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Have you ever wanted to UNPLUG from the hectic busy pace of ministry life? That is the entire point of Yosemite Summit. It is a week where you are unplugged in every sense of the word. No computer, no e-mail, no phone calls, no work, no deadlines, no ‘emergencies’, no pressure. Better than a day off spent catching up on personal things – it is a complete break for the sake of complete rest and renewal.
I was once told by a very wise mentor, “Karl, you need to stop being a human doing, and learn to become a human being.”
That is what Yosemite Summit is all about. It is an annual cessation of activity. Too often we confuse busyness with what God is truly seeking from us. Not that we aren’t busy doing good things! But we get so busy doing these good things, that our relationship with God can grow distant, and soon God is wondering, why or who we are truly busy for?
Stopping, completely, once a year is an opportunity to recalibrate. It is a time for reflection and renewal. It is not a time of evaluating ministry goals and seeking a new “ministry vision” from God! It is a time of setting all that down and walking away from it.
Why? God did not save us to gain a worker. He can manage quite fine without us. (Something to consider when you are working so hard – God doesn’t need you!) He saved us that we might enter into a relationship with Him and get to know Him. If we are so busy working that we aren’t getting to know Him – than the working isn’t working. It is actually counter-productive to what God’s true aim is.
We are busy “making Him known,” but we forget the first half – “To know Christ, and to make Him known.” If we forget our relationship in the pursuit of the second half, we are then working to reproduce something that isn’t what God wants. No wonder many non-believers have no interest in becoming a Christian! They see a lot of busy-bodies, instead of disciples of Christ, men and women who walk with God.
To be in awe of God again…
So once a year I stop all the activity and simply walk with God for a week doing nothing else but enjoying Him. And I invite a small group to join me. It changes me and helps me continue that walk when I get back to my God-given work.
Will you join me this May? Only three spots remain.
Take some time and browse through the blog on YosemiteSummit.org – you’ll discover inspiration and the answers you have about this unique event.
I’m already praying for you… I just don’t know who you are yet.
ABOUT | LOCATION | SCHEDULE | COST | BRING | REGISTER | WHY | VIDEOS | BLOG
PS: If you need this Summit and can’t afford it, please let me know.
In kids ministry we try to connect with kids in order to reach them – Kidology is a philosophy of ministry that strives to minister to kids from within the culture of kids. In order to interest, engage and even at times (dare I say it?) entertain kids, we will do the craziest things, won’t we? Dunk tanks! Drop eggs from helicopters! Pies in the face! All manner of craziness and silliness goes on in children’s ministries.
And this is good!
But there is also a danger.
We can risk losing the sacred.
We can risk being flippant with holiness.
And at some point, all that FUN needs to decrescendo down to some sacred seriousness, or else it loses it’s purpose and was all for naught. Fun isn’t the goal, it is a means to a greater end.
We aren’t in the business of giving kids a great time. We are in the business of making disciples.
“Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.” Matthew 7:6 MSG
I’m not going to offer the answer here – just a challenge as you plan to also pray and ask God to give you wisdom. The balance between silliness and the sacred will be played out differently in each ministry – but it needs to be there.
We are working with children, so there needs to be silliness and fun. But at the same time, we need to draw kids into the mystery and awe of God. That calls for a level of reverence and seriousness. You can have both! Actually, you need both. Ministries that try to be all serious lose kids and ministries that are all fun aren’t making an eternal difference because life isn’t all fun. Kids need to know the serious side of a life walking with an Awesome God.
Question: How do YOU “bring it down” and help kids appreciate the sacred and serious side of the Christian life? I have my techniques, I’d love to hear some of yours.
Please comment below, or in this thread on Kidology. Thanks!
Let me invite you to jump over to my lastest post on YosemiteSummit.org and read a personal challenge from me to you…
It could just be the thing you need today.
The Best Thing For Your Ministry
Know what might be the best thing for your ministry right now?
A new resource?
A new program?
A new book?
A new curriculum?
A new conference?
A new idea?
A new volunteer?
A new senior pastor? :0)
This may surprise you, but the best thing for your ministry right now may be to get as far away from it as possible and to get as close to God as possible.
That is what Yosemite Summit is all about. It is about focusing on what matters most to your ministry: your walk with God. Your soul. NOTHING is more important, and nothing will impact your ministry more than your private walk with God. Come join a few other children’s pastors and walk with God for a few days. Let Him speak to you directly…through nature, though worship, through fellowship, through the Word, through the quietness you may only find at a sunrise at Glacier Point or in the midst of a 1,000-foot waterfall.
You will never be the same after meeting God here. Cast off the excuses, and allow God to provide if He is hinting in your spirit that He wants you to get away with Him soon.
ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT FOR YOSEMITE SUMMIT 2013 and there is a $325 SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE SIMPLY FOR THE ASKING!
What are you waiting for? REGISTER TODAY
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And let me tell you, it is AWESOMER than ever!
(Download the Promo PDF)
If you have been discipling with Awesome Adventure over the years – you are in for an EYE-POPPING surprise!
You will find the same Bible-Rich Content that covers the same 12 Basic Discipleship Lessons – but communicated in an entirely new exciting way!
I’ve been personally transformed into a cartoon (!) – and entered into the book to take Dee, Cy and Paul (and their trusty dog, Chip) and two other new Christians, Luke and Laura, on a hike in Yosemite National Park to learn all about God and what it means to walk with Him!
Along with way they visit actual historic sites in Yosemite while learning about the Bible, Prayer, Fellowship, Spiritual Gifts, and many other important topics – while discovering the parallels between hiking and walking the Christian life! They learn that discipleship comes with dangers, and decisions and even a run in with a bear!
Your young diciples will learn right along with the kids in the book what it means to live for God along the path of life. There are fun interactive puzzles, codes, mazes, word searches, and colorful illustrations that make the book seem to come alive. I’m especially excited that a lot of my own photography from over ten trips to Yosemite was used, often integrated with the graphical cartoons for an amazingly unique look that you just have to see – its photo-realistic, and yet cartoony, because it is a blend of actual photos and art, for a look that I’ve never seen done before.
But beyond the amazing visual appeal, and engaging elements to attract kids – it is still the strongest tool on the market for discipling kids one on one, which is why my wife and I wrote it years ago, and why DiscipleLand published it and began their entire Adventure Series with this edition.
Sunday School and Kids Church Curriculums do a lot of good in teaching kids the Bible – BUT unless a parent or caring adult takes the time to disciple a child one on one through the basics of the Christian Faith, how do you know they understand and ‘own’ their faith? How can you be sure they understand the basics and can stand firm when they hit their teenage years? How can you help them establish the important habits that will last them a life time?
That is what Awesome Adventure was designed to do! The attractiveness and fun is to engage kids, the solid biblical content is to help make a disciple of Jesus out of them as they dive into the Word of God! Awesome Adventure gets kids into the Bible! There are over 220 scripture references in Awesome Adventure. When kids look these up and highlight them in their Bible over the course of this study, it gives them a powerful overview of Bible and a great sense of confidence in their ability to rightly handle the Word of God.
Awesome Adventure comes in two age levels. It is the same study with the same basic content, but the lower level is simplified for a younger learner:
Awesome Adventure: Ages 6-9
Awesome Adventure: Ages 9-12 (The level I highly recommend)
Awesome Adventure Teacher’s Guide
What are you waiting for? Disciple your kids today!