Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for April, 2011
Quite Times Break Out Everywhere!
Wouldn’t it be great to start getting reports from parents that children in your church were starting to have Quiet Times all on their own?
Imagine hearing that your students were carving out special places in their closets, lofts, or backyards club houses and scheduling when they were going to meet with God!
It has happened to me many times over! I’ve even had kids draw me pictures of their “top secret” places where they meet with God.
And you must know, these meetings have life-long, even eternal results!
But they don’t happen without INTENTIONAL and PRACTICAL training!
That is why I have written HOW TO MEET WITH GOD.
I urge you to make this next installment of DiscipleTown a part of your disciple-making strategy and work it into your educational plan for Kid’s Church.
It is AVAILABLE NOW!
During this unit, your kids will learn tried-and-true techniques for enjoying a personal “Quiet-Time” with God so that they can learn how to deepen their friendship with God. Next, they will learn how to enjoy His company throughout the day and how to call on Him in times of need. Meeting with God is something we can do in a focused “Quiet Time,” but it is also something we can do anytime we want to experience the presence and power of God in our daily lives.
Happy Resurrection Sunday…
Grace = Getting what we don’t deserve.
(vs. Mercy = Not getting what we DO deserve!)
That’s what this weekend is all about. It’s about the Grace God showed us by looking past our short-comings, our failures, and our imperfections… and loving us anyway.
It’s about wanting us to be Family in spite of us. It’s about Him DYING to make us Family, even though we were wrapped up in ourselves and our needs.
We’ve all got people in our lives (and families) and drive us nuts and who are wrapped up in themselves. People who have let us down. People who don’t deserve a second chance. People who don’t deserve forgiveness. People who are a “lost cause.”
Christ was demonstrating for us what He expects of us by what He did for us. While WE were a lost cause, beyond hope, undeserving, selfish and wrapped up in OURselves – He died for us, and then did the biggest “come back” in His-Story to redeem us.
We have no excuse to hold anyone at arm’s length or hold a grudge. Those who have truly experienced Grace, find it so much easier and natural to extend Grace – for they have been to the foot of the Cross and begged for it.
This Easter, look around for who you can be Jesus to… someone perhaps you’ve overlooked, forgotten, or even given a cold shoulder too… and welcome them back.
After all, it’s what Jesus did for you and me on the first Good Friday and Easter not so long ago. (In God’s eternal timing)
A grace receiver,
On Kidology.org right now there is a discussion right now titled Alternative Names for Volunteers, and folks are discussing what we can call those who staff our kids ministry besides “Volunteers” because that word can often not capture the commitment we are seeking to have. The word “worker” came up, and it reminded me of something funny from my college days.
Me and Gus on a PCM
As a Moody Bible Institute student, I always got a kick out of the evolution of the weekly volunteer “PCM” requirement. It stood for Practical Christian Ministry assignment. My ‘kick’ wasn’t that it was a bad thing or required, while lots of students complained, I loved it and learned a lot as they required a wide variety of assignments over the course of your college experience.
What I thought was a little funny was that when my parents attended MBI in the 60′s it was a PCW assignment: Practical Christian Work assignment. Over the years Moody dropped the unattractive word ‘work’ for the more appealing ‘ministry.’ Now, I could just as easily defend the change and see the benefits of the word “ministry” over “work, BUT we ARE called to WORK for the Lord!
I just think we sometimes soften too much what we expect of volunteers and the way many students treated their PCMs, perhaps Moody should consider returning to calling them PCWs. (Though the student might revolt! LOL)
Maybe WE need to call volunteers to WORK in the children’s ministry too?
Just a thought.
What do YOU think? Comment below, or in the forum.
And just for fun, since I went digging for MBI pics… my other assignment while in college… to find a wife…
Practical Christian Dating at MBI ;)
Children get enough discouragement from adults telling them constantly what they are doing is wrong or needs to be better. They need to hear more often how they are loved, forgiven and believed in. They need to be encouraged and reminded that while their behavior may not always be good, their value and worth is good beyond description! They are good kids in God’s eyes because He made them and whatever God made IS good! After all, every day of creation God finished by saying, “It is good.”
As we shepherd the children in our ministries it is critical that we focus on their hearts more than their behavior. When we see bad behavior, our impulse needs to be not to correct the behavior, but to mold the heart that determined the behavior. There are plenty of techniques out there that can shape children’s behavior, but if we only succeed in changing behavior, we will have only created little Pharisees who know how to behave at church. But it will be unlikely that we will impact much how they behave at home and even less how they behave at school and after they outgrow children’s ministry. But if we reach their hearts we will have truly succeeded in making disciples!
