His Kidmin Yoke is Easy


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 If Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10) and to make our joy complete (John 15:11), then why are so many in ministry worn out, stressed out, and secretly ready to drop out of ministry? Why is it that so often those who know they were called by God to serve Him find themselves second-guessing that same call when life and ministry become almost more than they can bear? Whenever I am asked to speak or write on “avoiding burn out,” I can’t help chuckling to myself. Not because the topic is funny, but because the joke is on me. I know that when I needed to hear such things, I was unable or unwilling to. Why? I loved ministry! I was driven by the pressure that comes from wanting to make a difference. My favorite Calvin and Hobbes quote was when Calvin declared, “I …

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No More Sinner’s Prayer in Kidmin?

Cute little girl is praying

Something makes me very sad. It is this new “trend” for children’s ministry workers and pastors in churches to not invite children to pray to receive Jesus as their Savior. I hear all kinds of reasons: they’re too young; they don’t know what they are doing; we are giving them a false sense of spiritual security; they were manipulated; they end up re-doing it later anyway; there is no sinner’s prayer anywhere in the Bible; and the most passionate objections are to asking children to invite Jesus into their heart. In truth, I agree with many of the concerns raised by those who no longer invite kids to pray to receive Christ. It gets awkward because to defend leading kids to Jesus does not equal disagreeing with those valid concerns. But I fear at times we are throwing the baby out with the bath water. When it comes to “inviting Jesus into our heart,” the Bible talks about the heart over 600 times. Romans 10:10 is one of the verses that forms the basis for both the expression of inviting Jesus into the heart, and for a sinner’s prayer, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are …

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Sharing the Gospel to Get Results


This past Sunday our church enjoyed having Barney Kinard visit as our guest speaker. Barney is known as the Kidhelper. He is a former children’s pastor, 50 year veteran children’s evangelist, and Kidology Coach. We celebrated 26 children making decisions for Christ on Sunday. Guiding children to making this life-altering decision doesn’t happen by mistake. It requires intentionality, creativity, skill and a sense of purpose. Let me share with you several observations I made on Sunday as I watched Barney “do his thing” that he has been doing for years developing presentations that create results. 1) Be Real. Barney doesn’t go into character. He is himself. He is the same person before and after the presentation. Kids need to connect with a real person if they are to make real decisions. 2) Don’t Talk Down to Children. Too often adults talk down to kids. They can do this both with their tone of voice, mannerisms or by talking to them as though they are younger or “dumber” than they really are. Expect kids to engage and understand and they will. They appreciate being honored as people, not as “just kids.” 3) Use Language Kids Understand. Barney avoids using “big words” …

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A Father’s Forgiveness


My son is nine. He has always amazed us with his incredible memory. He will randomly bring us experiences and family events that happened long ago that we didn’t think he was old enough to remember. Often, we had forgotten, but his memory brings back ours. I marvel at the things that stick in his little head and it reminds me to be intentional about how I conduct myself as a Christian, a husband, and a dad in his presence. But there is one type of question he brings up every now and then that bugs me as a dad. Luke is a pretty good kid, and rarely does anything intentionally wrong – usually when he is in trouble, it’s something he’s learning about life rather than outright willful misbehavior. His heart is usually in the right place and when emotions get him carried away, he is quick to apologize when he calms down. As a result, we have rarely needed to discipline him other than verbal correction or mild things like a “time out” or missing out on something or going to bed early. However, the few times we needed something more compelling – he remembers those, and often …

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Finding the Reflection of God


One of the highlights of Yosemite, is seeing the reflection of towering granite cliffs in the water of the valley. In fact, one of the lakes in Yosemite earned the name “Mirror Lake” due to the beautiful reflections upon it’s surface. While not technically a lake, visitors enjoy seeing in its smooth surface the mirror image of the cliffs towering above. Mirror Lake it actually a man-made lake, from a time when sand and ice were exported from the area for use down in the coastal cities. Today, it is being allowed to return to it’s natural meadow conditions, so each year this once famous lake reflects less – and becomes filled with more grass and rock as the surface drops and widens into a meadow. Nevertheless, a creative photographer can still find places to capture a reflection of Half Dome that rises majestically above it. The reflections can be amazing… but to be seen, something is required. Without this one thing, there can be no reflection of the grandeur above. Waterfalls and flowing rivers and creeks pour over rocks and around bends throughout this incredible park, all working their way to the Merced or Tuolumne Rivers and ultimately to …

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