Renew Yourself Today


As leaders we get tired, but what are you doing about it? Over the past few years we have seen Pastors at excellent churches who are reaching people, but somewhere in the mix a pastor resigns or is having to step down because of some type of moral failure. A lot of this comes from a constant place of doing a lot, but not enough stepping back to rest. This last post I did several years ago when I was at a place of being tired.

As a children’s pastor it’s easy to get bogged down with a lot of things that are happening in the church trying to plan out a service, get volunteers and even order supplies, but as I sat at my desk the other day I was thinking about how some of this stuff really takes a lot out of you. It’s not like any other job where you can clock out at 5 p.m. You are always on call, but as I sat at my desk tired trying not to let my mind wander into the abyss I started thinking about my volunteers that help me on a regular basis. If I am tired then I wonder what they are thinking as well.

This word came to my mind “Renew” which means to “reestablish on a new, usually improved, basis or make new or like new”. As my mind started to really dig into this word there are a lot of things that people renew such as: Drivers License, Inspection Sticker, License Plates, Marriages. These are all good things that we need to renew because if we don’t then either we will get some type of ticket or we will fail in our marriages.

This is what we don’t renew which is our calling that God has given us. We need to reestablish ourselves, improve ourselves to make us better to serve the kingdom of God if we don’t continue to refresh ourselves or renew ourselves then we will fall into the abyss of thinking that we are all in it alone.

As you read this the BIG thing at stake is your family. If you are not Renewing yourself then how can you enjoy your family? How can your family enjoy you? Take some time to evaluate your life. Don’t just blow it off, but really look at it at list what your priorities are? Do you have a time to step back and Renew yourself or are you going a billion miles an hour trying to accomplish all you can?

What’s Your Holy Discontent?


As I look at getting my blog up and running again here is a post from a few years ago  The book was called Holy Discontent.  We all struggle with Discontent in our lives, but is your discontent coming from a holy place? It is a challenging read and I would encourage anyone to read it. The book shares several different stories of other people’s life who have reached this Discontent in the world and rather then complain about it they acted on it. One of my favorite stories was about Mother Theresa and how she found her Holy Discontent.

Lets look at what Discontent means: Discontent:  lack of contentment, as with one’s condition or lot in life.

We associate Discontent with a bad thing, but deep down there is a Discontent that God has placed in our hearts. You can ignore it or you can do something about it. One of my best friends has been feeding his Holy Discontent to reach out to people in another country. It’s amazing when I get to talk to him about what God is doing because  he chose to go and love on the people who might not get loved on, fight for their hearts and win and see God do miracles because he chose to Go.

The other side of discontent you have to be careful of is the discontent that makes you complain about where you are at, want things that may not line up with the heart of God.I challenge you this morning, afternoon or evening to write down your Holy Discontent and see where it takes you. Pray and ask God to guide you to be able to do something about this Discontent that he has given you to make a difference in the world today.

Followership


11 years ago I started my first ministry position at the ripe ole age of 23. I thought I knew it all and I was ready to take on the world of ministry. I knew all the right answers and I knew how to do everything possible to grow the minstry that God has allowed me to serve in.  I was going to tackle ministry and be awesome while doing it. I look back 11 years later realizing I was missing some important lessons.  I sat in this session about “Followership”. The presenter was Ricky Spindler he has been at one church and has served under one pastor straight out of college. He goes into what it means to Follow and how we do this as ministers. I hope you enjoy.

The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored. Proverbs 27:18

As a young leader… how will you gain influence, authority, and favor among both your peers and those who you follow?  Becoming a strong follower is a key component to becoming a strong leader! Without it… you will trip and fall and will learn the hard way rather than through wisdom.  Here are some key components to followership.  Leading yourself is crucial to ever being able to lead others. 

When an Instruction is given follow through now; debrief later.

Develop the character of follow-thru.

Perform at a high level for a consistent time before you get influence. 

Performance = Permission

Never verbalize your Frustration with the process in front of other team members

Loyalty publicly will give you influence privately.

People will always try to divide your loyalties when people give you Praise

Thank You, Praise God, Praise Senior Leadership.

Promote team not just yourself. 

Don’t confuse your insights with Moral imperatives (don’t assume you are always right; humble vs. arrogant)

Give your leaders a voice in your life: In turn gives you a voice in their life.

Relieves tension overall: Make yourself teachable.

How many questions over statements do you ask / Give.

How many questions are you asking vs. just stating your opinion.

Are you collaborative or an arrogant solo player. 

Humbleness mixed with talent is GOLD. 

Know everything about you leader. Ask “How can I help you?” Serve them. 

Every time I complain give = amount of time in prayer. 

If you don’t learn to lead Under, you probably won’t have as many opportunities to lead over.

* Be the model employee

* Be engaged 

* Be in front

* Give compliments in 25 seconds of meeting: Compliment Staff, Team.

* We are all sowing seed: You will reap what you sow

* Check the things you do for your organization

When you can’t follow then it’s time to get off the TEAM or it’s time to get over yourself. 

