Just enjoyed a great message by Francis Chan at the #orange09 conference here in Atlanta.
It has set back on my heels thinking about what he shared. He spoke of when God speaks something to us that really is an emergency of something He wants us to do. Urgent! Needs follow through! Then we “think” about it and get told to “simmer down” and “think” through it first. Even the Apostle Paul indicated the need of prayer to stay bold by what we read from Acts to the book of Ephesians. I can relate. I need to stop thinking so much and listen. We are so fired up at conferences, then we “simmer down” when we return to the life of ministry routine. I say no. Endeavor to stay prayed up asking the Holy Spirit- the same Spirit that moved in Acts, to move through us. Same God. Same Spirit. How could I forget? Well, I did and I do. So together at the studio table today let’s hold one another accountable to follow through on the Spirit’s voice within us. He’s there. He’s been there. We just make the choice to listen and follow through. Let’s go!
I like it when people of all different backgrounds,gifts and talents converge with a purpose in mind. Wayyy cool God thing happen. That’s why I’m excited to be serving at the Orange Conference ’09 in Atlanta (www.theorangeconference.com) To converge is to have all lines come together. A Meet Up. People coming to hear and share and get to know others in the trenches of ministry around the world. It’s when I realize what an amazing God we serve. What great people are planted in churches all over the globe!
The serve in Children’s Ministry is always evolving. Yep, always. It must. Why? To stay fresh in presenting the timeless life changing Message to kids. It must to stay engaging to kids in our culture. It must to say excellent. Some take issue with that. I don’t think we need to think twice about improving ministry and being current. My biggest defense for that is what you are reading now. If you were using your Smith Corona typewriter- you’d be in the dark. But congratulations, you too have evolved. Some slower than others. And some with reluctance until they see the benefits.
Kids are smart. Parents are savvy. The church had better be prepped, poised and ready for this next generation of members. There is no economic downturn in hungy hearts need Christ. May we take action in thinking forward with regards to both family and kids of all ages. They must teach with the END in mind. The whole lifespan of a child/teen/adult. Parents are searching and are hungry now more than ever, I believe. Let’s present the best to them.
I pray past programming in your children’s ministry is given an opportunity to align itself to present the timeless message in a fresh way May there be no typrewriters to be found in your ministry area.
Just read in Romans 5:5 that as Christ followers, God’s love has been shed abroad- poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. I’ve read it many times before, but I decided to camp out and “chew” on it like it was something new. I had a WOW moment at the connection it brings for the trenches in ministry. As leaders it is the CORE of what we’ve received. It’s really only His Love (BIG L)we have to give out to our team, our kids. On our own the love (little l) deal can run out quickly. But God’s Love in our heart is a never ending supply deposited in us. The Holy Spirit fills us with the ability to give that Love out God has lavished on us. A never ending Love supply poured into you. You CAN Love those challenging kids/parents/leaders! You CAN make it through dark days. Everybody has them. But it can make you think twice about those difficult people in your life. When it comes to the love supply in your heart- God wins out if you will rely on him. Romans 5:4 talks of endurance being needed because it develops fortitude of character. SO ministry and personality challenges should cause us to be determined to endure because of that GREAT love supply in our hearts. Leader Love? Priceless!
Pondering around the idea studio today the phrase “best foot forward”. It’s different for each of us, I believe. What may be an easy thing for some is a challenge for others. But this “best foot” phrase doesn’t qualify what that best foot is, your supposed to know that and just says go forward with it. SO… in your ministry area where do you need to PUT your best foot forward? What are the BEST things you know you should excel at? God calls all of us to be the best at what HE calls us to be. Be a good one. PUT that foot forward in changing programming, in asking someone to volunteer. Big ask for your senior pastor? PUT your best foot forward. Forward is a motion. It’s moving on. Maybe just a baby step, but you’ve started. The Bible is filled with everyday people who decided to place their faith in God and put their BEST foot forward knowing God would show up. Abraham, Moses, Caleb, Esther,Paul…
We all get stuck from time to time. But getting UNstuck in sometimes just a step in the right direction. Now go put your BEST foot forward.
Sitting around the idea studio table with you today I want to think about currency. We all use it in ministry. No… we’re not handing out pictures of George Washington to volunteers.
Some might think that if your area of ministry has flow like the military- you must have great currency. Being administratively organized is a side issue. Currency is a beautiful thing between leadership and volunteers. It’s built on trust, investment and yield.
High Yield #1: Leaders invest in their volunteers. Together they identify strengths and weaknesses in the serve to make it best suited for that volunteer. When you do that, expect a high yield. Expect your volunteers to be energized because they are serving in their gifting. They want to do more. They bring ideas to improve.
High Yield #2: When you take time to show appreciation to those serving, it is again like currency. Sincere gratitude and value shown to people is an investment you don’t want to ignore. You are adding value and can expect trust to grow long term. Don’t neglect the power of gratitude in the currency of ministry.
High Yield #3 Involving your team in seeking solutions to challenges in children’s ministry invests in volunteers. They are part of a team that is making an impact. We all want to make a difference. Volunteers are a goldmine of ideas that are great. They have the advantage of being on the frontlines. They see what leaders sometimes can’t. Use that currency as much as you can.
Leading a team is that of investment. How’s your portfolio?