Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for April, 2005
On our way South on I-5 through Washington, we stopped at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center and finally got to see this famous mountain.
The famous mountain in the distance.
Granted from a great distance, but I still remember May 18, 1980 very well, I was only 11 years old when it blew. I was mesmerized by the power of the blast and the scope of the disaster. Ash reached my home in Lakewood, California.
Be still and know that I am God.
Not only was it beautiful here where we stopped, but the entire drive through Western Washington was breath-taking. When Rich Stafford and I were friends at Moody he was always bragging about the Great North West, which he always said with emphasis – it took me a while to get here, but I’ll admit it, “Rich, you were right, it is awesome here!” We will definatly be planning a future vacation here some time when we can stay even longer!
Me, at home in the woods.
We are now driving through Portland, Oregon on our way to Henry Zonio’s home. We will be going to his church on Sunday. (Yes, I am online in a moving car on my laptop – btw, Sara is driving, not me)
At one with the trees?
Until next time, please leave a comment. ;)
I have never liked sea food. Well, actually, it would be more accurate to say, I’ve always hated sea food. The very smell… well, ok, I’ll leave it at that.
While I have been known to order a Filet-O-Fish at McDonald’s I’ve been told that doesn’t count. Today we went to downtown Seattle (more pics later) but for now I had to share both some pictures of stuff people actually EAT and my reason for NOT eating it. After all, the Bible says in Deuteronomy 14:9-10
Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that have fins and scales. But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat, for you it is unclean.
I don’t see fins and scales on all the images below!! It also says, in 14:21
Do not eat anything you find already dead.
I don’t know about you… but these all look VERY DEAD to me:
Granted, the end of verse 21 does offer some suggestions for what to do with this DEAD stuff, should you come across any:
You may give it to an alien living in any of your towns, and he may eat it, or you may sell it so a foreigner.
I’m not sure how nice it would be to sell this stuff to your friendly neighborhood foreigner, but it is nice to know that if I ever am visited by aliens from another planet, I know how to get them to leave – I’ll just feed them some of this dead stuff, and they will leave and post a sign up there at the Earth Exit, “Skip this planet – the food’s disgusting.”
Seriously, would YOU actually EAT this stuff??
As promised, here is the summary of my visit with Ryan Frank…
Let’s be Frank…
Let me be Frank with you….
Ryan Frank began his ministry at Liberty Baptist Church the same year I came to my present church, 1998. However, for Ryan, it was the church he grew up in. While marrying the pastor’s beautiful daughter may have helped in the job interview, sine then he has shown himself to be both a creative and resourceful children’s pastor. This was not my first time to his church. Ryan has been a long time contributor to Kidology.org and has been a trainer at Kidology events. Though I wasn’t able to visit on a Sunday during this visit, I did get several opportunities to sit down and ‘talk shop’ with Ryan.
I asked him to share some of the lessons he has learned from being faithful to one ministry for seven years. I told him to feel free to be ‘Frank’ with me…
DEVELOP A LEADERSHIP TEAM
Ryan said one of the critical things he has learned is the importance of Team Building. An effective children’s ministry leader has got to surround himself with qualified and dedicated people. He emphasized the need to maintain open lines of communication. When asked how to do this he said the main way was with his regularly scheduled team meetings which happen at least every other month. At these meetings there is reporting, planning of up coming events, (the whole team involved in special events), prayer both for ministry and personal needs. Ryan said that no matter how busy you are, being accessible is important, especially to those on your leadership team.
His team consists of 10 people: Nursery Director, Sunday School Director, Preschool Director, Awana Commander (and Assistant Commander), Kids Church Assistant Directors (2), Bus Ministry Director, plus he and his wife, Beth.
FEATURE THE POSITIVES
Ryan would encourage you to “feature the positives.” Keep the Children’s Ministry in front of the people.” Use as much bulletin space as possible, fill the empty bulletin boards with children’s ministry info, make lots of flyers and signs and put them everywhere.
No one sleepin’ during this sermon! Ryan has a GIANT inflatable dino on the stage of the worship center all month to promote the upcoming Dino Day!