If you are constantly being led into frustration are you being led to leave.

The difference between the good and the Great = Difficult Discussion

Error on the side of staying too long rather then leaving to early (within balance).

Every day is a learning opportunity. Take advantage of today.

As you are following your Leader waht is one thing you feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you about what you need to work on?

How Jim Wideman Saved My Marriage Part Two: Priorities


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Yes I am at it again. This blog dedicated to sharing my journey with going through infuse 7. If you missed the first part of this blog then make sure you read Part One because this will make more sense. Priorities is a huge thing in everything that we do. Everyone has priorities such as: Pastors, Lawyers, Bankers, CEO’S and even Athletes. Our priorities sometimes is what gets us in trouble. When my priorities are out of wack I can feel it in the way that I feel physically and even spiritually. We live our life by priorities and how we spend our time and even money. Priorities is something that can help us conquer everything that we feel that God has for us to conquer. Being with Bro. Jim this is something that we have talked about and he was even challenging us to look over our priorities and see what needs to be changed. As I was given some time to think over what things need to change in my life it was the time that I spend with my wife. This part is going to sound really bad, but it’s true. I have gotten away from going out on dates with my wife or even just giving her cards for no reason just because I was thinking about her. The worst part in the past year I can probably count on one hand how many dates that we have been on.  Brother Jim challenged me to never forget that I need to continue to go after and date my wife. I took the challenge and accepted it and went to my Calendar to write down all of the date nights that My wife and I were going to have throughout the whole year.

When having a mentor this is something that they challenge you to do. They don’t just challenge you in your ministry, but they also challenge you in your families life as well. This is the reason that I decided that I needed a mentor in my life. Someone who is not afraid to challenge me not just in the ministry that God has given me, but the most important job that I have that is my family.

Once again if you haven’t checked out Infuse by Jim Wideman just click the link below. I hope and pray that you will find that someone in your life that can be that mentor in your life. My time with infuse has been great and very rewarding and will help propel me to be everything that God has called me to be.

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How Jim Wideman Saved My Marriage: Having A Mentor


ImageOkay this title might be a little extreme. My marriage was never in trouble, but I had this thought the other day when I was asked by my wife to do something. My wife was swamped with things she was picking up my daughter from her pre-school and had other things on her to do list that she needed to get done so she called me and asked me to pick up my son from school. Now before you ask yourself what is the big deal with this you just go and pickup your son and be done, but the problem is I have truly forgotten to pick him up before and our school has called the house wondering where we were at. (Insert Terrible Dad Award) Who forgets to pick up their child from school (This Guy Did.) It wasn’t just one time, but twice. After she asked me I stopped what I was doing went to my phone and added it to my calendar, but knowing me I would still forget so what did I do? I put three calendar reminders for me. One at the 60 min mark another one at the 30 min mark and finally the last one at the 15 min mark. The last one for sure is the one that you better go by this one or else. I had my mentor Bro. Jim in my head reminding me that my brain was not to be for remembering, but it was for creativity.

After I went to the extreme of making sure that my calendar was complete with all of the reminders I was good to go. As I got busy I heard the first alarm go off knowing that I still had time the second alarm went off then finally after the third one I walked out of the door to pick up my son. As I was at the school my wife sent me a text asking me if I was there? I looked at the text with a smirk on my face replying Yes then followed by the thought of the title of this blog.

For the past several months I have been challenged and had even made life long friends going through the Infuse group that Jim Wideman has provided. I have wanted to join for a long time, but was very nervous about it knowing that I was going to be asked to grow and to be challenged in my approach to change things in my personal life as well as my professional life. in order to grow in as the leader that God sees that I can become.

I will leave you with this parting thought. I would encourage everyone to make time to go and check out this amazing resource that Jim Wideman is providing. Spending time with Jim I have bee able to really see the heart that he has to help the next generation leader. His passion to continue to make a difference has been very impactful in my own life and has helped me view ministry in a different lens. I know for sure that this will help you become a much better leader and help you grow into your position or even help take you as a leader and show you how God created you and how to lead in your ministry

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Renew Yourself Part Two


Last week I shared with you all my thoughts on renewing yourself and where you can start. If you missed it you can read it right here: Renew yourself today.

This week I want to dive deeper into Renewing yourself.  Renew yourself through your bible reading. It’s pretty sad to say this but as of lately my bible reading had been pretty poor and I could see that affected my mind, heart and soul. I sometime find it hard to just read the bible. I want to study something or have a goal, but the other day I got on youversion.com and started to puruse through the bible reading plans and as I was going through the the plans the two that caught my attention was the prayers of Jesus then the second one I found was on Psalm & Proverb. The other cool thing that I noticed about this bible software was that you can set reminders on your phone from the software on your phone to remind you to read your readings for the day. The second thing that I loike about this software is that you can see how much you have accomplished.

Renewing yourself through your bible reading is just the first step that you can take to renewing yourself in ministry and even in life. By starting the process of Renewing yourself you are beginning to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit by listening to him and being reflective as you read. This also helps you to better hear the voice of God.

