Dec 7, 2008

Should Christians bring children into immoral world?

Heather and I are thrilled, we're pregnant!!! We kept it secret till Thanksgiving day when we told Heather's and my families via a conference call. Once the secret was out we've trumpeted the good news to the world.

Last Friday I told a friend that my wife is pregnant and his first response was, "I wouldn't want to raise a child in these days." I was a bit surprised with that response, it's not the typical thing we hear.

Heather and I had actually thought of that before we decided to have a baby. Indeed, it seems like children are bombarded from every angle with messages and influences that seek to counteract any glimmer of Christian faith.

Children are overloaded with media which is filled not only with programs that espouse immorality and self-centeredness but even advertisers do their best to use children to sell their products, thus teaching kids to be "me centered."

Following the lead of media advertising, children's departments at stores entice kids with pictures and sayings of things that don't reflect a Christian world view. In the kids sections of clothing stores I see kids clothes that say, "Sassy", or "trouble" or have messages of disrespect toward parents, siblings and teachers. On the other hand there's the whole "princess" and "perfect angel" motif which encourages little girls to think they are the queen and should be catered to by their parents and society. And lets not forget all the "licensed" junk in the kids sections that are connected with magical movies and TV shows.

Many toys for girls promote vanity, selfishness and magic, while predisposing them to our sexually explicit society. Boy's toys seem to focus on violence, magic, and self-power. As an adult, I even cringe at some of the despicable pictures and characters in the toy isle.

Last but certainly not least, there's the completely morally bankrupt society we live in. Where right and wrong are subject to one's own opinion. Where it's no longer a shameful thing to have a baby out of wedlock, and "shacking up" before marriage is not just excepted but expected. Where the public schools are centers of liberal-socialist indoctrination and curriculum's deny God and teach kids that faith is just a fairy tale. Where the government thinks they have a say in how you should raise your kids. Yes, it's certainly not the ideal environment to try to raise a child to love and serve the Lord.

So why did Heather and I decide to have a kid in such a reprobate world? Here's just one of many reasons: If Christians look at the world and decide not to have kids because of all the evil then we're surrendering the next generation to Satan. We need to be raising kids who will be able to positively influence society when they're grown just as we are trying to do now. We all know that the non believers aren't slowing the pace of child making. In fact, I predict that by the time my kid is in school it will be unusual for a kid to be born within a committed married union.

It may seem that the odds are stacked against us but let's not forget that we're not alone in this fight, in fact we're on the winning side. Jesus has already won over satan, we're just waiting for the homecoming now! Romans 5:20 says, "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" we'll certainly need that grace raising our little bundle of joy for God because we are admittedly incapable of doing it on our own. But we trust Jesus when He says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." and we say with Paul, "For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

We're looking forward to seeing God override the evil influences all around as we guide our little one to Him! If you're a young christian married couple I hope you'll join us in taking the next generation for Jesus.

Oct 28, 2008

Halloween and Kids' Ministry--Open Discussion

The topic of Halloween is (or should be) a hot one in kids' ministry circles. Should we encourage our kids to go ahead with the customary celebration of the day or should we provide a Bible based alternative? Some say to just completely ignore the topic.

I found a neat blog which has an open discussion on the topic. I found it very interesting. Click here to view it yourself

One interesting thing I found on this website is that many churches do a reformation day celebration. I just learned this year that it was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. That is why October 31 is called Reformation Day. I may just find myself joining in with the other kids' ministries who choose to celebrate reformation day instead of Halloween.

What do you think kids' ministries should do about Halloween? I'd like to know. Please post a comment.

Aug 26, 2008

Satellite Kid's Evangelism

Join us for an Amazing Adventure in the Bible!We are excited to introduce Amazing Adventure! A dynamic satellite evangelistic series for kids ages 8-12.

