Tag Archives: children’s ministry

don’t bury it.

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don’t bury it.

Luke 16:10

Once I can be trusted with a little, THEN I can be trusted with a lot.

 

Time, treasures, and talents.  What has God gifted you?  Are you using it for His glory?  Are you being responsible for what He has entrusted you with?

 

 Our lesson for our kids this past week and month was all on responsibility.  In particular, the story of the three people given money to use responsibly.  The two, who put their passions to work and risked it all, and then to double the amount!  And the third, who “played it safe” and buried it.  Oh how he did disappoint.  This parable and teaching of responsibility and using what you have been given struck such a chord with me as we began making this a bit easier for the kids to understand.  Basically taking the whole “money” thing out of it.

Money is NOT the issue here.

 

But, using what God has given you is.  The gifts that YOU have been granted to do God’s will in your life and to further His Kingdom and bring Him glory.  Teaching kids is really teaching me. And of ALL lessons, I was very thankful to have a teacher teaching that I am constantly trying to teach too.  Did that make sense? (one of my own)  What a perfect lesson for us all.

 

20140930-102332-37412585.jpgListen to the people around you.  What are they telling you and showing you your gifts are?  How are you using them—or how can you learn to use them?  Oh I just want to say to these kids, and MY own kids—please, please, please…

Don’t Bury It.

God created kitties.

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Creation bracelets one week. A scavenger/treasure hunt for…

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KITTIES!!!! Yes, God created kitties.

This could potentially work out very well for us. How many Littles will be begging to take one, two, or three home with them? Wish us luck! Ha! They may be looking for a different ministry for Steve and I to serve in after today…

what are we gonna do?

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To all of my children’s ministry peeps, stay at home moms, moms of preschoolers, and those looking for fun activities for kids with a purpose…I’m sharing an idea I found on Pinterest a couple of years ago.

I’ve done it a couple of times with different groups of kids. It’s an awesome way to share the story and recognize God’s creation. Although, not always a great take home depending on what they find!

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At Journey Kids we are starting our 252 Basics back up in a couple of weeks. So, in the meantime–we have a couple of weeks to be um, creative. And sometimes it’s hard to come up with an activity that ages little to not so little enjoy. I think this is a great one.

Duct Tape Creation Bracelets. Click {here} for the original Pinterest link. Basically you make a duct tape bracelet with the sticky side up. Kids take a walk outside and create their bracelets!

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Even big kids got in to it…seriously Steve? A living moth? Guess that’s better than Landon’s cigarette butt.

we have come full circle.

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God works in mysterious ways. And, most of the time–when God’s hands are all over the place—it is years later until you really see it. There are very many examples of this in my own life. And half of it? Is realizing what God is up to. A lot of times, I am a very slow learner. But when I finally see it? Wow. How awesome to see God at work!

I always shutter when I say such and such happened “eight years ago”. That is a LONG time. I remember when “eight years ago” I was still in high school. Or “eight years ago” I was just starting nursing school. Or “eight years ago” I just started my job at the hospital. Or “eight years ago” I had my first baby. And just this last year I said “eight years ago” my last baby of the family was born.

Eight years ago, a good friend of mine came up with a crazy idea for me to help lead kid’s worship at her church in Hutchinson–a nearby town. Believe me when I say it took me awhile to grasp what this would mean for me. Vacation Bible School (VBS) at this church was and still is a HUGE deal. It is their major outreach to the community and there is no holding back—from décor to t-shirts to meals for families—nothing. I had to think long and hard because with four kids in tow, this was going to be something. And a baby boy who was about to turn 1 and had never been in this church nursery—and Kourtney who was too young to be in VBS and a clingy almost 3 year old. It almost didn’t seem worth the hassle. But something spurred me on to at least try it. I mean, the church van was swinging by my house to pick us all up each day—they were making it very hard to say no.

I am so very thankful I said yes. The very first VBS I was involved in was called Group’s Serengeti Trek. And probably one of my favorite of all time. Maybe because it was so much fun and I had never seen a VBS done in that way before? Maybe because it had the most rockin’ theme song “He’s the King”? Maybe because I was so overwhelmed with a church that took Children’s Ministry to a whole new level. A church that hired a Children’s Minister because they recognized how important our young children were to the life of the church.