So I tell you again this week evaluate yourself and ask yourself the question how’s my attitude? Am I into the word? How’s my prayer life? This will help you figure out if you need to renew yourself back to your calling. I want to remind you of a scripture verse to put away Matthew 25:37 “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

Live Courageously…


This post I am dedicating to the movie “Courageous”… Do you ever feel like the life that you are living is mundane, boring and a lack of vision for your life. Do you ever feel that your family is more of a burden that a joy, are you caught flipping the channels on the television while you drift further and further away from your family.

Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.”

Sunday afternoon my wife and I took half of our small group to see the movie Courageous. This is a movie that talk about fighting for the family. In this movie you have four officers from different past backgrounds that help reach everyone that is in the movie theater. Right from the start it’s pretty action packed running down criminals, gang members, men working long days trying to balance their home life as well. As I look back at these men we can probably see ourselves in each of these situations. The best quote that was in the movie that I loved was when one of the characters said “I don’t want to do just a good job I want to do a great job”.

I love this portion of the movie because it was a man who wanted more for his family, but he knew that he needed to change in order for the results to be that like doing something that you don’t really want to do at the time, but it’s more about the quality time that you are spending with your child that outweighs the cost.

Food for thought: When was the last time your kids asked you to do something with them and you turned them down?

Seize every moment that you have with your family and with your kids because when it comes down to it when you blink they will be all grown up, out of the house and you will be left either admiring the job that you have done in shaping the child that is now an adult or you will be regretting the person that they have become because you didn’t do what was required from you.

Go out and watch the movie Courageous and your life will not be the same. It’s a great movie that you won’t want to miss out on.

Who Should I Recruit?


This is something that I think all ministers go through when they are trying to build a team of people around them. You don’t want to just throw people in the mix because then your team could be looking like the “Bad News Bears”. How do you find the right people who will help carry out your vision? This is one of the most frustrating things because when you have people who are not fully committed to the ministry of the church or even committed to you or even the kids. The other day I ran across some notes that I took from a Children’s Ministry Leadership conference that I was at. Brian Dollar the children’s pastor at First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas was at. This is coming from his notes and I wanted to pass them onto you:

What Kind of People should I recruit? F.A.T. C.A.T.S.

 

1. Faithful

Matthew 25:21 “”His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. ”

2. Available

3. Teachable

4. Committed

5. Accountable

6. Transparent

Transparency is about integrity.

Ephesians 4:15 ” Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

7. Serving

“The measure of a man is not how many servants he has, but how many men he serves.” — Dwight L. Moody

Mark 9:35 “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

As I looked through my notes I thought this was a great reminder that we need to be putting the right people in the right places and how do you know if they are the right people well if you operate by trying to find the F.A.T. C.A.T.S in your church then you are going to have a great volunteer base for your ministry.

Special Announcement…


I just wanted to take a moment and share with you some great news that I am really excited about. I started this blog a few years ago, but never was really serious about it, but a couple of years ago I started to get more serious about blogging about children ministries, family ministries, missions and everything that is in the realm of working with children and families. Several week ago I was reading on this blog called cmbuzz.com and they were looking for children’s pastors to blog about children ministries. I am always looking for new ways to blog these days so I decided to put my name in the hat and see if I would have the opportunity to blog for cmbuzz.

Well let’s fast forward to the whirlwind that has ensued such as: going out of the country, finishing up my bachelors degree, coaching my son’s soccer team, being a children’s pastor and a full time dad. I got the word that I have been selected as one of the people to be on the writing team (insert my happy dance here). I was pretty excited about the opportunity that I have gotten to write for cmbuzz.

So I will continue to be blogging over here, but you can also see what I am blogging about over at cmbuzz.com.

Jesus Loves Me…


We have all heard this song called Jesus loves me. I remember singing this song during my days in Kids Church and I recall my son and daughter singing this son. In my head this song has been kicking it old school and I really didn’t think to much of this song. Last Thursday I have had the privilege to go to Haiti for a trip with convoy of hope.

We went from orphanage to orphanage loving on the kids, but this really got to me. We bought some melons at the market and we brought this melons off to the orphanage. They circled around and started singing Jesus Loves Me.
“Jesus Love me this I know for the bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong they are weak, but he is strong. Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus love me. The bible tells me so.”

For the first time I saw this song for what it is no matter where we are at the Lord loves us. It doesn’t matter where we are, how much we have, or if we are in the middle of the jungle Jesus loves all of us.

Weird…. What Are You Afraid Of?


Once a month we have a missions spotlight where we look at missionaries that are doing something overseas or even in our own backyard of the United States. Then we take up an offering for missions. This past week I challenged all of our kids to give to missions I gave them a goal that they could reach, but with that goal I gave out incentives such as to shave half my beard if they raise a certain amount of money. One of the comments were “Well you will look WEIRD.”

So this is the whole point to my writing this blog have we been teaching our kids in our society to continue to be like everyone else, act like everyone else, and dress like everyone else. Are we afraid of going out on a limb and being who God created us to be and do what he told us to do, but instead of doing that we have limited ourselves to being just normal.

