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Posts Tagged "conversations"

Worms, Compost & God

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in My Life

This summer the McClain family embarks on the adventure of composting.  I’m not a particularly ‘green’ person.  I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, but at the same time… I’m not game for complicated living.  I like throwing things away that I no longer need without thought of its reuse.  However, my kids come home on a regular basis touting the virtues of recycling, taking care of our environment and all that other ‘green-living’ jargon.  (Do I sound jaded?)

Here’s the thing.  As easy as it is to toss plastic in the trash can I can’t argue my son’s point when he reminds me that we should care about the environment God gave us.  So, over the past few years my family has made some lifestyle changes.  We began recycling and are better at taking the initiative to separate our trash and recycle what we can.  We watch our lights and make sure we turn out lights in rooms we’re not occupying.  And over time we replace equipment in our home that will conserve water and energy.

Our next ‘green’ adventure is composting.  I found some pretty simple instructions to make a home-made composter with worms and all.  (Wha?!?)  It’s called Vermicomposting.  I won’t go into detail… you can Wikipedia it here.  Essentially it will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the McClain family garbage can.

However, this adventure opens up opportunity for a new line of conversations with my kids.  As we learn about how composting works for our environment I can connect them to how God works in our lives.  As we learn the process of how a leftover apple core can turn into rich garden soil, I can teach them how God takes the scraps of life and turns them into rich nutrients to help us grow.  How He never wastes a thing (good or bad) when it comes to enriching us so we might produce the fruits of the Spirit.

When you see my kids on the weekends, ask them how the composting is going.  This should be an entertaining summer project.

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Transitions: Promotion Weekend

Posted by on Jul 13, 2011 in Ministry

Back-to-School is coming soon.  Wal-Mart already has their school supplies stocked in the front of the store.  It’s almost frustrating when you feel the summer has just begun!

This fall, Back-to-School means “Promotion Weekend” at FPC.  The first weekend of August our kids will move up a grade.  These transitions are easy for some kids.  Tougher for others.  Either way it’s a great opportunity to help kids make stronger connections w/in fpKIDS & for us to capitalize on the attention we have from mom & dad.

Several weeks ago I posted about a summer multi-week event for our Rising 6th Graders called Merge.  That events been a success so far.  (Personally, my son loves it!)  So our Rising 6th Graders have a smoother transition into our Student Ministry in the fall.

We’ve got two other transitions we’re paying attention to simply because of the nature of the transition.

  • PreK to Kindergarten
  • 3rd to 4th grade

Here’s the low-down on the PreK to Kindergarten:

This transition is significant in fpKIDS b/c kids move from Preschool into Elementary.  These are two distinctly different environments.  So, we’ll spend two weekends in a row just giving PreK kids a ‘taste’ of the elementary experience in 30 minute doses.  We’re also hosting a “Kindergarten kNEXTion” the first week of August.  We’re holding it in the evening, offering pizza for dinner and promising a night of fun for parents and kids.  The first 30 minutes we’ll spend giving parents and kids a ‘taste’ of the Large Group experience (i.e. skits/messy game/worship).  The last 30 minutes we’ll send the kids off with volunteers to do some different activities much like they will experience in Small Group on the weekends.  We’ll pull parents aside during that time and talk to them as a group.

There are 3 specific areas I want to focus on with parents.

  1. Who we are – this never gets old and should be shared every time we have an audience with parents.  We will always, always, always review our mission and vision with parents so they know why we’re here.
  2. What they can expect – I want to give parents a glimpse down the road.  Their child is currently 5 or 6 years old.  In the next few years they will begin digesting and internalizing the gospel message.  The Truth will become personal to them and are likely to respond to that Truth.
  3. What they can do – I want to give parents practical tools that will help them prepare for those conversations.  If I can help parents to be in a proactive posture rather than a reactive posture then I think they feel more successful.  The more ‘wins’ I can help them gain in this season in life, the more they’ll lean into the tougher conversations down the road.
I’m excited about this event and am hopeful for a great turn out.  It’s right before all the Back-to-School mayhem but hopefully the offer of free pizza and fun will draw them in.  🙂
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Tee It Up

Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Ministry, My Life

I stink at golf.

I mean, I really, really stink at golf.

Here are golf terms I relate to:  Slice, bunker, rough, water hazard & Caddy Shack.