Don’t focus on changing kids behavior… focus on changing kids hearts… and their behavior will mysterious change. It the same approach Jesus is using on you, by the way.
I loved Christine Yount’s “from the editor” in the latest edition of CM Magazine.
She admits, as we all would (or should!) – those unsettling moments when we feel out of control when everything isn’t going the way we think they should.
No matter how hard to try, there are constant crisis’ and struggles and things going wrong in our life and work… and we just can’t seem to get a handle on things.
It can be really frustrating. We have to look like we have it together for our staff and volunteers, so we let it out finally leak out to our spouses. (My poor wife!) Which Christine says she did on a walk with her husband, who gave her the following advice:
“You need to understand that one-third is going to be icky – and just accept it.”
Too often we focus on what we CAN’T CONTROL, instead of on what we CAN.
We can spend a lot of time complaining to our spouse about what we can’t change – instead of making changes we CAN make, or pursuing excellence in the areas we CAN control.
What can you change?
What do you need to change?
What are you afraid to change?
What are you waiting for?
“So if you, like me, get frustrated when things don’t go the way you want them to, embrace the 30-percent rule and consider what you can and cannot change…” – Christine Yount
I’m excited to announce I came in in Next to Next to Last on the Church Leaders Top 200 Church Blogs on Two Websites! (Actually, it’s the same list in two places)
Yup, I was Number 198 on a list of 200! Barely made it! Whew! But what an honor to be noticed and because they did the ranking based on Google ranking and subscribers to Google Reader and RSS feeds, I must say:
to those you YOU who read my blog, because it must mean you find my posts interesting, helpful, encouraging or something in order to keep coming back. I often say “I’ve been blogging since before there were blogs” and so it’s nice to know there are people reading!
I don’t often post (or concern myself) with awards or recognition (my dad raised me to not give much thought to such things) but as long as I am here to say “Thanks”, I should mention Tony Kummer’s Blog List – not because I’m on it – but because so MUCH WORK goes into creating these lists, and he has 99 OTHER great Kidmin Bloggers on it, all worthy of checking out, in addition to my blog:
So thanks again for reading my blog. Again, it’s nice to know folks appreciate it – it’s just another part of my Life Mission: To Reach and Teach as many children as possible with the Good News of God’s Love and in the process to Enlist, Equip and Encourage Others to do the same.
Five years ago today – I got the phone call that forever changed my life, and MADE ME A DAD! Ever since, we’ve been celebrating “Gotcha Day” on April 1st – the day we GOT LUKE!
So this year, we asked Luke what he would like to do, and he chose The Denver Zoo! It ended up being a treat because his next store neighbor friend was able to come along for the fun!
Up close and personal with a lion!
I got up close to a cheetah... with a zoom lens anyway!
But Luke loves gorillas, so we had to head over the Primate Area!
Beware of Dangerous Primates on the loose!
I spotted two primates lurking right at the entrance to the area! They must have escaped from their cages! Oh No!
In case you are wondering what a “Primate” is… here are some sample:
First, some little primates…
Reminds me of a relative... not saying which!
And even littler ones..
Looks like an Ant Eater to me!
But finally, we got to the GORILLAS!
The Boys and the Gorillas
Luke admiring the Gorillas
Luke’s favorite non-domestic animal (he loves dogs) is Gorillas! He loves to play with them, had a t-shirt, discovered Gorilla snacks at the grocery store, and I’ve screened a few old-time King Kong YouTube videos for him! And of course, Casa Bonita here in Denver has a kid-friendly Gorilla he loves!
Could he be eating Gorilla Snacks?
I’ve even cued up the Gorilla sceen in Old Dogs for him – pretty funny!
Luke even got within ONE FOOT of a Great Ape and lived to tell about it!
Hope that glass is thick!
But then came MY favorite part of the day… the Bears! (and I’m not referring to the lousy team from Chicago either.) I love bears! I am a Yosemite Bear Chaser, having been very close to them every year in Yosemite.
First, I spotted this beautiful Black Bear about to eat a tasty little twig and I wondered if he might be the same bear from my oft told joke about the “Christian Bear” (pastors all know the joke, so I won’t tell it here – if you don’t, ask in comments, and I’ll tell it there!) when what to my amazement…
The Famous Christian Bear!
He folded his massive paws, bowed his head and prayed! Why, this IS the famous Christian Bear!
Then, his buddy came out to join him, another massive black bear… don’t let the brown fur fool ya!
