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.
The motto for FC Kids is “Making Good Kids Into Great Leaders.” We achieve this several ways. One way we achieve this is through a salvation presentation.
We use a salvation presentation to show kids God’s love and help them become great leaders. How do we do it? It’s a three step presentation:
Present the Gospel in a corporate setting.
This includes presenting the Gospel in Children’s church, presenting the Gospel at camp, and presenting the Gospel during Adventure Week, which is similar to a VBS. In Children’s church, the Gospel is presented at least once every 8 – 12 weeks. We will spend the entire Children’s church service on the Gospel that weekend. At camp, the Gospel is presented during a nightly event where all of the campers are taught together. During Adventure Week, the kids have a Bible study time with their age group and the Gospel is presented there.
Present the Gospel in a small group setting.
Kids who are interested after hearing the Gospel in the large group setting attend a small group. This takes place during the small group time in Children’s church. Here they have more one on one interaction with a leader. At camp, kids hear the Gospel presentation while spending one on one time with their counselor. During Adventure Week, the same would happen with the kids and their leader.
Present the Gospel to the children and their parents as they attend Kid Faith.
Kid Faith is a class that all of our children must take with their parents before they can be baptized. The class gives parents an opportunity to hear the Gospel presentation with their child. This serves two purposes. The first is that sometimes parents taking the class with their child are not believers. Not only does the class give them an understanding of what their child is doing, it also gives them the information and opportunity to become a Christ follower themselves.
The second purpose of the class is that it gives parents a specific set of questions to ask their child to assist the parents in knowing if their child really understands the Gospel. This helps the family bond as they go through the process together and ensures that the child is making an informed decision. A parent is normally going to be best at gauging their own child’s level of understanding. The child is able to answer questions at the end of Kid Faith with a leader at Fellowship Church. This helps determine if they are ready for baptism. In addition, they are given the opportunity to accept Christ into their lives if they have not done so already.
How do you show kids God’s love and help them become great leaders by presenting the Gospel to them? I’d love to hear any ideas and suggestions you have!
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!
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.
To develop Elevate, Elevate Jr., and the new Elevate Family products there are three major departments:
Pre-production (brainstorming the series, writing the series)
Production (filming, art construction, animation)
Post production (editing, scoring, DVD production)
Each series begins here…the Deadline Meeting. It’s here that all the departments come together and work out all the kinks of doing what we do in just 8 weeks. Basically, in a nutshell, the agenda for the meeting is “who needs what and when?”
Currently we are in pre-production of “City Streets – The Musical”. Yes, I did say musical. This will be the most ambitious series yet. We’ve got some very talented High School kids who will be playing the leads…which makes for some interesting shoot times in the studio (all in the evening after sports and school). Should be lots of fun!
I realize it might not be what you expect someone to say.
But February is one of my favorite times of the year. When I was
growing up in rural Montana, February meant snow forts, snow ball
fights and the occasional hookie bobbin’. (If you know what hookie
bobbin’ is you’re probably from the north central U.S.) But as an
adult, February is one of my favorite times of the year for a different
reason. February means C3!
C3 is a great time to sit under some amazing teaching while
discovering how God can bring fresh creativity to your church. At C3
you will get the opportunity to connect with pastors from all over the
world and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. I cannot
tell you how I have been inspired and equipped over the years at this
conference. Ministry change AND life change happens at C3. I can
testify because I have been to every one!
I am especially looking forward to February 2010 because in 2010
we have partnered C3 with our C3 Kids Conference. Beginning February
16th-17th Fellowship church will be hosting children’s pastors and
volunteers from all over the world as they gather to learn how to reach
and grow the next generation. Then, all attendee’s of C3 Kids will have
the opportunity to stay for C3 (February 17th-19th) and hear from some
of the greatest leaders in ministry today. Ed Young, T.D. Jakes,
Jentezen Franklin and Ed Young Sr. are just a few of the powerful
speakers on the menu.
Okay, I’m promoting, and I’m not really trying to hide it. C3 is a
GREAT time! If there is any way you can be here, make it happen. I
promise, you will not regret a single minute of it. Check out the
details at c3conference.com.
Over the past couple of years I have struggled with the question, “Should I, or shouldn’t I, do a blog?” I mean, after all, what can I do with a blog? Well, after much deliberation I have decided that, with a blog, I can share my thoughts on life, on family, on church, on volunteers, on ministry, and on being a Children’s Pastor in today’s world. And because I love connecting with people and I get excited about the conversations we all could have, I have decided to give it a whirl.
At mikejohnsonblog.com, I am going to share the insights of 16 years as Children’s Pastor of Fellowship Church. We will get into the nitty gritty, the ups and downs, as well as the challenges and victories of ministry today.
Some of the things I will share are:
Tackling and overcoming the challenges of ministry that happen Monday-Friday.
Video of strategy meetings and conference planning sessions.
Behind the scenes looks at the production of our curriculum, Elevate/Elevate Jr./Elevate Family.
A peek backstage to look at the jam sessions of Cloud Nine, the band behind all the music for FCKids and Elevate.
First hand knowledge of new releases from FCKids.
Insights from the FCKids staff in all areas of children’s ministry: nursery, preschool, and elementary weekends, large events, discipleship, and curriculum development.
Thoughts on curriculum essentials.
Team building ideas.
Behind the scenes of our C3Kids conference planning.
In a nut shell, if it makes FCKids go, we’ll talk about it here. God is doing many exciting things in Children’s Ministry today. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and hearing your ideas!