Sauerkraut and Children’s Ministry–Stating the Obvious

A got an e-mail from a friend yesterday suggesting that sauerkraut does not get enough attention in children’s ministry circles.  At first I thought he was just nuts, but on further reflection, it occurred to me that there can be some similarities.

Dictionary.com defines sauerkraut as:

cabbage cut fine, salted, and allowed to ferment until sour.

I define it as the all permeating and nauseating smell that would great me from time to time when I walked in the house and my dad had decided it was time for “something different.”

I like cabbage, in fact my favorite food of all time if Stuffed Cabbage.  But, there is something about sauerkraut which is so off-putting that I can hardly stand to be in the same room when it is being prepared.

I’m not a picky eater.  I would probably be healthier if I were a little more picky in terms of what I would eat.  There is a very short list of things which I dislike so much that I just can’t eat them, and sauerkraut happens to be on that list.  In fact, I had been married over 10 years before my wife, on a whim, one day decided that she wanted sausage and sauerkraut for dinner one night.  She had no idea about my aversion to it.  Anyhow, she spent as long as it takes to make sauerkraut (don’t know, don’t care) and had it simmering in the oven (???) when I got home from work.  After 20+ years, that smell took me back, and not in a good way.  I tried to eat it that night, I really did.  The cabbage itself didn’t taste bad, but I just couldn’t get over that smell!  In fact, I can smell it today as I sit here writing this article.

So, what does any of this have to do with children’s ministry?  I asked myself that same question.  My first thought was of Isaiah 3:24 from The Message “translation” of the Bible:

Instead of wearing seductive scents, these women are going to smell like rotting cabbages;

That didn’t really fit though.  Here’s what I came up with.  The analogy might be a little bit of a stretch, but I think there is truth in it.

Our children’s ministries are like sauerkraut because, all to often, we allow them to ferment in their own juices.  We come up with a great plan, cast a winning vision and set the wheel in motion, then we allow our ministry to sit there fermenting in its own juices until it puts out an odor so pungent that people entering the building are just put off by it.

The moral of today’s story:

Don’t waste the cabbage of your children’s ministry by letting it turn into sauerkraut!

Disclaimer: Today’s lesson does not work well with the 0.34% of the human population who actually enjoys sauerkraut.

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Vote For Jenny Funderburke!!!

Vote Jenny

Last week, I posted my picks for this year’s 2012 Blog Madness Tournament.  I’m happy to say that three of my four picks advanced to this week’s Final Four with only Karl Bastian not making the cut (sorry Karl, I understand Gus was actually campaigning against you).  The final four is set, and it’s some hefty competition:

  • Jason Martin
  • Jim Wideman
  • Jenny Funderburke
  • West Coast CM (Anthony Prince)

So, today marks the official beginning of my “Vote For Jenny 2012” campaign.  I said last week that I hoped she wins this whole thing, and this week I am trying to do something about it.  I’ve been a fan of Jenny’s blog since it was called something like “Thoughts my Husband is Sick of Hearing” (I’m paraphrasing, but I’m pretty sure it was something like that).  Now rebranded “Kidmin Thoughts” and hosted at JennyFunderburke.com, I sincerely believe it to be one of, if not the, best children’s ministry blogs out there.  Jenny writes with a knowledgeable, and very approachable, style.  I am consistently edified and inspired by her thoughts and stories.

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Mathemagician

This video has nothing to do with children’s ministry, but I came across it this week and thought it was kind of cool. How often do you find someone good with numbers who also has a sense of humor. As someone who works with numbers in their spare time, I found this fascinating.

Give it a shot and let me know if you can do it as quickly!

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Helping With God’s Work in Belize

I have spent the whole week doing shameless self-promotion trying to get people to vote for Dad in the Middle and Kimdin1124 in the Kidmin March Madness competition.  Today, I wanted to take a step back and encourage you to help someone out who really needs it!  Michael Chanley, the founder of CMConnect.org, announced a plan sometime last week for the children’s ministry community to come together as one to support a worthy cause.  This opportunity will raise funds for a very worthy missionary effort in the country of Belize.  David and Karen Rhodes are founders of Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus and they are working diligently to reach the children of Belize with the Gospel of Christ.  They need a van to take their ministry to the next level.  The goals of this effort is to raise enough money to purchase a van for the ministry and provide other support.  You can help out by clicking the picture to the left and purchasing a square (or squares) on the van.  All proceeds are going to the ministry.  Here is more about the effort from Michael:

Our goal is to raise $65,000 (less than $10 per CMConnect member). This money will do a lot of work to support this mission:

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