Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for May, 2012
Have you caught the KidminTalk Guest Hosts this month on Kidology.org?
I’ll be back next week – but I don’t want you to miss these shows!
The ground next door has finally been broken!
It has been the last lot in our neighborhood and my six year old son, Luke, has been beside himself waiting for the last house to go up!
Today, a bunch of workers showed up to set forms for the foundation. It took them all day.
But by standing on our back deck we can begin to see the size and shape of the house. Luke is already comparing their house to ours and commenting on how small their back yard will be. Already, he knows, the foundation will determine the house.
As soon as the workers were gone, we went exploring! I explained how as early as tomorrow, perhaps, wet concrete will be poured between these molds and become the foundation of the house.
I held him up to look down between them and explained what the re-bar was that later would be invisible, but would give strength to these walls – much of which would be under the dirt.
As he walked and climbed around under my nervous but watchful eye, I couldn’t help but think that this was exactly what I was in the process of doing with my own son.
I am setting the forms for the foundation for his entire life.
Much of my work, also, will never be seen. Even now, it is determining the width and breath of his spiritual life. While much of the “wet cement” of his life has yet to be poured by the experiences of life that lie before him, I am setting up the molds, the framework for him – his world view – the mental guidelines and boundaries into which his experiences will pour and shape him and that will guide how he holds up and whether he stands strong in the storms that will surely come. His inner “re-bar,” later unseen, is being set now by our talks as we walk along the road and as we lay down at night to discuss the events of the day and the principles of life a father passes on to his son that will later determine his inner strength. Everything else in his life is going to build upon the foundation for which I now am laying out the framework. It is humbling. Almost scary.
It just got me thinking, I need to take this job seriously.
We are back from Yosemite Summit 2012! I’ll be posting pictures and a full report soon. Thank you everyone who prayed for us while we were were away, God showed up in many big and little ways and I’m eager to share the stories!
No worries, this isn’t some final post as I depart to my final destination… just as I head off to Yosemite Summit for a week of 100% complete and total disconnect from work, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook and anything that distracts me from my relationship with God.
The 5th Annual Summit is Complete:
Meet: Tom, Travis, Alan, Johnny and Tim. The gang has met up in Sacramento and fellowshiped at the Official California #Kidmin Hangout:
The super observant notice my Panda Express, I already had In-N-Out twice as guys arrived, and the Holy Spirit (or my cardiologist) would not allow me to eat it three meals in a row!
Two of them had their FIRST In-N-Out Burger:
We have shopped till we dropped, chilled in the hot tub, and eaten out at the mall, but in the morning, all the tweeting and facebooking and crazy pole pics come to an end. (See more pics on the my Twitpic Page)
Yosemite Summit is not a conference. It is the UNconference for men in ministry because it is a break from ministry. As it’s description says, there is:
No Workshops – Just Worship
No Resources – Just Relationships
No Networking – Just God Working
My inbox is still full. My voice mail is still full. And I have lots of stuff still unchecked on my to-do lists. But Yosemite Summit is my annual time to just walk away from it all, and simply Walk with God. (literally and figuratively.)
It is when I show Him tangibly that He is more important than all the “stuff” I do for Him and I spend time just being with Him. It is when I show that I mean it when I say He is more important than anything or anyone else. It is how I show that I’d walk away from it all for Him – by doing just that once a year, for an entire week. Just dropping it all… as it is. Undone, uncompleted, unneat and untiddy and just let it lie… as it is. My office is just as thought I got up and walked out, because I did. I just go. I’m never ready for the Summit. It just finally comes, and I just go. Just like that. If I waited until I was ready, it would never happen.
If you e-mail me, you’ll get a polite auto-reply. I will DELETE all e-mail accounts from my iPhone and MacBook Air. They won’t even exist here in CA a few minutes after I post this. I only have my Air for downloading pictures each evening. That’s it.
I’m firing myself from my job. I won’t think about it for an entire week. I’ve had people say that must be hard for me. There was a time when it would have been. It’s actually quite easy for me now. Because my identity is no longer my work. There was a time when it was. But I’ve gotten over that. So I can turn it off and on as needed. And as soon as I hit publish on this post… it’s off.
And I’ll just be Karl: Child of God. Sara’s husband and Luke’s dad. Nothing more.
The rest that I am and do will be back in a week. Until then…
CHECK OUT THE GUYS I’VE SHARED THIS EXPERIENCE WITH THE PAST FOUR YEARS AND CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR A REPORT, HIGHLIGHT PHOTOS AND VIDEO: (I’ll update this post with the sign pic from this year when I return.)
Will you be in the 2013 picture?
Someone posted in the Kidology.org Forums about a really tough first Sunday as kids pastor with discipline in their first Sunday’s Kids Church. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? I wanted to blog my answer here, and encourage others to jump on over and share their words of advice and encouragement as well:
I just accepted a children’s pastorate at a good sized church. Today was the first Sunday. I have lots of cm experience and have never had discipline issues with kids. These kids walked in and read to tear the person leading limb by limb. I didn’t know the names so I could call their names (even though we made name tag), and I was fully prepared. I am going to find a smaller venue to hold kid’s church. Seems that the larger room (gym) kids just want to run loose. I asked what they really liked to do in kid’s church for future planning and they said playing games in the back (foosball, etc) They are only in kids church maybe 30 min. It was a rough first Sunday. Any feedback?
[Edited down] First of all, (I hate sounding like a sales plug, so if you can’t afford it, e-mail support and we’ll send it to you for free – but consider getting The Kids Church Cookbook – the whole sh’bang – it will help you from planning, recruiting, creative teaching, and using kids on your team – TONS of help, over 270 pages and 7 training videos. While I hate “selling” – helping folks like you is why I wrote/created it, after teaching over 1000 kids church services I’ve learned a few things, as I was once where you are. [:s] It will help you turn things around, and save me from writing a book in this post. [:o] Like I said, if you sincerely need it free, just ask for it. My gift to you! I want you to have it if you can’t buy it. But I do know people tend to use what they invest in. So if you have a budget, invest in yourself.