As I look through the bible the guy who I love would be John the Baptist now talking about a guy who was weird this would be the defination of that. He ate locust and honey, dressed in camel hair or anything else he could get his hands on. He didn’t speak to people and give them a cookie cutter type of message he spoke from the word and was not afraid of what would happen. He baptized Jesus and in the end was killed, but the thing that I love about John was that he obviously was not afraid to stick out, but he love the Lord and did it with everything that he had.

So here is the point that I am trying to make let’s not be so consumed with being like everyone else because we then are telling the creator that we don’t like what he created, but most importantly God has a special plan for our lives and he created us for that so lets not get strung up on looking like everyone else and lets focus on the obedience of our creator and what his plan for our life is. In the end we will never meet the standards of people around us because there will always be something that we can’t match up too.

Wins of Vacation Bible School…


This past week since everyone is out of the office except for me holding down the fort. I have been thinking about last week as we finished the month of July with our annual VBS. This year it was different from the people, attitude and the environment around us. I live in the metroplex with some very large churches around us. It seems everyone does Group Publishing, Standard Publishing and Lifeway. Since we are the last VBS in the area I wanted to do something different and after last year I knew that we needed to make changes in order to get some wins for this year.

This year I decided to do Jump from Think Orange. I figured that this would be a great resource to us because nobody around would be using it and it would be fresh for the kids that come to several different VBS in our area. So here are some new things that we did for this year:

1. Online Registration

2. Put out our VBS banner sooner (Beginning of June)

3. Took out an add for 2 months

As we we were looking at our online registration we had over eighty kids signed up so just on number alone this was a huge win. As we got on with our week we had so many wins and it wasn’t just kids being ministered too. Here are some things that happened throughout the week and some wins that we saw as a church:

1. Over 141 kids were ministered too

2. Small Group Leader gave a child his first bible

3. Child we had who hated God & the Church prayed over the snack

4. Dad came in broken & we were able to minister to him through prayer

5. Small Group Leaders can’t stop talking about how blessed they were

6. Leaders excited about what God was doing through the children’s ministries

7. Kids gave their small group leaders gifts

8. Small group leaders gave their kids gifts & invested in them

9 11 kids committed their life to Jesus Christ

10. We brought in 10 kids from a nearby apartment complex in the area

11. Had parents comment on how this was the best VBS around

I guess I could go on forever. God did so much in the lives of all of our kids as well as adults. God did so much in the lives of every it was truly amazing as to what God did in the lives of kids.

Book Review: Kdmin Leadership


The first thing that I want to tell everyone is that I love twitter… I have won at least three books of twitter which really excites me. Okay so last month I won the book Kdmin Leadership a book that was not only written by Jim Wideman, but was also written by ten other leaders that he has mentored for the past two years in his infuse group. I will give you links to all of the information at the end of this blog.

Here is the thing about this book I thought that it was written well and by different leaders and different perspectives they touched on everything that I believe that we have all gone through or even might go through. The biggest thing that I enjoyed about it was that every leader pointed what they have learned back to scripture no matter what they were going through or have gone through it all lined up with scripture. The different leaders that wrote in this book wasn’t just thirty year veterans, but people who have been serving for 5, 10 and even 12 years. It was not only a great read, but it was a very productive read as well.

I read through the whole book, but after I finished I thought how can I maximize what’s in this book and you could also read a chapter once a week and let the chapter and the words or even the scriputre marniate in your head for awhile before you move onto the next chapter. As you soak it up ask God for what he wants to show you through the chapters and how you can change the things that you need to change.

Overall I enjoyed the book and am excited about the future of books like this that hasn’t been written by one author, but many other authors that can help bring the perspective on every level. Thank you Jim Wideman for putting out material for leaders that we all can learn from and become better leaders in the long run.

Here are those links:

Jimwideman

Infuse

Kdmin Leadership

A Steady Diet Of Donuts And Cholocate Milk…


Have you ever tried to lose weight with a steady died of chocolate donuts and chocolate milk? How do you think your weight loss will do with having this as your steady diet? I think… No I Know with a shadow of a doubt that you will not lose weight, but you will gain weight from this steady diet. It’s like going to McDonald’s and ordering your meal and getting the BIGEE size, but then ordering a diet coke like the diet coke will do anything… You might be asking yourself how does this have anything to do with children’s ministries well here it goes…

As I was talking to some of our fifth graders the other week we just got done talking about having Amazing Faith. As we were talking the conversation started going down to what our favorite television shows are and on the list of shows was pretty little liars… Okay by the name alone I know that this is not a very wholesome show, but as I probed a little bit I asked do you think that this show will help you have amazing faith? The response was, but I watch Christian Television too? (insert nervous laughter)

Here’s the bottom line as a parent I love my kids, but I need to care for their spiritual life as well. I need to give them a steady diet of devotions, prayer, daddy & mommy time. I need to give my kids a great example of what a Godly man looks like for both my son and daughter. My wife needs to give them a great example of what a godly woman / wife looks like and we also need to make our family a loving environment that will foster spiritual growth in the long run. So I am giving my kids a healthy diet of what Christianity looks like rather then giving them a glimpse of trash that is on the television and letting them watch that for hours, but then give them a 1 hr dose of christian television.

