Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Am I "All In?"

Recently my husband and I did a tag team series for Sunday morning at our church taken from the book Mark Batterson wrote called, "All In."  Even though I have been a Christian for many years and serving in ministry, I was convicted about the times that I have played things a little safe instead of taking a risk.  Sometimes in children's ministry we can be tempted to go with what we feel has worked in the past.  It is sometimes easier to get by on our laurels and gifts instead of seeking God for new and creative ideas.  I don't want to be guilty of being a "rim hugger instead of a hiker."  The view is better when you take a risk and go deep!  I want to share the "All In Declaration" with you.

                                         All In Declaration by Mark Batterson

I will quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.

I will set God-sized goals, pursue God-ordained passions.

I will go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.

I will keep asking questions, keep making mistakes.

I will keep seeking God for answers.

I will stop pointing out problems and I will become part of the solution.

I will stop repeating the past and start creating the future.

I will stop playing it safe and start taking risks.

I will expand my horizons, accumulate experiences.

I will enjoy the journey.

I will find every excuse I can to celebrate everything I can.

I will live like today is the first day and last day of my life.

I won't let what's wrong with me keep me from worshipping what's right with God.

I will burn sinful bridges and blaze new trails.

I won't let fear dictate my decisions.

I will take a flying leap of faith.

I will quit holding out and quit holding back.

I will push all of my chips to the middle of the table.

It's time to ante up all of my faith.

It's my time to go all in and go all out for the All in All.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer- Bring It On!

It's almost here...summer!  All over kids are counting the days until the last bell rings and school is over.  The kids are excited, the school teachers are breathing a sigh of relief and the parents are probably feeling conflicted.  On one hand they are ready for a change in the routine, the summer weather, and plans for activities, vacation and more time with the kids.  On the other hand, what are the kids going to do with all that extra time?  What happens when boredom sets in?  As a mom, I always felt this way.  I wanted the summer to be fun but also wanted everyone getting along and some semblance of order for the days.  So, in light of this, I want to suggest a few things to help you make this summer a memorable one.

1.  Make plans for your child to go to a good Bible camp.  Camp is one of the best investments you can make in your child's spiritual life.  Statistics say that one week at a good Bible camp is equivalent to one year of Sunday School.  Camp is a place where kids can get away from all the outside influences (TV, computer, video games, phones, etc.) and get out in the great outdoors.  It provides time for relationship building with peers and caring adults.  It provides fun, wholesome activities (swimming, recreation, playing in the dirt!) that your child will enjoy.  It also provides great memories for your child to cherish for a lifetime.  Last but most important, it provides time with the Lord in an atmosphere that will nurture and cultivate your child's relationship with God.  Camp does cost money but there is no comparison monetarily to the value spiritually. Camp is as important to your child's spiritual journey as food is to his health. 

2.  Make plans for several activities you can do together throughout the summer.  You don't have to go on an expensive vacation or to a theme park or water park to have meaningful times with your kids. In fact, kids spell love T-I-M-E.  There are lots of good ideas of special things you can do that cost nothing or very little.  Try an overnight in a tent in the backyard, a family game day with friendly competition (complete with water balloons), trips to the library to get a new book to enjoy at bedtime, working together at some community project, beach days, picnics, planting and maintaining a garden, walking, bicycling, training for 5k event, etc.  There are so many things you can do.  Sit down together and find out what things the kids would enjoy doing with you.  Let your imagination help you get creative.   

3.  Maintain a daily/weekly schedule.  Structure is a kid's best friend.  Most kids who don't have structure get bored easily and can get into trouble with too much time on their hands.  Decide what chores are important for the kids to do daily or weekly.  Make an incentive system to see that they are rewarded for being responsible with their duties.  Set aside time for devotions and prayer each day.  Don't make it too long (not a time to preach to them) but make it meaningful and fun so that they will enjoy and look forward to it.  Also, set aside time to help them keep up with their educational skills so that they maintain the level they were when school adjourned.  You can find good educational materials at your local variety store for all age levels.  Give an incentive for working at this.  Have a reading contest (make it fun and rewarding)! 

