Developing a Ministry–Wide Strategy for Making Disciples

First, George Barna confirmed what those of us in children’s ministry have known all along – that the ripest spiritual field is children, and that the most strategic way to stop the disappearance of a biblical world view in our church is to renew our commitment to children. Next, Larry Fowler established the biblical basis for churches not just value children, but prioritize ministry to children. Others then followed with a renewed call to broaden the scope of children’s ministry to include the entire family, the loudest voice being Reggie Joiner asking us to rethink ministry at the Orange Conference offering their virtue-based family time resources and strategy to incorporate complete families in the Sunday church experience. Then Awana Clubs, long known for its success at reaching unchurched children and providing kids a solid biblical foundation surprised us by dramatically altering its approach and confessing its past “let us disciple your kids” attitude was insufficient and began to completely re-engineer its programs to better include parents in the process. Soon many more, like Julia Duin in Quitting Church, began revealing stats showing just how poorly we are doing in translating Bible Quiz-Whiz kids into faithful disciples when they got old …

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FOR WOMEN ONLY

Guys? Buzz off! Ladies – I know how hard you work, and how incredibly needed you are in your ministries – I’ve worked with the best of you for my entire ministry. But sometimes, you need to take care of yourself, and take a well deserved break! When I started inviting men to Yosemite Summit in 2007, I got many e-mails from women asking me to offer the same thing for women – that they need it too – that they need it more, a few suggested! Well, obviously, I can’t personally provide a retreat for women (not sure my wife would appreciate that!) so I went to the best female children’s pastor in the country, Kim Bobb, and asked her to prayerfully consider putting together a similar event for women, and she responded to my invitation, and the need, for an event for women to disconnect from ministry, and focus on their walk with God while enjoying the fellowship of other women who share the same passion for ministry to children. The event is called Unbridled, not because you’ll be riding wild horses, but because it it time to throw off all that is tying you down, even if …

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Of Books There is No End!

As the son and son-in-law of pastors, and a book lover myself, I have inherited and collected on my own a LOT of great books. Bible commentaries, Christian living, topical, popular authors, Christian college textbooks, apologetics, Bible study tools, biographies, many ancient books from famous Christians of the past such as Moody, Ironside and Torrey, and on and on. I’d love to get rid of a many of them, but my options are all no good when I try to think of HOW to do this: Throw out? Would kill me to see good books trashed, I’m not a Nazi! Thrift store? Do they really want them? Will Christians look there? (majority are Bible tools, antique text books, and popular modern books) E-bay? Too much work to photograph, add, ship, etc. for books that won’t sell for much and many are great titles no one may ever “search” for, but I know Christian leaders would love if they saw them. Kidology Garage Sale? I’ve thought of adding them there in bundles, as I can set a price, but again, its a lot of work for little profit for the time invested. I’ve thought of bundling sets of 10, but that …

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The Kidologist Top Ten of CM

I got an e-mail yesterday with a request from a senior pastor who will soon be speaking to a gathering of children’s pastors from around the country. He asked me: If you were a denominational Christian Education Director who oversaw the children’s ministry for all the  churches in a given state or region: 1. What 10 recent books would you read or tell other directors about? 2. What 10 web-sites would you share with other directors? 3. What 10 experiences, conferences or resources would you tell other directors about? My response, “Sounds like a great blog post!” So here it is: The Kidologist’s Top Ten Books for CM Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions by George Barna This is a must read for senior pastors as well as children’s pastors. Barna finally supports with research what children’s ministry leaders have known for decades. Rock Solid Kids by Larry Fowler The best biblical case made for church to prioritize ministry to children and to engage parents in the process rather than trying to do it for them. Raising a Modern Day Joseph by Larry Fowler Just released, this follow up to Rock Solid lays out a very doable strategy for the entire …

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Rick Warren’s Prayer for Our President and Nation

I thought Rick Warren did a wonderful job with the inauguration prayer. He included the English version of the Jewish Sh’ma at the start and recited the name of Jesus in Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish, as well as in English at the end. I wish those who get so vile in their attacks on him and other Americans would heed his prayer. I disagree sharply with President Obama on many issues, but as an American raising a child in American, I pray for his success and that he will actually do the lofty things he states so well and perhaps be more influenced by Godly people like Rick Warren than by those who try to move the tide of culture through hate and mean-spiritedness. President Obama gets a pass on many things a Republican would be attacked on (and no, I won’t mention them) but I hope that the optimism and hope he has inspired will lead him to listen and learn and govern wisely and with restraint and with an openness that may only come because of the weight that is now upon him. It’s one thing to want the job – it’s entirely different thing to have the …

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