Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for April, 2010
Is life crazy busy for you? Have you tried to get it in balance and failed? Have you strived for margin and seen it fill up over and over with church and other stuff and fought to get it out again? Have you wondered, “Can I ever win this battle to get control of my life?!”
But at least something is different now. I have a built in pit stop in my life, called Yosemite Summit.
Every May, me and eight other children’s pastors (or ministry leaders) go to Yosemite National Park for a complete break-away from ministry to just fellowship with each other and focus on our relationship with God and our relationships with our wives and kids. And nothing else.
We WALK AWAY FROM IT ALL. I’ve had to accept that while I will always be working on it, I will never master getting my daily life or week under control. There is just too much to do all the time. But at least I can look forward to once a year, every year, when I walk away from it all for four glorious days when I just enjoy God’s incredible creation in THE most spectacular place on earth. (Seriously, it is!)
If you are stressed out and thinking you don’t have time for Yosemite Summit – than YOU are exactly who DOES NEED Yosemite Summit, and believe me, not only can you leave everything and it will be waiting for you when you get back – but you will be different when you return, and everything will be lighter when you pick it upon your return, for reasons I can’t explain until you join me there…. it’s kinda a secret until you arrive and experience what happens on this retreat.
There are only THREE SPOTS LEFT on Yosemite Summit 2010. I know the economy has been rough and many church budgets have been cut. I have to pay for these spots no matter what. So if you need a scholarship to attend this event, please contact me and let me know. I will personally assist you so you can join us. I want to see this event filled with eight children’s pastors who need this retreat. You have no excuse not to come – if you need Yosemite Summit – you need only step out in faith and register to attend.
Why not trust God and build this Spiritual Pit Stop into your busy life? Your family and your SOUL will thank you… and so will your Savior.
I’d like to ask a question for some honest reflection – and ask readers to be reflective, not defensive, because this is an issue that I have seen all over the country and was brought to my attention via an e-mail via facebook today. I have removed all personal information and name of church and some other details to protect both the person who sent it and the church they are talking about:
Overall we really like the children’s ministry at our church. One area of concern, though, is the music played before, during, and after the children’s large group time. Basically, it’s often rock or heavy dance music and it’s played REALLY loud. I’ve talked to the children’s staff a few times and they seem to think it’s fine.
This past Sunday I was helping out and a kid in my group was autistic – the music was really overpowering to him and later when I mentioned that to one of the kids’ staff, they said that special needs kids could wait in the hallway during singing if the music bothered them. What?? I was shocked. Why not just turn it down?
Anyway, I wondered if you have any thoughts about children’s ministries today wanting to be “cool” and “digital” and “relevant” at all costs – because that is the type of ministry our church is running. Attempts to talk to them are fruitless, because the gap between their viewpoint and ours is so wide. No progress is made.
And yet they consistently talk about how much they love kids and want to reach them for Jesus – but the words and deeds don’t seem to match up.
(reposted with permission)
I think this concerned parent has a very valid concern. How can we claim to love kids and be so indifferent to the needs of children? Why must music be so stinkin’ loud at church? I’m blessed with 50% hearing, but most kids are not. I’m often appalled at how loud music is played at some churches. Is that really necessary? Does God need it that loud to hear our worship? Wouldn’t he rather hear the kids voices anyway? (I’m having a little fun here!)
But seriously, I have been in many children’s ministry situations where the people on stage were so “into” their performance on stage they couldn’t even see children covering their ears and in many cases even crying in the front row! I’ve been a speaking at places where children were sitting outside because the music was PAINFUL to them, and the “rock star” worship leaders were oblivious that they were not connecting with the kids because they could only see the “sea” of kids moving and jumping – and could not see the individual kids who were hating it. And when I tried to talk to them about maybe playing “kid appropriate music” the answer was, “they love it.” One older Godly lady said (just to me), “Well, they’d love drugs too, but we don’t give them drugs.” That was a little harsh, but she had a point. Just because kids love something – isn’t an argument for doing it.
What do YOU think? Do you think we have gone too far in the rock n’ roll worship music? Have we lost the innocence of children’s music so they have nothing to look forward to as a teenager? Do you miss kids songs, the fun, the lyics, the motions, the silliness?
I can tell you, when I lead music with my guitar – I lead “old style” and the kids love it and often tell me they prefer it – and it is requested all the time over the big bands and and rock n roll, even though they “love” that too. And I have NO musical talent! I’m a 3 chord (D, A & G) guitar player! But I can jam and sing all the classics super fast and super sloooooow and silly and then worshipful and reverently. I don’t use CDs or a backup band, and the kids worship from their heart. But that’s just when I lead. I often delegate that and then my team has used CDs, and I’m not against that at all. I’m just asking about the volume and if you think sometimes it gets out of hand in some venues.
