Today I was guest teaching at a local church – and it happened to be the divisional play off game between the Broncos and the Chargers… which the Bronocos ended up winning later in the afternoon 24-17, though I didn’t know that when I was teaching!
Bronco Gear! (The football is from last AFC Championship, on other side.)
My topic was John’s baptism of Jesus – I explained that sports “fans” originated from religious “fanatics” and I compared how a fanatic, in the words of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, is “someone can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” We stick with a team, often even after moving, because we are loyal, and sports fans often “won’t stop talking about them.” What if it were that way with our devotion to Jesus? We were sports gear to show our team spirit, what do we do to show our “Jesus spirit?” Of course, we can wear Christian t-shirts or put bumper stickers on our cars, but God came up with something better. It’s called Baptism.
Below is a video of the lesson, and my lesson plan is linked below. The only thing not in the lesson plan is the magic appearing/disappearing dove and much of my puppet routine, but the basics of the lesson is there.
Here is the lesson summary I go over in the video, as it isn’t easy to make out in the video: (It is explained in the video)
Lesson Points the kids memorized
Enjoy the video. Not only can you enjoy the lesson, but it can be used as a training on teaching techniques and crowd control. It was a fun lesson and I enjoyed tying in the current events of the day into the topic I was asked to teach on.
(I updated the video with one where I integrated the two services, which is why the audience changes!)
Whenever possible, it is always best to take what could be a distraction (everyone wearing orange and being excited about a football game after church) and turn it into part of your lesson in order to engage your audience rather than compete with the distraction.
As I said on Facebook: Yes, I’m sad. The Broncos lost their first game after a 17 regular season game winning streak. However, just as I am not responsible in any way for their loss, it reminded me that can take no credit when they win either. I am merely an observer. That’s all a fan can do. But then, why the emotion? It’s so stinkin’ fun to be the home town of a winning team! My heart goes out to… (oh, I won’t pick on any of my friends who feel like this every week, it’s not their fault either.) But I must say, if we HAD to lose, what better place to lose? It was moving to see the “enemy” stadium express such love and respect for OUR quarterback. And yet, “Luck” was on their side, and as much as they love the guy Denver has grown to admire, they wanted to see their new guy triumph over the old champion – and I gotta admit, as painful as it was to watch, I am happy for them. So we dry our tears here in Denver and look forward to seeing Peyton continue to amaze us as the season unfolds. So much for replacing 1972 however!
However, I had a few observations I wanted to note here on my blog:
Peyton Manning is such a classy guy. He left Indianapolis is such a way, that when he returned as the opposing quarterback, the opposing team’s stadium was filled with opposing team’s fan wearing his jersey. Granted, they wanted their team to win – but they showed him honor and respect. How do you leave a ministry? Do you burn bridges? Or do you leave in such a way that if or when you cross paths again, you will be greeted with honor and respect?
We do a lot to cheer on the work of God in our world and in our life – but there is another sense in which we are mere observers. When things don’t go our way – and we don’t want the blame for when things go poorly (and start to make excuses) it may be a reminder that we can’t take as much credit as we’d like for when things do go our way. There may be others and even just the will of God that made them go well. Humility is called for in both cases – success as well as failure.
Everyone is making their opinions and predictions about Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I love listening to the “talking heads” on sports shows. My dad used to do a mimic of them when I was young that cracked me up. Instead of saying, “the other team was better today” or “we lost” – they always have to over-analyze and micro-criticize from their arm chairs. Which is easy to do, since they aren’t on the field. I named my new doggie after Theodore Roosevelt because he was a man who didn’t mince words and was a man of adventure. I just checked a children’s book about his life from the school library to read to my son so he would know why I chose that name. If you haven’t read his life – do it – it will amaze you. Guess what he said about critics? I love it:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I think Peyton and only player may laugh at the arm chair “experts” because they are the ones out in the field – and all we can do is watch, cheer, groan – celebrate or despair. But they get to play. And at the end of the day, win or lose – they are the ones who played. In life, are you playing or talking?
A few weeks ago, I took my family to the Monster Truck Rally at the Colorado State Fair, and my little boy LOVED IT! (of course) I enjoyed taking pictures with my zoom lens, and finally got around to making a highlight video… ENJOY:
What IS it about Monster Trucks that makes them so exciting?
Is there a lesson for KIDMIN? I think there is. Do you know the history of Monster Trucks? I’ve learned quite a bit about them as a dad with a boy who is in love with them.
It all began in the mid-1970s, when Bob Chandler, then a St. Louis, MO. construction contractor, owned an F-250 4×4 pickup truck. Chandler used his truck on the job and for off-road family fun on the weekends. But he found ways to break even the toughest of trucks, and that led to the discovery that there was no place in the Midwest to get 4×4 parts and service. Recognizing a potential market, Bob, Marilyn, and Jim Kramer started Midwest Four Wheel Drive & Performance Center.
They still used their 4×4 as a work truck, and partly as a promotional tool for their business. They tried out new parts on the truck, and kept making it bigger and better, always a step (or two) ahead of everyone else. Soon the truck itself became an attraction – especially once he put GIANT WHEELS on it. In 1979, it did its first paid event, a Denver car show. Truck pulls in arenas and stadiums soon followed.
