Language Translation

Books I'm Reading

  • "Surviving the Anointing" by David Ravenhill

Books I've Read

  • "Revival God's Way" by Leonard Ravenhill
  • "Tongues: Beyond the Upper Room" by Kenneth E. Hagin
  • "The Dynamic Duo: The Holy Spirit & You" by Rick Renner

Monday, June 27, 2011

Had a Sabbath Lately?

Just a quick passing thought this week ... when was the last time that you took a weekend away from the ministry just so that you could have a mental/physical/spiritual sabbath? If you are like most children's ministry workers, outside of the weekend that you go out of town to visit family for a vacation, you are in your classroom week after week after week, right? And, in doing so, even though that you love the children and families of your church, it is easy to lose the joy and passion for the ministry. Am I correct?

I trust that you won't think that the following statement is heretical. Consider this. There is nothing wrong with occasionally having a weekend away from the ministry when you are NOT on vacation or NOT at a seminar or NOT on your deathbed. In fact, there is something wrong if we DON'T take an occasional brief sabbath.

For your longevity, discover the reality that there is a refreshing and invigorating that will energize your mind, body, and spirit when you occasionally come apart from the ministry and enjoy a morning at the beach or a walk through a nearby national park. Jesus knew the value of a coming apart from the ministry so that He would not fall apart. It would be prudent to follow His example.

Again ... it's just a thought.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How Young is Too Young?

We all know that it is not debatable that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit found in Acts 2 included children and the promise for future generations of children to receive this gift from heaven. Because of the call and assignment of God upon every child (established in their mother's womb - Jeremiah 1:5) and the desperate need for power, boldness, and fire to accomplish this assignment, it is not up for discussion that EVERY child in THIS generation must be filled to overflowing with the precious Holy Spirit as early as possible.

While we know that this gift is for EVERY child, here is something for you to ponder ... how young is too young to minister to children about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

I heard Charles Capps say many years ago "The gospel is so simple that we need a lot of help to misunderstand it." With that thought in mind, I ask you if we can make this so simple that even the youngest of children can be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Here are some questions to consider as you decide how and when to minister to young children. The answer is found in answering these questions:
1. Can the child understand that God loves them and loves to provide good gifts to them?
2. Can the child understand that when Jesus left this earth that He promised to send a gift from heaven that would enable them to do great things for God?
3. Can the child understand that the Holy Spirit comes from heaven as a gift for EVERY Christian ... no matter how old or young that person might be?
4. Can the child understand that when this gift is opened, there will be an evidence or way of knowing that this gift is now yours to enjoy?

Four simple questions ... questions that every child can understand. So, in thinking about these questions, at what age should you teach about the Holy Spirit and provide an opportunity for children to be baptized in the Holy Spirit? I can't answer this question for you. I know of many children who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit at the ages of 3 and 4 and pray in their heavenly prayer language. I know of Spirit-baptized 5-year-olds who would put most adults to shame as they unashamedly demonstrate the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as they lay hands upon their peers.

Your question is how young is too young? My question is what are you waiting for?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ho-Hum Horror!

Perhaps you are challenged with a plateau in the quality of your ministry. After examining your services, you can see that they are lifeless and bland. The leftover oatmeal from yesterday's breakfast seems to be more appealing than what you are seeing in your services. Can you identify with what I am talking about?

Without even sitting in your service, I believe that I can deduce where the problem lies. Lifelessness and blandness are set in motion long before you enter into your classroom. The problem is found in the preparation process. I have found that in doing children's ministry for a while, it is ever so easy to skim through the words found on the pages of the lesson and to have a good idea about what to do. After a quick glance at the lesson, we are prepared. We've taught that subject before. It will be a breeze to make it through the service.

Here's a reminder that we need to constantly think about. Blandness and lifelessness are guaranteed if you stand in front of the children and only do what is written in the lesson or curriculum. Remember that the lesson's words are printed in black ink, not red ink. These words reveal the minimum of what the Holy Spirit wants to do through you. It is only through time with the Holy Spirit that the words are transformed from black ink to red ink, from minimum to maximum, full of life and power. It is only through time spent with Him that will enable you to ooze with creativity and life. He will bring about wardrobe and props that weren't mentioned in the lesson. The Creator will provide examples and object lessons not suggested in the lesson. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is creative. Remember that at Creation, the Holy Spirit is the One who took God's directives and actually did the creating. That same Holy Spirit now lives inside of you and loves to enlarge and expand and burst out at the seams with creativity.

So, read the lesson and then read it again. Then, set aside the book and spend time with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to move inside of you and create. Please, please, please don't limit yourself to what some writer who has never been to your city or visited your church or met your children dictate what the Holy Spirit wants to say. Spend time with Him and draw from His creativity. The bland will disappear and the children will be begging their parents to come to your services!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Developing a Well Balanced Children's Ministry

This past weekend, I witnessed one of the most fantastic things that a children's pastor can see, an auditorium filled with children laughing, screaming, and having the time of their lives. This happened in all three services. What was going on? It was our Thank God Almighty I'm Free at Last weekend where we celebrated the children being free from school for their summer vacation. And boy did we celebrate!

There might be those that would think that this is unscriptural to have such an event during a church service on a weekend. Unscriptural? Are you kidding me? The Psalmist David talked about being glad to go into God’s house. He couldn’t wait to see what would happen!

On our Thank God Almighty weekend, we did have a brief time of praise and worship and I did teach for a couple of minutes before we gave our offerings and then taught from God's Word about the Cross making it possible to be liberated and free from Satan and sin (John 8:36). I never will let an opportunity slip through my fingers and neglect the ministry of the Word. But, I sensed that it was time to take care of a spiritual deficiency in our ministry. It was time to take out a spiritual vitamin to supplement this deficiency, one with a lot of vitamin F (for F-U-N). And so for 45 minutes of our 1 1/2 hours, we pulled their nametags at random from a bucket and allowed those children to compete in Minute to Win It type games and win Bottle Pops for themselves and Blow Pops and Pixie Stix for the audience. And in doing so, our kids left the service with smiles all over their faces and candy to tickle their stomachs!

Why is this important? My Mom always insured that we had a balanced diet. At each meal, our plate consisted of a meat, a couple of vegetables, and a starch. As a children's pastor, I need to insure that my ministry has a balanced diet. After completing a four week series on divine healing and ministering to their spirits and minds, I could sense that we needed to touch another part of the child's needs. It was time to laugh and shout and go crazy. We will do this for our mid-week Bible clubs this Wednesday evening by having our Royal Rangers and Mpact Girls Ministry Clubs leave the classroom setting and head over to the swimming pool at a nearby city park for a couple of hours of swimming and splashing and dunking their children's pastor. Again, is this important? You betcha'!

For a minute, look at your ministries’ diet. Is it time to serve a smaller portion of the meat and vegetables and pile on a heapin’ helping of some calorie loaded starches? Plan ahead and schedule a fun, memory-making weekend. Your kids and staff will thank you for it!

Should you need some ideas for a Thank God Almighty type weekend, send me an email and I’ll share my ideas …