Sign up table in the narthex
Signs around the church. These poster holders are all over the church and available to all ministries, but Ryan tries to us them for children’s ministry as much as possible.
SO WHAT’S NEW?
Ryan has found that that is important to always do something ‘new.’ Granted, even something you haven’t done for a few years will have a ‘new’ feel to it, such as the Dino Days they are doing this year, which they haven’t done for a few years. Always doing something NEW adds an element of excitement to the ministry and demonstrates vision – shows you aren’t in a rut.
Ryan keeps up with the world of kids and often adapts for church.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY
Ryan, striking close to the heartbeat of Kidology, mentioned the key is to build relationships with kids. He strives to maintain a relational ministry. “Its about relationships,” Ryan says, and seeks to make it a reality by not only sending kids birthday cards, but calling them on their birthday. His secretary emails him a list of who to call each day; it is part of her job description. Sure, he will miss a few and have to call the next day, but it means a lot to the kids. A new thing they’ve been doing is an informal “show ‘n tell” during Kid’s Church where kids are encouraged to bring special things or new toys to church to ‘show and tell,’ and of course any children’s pastor can create an object lesson on the spot occasionally even getting it to fit the day’s lesson! This really shows the kids your interest in their world and what is important to them. Every Sunday is ‘show n tell’ of what we, the teachers, are interested in, why not let them also ‘show n tell’ what they like.
Since 1998 every year Ryan frames the faces of his kids!
Another creative thing Ryan does is that he provides a “question of the week” online on the kids ministry website. Kids are encouraged to go online, print and bring with the answer for a prize. (For kids without Internet, or not allowed, they simply can ask for a paper version after church, but still have to remember to bring it back the following week answered to get the prize.)
I asked Ryan how about how he partners with parents in the spiritual formation of children. For starters, the topic of Kids Church is in the bulletin each week for parents with discussion questions so that over lunch the parents are equipped to interact with their children on what they learned that day. In addition to special family events such father/son/daughters or mother/daughter/son events, their Sunday evening service is designed for the whole family to provide a balance to the Sunday morning “everyone go to your own age class and service.” Sunday mornings can be focused age appropriate teaching, and Sunday nights have more of a feel of community and family interaction through worship and learning.
One awesome ministry of Liberty Baptist is that, they provide 100% free counseling for the community in a home adjacent to the church. The center is run by volunteer counselors and the church provides the facilities. Many families who are now a part of the church were first ministered to through the counseling center over family, marriage, or other personal struggles. It occurred to me that this was much like the model of Jesus, first heal their physical and immediate needs, and then they will be more open to the message of the Gospel.
BACK TO THE BASICS
At the end of our time together I asked Ryan a final question, “Of everything you actually do each week, what would you say is the most important?” (I included ‘actually do’ because I’ve heard many times of lots of things we ‘ought’ to do, but in the end, it is what we actually do that matters.) His answer was so simple it surprised me, and yet he was right on target.
“Actually do? I guess I’d have to say creatively and faithfully teaching God’s Word.”
I’m not sure what answer I was hoping for – maybe some secret tidbit of ministry strategy, some covert task that would slowly and steadily transform my ministry – and yet, isn’t it true that in the end, our job as children’s pastors / teachers – is to simply teach the Word. There are a lot of other good and noble things we can engage in, and there is always another program or ministry ‘focus’ we can add, but at the core of our ministry we must never forget, what will matter most in the long run, in the lives and hearts of our kids, is how well we taught them the Word. So before the week is over, spend a little extra time on that lesson for Sunday!
And I thought gas was expensive in Chicago!
(and this was the lowest we could find!!)
We have arrived in Everett (20 miles North of Seattle) Washington. Decided to get in the mood for our miles and miles of driving…
Where is the red convertible when you need it?
We’ve arrived at Kim’s house… a childhood friend of Sara’s from the Philippines who was her Maid of Honor when we got married. More pics to come!
Another buddy named Nathan!