My church in Beatrice, NE, will have the privilege of being one of the first host sites for a brand new ministry idea--Satellite evangelism! No, we're not trying to convert satellites--we're using satellites to convert kids :-). It's called "Amazing Adventure". When kids come to the church we'll have a live kids event for them to watch on the "big screen" then when that over we take them out to play and their parents get to learn a little about Biblical parenting.

While satellite evangelism has been around for more than 13 years it is just now being harnessed to reach the most important age group for evangelism--kids.

If you're in the area and have kids please come and be our guest for this ground breaking event! Click here for directions.

Kids Program: Sept 12-20 @ 7:00- 8:00 PM
Parenting Program:
Sept 12-20 @ 8:00- 8:30 PM

Or if you'd like to be a host site click here to learn more.

Jul 21, 2008

A B C & Ds of Salvation

ABC Blocks

Here's a quick and easy outline I use for sharing the steps to salvation with kids.

A. Admit that you are a sinner and that you deserve to punished with eternal death. Romans 3:23; 6:23

B. Believe that Jesus loves you so much that He chose to take your punishment of death so you don't have to. That happened when Jesus died on the cross. Romans 6:23, 1 Peter 2:22, 24

C. Claim the forgiveness and salvation the Jesus offers. Romans 8:9, 10

D. Decide to let Jesus direct your life. Proverbs 3:5, 6

Jul 13, 2008

Have A Schedule And Don't Stick To It!

by Pastor Steve Severance.

Picture of a boy raising his hand to ask a questionIt was one of those moments when time seems to speed up and go whizzing past you so fast that the world around you is a blur. I had planned a 45 minute program for my portion of our community kid's program but my time had been cut to just 30 minutes. And while my watch seemed to speed along like an 8 year old on Mountain Dew I struggled to get through all the material I had carefully planned: before the bell rang. As I was telling my story I mentioned something like, "this is what a Christian would do in this situation". Austin raised his hand.

"Yes Austin?" I said, hoping his question wouldn't be too long.

"What's a Christian?"

"Someone who trusts Jesus for salvation" was my totally meaningless, yet accurate answer. I hurried on with my story, but before I could get too much farther Austin's hand was waving in the air again. I waited as long as I thought I could before recognizing him. Finally I had no good excuse not to, so I asked what his question was.

"Am I a Christian?" He wanted to know.

I looked at my watch; I had no time for all this. "You are if you've confessed your sins and asked Jesus to come into your life." was my quick reply; demonstrating my vast knowledge of Christian cliché. As I continued on with my well-thought-out program, Austin's hand once again slipped skyward.

"How do you become a Christian?" he asked sincerely. While I remained calm on the outside, inwardly I was so frazzled that my vision literally seemed to blur. I had planned out a wonderful program for these kids. I had an important Biblical message I was trying to communicate, and now, not only had my time had been cut short, I kept getting interruptions! I grabbed for the first cliché that came to mind, "You have to confess your sins and ask Jesus to come into your life," I said, not even thinking about what or who I was talking about or to. My mind was on my schedule; and I was nearly out of time. Soon the bell interrupted me; I hastily closed in prayer then prepared for the next group of kids.

That evening when all the activity subsided I thought of Austin. His questions had been sincere. He wasn't from a Christian family, his mom was in jail and his dad was a drunken deadbeat whom he hadn't seen in years. He lived with his grandparents who attended a church that taught salvation by works and ceremony instead of grace. Yet through all of that, the Holy Spirit had impressed his heart. He wanted to become a real honest to goodness Christian, but when he asked me how to do it I had been so worried about my schedule that I hadn't taken time to lead this precious little boy to Jesus! It was then that I realized that I had made my schedule more important than this kid's salvation. When he asked that question I should have stopped the whole program and taken however much time was needed to explain salvation and lead Austin, and any others, in a prayer of salvation.

