Three things for core leaders

August 23, 2011

Had a fantastic time at Kidshaper New Zealand last weekend.  I’m so excited about what God is doing in kidmin in NZ and super stoked to have our own Kidshaper here – I really believe that it’s unlocking a lot of that potential.

Anyway, other than the message on grace that I’m still yet to really get my head around (despite it being so simple), here are 3 things that I took away that I shared with my core leaders this morning…

1.  Need to be spirit lead

If we are to be known for one thing it should be that we are Spirit lead, even more than providing a great program or even having great worship.  Therefore we need to be a team of prayers, not just because we need God to move but because we want to know what He wants to do amongst the kids.

2.  The WHY before the HOW

Always explain the vision for what we do before asking someone to do it – instructions without a vision become a task.  An example I heard was this… Imagine that you are showing a new volunteer the sign in procedures, you explain where to find name tags, where to find them on the register etc, then of course remind them to smile.  You’ve just made it a task for them.  But if you are to share the vision – you’ll be the first person the kids encounter, we want them to feel welcome and special from the first moment they walk in etc, then you are giving them purpose and it’s ministry, not just a task.

3.    Alignment

It’s OK to disagree in fact it is healthy.  Core leaders need to be able to disagree AND align with the direction of the leader.  We need to create a culture of putting ideas on the table and taking back self esteem and worth – that way we can throw it around and process without feeling stink cos we hold it too tight.

a walk down memory lane

May 26, 2011

if about 8 years counts.

I started cleaning out the old filing cabinet that’s in my office – I’ve spent hours in the past getting it all organised, but the reality now is that there isn’t much that’s in there that I wouldn’t have instant access online now, so most of it is heading for the recycling bin.  The real one that is.

I’m fascinated by all the resources that I’ve uncovered from past kids pastors, but I’m even more fascinated by the stuff I did early on.  I’ve found curriculum that I wrote, even without the amazing team that help me now.  I’ve found evaluations that I wrote on the back of run sheets.  I was actually really organised, came up with some quality stuff and worked really hard.

I find it easy to look back and feel like what I did didn’t have much value, that it was just so far from the awesome that we are only starting to get to now.  Past Sarah is telling now Sarah that what I did actually had loads of value.  There is no time wasted.  God totally used what we were doing back then, just as He is now!

Just thinking!

Abraham was da man

May 4, 2011

The thing that God asked Abraham to do is probably one of the hardest things He could ask – to give up His only son.

The twist was that the son was the promise. What God was really asking was “do you love ME more than what I’ve promised you”.

It’s so easy to hold onto hope that God will fulfill His promise – He will, even if not the way we expect – but what we really need to put our hope in is not the promise for the good stuff He wants to give us, but in HIM. Just him. Gosh that’s tough.

Boys + Love

May 2, 2011

If you do kidmin then you will most likely have encountered this problem… so much of the Christian message is about love. We sing songs about how we love God, talk about His unconditional love for us and how we love other people.

Of course most girls don’t have a problem with this, they’re cool with the same old action of putting your hands over your heart for the word “love” in yet another song. Most girls like a good love story.

But boys, not so much. I’ve always tried to not make it too girly, but on Sunday when we were singing yet ANOTHER song about love, I heard some of the boys saying “ewwwww”.

The problem is that the fairly tale ideas of love that the kids hear time and time again just aren’t really love. We explained to the kids that the greatest expression of love in the whole world wasn’t girly AT ALL! In fact, it was the most “manly” thing that could be done (cue the grunting), that Jesus was willing to give up His life for the people that He loves.

After LifeKids, one of the boys came up and said that he knows of a ‘true love story’… I was curious. His answer was The Princess Bride.

I think that this is a message that we’ll need to repeat over and over again with our kids. The message that love is a fairy tale mushy pink thing is our faces all the time, so the message that love is being willing to give up our life for God and people needs to be in their faces too.

There’s Something About Mary

April 30, 2011

Mary would have to be one of my heroes in the Bible.

God chose her to do something really significant (you know, be the Son of God’s mum). But there was a cost to pay – she would go against all the social norms of her day. She would have known that some of her mates would perhaps never talk to her again, people would spread rumors, speculating about how she got pregnant. But she said yes anyway.

Elizabeth summed it up really well… “you are blessed becuase you believed that the Lord would do what he said”. (Luke 1:45)

So God chose her to do something significant that goes against the social norms, but he also promised that he would do things supernaturally… the Holy Spirit hovering thing.

Maybe God is calling you to do something that goes against social norms, perhaps even against church culture social norms. When He does, He also does things supernaturally in our lives.

Mary believed that God would do what He said He would do, and becuase of that she was blessed, even when others might not have thought so.

