Archive for the ‘Family Ministry’ Category

Here are the some things that recently caught my attention from around the web.

The Gospel Centered Discipleship blog had a great post (actually a re-post) on the foundations for spiritual growth.

Tim Elmore over on the Growing Leaders blog had a fantastic post on what’s missing in parenting these days.

Randy Alcorn over on the Eternal Perspectives Ministries blog had a post on how we do and should view ourselves. 

Trevor Lee pointed me in the direction of a great blog post on the “bigness” of family ministry.

Craig Jutila had a great post on his blog about the family and time.

And finally …

Sam Luce continues to ask great questions (and provide insightful answers) over on his blog. This time it was “Questions leaders need to ask after a big event.” This is one I am still working through because of the VBS idea I ran with this summer (future blog post).

If you are reading this and believe I’m missing some great content out on the web, leave a comment and I will check it out.  Thanks!

Here are some things that caught my attention from around the world wide web.

Trevin Wax over at the Gospel Coalition had a great post about the value of stay at home moms. Great encouragement for those who are able.

Gospel Centered Discipleship had a great series of posts on “Kids in the Family of God” by Ben Connelly. Here parts 1, 2, and 3.

Matthew Molesky reminds us all how to fight fear. A needed read and reminder for me.

CJ Mahaney had a great post on the Grace of the Lord Jesus. While I’m still digesting this, it’s good (… and obviously too deep for me).

 

As I look online for helps in life and ministry, I find things that need to be shared. I call it web slinging for at least 2 reasons:

1. “Web” for world wide web.

2. Web slinging to pay homage to the comic geek that lives within me.

Here are the most recent posts that need to be shared:

Gospel Centered Discipleship had a great post on family worship.

The Resurgence had a post on parenting pitfalls.

Michael Chanley had a post on his blog about leadership essentials for children’s ministry parts 1, 2, and 3.

After a week of vacation, I’m back … and so here is this week’s blog posts that caught my eye (the week before I left).

Greg Baird over on kidmin360 had a post on how to evaluate ministry.

Sally Lloyd Jones had a post at Desiring God about the importance of teaching children the Bible is not about them.

Sam Luce had a post on his blog asking the question “Are youth and kids ministry unbiblical?

Matt Guevara over on truministry answers the question, “What is family ministry?

Jeff Medders pointed me to a post at Desiring God about weapons in the fight for holiness.

Over on youth ministry a post was written to remind pastors about the priority of family over ministry.

Youth Worker Movement had a post about avoiding ministry burnout.

My hope in sharing these is that they help, inspire, motivate, challenge you as they did me.

HT – Jeff Medders

Here are the some things I found around the web, maybe you missed them … maybe not … all are worth a look.

Carey Nieuwhof wrote a post over at Orange Parents about parental influence (how it’s gained and lost). Good stuff.

Brian Croft had a post on Practical Shepherding about how pastors can affirm the priority of the family.  It’s short but didn’t go where I thought it would.

Sam Luce had a post on his blog about protecting kids from materialism.

Dustin Neely had an essential post over at the Gospel Coalition on the importance of leading your family well.  As pastors please read this!

Greg Baird posted on kidmin360 the traps that catch kidmin leaders. Very helpful.

Thom Rainer had about post on his blog about leadership that I found helpful, hopefully you will too.

I literally just got done reading Dreaming of More for the Next Generation by Michelle Anthony. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Matt Guevara, a local pastor and friend.  When asked to read and review it I was honored.

What I liked

I believe this book comes at a critical time (at least for me) in family ministries.  I also believe the author is asking all the right questions.  Questions that I need to be reminded of as I continue down the family ministry road. The questions the author asks are the same one I wrestle with as a Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries.  It all starts with Anthony’s “7 Pillars” (beginning in chapter 2)

1. Family is primary

2. Spiritual formation is goal.

3. The Holy Spirit is the Teacher.

4. Scripture is the authority.

5. The big God story.

6. God is Central.

7. Ministry Support.

Anthony spends the rest of the book developing these pillars.  She shares both successes and failures without telling readers “the right way” to do.  By laying it out this way, she forces the reading to apply the answers to their specific ministries. This is refreshing (as I look around my office and see family ministry books that I’ve read that claiming if you follow these steps you will be “successful”).

Quotes

“Parents and ministry leaders can so quickly succumb to manipulating kids into good behavior and forgetting what really fosters faith: a relationship with God.” pg. 23

“Spiritual formation is more that just information …” pg. 29

“Spiritual parenting is not perfect parenting … but rather imperfect parenting from a spiritual perspective.” pg. 37

“We need to resist getting distracted by doing things about Him and instead create an environment where children encounter Him.” pg. 65

“Spiritual formation is not just when somebody tells us something, but when God tells it to us or we feel His conviction.” pg. 67

“The children and families in our ministries are looking to us to proclaim the truth of Scripture and the reality of God’s power within us.” pg. 87

“…faith muscles get flabby when they’re not used, but they grow strong when they are flexed. … For most Christians in the Western world today, our relatively comfortable way of life has eradicated our need to walk by faith and depend on God.” pg. 104

“The faith stories of the kids in our ministry are not ones of us simply telling them what to do; rather it’s giving them the opportunity to do it.” pg. 109

“In order for them to navigate the oppression of the world and the tactics of the Enemy, the need to know truth.” pg. 109

“People don’t walk away from the truth; they walk away in search of truth. When you know truth – really know it – it transforms you!” pg. 110

“You see, when you teach the Bible as one story and not a collection of stories, there is a natural cliff-hanger moment every week.  It’s a continuing storyline, and the idea of coming back next week to hear what happens next is naturally woven into the text.” pg. 124

“Once a child grasps the bigger storyline, it’s important to captivate that child into the part that God wants him or her to play in it.” pg. 134

“The biblical model of pausing reveals how the faith community intentionally stopped and gathered together, both at home and communally, to remember specific things God has done.” pg. 142

“God designed us to live within a faith community that remembers and celebrates in order to experience Him in ways that can only happen while we are in close proximity to one another.” pg. 146

“Worship is our response to God’s power and glory. It’s our response to who He is.” pg. 154

“In order to seize the hearts of the young, we need to be diligent to create space for them to encounter Jesus. … We need to provide time, energy, and devotions to exercise their prayer muscles and faith muscles in acts of authentic and vulnerable worship.” pg. 155

“We want worship as a response to God to be the posture of their hearts in every situation, every day.” pg. 161

“… change is an external force, while transition is an internal wrestling.” pg. 174

There is importance and value to team building:  ” … giving ministry away – and not just the parts I don’t like.” pg. 189

Conclusion

While more can always be said, I think its safe to say that this is a necessary read for anyone who looking to take their children’s ministry to the next level. The “pillars” (and following explainations) are needed in every biblical, gospel-centered, children’s ministry. I look forward to sharing what I have learned with my leaders and volunteers.

Children’s, Youth, Family Pastor, get this book, read this book, pray and think through these issues for the health and impact of your ministry.