So Far Ahead…


The other day I had this thought about leading it can be a tricky thing especially in children’s ministries. I want you to imagine with me that you are leading a pack of kids from one location to the next location as you are leading them you never look back you just keep moving from your viewpoint you are leading and everyone is following you, but from other perspectives you are just walking by yourself because the kids have fallen so far behind some of them are off the beaten path and others are starting to go in a totally other direction because the person that is “leading” is not really leading in the end he is just walking faster then anyone else.

As a leader you do have to be out in front with a great vision, but the one mistake that we tend to make is that we never look back to see what other people are doing to make sure that they are still going along with the vision. When we as leaders get so far ahead people start to do their own things and some even fall so far behind they are looking for something else to do.

As a leader we need to be out in front of people with a great vision, but we also need to be looking back at those that have fallen behind encourage them with the vision and get them back on track then continue along. We even might have to go to the back check in on those that are so far behind encourage them with the vision continue to speak life into them and help them to get back in line.

As a leader we need to be everywhere at times up in front, in the back, on one side or even the other side it’s not just being in front, but it’s about supplying the vision that God has given you and then bringing that vision forth, but also bringing people along as you work the vision that God has given you. What are your thoughts?

Are You The Best Leader?


So my thought for today is do you think you are the best leader you can possibly be? If I were to answer this the answer would probably be a resounding NO! I recently received a book in the mail this past week called kdmin leadership written by Jim Wideman along with twelve other children pastors from his infuse group. I have seriously only made it through the first two chapters and already feel challenged as I look at my life as a leader and ask the question am I the best leader I can be?

The best thing about this book is that it’s written by children’s leaders who are in the thick of things and have learned valuable leadership lessons through the process of ministering to children, but also having added to their learning by joining the infuse group hosted by Jim Wideman. I really think that this book is one of the best leadership books out there.

If I were you and you are in children’s ministries then I would go out and get this book and even buy it for your leadership team. This is a must read and should be put high on your reading list. I am sure that i will post more about this book as I dig a little deeper in the book.

What Your Kids Learned At Camp


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As parents you are always wanting to know hat your kids learned at camp, Sunday school, school, VBS and the list goes. So this is what your kids learned this week at camp andy prayer is that you will take this list and talk with your kids about the things that they have learned this week.

1. why is God important?

We learned that God Is important because he died for us, but most importantly we learned that we need to ask forgiveness for our sins because God is the only way who can take away our sins

2. What do I do when I am afraid?

We learned that our heavenly father is there for us in our time of need. He is there to give us strength, peace, hope and love.

3. Obeying God

Okay I really can’t remember what the big question was for tonight, but I remember we talked about obeying God and give into the direction that he leads us in. Not swaying from Gods direction and plan for our lives. In the end go and be directed by God.

My goal for this post is to get you as the parents and spiritual leaders in your home to go and takes these big questions and connect with your kids throughout the coming weeks and talk to your kids all about their camp experience. Ask your kids some of the bug questions you will be blown away by how much they picked up this week.

Kids Camp Day 1


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Our church took five 5-7 year olds to camp this year and once you get past the ten thousand questions that they ask you and the randomness of their comments you can see just a little glimpse of what God is doing in their lives. The picture up top is a picture of one of our kids worshipping God. It’s so sincere and pure that its the most beautiful thing to watch.

The question for today is why is God important? Are kids do a great job of telling me why God is important. The speaker did a great illustration that really peeked the girls attention last nite and it was about dressing up and what you can learn about that. She had three different outfits and three different poles that she hung her outfits on. She talked all about how we are suppose to get rid of sin and she tried to get rid of her sin by these three outfits. The first outfit was a doctors outfit and she tried to put a bandage on her sin, but that didn’t work then she puts on a magician cape on and tries to make it disappear, but to her dismay that didn’t work either. Finally she gets on a karate outfit then tries to break up the sin. She then takes three smaller poles out then places them on the poles standing up vertically making a cross. she then starts talking about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins and how the sinner to the left asked for forgiveness. it was a great illustration. Here is the picture below.

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Kids Camp is always great and God can speak into the lives of your kids through sermons just like this.

The Eve of Kids Camp…


It was the eve of Kids camp and all through the house not a creature was stirring….. Alright whoever said that on the eve of Christmas nobody was stirring is lying and also on the Eve of Camp as well. I can feel the excitement not only in the kids, but also in me as well. I absolutely love camp it’s a great time for kids to get away from the everyday and let God do something great in their life. I have seen the lives of kids changed because of what God was doing at camp.

