June 2012

18 Jun The Essential Four

As a children's pastor, I am constantly challenged because there is so much that I want to teach our children. For many of our children, I recognize that our ministry is the only opening of God's Word that they will experience during their week. Then, add to that fact, many of our children only attend our services sporadically. While we do have the weeklies (those who attend every weekend), there's a portion of our attendance that are the bi-weeklies, the monthlies, and finally the CEO's (Christmas and Easter Only) attendees. This makes my decision for what is taught in those precious 90 minutes each service so important.There are so many curriculums available today with great Bible information. We've come a long ways from the type of curricula that we had when I started in children's ministry hundreds of years ago. There are teaching packages with all of the high-tech bells and whistles. Many are non-stop excitement and drama. Some are very culturally relevant addressing issues that children are facing today in their homes and schools. All of this is well and good. But, before I as a children's pastor start looking at what to teach, I always have to know in my spirit that there is a solid foundation of the "Essential Four" before I build the remainder of the structure. Before there is teaching about morals and how to's and why to's, I want to know in my heart that the children sitting in front of me have a solid understanding of these four core values: Salvation by the blood of Jesus The baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues Christ as Savior and Healer The imminent return of Christ How is the foundation of your ministry? Are you building on a weak or shoddy foundation? Remember that no matter how elaborate that your house (ministry) might be, it is only sustainable if the walls and roof (the variety of teachings) are built upon a solid foundation (the Essential Four). Consider this ...

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18 Jun I’ll Say It Again and Again – INCREDIBLE and EXTREMELY INCREDIBLE!

Eikon Bible Art, where have you been during my 33 years of children's ministry? I know that this sounds like one of those cheezy late night infomercials where the person is pitching a weight-loss product or a "miracle" hair restoring drug and makes that all-too-familiar claim, "I'm not a spokesman. I'm a satisfied customer." But, with Eikon, I have to say it! I know what I'm talking about. I am blown away with these stories. In fact, I'm so sold on Eikon's PowerPoint stories that I've purchased all 150 Bible stories. Within the last four weeks, I have used the artwork in three weekend services in either a slide from a story ("Creation") or complete stories ("The Birth of Samuel" and "The Call of Samuel" one weekend and "Moses in the Bullrushes" and "Moses Kills an Egyptian" in another weekend). The fourth weekend was our "Super Sloppy Double Dare" weekend and there was no Bible story. You can see from this slide taken from the "Call of Samuel" story that this isn't some cheezy sales pitch. It's the real deal! Rather than restate the benefits of this artwork, please check out the blog "An INCREDIBLE Teaching Tool" from the May 28th. Afterwards, I know that you will head to their web site to see the huge list of available stories. Eikon knows that these stories will be an incredible tool to help you share the gospel. So, to help make this even more affordable, the prices decrease per story as you purchase groups of stories. The larger the number of stories purchased, the cheaper that the cost per story becomes. Check out their web site, www.eikonbibleart.com, TODAY! And, one more thing ...

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11 Jun Leading Children into the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

As a child, I'd hear from time-to-time a challenge or dare from a friend to try to prod me to do something that I was uncomfortable doing. One of these challenges was to dive off of the high diving board at our local swimming pool. From the perspective of a ten-year-old, that diving board towered ten million miles above the pool's deep-end waters. To me, that seemed so impossible. So, for many weeks, I endured the taunts from these "friends" as they labeled me as being a great big "fraidy cat" or "scaredy cat". To this day, if I close my eyes, I can still picture these kids attempting to pressure me to do what I feared to be impossible. Often after completing a regional Ignite the Supernatural Conference, I have the privilege of preaching in the Sunday morning service of the host church. After preaching on the subject of the Holy Spirit, giving the altar call, and having many people baptized in the Holy Spirit, I have heard pastor after pastor comment upon how easy it seemed for me to bring people into this beautiful relationship with the Holy Spirit. They comment at how difficult it is for them to minister in this area. And, to be honest, as I hear their words, I can almost see an all-too-familiar look in their eyes. It's that same "fraidy cat" and "scaredy cat" look that came from a ten-year-old boy looking at the incredibly high diving board. Let me briefly share why ministering on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and giving an altar call for people to be filled with the precious Holy Spirit is so, so easy for me. ALL that is required of me is to share the message and give the invitation. The rest of the responsibility is upon God and the individuals standing in front of me. I see this in Luke 11:13. "Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13 (New Century Version) I tell about the Gift from heaven and then it becomes God's responsibility to provide the Gift and the individuals responsibility to receive and open the Gift. And, Luke 11:13 tells us that God is anxiously awaiting to provide this Gift to EVERYONE who asks Him. Pressure? Are you kidding? This is easier than jumping off of a high diving board! Let me tell you, it's time to wipe the "fraidy cat" and "scaredy cat" look off of your faces. Sunday school teacher, children's church leader, mid-week Bible club worker ...

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04 Jun Knowing In Your Knower

If you've been in any of our Ignite the Supernatural Conferences, you have probably heard me tell of my high school Sunday school teacher, Treva Evans. She was a tremendous lady. I love to jokingly tell of her having false teeth and how that back then the adhesives used to hold false teeth in place weren't very good. When Treva would give a message in tongues, you could easily give the interpretation if you knew Morse Code. All humor aside, when Sister Evans would walk into a classroom, unlike any teacher that I had ever sat under at church, you could tell that she had heard from the Holy Ghost. She had that fire that Jeremiah had written about shut up in her bones. When she spoke to that ornery bunch of high school kids, we had to listen. We knew that she had heard from heaven. That Talker who spoke to Treva Evans way back in the early 1970's is still in the talking business in 2012. And, you don't have to be a television "superstar" preacher to hear His voice. To use a phrase from a friend, Mark Hankins, you (that's right ...

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