…what would I expect if I walked into a church building today?” Francis Chan.
Acts 2: 42 – 47
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Anyone can love their neighbor. Who can love their neighbor as yourself?
The story of the talents in Matthew 20 rings in my mind today.
The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more.The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more.But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
Many teachers of this scripture equate talents with money, time, gifts, abilities, etc. Basically, taking what God provides and using it rather than squandering it. So, my question is… if you have a handful of talents and find that you’re only using a few… how long will you allow the others to go unused?
Kenny Conley is the Next Generation Pastor of Gateway Community Church in Austin, Tx. True to Texas, Kenny thinks BIG. I’ve yet to hear anything out of Kenny’s mouth that isn’t bigger than all of us put together. He’s joining Jabberfrog today to share glimpse of what God has done inside of him lately. Enjoy, comment, then skip over to his blog, Children’s Ministry Online, for more.
Hello. My name is Kenny and I’m a Sabbath Skipper.
I’ve known better for years, but I habitually work on the Sabbath. It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I realized how out of control I was and began to put guidelines back into my life concerning the Sabbath. Actually I jumped into a small group of other men on staff and we’re on a Bible reading plan. While we were in the books of the Law, the thing that convicted us the most was the importance of the Sabbath and how pitiful we all were at celebrating it. Being in ministry, we’re all busy with really good things. Unfortunately our family was taking a back seat to unrealistic and out of control schedules.
For us, we first had to recognize what our Sabbath was. Sunday is a workday, so it wouldn’t be fair to our families if that was our Sabbath. We chose to go OT style and do the sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. It was a schedule that allowed us to have a full 24 hours with our families without school or work getting in the way. It also gave us flexibility to start ramping up for work again on Saturday night. We then surrounded each other with accountability, making sure we’re all celebrating the Sabbath.
I’m five weeks into my new practice and I’ve only blown it one weekend. Here is what I’ve learned:
I’m just as productive as I was before. I’ve got the same about of work, but I seem to be getting it done in one less day of work. Who knew. I think it’s like the tithe. For many people it is a step of faith to first begin giving that 10% and they have to trust God with the tithe. When choosing to celebrate the sabbath, you have to trust that God will multiply your ability to get everything done with one less day to work.
Celebrating the Sabbath changes the way I work during the week. Every day I’m thinking about that Sabbath and and prioritizing my week so that when Thursday comes, I’m able to wrap up what needs to be done for that week. I’ve found that it has helped me become more efficient.
I’m happier. Seriously, I’m less stressed, I feel more confident about the direction we’re going and I’m having such a blast with my family on my days off. My relationship with my wife is better and I’m making great memories with my family.
It’s funny how as pastors, we’re sure to tithe and stress how important it is for others to follow this suggestion, yet so many of us totally neglect taking a Sabbath rest. The irony of it all is that taking the Sabbath rest is one of the ten commandments, which is pretty important.
So, schedule your next Sabbath rest day. Enjoy it and be sure to honor God this way!
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
True. But you can give him a salt lick and make him thirsty.
If your a #kidmin leader, you’re very familiar with the helpful tools you provide to parents every week. Tools designed to help parents continue the conversation after their weekend fun in your ministry. Tools intended to equip parents to teach their kids how to navigate the bible, to internalize scripture, and to grow as a follower of Christ.
But we also know that if mom and dad don’t see those tools as valuable they aren’t likely to use them. So how do we provoke parents to put these tools to use?
Create a thirst.
Consider this… in my community it doesn’t take much to see what families value. Good schools & good sports programs. Why? Because they develop valuable skills and create opportunity for kids as they grow into adulthood.
Many parents I encounter have a vision for their child’s educational success. Which is why they enroll their kids in a specialized school, pay for private tutoring and pay close attention to their progress as a student. Success in academics opens doors for success professionally. So when a teacher sends homework, study tools and other materials home… parents utilize them. Why?
There is an end goal in mind that includes a mortar board, a long, black robe and pomp & circumstance.
If mom and dad do not have a vision for their child’s spiritual development… if their goal is not centered upon raising a child that loves God with everything in them, then they will not see the value in the tools we place in their hands. They will not see the value in they’re child learning to navigate the bible on their own… they won’t encourage the discipline of internalizing scripture… they won’t teach the art of articulating their faith.
So, how do we create a thirst? Turn them on to a bigger vision for their family. Help them see there is a greater goal for their child. Give them a glimpse of the impact they can have on the faith of successive generations.
Parents want to be effective. But many times they just don’t know how. What do we (the church) have in place that will teach them how?
Some friends of mine have an amazing ministry that equips families in ways I’ve never seen before. If there is anything to consider for your #kidmin ministry in 2010, take a close look at Family ID. Check out the video below then visit their website to see how you can bring Family ID to your families.
For a small group leader, one of the most fluent languages is sarcasm. As I recently transitioned roles within our church, one of our leaders asked students what they like about me. Most of the responses included something about how I pick on the students. I pick on them because I know they will laugh. […]
Of course, I can add another student to my few. Sure, I’d love to come meet her. After two steps, I pull up short. With my heart in my throat and my mind racing, I realize I have no idea what to do next. Waiting at the door is a lovely girl with special needs […]
How can you tell if a preschooler is having a good time when you walk into a room? You only need to look around. Is the room a complete and utter mess? If so, good job! They are having fun! There are few moments of greater joy for a child than unrestrained play. Put a child in […]
I met my few at the end of their sophomore year. One of my first weeks was the same evening our ministry celebrated graduating seniors. That night, the seniors were invited to share what they’d learned during high school. A common thread was the importance of sticking together—even when you get to junior year, life […]
It’s tough for parents to grasp what happens in the hour kids in our groups on a Sunday morning. We can’t blame parents for this though. They’ve got a heck of a lot going on. And from what I’ve seen, parents don’t really understand what we do as small group leaders . . . until […]
It’s a typical Wednesday night. You have your small group of six students, your Bible, and the Lead Small app cued up. You are unstoppable. You are a small group leader. You are about to lead the best middle school small group discussion there ever was. You do happy crappys. You run through all of […]