Balancing the Sacred vs. Silliness

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. Consider: “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…

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One Man Christmas Story

I was invited to be a special guest again at Cherry Hill Community Church, where they have a wonderful children’s ministry. Whenever you are given the opportunity to teach at Christmas time, it presents a unique challenge. You are, of course, teaching the greatest story in HIS-Story – but it is also a very familar one. So how do you tell it in a new and creative way that will still engage children who can easily “check out” when they start to hear the familiar parts of the story. I searched my computer for countless ways I have addressed Christmas in over twenty years as a children’s pastor – and then walked into my vast kidmin prop warehouse and started seeing things that could be used to tell the story! At the same time, as I prayed about it, I was wanted to elevate the story above the mere facts of the traditional story to WHY did God sent Jesus? The story is truly epic and transcends the birth of Christ from the origins of time all the way to Christ’s Resurrection all the way to today! Then it hit me! Why don’t I tell the ENTIRE STORY OF CHRISTMAS…

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The Pastor of Sandwich

It is always a fun and unpredictable time when those who work with children get together! And the highlights of a Children’s Pastors Conference are often from around a table sharing a meal, rather than a workshop or general session – as wonderful and inspiring as they may, in fact, be for helping with one’s ministry. But I’ve long made by Mission one of “Equipping and Encouraging” because I know that laughter is often as needed as another great idea or resource. In that spirit, one of the highlights of CPC this year, happened not at the conference at all, but as Tom and John and I, joined by some new friends from the shuttle, Darcie and Rebecca, where hanging out at my favorite restaurant in Downtown Disney, The Earl of Sandwhich. When I suggested this location for our pre-conference meal I explained that it was named after the inventor of the sandwich! Which is explained the cups you get your drinks out of: As a bit of fun, I invited each person at the table to read the cup in their own dramatic fashion, as they would if it were a movie trailer, or as they might for a…

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Pumpkin Fun! Ministry Fun!

Tonight was the night for our annual family pumpkin carving. Which means, I carve two pumpkins and Sara carves out hers. (I’m not letting Luke handle a sharp knife just yet!) But we did let him design his pumpkin on paper first. It was fun looking at pumpkin designs online first – and boy oh boy are there some amazing pumpkin designs out there! So much potential in a simple pumpkin! You start with this plain ol’ pumpkin, and yet it can become anything you want it to be. It all depends on how creative you are willing to be, how patient you are willing to be, how careful you are willing to cut away at it, how much time you willing to spend on it, and how unique you want it to be. You can settle for something like everyone else – or you can decide to be different and unique. And of course, practice helps you improve over time. My least favorite part is cleaning out the insides – but it is a necessary evil if you want the light inside to shine out! It kind of reminds me of how we build our ministries. There is so…

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How Are YOU Appreciating Your Pastor?

I have an awesome little sister! Just had to share this YouTube video that my sister made. She may not be a children’s pastor – but she has to be one of THE most awesome volunteers in kids ministry I have ever known. (And, of course, we both had the same mom!) Every church she is at, is blessed to have her, as are the kids she always pours into. While she may never have a kidmin website or blog – she is living out what I write about on Kidology and my blog with her life. And not always in a church setting, she invests in the kids in her community and in the families of those she knows, raising funds for a bike for a kid that got beat up and his bike stolen, to countless other stories. And so I just wanted to brag on my little sister a bit and show you the Pastor Appreciation video she made for her pastor with the kids in her Sunday School Class. It made my day! If you enjoyed it, post a comment her that she can read, or comment on the video on YouTube! WAY TO GO SIS!

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