934957_205456522943131_677683395_nIn one week, Journey @ McPherson will be providing a “Weekend VBS” for kids. We are so looking forward to this, because as we all know—kids outreach is huge. Providing a place where seeds are planted for our youngest makes an impact on the whole family. And that is our goal. To reach new families by showing kids how to grow in friendship with Jesus. When the planning team first met, our Children’s Minister of Journey Mennonite Church was there with full on support and ideas. Do you happen to know who she was? That same Children’s Minister from eight years ago. Talk about coming FULL CIRCLE. God was there and leading and MUCH can happen in eight years!! Again, we were working together towards a common goal—this time in a multi-site of Journey Mennonite Church—Journey @ McPherson!!

We are excited to reach as many children as possible and are getting very excited (and nervous) for this next week ahead. We have been blessed beyond words with a theatre and drama professor who began attending church this summer and he has rocked my world—literally. At our first meeting his ideas and what he put together were amazing. And soon after, he contacted me to let me know he had part of the set done…

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And that’s just a teaser. I can not wait to see it all come together!! God’s timing of sending him and his precious family to our church was huge. He also put together some media announcements and advertisements. Maybe not my favorite thing to do, but I loved seeing how he could take us just talking about HAY DAY and turn it into something.

CLICK {HERE} to see our promotional video! (and please don’t make fun of me…please?!)

God has blessed us with marketing people from beautiful flyers and postcards, to organizers (which I definitely need help with), to crafty idea people (I need MORE help with), to a pastor who can “act”, to a middle school who was willing turn the air conditioning on early, to food people, to helpers, to a Children’s minister who has MORE than 8 years of experience (smile Sheri!) and crew leaders that can’t wait to connect with children. I am looking forward to absolutely EVERYONE having their farmer’s hats blessed off of them. Kids and adults alike!

Here is the schedule:

Friday, August 9th 6:00-8:30 pm

With Homemade Ice Cream for families afterwards

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Saturday morning, August 10th from 9:00-11:30 am

With a Fresh Sausage and Pancake Feed for families afterwards

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(the guys have already scheduled their sausage making next Thursday night!)

Sunday Morning Worship Celebration for ALL with a Special BACKPACK BLESSING as kids head to school.

AND a BBQ and Buggy Rides to follow!!!

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Registration is still open!!!! We have room! Please I would LOVE it if you would send the STRESS LEVEL SKY HIGH so I had to scramble and order more t-shirts. Seriously! Make us work!

Register at: www.journeymennonite.org and Click on the Hay Day link.

VBS is for kids ages 4 through 5th grade.

Hope to see you all there!!

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ability or availability?

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Recently, I had someone tell me how much they loved kids—and in the same breath said they didn’t really have the knowledge or skill they felt was needed to be a small group leader for kids in children’s ministry.  OH MY GOODNESS!!!  The “Orange” emerged from deep within me and I jumped him.  (Orange Conference—children’s ministry, if you didn’t know)  First of all, as soon as I heard “I love kids”—you’ve got me.  In the whole scheme of things, that is really what matters most.  Don’t you think?<image

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We learned as leaders how to be effective in sharing the love of Jesus through the events of the Bible.  We learned how important it is to “do things well” when reaching kids.  We learned that embracing this culture we live in by kicking up worship music a few thousand notches or so is where it’s at.  To relate to kids, you’ve got to be on your game.  Make it fun.  Because kids are DIFFERENT than adults.  We learned that telling kids that “because the bible says so” is not the way to get into kids’ hearts and to develop a lasting personal relationship with Jesus.

When it comes right down to it, it is all about RELATIONSHIPS.  It really is.  And if we are honest?  That’s where it’s at for most of us too.  After the pouring of information about being effective in children’s ministry, they sent us home with this.  To realize it is not about your ability.  It is about your availability.  Being available for kids is really what they are asking for.  In the church, school, community…if you are working with kids, YOU are the hands and feet of Jesus.  They are learning who Jesus is through you.  Not just by what you tell them about Jesus.  But by how much you show you love and care for them.  By how available you are to them.

In 20 years from now, I guarantee the kids are not going to remember how effective I was in telling a story or my ability and knowledge of the bible.  I do know, they will remember love shown to them.  I do know they will remember if I was available for them.  Now, how hard does that sound for any of us?  The good news is that…IT IS SO EASY!!!!

We are beginning to wrap up the school year, youth group meetings, and Sunday school.  And now looking forward to Vacation Bible School, a new Sunday school series, and new classes beginning in the fall.  I just want to encourage EVERYONE who loves kids to make that connection in one way or another.  Maybe you have never been a small group leader before?  Is God tugging at your heart?  When you begin to see from the perspective of your AVAILABILITY versus your ability?  It changes things.  Be the hands of feet of Jesus to kids.  Be available.  And you will imprint the love of Jesus on their hearts forever.

