Screen Shot 2012-11-19 at 12.21.35 PM

Each year I struggle with how to show my Sunday and Wednesday investors (volunteers) how much they are appreciated by the kids, the parents, and me. So for the past two years, I have started having a “thank you” wall. Here is how it works:

  • In a very visible hallway/lobby, I place envelopes on the wall with every investor, greeter, intern, name and class, etc.
  • On a table nearby, I place out cards and pens. For the whole month of November, I encourage children and parents to write a note of thanks. 
  • Some children draw a picture or write notes at home and bring them to church and place them in the envelopes on Wednesday or Sunday. 
  • I also include a thank you poem and a handwritten thank-you card from me in each envelope. 
  • The teachers are asked not to look in their envelopes while they are hanging on the wall. 🙂
  • We take them down the Sunday before thanksgiving and mail the envelopes to the teachers. Our goal is, while they are relaxing and being thankful, they will be blessed to read notes from the many who are grateful for the ways they share Jesus with the children.
Screen Shot 2012-11-19 at 12.09.39 PM
This is an example of the note card we provide for families. 
This is the poster/letter we use to get parents and children involved. This is an example of the thank you note cards we provide.

Day 3 – Confession
Written by: danielle bell

Matthew 5:23-24
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

image[3]“danielle, you are the Christian. shouldn’t you make things right?” those were the words spoken to me by an unbeliever concerning another relationship where i had allowed unforgiveness to come between us. the timing was not coincidental either. i was scheduled to leave in just a few short days to be a part of a prayer walking trip for a new missions outreach. i was so excited to be able to serve on this trip, but these profound words haunted me as the day to leave approached. (i can still tell you exactly where i was when those words were spoken to me over the cell phone.)

how could i go forward boldly in prayer when i was hanging on to much unforgiveness in my heart? i was far more concerned with my outward act of worship through serving than having my heart right with God. yes, there was reason for my hurt, but i had allowed my unforgiveness to become sin. the other person didn’t even have a clue, but it was becoming quite the stumbling block for my spiritual walk. i was literally tripping over my own sin on my way to serve.  how could i offer my worship through service when i was refusing to extend the forgiveness God has graciously given it to me?

your service is an act of worship to a Holy and deserving God.  before you begin a new year teaching/leading, spend some time in self-examination asking the Holy Spirit to reveal areas where you need to be reconciled to a brother or sister in Christ. (if you are like me, this is not just a once a year examination, but a constant one as you strive to worship with a pure heart.)

pray through matthew 5:23-24.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

spend some time today pausing in prayer; allow the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin involving another in which you need to repent and be reconciled.

if God reminds you of a situation where a brother or sister has something against you, go and be reconciled. confess your sin, repent, and then return to offer your service as an act of worship.

let’s not only teach Scripture to those God places in our path, may we be diligent about being “doers” of His Word even when it is hard.  then let’s serve in the freedom that comes with reconciliation and make much of Jesus.

image[3]when it came to training my investors for the new church year i felt led to do one thing – make prayer more of a priority than policies. so this year i challenged each of my investors to fast and pray in the week leading up to the start of their new classes. i also asked some dear friends and co-workers to write devotionals for a “pausing to pray” booklet to serve as a prayer guide for the week. this blog series is a peek inside that devotional booklet and it begins with my note to the leaders. may it encourage you as you serve and pour into others that faithfully serve in kidmin. (a big thanks to the authors for allowing me to post their devotionals.)

a note from danielle

i am a doer.  i like to live life in play, fast forward, and occasionally in rewind. something about the constant movement makes me feel as if i have more control or at the very least am helping a situation. 

pausing seems like a foreign concept at times.  how can being still help? won’t i loose some control? there is just too much to be done to pause.  

after a recent time in committed prayer and fasting i saw that those thoughts are sadly a peek into my prayer life.  i would often rather try to “do” for God instead of sit and converse with the Creator of the universe.  i all too often like to lay out my plans before releasing control to Him. ouch!

so that is why before the start of a new church year, i feel led to challenge us all to just hit pause.  before we make “plans” for a class, continue with what we have always done, and fast forward through another year, let’s sit at His feet.  let’s spend some sweet time in praise of the One who deserves more than we could lavish upon Him.  let’s hunker down in confession and get rid of the things holding us back.  let’s begin a new year with the attitude of thankfulness and let our gratitude be our filter for the days ahead.  then, let us commit to making prayer a priority by lifting the names of those we teach and lead and allowing God room to work and mightily move in all our lives.

it is when i pause, i am hit afresh with who i am and reminded of the greatness of the One i serve.  the following prayer always brings me face to face with that truth.  may it be a blessing, a challenge, and an encouragement in your pray days ahead.  why don’t we begin each day of prayer with these words and allow God to do a sweet work in our sinful hearts? glory!

“Merciful Savior,

I am so slow to learn,

So prone to forget

So weak to climb;

I am in the foothills when I should be on the heights;

I am pained by my graceless heart,

My prayerless days,

My poverty of love,

My sloth in the heavenly race,

My sullied conscience,

My wasted hours,

My unspent opportunities,

I am blind while light shines around me:

Take the scales from my eyes,

Grind to dust the evil heart of unbelief.

For the glory of Your name.


Puritan Prayers “Valley of Vision”

free dandibell email updates
get the latest content sent straight to your email.
we respect your privacy. thanks for taking time to subscribe.