I talked to Yancy briefly tonight about worship and the huge role it plays in what we do. We often talk about curriculum and what we teach as we should but I’m not sure if we discuss the importance of teaching our kids how to enter into worship. Here is what we do and why we do it.
1. Opening song – We always start with a high energy song that is usually just fun and doesn’t necessarily talk about God but gets kids moving and focused.
2. We take a few minutes to explain what are some of the ways we can praise God. What does the Bible says about what praise and worship is and why we do it.
3. 2-3 “Faster” worship songs – Our goal here is to help the kids have fun and still teach kids theology and prepare them to worship. We always try to pick songs that match songs that the Youth ministry does and Adult ministry does. I believe it’s important that even though our environments are different that the songs we sing are speaking the same thing.
4. 1-2 worship songs – Our goal here is to teach kids to connect to God themselves. Every song we sing leads to this point where kids can connect with Christ and learn the value of worship in their daily life. We want to lead kids to a transcendent moment where God can move on their hearts.
5. We close in either General Prayer for the service or specific prayer for what we feel God wanting us to pray for, healing, strength, courage ect… we try to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I just got back from Orange I had a great time and am really excited to be going to Illuminate and Group’s Kidmin Conference. One of the things that social media has done for me is change the way and the reasons I attend a conference. Here is a brief list that will help you get the most out of any conference you attend.
1. Never eat alone – Get the schedule of the conference and be strategic with your free time. Find out who is going and fill your lunch dinners and breakfasts with meetings.
2. Meet with people who have more experience than you and meet with people who are just starting you can learn a ton from both
3. Connecting with people is more important than breakouts. Get the CD’s pour into people and learn from others always comes first in my mind.
4. Set your teams expectations before you leave. In my opinion Conferences are to connect with other churches not the people from your own church. You can compare notes and discuss the conference once you are home.
5. Give more than you take
6. Pick your breakouts based on the presenter not the topic. I did that this year for orange and it worked better than I expected.
7. Fly in early and stay a bit late.
8. If you know you are going to spend time with someone come with a list of questions written out. I road tripped with Jim Wideman and had a list of questions all of which got answered. It keeps your time focused.
9. Branch outside your denomination and ministry sphere. It’s easy to get ministry clicky. I went out to dinner with a couple of youth pastors this guy and this guy. I learned a ton.
10. The greatest resource at a conference isn’t the venders, the breakouts or the main sessions the greatest and most underused resource is the people who attend. Fight the conference flow you will be glad you did.
I am doing a big push over the next couple of weeks to get men to help out in Uptown over the summer. Even as a man myself I find it difficult to get men to want to help, most of the kids pastors I talk to experience the same thing. Who do I blame? The devil? Absolutely not. I blame this guy because every guy thinks this is who you have to be to help in kids ministry.
Before I went to the Orange conference I wrote a series of blog posts talking about why I think you should and should not send your kids to Christian, Public or Home School. I know a few people were offended by some of my posts, I never intended to be offensive in any way, my goal was to throw out the pro’s and con’s of each option. I wanted to close out the series with a few of my own conclusions.
1. Pray – Sounds simple but sometimes we forget to pray about the simple everyday things.
2. “Every Kid – Every Year” – Take the educational process one kid at a time one year at a time. Every option has it’s pluses and it’s minuses you have to know your kid and know what God has for each of them.
3. Don’t be blind to the positives or the negatives of each option. – Forgetting this one will be a huge detriment to the welfare of your kids. Because you get so focused on defending your position that it’s the only position that you will be able to see. When you no longer see the negatives you don’t take the steps to counteract them.
4. Why you do what you do matters – The reasons that you do something is as important as what you do. If you are trying to protect your kids from pain and from the evil influences in their life I think you are doing them a huge disservice trying to teach kids about the evils of Santa, the Easter bunny and Halloween doesn’t teach them about how to live the power of the gospel every day. Do I want my kids to experience pain, no, but I realize that sheltering them from pain does not give me the opportunity to walk them through it and to ultimately point them to Christ.
5. Never assume what you are doing is the ONLY way. We send our kids to public school I don’t think it’s the only right way. I am totally open to either Home Schooling or sending them to Christian school. We want our kids to grow up being examples to the wold of what a Gospel centered kid looks like and I know you do to.
Through this whole series my motives have been pure I really want to help parents make the right decision for them. I simply tried to point out the pro’s and con’s of each system as I see them. It’s unfortunate that a few homeschool advocates felt that I was attacking them. I do want to thank everyone who left a comment, talking through things and offering your perspective has been valuable to me and to the community as a whole thanks.