Next entries »
UP-DATE: A.R.M. 4000 XL Video below…
Finally time for an update on our adventures!
Bloggin’ on the train…
The Amtrak ride was fun. There will be some more pictures and video later, but overall it was a good trip. It was relaxing, and fun to watch the scenery. The bumpiness was ok, though walking was sometimes rough, it was fine while sitting/sleeping. The bed was NOT very nice, planning a chiropractic visit upon my return! :) But, on the bright side, I found my retirement home…
This is where I will retire…. if there is Internet, of course.
37 hours later, we arrived in Spokane. Contrary to online reviews, we arrived right on time… exept that ‘on time’ was 2:40am (4:40am Chicago time) so that added to an already rough night.
We were greeted by Darth Vader, and Daniel Bigler.
Our illuminated transport.
The picture is blurry to capture the lights underneath that were also under the seats inside, the children’s pastor’s ministry vehicle. (see I’m not the only CP with a cool car to interest kids!) Non-blurry pictures coming in photo gallery.
WOWIE! Fancy Schmancy!
They surprised us by putting us up in the fanciest downtown hotel called The Davenport.
Ah, yes, bring me my car please…
Truly ‘early church’ hospitality, Pastor Rick loaned us his car right after meeting us. As we took the keys and marveled that he would loan it to a stranger he said, ‘we’re all family and part of the same team, aren’t we?’ That’s one of the neat things about the body of Christ. (not the car, the spirt of sharing!)
Daniel is loved by his kids!
Our first stop was to visit Daniel’s preschool center where he works. It is one of the best centers in Spokane and we were impressed with the facility and philosophy of their approach.
Daniel and Pastor Rick. (and the cool car)
Next we were off to Shiloh Hills Fellowship. It is a two year old church that was born with the merger of two smaller struggling ministries – and it has taken off; they had 900 on Easter Sunday. The building has grown as well as the attendance, and the children’s ministry was just ‘given’ the old sanctuary, so they are excited about what they will do with that room. (Pictures and video will be on Kidology where members will get to offer ideas/suggestions!)
Downtown Spokane hosted the 1974 World’s Fair.
We went downtown to enjoy the sights and sounds of Spokane. It is a beautiful downtown area. There is an IMAX theater, carousel, shops, paths, etc. My favorite was the ‘eating goat.’ (shown below) Press a button on the wall, and the goat will eat out of your hand. (powered by a giant vacuum) Kinda strange, but kinda cool too.
Now That’s One Cool Goat.
King of the World! (er, Wagon!)
Spokane boasts of being home of the biggest wagon in the world. (I know, I gasped too!)
She’s not really that short, it’s the tower.
After our tour of town, it was back to church for the point of the visit – their Wednesday evening program called F.L.I.G.H.T. School. (Finding Life In God’s Heavenly Truth – the Bible) It is a FUN program that Pastor Rick created and has done for over 10 years in several ministries. Created as a more flexible alternative to the club program he used to use. It has a focus on Scripture memory, but also on life skills and application. Last night was “Water Night” filled with water games, a dunk tank, but also a lesson on Living Water and baptism. Several kids got saved. I, of course, had to visit Toys R Us on my way so that I could go around squirting kids. I found the BEST water gun ever! The A.R.M. 4000 XL
UP-DATE: Watch the A.R.M. 4000 XL IN ACTION!
QuickTime File 2.4MB
It attaches over your arm and is pumped by simply bending your elbow. I got it on sale for only $9.96 (I see on toysrus.com it is retail $29.99) My only regret is that I didn’t buy TWO, one for each a.r.m.! (Think I’ll have any trouble boarding my plane home wearing this??)
Me and Daniel and some WET kids!
This morning we went out to breakfast with Pastor Rick and visited Moody Northwest, but I’ll be posting more on that later. (Right after I get the interview with Ryan Frank posted!) But, the Liberty Baptist Gallery is now live as well as the Shiloh Hills Photo Gallery.NOTE: I have to post this blog post before I can add the gallery links, so if you are reading this in your e-mail, go online, I will edit this post and add the links and remove this sentence.