4.  Make time to go to church.  Don't miss church too much.  Go and enjoy some things on the weekend but keep going to church a priority in your home.  This is helping to form a good habit of setting aside time to worship God and helps your child know that being a part of a local body of believers is important. 

All too soon, summer will be in the history books.  Make it a memorable and fun time for your family.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Technology and Kids--Incredible!

Are you a techie?  I don't really consider myself one.  My husband likes to say that I am "technologically impaired."  I know just enough to make myself dangerous. Not so with kids.  I was babysitting a 4 year old boy who asked to play with my ipad and was able to get on the internet and download a game in about 2 minutes.  He then proceeded to play and get to several top levels in the game!!!!  He can't read yet but could navigate the internet just fine.  I was amazed.

Those of you who know me, know that I am a Grandmother 6 times over. I am also a Children's Pastor which makes me a" Kidologist" of sorts. Those of us who work with kids should make it a regular practice to study the culture of the children we minister to.  My grandchildren and the children we teach each week are growing up in a completely different culture than we experienced.  The presence of technology (especially the internet) in their world impacts everything about them.  As a grandparent and Children's Pastor I am concerned about the online environment our kids are exposed to.  We have all seen the horror stories on the evening news.

Here are just a couple of facts about kids and technology:  (1) 80% of children under 5 use the Internet, and most start by the time they're 3 years old.  (2) Kids spend 4-7 hours online every day.
Technology is advancing rapidly and the culture of our kids includes it in a huge way.  Like it or not, we must rise to the challenge of finding new ways to embrace technology.  Like it or not, we are competing with secular programming that is designed to hook kids in with the best and most creative games, virtual worlds and educational elements. 

What should we do?  We have only one solution.  We must figure out a way to use technology to reach and teach kids in a safe and secure way.  I am convinced it can be done.  The message of the gospel has not changed in over 2,000 years but the methods that we use to deliver it have!  So, let's get with it!

There is something brand new that I want to tell you about.  It has been developed by My Healthy Church (formerly Gospel Publishing House) and One Hope Innovated.  It is called Incredible Islands. It is a virtual world for kids that is fun and also teaches interactively through Bible stories, quizzes, scripture memorization, prayer and teaching about missions and generosity.  This program harnesses the power of technology for 21st century kids.   It is designed to enhance the effectiveness of the children's ministry leader, allowing them to teach in the method that children today are learning.  Check it out online at

I am excited about this great new tool for us to use. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hello everyone.  Welcome to my new blog.  I decided to get my feet wet in 2014 by starting a blog to chat about my favorite subject:  Ministry to Kids.  I especially love Alaska kids. I am a full time Children's Pastor (16 years) and a leader in our fellowship (Alaska Assemblies of God). I am also a wife, mother and grandmother to 6 of the most adorable children who were ever born!  My husband, Tracy, and I also pastor a church in Kodiak, Alaska. 

 My passion is to reach and teach kids about Christ.  It is a big job and I want to do my very best. Another passion I have is equipping and motivating those who work with kids.   So in my blog I want to share ideas and network with other Children's Pastors and kid's workers.  I am sure we can discuss the joys and challenges we have encountered in working with this generation of kids.  We can also talk about trends in ministry and offer advice and help to those who ask for it. I also want to be a source of encouragement to those who struggle in feeling like they don't have the right tools to be able to minister or to those who feel like the challenges in reaching kids today are just too great.  Don't give up!  Many of us have been there. You are not alone!

So, let's get started.  If you have a question or a subject you want to talk about, send me an email.  I may not know the answer and promise to be transparent.  You see I am still learning too.  I look forward to hearing from you and will post again soon.  You can reach me at