Monthly Archives: February 2013

Resting in Him

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A couple of weeks ago I had gotten to one of those points where I felt like I couldn’t get it all done. My husband had changed shifts at work and it had thrown our whole routine off. I needed a reset button. I took a week off of work so that I could get things at home back in order. I had to get my systems back in place for our new normal so that we could still function and have a few clean clothes to wear and some food to eat. While I would like to say that that week off allowed me the time to get my house in spotless condition, all of my laundry is done, and meals are ready for the next month, that would be a huge lie. Life kept on going, and kids had to be at school and MDO. I definitely made some progress, but I learned something more important during that week.

I had the chance to get to some rest. Not the luxurious just got a massage type rest, but I intentionally slowed down even if just for a week and rested. I spent more time with my kids, my husband, and most importantly with God. It was fabulous. While I had other intentions for my time off, the results were even better.

It has made me realize even in the hustle and bustle of life after my week off that I have to be intentional about how I spend my time.  Now that we have started ball season, that adds that much more to the schedule.  However, it is most important to spend that time with God and my family.  I have to say, behavior has been better, and I feel like I’ve had more patience (not 100% of the time) with my kids.

What have you learned in times of rest?

Jim Wideman: infuse

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We all have more to learn in life. It’s seldom that we get the chance to sit down with experts in our field and soak up everything that pours out of their heart and mind. I have been blessed to be a part of an opportunity such as this. Jim Wideman has been pouring into children’s ministers for a long time. He has challenged me, shown me where I needed improvement, and has offered wisdom in my life for the past 6 months. I am looking forward to another 6 months in the Fall to grow and stretch my abilities through infuse. This program is definitely a catalyst for making us better people, better Christians, and better children’s ministers. So why should you look into infuse?

1. It will be a great time to examine your heart and your methods.

Bro. Jim gets to the heart of issues that we deal with in the church, and shows you how to put systems in place that will help you work smarter, not harder.

2. It will stretch you.

One of the things I have learned and realized during this 6 months, is that this is God’s ministry, not mine. He has me in this place at this time for a reason, and because of that I am not limited to my own abilities and strengths. By leaning on God’s power and strength, the unimaginable can happen. It may be unfamiliar and unchartered territory, but if God has gone ahead of me then nothing is new to Him.

3. Personal attention.

By participating in infuse, I have had Bro. Jim’s personal attention. If I have a question he will answer it. I have also gained a new family of others doing the same thing I’m doing who are all at different eras in their ministries. They are there for me cheering me on and helping me be the best I can be. It would take a lifetime of networking to build a contact list like that!

There are only a few spots left for this years group. Definitely go and check it out. You can do that by clicking here

Being Intentional Pt. 2

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Yesterday, I talked about how God had led me to being more intentional with my time this year.  You can read how the plays out in myself, my marriage, and my family here.

Today, I want to talk about what this looks like in ministry.

This past December we had the chance to share with our church family what the purpose behind our budget was.  That it wasn’t just a number, but that there was a vision to go along with it.  It was during this time that I prayed and studied what we have done in the past.  I got really excited as I thought about the future of the children’s ministry at our church.

My first thought was the time that we have with kids at church is so limited.  According to Reggie Joiner, we only get an average of 40 hours a YEAR with kids at church.  Parents get around 3000!  There’s no way we can disciple the kids that come through just by having them come to church on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, and expect them to get what they need in that time.  It was going to have to be a partnership between us and parents.

I have completely reevaluated every event that we have done in the past.  They have been great and definitely served a purpose, but everything has gone on the table this year.  My hope and prayer is that we allow families to take ownership of discipling their children.  I want the focus to be shifted from the thought that we are discipling our children by taking them to church to I disciple my child and the church is my partner in that journey.

We are trying out the first of our new and improved family night events this month.  I’ll have to blog about it when it’s all said and done, but thanks to Sam Luce for the idea.

Being Intentional

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As I prayed and listened to what God would have me do this year, I felt like He kept telling me to do what He has called me to do and not to worry about the rest.  That has meant letting some stuff go, and it means being smarter and more prayerful about what I am doing in ministry, in my family, with my marriage, with myself.  I knew that the schedule I was keeping was not a forever kind of pace, and as God transitioned me into a new role this past year, I needed to take the time to figure out what was really important and what was not.

So how has this looked? (This is mostly a confession time for me)

Myself: I’ve worked on scheduling time during my day to read and study God’s word.  I have completely fallen in love with the Old Testament.  It amazes me as I read through the Old Testament the details that God had prepared so long ago to save us from ourselves. And I just have to say that I don’t think I would have lived a week during the time of Leviticus.  I would have never remembered all those rules!  There are definitely times that I could find oh so many other things to do instead of stopping and reading, and I will be the  first to admit that I’m not perfect, and there are times when I let those things get in the way. But it is a habit that I am working toward.

My Marriage: Our schedules have been tossed up in the air lately as my husband went back on nights recently.  The best thing to help with frustrations is communication.  When we aren’t communicating, I get frustrated.  My problem is that I communicate in my head, but don’t always do it out loud or on paper.  We are having to be more intentional about date nights, child care, and everything in between just to keep it from being neglected.  I have to say that my husband is absolutely my best friend, and I am so thankful to be walking through life together with him.  I could not ask for a better man to do that with.

My Family: This is probably the hardest one for me honestly.  But if it is not in order, and I’m not intentional about this area, then none of the rest matters after it.  My kids are my number 1 area of ministry (or should be).  I have been very convicted lately of the time that I spend with them.  Is it that I am in the room but not present with them?  I mean, how many times a week does my daughter have to ask to bake in her Easy Bake Oven before I have the time to do it with her?  How many times do I have to keep asking my son what he said because I wasn’t really listening the first time?

I am working on being more patient with my kids as they explore their boundaries, gain independence, question the way the world works, and where they fit in it.  I have found that when I schedule the time to be available for them, and make it a priority to set that time aside for them (and not my email or phone included) that they are really neat individuals.  I also know that if I miss this time, I won’t get it back and will not be able to redeem the relationship that I didn’t spend the time to develop in the first place.

Tomorrow I will talk about being intentional in ministry.

How are you being intentional with the time that God gives you?

An adventure worth taking

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Each week we have a select group of people who take up an invitation to go on a crazy adventure. They are working tirelessly to make sure that what they do matters. They tell stories, hear prayer requests, comfort someone who is sad, cheer with someone who had something great happen this week. They teach God’s word and relate it today’s terms. They are serving your kids and mine. They are serving you and me. They are helping us in the discipleship process of our kids’ spiritual walk.

No. They are not always trained teachers. They are not always college professors. They are not always preschool teachers. Some of them didn’t even think that they were cut out to work with kids. But the dared to step out in faith and do what God had simply asked them to do. None of us always feel qualified or equipped but God gives us what we need. They are servants in children’s ministry. They rock babies, share God’s word with 1st graders, they walk through what a prayer life looks like (and do it throughout the week) with 3rd graders and serve alongside 5th graders as they teach them to continue in the process.

They are on the adventure of a lifetime. It has eternal rewards. Don’t you want to join them?