Leadership Blog

01 Oct Children’s Ministry 101 as Taught by Gideon

I love the biblical account of Gideon’s victory over the Midianites. From my early days in Sunday School, this story has ranked up there right alongside David’s battle with Goliath and Joshua and the battle of Jericho.

This story found Judges 6 and 7 provides three great leadership principles for Children’s Ministry leaders.

  1. The number of your army (staff) may not be what you want. Gideon didn’t appreciate God whittling down his numbers. Through Gideon’s example, God proved that being understaffed wasn’t a deterent to Gideon’s victory.
  2. The members of your army (staff) may not be the ones that you’d pick. The ones that Gideon wanted left to return home for various reasons. It’s amazing that the “left-overs” under God’s anointing saw a mighty victory. Believe it or not, God has commissioned your “left-overs” to join arm-in-arm with you to fulfill your God-given assignment.
  3. The weapons of your battle (teaching tools) may not be what you want. The weapons that you use each week aren’t the latest, greatest on (or off) the market. For now, they are all that God has provided for your ministry. So, grab your trumpet and an empty jar with a burning torch inside (teaching tools that others would laugh at) and get ready to do God’s business.

What an encouragement. God knows my battles (weekly ministry assignments) and has provided both the staff and tools to see the victory that He has prepared for me. The key is to see things as God sees them and start moving towards the course for my victory!

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25 Sep The Discipline of Revival

In teaching about moves of God, I often state that moves of God are nothing more than passion and discipline connecting. People rarely fail in the area of passion. They truly want God to show up. Their roadblock often lies in the area of discipline. Life is just too busy to begin and maintain the disciplines that move us from an occasional visit from God into a lifestyle that has the habitation of God (revival). Sadly, people are dissatisfied where things are but not desperate enough to do what it takes to bring about a change. I love what Martin Luther wrote in his journal, “I have a very busy day today; must spend not two, but three hours in prayer.” The movement of the minute/hour hands of the clock wasn’t the issue. It’s the discipline of pushing things aside connecting with the longing to be in God’s presence that brought the revelations that made Luther a threat to Satan’s kingdom. A great move of God in children’s ministry awaits us … for those connecting their passion with discipline. Selah.

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18 Sep The "Secret" of Revival

In reading E.G. Carre’s Praying Hyde, Apostle of Prayer, I came across a quote from Charles G. Finney that is so simple and yet so profound. “A revival is no more a miracle than a crop of wheat.” Think about it … I can’t add to Finney’s observation.

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11 Sep The Importance of Coming Apart

What a day. After too many full weeks and weekends, a day off was a much needed change. Here lately, due to being out of town for conferences and then, when I am home, trying to catch up for being gone and also getting ready for the next trip out of town, days off just haven’t happened. Today, I determined that I HAD to have a “me” day, a day to come apart so I won’t fall apart.

It was a fun day, a day of decluttering … if that’s really a word. I decluttered my body by doing a whole lot of nothing (at least for the morning) and enjoying a whole lot of sleep, decluttered my mind in the afternoon by pushing work aside and going to a shoot ‘em up western movie with Vickie (the movie was better than the popcorn!), and then I decluttered my life this evening by throwing away things that I haven’t touched in years. Again, what a day!!!

There were a lot of things calling for my attention, things that attempted to derail the coming apart from the normal routine. Thank God for the Holy Spirit and my wife (I get the two confused from time-to-time) who reminded me that all of the to-do’s will still be there tomorrow and I’ll be fresh enough (for a change) to tackle them and knock them off of my to-do list.

Who knows … this could get to be habit forming!

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04 Sep Seeing the Whole Picture

Don’t you love Saturdays? It is a day off, isn’t it? Not for those involved in children’s ministry. Give me a break. There’s usually too much to do and not enough time to do it in, especially for those who also have a Saturday night service.

Something happened this past Saturday that set it apart from any other Saturday. At the end of our service, I received a call from a parent who hasn’t had a child in the Children’s Ministry age bracket for some time. They called to tell me that their youngest child, a 15-year-old, had told them of a report that they had written as a school assignment to tell of people that had greatly influenced their lives. You guessed it. Vickie and I were among the three people listed in the report. The parents were so grateful for our investment in their child’s life.

On this particular Saturday, I needed the call. The crowd wasn’t one that I’d use as a promo picture for a church growth conference. In fact, there were only a handful of kids that night. I don’t remember a single parent offering accolades for ministering to their child. It would have been an opportune time to have a pity party and concede that perhaps I had wasted my time. And yet, God took time out His hectic agenda that night to send me a much needed reminder. He used this call to remind me that I don’t see the total picture. A minute looking a child in the eyes and telling them that I love them, offering a message that challenges the child to go after God, and finally providing a rub on the head or a Texas-size hug as they leave … I was reminded that night that with His help, each week I’m helping the heart of a child know the heart of the Father. I’m making an eternal difference.

Thanks God for the reminder.

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