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a worthwhile investment.

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I have realized as I have made my way back into my laundry-filled life, that going to conferences like the one I just attended, always do a great job of sparking the fire and passion within you.  It’s exactly what they are supposed to do. It fills you.  It fulfills you.  And it gets down to the core of who you are and why you do what you do.  I also realize, that the unbelievable communicators can say just about anything they want.  Because, well…they don’t actually pastor you.  They inspire.  They rock.  And they can get by with saying things leaders in our own respective churches just can’t do, for obvious reasons.  I have wrapped my mind around it.  However, I still wonder when you think about children’s and students ministry…image

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How does this sound to you?  What does this make you feel like when you hear it?  Wondering if it made the same impact on you when you hear it as it does me…

If your church, or ministry is REALLY invested in kids, there would never be another carwash or bake sale.”—-Perry Noble  {click on his name or click HERE to know more about him}

I am about ready to suggest South Carolina as our vacation destination so we can visit Perry Noble’s church.  No, really.  I am serious.  Guess that tells you what I felt and how I was impacted by that quote, huh.  In fact, I think I may have shouted a VERY LOUD AMEN when I heard that.

have you been “egged” today?

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Dearest Pinterest…you have stolen many, many hours of my day.  You have made me feel like a failure.  You have given me a to-do list a mile long.  And then?  Every once in awhile, you just completely ROCK something out.  I have a love/hate relationship, oh yes I do.  But here’s a little love for you, dear Pinterest, for today.  Ideas for children’s ministry as related to Easter are awesome.  I wish I could take the credit for them.  Nope—I will give all the credit to YOU!!

First of all, I sat in a meeting a few weeks ago with church leadership where they carved out 30 minutes devoted to how to reach people at Easter.  To have a group of leaders make reaching others so important and take intentional time to brainstorm different ways of accomplishing this goal is just amazing to me.  This is so what church is all about!!

Easter ideas are all the rage when it comes to children’s ministry too.  There isn’t anything more fun than searching for ways of helping kids to connect to these stories of the Bible.  And none more important than the story of Easter!!  My pinterest “Easter” board is giddy with excitement for another idea I didn’t get done this year.  So it’s on the list for next.  But take a look at what we did get done this year…

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Have you heard of Resurrection Rolls?  {Click HERE} to see explicit instructions.  So simple and easy!  Our kids did all of the work (except for the oven baking part).  And they worked!!  I love it when that happens.  The idea is that the crescent roll is the tomb, the marshmallow is Jesus, the cinnamon, sugar, and butter the spices they anointed his body with…and when they are done?  The tomb is empty.  This one turned out perfect~~~I’d like to make this recipe a tradition because they are YUMMO!!

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And finally, our biggest intentional outreach our Journey Kids are doing this Easter is the “You’ve Been Egged!!!” event.  This idea has been flying around pinterest the last couple of months and across all three campuses of Journey the idea took hold.  Too cool.  {Click HERE for the free printable} 
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In both of these activities, the common theme is AN EMPTY TOMB!!!  Can’t wait to celebrate all of what that means on Sunday morning.  You never know…will you have a yard full of Easter eggs with an invite to our services on Sunday?  Either way, we would love to see you at Journey@ McPherson for our morning of Easter celebrations!
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what God reveals.

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The last couple of days I have spent preparing for our Children’s hour at

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I had to use the logo because I love it so much…(I know, I am a weirdo!!)

I have found that when I really take time to look at what we are going through in this exact moment, God reveals himself and what he has for us to learn through so many people.  It is amazing to me.  Especially amazing as I study this particular lesson of Jacob and Esau.  And equally amazing our virtue of peace for the month of February. 

 

One thing my four kids are very good at doing, is giving me content to write about, teach about, and share about.  So thank you kiddos!  We are working hard at putting into practice what we are learning.  Have you heard the story of the brothers, Jacob and Esau?  How Jacob stole Esau’s birthright which led to taking his inheritance?  Esau was NOT HAPPY.  Jacob had deceived his father and it. was. ugly.  But years later, the brothers meet again and Esau decides to let go of his anger and love Jacob. 

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How many times have you heard from your kids “but it’s NOT FAIR!”.  I think I may have heard it a few times this morning already.  And I know I heard it yesterday morning and the morning before that.  Are you getting the theme here that the Kaufman’s may not  be morning people?  Or I think it is more that we are going to bed TOO late, but anyway. 