Since social networking has come to be a big player in many lives especially mine. I have tried to us that to help me spread the news at what God is doing at camp. I usually write a letter to the parents letting them know about my twitter account so that if they wanted too they can get on the internet look up the web address and see what is going on at camp, but this year I am going a step further. Lucky for me since using a smartphone once the droid now I am using the iphone there is an app called Groupme. I heard of this app from Sam Luce on his blog. If you haven’t read his blog go and check it out. This app is basically what it says it is it sends out mass text messages to all the people in the group rather then doing it individually.

Tonight I am holding a meeting for all my parents that are coming to camp with me and we are going to hand out all the paperwork that they need to fill out, but then I am going to have a sign up sheet with their name and phone number. Throughout the week I am going to text the people in one text message what God is doing at camp, prayer request, fun updates, etc. etc. etc… I want our parents to feel like they are at camp and what God is doing there so that they are in the loop, but also they can be praying for all the kids at camp.

I am also going to be using my twitter account which is twitter.com/gregferugson so if you wanna follow then feel free.

What are you doing to keep parents in the loop while your away at camp?

Step Out In Faith…


Last night at the North Texas District Council I had the privilege to listen to Herbert Cooper from Peoples Church in OKC. It was a great message on stepping out I am sharing my notes with all of you. Hopefully God will move like he did in the service last night

Joshua 3:8-13 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.'”Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the lord your God.This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you.
Step out and do what God has called you to do. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe.And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

Three reasons why we don’t step out.

1. We tend to live of fear rather then faith

So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge,

We can’t be people who who live by fear we are called to live by faith in our life and in our ministry

What if God does something…
What if God shows up big time…

Hebrews 11:1-2 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.This is what the ancients were commended for.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

We are called to be people of faith and not people of fear…

Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.

God let me go to the grave living by faith and not by fear…

We need to put fear in it’s place.

2. We want God to do miracles first

Joshua 3:15-16 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge,the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

Step out and then I will perform a miracle.

3. We want to know how it will all work out.

Joshua 3:17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

We don’t have a lot of faith in God when we expect God to show us the whole picture.

God will only show us the next step and not the whole picture.

Don’t worry about the next step, but do what God tells you to do until he leads you to the next step.

God says put your foot in the water. God doesn’t ask us for a ten year plan, but he tells you to step out.

Change…Watch Your Mouth


I once heard a story of this church that after every service one sing this one particular song and through the years they continued to do the same thing they did twenty years ago. They would sing the song, but before they began to sing they would turn towards the left side of the wall and sing. One day this church had a visitor and the visitor noticed that everyone turned towards the left side of the wall so this man asked a member in the church and he didn’t know so they asked another person and he didn’t know so finally they asked another person, but this time it was and elder in the church and as they asked him why everyone turns to the left side of the wall to sing the song. The elder responded that at one time the song was painted on the wall and so they turned to read the word.

Okay this is a pretty extreme thing and hopefully there is not a church out there that really sings a song and turns to a certain side of the church, but what I am trying to say is that we can’t do the same thing over and over and over because it tends to get old, but eventually with every great idea it loses some steam so we need to change and continue to reevaluate our programs and continue to freshen things up. What happens when we don’t reevaluate our programs:

1. They can lose effectiveness

2. Lose purpose

3. Lose Steam

4. Lose Volunteers

5. Lose Creativity

These are some things that happens when we don’t continue to look at the product that we are giving out to the people in our church and this can also raise to a bigger problem which is the people don’t want to change and are very resistant to the change that we start to provide to the ministry. Go out and evaluate things and make sure that you are putting together a good quality of ministry to the kids that you love.

The Chick-Fil-A Experience…


Awhile back I wrote all about my Chick-Fil-A experience and how having a steady flow in their drive through was like checking in at a church, but the other day I made my way back to Chick-Fil-A to get lunch for all of our volunteers who were helping us set the church up. I placed several different orders and finally my order came up I was fully expecting to carry out my food to the car, but at that point the cashier takes my food helps put straws and other things that I need and help me deliver it out to my car.

We can all agree that this is great service, but the one thing that I thought of is every time that I go to Chick-Fil-A there is always a good atmosphere and when I am placing my order the one thing that I get is the person taking my order wants to take my order. Okay so how does this apply to children’s ministry well here you go. Here are Five things that we can apply to children ministries:

1. Treat everyone like they are VIP

2. Go above and beyond to help someone

3. Give them your undivided attention

4. Greet them ask them how they are doing

5. Take an interest in each person

We need to constantly be looking at how we can make things better in the church and how we can get the best from our volunteers. Don’t be afraid to step up and give attention to things that need attention and making sure that everyone who comes through the doors in your church is greeted and cared for in a way that they are the VIP every time they walk through those doors.

Building Faith In Your Kids


The other day I was asked a very important question how are you building faith in your kids? I quickly answered the question, but I couldn’t help but think that there is much more that I could be doing. I was praying about how I could pass down my faith to my kids and how I could be more effective as a parent to get the best out of my kids. As I was thinking about it and praying about it I really felt like God dropped something special in my lap and I have been looking over it and trying to figure out the best way to present this to my kids. Well this is what “Team Ferg” is going to start doing for their kids.

