one of the things i love most about the kidmin community is the way that most ministries understand that we are on the same team and are open to sharing any ideas, successes or failures. this is exactly how i stumbled across one of the programs i am most excited to launch today.
i was reading the blog post “imagine this: children in love with the Bible”on wearekidmin.com. i was so blown away and excited and it wasn’t a coincidence that our church was focusing on Bible reading this year. so, i clicked the link to learn more about the eat this book challenge. that’s when i knew that i didn’t need to recreate the wheel on helping kids read the Bible, dema had already done an amazing job and was providing the resource to others.
in my opinion, it was worth every penny. we received a digital file that could be customized (so don’t worry you can start this program anytime), great promotional resources, emails, facebook group, and more. i am sharing this information because several people have seen our promotional posts and have thought i came up with this idea. i wish!!!!
so kidmin friends, if you are looking for a way to get your kids and families into daily Bible reading and memorization so they will fall in love with God through His Word, i can’t recommend eat this book more. i can’t wait to see the way God uses this challenge in the lives of families in dawson kids. thank you dema for your faithfulness and sharing your passion with other kidmin leaders.
i didn’t know whether to be excited or sad to have a packed room full of people in the burned out in ministry breakout session at #kidmin17. this was a very interactive workshop intentionally designed to give weary ministry servants a time to reconnect with God and be challenged, encouraged, convicted and comforted with God’s Word.
we focused on five main areas of truth:
you can’t give out what you don’t have
being still and knowing God
putting the pieces in perspective
fixing our eyes on Jesus
just give me Jesus
you can’t give out what you don’t have
the problem is too many times ministry leaders are leading from an empty well. while we may work for the Living Water we don’t make a consistent effort to drink in His truth so that we lead from the fullness only He provides.
fill up on the Word – during this portion of the session, we took time for ministry leaders to walk around the room and read over many scriptures that were printed on mailing labels. if that scripture spoke to them they were to put the sticker on them or on their provided candle. i have provided links before for the scriptures sheets below. simply click to download each scripture in word format.
sabbath – we talked at length about our need for sabbath. if we are going to remain vibrant in ministry we have to make an intentional effort to get away and spend quality time with our Savior. so often in ministry, we tend to take care of everyone else but ourselves. this is why we must make a commitment to sabbath.
accountability – i am so blessed to have a mentor/friend who loves me enough to call me out and remind me to make my time with Jesus a priority. do you have someone in your life to do this?
staff driven – i do not take for granted the fact that our discipleship staff is encouraged to take some sabbath time each month. this is not an all day vacation day, but an hour or two outside the office dedicated solely to seeking Jesus.
be still and know
the world and ministry schedules offer little time to be still. if we aren’t intentional about being still and focusing on God, it simply won’t happen on its own.
names of God– sometimes we simply need to be reminded who God is. using the names of God sheet below, we spent time meditating on who He is as a reminder that He is all we need.
silent and still – if you know me at all you know being still and silent are probably two things you never see me do. this translates into my ministry life as well. so that is why when we are beginning to plan certain events or programs in dawson kids, we will start the meeting in five minutes of silence just focusing on who God is. when is the last time you have done this? it takes discipline but is a great reminder of Who is in charge and Who you serve.
putting the pieces into perspective
if you are like me, no one warned you how hard ministry was before you began. you have had to learn that lesson over and over with each wound and thorn that flies in like a fiery dart from the enemy.
pegs of pain– in my breakout session we took lite-brite pegs and named the hurts silently one by one before the Lord.
perspective – instead of leaving the hurts just laying before us we took them and placed them in the lite-brite boards as a reminder that no matter how big or how small our wounds, Jesus still reigned over our pain and could use it for His glory.
in matthew 14:22-33 we see the familiar story of peter walking on water. we were reminded that by looking straight to Jesus, Peter was able to do the impossible. it was when he took his eyes off of Jesus that he began to sink.
fix – as ministry leaders, we are often fixers thinking it is our job to make right all the messes, but that is never what we were called to do. we are not called to fix everything, we are called to fix our eyes on Jesus.
getting personal – how is your persistence to fix things cause your gaze to look away from Jesus and stare only at the problems?
give me Jesus
sources of strength – instead of relying on your talents, team, volunteers, and ideas, simply allow Jesus to be your source of strength.
