Description: Examine the key influences within a child’s process of discovering his or her uniqueness and how adults can play an active, impacting, and positive role. Assess and understand culture’s impact in kids’ self-discovery. Investigate where in the process you, as a ministry leader, need to get involved and how to guide parents to do the same with four practical actions.
The Vision and Dream for Every Kid
Every student graduates from high school with a sense that their life matters. They know they are loved by God and their parents (or care-givers). They both understand and celebrate who they are – what interests them – and what gives them life. They graduate knowing their strengths, talents and passions. These, along with the love of God and family, will act as a north-star to guide each into the future God has created them to live.
If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF!
This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk. If theory, this is easy to accept. As a Christian, we have to empty ourselves to be filled with the holy spirit. We have to turn our hopes and desires and aspirations over to God to follow after His will. We need to rely on Him in the big stuff and in the small stuff. I get it! I really do…except…that it isn’t easy. Instead, I fall all to frequently to the lies I tell myself. I’ve gotten myself into this mess…I need to get myself out. If I work hard enough, I can do anything. I don’t want to “burden” God so I’ll just take care of this myself. That is my daily walk and my daily stuggle. God has been gracious enough to show it to me, and if I’m being honest, my biggest struggle is still in not trying to fix that problem myself.
But, that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to chat for a second about children’s ministry. Are you a do it yourself kind of person? Does that show in your ministry? Do you have kids involved in all phases of your weekend service.
- Are they involved in large group?
- Do you let them lead worship?
- Do you trust them to keep a small group moving along, or is it all leader driven?
- Are they, wait for it, in the tech booth where all that expensive equipment hangs out?
- Do they lead games?
- Do older kids disciple younger kids or are they all shuffled off to their age specific groups never to mix again?
I was looking through this blog today. I know it’s a bit narcissistic since I write it, but it was more like a trip down memory lane. Every once and while something will pop up in the most unexpected place linking back to an article from this site that I wrote years ago. As I reread those article, I begin to reminisce about the “glory days” of Dad in the Middle. There was a time when I was publishing six to seven posts a week here on the site – articles about children’s ministry and being a dad and things I was learning about God. I have made life long friendships through this blog and other online activity. I’ve launched, and shut down, a collaborative blog which fed a need for a short time and has sparked relationships that I rely on weekly (if not daily) for advice and encouragement. The audience that started here at Dad in the Middle has afforded me the opportunity to follow God’s call into a whole new area of ministry – ministering to children of divorce. These days Divorce Ministry 4 Kids and I Am A Child of Divorce take up the bulk of my writing time as that is where God has led me.
As I scanned through Dad in the Middle this morning, I realized that new visitors would be more likely to think this is a site about Biblical Prophecy than family life and children’s ministry – the result of a series I wrote years ago whose final installment (#116) will be published next Monday. That article will represent the 915th article published on this site. And, I realized something about myself. I miss this site. I miss sharing what I am learning about God, about being a Dad about teaching kids about God. I miss the community and interaction that grew out of it. But, things have changed too. I don’t have the time I had when I first started Dad in the Middle in Summer of 2008. In fact, the pace I had myself on eventually led to burn out and an intentionally scaled back scheduled when it comes to blogging and online activity. So, I can’t go back there. That wasn’t a healthy place. So, wherein do I find the balance.
Here’s the plan! Dad in the Middle will be back, and it will be back as I had originally intended it. I will talk about the things that are most important to me. Some of those may be of interest to other people – some will not, and that’s ok. I will not, by the grace of God, allow it to become a chore again where I strive to meet some sort of posting schedule or perceived need. That is a recipe for disaster. And, I will not let it interfere with what I believe to be the ministry given to me by God – to minister to children of divorce and their families. Instead, I intend to take Dad in the Middle back to it’s roots – a place for me to write about the things that are most important to me – God, my family and ministry. That might mean one post a week, or it might mean one post per month. I leave all of that up to God.Read More
Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind – where you really aren’t “in to” what you’re doing and you feel like you rather be doing just about anything else. What do you do when those times correspond to your time in ministry. Wednesday was one of those days for me. On Wednesday night, I run the games for our Awana program. It’s an-hour-and-a-half and something like 200 kids broken into 30 minute game segments. Usually, it is one of the highlights of my week, but this week I just felt rather “ho hum” and work out when I showed up. It’s bound to happen. We can’t always be ON! And, when it comes to ministry, sometimes you just have to put your game face on and trudge through. Here is what I’ve found works for me.
Working in children’s ministry, I find myself praying “God, give me the strength!” more often than I would like to admit. When you’re feeling down or just not into it though, it is essential that you turn first to God. He renews us day by day, and he can renew us minute by minute. Always start by asking your Heavenly Father.Read More
It’s time to catch up on another article that I originally published over on Ministry-to-Children.com. The article, titled Why I Don’t Want to Be Too Good at Kidmin was originally published on August 19, 2010.
This article is all about not being so polished when it comes to children’s ministry that we forget to allow, or just don’t allow, the Holy Spirit to work in our ministry.
Here is an excerpt:Read More
It’s time to catch up on another article that I published over on Ministry-to-Children.com. The article, titled Kids Evangelizing Kids (and How We Can Stay Out of the Way) was originally published on August 8, 2010.
The article discusses how we, as adults often impose our own insecurities on kids when it comes to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here is an excerpt:Read More