Living a Legacy – A Tribute to My Friend Craig Jutila

Pastor Craig Jutila passed away on December 26th, 2018.  as a result of a snowboarding accident. An official statement is available on his church’s Facebook page. This is my tribute to him. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 There are people who live a full life. There are others who live life to the fullest. Still others who are full of life. But rare are those who do all of these and leave the world fuller because they were here. I don’t even remember when I first met Craig Jutila. He’s one of those friends I’ve just always known. When you have memories that go back farther than your digital pictures, you know you have known someone a long time. I sat in his workshops as a learner, I served with him at training events, even once on a cruise at a conference our friend Roger Fields organized on a ship. The last time we chatted about ministry, life, and family was during a break earlier this year as we coached leaders at the children’s pastors conference. Like me, he…

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Jesus is Proof – God Prefers the Unlikely

Have you figured it out yet? I know, you’ve heard it many times. God prefers to use the ordinary. The unexpected. The unknown. The unlikely. Jesus came through an unknown young girl and her husband of unknown heritage. His birth was announced to humble shepherds. There was no room in the Inn so the Son of God was born in a place suitable more for animals than the King of Kings. We know this story. We’ve taught this story. A hundred times in a hundreds ways. But what does this mean for us in Children’s Ministry? It means everything. It’s more than just a story for Christmas time. It reveals how God prefers to get things done. He is a God who’s glory and power and provision is best on display when it is needed most. When we look at our ministries, too often we see how things ought to be. How our staffing ought to be. Our facilities. Our budgets. Our resources. Our…. (dare I say it?) appreciation for all that we do for the children. We may even look at the lack of skill in the volunteers we have to work with, the age of the equipment we…

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Led to Jesus by Candy

It was October 13th, 1972. I’ll always remember the date, because it’s my little sister’s birthday. Whenever my sister, Melissa, celebrates her birthday, I celebrate my spiritual birthday. Her physical age (no worries, sis, I won’t tell!) is my spiritual age! When my mom went into the hospital to deliver Melissa, my older sister and I were both sent to different homes to be cared for so dad could focus on Mom. I was only four years old. When I heard I was going to Candy’s house I was delighted! Candy Crowell was a favorite of all the children at church. Not only was she a sweet old lady who volunteered in the children’s ministry, but if you shook her hand on Sunday a butterscotch candy magically appeared in your hand! I can still remember her home vividly. I can imagine the front room, the kitchen two steps up, the table where I sat eating snacks, and even where the bathroom was. (Very important when you are four!) I remember the front yard filled with scattered toys over a scarce lawn, the scruffy hedges that formed the boundaries I had to play within, but most of all I remember the…

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KidCheck is a Leader in Child Safety – See Why!

In addition to amazing, super secure children’s check-in, featuring the latest technology; KidCheck is the child safety expert. They have tons of great information, tips, and best practices to share – all for free. KidCheck believes every child deserves a chance to grow up in a safe environment, and every parent deserves peace-of-mind about the safety of their children. The first step in reaching a parent is by protecting their children. KidCheck continually provides key safety information to help you keep kids safe! Here are some great ways KidCheck shares: Free Downloads Great safety resources to download for free. Improving Child Safety Video Series and PDF Guide Actionable, best practices to help create a safe environment Technology Spotlight: Children’s Check-In eBook Learn more about how technology can help improve your ministry Emergency Instructions Flip Book Be Prepared with step-by-step instructions for various emergency situations Blog Articles Kidcheck has articles across a series of topics on their blog about child safety including policies, volunteers, allergies, medical, evacuation, predators, screening process and more. Many of these are available in the Kidology zones as well. Some articles include: Candidate/Volunteer Screening Series Child Protection Policy Series First Aid Kits Top Safety Tips/Approach Gaining Leadership Support…

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Kids Ministry Over the Top!

Sunday morning a guest said to me, “We came for the Kidz Blitz show and decided we had to come check out Sunday!” That’s the power of bringing in an over-the-top FUN family event and providing it as a gift to your community! Image your main auditorium filled with cheering kids, smiling parents, fun music and flying tee-pee paper! As soon as people enter the room they know they are in for a super evening! Not only was it a great program, but it was a super easy event to plan! Roger and his team made it easy and it took only a few volunteers to pull it off!I consider Roger Fields the inventor of the over-the-top insanely fun family outreach event! He has several crews around the country making his high-octane high-energy highly effective show available for your church! Bring in kids and families, and share the crazy, amazing love of God like you never have before! I got “POOFED” as part of the show! I was framed! In a game where kids are shaving a water balloon on their dad’s head – I was told to pop the balloon at the end of the games, along with my…

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