Orange week: Is your church co-dependent?

tumblr_mct0siBE5G1qm1uteo1_500

Over the past 10 years that has been a gathering storm of energy behind the idea of family ministry. Reggie Joiner was first and has put powerful imagery behind the idea of ministry to families in the context of the local church and beyond. Reggie helped paint a picture for so many of us through the imagery of Orange. The combination of the influence of family “Red” with the light of the church “Yellow” creating “Orange“.

Orange is more than a curriculum Orange is an idea that needs to take root in our churches. Does every church need to use Orange curriculum? No. (It is great we used it for years) Every church needs however to have a comprehensive  practical out working of the idea that getting kids to church is not enough.

Over the course of the past few decades there has been an unhealthy co-dependent relationship that has been created between youth pastors/kids pastors and parents. Kids and Youth pastors ask parents to bring their kids to church so we can “straighten them out” “fix them” “Bring your kids to us we are the professionals”. Parents gladly comply because they want their kids to love Jesus and they either don’t know where to start or they don’t mind having one less thing to do.

Do kids need church? Yes. Will church “save kids“? No. The role of a pastor is not the salvation of children but the equipping of saints to do the work of the ministry. The role of the pastor is to preach to teach in such a way the wonder of the gospel flourishes in our churches. The desire to know God and be satisfied in Him alone becomes a reality.

The most damaging thing we can do in the postmodern culture we find ourselves in, is to build programs and create our own kingdom that both point to God’s kingdom. In doing this we make our churches primarily about us. We CAN NOT AFFORD TO DO THIS. We MUST make our ministries to build the Church through the accurate preaching of gospel. Our kids need pastors who make Jesus beautiful and who equip their parents to be the priests of their own home. Our preaching should drive them to the feet of Jesus and into the community that God has placed them in.

I strongly believe in the idea that what happens at home is more important than what happens at church. We must dig deep and not just agree in principle but seek God talk to our leaders to find out what this looks like in the congregation God has placed you. There is no set formula but there must come a passionate desire that drives us to do more than agree it’s important but to do what we must to make sure that our churches are not co-dependent.

Helping your boys understand what makes a man.

Fantastic_Man_1_web

As a father one of the best things I can do for my boys is to teach them how a man acts. With the lack of positive male roll models in the media and the general confusion of roles in society today, if you don’t take time to intentionally teach your boys how to be a man they will grow up confused at best.

I have two boys and one girl and boys are very different than girls. Here is what I find with our boys they learn through repetition  they push back more than my daughter, they learn from watching me more than I realize. It’s important that I have intentional conversations with them about what a man is and what a man isn’t. It’s important that I do this often and in various ways. It’s also important that I model to them what a man does by how I treat my wife.

Here are some of things I tell my boys men do:

1. Protect those who are smaller and weaker than them.
2. Tell the truth
3. Work hard
4. Ask for help when you need help
5. Trust God more than you trust yourself.

So God made a Farmer by Paul Harvey.

Easily the best commercial of the Super Bowl. I hope the GoDaddy people were taking notes. Because some model making out with a nerd has nothing on this commercial. Bravo RAM you made me want to buy a truck.


 

Here is the full transcript of the ad:

“And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say,’Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk, . Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.””

Please visit my great sponsors.

times-square-parade

I appreciate everyone who stops by my site and adds to the conversation. I want to take a few minutes to encourage you to check out some of the things the people who sponsor this site have to offer.

Let The Children Come – Are one of my site sponsors. They offer lots of different child evangelism tools. Love the idea they have for wordless book idea for preteens girls click on there banner to the right to find out more.

Jonathan Martin Creative – They are an unbelievably talented company our church will literally never look the same because of them. Every week when kids come to Uptown and their breath is taken away. I am so grateful to JMC for the time and energy they put into making our space amazing.

KidzBlitz Curriculum – Is produce by Roger Fields a children’s ministry veteran with a huge passion for ministry and helping kids pastors. His stuff is excellent for large group environments. If you do large group in kids ministry or are just looking to change things up, head over to KidzBlitz and see what they have to offer.

Bible Bucks 2.0 – Winner of the 2010 Children’s ministry expo’s Jawdrop innovation award. Bible Bucks 2.0 is a new way to do rewards at your kids church. It’s a web based reward system that will leave your kids talking.

R04r.com – An innovative iPhone app company that was started by a good friend of mine – The user interface is drop dead simple. If you are looking for a iPhone app or android app contact Matt at R04R tell him Sam sent ya!

LifeWay Kids – The people at LifeWay kids are great. I have had the opportunity to talk to them several times over the past few years. Love their spirits and passion for kids ministry currently they are advertising their VBS stuff on my blog. You definitely need to check out the stuff they are coming out with.

Discipleland – Discipleand produces all varieties of kids ministry curriculum. They even have some lessons for nursery aged kids, and a section to download free resources. Check them out by clicking the banner to the right.

Worlds of Wow – Is a one stop shop to custom theme your church or business. Regan heads the company up and is a stand up guy. They put in our indoor playground in our church and 5 years later the kids love it like the first time they played in it.

God’s Kids Worship – Bob and his team do an amazing job of producing modern worship for kids. If you are looking for christmas songs for you kids or worship songs they have you covered. You’ll be glad you did.

Children Desiring God Conference. – This is one conference I have not been to but would love to go to. I have listened to countless sermons by John Piper and have read many of his books. His life message, challenges me every day “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” For more information on this conference click on the banner to the right.

The Orange Conference – Love the heart and message of Orange. So appreciate Reggie and his team. If you have never been to the Orange conference put it on list of conferences that you need to attend.  For more information on this conference click on the banner to the right.

Children’s Pastor’s Conference – Went to CPC for the first time last year was really blown away by the quality of conference Michael Chanley and his team put on. Lots of practical how twos as well as inspirational general sessions. If you haven’t been to CPC in a few years you need to come see what all the changes are about. For more information on this conference click on the banner to the right.

Children’s Ministry Magazine – Chris Yount Jones and the folks at group have made such an impact in many aspects of Children’s ministry. From VBS, their Magazine, books and resources to help Children’s ministres be more effective. Group really is passionate about helping ministry leaders connect and grow. For more information click on the Children’s Ministry Magazine link and their Faithweaver link on the right.

 

J. I. Packer’s Advice to young authors – From Desiring God.

Came across this on the Desiring God blog thought it was helpful:

J. I. Packer will turn 86 on Sunday. He is a skillful writer, a fruitful author, and many of his works have become classics, none more than Knowing God. Recently in our interviews with him in Vancouver we asked him for writing advice, or more specifically, what he would say to a budding writer of Christian nonfiction.

He offered three pieces of advice:

  1. Go deep in personal worship.
  2. Write to hit hearts.
  3. Write from a sense of calling.

To watch the video of J.I. Packer talking about these three points and to read the rest on the blog click on the picture below. J. I. Packer