Most churches claim to value children… but few actually do where it counts. A friend recently sent me to this blog post, and I thought it was fantastic, so I am re-posting a part of it here for feedback. (italics is quoted)
These questions are good food for thought for those who claim to value children and/or children’s ministry in their church:
Are your kids’ rooms painted beige, so they can be “multi-purpose”? (preferring to be attractive to adults who may share them)
Could you answer specific questions about the curriculum in your kids’ rooms?
Do you believe it’s the parents’ job to lead their kids to Christ, while they assume it’s the church’s? Have you addressed this disconnect?
Does your children’s ministry struggle to get and keep passionate volunteers?
Even if you can list the activities you offer children, can you show how they support your desired outcomes?
Do staff salaries/prestige increase in proportion to the age of the people they serve?
Are your children’s ministers regularly challenged to update their strategies? Can they demonstrate a healthy return on resource investment?
Are you satisfied with merely “entertained kids” and “satisfied parents”?
GOOD QUESTIONS! Thank you Kendra Golden for these questions. I can tell you that in over 15 years serving as a children’s pastor, while I’ve had countless parents ask me how their children behaved, I’ve had ONLY ONE parent, a dad, ask me to explain my philosophy of ministry and why/how it effects the way I teach and lead. He really put me on the spot – and I loved it. He wanted to know the reasons behind the “fun” and “excitement” and why it was considered important in his daughters spiritual training. After explaining how my use of puppets and toys was a critical part of engaging kids in learning spiritual concepts, he made a large donation to the church to help build the incredible puppet town I had in my previous ministry. Once he got the “why” he helped make it even better. But why has only one parent ever asked me to explain why I do what I do? I know a lot of it has to do with trust, (and that’s a good thing), but now that I am a parent I want to remember this dad and also BE a dad who is engaged in the how’s and why’s of my church that will impact my son’s spiritual development.
Let me be quick to say, I have been blessed to serve in many churches that DO value kids in the ways it counts, especially my previous and current churches… So if you attend either of those (!) I am not slamming my churches! But I am asking why more churches don’t place a higher real value on kids.
How well do think churches actually value kids… what ways show it beyond mere words?
Well, I am finally home, and my iPhone is all set up! My new cell phone number is…. ha! (yeah right!) But if you know my old one, call and I’ll give ya the new one. :)
At 6pm they took down the black window coverings so you could see giant iPhones hanging in the windows with a countdown. After 6pm they were full screen demos. I want to know how to get one of these for a desk monitor when the promotion is done. Maybe I need to get a job at an Apple Store just long enough to get one of these for home!
Luke even got in line with me for awhile, but not for long. As a new walker, he wanted to roam the mall with mom chasing behind.
There were security guys everywhere! I don’t know if they thought there would be mob action or what, but they were on patrol. I think this was a big deal for mall security. But they did a good job of keepin’ the peace!
This dude took his job very seriously. Many people tried to get a smile out of him, but he was stone cold serious with this “Just try and jump that line buddy and I will Rodney King you!” This guy is on his way to being a state trooper, but I hope he never pulls me over! But eventually, I got through the intimidating line of storm troopers and got inside…
Here is Greg presenting me with my iPhone!
GREG! If you do actually come to my blog and read this, leave a comment, you are famous now!
When I caught up to Luke and mom I saw Luke window shopping (pacing) so I surprised him by sneaking into the store. See his delight when he spotted Daddy’s iPhone!?
REVIEW PART ONE: I plan to do a review soon, but I want to actually experience the phone a bit first, but I will start by saying the activation process is easier than promised, and took under one minute. Syncing was a cinch too – and I already have all my addresses, contacts, 4GB of music, both volumes of Clone Wars (for Luke), tons of pictures (like last import automatically), Podcasts I’ve not yet listened to or watched, and one movie.
I called Sara for my maiden call and easily called my sister at the same time, and merged the calls for a crystal clear conference call and listened to them talk to each other on the speaker phone.
