New curriculum you need to check out!

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Go! Curriculum Review

Go! is a new player in the kids curriculum scene. (Go! will release fully this August.) They have what looks like a great mix of what you would expect from a “Large Group/Small Group” curriculum and fresh ideas. Here is how they describe themselves.

GO! lessons, you’ll probably notice that every section of the lesson is designed to help kids engage with God through their minds, hearts or hands.  Some sections are designed to help kids learn about God and His Word.  Some sections are designed to help kids experience, reflect on and respond to the love and grace of their Savior.  And some sections are designed to equip kids to live their faith in the real world.  A well-rounded approach to children’s spiritual formation should have elements of each of these.  One of the wonderful things about the GO! curriculum is that it can so easily be adapted to fit the needs and time restraints of your ministry.  As you make additions or substructions, though, be sure to keep in mind the balanced approach that’s inherent in the lessons and important in the spiritual development of the kids in your ministry.

Love the idea of heart, mind and active engagement of kids.

What I liked -

Devotions – Devotions for your leaders to help them grow and connect personally to what they are going to teach either in small group or large group.

The 10 Best Free Stock Photo Sites

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One of the things I never have enough of is good stock photos. Photo sites like iStock Photo started out cheap but is now no longer affordable. When you are making a website or flier promoting your church great stock photos make all the difference. Below are 10 of the best stock photo sites that give you quality photos for free. Hope these help. If I have missed one you use please leave the link in the comment section.

http://www.pexels.com/

https://unsplash.com/

http://pixabay.com/en/

http://nos.twnsnd.co/

http://PicJumo

http://skitterphoto.com/

http://join.deathtothestockphoto.com/

http://jaymantri.com/

http://www.gratisography.com/

http://raumrot.com/

3 Actions you must take to lead under insecure leaders

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Leading under an insecure leader is just plain difficult. It’s difficult because you often times don’t know where the land mines are. You end up leading carefully and timidly. The irony of leading under an insecure leader is that it can produce in you the very thing you see in them. Leading up is never easy and in the case of an insecure leader it can be nearly impossible.

Another reason insecure leaders are challenging to work for because everything takes twice as long because you have to clarify, explain and garner their support before anything can move forward. It can, quite frankly, be exhausting.

What every family needs what every pastor wants!

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In about 4 weeks I will be in sunny Southern California. As someone from the chilly northeast this excites me. Why I am excited may surprise you. Yes this winter was brutal, but I am most excited about being at The Gathering again this year because of my experience at the conference last year and what David C. Cook is trying to accomplish in this event.

There are many conference that talk about the need for family ministry and this emphasis is well founded. The family in America needs every ounce of prayer, strength and support we can give it. What I appreciated about The Gathering was the way they tackle the family ministry problem. They come at it from the standpoint of spiritual formation. That the gospel is transformational in nature. What families need more than anything is a deep understanding of the grace of God despite the dysfunction that we bring to the table.

When you come to The Gathering you will hear about the grand narrative of scripture that tells over and over again that we are dysfunctional but are redeemed and made right because of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. What kids and families need from us is not more programing or slick events they need us to point them to Jesus over and over again. Families need the hope that only the Gospel provides. I love how Paul describes this hope in Romans 5.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

In Christ we have a hope that does not disappoint. So many families have experienced disappointment that has lead them to hopelessness. The good news tells us We Can’t but Christ did on our behalf. I am excited to sit to listen and learn. To be encouraged to press into the inexhaustible richness of God’s grace. As a pastor, as a parent as a sinner saved by grace through faith nothing is sweeter.

I hope to see you there. Because every family needs that gospel and every pastor wants a free ticket to The Gathering. In fact David C. Cook has cleared me to give a ticket away. So waste no time enter below.

5 signs you might be an insecure leader

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Leadership is not easy. The reality is that every person leads at some level. The question is not are you a leader as much as how well are you leading. Growing up in the church I saw one insecure leader after another. I never saw them as insecure leaders until I started to work at Redeemer 18 years ago. I began serving Mike Servello Sr. as his kids Pastor and currently serve his son Mike Servello Jr. as his campus pastor. Mike and his father are by far the most secure leaders I have ever met. It was only through their confident yet humble Christ centered leadership that came to see those other leader and even myself at times as an insecure leader. One of the things that amazes me most about the church is the epidemic proportions in which insecurity runs through church leadership. One of the most valuable things I have learned in my nearly two decades working with Mike and his father is the importance of security in leadership, if you want to lead for the long haul your security better be found in Christ. Insecure leaders create drama, havoc and pain in the lives of those they lead. If you lead I as that you ask yourself the following questions, as I wrote these I found them convicting, and humbling.

How do you know that you are an insecure leader?

1. You surround yourself with people you can control. - Insecure leaders hinder their organization because they don’t look to hire or attract the best people for a job. They look to attract people who are not as good as they are. People with less experience, who can be controlled mentally or emotionally.