January 2015

26 Jan What Changed This Child?

I love the story that I've heard over and over since my childhood, the story found in Matthew 21:12-16 where a man's man, John Wayne-type Jesus goes into the Temple and does some housecleaning. I know that you've also heard this story umpteen million times about Jesus turning over the money changer's tables and kicking both the merchants and customers out of the Temple. Hearing about tables flying and people being chased out of church is every boy's idea of an exciting story. But here's the part of the story that your Sunday school teachers and children's church leaders generally forgot to tell. Immediately after turning the Temple back into a house of prayer, Jesus shows a totally different type of power by turning around to demonstrate His love and power by healing the blind and the lame. I can't even begin to imagine what the Temple's atmosphere was like with the rejoicing by the healed. It was time to party and celebrate. The blind could now see and the crippled could now walk. In fact, Matthew tells that the rejoicing spread throughout the Temple. Even the little children joined in and began cry out their praises to Jesus. It wasn't passive, you can barely distinguish that it's happening singing. No. The children shouted out their praises. Their praise was so intense that it bothered (King James - sore displeased) the religious leaders. As I read this story again a couple of weeks ago, the Holy Spirit challenged me to provide opportunities for Him to change the depth of our children's praise and worship. It's as we allow the Holy Spirit to once again showcase Jesus' love and power in our services and provide opportunities for children to SEE something that they can't deny and feel something that is heart-consuming that we will see singing and dancing that isn't forced from a leader on a platform or actions driven by a video on the screen. Matthew's account shows that when Jesus revealed His compassion and power, the atmosphere changed. The youngest in the room entered into a worship that had to be explained and defended to even the chief priests and scribes in the room. Do you really want the children to enter into a new level of praise and worship? I challenge you to read Matthew's account of this event over and over again. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you as He did with me. Then, get ready to do some explaining to parents and church leaders. Your children and the services will never be the same again!...

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19 Jan Want Passionate Worshipers?

If you've worked with children for any period of time at all then you know that children are imitators. They will mirror what they see others do. And, for those in leadership, we know that this can be for the good or bad of the children in our ministry. Here's a great example. I believe that I can walk into any children's ministry classroom or auditorium during the time of praise and worship and, without seeing the leader on the platform or any of the other teen/adult team members, tell you of the leadership's involvement and passion by solely looking at the children. How? The children are a mere reflection of what is being shown or modeled by the leaders. Involvement breeds involvement. Passion cultivates passion. Desperation fans the flames of desperation in others. If there is a lack of praise and worship in the children/youth in your ministry, I challenge you to take a scrutinizing look at every leader in your ministry. The cry for the presence of God must begin with those on the platform AND flow around the room to all of the leadership team. The entire team must be visible. They can't be hidden in the back of the room. The entire team must be participating. The entire team must be passionately involved. Their desperation has to be on display in order to garner the involvement of the children/youth. Here is a reality. Passion and desperation are always visible. You just can't hide being passionate and desperate. I love the fact that David, the man after God's own heart, was SEEN by his wife worshiping God. You remember the story. Michal looked through a window and saw David leaping and dancing before the LORD. When chastised by Michal, David said, "So I am willing to act like a fool in order to show my joy in the LORD. Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this." 2 Samuel 6:21-22 (New Living Translation) Blind Bartimaeus of old couldn't and wouldn't hide his desperation to get to Jesus. "And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say,  Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal ...

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12 Jan Want to Be Supernatural?

While Vickie and I were Children's Pastors at Trinity, we would schedule an event called Phat Sat for one Saturday each month during the Summer out-of-school months. The event involved taking the boys and girls to a local amusement park that had a lot of video games, go carts, a rock climbing wall, laser tag, and putt-putt golf and then to a county pool for a couple of hours of swimming. It was an activity that the kids always loved. I'll never forget one particular Phat Sat. The pool was filled with kids swimming, splashing water, enjoying the diving board, climbing on my back ...

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05 Jan Move Over Clark Kent

It's time for a true confession. Though I try and try to keep the blog post to approximately 300 to 400 words, admittedly, I often fail miserably. There is just so much that I want to share with you personally and your ministry about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. I recognize the average adult reads 250 - 300 words per minute and that your time is precious and so I honestly try my very best to value your precious time. This week, I'll accomplish my goal by taking seriously the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt "Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated". So, here goes. Read the following quote and then ask the Holy Spirit to amplify and personalize His message in your spirit and ministry. Holy Spirit ...

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