When Boys Play “Killing”

I got an e-mail referred to me from a parenting expert asking me to help answer a dad’s question on how to handle his son’s desire to play knights, including the “killing” of bad guys. Below is how I answered him, what are you thoughts, input? What advice would you give? He asked: I have a 4 year old boy that loves to play with his knights and wants me to play along, but I get lost in how to play? Who is the enemy? I’m just at a loss.  His knights are cool, but they have knives and swords and I’ve tried to fight the dragons, but now he wants to fight the bad guys. I’ve tried to say, we need to try to talk to the bad guys and help them become good, but he says he did that and there is no hope so they’ve got to go!  He loves setting up his army guys, green against tan and well the same kinda thing.  I just need some help on helping him be the protector and the fighter and the knight, but don’t want him to be cold to the other side. Then we get into “he’s dead!”…

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Developing a Ministry–Wide Strategy for Making Disciples

First, George Barna confirmed what those of us in children’s ministry have known all along – that the ripest spiritual field is children, and that the most strategic way to stop the disappearance of a biblical world view in our church is to renew our commitment to children. Next, Larry Fowler established the biblical basis for churches not just value children, but prioritize ministry to children. Others then followed with a renewed call to broaden the scope of children’s ministry to include the entire family, the loudest voice being Reggie Joiner asking us to rethink ministry at the Orange Conference offering their virtue-based family time resources and strategy to incorporate complete families in the Sunday church experience. Then Awana Clubs, long known for its success at reaching unchurched children and providing kids a solid biblical foundation surprised us by dramatically altering its approach and confessing its past “let us disciple your kids” attitude was insufficient and began to completely re-engineer its programs to better include parents in the process. Soon many more, like Julia Duin in Quitting Church, began revealing stats showing just how poorly we are doing in translating Bible Quiz-Whiz kids into faithful disciples when they got old…

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The Kidologist Top Ten of CM

I got an e-mail yesterday with a request from a senior pastor who will soon be speaking to a gathering of children’s pastors from around the country. He asked me: If you were a denominational Christian Education Director who oversaw the children’s ministry for all the  churches in a given state or region: 1. What 10 recent books would you read or tell other directors about? 2. What 10 web-sites would you share with other directors? 3. What 10 experiences, conferences or resources would you tell other directors about? My response, “Sounds like a great blog post!” So here it is: The Kidologist’s Top Ten Books for CM Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions by George Barna This is a must read for senior pastors as well as children’s pastors. Barna finally supports with research what children’s ministry leaders have known for decades. Rock Solid Kids by Larry Fowler The best biblical case made for church to prioritize ministry to children and to engage parents in the process rather than trying to do it for them. Raising a Modern Day Joseph by Larry Fowler Just released, this follow up to Rock Solid lays out a very doable strategy for the entire…

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Message Bible for Kids? Concordance too?

Look what I got in the mail! And I’ve got an extra set I want to mail to YOU! (details at the bottom) NAVPRESS just sent me these in the mail for review – and I’m impressed. This bundle of two books really complement each other! Buy Via Amazon: My First Message – Bible Search The first is My First Message, a devotional for kids ages 4-8 featuring the text of Eugene H. Peterson’s The Message Bible. Each beautifully illustrated story ends with a short PRAY and LIVE section helping children pray about what they just read and gain some insight into how to apply the lessons within the story to their life. The second book is call My First Bible Search, Discovering Answers in God’s Word. While it is described on the cover as a “Bible Concordance and Dictionary for Kids” (ages 6-10) that description is a little misleading and distracts from what the book truly is. The book is much more (and far better than a concordance or dictionary) so if those phrases make you fear kids will be bored with this book, think again! The book is divided into two sections. The first called the “Concordance” –…

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A Quiet But Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Big Turkey, Little Turkey This was the quietest Thanksgiving I’ve ever experienced, but I liked it! For the first time ever, neither of us had parents nearby and all our other local relatives had special plans so it was just the three of us. At first we were kinda bummed being used to big noisy family gatherings… but it was a nice change. Yesterday we dug out the Christmas stuff and got the tree up and started the always difficult task of figuring out how to arrange the furniture to accommodate Christmas. We have one of those front rooms where no matter what you do, something ends up awkward. I’d had a long nap so when Sara went to bed I was still full of energy. (Also in part due to some medicine that tends to put my metabolism into overdrive!) So I stayed up super late and got the whole front room all set up and decorated as a surprise for the wife, so she could just enjoy preparing the meal without the hassle of the dysfunctional house! Anyway, all that to say, the day started out wonderful as the little boy got to come down and see the…

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