Children’s Ministry leaders and parents, more than anyone else, understand vision. You must have vision when you are working with kids because although you teach kids to love God and love others, you won’t always see immediate results or changes in their lives. As parents and as Children’s Ministry leaders, you need to have the vision that what you are doing now will make an impact in a child’s future. You have to trust that, over time, everything you pour into the life of a child will come out in a positive way.
I saw an example of the legacy left in the life of a child this summer at FC Kids Camp. This year at Allaso Ranch, more than 50 students and adults who attended Kids Camp as a child over the past 21 years, returned to volunteer, as seen in the video above. Why? So they could share their passion for loving God and loving others with children 2nd through 5th grade, so they could hand the legacy off to the next generation. When these students and adults were young, we looked at them and asked ‘are they really getting it?’ and now we can see that they did. These volunteers, because they have lived it, understand why we do what we do in the lives of children and they want to do their part in helping continue the legacy to make a difference in the life of a child.
Because I’ve been doing Children’s Ministry at the same church for 21 years, I was personally able to see these children grow up in the church and come back to serve at camp. However, I know this group of 50 people is only a small portion of those we poured our time and knowledge into. I know there are hundreds or even thousands of kids that have moved elsewhere, who I won’t ever see the fruit of our labor in their lives. So although it’s about leaving a legacy, even more, it’s about having the vision to understand that you are making a difference in the future of these kids, even when you don’t see the fruit now. You need to persevere with the great calling you have been given as a parent and as a Children’s Ministry leader because what you do in the life of a child does matter.
You may not always see the fruit of your labor on earth, but you will when you get to heaven. When you stay committed to God and to church you will be able to more successfully stay focused on the vision God has given you. When you invest your time and knowledge into the life of a child, that child will grow up and have the opportunity to impact others. And before you know it, the legacy of loving God and loving others that you left with one child is being passed down for generations to impact hundreds and potentially thousands of people. Stay committed to the vision and know that you are making a difference.
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:
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.
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!
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.
Poopie diapers or citrus? Why yes, smell matters!
Still think environment doesn’t matter? Well it does. It’s science!
A recent study, “The Smell of Virtue,” published in Psychological Science, concluded that a clean, citrusy smell encouraged people to be more trustworthy, more inclined to volunteer, and more likely to donate money to a charitable cause. Seriously!
Go into your children’s areas, walk around your church, and give it a good sniff. Is there anything you could do to help the people you minister to be more trustworthy and charitable?
Hey everyone, here we are in Sunny San Diego for C3 Kids West! If you
can’t be here (sorry) then be sure to follow along on Twitter under
the tag #c3kidsWC. All our “twitterers” will give you minute by minute
If you couldn’t make C3 Kids Dallas either, make plans now to attend
C3 Kids East Coast in October. Dates and location will be announced
It’s all about volunteers…
Development on Elevate Year 4 is well under way. The first series has been approved and is being written right now!
Above is the second rendition (but still not the final) of the Year 4 map. By looking at the above map can you guess what the 7 series are? Take a look at the last map I posted (the first rendition) because 2 of the themes were guessed correctly…hmmm, I wonder which ones? Don't forget that the prize will go to whoever can guess the 7 themes correctly first, so give it a guess!
Below are a few photos taken with our iPhones as Creative Pastors sets up the Elevate booth for CPC Nashville 2010. I’ll be at the booth some so if you're here, be sure to drop by and say hi.
They’re… just… kids.
To hear these words sends a streak down my spine. It’s normally used as an excuse for poor performance or low quality in ministry. When people are too tired, too overwhelmed, or… dare I say… too lazy to do something great for the next generation, they say, “They’re just kids, they won’t know the difference.” Where did this idea come from anyway? If you want to make any major change in the world, you have to start with the children. They are the adults of the future. They are the difference makers, the risk takers, the dreamers who have yet to be. Why in the world would we sell short our children, the group of people most open to hearing ideas of change? In churches all over the country kids are relegated to the “basement” of ministry. This un-supported, under-funded, just-keep-them-quiet mentality could very well be the ruin of the church as we know it. If the children of the church grow up and believe that it is irrelevant, boring, and lacking in quality, then the first chance they get, they are out of here. If that happens, the church will die.
I know we cannot all do the same level of work, but we can all have the same spirit behind the work. Let us all embrace the next generation and give our best to them with the resources God has given us.