I confessed my sin to God and He forgave me. Then I made up a new rule for myself. "Have a schedule and don't stick to it." It sounds strange, I know, but then again sometimes a strange rule will stick better then a normal one. What my rule means is that it is important to have a schedule. I do need to plan out what I'm going to do and say or else I won't get much accomplished. But it's equally important not to chisel my plan in stone or stamp it with the seal of the Meads and Persians that cannot be altered or revoked. Keep in mind the most important things and if something more important comes up, lay aside the schedule and take the time necessary to follow up on it. The schedule can wait; the moment of conviction will not.

The next time I saw Austin I tried to talk to him about salvation but his interest had waned. The moment of conviction had passed. It was too late.

For sure, this was one of the hardest lessons I've learned as a children's minister. That's why I share it with you. I hope that you will incorporate this rule into your own life so that the next time your little "Austin" seems to disrupt your program with an important question, you can guide him right to the loving arms of his Savior who always has time for his questions. Remember, "Have A Schedule And Don't Stick To It!"

Jun 11, 2008

Kids Ministry Ideas Forum

There's a neat little magazine called Kids Ministry Ideas published by my church. For quite some time I've been thinking that they should open an internet forum so that people could post their questions.

They just did so! It's at

There's not much on it yet because it's brand new but if people, like those who read this blog, patronize it, it will soon be an awesome resource!

Go KMI!!!!!

Jun 9, 2008

Social Benefits of Homeschooling

I recently read an inspiring comment on one of my favorite blogs, The author, Tony, asked for comment on the homeschool vs. public school debate and one lady told this story which I thought you'd like to hear:

This is by Carrie Fetters. Read it in its original context here.

"I thought I'd share the fruit of homeschooling. There are lots of "opinions", but real life speaks for itself.

"The oldest of our 4 children is 14. We pulled her out of the school system after 2nd grade. We attend a church in a rural setting (appro. 350-400 people) with "good" public schools in the area. We have some homeschoolers in our church, some Christian schooled children, but the majority is public school children.

"Every summer the Jr. High leads a Back Yard Bible Club in an area neighborhood. The Jr. Highers are supposed to lead songs, tell a story and then just play with and get to know the neighborhood kids and tell them about Jesus and the salvation He brings. I showed up early on the last day, and sat in the car waiting to pick up my daughter (then 13). This is what I saw: Most of the neighorhood kids were playing by themselves. ALL of the public school kids were huddled up together. My daughter (the only homeschooler in the group) and the 3 Christian schooled kids were either talking with or playing on the playground with the kids. My daughter was sitting in the grass talking with a little girl. I saw my daughter get up and grab her Bible, then return to the little girl she was talking to, then another Christian schooled girl joined my daughter in talking to this little girl.

"I got out of my car and walked past the huddled public schooled kids (kids I love and have taught in SS). As I walked past, I said, "Why don't you guys go talk to some of the kids?" One person spoke up and said, "I don't know what to say to them." I encouraged them to talk to them about the lesson that was shared, but no one moved. I continued on and talked to one of the leaders, until we were interrupted by the little girl that my daughter was talking to. She was beaming and said, "God loves me and I just asked Him to be my Savior!"

"Later I talked to my daughter about the events as I saw them. She said, "Mom, it was like that every day. The public schooled kids care too much about what their friends think of them. They don't reach out."

"In that moment every doubt about homeschooling I ever had flew away. Years of hearing from a Christian neighbor how my daughter should be in the public school to be a witness...I won't even get into what her 14 year old "Christian" daughter is like.

"If we, and our children are prepared to be a witness, God will give us and them opportunities, but we can have all the opportunities in the world and not move on them if our hearts are not ready.

"At first when my daughter was in elementary school it was harder to tell the difference between the homeschoolers, and public schooled kids, but now as the fruit is maturing (going into highschool) it is evident.

"In our experience, homeschoolers are less peer dependent, community focused, and interact well people of every age. Yes, I do know there are exceptions!

"A sick peach tree can still give a few healthy looking peaches, and a healthy peach tree can give a few sickly peaches, but what kind of tree do you want your kids growing on?

