Fuel Conference

20131102_124711Fuel Conference was a regional children’s ministry conference held last weekend and I was glad to be part of it.

Around 200 people from 35 churches in Manitoba and Saskatchewan came to be encouraged and trained.

Friday night started with registration and a main session and then a great time of networking. Saturday was jam-packed with 2 main sessions and 4 breakout seminars.

I presented 4 breakout seminars and had a great time! I met tons of great people and was encouraged myself with the quality of people serving in children’s ministry.

The main speaker was Sam Luce who is a pastor from New York state. During the first main session he talked about getting back to the basics. The one basic he focused on was the sovereignty of God. This is a huge truth but one that we need to grab hold of ourselves and one we need to be teaching our kids. He said, “God’s sovereignty produces in us a strong and unshakeable assurance in a God who never fails.” That’s true. And that is one of the main reasons we need to be teaching our kids about our God who is in complete control; who reigns over everything; who is worthy to be adored; and who deserves our complete trust. God never fails.

If there is a conference like this coming up in your area, I want to encourage you to go. Conferences like this offer encouragement and much-needed training. You will come away with knowledge, tips, and ideas. But, more importantly, they are an opportunity to network; to meet other people in your area that are involved in children’s ministry.

There is huge value in getting together with other people in children’s ministry. You will quickly realize that you are not alone. It is an opportunity to learn from each other and to encourage each other. Take time to build relationships with other children’s ministry volunteers and share ideas and struggles and successes.

 

I have added some of the books I recommended in my breakouts on my Fuel Conference page. For those of you who were asking about where I got the books of the bible cards, check it out!

Fuel Conference

cropped-Fuel-Banner

I’m heading to Portage la Prairie, MB!

This weekend I will be presenting 4 breakout sessions at Fuel Conference. I am excited about being involved in this kidmin training seminar. People are coming from Saskatchewan and Manitoba to network, be encouraged, and be trained as Children’s Ministry leaders and volunteers.

This conference is the first of it’s kind here in Manitoba and I am pumped about being involved!

Check back next week for an update on the conference and some training videos!

 

 

Book Review – Rock-Solid Kids by Larry Fowler

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24

What attracted me most to this book was the tag line on the front cover – “Giving Children a Biblical Foundation for Life.”childrens-ministry-rock-solid-kids

Biblical literacy is very important to me so I was interested to see what the book had to say about it.

In the introduction, Larry Fowler outlines the purpose and format of his 142 page book.  “Those involved in children’s ministry must also build on the right foundation—and that is the primary concern of this book…Each chapter of this book starts with a Scripture passage—a ‘rock’ for your foundation. The Scripture passage specifically refers to children or ministering to them. Each chapter contains a thorough discussion of implications and applications. Together, the eight core chapters will give you eight ‘foundational rocks’—fundamental principles from God’s Word upon which to build your ministry.”

Larry Fowler discusses the importance of children’s ministry, the responsibility for children’s ministry, the content of children’s ministry, and the pattern for children’s ministry. He highlights a warning about ministering to children, allowing children to serve, the message for children’s ministry, and the opportunity of children’s ministry.

I loved this book! I would highly recommend it.

In his chapter on the content of children’s ministry, Fowler discusses the battle for balance. He discusses Biblical truth and application. I agree that a balance between these is really important. Start with Scripture and follow with application. He talked about Biblical truth, application, and relevance. He defined relevance as being how closely the biblical truth applies to a person’s life.

Although I agree wholeheartedly with the need for balance in our teaching, I did not agree with what he said about relevance. I think we need to be very careful about how we discuss relevance in relation to the Word of God. The Word of God is always relevant; we just may not see it. “The teacher’s task in application is to recognize and communicate Scripture’s relevance, rather than to make it relevant.” (Walton, Bailey, and Williford; Teach the Text)

I wonder if I just misunderstood Fowler’s use of the term relevant in this situation. I do agree with his ‘foundation rock’ for this chapter: “Scripture is the foundation of our content; relevance follows.”

My favorite chapter was chapter 7—A Clear Focus: The Message for Children’s Ministry.

“From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15

Fowler clearly defines what the gospel is and how we should share it with children. I appreciated his discussion about how we call children to respond to the gospel. “If we understand what the Bible says, then we won’t need a formula. Children, and everyone else, are saved by God’s grace through faith.

He goes on to say, “As presenters of the gospel message, we must focus children’s faith on the person and the work of Christ on the cross. Faith must be in Jesus’ death and resurrection…as presenters we have a responsibility to be as clear and biblically accurate as possible…So what do we do? Repeat the gospel over and over again. Reinforce it regularly. Let your awe of it show through.”

Building a children’s ministry on the foundation of God’s Word is vital and it can be done, whether you are starting from scratch or have been involved in children’s ministry for years. I recommend this book for parents, children’s ministry leaders and volunteers. I was encouraged when I read it and I think you will be too!

Trust in the Lord

Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.

Children's Ministry Rock EternalThe word steadfast is not one we use very often. It means firm; firmly established; firmly fixed in place; unwavering.

When I was a kid we lived at the bottom of a hill. I used to love taking my bike up that hill with my friends to play. One day, we were heading home, cycling down that grassy hill. Suddenly, my bike hit a large rock that was hidden by the grass and I went sailing over the handlebars. That rock, however, didn’t move – it was firmly fixed in place; it was steadfast.

This verse tells us that God gives peace to those who are steadfast because they trust in Him.

We trust God and He gives us peace. Not only does God give us peace, He keeps us in perfect peace. The peace from God is not something that comes and goes, He keeps us in perfect peace.

So, what do we do, people of God? Trust in the Lord forever, because the Lord is the Rock eternal.

Be steadfast in your trust in God. He is worthy of your trust. He is the Rock – firm, dependable, unmovable.

In your service as volunteers depend on God for the ability to teach these children. Depend on God for strength and courage and energy and wisdom. Trust God to give you love for the kids in your care and wisdom to answer tough questions; and grace to deal with those difficult kids.

Children’s ministry is rarely described as a peaceful ministry. It’s loud and chaotic and tough and awesome! But God promises peace to His people in the midst of everything when we trust Him.

Be Amazed Once Again

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14

The Gospel is awesome! Let me encourage you to consider the wonderful truth of the gospel and be amazed once again at the love of the Father in sending His Son to be the Savior of the world. As you listen to this song, remember Jesus and His death on the cross that brought you life.

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

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