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Category Archives: Family ideas

Activities for families to have eternal conversations with thier children

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…

 

Getting a gift the giver wasn’t aware of…

As I write this, all of my prepartations for Christmas are accomplished.  And if they are not, they won’t get done…

 Tonight, I attended our church’s Christmas Eve Service.  It was wonderful to see so many people, including a good number of those from our Contemporary Service too.  We had so many children that i almost ran out of the 36 activity books I had prepared for them.  The music was great, and the message superb and challenging ( take a listen at reformedtheology.ca for a sample).

Christmas greetings were exchanged, and as folks were exiting out, I was greeted, by 2 different families.  Each one of them gave me, the one who oversees the Christian Education for their children, gifts unmeasurable.

The first mom shared that their family’s thanks for the Christmas Party in a Bag that I had sent home last week.  The family had make the cupcakes, and the accompanying devotional.  She then went on to say that they needed to share the party with some cousins, so off they went to a family celebration. I love that, they were so excited about having a party for Jesus, that they just had to share.

It’s kind of like the shepherds.  When the they had found the baby Jesus, just as the angels had said they would, they didn’t just go back to the flocks they were tending.  No, they went and told what they had seen…Good News is just too much to hold to yourself.

The next mom gave me a big hug and told me that as the night’s scripture  (Luke 2) was being read, he turned to her and said, “I know this part mom, we’ve been learning that in Quench” (The Well’s Children’s Ministry).  You know, as a teacher of very active children, you always wonder if anything is getting through.  Yet, last Sunday, we talked about the shepherds, and how excited they were to be able to tell about their experience.  This young boy had not only heard the story, he remembered it, and knows why it’s important.

So, with a very warm heart, and reminder about why I do what I do, I have already had a wonderful Christmas, and the day’s celebrations are still a sleep away.

Merry Christmas to you all, and let me ask you – how will you share the News like the shepherds on their way home from the manger?  I, for one, don’t want to keep The Good News to myself.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2008 in Family ideas, News and Updates

 

Happy Birthday

This past Sunday, I sent the families of SGK home with a gift bag.  Inside were all the necessary ingredients to have a Birthday Party.  Cupcake mix and papers, streamers, icing, candles, and more were included with a letter and a 4 part devotion.

I love to do this with the families I serve.  It allows me to provide some tools for a great discussion about the Biblical importance of what we are celebrating.   Without having yet another event that families need to attend, they are able to find the time to have a time of learning together, while having fun at the same time.

I see myself as a partner in the job of giving kids the “tool box” they need for a faith that will carry them through their lives.  It’s a partnership I take very seriously, and get excited when parents actually engage with the resources we can provide.

I get 1 hour/week (actually it’s about 25-30 minutes in light of our Sunday morning routine), to reach them with the foundations of trusting in Jesus as their Saviour.  We (the teacher’s and I) seek to make the hour as condusive to faith imprintin as we can.  Contrast that to the hours each day that a family has to make the same impact. 

I know that a child’s life is just as busy as mom and dad’s.  But when you take into account the soccer, sleeping, meetings, school, work, travel, etc., etc., there is still more than 30 minutes each week for a family to have significant conversations.

This is why I like to partner with parents to give them tools that will help open discussions on eternal matters.  Nothing makes me happier than to hear that one of the tools provided has made a difference.

Just last week, I was having a discussion with one of the moms in our Sunday School.  The very first week back, the kids and I made a craft that had a prayer on it.  He took it home, and it was placed in his room.  Mom just told me that they memorized it, and it is part of his prayer every night…I almost cried.  That is what partnership with parents can do.  I can provide all the tools, but until it is placed in the hands of the parents and made to be part of “everyday”, it is just another thing to take up room.

On days when I think that people just don’t get the priority our children need to be, God sends stories like this to my ears.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2008 in Family ideas