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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Kids are Curious!

Kids are curious! They love to learn! Curiousity hints, it creates anticipation. It instills wonder. Kids don’t learn from what they are told. They learn from what they discover. So in our teaching, we must foster their creativity by doing things that help them ask questions, seek knowledge and that engages their minds. Watch this short video to learn more about tapping into the curiousity of kids! What are you doing to engage the curiosity of your kids?

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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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I Was a Kid with Special Needs

When I meet a second grader, I always joke, “I spent two of the happiest years of my life in the second grade.” While most chuckle at the joke – I did repeat second grade, but they weren’t the happiest years of my life. I was a child with a special need that wasn’t discovered until second grade. Being deaf in one ear, I was often scolded for not listening, not paying attention and even cheating when I was looking at a friend’s paper to see what we were supposed to do. Once my handicap was discovered, life improved dramatically! I was moved to the front of the class and I repeated second grade to catch up academically and to focus on my communication skills. Once my needs were addressed, I went from feeling unloved and picked on to accepted and cared for. The difference in my self-esteem was profound. You have children with special needs in your midst. Some are obvious. But there are many that have hidden or undiscovered needs. Parents may be unaware or unwilling to address special needs. So how can you make sure that every child in your ministry feels welcome, loved and understood? Create…

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