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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Putting on another blanket…

As we head into another deep freeze, I’m at home trying to stay warm.  This task is usually quite easy, just throw on another blanket.  How ever, when one is fighting a virus, more concentrated steps must be taken.  I need to add more layers, take medicines, increase my vitamin C intake, and get adequate rest.

Our children are fighting a virus of the eternal kind.  I recently heard a story of a school field trip to the Royal Ontario Museum.  My friend was accompanying her daughters class.  On one part of the tour, the children were shown a number of paintings, all from the same era.  There were a significant number of Mary and Jesus.  When the tour guide asked the children if they could tell what the people of that time valued.  One of the boys said, “that lady and her baby”.

Sad, really, we in the church have the most important answer for today’s society, and our children are missing the point.  We can provide great programming Sunday mornings, but without the home reinforcing what we are teaching, it simply is putting a blanket on.  It warms the heart for now, but no real difference is made.

Society needs to taste the healing power that Jesus can give.  Our children need to know that God made them.  That they are so important to Him that He gave His Son’s life, just for them.  We need to increase their knowledge of the Book that God provided to share that love.  It is only when Scripture comes alive, and off the printed page, does the heart soak it all in.  And only then do we carry the truths with us.  Our children, and our families need that.

Partnering with families, begins to fill the “medicine chest”.  It helps the parents find ways to see the God Moments in the everyday.  For example, watching the snow fall, and talking about how each flake is unique, just like we are.  How popcorn in the microwave reminds us that we are all hard and unappetizing, but with the power of the Holy Spirit, we are changed into something that is comforting and appealing.   Just like the popcorn is still corn, with God, we are still us, just better.

The Bible speaks to us in our ordinary lives.  Our children need to learn to see that, and partnering with their parents gives valuable opportunity to plant that deep in their hearts.  We need to cover our children in layers of teaching, modelling, and discussion so that they will be able to fight of the viruses of today’s society.  Solid scriptural teaching is the medicine, and the blanket – all rolled into one.

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It’s a new quarter…

This Sunday, all of our classes begin a new quarter of lessons in both of our Children’s Ministry programs.  It’s exciting that we are seeing the progress in our 2 year cycle.  It has been an adventure in learning, growing and being ready for “whatever”.  But our children are charged about the Bible truths they have been learning, and that charges me about continuing with effecting change.

Our youngest class is starting a unit on prayer,  learning that God hears us when we talk to Him.  They will use the Lord’s prayer (minus the thees and thous), as the model, and then see all the examples that scripture gives of prayer.  They will learn that the key to relationship is communication, and that we don’t need fancy language to talk to God.  He just wants to hear from us.

The middle class is looking at how we protect ourselves by putting on the Whole Armor of God.  By using each piece, and a connecting Bible truth, they will see how important it is to have the right equipment to go into the everyday battles.

Our oldest class is moving to their overview of the New Testament.  Looking at Jesus life and ministry, then onto the letters and establishment of the church.  All including how the lessons taught then, apply to our lives today.

At The Well, we are going to be spending some time putting on the protection of The 10 Commandments.  We will see how God did not give them to be a “kill joy”.  He loves us so much, that he wants us to be safe.

Being one who loves the “lightbulb” moments that our children have – I love to watch as the truths of what God teaches us come to life.  Our teachers make it exciting, and the curriculum spurs on their creativity.

As each quarter has been building on the last, and the children are connecting the dots of how to apply the Bible Truths to their daily walk.  God wants a relationship with each one of them, and sent His Son to show the way to have it.  It is an honour to watch that develop, and a joy to see the seeds beginning to take root.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2009 in church life, News and Updates

 

Orange – it’s the colour I want us to be…

Recently, my husband noticed the scarf I had recently added to my winter wardrobe. It’s colour is …Orange. It is quite bright, and goes lovely with my orange bible, wallet, and a variety of other things that have found their way into my wardrobe. When Jeff noticed the scarf, his first reaction was, “don’t you have enough of that colour.” My answer was -“at the moment, yes, but we’ll see”.

I try to wear orange, somehow, when I am involved in church activities. For me, orange is not just a colour, but a way to look at decisions I am making in our Children’s Ministries.

Orange understands that the impact of 2 forces coming together is far greater than the 2 things separately. Reggie Joiner and the team at Rethink, work diligently to see that resources and encouragement are available for churches who want to go “Orange”. The easiest analogy to understand this is to see it this way:
Red and yellow are bright and vibrant colours all on their own, but when we combine them, Orange is even more brilliant. So, when we take the home (the heart = red) and the Church (the light of Christ = yellow), and we partner together,  what results is a ministry that is Orange. 

Orange recognizes that the parents are the primary stakeholders in seeing that their children develop a relationship with Jesus, and the church’s job is to encourage, and equip, and reinforce that.  This year, I want to leak vision all over the place, and I want to have everyone who is involved, or encouraging in Children’s Ministry where I serve, is thinking Orange. Our children are important, and Jesus longs to walk closely to them. Parents need to have the tools, and the foundations to encourage them in that walk. It only makes sense that we try not to do this separately.

In April, I will again be attending, with a number of friends who are either in Pastoral Ministry, or are Children’s Pastors, the Orange conference (theorangeconference.com), in Atlanta, Georgia.  Here the brightest minds in Preschool, Children’s and Student ministries gather together to share learned experiences.  Affiliated with NorthPoint Church, it is one of the finest conferences I have ever attended.

My choices of workshops this year (7 plus 5 main sessions), are all concentrated on how to more effectively partner with parents.  I’m excited to bring home some of the methods, and begin to better serve where God has placed me.

What is the best way you, as a parent, can imagine the church partnering with you, as you seek to help your child grow in their relationship with Jesus?  I’d love to hear from you.  Until then, I’ll be drinking that tall glass of Orange juice, and pondering…