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Pro-Active Parenting

Recently my wife Karry and I taught a three-week course based on parenting children three years old through fifth grade. The overarching theme of this course was to help parents understand what they need to do in order to help their child be successful.

During this parenting course, one of the key points my wife and I talked about was the importance of pro-active parenting when teaching your child. Pro-active teaching is when you teach your child what is right and wrong before your child is placed in a position where he or she has to make a decision regarding which direction to go next.

Another key point we talked about is the importance of being re-active when teaching your child. Re-active teaching happens when your child does something that God does not want him or her to do and you use that opportunity as a teachable moment to help him or her see why it was wrong and how to handle the situation better in the future.

These areas of teaching are vital in raising successful children, yet they are two areas that we as parents often fail in. That is why we are so passionate about the streaming website called LeadershipForKids.tv. For less than the price of one cup of coffee per month, you as a parent can have a team of professionals ready to help at a moments notice.

Here is how you as a parent can utilize LeadershipForKids.tv to assist you as you use pro-active and re-active teaching with your child:

·      For pro-active teaching, LeadershipForKids.tv will instill morals and values into your child’s moral warehouse, their heart. Then, when a situation arises where a particular moral or value is needed, it will be available and ready to be acted upon.

·      For re-active teaching, LeadershipForKids.tv will come alongside you to help give appropriate insight during those critical teachable moments after your child has done an action of disobedience. In a moments notice, you can find a video on your smart device that deals with the exact issue your child is struggling with. You will be able to use this video as backup to enhance your own teaching, or, if you don’t know what to say, the video can speak for you.

As parents, we have been given an incredible task: to raise our child to know and love Christ and to live a life that is pleasing to Him. By taking advantage of LeadershipForKids.tv, you can be assured that you will have the tools necessary to make the task of raising your child a successful one.

Children’s Ministry Parenting Uncategorized

A Christmas Memory That Will Last A Lifetime

As a child I remember the “Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar” my family used, where little chocolates and scripture readings sat waiting for me behind little windows that were opened each day. It’s funny how this simple cardboard stand made the joyful anticipation of Christmas even greater while helping me to learn even more about the Christmas story.

Because this is such a fond memory of mine we wanted to recreate that joyful feeling with your children this holiday season too!

On LeadershipForKids.tv we’ve come up with our own wonderful “Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar” that has both a daily reading plan as well as a five-seven minute video your children will enjoy.

Over the next 24 days here is what your children will learn:

Week One: The Light Is Promised
The promise of the Christ and the promises of God.

Week Two:  The Light Is Revealed
God revealing His plan to bring Jesus into the world.

Week Three: The Light Shines
Jesus’ birth is announced to the world.

Week Four: The Light Must Be Shared
The light of Jesus is to be shared around the world.

As a parent, I encourage you to have a special treat that follows the completion of each Scripture reading and video. Nothing big, just something as simple as a piece of chocolate. It will add to the excitement, and it will make a memory and tradition your child will cherish forever.

Not experiencing the amazing benefits of LeadershipForKids.tv yet? No problem! Sign up today for free and utilize it to make this special lifetime memory with your children. Simply go to Leadershipforkids.tv and begin this special Christmas journey today! You can also download the LeadershipForKids.tv App off iTunes or Google Play for easy access on your phone or tablet.

Children’s Ministry Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

Slaves to a Schedule

slaves to a schedule

“You must worship only the Lord your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.” 2 Kings 17:39 (NLT)

The Exodus is such an inspiring story that it is known across the entire world, even by those who have no connection to the Christian or Jewish faith. What is interesting, is that many of the details of the story could apply to us in our modern culture. Here is one such example. The Israelites were enslaved by the nation of Egypt. They were laborers, and their sweat and toil was nearly unbearable. Moses came and requested that they would be able to leave and worship God, but Pharaoh responded by impossibly increasing their work schedule and cutting their supplies. It is possible that Pharaoh believed the Israelites would abandon their thoughts of worship with the crushing demands of a new schedule.

This should sound familiar. Think about it. We too are weighed down with impossible schedules and dwindling supplies of time and energy. When we attempt to set aside time for worship, the world looks at us as time wasters, telling us that we are missing out on the important things of life. In response, we become our own taskmasters. We fill our schedules and calendars with every extracurricular activity, every club, every sport, every trip, every concert, every outing. However, we must realize that this type of schedule does not make us free. It makes us slaves. Many believers have allowed their families to become slaves to a schedule that keeps them from making God and His Church the center of their lives as it should be.

