Looking for a Christ Centered Easter Curriculum?

(This is a Repost of a blogpost I did last year I am going to re-do the whole seises as people in #kidmin are starting to plan for Easter. Hope this helps!)

Well, I am really excited to let everyone in the Kidmin community that in a couple of weeks we are going to be making  available a Easter Curriculum that Dan Scott, Gina Mcclain, Jonathan Cliff and I worked on together for our churches.

A few months ago we came up with this idea to write our own curriculum for easter and to do it collaboratively so that no one church would have to do all the work, but we all could benefit from working together. Doing this project together was a wonderful experience. It is so amazing to me that you can get so many churches together to write a curriculum that does not focus on denominational differences but elevates Christ. I went into this project with huge amounts of respect for each leader and the church they represent. As we wind down that respect has only increased. I am so honored to work along side these brilliant kids people to help in a small way to build the kingdom of God together.

Not being someone who likes to go negative on my blog, when we all got together we had some general and some specific frustrations with the curriculum that is out there. Because of this we thought that instead of just saying what we don’t like about what exists what if we created something that is more along the lines of what we are looking for and then blog about why we did what we did.

Is the curriculum we did the best thing ever? Nope. Is it for every church. I hope so but don’t think so. We do want to begin unpacking why we did what we did on all of our blogs offering our own perspective on the parts of the project we worked on. In unpacking why we did what we did and then making what we did available to you for this Easter or for future Easters, our hope is that it mets a need you have in your church and in the lives of the families you minister to.

I do want to offer this disclaimer that there was not one specific curriculum that we are thinking of when we start tackling some of the Elephant in the room issues with curriculum. There is a systemic problem in my opinion and I believe the sooner we adress those issues the sooner Christ will be elevated and our kids will be better for it.

Lastly I am really looking forward to getting some feedback from you guys. So make sure you chime in our kids deserve it and Christ expectes it. Thanks so much for all you guys do to help extend the Kingdom of God where you are. You are amazing.

The only contacts app you will ever need.

Smartr Contacts for iPhone from Smartr & Xobni on Vimeo.

 

I sort of found this by accident the other day. So far I love it. It’s called Smartr.

What does it do? It basically keeps track of every person you have ever emailed, all the people you are friends with on facebook and twitter. It builds a complete profile of each person with contact info, social media updates and message history. If you type in say like Michael it automatically sorts your list by contact frequency so the Michael’s (and there are a lot of them in New York)  you talk to most come to the top of the heap.

You can email, place a call and SMS from inside the iphone app. Did I mention it’s free.

It also has a great gmail plug in that fits nicely over gmails ads and when you email someone you can put a name to the face and see their social status updates. It also recommends that you add people so you don’t leave a co-worker out the look (been there done that).

So far been using smartr for about a week and I love it. You should try it out fo youself.

Smartr Inbox for Gmail from Smartr & Xobni on Vimeo.

5 Years ago today

Five years ago today the son of a family who means the world to me past away. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is that you learn more of who God is in pain than you do in joy. In the past years dealing with my own disappointments I have grown in my faith but all of that pails in comparison to seeing how the Weible family has responded. Every time I think of what they have gone through and how they have responded I feel ashamed for the way I so often respond to the trivial things life hands my way. It’s humbling. Every time I think of Robert my heart is filled with a hope filled sorrow. I know that one day we will see him which gives me hope but I still feel sorrow when I think of the day he passed. We miss you Robert.

Psalm 34

1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Christians today are Theological idiots.

It’s true. I ashamed to admit that for a long time in my life I looked at Theology as an obstacle to “real” ministry. I started working with kids in my early 20’s and shamefully thought that Theology and doctrine were of no use to me as they were to weighty for kids. Most Christians and many churches have no use for doctrine as we have successfully made Christianity a personal thing. Understanding the personal nature of Christ’s sacrifice is very important but thinking that Jesus is my personal Genie in a bottle is devastating. It’s plainly seen in our worship music much of it now days is focused on me and my relationship to God the personal side of our relationship with him. Hymns seem to be more focused on the unchangeable truth of who He is. This is unfortunate because few things connect theology with the non-theologian like music does.

I have come to the realization in my life that Theology matters. It matters not because we want our kids at age 6 to pick a side on the age old Calvinist vs. Armenian battle. Theology matters because we do what we believe and we teach through the lens of our experience and understanding. What we believe about the church affects how we relate to the church and what we teach our kids about the church. What we believe about Justification affects how we walk out of Christian faith and demonstrate that to others.

Our responsibility is to think through why we believe what we believe. We need to own our Theology because we have a responsibility to teach it to our kids and model it to the next generation. Am I theological savant? Nope, but I the years to come I want to do everything I can to think through deep truths, distill the truth of them and deliver them in a way that kids can digest and apply them to their lives.

One of the things I am working on right now is a book for parents and church leaders to help kids understand theological truths and create a proper Biblical worldview that is slowly being expunged from our culture.

Last night I was putting my kids to bed and my middle boy had a rough day. I told him he needed to make better choices. He’s only four years old and he said “Ok Dad, I’ll try harder.” I told him “You don’t need to try harder. What you need to do is trust more. You need to trust Jesus because we all need God’s help.” I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking they have to try harder. I want my kids to grow up thinking they have to trust deeper.

Theology matters.

Why the stat stating 90% of kids leave their faith is dead wrong.

I am not a huge soap boxer but please indulge me this. I have heard for the past few years that 90% of Christian kids leave their faith when they leave their homes. This stat has never sat well with me. It still doesn’t. Upon hearing that stat for the first time I asked God to have mercy on our kids and began to think how I could turn the tide in our church.

Being in the same church church for 14 years is very sobering. It’s sobering because I get to see the end result of my theories about ministry as well as the theories of others. I remember a couple of years ago I started looking back over a decade of ministry what had me and my team done well where had we failed? There were lots of good things we could point to, one of the biggest things we saw that was lacking was a clear explanation of what the Gospel. In kids ministry, and youth ministry we love concreate truth to a fault. We proclaim how to behave forgetting to explain our purpose for being. We need to clearly articulate the Gospel to the kids in our churches. What does this have to do with kids leaving their faith, you say? Everything! My contention is that because we those kids attended services but did not understand the truth of the gospel. They were a church attender but they never really left the faith because they truly understood the power and simplicity of the gospel.

Simply put these kids never left their faith because they never fully had it in the first place. My contention is with the walking away, it’s that they never truly entered a life giving relationship with Jesus Christ. When you understand the power of the Gospel it changes you. You don’t leave it. Attending your mom and dad’s church on the other hand is very easy to leave.

So while the problem is largely the same the how to fix it is drastically different. One requires a change in methods the other in our methodology all together.

Here is another blogpost talking about this very thing. What say you?