Then, in 1981, Chandler tried something that forever changed the monster truck concept. It fueled an explosion of fan interest and led to a legion of imitators. He decided, just for fun, to see if he could drive BIGFOOT over a couple of junk cars.
The first car crush ever in 1981. A few months later, he duplicated the stunt in a stadium show. The rest is history. In 1983, BIGFOOT began a sponsorship association with Ford Motor Company. In that time, the BIGFOOT fleet has had 16 monster machines and the F-Series pickup has become the world’s best selling vehicle.
Quite simply, MONSTER TRUCKS are just regular trucks – made BIGGER and doing BIGGER things. But people love it. Bob continued to ask, “What will make it more fun?” But he also continued to ask, “What will make it safer?”
Today, drivers are safer than ever with suspension harnesses that keep drivers bouncing in their trucks as they do huge jumps, and their trucks can be remotely turned off by up to three different people outside the truck at the push of a button in case the driver loses control and the truck goes racing toward the stands full of spectators!
What can Kidmin Leaders learn from Monster Trucks?
If you want to draw kids and families to church – ask yourself the same questions Bob did. What needs are there in your community that no one is meeting? Meet them! And you will draw people to your church. Then ask, how can we do church BIGGER and BETTER than ever before? But don’t neglect asking as well, how can we do it safer as well?
When you read about a game or object lesson or skit or other children’s ministry idea – BLOW IT UP! Make it BIGGER AND BETTER. Any idea can be done HUGER!
Whatever you are doing, ask yourself, “What would GIANT TIRES look like in this situation?” Be ahead of the pack and GO FOR IT! You just might stumble onto something that will fill your church with new folks who you can then share the Gospel with. OR, you may just end up with an object lesson or game that is ten times more impactful or memorable.
Turn ordinary ideas into MONSTER IDEAS by blowing them up!
Many friends and family have been calling, e-mailing, facebooking or texting to ask how the Colorado Fires are affecting my family, or to make sure we are safe. We are fortunate to live an hour North of the Waldo Canyon Fire, but even so, we have seen its smoke on the horizon and breathed it’s wrath even this far away.
We have joined many others in mourning the loss of the Flying W Ranch – a Christian outreach and church, the many who have lost homes, and share the nervousness as the Navigators property is now being touched by the flames and putting the Glen Eyrie Retreat Center at risk as well as Garden of the Gods – both some of the beautiful landscape in Colorado.
Of course, homes and lives are precious too. I will leave the quoting of stats and numbers to the authorities, not only to avoid error, but because they are constantly changing.
I do want to post some pictures. Not to be sensational, but to help you see the seriousness of the fires and urge you to pray.
Pray for rain.
Pray for those fighting the fires bravely.
Pray for those who have lost everything to find peace and hope in Him who can bring a comfort no home or possession can. May the “peace that passes understanding” encompass them as their hearts are broken.
My dad took this from his front yard, that is the back of Glen Eyrie property.
Colorado Springs. (That is the Air Force Academy at the bottom.) (Instagram)
Thank you for your concern for my family. My dad lives in the Springs, just eight miles from the Waldo Canyon Fire and is housing an evacuated family. We all appreciate your prayer and support at this time.
You can see live coverage of the Waldo Canyon Fire here: KKTV.com
Instead of a Christmas Letter this year (December was just to crazy this year!) I opted for a more electronically savvy method, and created a video to reflect on 2011. Besides, it was too hard to choose which pictures to put into a letter – we started one, and which pictures to choose, was so hard!
This year included a trip to California to see my childhood best friend, Andy, get married, (and a trip to DisneyLand while there) and another trip back later in the year to perform my first wedding for his little sister, Lindsay!
We enjoyed many visits from friends coming to enjoy Colorado and stay with us (when are YOU coming?) and enjoying this beautiful state ourselves as we still discover its vast beauty!
Luke turned 5, and wanted a “real Jeep” for his birthday, so I rented a Jeep for the day! I started “Dad School” a mini-home school to focus on the areas he needed help, and also “Family Pit Stops,” our evening family devotional times as he got old enough for intentional spiritual input from Dad.
Sara is a table leader for MOPS at our church and I continue to write a children’s church curriculum called DiscipleTown in addition to leading Kidology. I wrap up a two year column in Children’s Ministry Magazine after being named one of the Top 20 Leaders in the past 20 years, which was a pretty big surprise and honor. We added three new employees this year, with new VP of Operations starting January 1st, so we are pretty excited about what God has in store for our little ministry.
In addition to my fourth Yosemite Summit, I also got to take Luke and Sara this year – and seeing Luke discover my favorite place on earth, and show him all my “secret places” the tourists walk right past was a real treat, and watching him find his own, “secret places” that he wants to come back to someday. And extra bonus, after speaking at two camps this year, was being invited back to one on short notice (a previously scheduled speaker got called to heaven on short notice) I took my dad with me and we added on a trip to Yosemite, just as father and son – yet another highlight of the year for me personally.
So 2011 was a busy year, but a good year. In 2012, I hope to find a slower pace and perhaps some more margin, but am still eagerly excited to see what God has in store for my family.
Thank you to everyone who calls us family, friends, and who supports us in prayer. If you are not a part of my personal prayer support e-mail list, it’s called the Kidology Champion Prayer Supports List, and you can subscribe here. Just update your Kidology Newsletters to include that list.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and we wish you a Happy New Year from our family to yours!