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,…

Facing the Falsehood of Fake News

True or false? There was once a time where you could fully trust that the news on TV, radio, and in print was all completely true.  False!  But with the recent overuse of the term “fake news,” one could easily get the impression that this is a totally new phenomenon.  News networks, social media sites, and…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 6: Recruit the Laborers

Do you enjoy rejection?  Do you like it when people duck their heads to escape your gaze when they think you are “after them?”  Do you relish the thought of getting dozens of “no’s” only to see some of the same overworked members step up to the plate?  Well, welcome to the world of recruiting volunteers!  Do I paint…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 5: Recruit the Team

The Word of God teaches that the Church is the Body of Christ (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12).  This description has many rich implications for church life, including how we do the work of children’s ministry.  To properly minister to our covenant children, the local church needs a team (a body) of gifted believers to do this work,…

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…

You Never Graduate from the School of Christ

Two weekends, two graduations.  Our daughter number three graduated from high school, and daughter number one from college (that’s right, my children have no names, just numbers).  It’s that time of year in America!  As we transition to summer, hoards of young people walk across the stage, and into another chapter of their lives.  They are told…

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)…

Teach your Children the Twelve Truths of Christmas

Our children learn a whole lot about life during the Christmas season.  They learn how to indulge themselves.  They learn how to be demanding and self-centered.  They learn works-righteousness from Santa (Good=presents; Bad=lump of coal).  They learn that getting new stuff equals happiness. They learn the secret of discontentment.  They learn that our American economy…

Seeing Pink, Thinking Red

If you are one of the few Americans who don’t watch football or baseball in October, you may not be aware that it is National Breast Cancer Awareness month (which tends to overshadow the other commemoratives, including the all-important National Pizza Month).  Ever since 1991, the pink ribbon has been the symbol of seeking the…

Man on a Wire: Fearless, Faith-filled, or Foolish?

I grew up idolizing the daredevil Evel Knievel in the 1970’s.  Not only did I watch every televised event, but I had my own Evel Kneivel action figure (and bike) so I could re-create the amazing stunts over and over again.  As I got older, I grew out of my hero-worship, realizing that this man…