Is this Really Worth My Time?

14 09 2017

“Is all of this really making a difference?”


Steve Adams, Executive Pastor of Children’s Ministry at Saddleback Church in California, asks this question in his book, Children’s Ministry on Purpose. And we all do don’t we? We wonder if our efforts developing children really means anything. Perhaps we should ignore our little ones and not make any attempts to build their character.

No! Don’t do it!

Of course, this question is not an easy one to answer and our children don’t often come running up to us to thank us for all our wisdom! But like a seed planted and watered, we watch it grow and mature over time by God’s power (1 Cor.3:6-7). As Adams says,

Farmers understand that when they plant a seed in the ground, there is a process that goes with the planting…This is a process worth every minute of our planting efforts regardless of the demands, obstacles, and sacrifices we face. God’s Word tells us that our work does make a difference.

Every word, every lesson plan, every visual aid, every story, every high five is a seed. A seed that sinks in and shapes and influences young lives as they grow, change and adopt internal core beliefs. What you do matters in the life of a child!

Echo: Using Repetition for Greater Impact

22 04 2015

Words matter. Meaningful words echoed remain.

You want your words to last and to leave an impression. As you engage children, take the time to craft key words you want to remain in their hearts and repeat them.

Make Memories

19 11 2013

Memories are powerful tools for developing children. Positive emotional experiences where children feel loved and accepted goes along way for them knowing a personal God who loves and accepts them. Conversely, negative emotional experiences where children feel rejected or invaluable may lead to their view of God as being a rejecting or uncaring god. As people who have powerful influence on the lives of children by the emotional experiences we provide, consider how your example shapes their view of God.

Babies help unlock the origins of morality – CBS News

19 11 2012

Babies help unlock the origins of morality – CBS News.

Do babies have an innate sense of right and wrong, justice and desire for punishment, bias towards others who are like them and against those who are not like them, greed for personal gain at the expense of others?

Evolutionary thinking and theological preferences aside, this little video is fascinating. It shows that while these pieces of morality seem to be there from early on, the familial and cultural influences can ultimately shape how those values are embraced or reinforced.

What Kids Talk About and Why We Must Listen

28 03 2011

I love kid talk. Especially the talk of the littlest ones. Most of the time it doesn’t make sense. It is usually blurted from the context of their own minds. Then, we as adults have to constantly try to catch up and figure out what that context is to figure out what they really want us to know. Their talk is filled with imagination. Superheroes, unicorns, bumps, food, owwies, and on and on the conversation goes from their world of fantasy mixed with reality.

As children grow, so does their talking ability. Things become a little more complex, although not necessarily less silly. The stories they tell become more elaborate and increasingly coherent. It is truly a wonder to watch this develop in a child. Through this conversation, whether it be with others or simply self-talk, kids are shaping their view of the world. Through learning a joke, talking sports, imagining crazy scenarios, or chattering about favourite whatevers, kids are learning what life is all about. But they are not learning this on their own.

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Orange Parents

19 01 2011

Orange Parents.

The link above will take you to a site devoted to helping parents and churches collide. Something wonderful (orange) happens when the light (yellow) of the church blends with the love (red) of the family.

I’ve been meeting with a small group of friends to discuss the book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. It’s a book with this orange concept in mind and we have been having very meaningful talks on topics such as fighting for the heart, imagining the end and creating a Godly rhythm.

We’ve been moved to looking at parenting as more than just a task to keep us sane, but a story to get wrapped up in–God’s story. We are leading our kids on a journey of wonder and discovery. We are leading our kids to a lifelong friendship with God. But we are not doing this alone! We are widening the circle of influence to include strategic relationships outside of the home.

We are not in this alone. This is what church is meant to be.

Coach Carter and Discipline for Parents

2 09 2010

As a young dad, I’m always looking for ways to improve my fathering. Discipline is tough. I want my kids to grow up with mature character. Now, my frame of reference, when I say I want my kids to have mature character, is God’s standards as recorded in Scripture. However, this blog is not about the goal of Christ-like character as much as it is about effective principles for reaching that goal.

The movie, Coach Carter, is a case study in turning around a group of broken teens. Their family units are fractured. Their neighbourhood is disjointed. Their school system is faltering. Coach comes in with a very difficult situation and takes them through rigorous drills to bring them to a sense of respect for themselves, each other and authority.

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