Here are golf terms I can’t relate to:  birdie, green, fairway, Fore, & hole-in-one.

Did I mention how bad I am at golf?

Yet I find one part of golf irresistible.  Teeing up the ball.

Setting the ball on the tee is saturated in hope.  The hope that I’ll make a solid hit down the fairway toward the green… and ultimately the hole. The hope that I just might make a hole-in-one.

Sunday night I sat with my kids at the computer.  We were on the website www.studio252.tv watching some videos on forgiveness.  They love these cheesy, goofy, Nickelodeon-style videos that unpack scripture in a creative way.  In fact, one of the videos we watched Sunday was the 2nd time they’d seen it.

I love the time that I spend with them just laughing together at the goofy antics.  But while watching the videos it occurred to me that I was metaphorically teeing up the ball.  By watching these videos together and briefly talking about how the action of Forgiveness works out in our lives, I am setting myself up for later conversations.

Forgiveness is a topic we will all discuss with our kids at different times.  But I increase my impact in these conversations when I can point back to a shared experience.

So when my daughter came in last night upset over an exchange with the neighbor boy, I could point back to the video we learned together about Forgiveness.  I could pull out an eraser, providing the visual reminder that holding a grudge is like holding a bucket full of rocks.  A heavy weight that’s only reduced when we stop keeping records of the wrong things others have done.

As parents, we are more successful when we take some time to “tee up the ball”.  The opportunities to hit the ball will come.  No doubt.  But there’s a big difference between hitting a ball directly off the ground or hitting it off the tee.

I’d rather hit if off the tee.

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Kidmin Conference 2011

Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry

Meaningful dialogue.

That’s the one thing I look forward to most at the Kidmin Conference.

The uniqueness of this event is the opportunity we’ll have to interact with those leading the training & main sessions.  In fact, the set up, schedule and expectation is all centered around the idea of connections & relationships.  That’s the stuff that excites me most.

I learn more from the random conversations that crop up around the topic of ministry than I do in the formal teaching sessions orchestrated at a conference.  It’s no dig on any one conference itself… I learn a great deal from teaching sessions at conferences.  Take Orange 2011 from just a few weeks ago.  I have a ton of notes from each break out and main session I attended.  However, it’s the off-the-cuff, side-bar conversations that occurred during the breaks with speakers/leaders like Kendra Fleming, Carey Nieuhoff, Joy Bowen & Jim Wideman that I walk away from encouraged, uplifted, guided, equipped and empowered to do greater ministry.  Those are the richer moments of the conference for me and those are the reasons I want to go back.

I’m praying for 3 full days of these kinds of conversations at the Kidmin Conference 2011.  Check out this message from Chris Yount Jones and her thoughts on the event.


If you haven’t registered yet, click the Kidmin Conference link to the right and register.

Follow them on Facebook to keep up with the latest conversations.

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Orange Day 1: Thoughts of Randomness

Posted by on Apr 27, 2011 in Leadership, Ministry, Orange

When attending a ministry conference like Orange 2011, there is always a huge anticipation leading up to.  And it always pays off.  Orange simply has a buzz about it that you can sense as you pull into the parking lot.  Day One is under my belt and here are a few random thoughts so far…

  • I love the side-bar conversations you have at a conference.  Obviously the teaching in the breakout sessions is highly valuable.  Yet, to me, the random conversations in the Orange Leaders Lounge is equally as valuable.  These add richness to the overall experience.
  • I should pack water with me.  Or $5 bills.  Water from a vending machine is ‘spensive.  (and ironic when sitting 10’ from ministry booths promoting clean water for orphaned kids.)
  • There are a ton of products that you want to know more about.  Visiting the vendor booths, asking questions and generally giving them an opportunity to talk about their product is worth the time.  I found some interesting things I’ll blog about soon.
  • I’m a hotel snob.  I just am.  I can go low-budget but let’s be real.  I’ve got some Kate Gosselin tendencies.  Not proud of it.
  • Amy Fenton Lee & Joy Bowen are now two women on my “want to hang out with” list.
  • I want to meet more people passionate about Preschool Ministry.  Who’s going to read this blog post then come find me in the Orange Leader Lounge Thursday?
  • Opening Night was awesome.  Worship was rich.  And I could fully engage b/c I was not responsible for anything.  🙂

More to come…

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