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Avoid Indignance Toward Children's Ministry

Steve-Murrell-Headshot smallRecently, I had the privilege of speaking to more than 400 Filipino children's ministry pastors, coordinators and volunteers at our annual Victory National Kids Ministry Summit. The delegates came to Island Cove from fifty Philippine cities, plus Singapore, Cambodia and Dubai.

My topic was the “why” of kids ministry. I told some stories, read some Bible verses, and asked four questions. Here are the Bible verses and questions:

Are we bringing kids to church or to Jesus? Getting kids to church is a good start, but it is only a start. The goal is to get them to Jesus. Let’s not be like the disciples in Mark 10:13 who completely missed the point: "People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them" (NIV).

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How Are Children of Church Planters Affected?

Children-playing-hal-seedAs our church ramps up to plant a church a year for the next several years, I’ve had conversations with five of my key guys about becoming church planters. Church planting is one of the most challenging sub-categories of pastoral ministry.

One of my guys confessed recently, “I’m struggling with this potential call. I don’t know if I’m willing for my son to grow up hating the church.”

His statement took me back to dozens of pastoral nightmare stories of pastors' kids (PKs) who have walked away from God and the church because they felt forgotten and forsaken by parents who loved the church more than they loved their children.

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Dan Reiland: Are Good Leaders Happy?

Dan-Reiland-headshotI was out for a run for the first time in months. A “runner’s injury" to my right foot has been slow in healing. It was great to be off the exercise bike and back outside!

While I was out, another runner passed by me in the other direction and greeted me with a cheery “Hey, keep going!” and a big smile. It was a lifting moment and brought a smile to my face. The next runner passed by within inches of me. I offered a cheerful “Hey!” and he never looked up. The difference was staggering.

That moment was a fresh reminder of how much I appreciate people with a positive and cheerful spirit. They bring life! Others steal life. Both options can take place in a moment.

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7 Reasons to Start a Pastors’ Roundtable Retreat

King-Arthur-roundtableI spent three days recently at a cabin with five other pastors, holding what we call a roundtable.

I’m from California. We met in Illinois, where there was a blizzard one day and the temperature hit minus 7 degrees one night. I didn’t care. What we were doing was so important, we didn’t need to go outside. We do this every year. We plan to continue doing it until our last days of ministry.

Here’s why I’m involved in a roundtable:

1. These guys inspire me. They’re my friends, all are pastors, and seeing how they live out their commitment to God inspires me. There aren’t too many people who do what we do. One of the guys lost his wife and best friend to cancer in the same year. Another adopted and is raising four high-risk children. A third runs triathlons. All of them are devoted to their wives and to walking in close quarters with Christ. During dark seasons in my ministry, I think of them and it boosts my determination to keep going.

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Chris Wesley: How To Build Youth Ministry Endurance

Youth-Ministry-SimplyThis past weekend, thousands of youth ministers participated in the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. As a participant in the past few, I know that feelings of empowerment and encouragement are flowing through this year's attendees' minds and souls.

The reason these conferences can be such a powerful experience is because of the camaraderie and the opportunity to take a youth ministry “time out”.

The problem with a conference like Simply Youth Ministry is that it’s only a weekend. After a weekend of euphoria you are forced to go home and face:

  • That hurting teen
  • A pastor you clash with
  • An angry parent
  • A semi-committed ministry team

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Relationship Health: Celebrate Our Differences

Kim Martinez 2Our church was in the middle of a building project, and the new sanctuary was almost done. On Sunday morning I overheard a board member: “We should never have given her (the pastor’s wife) the authority to pick out the color. That isn’t white. It’s pink!”

This was my first building project, but it wasn’t my last. There is something about aesthetics that brings out the best and the worst in us. Whether it is the color of the carpet, the style of the pew, the genre of the artwork or angle of the lighting; for every decision there is a myriad of opinions. How can you stay positive when people are lined up on all sides, ready to shoot?

Paul exhorted the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord. When trials, troubles and disagreements come, we have to make a choice to focus on the positive. Disagreement isn’t the problem.

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