Should We Promote Diversity in Kidmin?

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I hope that this blog post will generate some honest, polite and important dialogue. I am not trying to stir anything up – but sincerely want to get your feedback on a question I got. Several months ago, I received the following question from a listener to my podcast: Good morning Karl, I am… (name and church removed)   I listened to your podcast, and absolutely loved it! Great job, keep up the great work that you’re doing for all of the professionals in the kids ministry world.   I did have a question, however, that I would love to see you address. The question is, “How do you encourage and promote diversity in your kids ministry?”   We are living in a day and age, that unfortunately, kids and families are exposed to the rise of division because of race and ethnic background.   How do you promote unity and diversity in the mist of these unfortunate events? This is a fantastic question – but I must admit, I had to really wrestle with it because the premise of the question bothers me, that we live in a day and age when, yes, there are a lot of events …

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Angry Kids and Crime

Responding to the School Shooting Near My Home This past week just a few miles from my home yet another troubled teenager entered his school, armed with weapons and explosives, fired on fellow students, before turning the gun on himself as the police closed in. While the rapid response of law enforcement minimized the potential harm to students, a young classmate now lies in a coma fighting for her life. While her parents and our nation pray for her recovery, there is another set of parents who have lost a son – and a nation asking once again, “Why?” While the radio waves are filled with the predictable arguments over gun control laws – some have brought up the broken home this young man came from and the fact that nearly all school shootings have been committed by children of divorce. While we certainly don’t know the complete reasons for this most recent attack, we do know divorce is an attack a child’s world. On Kidmin Talk this week I invited Wayne Stocks from DivorceMinistry4Kids.com to join me as we discuss what children’s ministers can and should be doing to better meet the needs of these kids to help them …

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Karl the Pioneer?

As I have just spent the last two days driving across the “fruited plains” I have had time at the wheel to think again about the rich (and sobering) history of this Great Land. And I love to day dream about what life would have been like for myself and my family had we lived in a time when crossing it wouldn’t have been in an air-conditioned mini-van with cruise control and fast food stops or look-a-like rest areas on paved Inter-states – but perhaps along the Oregon or California Trails of 1840? A time when it took months at walking pace to travel hundreds of miles into the unknown leaving all comfort behind and going forward with only hope and courage. What would “Karl the Pioneer” be like? I have often been called a “Pioneer of the Internet.” In today’s definition of a pioneer I suppose that is true. If being a pioneer is to ‘bravely go where few have gone before,’ then sure. O.K. I was a pioneer. I was building webpages in HTML when most people didn’t have an e-mail address and “blogging” before WordPress or Blogger existed. I survived the “Dot Com Crash” because I built …

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A Presidential Visit to your Kids Ministry?!?!

Imagine if the President of the United States heard about your kids ministry and decided he needed to see if for himself? That’s exactly what happened to a Sunday School Director named Dwight Lyman Moody… and the President was none other than Abraham Lincoln! I have the honor of being the first children’s pastor on staff at the church he founded well over 100 years ago, The Moody Church. While he is known primarily as the Billy Graham of the previous generation, his ministry began as a children’s evangelist and he had a HUGE impact on the creation and growth of Sunday School. At a time when many churches were supported by ‘rented pews’ Moody rented pews for street kids. When he was told the children weren’t welcome in church (Big Church) he started a Sunday School for street kids that grew so big and well respected that Abraham Lincoln visited one Sunday to see it for himself! Imagine having the President of the United States drop in to see your kids ministry. Moody was passionate about kids but as his ministry grew, his focus shifted to adults. He said at the end of his life, “If I had my …

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When There Are No Answers

I am the father of a kindergartner. I can not fathom the feelings and emotions of those who lost their children today. I have cried today. I have struggled to focus. I suppose in one sense I feel sympathy, which by definition is an extension of empathic concern, or the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another human being. But at the end of today, I will get to cuddle with my son, while those parents will somehow try to sleep without their child, with Christmas decorations throughout their home and hidden presents that will never be opened. How can I possibly understand their agony? How can I possibly answer why? Politicians will resume the “gun control” battle, as though any laws could have prevented the events of today. Perhaps there is some merit in addressing guns… but that does little for those families. Others will decry the lack of prayer in schools or the decline of morality in our culture. Still, empty words to address empty beds tonight. Many have e-mailed me today or messaged me on Facebook asking what to do on Sunday at church. To that end, I started a thread on Kidology.org. …

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