February 2010

22 Feb A Reason for Having Shifty Eyes!

Let's face it. It is all too easy to get discouraged as you wait to see with your physical eyes what you can easy see in your spirit. For many, the obstacle of blocked vision has caused children's ministry leaders and workers to throw up their hands in frustration and settle for the status quo.It donned upon me a couple weeks ago while thinking about Zacchaeus that he too had a sight problem. Too many things (people) were blocking his view. He couldn't see what he so desperately longed to see. Thankfully, he didn't give up. He was intelligent enough to recognize that while he couldn't change his obstacles (the people weren't going to shrink in size and there wasn't going to be some magical parting of the crowd so that he could have a clear view of the approaching Jesus), he could shift his position so that he could once again have a clear vision.To see this move of God in your ministry, it will be important to do some shifting. What you see in front of you (seemingly unwavering children and staff) is discouraging you. What you see week after week causes you to want to give up and just provide a good, safe, learning environment for the children (aka spiritual child care). It's time for some movement. No, I'm not talking about leaving the ministry or going to another church. I'm talking about doing some realignment; move around so that you can see once again what the Spirit has spoken to your heart. Find someone either in your church or in another locale who will help you once again look through the eyes of faith. Determine that you are going to move your eyes from what you see as obstacles to the place where the psalmist David found his strength and encouragement ...

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16 Feb Seal the Deal

It is important to remind ourselves that we have an unfair disadvantage when it comes to ministering to children. Throughout the week, the children are under the influence of the school, the media (television, movies, DVDs, radio, etc.), the internet (email, social networks, chatrooms, etc.), and friends (both local like neighbors, school mates, etc. and global friends through text messaging, Twitter, etc.). Then, there are those few fortunate children who have parents that are influencers. We on the other hand have only an hour to an hour and a half each week to provide a spiritual influence and help establish a solid foundation for our boys and girls.Sadly, most lessons are easily and readily forgotten. The information that we have provided vaporizes within minutes after leaving our classrooms and auditoriums. With us having a minimal amount of time and an enormous responsibility, we need to insure that the eternal truths that we are teaching need to provide an eternal impact!How can we make our ministry produce lasting results? Paint a picture. It's true ...

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08 Feb 2 AM Wake Up Calls!

What is it about 2 AM? For the past week, I have been awakened at this unthinkable time of the night with a stirring and prompting to just be still (what else am I to do at 2 AM) and quiet (as though I'd have a desire to awaken Vickie and ask her to play a game of Uno). It is during these times that I've sensed God's prompting to spend time with Him. It is during these times that I have heard His voice and sensed His direction in things that are needed so that I can fulfill my assignment. These promptings are somewhat unnerving. They are beyond my ability. I guess that it has to be this way so that I won't attempt to do these alone and, true to human nature, mess up things. What is it about 2 AM? I guess that God knows that if we won't give Him sufficient time in the day, He will creatively find a time where there are no appointments, no phone calls to make, no distractions to pull us away from Him. What is it about 2 AM? I know that the voice is His for there are no other voices speaking to me. I know that the urgency is His for at that time of the night I have no other causes longing for my attention. I know that the desire for intimacy is His for He is seeking me when He knows that He alone will have my focus. What is it about 2 AM? It is God's gentle reminder that I am His and He is mine and that He longs to share His heart and focus with me and in turn see my heart and focus long for Him. Thank you Lord for this "wake up call" for me to be with You....

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01 Feb Are Your Kids "Already Gone"?

I'm in the process of reading Ken Ham and Britt Beemer's book Already Gone. For years, I've shared the statistics showing some 70% to 80% percent of our youth abanding the church after high school graduation. But, Already Gone gives some fresh insight to this mass exodus.These authors and pollsters surveyed some 1,000 20-somethings that had abandoned the church seeking to discover the when and why of their departure. Without going into a lengthy overview of their study, the one fact that absolutely startled me was that some 40% of those leaving the church left after moving up from the children's and middle school ministries. Did you get that? Four hundred of the thousand who left the church did so after leaving the ministries that are under our supervision and oversight.I know that there are numerous factors involved ...

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