"One last note: Often people are remarking how accomplished my daughter is musically. This is no accident. She has the time to work hard on both the harp and the piano. This past year she was actually invited by a public school in the area to come play the harp for a large event in which many teachers, children and parents attended! Talk about God creating opportunities for a ready heart!"

Carrie, for that reminder.

Mar 13, 2008

Easter: About Jesus Or Bunnies?

When your children's ministry moves into the Easter season, how do you keep the focus off of Bunnies and Eggs and on Jesus? When dealing with secular kids, and those whose families are not very involved in their spiritual training, this can be quite an issue.

A couple of weeks ago I was planning our Logos Easter program with my 2nd and 3rd graders this week and they kept mentioning easter eggs and bunnies (they're not from my church). I decided that instead of telling them "No we don't do bunnies and eggs" I'd explain why. One of the kids is a champion speller so I said (in a much more elaborate way), "What if you won the national spelling bee and the town had a big celebration to honor you. But when you got there no one even said 'Hi' to you or mentioned your accomplishment instead they had all brought their dogs and they had turned it into a dog show. How would you like that?" (they didn't) so then I explained that Easter is when we celebrate Jesus dieing on the cross for us and then rising from the dead. "How do you think Jesus likes it when we ignore Him and just talk about bunnies and eggs?" I asked. They got the point, and loved it so much that they decided, totally on their own, that they wanted to turn that story into a play and teach that concept to the adults at the easter program.

I have written the story out as a narrated skit and my 2nd ans 3rd graders are practicing it right now.

Click here to read the skit.
This post was originally posted Mar 13, 2008

Mar 9, 2008

Homeschool Illegal?

A court in California recently ruled that homeschooling is illegal unless either the parent is a fully state certified teacher or he/she hired a fully state certified private tooter! This egregious ruling is obviously not based on a desire to improve education for kids since homeschool has been proven to give the highest test scores nation wide. It comes from a belief that the government has the right and duty to decide how best to raise kids and then enforce their beliefs on parents.

When I heard this news I was surprised by the bluntness of this statement. While California has, by far, the worst situation, Nebraska (my state) is dealing with a senator who wants the state to micromanage homeschooling and has put forth a bill, LB1141, to do just that.

The issue is whether or not the state (government) is more qualified to raise kids than the parents. There is a disturbing trend among politicians (even high level ones) and judges to think the state is the best suited and the highest authority in kid’s lives.

Here is a excerpt from my conversation with DiAnna Schimek, the Nebraska state senator who put forth LB1141, "It may be 'the state of Nebraska's responsibility to provide education for all children in the state' [that was her claim] but it is not NE's responsibility to control it. In America we have proven that, although sometimes risky, freedom and limited government encourage people to strive for excellence. The more freedom people are given to make educational choices for their children the more effort they will expend in doing so. That translates into a more valued and valuable education for kids with much more involved parents. I realize that freedom naturally allows for some to violate the trust, but the benefits of freedom far outweigh the risks."

There is no evidence that homeschoolers are getting an inferior education. In fact, nation wide, homeschoolers consistently beat out public and private schooled kids in test scores. I would say that the only reason the government should be looking in on homeschool families would be to discover their secret of success and try to implement that into the public school system to get its scores up!

Pray that we will retain the freedom to choose the world view we instill in our children; then speak out when people try to take the freedom away!

It's time to take action. Even if you're not a homeschooling family this issue affects you since it is just a first step in the ideology that kids are the property of the state not parents.


Sign the petition: HSLDA's depublishing petition (this is not just for Californians, it's for everyone!)

Get informed:

Check out the "Legislative Watch" section of the Home School Legal Defense Assotiations's website

Read this article from Citizenlink

Jan 17, 2008

Great Kids Blog.

One of the inspirations behind me starting this blog was another blog by Tony Kummer. He is living my dream of someday becoming a kid's ministry pastor.

He has put together an excellent website and has the only email newsletter that I regularly read in its entirety.

One of the best features of his blog is his discussion on safety procedures for church based children's ministry.

It's definitely worth a look see.