Jesus– He alone is the only perfect source and He is all we need.
sometimes (most of the time with me) the people you get the privilege to serve alongside simply make you better because they are smarter, more creative, and bring fresh idea to the table. this is the case for our new “next level ideas” tab on the dWELL blog.
my amazing admin (and also 3rd grade sunday life group teacher) looked around at the creative gifts God has given those who serve in and around dawson kids and thought “let’s collect these ideas to share with our other investors.” then we decided to take it to the next level again and post those ideas here, on my blog, so anyone working in kidmin can be inspired or helped.
so feel free to look around at the ideas and use them to point more children to Jesus. comment on what you like or maybe on what else you would like to see. those of us trying to reach kids for Christ are on the same team. why not share an resource or ideas we have?
each year we present our first graders with a new Bible. we have a special family brunch where we share the importance of God’s Word to families. (you can read more about that here.) we also give the children a small gift bag. it usually contains some sort of family faith discussion product and a bookmark. you would think the purchased family-talk product would be the biggest hit, and they are great, but this year the real fruit of Bible reading came from our simple bookmark.
the bookmark is not an expensive item, but this year we saw its eternal value like never before. the idea for this bookmark came from the thought that while we are presenting children with God’s Word it can be incredibly daunting to know just where to begin. so many books. so many verses. so many words. so we thought what if we give them a jumping off point? what if we help children with some suggestions for verses and passages to seek as they begin their Bible reading? so we asked all the ministerial staff and first grade teachers to share with us the scriptures/passages that have meant the most to them. that’s all. we typed them neatly on a bookmark, laminated them really thick, and challenged the kids to use them to begin to find verses to read.
this year there was an overwhelming response. kids were so proud of their Bibles. they wanted them with them as much as possible. we even heard a story of a child choosing to read God’s Word over playing games on an ipad.
here is what one father emailed in to say,
“What a wonderful Sunday! You gave a powerful (and challenging!) message on the importance of the Bible and each family’s role in it. Kaleb was so excited after church that his Bible did not leave his side the rest of the day! I could go on and on about all the impressive things but I think the one that was most special to me was the bookmark. That all those people took the time to share, y’all put it together so clearly, and that it gives us a starting point to read with him is just awesome. “
if you are like me you know that sometimes we make things too hard. we think money has to be spent, bells and whistles must blow, and mountains must move. we simply gave them a bookmark with a challenge to use it as a resource to read God’s Word. kids accepted the challenge, so in my mind and heart i believe there is a great potential for the moving of mountains and changed lives for eternity.
how do you encourage children to read’s God’s Word? i would love to hear your ideas.
plain and simple, it was sin. i had spewed from the mouth once again and while i felt entitled at the time, after i felt awful. after the outburst that was riddled with pride i kept asking myself, where did that come from? i was speaking to the Lord from my heart and He eventually spoke right back. it was bitterness. this quick lash from the tongue was connected to some deep seeded bitterness and it needed to be dealt with immediately.
so today i sat down in a time of confession and acknowledged i was wrong. i admitted that something i was holding on to really had a hold on me. i thought it was empowering, but really it was ugly. as i talked to God about it, i knew that saying i had “no filter” was no excuse. i literally wrote the following words in my journal and then the Lord’s answer left me swimming in His grace:
“break and open up the bitter root with Your Word and with Your grace.”
then as i opened to today’s daily light verses, i was simply blown away. i had to read them aloud. i was sitting in my comfy chair and He chose to lavish love and grace once again on my dirty heart.
so, i thought maybe i wasn’t the only one that needed to be reminded of the freedom found in His grace today. here are the verses. how do they impact you today?
“but may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 peter 5:10
“then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”” exodus 33:19
“then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom’;” job 33:24
“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,” romans 3:24-25
“for the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” john 1:17
“for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” ephesians 2:8
“to timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 timothy 1:2
“but to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” ephesians 4:7
“as each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 peter 4:10
“but He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” james 4:6
“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. to Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 peter 3:18