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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FALL Checklist Time for Your Kidmin!

Let’s work together! While you may still have some summer events… soon the kids will be back in school, you’ll be raking leaves, and your annual ministry programs will be in full swing. NOW is the time to get a jump on the fall and head off some mini-emergencies. Soon you’ll have all the usual Sunday morning crises you had last fall: New teachers wondering where things are Regular teachers asking where stuff is Supplies running out Equipment malfunctioning A backlog of applications and background checks New obligations someone assumed you knew about! Fill in the blank: _____________________ Take some time this week to make yourself a FALL CHECKLIST. I can’t write your checklist because every ministry is different – but I can give you some suggestions based on what I’m thinking about for my own list. Use an afternoon, a lunch hour, or a quiet evening to think ahead. (Don’t just say, ‘That’s a good idea.’ DO IT!) In the classic Children’s Ministry Handbook, The Art of War, Kidmin Guru Sun Tzu writes, “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” Which simply means, preparation is everything. He also writes, “The children’s pastor who wins makes many calculations in…

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What Will You Leave Behind?

Life is lived moving forward, but it’s good to look in the rear view mirror once in a while. WHAT WILL YOU LEAVE BEHIND? Recently, I did some off roading in the mountains here in Colorado. I came across old structures and enjoyed taking pictures of them. Hard to believe this old mine once produced gold! What a happenin’ place it must have been. The imagination allows you to picture this structure new and bursting with activity as men toiled to produce gold. Now all that remains is a pile of wood – a shadow of once was. I came across a few cabins, roofs long gone and one had a 20 foot tree growing inside. And yet, imagine when there was not only a roof, but a floor and furniture and people eating, sleeping, laughing and calling this home. It got me thinking. What will remain of my life’s efforts one hundred years from now? What ‘ruins’ will hint at how I spent my limited time here on earth? How have I spent my time and what mattered most to me? What will last and what will vanish without a trace? 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says: For no one can…

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Making Your Communication Personal and FUN with Bitmoji!

To capture people’s attention today, your messages need to stand out! Let’s face it, e-mail and text communication is a daily part of every leader’s day. But the people we are communicating with are inundated with messages from all areas of their lives. How do you make yours stand out? How can you bring a smile to people’s faces? I use a FREE app called Bitmoji, specifically, the iOS keyboard. You can search by key word of just scroll through LOTS of options then copy/paste or download to your device. Getting Started is easy (and free) 1) You download the app and set up an account. 2) You go through the steps of creating your character! 3) You can change outfits as often as you want! 4) You look for the ones you want to use and then HAVE FUN! Since it is a phone app, I search on my phone, and when you select one, it copies to your clipboard. I will then text it to myself and on my computer, download it from Messages to my desktop, and then I file them all in a folder. If the app ever goes away, I’ve got hundreds to use for…

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