Something to do with kids ministry

March 16, 2011

I haven’t written much for a while, and when I have it’s been about other stuff.  So here are some thoughts I’ve been thinking recently about kidmin…

  • God wants to breath in our kids services.  We can’t live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit, kids are no different.  God has really showed me again how much He wants kids to have an encounter with Him.
  • Don’t underestimate fun – if kids aren’t laughing then they most likely won’t sit still and absorb the serious stuff.  Can’t go past the classic Fluffy Bunnies or a good balloon game.
  • Nothing beats a well planned run sheet on a Sunday morning
  • Preteens/early teens are keen to serve.  We’ve got a great bunch of year 7-10’s who have graduated to Urban Youth and they are passionate about making sure that the kids younger then them have the amazing experience at LifeKids that they had.  They rock my week!
  • Parents bring their kids to your ministry for a reason.  It’s not because they love dragging their kids out the door when they could all be sleeping in and it’s not for the tea and coffee after the service… they usually want their kids to be in the House of God. Most likely it’s also because they like you and what you’re doing… they might just forget to tell you.  So unless you hear otherwise, assume it’s true!


Pray and Keep on Praying

March 2, 2011

Just read Luke 11:5-13 again, it’s the one about the annoying man in the middle of the night, hassling his mate to get some bread.

So how long is this ask and keep on asking supposed to go for?  God challenged me to think about the things that I’ve been praying for for years and haven’t seen answered yet and one thing came to mind.

Since I began kidmin about 8 years ago my prayer has been for God’s Spirit to be poured out on our kids.  My heart is to see them worshiping God with freedom and passion.  I want to see them use the spiritual gifts that God has given them. I want them to be passionate about prayer.

I’ve seen it in the Spirit, I’ve seen it in other churches, and I’ve seen glimpses of it in our kids from time to time, a partial answer to my prayer, but we havent seen kids coming on Sunday, sitting on the edge of their seats, anxious to get into worship.  We don’t have many kids bringing their friends just because they know that an encounter with God will change their life. We are so not there yet.

If it were about strategy, saying the right things and singing the right songs then we’d be there by now.  But it’s not.  It’s about praying and praying again. Asking and asking again.

Here’s a random thought… I would have thought that if God didn’t answer my prayer after a few years that my faith for that thing would get pretty weak.  But it hasn’t.  It’s stronger then ever.  Maybe it’s because if it wasn’t a desire that God has put on my heart it would have died by now.  I know beyond a doubt that it is the will of God and that He will answer.

I love the local church

February 25, 2011

She is beautiful. She is God’s design.

I love to see churches in Christchurch get out and love their communities, checking on those unaccounted for, helping meet peoples needs by clearing driveways, sourcing water, hand sanitizer and other essentials. I love how local churches can get into communities so quickly in a way that other organisations can’t. I love how they will still be there when all the other organisations have finished.

I love that no-one who is a part of a local church at a time like this needs to be in isolation and feeling lonely. I love that they are family.

I love how local churches around Aotearoa are supporting each other through these times. I love that we can meet and pray together as local churches and that our prayer brings heaven to earth.

I love churches of all sizes and flavors.
What a great idea God!

Let’s pray in New Zealands Darkest Hour

February 22, 2011

it’s hard to know how to start this post. You’ll probably know by now that Christchurch has had yet another earth quake, but unlike September 4th this one is much more serious. Though smaller, it was shallower, closer to the city and during most peoples lunch hour.

Today’s focus solely on saving lives – Mayor – National – Video – 3 News.

It is really encouraging to see people around the world praying for Christchurch.  Even though we are only a few hours drive away here in Dunedin and even felt it ourselves one of the only things we can do is pray too.

I just heard myself there… only thing we can do…‽ Sometimes we treat prayer as a last resort… can’t DO anything about it, so pray.  Prayer is so much more powerful than that.  God responds to prayer when we pour out our hearts to Him.  Miracles have already happened and many more will as we continue to pray.

So since this blog is about kidmin, here are some things I’m praying for, you might like to join in with me.

  • Kids in Chch to have an acute awareness of God’s presence and comfort at this time, whether they know Him or not
  • Kids would feel safe as well as be safe – a lot of anxious kids there at the mo
  • Parents would be strengthened during this time
  • Domestic violence is a huge issue around an event like this – pray for protection esp for kids
  • Church leaders to have wisdom to know how to lead their peeps through this time pastorally as well as responding to the needs of their communities
  • The church to be a light, bringing hope into hopeless situations

That’s just a start. Feel free to add more.

December 24, 2010

The great thing about New Zealand is that we get to have Christmas before the rest of you… we also get to hang out on the beach!

Merry Christmas everyone, have a fantastic time with friends and family, no matter where you are.