God writes the best stories. Not the easiest and not the most predictable, but like He authors our salvation, He is faithful with the script of our journeys.

In ways only the Lord works and with circumstances that only he could orchestrate (I’d love to share with you sometime.), we are in a season of change and one of full circle. In this next chapter, I will return as a minister of children at Belle Aire Baptist Church, where I was called to ministry and served for 15 years as their first Minister to Children. Middle Tennessee is home for me and a place full of people I dearly love and stayed closely connected to over the last 10 1/2 years.

Even though I’m returning somewhere I love deeply, that doesn’t mean the goodbyes are easy. Saying goodbye to the people of Dawson has been and will be brutal at best. An interstate exit I once only knew as the halfway point to the beach contains a town and a church full of people that will always be dear to my heart. Dawson received me with all my quirks and ways and loved me well. You precious people wrapped me with love and encouragement during the most exciting (and scary) season of my life when I became a mom through adoption. And those of you who have prayed for, poured into my daughter, and given me advice and support, are treasurers straight from the heart of the Lord.

I’ve had the absolute privilege to serve alongside the most amazing kids ministry investor team, who have taught me what sacrificial service is and have wowed me weekly with their willingness to go to the second mile to share the gospel with their kids on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. The precious families and kids I have had the joy to know and serve over the years, I still consider mine and love following the stories God is writing for you. So much to ponder as I remember many kidmin events like KidLife (high five guys, you know you are my favorite) and camps, staff adventures and laughs, lunch table topics at various elementary schools, and a church body faithful in their love for Christ.

My daughter was also raised through an amazing preschool program with leaders and teachers who loved her so well and pointed her to Christ. Only Heaven knows your investment, but this mom is oh so grateful.

While I may be changing location and returning home, the town of Homewood and the church on the corner will forever be a part of me, and the deep relationships I made here are not over; they will remain forever. Dawson family, thank you for trusting the girl from Tennessee, loving my daughter and me, and making me a better follower of Christ. I hope you will stay in touch because I promise I will often think of your faces and our memories. Before I turn the page in my story, I want you to know how grateful I am for you, how I will miss you, and how much I love you.

Some moments you dream about your whole life, and recently I experienced one of mine.

As I was reading “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” to my daughter, we came to the chapter where the white witch kills Aslan on the stone table. Tears streamed down my cheeks. My sweet baby girl wiped them with her tiny fingers and said, “it’s okay, mommy.”

After the chapter was done and Aslan was dead, my tears fell even more freely. At first, my daughter said, “well, that is an inappropriate story for a kid.” Then she quietly thought and replied, “wait, mommy is this an example of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins?” I nodded and smiled and then reminded her He would live again.

She snuggled me and said, “I need huggies.” Then I prayed aloud with her wrapped in my arms. I thanked God for the gift of Jesus and prayed that one day she would clearly see her need for Him as a Savior.

It was a holy, unforgettable moment on the couch in my living room, strewn with toys and folded laundry waiting to be put away. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Thank you, C.S. Lewis, and THANK YOU LORD!!!

Etch attendees, I know I promised to post these when I got back from the conference, and I apologize for the delay. I got home and got sidetracked. I have downloaded my presentations in a portable format for mac. It would not let me upload them to this post in the Windows version. I hope this is helpful.

Helping Children Develop a Biblical Worldview

Ministering to Today’s Family

As a children’s ministry leader, I have learned that parents need real-time support/resources for talking to their kids about world events. That is why this morning, as I was mourning and praying over the events in Ukraine, my next thought was how we could equip our parents to discuss this strategy and pray with their kids.

I am not a counselor, Biblical scholar, or a military genius, but I knew our team could provide five tips for parents during this time. Then we could provide them with additional resources to use as they interceded on behalf of all those affected by the bombing of Ukraine. Below is what we shared on social media.

I have also found some other resources that I thought would be helpful to share. Check them out below.

OneHope has a “6 Ways You Can Pray for Ukraine” Guide you can download here.

