Aug 05

An intrinsic interest in God

I was recently turned on to What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain. It is not necessarily a book about teaching college courses; it is more a book about general teaching and the concepts can be applied to any age group.

I like the section in the book on pages 46-47. People have an intrinsic interest guiding their quest for knowledge. I began to think specifically as a children’s minister and how to apply that to a child’s intrinsic interest in understanding God and faith. In my years of ministry and teaching children at church, I have never really been one to come right out and ask children the “salvation question.” I feel like that is probing them to make a faith decision before they truly understand what salvation is all about. Rather, I strive to create learning environments of various forms by giving all the information children need to peak their intrinsic interests and make the important faith decision on their own. Then I keep my eyes and ears open for those moments when they ask questions, or more importantly, when they begin to tell me about salvation. If they can solve the problem on their own then they’ve mastered their quest. It is even more exciting when parents say their children are talking about salvation at home. That way I know the children are thinking about it during personal times and not only in Bible study.

Aug 02

And the winner is…

Whatever happened to making up our own minds? Now people don’t even have to decide and choose their own religion and faith.

Whatever happened to sharing the Good News of Jesus with our friends? That message definitely doesn’t have to be the only words out of our mouths or even the first thing we say to our friends. It doesn’t have to come in the form of an outline. Showing Jesus in our actions, reactions, and decision-making processes is one of the easiest ways of sharing with others. When they observe our reactions in situations and how we make decisions, often they want to know more about that process. A new friend recently asked me how I knew I wanted to work in the early childhood field. We’ve only had a work relationship together for 2 weeks; that’s not adequate time to build a trust relationship enough to share intimate faith details, but as we continue to work together, she will be able to see how Jesus guides my work habits.

We are failing in evangelism and building relationships and friendships when all people have to do is spin a wheel to see which faith suits them the best.

Jul 26

Be adventurous

Life is an adventure. Seek experiences. Strive to give others experiences and adventures that they may not otherwise have or do.

My favorite thought from Len Sweet is to make things EPIC …experiential, participatory, image-rich, and connective. This thought benefits the learning styles of all people.

Here’s an interesting article about the professor, Randy Pausch, who passed away Friday, July 25, 2008. He’s famous for his Last Lecture. He was adventurous.

Jul 17

New from the VeggieTales creator

Here is a great link to the new Jelly Telly demo video by Phil Vischer, the VeggieTales creator.

Jul 14

Will the real ministry please stand up?

I finished reading Me, Myself, & Bob today while waiting in the jury assembly room during my second week of jury duty.

I love the part of chapter 21 on pages 243-244 where Phil Vischer talks about Christians must be “God’s representatives on earth.” No matter what kind of jobs we do or what careers we choose, we are called to be God’s hands and feet. We can’t “save the world” with our visionary ministry. We must understand where Christianity happens. Does Christianity happen in books? In movies? On TV? Sometimes, yes. But we can’t get so involved and preoccupied with our jobs and careers and projects that we forget about our everyday encounters with store clerks, restaurant servers, and people we meet on our paths to perform our job projects. That’s Christianity. That’s ministry. Ministry is caring about those regular people who cross our daily paths. Ministry is asking them how they’re doing and truly listening as they share.

To whom have you ministered today?

Jul 12

It took gas prices…

It took rising gas prices for this church to see that they couldn’t have activities, events, and meetings at their church building every night of the week. The leaders and members wanted to be involved but found it difficult to afford the gas for the commute to their meetings.

Why are we having meetings/activities several days or nights during the week at our churches? I interviewed a few years ago at a church that had something going on every night of the week. It was exhausting listening to how many times the members needed to be there. The pastor couldn’t even prepare his message for Sunday until Saturday night. Now I understand that not every member is involved in all activities and won’t need to be at every meeting offered, but many members are involved in multiple activities and groups; therefore, they will have multiple nights to meet. The staff and group leaders, however, will need to attend those meetings. How can they attend those meetings after a full day of work and still have time for family and down time for themselves?

As a church called by God, we shouldn’t be holding meetings and activities at the church building every night of the week; one night should be sufficient. We need to be out in the community, meeting people where they are. We need to stop asking people to come to us at the church building, even if our church building is a “Disney World” of excitement with movies, an amusement park, and a bowling alley. Many people who need Christ the most will not open a church door; we need to be out there meeting them, having coffee with them, and learning what they need.

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