Here’s a good way to see just how BIG these guys are! Scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours!
Such amazing creatures! Though I much prefer to see them in the wild, it was fun to be able to see them up close and so active today!
I love bears! So I decided to see what the Bible has to say about bears…
Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly.
It was a fun day – and of course, it’s so hard to believe we’ve had Luke for FIVE years! Time sure goes by FAST! That’s one of the reasons I started BeTheDadToday.com – to help ME and other dads make every day count as a dad. I’m actually recruiting a TEAM of dads to help me with the site, so the content on the Facebook Page and Twitter feed is going to be increasing.
If you are a Dad – let me encourage you to CHECK IT OUT!
Before there was Kidology.org – (well, it was members.aol.com/kidologyweb) – Before most people had heard of this guy who called himself “the Kidologist” – there was just this kids pastor name Karl Bastian who threw himself 287% into whatever he did! One of those times was when he got invited to provide the children’s programing (not child care!) for the Okoboji Lakes Bible Conference waaaay back in 1996. I was hired by none other than Scottie May. You may have never heard of her, but she is the Mom of Phil Vicher (Creator of VeggieTales), and he wasn’t a household name in kids pastor’s homes (or American homes for that matter) back then. I think the first VHS tape was just hitting stores!
Anyway – Along with my wife and some youth I brought from my church, we were proving children’s programming for TEN DAYS while the parents were in sessions over in the “Big Tent.” We did full scale Kids Church-like lessons, game times, crafts, and so much more. As I always do whether I’m doing Kid’s Church, speaking at camp, or writing curriculum, I provide more than asked and try to make it the best I possibly can for the kids sake. I believe in making memories for kids – spiritual anchors that will last a life time. It’s always been my passion and philosophy that we aren’t just teachers – we are making spiritual Ebeneezers – reminders for the future of what God did in the past in kids minds – that’s why we should go ‘over the top,’ whey they stray from the faith – they can mentally (and spiritually) see these Ebeneezers and be led back!
Where am I going with this? At the end of this week, just a few years into being married, and a young children’s pastor at the beginning of my budding career, Scottie May – a woman I looked up to as an expert and guru in kids ministry gave me a letter along with my pay check. It has been thumb tacked to the wall by my desk for over 15 years – from ministry to ministry, I have cherished it! I usually just get a check in an envelop, but she went the extra mile to write me a letter! It has faded and gotten worn with holes and folds, but it is still special to me.
Dear Karl, Sara and Troop:
WOW! You guys are phantasmagorical (I think that means unbelievable.) You amazed me with your organization, energy, efficiency, and execution. Parents loved you. Kids love you. My cousin’s family had to stay overnight because her children cried when she said they’d be leaving this afternoon before your final session.
Thanks for going above and beyond the call of duty to show the love of our Lord to these kids.
May each of you be refreshed and renewed as you travel home tomorrow. I know that God is pleased because you have been faithful and what you did was well done.
I’ll be praying with and for you about returning to minister again next year.
In awe of Him,
I don’t share this letter after all these years to brag or pat myself on the back – or I’d have shared it many years ago! But to tell you what an IMPACT this letter had on me as a children’s pastor of only three years! “phantasmagorical” ?!?! I had no idea what that meant! But it sounded good! I wanted to BE a phantasmagorical children’s pastor! I wanted to live up to how she described me! I wanted not just the kids to love me, (that was easy), but the parents too! I wanted parents to not be able to leave because kids had to hear my last lesson! I would always be known for “going above and beyond the call of duty” because anyone can do what is asked of them. And she caught why, it showed my love for these kids. And ultimately, I wanted the Lord to be pleased, and if I pleased the people I was serving, then there was a good chance, God would be pleased too. And being asked back – is always the best compliment you can get. (And I was asked back again!)
So I ask you…
- WHO encouraged YOU like this when you were starting out?
- WHO have YOU encouraged? Write them a note! (NOT an e-mail, a real hand written note on that flat white stuff called paper!) You never know, they may cherish and save it for years to come.
And Scottie, should you happen to read this – THANK YOU for believing in me and giving me a chance when I was just starting out and hardly knew what I was doing. I needed those opportunities early one to live and learn and love on kids! I am today what I am because of leaders like you and Mary Kay Meeker, Chris Yount, Byron Ragains, Linda Connell and so many others who gave me a chance before I had “made a name” for myself. You took a risk on a young guy who just seemed to be nuts about ministry to kids.
THANKS for encouraging ME! May many others do the same for others like me!