Names are important to all of us. We all have names and it wasn’t like our names were picked out of a hat, but our parents took time in picking out our names that have meaning and purpose in our lives. I look at all three of my kids and I thank God for them, but I can’t help, but look at what their name means. Rachel and I are going to print out a piece of Paper that has their full name on it. Then we are going to define what their name means such as:

1. My son “Dominic” his name means “A Gift From God” he was our first born and he truly was a “gift from God”

2. My daughter Paige her name means “Helper” and that is what she is a little helper

3. My other daughter Reese even thought she is 3 months old her name means “Enthusiasm”

Names are important and their meaning sometimes fits our personality and I want my kids to understand the reason why we named them what we named them and that they have special meaning and they are called to do something great for the Lord. The second part to this paper is going to have a goal that our kids need to work on such as: sharing, being nice, using kind words, not hitting, etc, etc, etc… When they get older it will be different. These goals are for the year and then we are going to attach a memory verse for the year for them so that they can learn a memory verse and anytime they forget to work on one of their goals then we can always take it back to scripture and what they need to be working on as God works on their life.

So what the bottom line you might be asking me what is the purpose for doing something like this? I want to raise Godly kids who will not fall away from Christ. I want to constantly be putting God’s word in their life so that they understand what God wants from them. I want to raise kids who are on fire for Christ and understand that they are important not just by their name, but by their calling as a Christian.

Desserts & Missions…


This past Sunday we had our very own church picnic and although we had a lot of different things going on such as bbq, pony rides, horse shoes, pool and everything that you can imagine. Just think your on this dude ranch with room to really just run around. We even had a dessert auction and all the money raised would go to missions for our children’s department. You never know what you are going to get as my wife and I was hitting the phones seeing if people would bake any cakes and I was blowing up twitter and facebook trying to get the word out that we needed pies, cookies, brownies and anything else that you wanted to bake. So here are a few things that I learned about having a dessert auction:

1. Not everyone is going to let you know that they are going to bake something

2. You need to have a good upfront / auctioneer to get the crowd going

3. You also need people to work the crowd and get them to bid up

4. No worries on how much money you spend it’s all going to missions.

5. Laugh at the people who are purposely driving up the bids in order for other people to bid higher.

We did have a good time with our dessert auction even though it was kind of tough trying to make sure that we had enough desserts for the auction we raised over $1500 for missions so no worries. In the End it was all worth it.

Desk Or No Desk that is the question…


Okay this really might seem like a random post, but for some reason I hate my desk. You might be asking yourself what is the reason why you hate your desk so much. Well here is the reason why I:

1. I feel like it confines me to a specific area. (I don’t think that I am claustrophobic)

2. It’s Boring…

3. I feel like it zaps by creative mojo

4. It’s boring… (Did I say that already)

5. When I am out of town people dump stuff on my desk without telling me what it is and why they got it for me.

I think that it would be kind of funny just to have an empty room without anything in it. This might be a little extreme, but as I am sitting in my office I just get bored and I tend to kind of just move around the whole church to a spot that I like the best. So when you are feeling a little less creative relocate yourself and figure out what works the best for you.

Celebrate Good Time…


As I am sitting on the couch thinking about the week that I had and the one song that I have going through my mind is “Celebrate good times come on… Let’s celebrate now…” I am coming off my vacation, but was able to celebrate a couple of things in the life of my family. My sister got her master’s degree and on Saturday she was married. I was lucky enough to share in her celebration by being apart of the wedding. As I was sitting at the table I was so consumed with a task that I forgot to do, but as I was asking my dad for the keys to his car the one thing that he shared with me was that he never taught us (his kids) how to celebrate with my siblings. I have pondered this thought I wonder how many of us as parents haven’t taught our children how to celebrate the milestones in our lives. These are five different ways we celebrate people:

1. When Rachel and I were first married my parents small group bought us our very own vacuum cleaner. They celebrated the fact that we were married by everyone going in on buying a vacuum cleaner.

2. We Celebrate college graduations or even high school graduations by taking our kids out to eat and congratulating them by speaking into their life.

3. Marriage is often celebrated by reception. We all get together and congratulate the bride and groom and join in them with a great celebration as they enter their journey into this marriage covenant.

4. Birthday parties are celebrations of getting older. We honor people by honoring them on their birthday’s

5. We celebrate championships from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA as they win a championship and we plan parade routes for them, green jackets and championship rings.

These are some of the ways that are celebrated in our world, but then I ask of you to teach your children how to celebrate things as a family. Don’t just celebrate the big things, but also celebrate the small things. Go on and celebrate good times com on.

Family Tree:


This post is a spin off of my post from yesterday called “Restoring The Family Tree”. This post is a song from Matthew West Called Family Tree that I thought was powerful and was written as encouragment to everyone out there that has a messed up family tree you don’t have to be just like them. Here are the lyrics it’s such a beautiful song:

You didn’t ask for this Nobody ever would Caught in the middle of this dysfunction
It’s your sad reality It’s your messed up family tree And now you’re left with all these questions
Are you gonna be like your father was and his father was Do you have to carry what they handed down?