This email today, made me want to ask what you think??
Loved this story from the sermon this morning, so had to post it:
A man arrives at a little league game late and asks a boy in the dug out what the score is and he says, “Them 18, us zero.” The man says, “You must be discouraged?” The boy answers,
“Why would I be discouraged? We ain’t even been up to bat yet.”
That’s HOPE! Friends, no matter what you are going through, Jesus ain’t even been up to bat yet!
I’m excited to be heading to Canada in May for the Kid Builders children’s ministry conference in Ontario. It is looking to be a wonderful gathering of practical trainers bringing a wide variety hands-on skills for leaders and volunteers who are in the trends of ministry to children. If you are one of the many who have e-mailed us asking when the next Kid U is, this will have the feel of a Kidology University in the quality of speakers and desire to provide real help to children’s workers. I’m honored to be a part of this event.
(Download Fullsized Poster Here with COMPLETE DETAILS 3mb)
Here is how I will be serving:
Friday Evening, May 7th – Family event, open to the public! Come experience the humor, comedy and story telling of Karl Bastian live! Lions and Bears and Fire, OH MY! (The Power of Story why TODAY is the Best Day of Your Life!)
Saturday Morning, May 8th, General Session – Kidology 101 – Shooting Straws and Other HIgh Tech Ministry Techniques!
Saturday Afternoon, General Session – YOU! The Missing Piece in a Children’s Spiritual Puzzle
Saturday Eventing (Leaders Only) – Putting the “Pastor” Back into your Job Description
Sunday Morning Worship Service, May 9th (open to the public) Shepherding the Hearts of God’s Children
I hope that you will be able to join me and the other wonderful speakers that will be gathering a Kid Builders in May – it is shaping up to be a fantastic conference! Don’t miss this first annual event! There is just something exciting about having been at the first one. Years from now, you can say, “I was at the first one!”
CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE: www.kidbuilders.ca
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Guest Blogger, Patrick McWhorter
Why go back to Yosemite? I prayed about the opportunity and tossed it around for a while. Would this year match the experience I had last year? Would it be better? Would it not be as good? There were so many reasons to go back and really no reason to not go.
The number one reason to go back – I know that I need the time away. I love what I do, don’t get me wrong. But throughout the year, the emotional stress can wear you out. The “normal” people issues that come up can wear on your soul, especially when the people are not just bodies in the congregation but are your friends, your family, your brothers and sisters in Christ. I know that I need the time away to leave the work of ministry behind, to leave the daily tasks behind, and to focus on ultimately what is most important, my own personal relationship with Christ.
Words cannot describe the feeling you have when you are 8,000+ feet up, looking over God’s awesome creation and it is just you, Him and His Word. God revealed things to me during the week at Yosemite that I was not expecting.
The time away last year allowed me to refocus my life and set my eyes on what was most important once again. I am looking forward to the time once again to refocus my life and to continue to grow as a child of God.
The opportunity to get with other guys from across the country and share life together was amazing. We all shared the common ground of children’s ministry but it was great to get to know each other, pray for each other, and encourage each other in our personal walks with Christ. I am looking forward to that fellowship again this year.
The cost was an issue that I had to weigh out. But when it came down to it, I could spend the money going to conferences getting new ideas for ministry or I could spend the money and take the time away I need to grow in Christ and re-energize my walk with Him.
I don’t know about you, but I have so many ideas that I don’t know what to do with them all. And the thing is, if I am pouring my energy into ministry and not taking care of my own relationship with Him, those new ideas are not going to take off anyway. Over the last couple years I have been doing what I can to do what I have always known, to put my relationship with God before my ministry. This is easier said than done, especially during the day to day things of life. Yosemite Summit is a great way to get away to leave the other things behind for a week and focus on what is most important.
Whether we realize it or not, we all need this time away with God. We fool ourselves into thinking that it is not a good time. We tell ourselves that we have too much going on. The things is, when don’t we as children’s pastors have too much going on? When are we just waiting around with nothing to do? There is always something to do!
There is never going to be the “best” time in our eyes to leave things behind. But as I came to the conclusion last year and this year, I need this time more than I need to hold the next event for the children. I need this time more than the next new activity or idea for the children’s ministry.
I realized that I needed to trust God and that He would provide the way to get things done that needed to get done – He would clear the path even if issues came up while at Yosemite. So with that said, I look forward to the discussions God and I will have on that mountain top. I look forward to the time with Him. I look forward to the continued strength from Him and how I will grow closer to Him that week. It will be an awesome week. Don’t miss it.
- Pat, April 2010
Learn more about this retreat at www.Yosemite Summit.org
Only four spots remain for 2010