Remember when you were in school and everyone would start talking about something and they all knew what it was but you? Yeah…me too. And then you pretended to know what it was even when you didn’t so you didn’t seem square or uncool? Yeah…me too. Well well lets put an end to that once and for all. Matt Guevara and his team at INCM have come up with an innovative solution to keep you from reliving your childhood. The solution is Dispatch.
I am a huge fan of Pixar (We all gave them a pass on Cars 2). Is it because I love cartoons? No. If that was the case I would have blogged about that aliens one that Dreamworks did that I can’t even remember the name of. I like cartoons but I love stories. Pixar is a company that tells stories and they so happen to use cartoons to do that. One of my favorite movies cartoon or not is UP. So my excitement for Inside Out was palpable. I loved it. It lived up to the hype I had created for it in my mind, ironically enough. There were so many deep themes that made you think, that made you laugh and yes made you fight back tears.
I could relate to being the new kid in class. I was always the new kid. Going to 10 different schools in your school career makes you the “new kid” far more often than any kid would wish for. So I could identify with Riley. As a parent of four kids I could identify with the parents in the movie. Pixar more than most movie production companies does an amazing job of making you feel what they want you to feel. There are many themes I could blog about but the one that was most interesting to me was the theme of Joy and Sadness.
One of the things I have learned in the past 20 years is when I encounter a problem. A good book usually helps me understand or point me in the right direction. I like reading books in the summer because It makes me feel better about lying lazily in the summer sun. Where I live in New York you have to pay for Vitamin D nine months out of the year. So when it’s free you jump on it. I thought I would share the books I am hoping to finish this summer.
Preaching by Keller – Few people have opened my eyes to the beauty of the Gospel like Dr. Keller. Few people can boldly lay out the truth in a way both sides see it clearly like Tim Keller. If you ever want to despair as a preacher. Preach a message then listen to Tim Keller preach the same passage. Looking forward to Dr. Keller’s thoughts on preaching.
Hand in Hand – Randy Alcorn tackles a very complex topic of Devine Sovereignty and meaningful human choice with clarity, grace and biblical responsibility. Have heard a ton of good things from both side of the argument.
The Deep things of God. – How the trinity changes everything. I am becoming more and more aware that the difficulty we have in faith and in our day to day lives comes from a flawed view of the trinity. Looking forward to reading Fred Sanders book for his practical take on a very complex issue.
Until 5 years ago I had heard of Awana but knew very little about them. Over the past few years that has changed I have had the privilege of meeting many of the Awana staff and team. Every time I leave a meeting with them I am blown away by their passion to reach kids and families as well as the bigness of the vision they have to do so. Here is a short video of the impact they are having around the world.
This week Awana is releasing a new book called “The Gospel Truth About Kids Ministry” here is how they describe it.
The Gospel Truth About Children’s Ministry. The book is based on research we conducted in 2013 & 2014 to “take the pulse” of the children’s ministry community. We wanted to fully understand the wants, needs, and expectations of children’s ministry decision makers. This fresh research will equip leaders and their ministry teams to make the kind of changes that are necessary to reach this generation of kids- and beyond.
I like that in their book they address many of the problems children’s ministry workers face and they don’t leave it there they offer insight and solutions. I know what some of you might be thinking “I’m not an Awana church, and I don’t think I ever will be.” That doesn’t mean you can’t learn from Awana pray for their success and apply some of the wisdom and tools they have to share to help you be more effective where God has placed you.
“The Gospel Truth About Kids Ministry” Is has many great quotes, insights, stats and potential solutions. My favorite quote was the following.
Many fear that in the overwhelming busyness of running a children’s ministry program, we may have lost sight of the priority — making disciples of kids, parents, and leaders.
The reality of reaching kids is the more you reach the busier you become and if you are not careful you can become a middle manager to kids who need a pastor. Such an important reminder for me in reading this book that the gospel must be the beginning middle and end of all I do, and if I am not pointing kids to Christ weekly and intentionally. I am missing the whole point.
The Gospel Truth About Kids Ministry will be available on the 22nd of June at the Awana online store. Be sure to pick up a copy for yourself and one to share.
One of the reasons I blog here is to be to others what I wish someone was to me when I started. One of the things that would have helped me when I started was knowing where to start. So this post is sort of beginners toolbox for anyone who is new, just starting or about to start in kids or youth ministry. Hope these are helpful to you or to someone you know.
1. Producteev – You need a to-do app you can trust that has the flexibility, that is collaborative and free. Preducteev does that all and some.
2. Read Beat the Clock – Drucker said it best.
Everything requires time. It is the one truly universal condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.
Jim Wideman’s book on time is a must read for every new kids pastor.
(to see the rest select “continue reading” below)