Sounds like you need help, get helpers so you aren’t correcting kids from the front, that is a joy-killer and makes the tone negative. You need to the positive one, and get others to do the correcting. And I can’t encourage you enough to start a kids krew (My K.C. Krew) turn those trouble makers into your helpers! When kids are involved, they can’t criticize. Of course, its not overnight, but it makes a huge difference. Even if you have to cancel children’s church while you get ready, so they sit in “Big Church” for awhile to realize it is a privilege to be there.
If things are really bad, you may need to establish control quickly with some clear rules -
1) Stay in Your Seat.
2) Raise Hands to Speak.
3) Follow Directions.
4) Have FUN!
(Let them know #4 can only happen when 1-3 are being followed.) Then you have a three warning system per child, and after three warnings, they get a week out of kids church. You’ll gain control really fast when they aren’t allowed in Kids Church. You have to gently, kindly, soft voice but with tough love just say, “I’m not sure how things were before, but this is how I’m doing things now. I won’t have that.”
A verse I will share with you that you CANT share with a parent (!!!!) is Jesus said not to toss pearls before swine. What they meant was you can’t let the rest of the kids suffer because of a few. You love those few, but it is OK to get rid of them for the sake of the rest. They will be back, and they will start to respect you. I have stepped into really bad situations and instituted control and rules and within 6 weeks I had order and obedience because while I had creative and fun teaching – that is not enough. The kids have to know I will not tolerate disorder and craziness. (Unless it is under my direction, of course!)
You are NEVER mean, you don’t raise your voice, your face is always kind and your voice loving and soft, but you simply have rules, and they are enforced, with grace and understanding, but you are not walked on by kids. Period. They are not used to that. I’ve had inner city project kids who will obey me at church, who would not obey at home or school, and their parents are baffled. They ask, “I don’t get it, why do they obey you and not me?” And my simple (gentle) answer is, “Well, its because I expect it.”
So, my answer is (so much for short) you need help, and you need to set standards, and you need to enforce them, and within 6-8 weeks you can have control of a classroom. But you can’t do it alone. AND at the same time, the quality of the program must be improving, but they must be happening at the same time.
Please get the Kids Church Cookbook, even if I must give it to you, it has the answers and tools you need for success!
Your Turn: GO HERE
I’ve been going through some childhood papers, sorting, filing, (pitching!) and it’s been very special (and funny) to get these glimpses into the “young Karl.” Many things I remember, others come as a surprise to me.
I was very touched to discover a very simple piece of paper that I had written and colored just a year after my little sister, Blessing Faith, was born…and died. I didn’t want to forget her.
She lived only 5 days due to a very rare birth condition where her brain did not finish developing. I got to hold her, and my parents later told me that my strength and trust in the Lord at age 12 helped them through it. It was something amazing for me to grasp at that time, not understanding the simple faith of children and how it can often help us more complicated adults!
Anyway, here is a close-up of what I wrote, and a PDF of the entire sheet is linked below. I wanted to make sure I never forgot that day, and here, 30 years after making this simple piece of paper on Blessing’s birthday, I am getting my wish. I am remembering.
(Click to View Larger)
Some might ask why my parents named her Blessing Faith. Well, the answer is quite simple. Right away when she was born, it was clear her life would be very short. In fact, the doctors predicted only hours at first, and yet she held on for several days.
My dad was the senior pastor of our church, and people would say things like, “How terrible” or “What a tragedy” or “How unfortunate,” etc. I remember my parents explaining to me that her life was a Blessing, and it was their Faith in God that helped them trust Him through difficult times like this. And that we too, as her siblings, should see her as a Blessing to our Faith.
I will always remember holding her and holding back my tears so I could be strong for my dad, and silently thanking God for my Blessing and asking Him to give me Faith like my parents.
Blessing Faith did a work in many people’s lives in our church. In fact, I remember my mom saying that she led more people to Jesus in five days than some Christians do in their entire life. Those words have always stuck with me.
Now, 31 years later, I remember her still. And I look forward to meeting my sister, the Blessing, someday. Because that’s what Faith is.
Here is the PDF of my Remembrace to my Little Sister, Blessing Faith. (900kb)
Does God NEED my help?
On my podcast today I talked about how to RECLAIM OUR ZEAL IN MINISTRY when we feel it waning.
The Theme Verse was:
Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in ZEAL, but keep your SPIRITUAL FERVOR, serving the Lord.
I used the letters of the word Z.E.A.L. to offer four ways to rediscover ZEAL:
Z = Zero in on What Matters Most (get away from the distractions that pull you away from what drew you into ministry in the first place)
E = Encourage Others (get the focus off yourself)
A = Abandon Busyness (get away from ministry periodically)
L = Love Jesus (get back to relationship over service)
As I mentioned on the show…why do I have my son help wash my car? Is it because he is actually helpful? Do I need his help? No. In truth, I can wash the car faster and better without him. He actually hinders the task a bit.
I let him help because he wants to be a part of what his dad is doing. We wash the car together out of a loving relationship, not out of my need for his assistance.
Our service to God is exactly the same.
God doesn’t need our help. In fact, truth be told, our efforts probably hinder and hurt God’s efforts. However, He allows us to work with Him because He loves us and understands that we want to work with our Dad. Get this: We serve God out of a loving relationship, not because of God’s need for our assistance.
It makes you wonder why we work so hard…and often without God. It would be kinda like my son trying to wash the car without me. Pretty pointless, don’t ya think?
Listen to the free webcast.