No, this is not your legacy This is not your destiny Yesterday does not define you
No, this is not your legacy This is not your meant to be I can break the chains that bind you

I have a dream for you It’s better than where’ve you’ve been It’s bigger than your imagination
You’re gonna find real love And you’re gonna hold your kids You’ll change the course of generations

Oh, this is not your legacy This is not your destiny Yesterday does not define you
No, this is not your legacy This is not your meant to be I can break the chains that bind you

‘Cause you’re my child You’re my chosen You are loved
You are loved And I will restore All that was broken
You are loved You are loved

And just like the seasons change Winter into spring
You’re bringing new life to your family tree now Yes you are, you are

Oh, this will be your legacy This is will be your destiny Yesterday did not define you
Oh, this will be your legacy This will be your meant to be I can break the chains that bind you

And just like the seasons change Winter into spring You’re bringing new life to your family tree now

These songs were written from actual stories submitted to Matthew West and through their stories he wrote this song along with many more. This album is called “Your Life Story”

Be A Finisher



The other day I read this passage of scripture Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” This is Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders and before we get to this profound verse Paul talks about what he has done for God, but nothing would have mattered if he didn’t finish the race of testifying God’s word. If I could say anything about Paul is that he was a finisher he finished his life continuing to do the work of the Lord. Nothing stopped him even when he had people plotting to kill him he continued to speak God’s word.

This is one thing that we need to have has children pastor’s or even as Christ followers. We need to become finishers and not fast starters. If you ever watch a foot race there are those people that get out in front early stay in front for a while, but when it’s time to finish the race they have already gassed themselves and they never finish where they started. Then you see the other side where you have that racer who stays in the middle of the pack for the entire race then all of a sudden when the last lap comes he steadily makes his way to the front and finishes in front. This is the type of person we need to become we need to become finishers in everything that we do.

This past weekend I went to a Children Pastor leadership retreat and as the speaker was speaking this is the one thought that I had that I felt that God was truly speaking to me was that there are a lot of people in ministry that start of with a promising career in ministry, but end up falling off not finishing. There are others who start in ministry and nobody would have picked them first in a dodge ball game, but they continue to be faithful and they are being blessed because of the fact that they are finishing the race that they have set out on.

Look at the things around you this week and finish everything look at the fine details of things and finish every little detail so that you can make sure that you are always ready for anything. Tie up all loose ends and make sure that people are all communicated with so that you can become a finisher in everything you do.

Since I’ve Been Gone


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Over the past year I have neglected my blog and basically I have not blogged about anything from children’s ministries, family, leadership absolutely nothing. For some reason I couldn’t come to the grips of typing up anything or even thinking of anything to possible blog about, but let me tell you what has been happening this past year and what is to come.

My family and I over a year ago transitioned to a new church. In our hearts we felt God speaking and leading us. I knew that the next position that I would take would have to be one that God wanted me to be at, but also a job that would take me out of my comfort zone as well. He did all of that and even though I felt overwhelmed and under qualified by what God was doing I surrendered to the fact that God knows me better than I know myself and if this is where God wants me then I need follow his leading and go. He says in his word in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.” I tell people that all of the time, but sometimes you need to hear it yourself and actually believe what you are telling others. Rachel and I took a position in Bloomington –  Normal Illinois and have just completed over a year of ministering here at First Assembly.

Since my time here at First Assembly I have had some amazing opportunities especially joining the infuse group with Brother Jim Wideman. Having Brother Jim mentor you has been an awesome opportunity. This is what I want to share with y’all (Yes a southern term. I think they finally turned me). I want to share the my experience being in Infuse, but also why I think that every children’s pastor both rookie or even veteran needs to take up an opportunity like this. i have felt blessed to talk with like minded people, but also be challenged by the coaches and my peers around me. The best part is to learn from the voice behind the leadership tapes, cd’s, to now mp3’s. It has been a huge honor to be in this group and in the next post I want to share the reason why you all should try and be in a mentorship group called infuse.

Once again sorry for the delay, but I am back and you will see more post coming from me in the future. Have a great weekend.

What’s Your Holy Disontent


Looking back at this post reminds me of what my Holy Discontent is. Great Book Great Read… Might need to read it again

As I look at getting my blog up and running again here is a post from a few years ago  The book was called Holy Discontent.  We all struggle with Discontent in our lives, but is your discontent coming from a holy place? It is a challenging read and I would encourage anyone to read it. The book shares several different stories of other people’s life who have reached this Discontent in the world and rather then complain about it they acted on it. One of my favorite stories was about Mother Theresa and how she found her Holy Discontent.

Lets look at what Discontent means: Discontent:  lack of contentment, as with one’s condition or lot in life.

We associate Discontent with a bad thing, but deep down there is a Discontent that God has placed in our hearts. You can ignore it or you can do something about it. One of my best friends has been feeding…

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