Ikinagagalak akong makillala kayo! HUH!?

What if I said to you “Ikinagagalak akong makillala kayo! Would you know what I meant? Likely not! What if I said it more slowly, enunciating each syllable clearly? Or perhaps more loudly? Or I could have some dancing armless vegetables sing it to you in a clever rhyming song? No matter what I did, unless you were Filipino and spoke Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines, you’d have no idea that I just said, “Nice to meet you.” It wouldn’t be your fault. It would just be that I wasn’t speaking your language. I’ve been to Manila, Philippines a few times. In fact, it’s where I met my wife. She grew up there as a missionary kid. While I was there, I quickly discovered I had to adapt my American ways. Luckily for me, they spoke English, so I only learned a few phrases in Tagalog for fun, but I did have to learn some things about the culture in order to more effectively minister to the kids there. I had to change my humor because my jokes fell flat. I had to adjust my stories so they could relate to them. I had to eat some things that…

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An Awesome Adventure with Parents

How do you make sure your kids know the BASICS of the Christian Faith? At our church, we offer a course for kids to take with a parent. It’s called the Awesome Adventure Small Group and it’s for 4-6th graders but they must attend with a parent. It’s a twelve week class because there are 12 lessons in the Awesome Adventure Guide that my wife and I wrote. It covers topics from Salvation through how to read your Bible and Pray through how to discover your Spiritual Gifts. Kids memorize Scripture each week and quiz each other (tested by a non-family member!) and earn points for attendance, bringing their Bible, knowing the verse and get BONUS POINTS when mom and/or dad know the verse too! But it’s not all hard work – they play some games too because forming and growing relationships is also a part of discipleship. Like this game where they were dropping gold fish crackers into their parents mouths! In our busy world, we need to help families carve out time to discuss spiritual things. That why I create Family Table Talkers every month to help families be more strategic at their meal times. I also try…

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The Laughing Classroom is the Learning Classroom

I once saw on a teacher’s bulletin board a poster that said, “The laughing classroom is the learning classroom.” That truism has always stuck with me, and I’ve aspired to make it true of my classroom ever since. It’s true! Kids who are laughing are learning. This sounds counter-intuitive. We think that if kids are laughing, they aren’t listening, but the opposite is true. They are engaged at the deepest level. How can this be? I remember, in my literature class in Bible college, my professor told the class we will learn more from our television viewing and leisure reading than we will from her class. I was stunned she would say such a thing, especially about her own class! She went on to explain that when we are taught something in a formal setting, we listen, but we evaluate. New information is passed through several grids where we decide whether we agree with the information. We evaluate the data against other information we have received, past experiences, and other sources, and a collective conclusion is made where we determine what we accept, and what we reject. It’s a healthy process, just as you are reading this and deciding whether…

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How to Start a School from SCRATCH!

Concerned about the direction of public schools? Looking to team up with other home school families? Contemplating starting a school on the mission field? Don’t know where to start? Everyone knows the Great Commission which compels us to go into all the world and share the Gospel. What is often forgotten is the second half of that commission, the educational mandate, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a) Yes, we need to reach the lost, and Doug Crowder has been on the front lines of mission work for his entire ministry, but he also understands the need to disciple those who come to Jesus so they can grow and get to the work of the Kingdom. It is critical that we do everything we can to not only teach the Bible, but to do so in a way that transforms lives. In Nehemiah 8:8, we read, “They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.” But what do you do when there is a need for biblical education and the schools available to help evangelize and educate the…

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Adult Care Provided in the Main Auditorium

Many years ago, at a church I was serving at, an associate pastor did a plug for kids ministry in the Sunday morning announcements. While I always appreciate any recruiting help I can get, the way he expressed the need bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, this was a good pastor and a good friend. His mistake – if it’s even fair to call it a mistake – is a common one. But it still bugged me, because I view children very differently than many other church leaders. What was his offense? He said, “Join Pastor Karl in serving in the Children’s Ministry. After all, kids are the church of tomorrow.” Of course, his statement wasn’t untrue, but it’s hardly why I do children’s ministry and very low on the list of reasons why I recruit others to join me. In fact, I would classify the fact that “kids are the church of tomorrow” as bordering on an irrelevant fact. How could I express to him later, respectfully, that I do not recruit by pitching the value of kids by what they can contribute someday after they grow up? I waited a few days to pray and consider the best…

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