One thing that you need to do is set yourself free from the tyrannical forces that want you to give up the ONE day that God asks you to worship each week. Walk away from anyone or anything that pushes you to constantly give up worshiping God at church. If you do, God will walk with you, and I promise that walking with God and worshiping Him will lead you to a new kind of life – just like it did for the people of Israel.

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 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 FC Kids Parenting Uncategorized

Watch Adventure Week on FellowshipLive.com!

Adventure Islands

Ever wondered how Fellowship Church does VBS? Check out this year’s Adventure Week online at FellowshipLive.com at 8:15pm every night this week!

One of our biggest FCKids outreach events at Fellowship Church is our annual Adventure Week! Five nights of activities, Bible lessons, games, snacks, crafts and a theatrical performance. This year’s production is called Adventure Islands. You’ll meet Jack and Jackie, the main characters who have to choose to do what is right, as well as Dip and Dot, who tend to follow the notorious pirate, Blacktooth’s, bad example. Each night this week we will teach the kids leadership lessons on Kindness, Generosity, Forgiveness, Service and Following God!

Go to FellowshipLive.com at 8:15pm and watch the performance on Adventure Islands!

Parents – your kids can earn the Adventure Islands leadership badge on ElevateAtHome.com!

Children’s Ministry Parenting Uncategorized

Is Church Attendance Important?

This is the house where I grew up in a little town called Anaconda, Montana, population 4000. (Our school mascot was a Copperhead – yes, it’s true, we were the Anaconda Copperheads. Can you guess what our gym was named? The “Snake Pit” of course!)

There is nothing extraordinary about this house except for the fact that it was two houses down from this building – Grace Baptist Church.

This is the church I grew up in. Nothing kept my family from being there every time the doors were open; not rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor venomous snakes roaming the streets.

Anyway, on to the point of this post:
At Grace Baptist Church, children were given Sunday School Pins every year if they attended a certain number of Sundays during that year.
Now you may be asking, what was the magical number of Sundays you had to attend? The answer is 50. Yes, I said that right – if you came 50 out of 52 Sundays, you would be the proud owner of that years Sunday School Pin. (Now there were ways to get around this. For example, if you were sick you could be excused if you brought a note from your Doctor. Or, if you were out of town, you could be given attendance credit if you brought back with you a bulletin from the church you attended while you were away. Other than that, your bum had to be in a seat on Sunday morning.)

Knowing this seemingly insane number of Sunday’s needed to get a pin, how many Sunday School Pins do you think my sister and I received from Grace Baptist Church while growing up?

No, not zero.

We received one every year we were eligible…18 in all.

Now, I wish I could say I can take credit for that, but I can’t. In fact there were many times I wasn’t that thrilled about going to church. Sometimes I was even dragged (usually on Sunday nights when I had to miss the end of Walt Disney’s Magical World of Color). But my parents, Larry and Sue, knew the value of regular church attendance and they made the decision that they would orbit our family’s life around the church. Because of this I was able to learn about compassion, integrity, courage, faithfulness, obedience, generosity and many other Biblical leadership qualities. Qualities that helped me avoid a lot of mistakes in life. For that, all I can say, is thank you mom and dad!

But what I learned at Grace Baptist Church is only part of the great gift my parents gave to me. The other part of the gift is something that both my sister Becky and I have strived to give our own children…a love for the local church. This is a great gift because it is through the local church that our children’s lives will be transformed and through it they will in turn be given the opportunity to transform the lives of others.

Now, don’t get me wrong, orbiting your life around the local church is not a magical formula for raising your children with success. But it’s close! And here’s the cool part. Orbiting your family’s life around the local church hardly costs anything – just one hour a week.

Oh, before I go. I was looking through some old pictures awhile back and I stumbled across this one below.

It’s a picture of my dad (on the left) when he was 18 years old. He is standing on the corner of the church he grew up in…Grace Baptist Church in Anaconda, Montana (you can see that very corner in the foreground of the picture above). And here’s the part I love..if you look really close you can see that he is proudly wearing something on his lapel. Guess what it is? 18 Sunday School Pins.

Thats the legacy that was passed down to me. What legacy regarding church are you giving your child? Remember, it’s never too late to start.