Archive for April 2009

Motive Matters

April 22, 2009

Michael wrapped up Sunday’s sermon by pointing out our motive matters (in regards to drinking alcohol).  I thought about how that applies to education.  My oldest son Braden (7) is finishing up his year end school testing this week.  As great as many of the teachers are in his school and others in this area, I still often wonder about motives during this time of year.  After all, there’s no doubt our education system is flawed.

Everything centers around a test score.  How the students score on this one test can affect salaries, funding, and a variety of other issues.  Perhaps this is the best way to judge whether something is working…don’t ask me, I was educated in North Alabama.  🙂  But what I don’t like about this system is how it can shift the motive from caring about the individual success of each and every student to a focus on doing whatever it takes to “get those scores up!”.

But don’t think this matter of motive is restricted to our educational system.  The church struggles with this.  In children’s ministry we have to check our motives weekly.  Am I choosing this particular curriculum because it is the best method to lead kids to Jesus, or is my motive to find something easy?  Am I trying to appease parents, or am I sticking to the God given mission & calling for my ministry?  Do I truly care about the spiritual development of each and every child, or am I more concerned with how things appear to my boss?

Motive matters.

Advertisements

Defender of Kids

April 16, 2009

Couldn’t shake several thoughts today.  I always want to be a person that defends kids…defends the importance of family.  And let me stop here for a second.  I often feel guilty because I’m not always the best father myself.  I blow it sometimes with my kids.  And we are all a little hypocritical sometimes because we say AMEN when someone exclaims “family first!”; yet if we put our schedule on a spreadsheet it would show some frightening results.

With that said, however, here are some thoughts I couldn’t shake today:

  • The Church has a great opportunity to show (not just say) they value kids to the society around them.  Never forget, we live in a time that “endangered” animals often get more sympathy and attention than hurting kids.
  • “I just don’t like kids.” I seriously hear this way too much.  I know some people are just…as they put it…trying to be honest, but allow me to translate that statement:  “I’m so self absorbed that I can’t imagine trying to give my time away like that.”  An even better translation:  “I have zero understanding of what the Bible has to say about the importance and role of kids and family.”
  • Defend the innocent.
  • Protect the abused.
  • Feed the starving.
  • My great wife and I are re-thinking our current schedule, re-thinking how our kids are educated, and emphasizing to each other the importance of our parenting.

Lastly…

  • We are so quick to stand up for so many things, aren’t we?  We will protest taxes (forgot to send my tea bag to Washington…oops).  We will defend our favorite college football team until we pass out.  We will argue for particular worship styles.  And we will easily defend time consuming hobbies or even jobs that rob us of time with our kids – time that is eternally gone.  Maybe we should stop for a sec and remember who we are and what we are called to.  Defend those who are often silenced and “burdensome”.  Defend their importance.  Start with your own.

Psalm 68:5-6 (click it)

Worth A Thousand Words

April 14, 2009

sweaty-set-up-dudes

Recently I captured the above pic on my camera phone.  If there’s one picture that communicates the past 2.5 years of Oak Leaf kid’s ministry, it’s this one.  It’s a bunch of sweaty dudes, stopping early in the morning to pray because they realize their volunteer work goes far beyond the banners and puzzle piece flooring.  They understand that what will take place in the room they helped build is eternal.  And so they pray for God’s favor.

Oh sure, I have plenty of other great pics too.  Kids playing and singing.  Teachers smiling and hi-fiving.  But in our history of being portable, this about sums up our heart.  And no, this isn’t a planned thing.  These guys started doing this on their own.  They are some of the best dudes on planet earth. It’s an honor to serve with them each week.

In KidVenture, we will always strive to improve what is taught.  We will continually improve the environments.  We will push for fun.  And at the core of who we are as a ministry, we will always work hard – having a work ethic like these guys.  Hard work & prayer, love it.

Bored?

April 6, 2009

Fuel Preservice Loop I HERE

And the 2nd one HERE

(must be really really bored to 1/2 way enjoy them)

OLC’s Preschool Director

April 3, 2009

bekah

Having devoted more than two decades of my life and all of my professional skills to studying and working with ministries of all types, I am now convinced that the greatest hope for the local church lies in raising godly children. Barna

Celebrate with me!  Oak Leaf has a Preschool Director!  Rebekah Britt has agreed to lead this OH SO VITAL ministry of our church.  Below are some fun facts about Bekah:

  • Engaged to Matt Warren (cool dude above) – Wedding is in June!
  • Primarily grew up in GA
  • Both her and Matt are Berry College grads
  • Degree is in Family Life Education
  • She likes dark chocolate, ice cream and the color green
  • Spent a summer in Romania doing missions
  • Passion #1:  To see families function together to serve the Lord
  • Passion #2:  To see children grow and develop into who God made them to be

This is a huge answered prayer and we anticipate what her and Matt will do for God’s glory.  Be sure to congratulate her on Sunday!

Bekah can be reached at rebekah@oakleafchurch.com

Faith in Action

April 2, 2009

My good friend Stephen Hauck documents his mission trip to Honduras…on the local Birmingham news (where he is an anchor).

Great story.  Great to see it make the evening news.

Click HERE (video on upper right hand corner)