I went to the web and it spotted my home Wi-Fi and was on in seconds, and after entering my POP e-mail infomation, I am not exaggerating to say that in SECONDS all of the messages in my inbox on my laptop appeared in my inbox on the phone. I set weather to Wauconda and got a five day forcast in seconds, and then google mapped my address in Maps and in seconds was looking at my house from space. Almost creepy fast! So far, NO iGLITCHES… just an amazing phone! I will review in more detail after I use it for some ‘real life’ work (and play).
OK, I am now in line at the Apple Store…. I went to Northbrook Court, a smaller mall hoping for better luck after a friend TMed me from Woodfield (Chicago areas biggest mall, in fact the largest in the country where i usually go) and told me the line is over 50. I’m guessing I am near 100th though I haven’t counted. I am in the third section. Sara and Luke are coming to hang out and shop, and more importantly, to feed me. Sara was also bringing me a chair but the mall won’t allw you to sit in a chair! The woman in front of me has a chair but can’t sit in it! she has to sit on the floor (in a dress) with her chair folded up next to her. What’s with that? Maybe it could be a weapon! But wait, it makes a better weapon folded up and is more likely to be used by an enraged woman against a stupid mall guard. So wouldn’t it be safer just to let her sit in it?
Anyway… so here I am, sitting on the floor with two and a half hours to kill until the store opens, and then who knows how long to buy the phone. I’ll keep ya posted, this is my last day posting from my Treo. (which I was never able to do on blogger, but on this new wordpress blog I finally can)
send me a TM at email@example.com to encourage me if you want. or leave a comment.
UPDATE: Sara has arrived and I asked her to count the people in front of me….. (drum role)…. ok, here it is, I am number 97 in line! So my guess was pretty close! She also took the picture above.
As I mentioned I already mentioned here, (see Why Wait?) I’ll be getting an iPhone the day they come out – THIS FRIDAY! I’ve been looking forward to the iPhone since before I knew it existed. A dedicated Palm user since 1998, I have even taught workshops on how a PDA can enhance your ministry. I loved my Palms and have owned nearly every one as they came out, but as the company was sold and bought back and sold and split and merged it lost it’s vision, diluted its brand, and failed to stay cutting edge. While no other phone or PDA really passed Palm in the PDA race, many joined it in the lead, most notably the Blackberry.
Since switching to Mac in February of 2004, I have marveled at how easily and seemlessly everything Apple is – the slogan “it just works” is not just a slogan, it is reality, with few exceptions. Most of those exceptions being when trying to use a Mac with non-Apple technology, and nothing has been more painful for me than getting my Palm devices to work well with my Mac. My treo 650, one of the best “smart phones” on the market today, has not been able to live up to its potential on a Mac. Not only do I miss the functionality of Palms, but I miss how integrated technology was with my life and how organized and on top of details I was when I was relying on my Palm for personal organization. Now my Palm Treo is just my phone, address book, and a copy of my calendar, far less from the time when I managed tasks, edited document, and wrote my entire novel on my Palm Pilot.
Since being on a Mac, I’ve asked many times when Apple would create a PDA and the answer was always, “never because of the Newton.” (I own one that a friend gave me. It may have failed, and was huge, but is an amazing device that was then too far ahead of its time!)
But soon my wait is over. On Friday, Apple is finally selling the iPhone, and it is far more than a PDA or a Phone. The best review I have read that is both positive and honest is here.
My plan was to go Friday AM before the mall opened and wait in line all day, but an important appointment came up that I just can’t say, “Sorry, but I need to be in line all day for an iPhone” to, so I will be in line by 3pm for a phone that goes on sale at 6pm. But the Apple Store has said that they will stay open as late as necessary to serve everyone who is in line when the store closes! So it seems I will be going home with an iPhone on Friday, and will certainly post a review soon. The activation video shows how the entire process of setting up a phone has been revolutionized, so you can just buy the phone and go home! No more being in the cell phone store for hours. (unless you are waiting in line to buy one!)
This weekend I found myself on the way to Manitowoc! Because it was a long drive, I decided to take the fam along and add on a one-day vacation on Monday and experience the sights and sounds (and smells) of Manitowoc.
Luke was excited to get to go on a road trip with Daddy! Now, I realize some of you may be wondering, “Where in the world is Manitowoc?” Well, here is a hint:
We saw a lot of signs like this as we headed North, Wisconsin!
