Longing for Diversity? Reach your Disability Community

If you looked out from the pulpit in our church sanctuary on any given Sunday morning, what would you see?  Hopefully, faces of people who love Jesus and are joyful worshipers of the God!  Yet, if you focused primarily on skin color, you would see about 96% Caucasian, and the rest a smattering of Africans-Americans,…

Tinkering around in Children’s Ministry

Our pastor used a true story about the great American automobile giant, Henry Ford, as a helpful sermon illustration.  Naturally, I thought of how it applies to Children’s Ministry as well as raising children in general.  Here’s the story… There is a wonderful story of Henry Ford and Charlie Steinmetz. Steinmetz had one of the…

Welcoming Children with Special Needs into Corporate Worship

On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer that we would welcome children with special needs to the regular worship of God’s people.  Don’t we want all men and women, boys and girls to be included in the community of worshipers?  Isn’t this what Christianity is all about?  But when we dig a bit deeper,…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 4: Set the Core

Whether you have inherited an existing children’s ministry or are working from the ground up, it’s vital to set the CORE of your ministry.  These are the essential components that are (humanly speaking) unmovable and unchangeable–the backbone of your entire ministry to children.  And, just like your own body’s “core,” your ongoing task is to strengthen…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 3: Set the Mission

Now that we have our dual starting points for children’s ministry (parents AND outreach), the next step is to set the mission.  This essential part of the process  is more than just writing a mission statement that goes on your website and letterhead.  Setting the mission is all about establishing the foundation of the ministry and seeking…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 2: Begin with Outreach

No, there’s not a typo in the title.  Yes, Lesson One was entitled “Begin with Parents.”  So is it possible to have two different starting points in children’s ministry?  It’s not only possible; it’s essential!  To begin only with our members and our covenant children will potentially make us more inward rather than outward looking.  Choosing…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 1: Begin with Parents

So, you’ve been called to lead your church’s children’s ministry.  Congratulations!  You are entering into the vital work of telling “the next generation the glorious deeds of our LORD (Psalm 78:4).”  What a privilege you have to direct a ministry which points children to Jesus.  But where to begin?  Maybe you have inherited a ministry that has a well-established…

Talk to your Children about the Real War

It seems as though each week at the dinner table, I’m talking to my children about another war.  Some weeks, it’s the war of radical Islam against the western world.  Other times, it’s the culture wars, involving issues like abortion, transgender issues, and gay marriage.  Sprinkled in between are discussions of political wars between left and…

The Church Needs to be More Accepting of…

I’m seeing more and more pronouncements in Christian media that begin with the words: “The Church needs to be more accepting of…”  Now, I’m used to the anti-Christian voices judging the Church of Jesus Christ for being judgmental or hateful or intolerant of many types of people or behaviors.  That has always been, and will…

Train Your Children to be Hosts, Not Guests

As a Children’s Ministry Director, my favorite week of the church calendar is Vacation Bible School week.  But a close second is going on this week at my church–Missions Festival week.  It seems to always come at the right time, to give me a necessary attitude adjustment and a re-focusing of my priorities.  I (and my family)…

Help! There are Pagans in my Youth Group!

When my oldest daughter was ready to enter our church youth group, I found myself in a series of discussions with members who had decided to not allow their children to attend.  Maybe it shouldn’t have, but this caught me off-guard.  Was it because they disagreed with what was being taught in our youth ministry?…

I want my child to be an Ordinary Christian!

[Note: You will want to read my last post on “Ordinary Children’s Ministry” here to give these next thoughts some essential context.]  As a parent, my deepest desire is to see my eight children become Christians–and more than that, ORDINARY Christians.  Yes, this goes against the grain of what my sinful heart would rather see in them–academic, athletic, and…