The bottom line we are teaching the kids this week is this:  prove you care about others by letting go of “whats fair”.

Here’s a for instance for you. 

 

These girls did NOT think the refs were “fair” at their last basketball game.  Now, there is a time to cry and even be angry.  I was there!  BUT, the fact of the matter is, they lost their game, it may or may not have been “fair”, and still you have friends to cheer on!  Do you just forget it?  It wasn’t fair!  I’m not going to anymore basketball games! 

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Absolutely not!  It was time to celebrate the boys and did I mention they WON the League Championship!!!??!!  How awesome is that?!

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I gave an example to the Journey Kids to think about all of the fun things you would do at a sleepover with one of your really good friends.  What would you eat?  What games would you play?  When would you finally go to sleep?  When would you wake up? 

 

And then, I told them to think about what they would do~~  you call up your really good friend for a sleepover and he or she was already having a sleepover with another friend.  How would that make you feel? 

 

I think most of the kids could relate.  Especially our older ones.  It happens.  It isn’t FAIR!!  And as a parent?  Don’t you just hurt for your kids when something like this happens?  It is so hard to not want to fight back.  To make the other person feel just as you did.  But are we really supposed to act in that way?  Jesus does not want us to continue the cycle of hurt, retaliation, and anger. 

 

The basic truth we are trying to get across with this story is this:  I need to make the right choice.

 

This is sure not limited to kids and what they go through, is it?  Oh my goodness.  How we can all get sucked into this thinking of what is fair and what isn’t.  “It’s not fair that he got that job promotion and I didn’t”.  “It’s not fair that she can have kids and I can’t”.  “It’s not fair that they always get invited to everyone else’s house”.  “It’s not fair that my kid isn’t a starter on the team”.  “It’s not fair that they get to live in that house, or drive that kind of car…”  The list goes on and on.  I bet each of us could add to that list too, don’t you think?

 

Proving you care about others by letting go of “what’s fair”.

It’s the bottom line.  For us all.

 Romans 14:19 “So let us do all we can to live in peace.  and let us work hard to build each other up.”

 

I have to just say, I am beyond blessed to have friends who are growing their kids with mine that strive to show how much they care about others.  It’s a work in progress.  And I will say….especially with GIRLS!!  Oh the drama.  But God placed our kids in each of our families because He knew that’s where our kids belong.  That single truth right there is what keeps Steve and me going.  And we haven’t even gotten to the rough patches.  So remind me, will you?  When you hear me screaming…

It’s NOT fair.”

work begins…

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First of all, I need to apologize to all of you who read and may not be interested in the details of the development of Journey@McPherson…but for the next few weeks, months, years???, it is going to be an important part of our “journey” as a family and I want to document as we go so we can look back at where we began and our “journey” along the way. 

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Today we opened up a trailer of everything we need to “do church”.  So fun to see it all, but oh my goodness…so overwhelming!  Like when you have a task at hand and you just don’t even know how where in the world to begin.  Deer in the headlights?  Yep.  Thankfully, we have such an awesome consultant leading the charge and here for the weekend as we have our first “soft launch” in the morning.  Which basically is just a complete run through of setting up, a first hour of Children’s ministry, a second hour of worship, and then the tear down.  Image

(this would be the deer in the headlights look…)

I can see and feel already that these people we are forming this church with are our family.  Working together and serving together knits such a bond as we look to bring Jesus to others.  We are blessed.  And, maybe a bit crazy.  Image

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Worship Team Equipment

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Worship Center

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Children’s Ministry and Worship

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The Sound Guys

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Preschool

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Families working together

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And Landon couldn’t be more pumped for the basketball gym access!

 

 

Above all else today, there was one precious moment that will stick with me always.  From all ages we are seeing each find a way to serve in one way or another.  Whether it’s in the worship music, or the connection center, welcoming people who come through the door, making coffee or juice, teaching kids, helping in the nursery, setting up or tearing down–these people are here to give it their all.Image

 

This is Jordan.  He is two.  He is a helper.  He literally did some “grunt” work as he helped me piece the nursery floor together.  He must know that this is where he will be each week and wants to make sure it is done right, don’t you think?Image

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Is there anything sweeter than this?  Absolutely not.  He melted my heart today.  And made all of our work today worth it.  What a blessing.

 

So excited for more moments just like this.