also joined us to share tips and perspectives on using Elevate in FCKids at Fellowship Church.
If you have any questions after watching this video, please contact the Elevate team at [email protected] or call 855-MY-ELEVATE.

Note: The 20% discount mentioned in this webinar is no longer active. For more information on C3Global, or their curriculum discount, please contact [email protected]

Children’s Ministry Leadership Uncategorized

Sharing The Good News

“We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NLT)

Many kinds of gifts are given to be shared. In middle school I had a friend whose parents gave him a football that he almost always carried with him. At any moment when we had time, we would start tossing it around. If other kids were around, a game might even start up. All because my friend had a football with him most of the time. A football is not very fun until you start to pass it around. But the more people you share it with, the bigger, better, and more fun the game can get.

That is what it is like with the Gospel. The Good News is not a keepsake, like a signed football we should keep in a display case in our rooms. It is meant to be taken out in the world. Like my friend, carrying his football around with him, we can take out the Gospel at any moment and pass it back and forth with a friend. We might fumble it. Our friends might not catch it. But we are meant to take it with us. You don’t have to pull out your Bible and read verses to people at coffee breaks. But you might talk about what you learned at church this week, or about something you are praying for, or ask your friend what they believe and then share your beliefs. If you have something you love, you can’t help showing it to, and sharing it with, your friends. So think about the Good News of Jesus in that way. Get a tiny football, or something else to carry with you to remind you to share the Good News wherever, whenever, and to whoever you can. It is always a good time to pass the Good News.

Note: This is an adaptation from a teacher devotional from the Elevate Kids series “<a title="Good News Kids Series" href="http://http://www.elevatepastors slimming pills for”>Good News“. 

Leadership Uncategorized

Don't be a distraction.

Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given – and you will receive even more.” Mark 4:24b (NLT)

All of us have to deal with distractions. Whether we are trying to focus on a task or even just watching a movie, someone doing something distracting is an annoyance. Imagine a movie goers frustration when someone in the theater begins talking on their mobile phone during the movie. Imagine the frustration of an office manager when productivity slips due to the distraction of construction noise outside the building. Imagine your own frustration when family members or neighbors are having a loud argument while you are trying to talk on the phone.

Now think about how God must feel when we distract others from listening to Him. God’s message is far more important then any movie blockbuster. The work we are called to do for Him has the potential to change the world. So why would we allow ourselves to be a distraction to others when they have the opportunity to hear from God at church? The answer is we shouldn’t!

Try eliminating these things when you are at church: Texting or emailing during the service, slipping in late, slipping out early, talking to the person next to you, or doing anything other than paying attention to what is going on. All of these have the potential to disrupt others.

Remember: distractions are a pain to everyone, but they are never more painful than when they result in negative eternal consequences.

Note: This is my adaptation of a teacher devotional from the Elevate Kids series “Good News“.