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Posts Tagged ‘children’s ministry’

orange-horizon-peter-wilemanI’m all geeked up about going to Orange! It is one of the premier conferences for family ministry and just so happens to be in my back yard at Gwinnet Arena. There is already a buzz out there in twitterland and I know the tweets are going to blow up in the next few days.

What I’m looking forward to…

Connection: It will be awesome to connect with new, like-minded friends and making newer ones. I plan on being at this Tweet-up tomorrow night. Here I will connect face-to-face with this guy and this guy and many others. At Orange I also plan on reconnecting with this guy and this guy. Connection is good!

Team-building: We’ve got a great team from our church going (8 total). Orange will give me a chance to build on the relationships within our team and learn what drives their passion for family ministry.

Insight: With a plethora of workshops, I know we will come back with many new ideas and plans to implement at our church to make us more effective. Practical application will not be lacking!

Inspiration: The worship and general session speakers are going to be awesome! I’ve already posted that I’m a Phil Wickham fan here and here. I’m also a Francis Chan fan (evidenced here and here). I’m praying not only for our team, but that all family ministry leaders in attendance will be inspired to dream BIG!

Orange is in the Horizon… and I LIKE it! Hope to see you there!

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In my assignment at Lawrenceville Church of God, we’re taking a new approach (for us) to children and youth ministry. In the past, we’ve had a children’s pastor and youth pastor, and recently I’ve come on staff as the Family Ministries Pastor. In this new role I’m providing leadership for nursery, children, and youth ministries. During this transition I’m certain there will be challenges, but in my opinion this model provides many more benefits. Some of which are:

  • Strengthens partnership with families by providing comprehensive ministry with the entire family in mind.
  • Fortifies staff relationships and helps eliminate ‘independent contractor’ mentality.
  • Provides strategic alignment in philosophy of ministry and programing.
  • Allows development of a scope and sequence for ministry from birth to college.
  • Assists in creating a smooth transition from one ministry to the next for children and students.
  • Eliminates scheduling conflicts by operating off of one calendar.
  • Offers more opportunities for volunteers to find their sweet spot in the broader model.
  • Streamlines the volunteer process by having one application and process for all family ministry volunteers to go through.

I’m sure they’re are other benefits and would love to hear from my ministry pals out there as to what they are. I’d also like to hear some of the challenges we might face while transitioning to the family ministry model. Holler!

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This week we’re starting a new series at GenesisKIDS. During the 3 week series entitled Time Warp Trio, we’ll discover how God is able to work in our past, present, and future. I look forward to this series as we study the life of Saul/Paul. Talk about a man with a past… he certainly had one. But God showed up one day (in his present), and his future was drastically altered forever! This series should be fun. We’ll also be using clips from the same titled TV show.

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I just got back from the FOCUS Children’s Ministry Conference last night and man… it was a GREAT conference. Jim Wideman, Yancy, Jeff Smith, and Brian Hunter (my pastor) were our special guests. As a member of the leadership team, I had the privilege of hosting these folks and making sure they had what they needed.

Can I just say… all of these people are the real deal. Even with their extraordinary individual successes, they all had servant hearts and wanted to do whatever was needed to insure the conference was a win for everyone. Their talents blessed us all and they each did a superb job during our general sessions. Often, the words ‘creative’ and ‘difficult’ are synonymous when describing people, but not with these folks! It was a pleasure to have each of them.

Bro Jim, like me, recently transitioned in ministry and it was great to have a little one-on-one time with him. The man’s been in ministry for many years. But just ’cause you’ve been around for a while, and just because you’ve had some successes, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a person of character. Bro Jim’s been around for while, has had major successes, and beyond that he’s got deep, deep wisdom and integrity. It was a pleasure to hang with him for a bit. I’m grateful to have met him!

One of my favorite things of this weekend was watching Bro Jim as he watched his daughter, Yancy, lead worship. Yancy is an extremely talented musician, and she performs her music with excellence and creativity. I truly believe that God’s favor is with Yancy, and she certainly has a bright future! Evie and I had a blast with their family!

I love the FOCUS conference! One of my highest privileges in ministry has been to serve on the team that puts this thing together. I’ve developed life-long friendships through my work here and I know I’m the richer for it! I always leave feeling better than when I arrived, and I’m already looking forward to next year.

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The past two days, I was in Greenville, South Carolina, with the NCLA Leadership team. We had our final planning meeting before the FOCUS Children’s Ministry conference next month. This team has some great guys on it and it is an honor to serve with them! Everyone drove away with lengthy assignments and we hope to continue the expected excellence associated with the FOCUS conference. FOCUS is a place where I see old friends and always make new ones. I receive encouragement, ideas and inspiration, and I walk away challenged to do things better than I did the year before. Can’t wait to get there!

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Stamped

StampedJust finished up our look for the GenesisKIDS 4 week series starting on Easter. While Pastor Brian and the adults will be discussing Inked (Tiffany did an amazing job with the graphics), our series will be entitled Stamped.

We’ll discuss how we all can be marked by the love of God. I look forward to sharing with the kids how Jesus can change their lives with His love, forgiveness, humility, and perseverance. Oh, and we’ll have a HUGE egg hunt Easter morning as well. It’s going to be SWEET!

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The BIG Challenge

We recently closed out a teaching series at GenesisKIDS entitled the BIG Challenge. In the series we talked about getting into spiritual shape. We covered issues with the kids that would help them focus on becoming all that God wanted them to be.

When we closed the series, I remember praying for the kids during that last service. I prayed for them to respond to God’s leading so they could do great things for God. But then, in a moment I will not soon forget, the Lord checked me and I changed my prayer. I prayed that the kids would first allow His Spirit to change them. Then I repented for the times I prayed for God to do great things through me instead of in me. I asked for forgiveness for the times I wanted to change the world, but I neglected to allow His Spirit to change my heart.

It seems kids today are more socially aware then my generation. They are more concerned about issues affecting the world then my friends were in the 80’s, and that is without a doubt a good thing! However, in order to affect real, eternal change, it will take kids (and adults) whose concerns go beyond the social injustices of today. God needs people whose principle concern is how they respond to God’s leading their personal lives with that still, small voice. To put it more succinctly, the BIG challenge for us today is to focus on what God wants us to be, before we obsess over what He wants us to do.

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