Leadership Blog

09 Oct The Fruit of Our Labor

By no means do I consider myself to be a cityslicker. The city that I grew up wasn’t much of a city. With a whopping 6 traffic lights, “fine” eateries consisting of the likes of Dairy Queen and a greasy spoon called Grothe’s Restaurant, and 3 grocery stores, West Columbia, Texas wasn’t much to brag about. Still, it was home. Neither do I consider myself a country bumpkin. We did have a few chickens in a fenced-in area for a while when I was young. We did raise tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, and squash each summer in our little garden in our back yard. I guess that I’m a fine mixture of both … a misplaced wanna’ be big city boy with a touch of country flavor mixed in for good measure.

I do remember one thing from our gardening days. You never planted the seed and expected a harvest the next day, or the day after that, or the next week. You knew that there was a process that the seed had to go through. We confidently knew that the harvest would come in due time.

This weekend, I had the greatest experience. I had some dear friends in to minister for Trinity’s children. In between services Sunday, I took my friends over to visit with our senior pastor. Along the way to his study, teenager after teenager would stop me, give me a big hug and talk to me for a minute or two. I would then introduce the teenagers to my friends and tell how Vickie and I had been their children’s pastor for their entire life. It was so thrilling to be able to then state that the teen was now a master teacher in our 2-year-old nursery class, another one of “my” teens was now the praise and worship leader for our Saturday night children’s church, another one of “my” teens was now working in the media ministry running a video camera each weekend.

Sadly, few children’s ministry leaders get to enjoy that experience. They stay in one ministry or church for a few months or years and then move on to “greener” pastures. They haven’t learned from the wise farmer how to enjoy the benefits of their labor. For over 18 years, Vickie and I have planted seed. It was great this weekend to walk through the hallways and see our labors showcased throughout the church! Here’s to longevity ….

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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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