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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Day 3 – Thankful for My Mom

This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving. DAY #3: My Mom It’s hard to believe this Christmas Day will be 15 years since my mom went to meet Jesus. Yes. The day we celebrate “God With Us” – is the day my mom went to be with God. Peacefully, after my little brother gave her permission to go. Though ill with cancer, she had kept her humor and loving gift of encouragement. My favorite inheritance is the boxes of cards of and letters from all over the world of lives she touched. Those who have heard me speak, have heard her words through me, even when I wasn’t crediting her. She is a part of me. They have heard the story of my call to ministry – when I said at age ten, “I want to me a children’s evangelist when I grow up,” and she said, “What’s growing up got to do with anything? You start next week,” and the kidologist was born! I am thankful for a mother who saw past the boundless energy …

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24 Days of Thankfulness

Today I launched a little Thanksgiving Project over on Kidology.org called “24 Days of Thanks-Giving” – basically I am providing a simple Word doc you can download and every day from Nov. 1 until Thanksgiving add ONE thing you are thankful for. It’s really just something I need to DO MYSELF – but I thought maybe others might want to join me, and I’d enjoy reading/seeing what others are thankful for. So you are welcome to use the Word doc, or just post in the forum what YOU are thankful for! So let me begin today, with my first post. These are NOT going to be in priority order, otherwise I’d have to go God, Family, etc. and then later on, people might judge me for putting one thing “above” or “before” another – so right out of the gate let me say, these posts will be in RANDOM ORDER of things I am THANKFUL FOR! DAY 1 – Yosemite DAY 2 – God’s Word DAY 3 – My Mom DAY 4 – Photography DAY 5 – Pandora DAY 6 – George Lucas DAY 7 – Breckenridge DAY 8 – Barq’s DAY 9 – Mercy & Grace DAY 10 – …

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Seventeen Years Ago Today

Seventeen years ago today I said, “I do!” But that was seven years after seeing her picture during my junior year of high school in a missionary slide show and deciding to write her a letter! Soon we were pen pals and an overseas friendship began from Chicago to Manila long before the Internet would have made it much easier to write back and forth. Each letter took two weeks to be answered so we maintained at times up to ten separate conversations as letters crisscrossed the globe. Eventually, I developed a growing love for the, uh, Filipino people, (yeah, that’s it!) and asked her father if I could come to the Philippines and be, uh, mentored by him during the summer after I graduated high school. Perhaps suspecting my ulterior motive, he requested I get a year of Bible college first before I could come as part of his mission’s summer intern program.I figured that was better than working for him for seven years and being given her ugly sister in marriage, and since she didn’t have a sister, the year of Bible college requirement seemed safe. So off to Moody Bible Institute I went. (I was going anyway, …

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Do You Need Seminary To Succeed?

I received a Facebook message today from a children’s pastor with an interesting question. His church was encouraging him to pursue a seminary degree, but he wasn’t convinced it was necessary. As he looked over the landscape of ‘successful’ children’s ministry professionals, he saw many (including me) whom he didn’t think had seminary degrees, and that didn’t seem to hinder their success in ministry. I won’t list those he mentioned, because he was wrong in assuming that I don’t have a degree, and I wouldn’t want to make the same mistake by stating publicly that someone else doesn’t have a degree if indeed they do. I actually have a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible Theology from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and a Master’s Degree in Children’s Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, but that isn’t the point. The point is that this children’s pastor poses a great question. I wanted to share here some of what I shared with him, in case others are wrestling with that difficult decision. Getting a degree is difficult when you are in full-time ministry! As one who has pursued my education while in ministry, I know it is very hard …

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