Luke was soooo excited, as you can see!
We were eager to find some fun things to do in the area, and our host gave us some tips. Manitowoc is a very nice area, there is a World War Two submarine that we’d like to see when Luke is a little older at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. There were beautiful parks and quaint little shops along the main street. (did I just say quaint?!)
But we were happy to find that Manitowoc has it’s own Lincoln Park with a free zoo!
They seemed to be very serious little guys, standing at attention watching us watch them watching us watch them, etc.
I took way too many pictures of these, so I had to post at least three pictures of them. But they were pretty cute. And too numerous to count! I was impressed with the variety of animals they had in this rather small and free zoo, including two black bears, a cougar, and some timber wolves who paced hungrily when they saw Luke walking by himself! But my favorite was getting to see a bald eagle: (click for larger view)
I’m trying to remember if I had ever seen one of these up close before. The only thing that I think could improve the zoo would be if they put the prairie dogs and the bald eagle in the same cage! They could charge an admission fee if they did that!
Next it was off toward home, but not without a stop halfway at a mall, where we got to park for free because the meter was broken. I took this picture in case we came back to a ticket! Nope… saved a handful of quarters! Woo-hoooo!
The mall had one of those squirting fountains that we are seeing at more malls, where kids can walk right out on to it and get soaked! As you may know, Luke loves water, so after confirming with Mom that we had a change of clothes in the diaper bag, I let Luke wander in the water.. and he loved it!
Luke loved it, and yes, he got soaking wet… Dad managed to stay relatively dry while taking pictures, and even some video.
The only really sad moment in the day, was discovering that the Apple store was not yet open. And yes, I tried to peek through the cracks and get a look inside, but they had it taped off too well. Bummer!
Here is what an Apple Store apple logo looks like before its protective covering has been removed! I bet you didn’t know the store logo was 45 inches across? Well, thanks to my blog, you do now! That can be your next trivia question you ask some so-called Mac fan or genius at the Mac Genius Bar, “How many inches is it across the Apple logo on the front of the store, huh?!”
Well, time to bring this mini-vacation day to a close and go to bed. I’ll end with one more prairie dog picture for you… I know, I understand, you’re very welcome. Anytime.
Here is my favorite VeggieTale’s Song, I remember being nearly in tears the first time I saw this. Not because it touched me, but because it was such an amazingly funny parody of “boy bands” who are so lame. (but this video isn’t!)
If you too, don’t have a belly button, feel free to share in the comments, you will still be loved and accepted here.
Question to Ponder: Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons??
So I’m out relaxing in the front yard, enjoying an awake-nap (know the type?) in my hammock, when I see something little and white moving across the lawn… (click images for larger close-up view, unless your name is Henry)
See the little white ball?
So I get down close to see what it is: a spider carrying a ball almost as big as him (or her), I honestly couldn’t tell, but when something is UGLY I usually assume it’s a guy.
Pointing to show the size… not too scary, at least not from a distance.
Maybe headed out to play? Or just left and took the ball with him when the other spiders didn’t like his rules?
I got as close as I could and we locked eyes for a stare-down!
He gave me a nasty look and I told him he was alive at my mercy; that I could easy squish him at any second. He shrugged and replied, “That may be true, but if you were my size, you’d be running for your mommy.” I had no come back to that, so I let him live.
But I’m never walking barefoot in my front yard again!
I am cleaning up my office today (my inspiration) and going through stack of EVIL PAPER. Part of the problem is that I prefer documents electronically and tend to ignore paper, the other problem is that there is too much that can’t be stored electronically, gets forgotten if electronic, I don’t really know what to DO with, or I’m just too stinkin’ sentimental about some, ok, a LOT of my paper.
I am also trying to get caught up on a bunch of personal organizational stuff I am behind on because next Friday I will be in line all day to get an iPhone, and it will be my “fresh start” at organization since I will finally have a reliable (fingers crossed!) tool for managing my calendar and to-do’s. (Palm Treo w/ Mac has proven untrustworthy, so I’ve been limping along waiting for an Apple PDA)
I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
~ Stephen R. Covey