Land of the free. Home of the brave.

Can’t believe it’s almost July. I blinked and June was gone.  Now we celebrate land of the free on July 4.  Children’s Ministry is great turf for the free.  People set free who can boldly proclaim the love of Jesus to kids of all ages.  John 8:26 says He who the Son sets free is free indeed.  Free indeed to share the hope of the gospel to children.  Free indeed to engage in culture to present the timeless Message to a dying world.  Free indeed to try new things to be relevant.  Free to support volunteers and do life together.  Free indeed. 

We live in the home of the brave.  So many brave ministry teams out there right now determined to do this children’s ministry gig right!  Way to go.  Young and old, brave enough to commit to a rich lifestyle of serving.  Some weeks great.  Some weeks…oh my, but these brave souls stick with it.  High fives to your team as you celebrate land of the free and home of the brave.

All about the Do-Over

Yesterday evening our church had its annual gathering for water baptism service. We do it once a year in back of the church where they dig a large pond a few days before. It’s the one day a year when all five service attenders come to one service. Outdoor stage, food vendors and lots of people parked everywhere in efforts to see people rejoice in their new life. We rocked the house! Holy moments happened. People declared openly what Christ had done for them and their decision to follow Him wholeheartedly. It does a body good to watch. To remember. To see redemption in action. Grateful people for the cross and salvation. A do-over because of the gift of new life. People rejoiced with other people at the declarations of new creatures following their Savior.
Having been a Christ follower for over 30 years now, its good to be reminded of God’s do-over’s in all of us. New Creatures. It is good to see these people’s eyes as they exude joy. It reminds me of how far He has brought me. How he rescued me.

Last night also reminded me WHY I love ministry to kids and leaders. We’re all redemptive works of the cross. And it just doesn’t stop. Philippians 1:6 says He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it! Now go be the best leader you can be. I’m in.

Mess Things Up

I live in a city that should get some kind of award for taking it slow when it comes to improvements.
We are the midwest and we like it that way. The problem with the safe, slow thinking is that we now lag behind in offering so many things. And the gap keeps growing. You’d probably not notice it too much unless you toured other cities. The contrast is everywhere. Hey…how did we get stuck?

I see the same deal in ministry. I don’t care where you are, there are lots of safe/steady paced churches. “We do this because that’s the way it’s always been done.” They are aging. Livin’ on the edge is a new coat of paint. Cutting edge is a new song or different rotation to follow. Big deal. Same delivery no matter what the surroundinga will get the same results. Same old same old. One basic leadership lesson I learned years ago was that you’d better replace yourself. Things change. Check out the world in which we live!

What a contrast this safe life is to the Gospel. It’s always SO fresh. Jesus just couldn’t be pinned down and be stereotyped. He ministered in the most unlikely moments of life. Always fresh.

I read this week that the Methodist and Lutheran churches are coming up with an ad campaign to bring the ones back who have left the “same old same old.” That should fix things. An Ad campaign? I hope folks can stir the pot more than an ad campaign. There is amazing love to share. Redemption. New life walking with the God of the universe. Encounters. Changes.

If your ministry area or church has got things happily organized… beware. It happened in my town and its will take a long time to get out of the rut. Join me in messing things up. Let’s share Jesus!