There is something about being in an airplane that definitely changes your perspective.
I don’t fly much. If you were to see me right now, it would be pretty obvious. Just trying to complete this post is a challenge as I continually turn to glance over the great state of Texas and stare off into the fading horizon. I watch as whole communities slide past my window in mere seconds. What an amazing thing flight is! Now I know many others of you have had all you want of planes, tight schedules, and busy airports. You may feel differently, and I wouldn’t blame you if you did. Regardless, you have to admit that the world looks different from 25000 feet in the air.
Have I been so enamored by the developing concepts and big idea of a family based ministry philosophy, that I have minimized the individuals I am called to serve?
As I travel to go meet with 5000+ people whom all share the same passion and love that I do…
As I listen and absorb God’s message to me through some of the greatest leaders and innovators in the country…
As I think, process, pray, and discern God’s plan for my ministry and the ministry of our church…
May I discover how this ALL…
Will bring little Suzy to a greater understanding of God.
Will help Stacy raise her children without a father in the home.
Will encourage Cecil and Wanda as they care for their grandchildren while their daughter works two jobs just to get by.
Will equip Tom as he follows God’s calling on his life to teach in children’s church.
This is the challenge I pose for myself this week. Excited for great things!
Today I spotlight the National Center for Biblical Parenting. This organization was formed in 1992 and has been providing practical and biblical parenting help ever since. Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller have written numerous books, lead a national seminar, and even provide personalized coaching for parents and their children. The NCBP has even developed Biblical Parenting University, where you can take a series of courses which teach a “heart-based” form of parenting. The NCBP partners with other family focused organizations such as AWANA, International Network of Children’s Ministry, and the Association of Marriage and Family Ministry.
Take time to visit their website and become familiar with the resources available there. Also remember to pray for their ministry as we all work together to minister to children and families.
This past Friday night I had the rare privilege to sit down with Todd Capps, Editorial Project Leader for Worship Kidstyle, the children’s worship curriculum from Lifeway Christian Resources. Admittedly, the conversation was mostly me throwing as many questions as I could at Todd within a one hour time frame. Within the course of conversation, he shared a little of his passion, and frustration, with many church’s attitude about Children’s Worship. He stated that too often Children’s Church or similar programs serve only as a way to remove the distraction of children from the main worship service. In a way, Todd expressed, Children’s Church becomes more like child care or babysitting. No doubt that parents benefit from being able to focus while in congregational worship. Yet, this is low on the list of advantages and priorities of a strong, children’s worship ministry. In my opinion, this is more of a perk than a purpose.
So, what are the guidelines and goals which will turn Sunday morning into worship for kids?
Todd was very gracious in providing me one of his copies of Kids Ministry 101:Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry. This book is a collaboration of entries from experts and equippers within the field of Children’s and Family Ministry. Todd, himself, has an article in which he shares some basic principles about leading children in worship. He notes the following considerations:
- Rely on the Holy Spirit. Listen to God as you plan and lead worship.
- Maintain high expectations of leaders. Leaders will live up to the expectations placed on them.
- Remember the levels of learning of the kids.
- Provide a variety of learning activities.
- Use the Bible and guide kids to use their Bibles.
- Involve the kids.
- Utilize simple vocabulary.
- Select appropriate Bible passages.
- Utilize a variety of teaching methods.
- Provide quality space.
- Realize children’s worship is not baby-sitting. Resist a “let’s take care of the kids while parents attend worship” mentality.
- Realize children’s worship is not a “let’s play big church” time. Children’s worship should be designed as worship on the kids’ levels, not adult worship designed for children to “play church.”
My many thanks goes out to Todd, and the rest of the staff at Lifeway Christian Resources, for taking time to encourage and equip. Also, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Kids Ministry 101:Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry. It is an up-to-date, knowledgeable book which provides a foundation for the church and it’s leadership in the area of Children’s Ministry.