The International Network of Children’s Ministry has provided some great family discussion questions on their social media page. I am going to share a couple but to get the rest, check them out here.

Family Discipleship Podcast also put out some great prayer prompts on their Instagram page here.

Have you seen any great family resources out there? Share them in the comments, I would love to add them to this post.

Each year on Saturday of the event kids rotate through prayer stations. I thought I would share this year’s prayer stations.

All IN 4 HIM Leaders,

The following are the four stations your group will rotate through on Saturday. There is no particular order or time restrictions. We do ask that you make your best efforts to make it to all four and try not to all be at the same station at once. We can’t wait to see how God moves during this prayer time. 

Chalk Station
Supplies: Sidewalk Chalk & Instruction Card
Location Assignments:
1st Grade – Sidewalk on chapel side of Highland/Manhattan
2nd Grade – Sidewalk on the sanctuary side of Highland/Manhattan
3rd Grade – Sidewalk on the chapel side of Evergreen Avenue.
4th Grade – Sidewalk on the west building side of Evergreen Ave. 
5th Grade – Sidewalk of the main walkway leading into the Arendall welcome area in front of the church. 

Instructions: Review the four traits of Jesu that kids are learning this weekend: Promised-fulfilled, Lord, Rescuer, Redeemer. Offer a brief explanation of each. Allow each child to pick a name and instruct them to write JESUS is (their selected trait) on the sidewalk in chalk and decorate around it. Make sure kids spread out, all four of the traits are equally distributed, and kids write clearly and decorate around their chalk art. After they have finished, invite kids to stand/sit on their chalk art and pray for all of those who will see that message. 

Bridge Rescue Prayers
Supplies: clear cling sheets (1 per student)
Sharpie markers (1 per student)
The second story bridge over Highland/Manhattan 

Instructions: Remind kids that Jesus is our rescuer. He rescues us from sin and death, but He also can help us in our daily struggles. Initiate kids to think of something they need help with or to be rescued from in their life right now. Instruc kids to write a prayer on their cling sheet expressing their need for help from God. Please make sure kids do not sign their prayer.  After they have written their prayer, invite kids to place their prayer on one of the windows along the bridge. Make sure the prayers are spread out. **Please don’t allow kids to play and jump off the sides of the bridge. 

Share with kids that adults will be instructed to take a prayer home on Sunday and continue to pray for that need. 

Plant Prayers
Supplies: white plant pots (1 per child)
Sharpie markers
    Potting soil
Rolling cart

Right outside the back of the chapel area.  

Instructions: Remind kids that as redeemer Jesus is the giver of new life. Today they will plat a flower as a reminder. Instruct kids to follow the below instructions:

1 – Take a pit and Sharpie markers and decorate the pot with all the names of Jesus they are learning about this weekend: Promise-fulfilled, Lord, Rescuer, and redeemer. Instruc kids to write neatly and decorate their pot.  

2 – Once their pot is decorated, invite kids to put potting soil and a plant in the pot.

3 – Once the fower is planted, challenge kids to pause and pray for whoever will receive this plant. Explain that the children’s prayer ministry team will deliver them to people as they pray for them on Sundays. 

4 – Once complete, place the potted blank on the provided cart. 

5 – These plants will be delivered to people by the kid’s prayer ministry as they pray over them.

Staff Prayers
Supplies: markers
Large white sticky notes for each staff member
Staff office area in the north building 

Instructions: Take time to explain to kids that even when you work at a church you need encouragement and prayer. Explain that on doorways and along walls in the staff hallway are different large sticky notes per staff member/ministry area. Remind kids that they are writing a prayer on the paper, not notes or silly things like “Roll Tide, “War Eagle”, etc. Challenge kids to walk around and write at least 3-4 prayers on the provided sheets, but make sure they use our four traits of Jesus as the basis for their prayers. For example: Dear God, Please help Miss Danielle trust you as Lord each day and let her know you keep your promises.” ***Make sure kids spread out and all sheets are covered. 

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