!-- Beacon Ads Ad Code -->
Archive - October, 2008

A Beard and a Buck for Kiva

Ever had an urge to sport a beard? Well, you can! And help give towards Kiva, an organization that helps provide micro-loans to the working poor.

Found out about this from this post by Seth Godin.

Boys Drawn to Characters Who Overcome


Adventure, originally uploaded by Sicko Thelford.

I just read an article from Kidscreen commenting on a recent study entitled Girls and Boys and Television by Dr. Maya Gotz.

The article points out that boys identify with characters who overcome obstacles and/or meet high expectations. These characters don’t always have to be overachievers or part of the in-crowd. Boys identify just as much with underdogs who are confident and end up exceeding expectations. The study also found that boys typically don’t like characters who are bullies, weaklings, dummies or bad boys. Boys also disliked passive characters.

When I read that, I couldn’t help but smile. It’s just a great reminder that we need to make sure that we aren’t just telling kids Bible stories for informational and behavioural purposes. We need to make sure that we tell all these wonderful stories and accounts within the context of the greater meta-narrative of God’s plan for redemption of humanity and creation… a story that continues on today and until his return. We need to help kids find their place in the “God Story,” which happens to be an exciting adventure.

I always try and frame following God as the most amazing life we can live because we get to be a part of changing the world around us for the better. We get to be a part of helping people to see how much God loves them and the amazing life he has for all of us. I then frame how we do that within the context of that story so that everything from obeying mom and dad to helping the poor to talking with God regularly is all a part of the adventure of following God. What an exciting life story to call kids to be a part of!

Donald Miller’s The Mentoring Project

Last week, Larry Shallenberger posted about something called The Mentoring Project that he is a part of. The Mentoring Project is an initiative started by Donald Miller (author of books Blue Like Jazz, To Own a Dragon and more). The point of the project is to get churches to raise up male mentors for children who don’t have fathers. I think it is a really neat idea. Check out the video below to see how you can be a part of it. I can’t wait to see more from the project.

Family Ministry Conversation Day 2

OK, it’s been almost two weeks since I went to Costa Mesa for this conversation with David C. Cook and RockHarbor Church. I was able to post about the first day quickly, but day 2 was a whirlwind of half a day of meetings and then boarding a plane to come home and then the busyness of ministry life caught up. Finally, a respite to post my thoughts on the last day of the conversation!

On Day 2 we got to hear from the president at David C. Cook about the company and what they were doing around the world. The one thing that really stuck with me that I had not realized (and I don’t think many people realize) is that David C. Cook is a non-profit company! That really floored me… and it gave me a greater respect for the company and desire to buy stuff from them. What they do is charge for resources in areas of the world that can afford it (North America, most of Europe… the developed and developing areas of the world) and then turn those “profits” around to give resources to under developed areas of the world that can’t afford to buy them. Wow! I don’t know why David C. Cook doesn’t put that fact out there at the front of everything they do. I simply assumed, like most people, that David C. Cook was just another publishing company out there to maximize their profits for their pockets. (OK, that seems harsh towards other publishing companies, but you have to admit that is what crosses your mind… Maybe it would be better to say that David C. Cook’s motivations for profit aren’t primarily for paying salaries but for providing free resources to those who can’t afford them.) Knowing that they are non-profit and why they are motivates me to look at them when I am searching for resources. My two cents for David C. Cook: let everyone know your are a non-profit and why… more people will look at buying from you as giving to a cause rather than simply buying resources!

Anyway, the rest of the time before lunch (and the end of the Conversation) was spent talking about the partnership between David C. Cook and RockHarbor. Without saying too much about the specifics, they are partnering to come out with a new curriculum that ties in families. The goal is to have a curriculum that is more centred around the story of God as redeemer that is shown throughout the Bible, seeks to be more relational, is easily customizable, and follows a more formational approach to teaching.

I am very interested to see what this curriculum is going to look like… it hasn’t been written yet. They are in the process of doing it right now. It is an interesting way of doing curriculum. David C. Cook has sent some of its team to be at RockHarbor to write curriculum, and the RockHarbor team is driving the philosophy and theology behind the curriculum. In essence, the RockHarbor team sits down with the Cook team and says, “This is what we are wanting to do.” The Cook team then gets the necessary info they need to write curriculum and give it back to the RockHarbor team who then looks it over, refines it, uses it, makes notes and then gives it to another Cook team to refine and edit to be sent to be beta tested at selected churches to be refined even more. This is a very ambitious project, and one that I think is pretty revolutionary for a curriculum publishing company: partnering trained curriculum writers and theoreticians with experienced and passionate practitioners to bring a curriculum to life. It’ll be interesting to see and hear how all of that progresses over the next year as they write and test the curriculum. In my estimation, I think Cook and RockHarbor are paving the way for a new paradigm in curriculum development.

Anyway, in specifically dealing with the curriculum they are working on, I can’t comment on it because I haven’t seen it. I think they have some great ideas in having a more family aware curriculum, but I am not holding my breath. I’m sure it will be good, but my thoughts on family ministry (which have been developing over the past 8 years) have been rapidly evolving and changing in this past year. I will blog more about that later. I just don’t think that a new curriculum is what we need in order to help parents as they try to pass on faith to their children.

One thing thing that was said, in reference to an ideal curriculum was that it should be “home-based and church-supported.” My first gut reaction would be, “YES!” But what does that actually mean? Do we send parents home with a curriculum they do? Do we tell parents that unless they are “teaching” their children what they’ve been learning at church that they are not doing their jobs? Yes, that ideal sounds good, but I don’t know if I agree that is what our goal should be. It’s like telling all parents that they should be homeschooling their children as the ideal.

The remaining time we had at the Conversation, Michelle Anthony who oversees Families Ministry at RockHarbor shared their objectives and values at RockHarbor. I’m sorry to disappoint all of you, but I won’t go into them because they are unique to RockHarbor. You can always try and contact RockHarbor to get it from them if you really want to. I will say, though, that none of what they had is really new if you’ve looked at other family ministry paradigms. What they have is just tailored for their specific context.

All in all, it was a privilege to be a part of this Conversation. I look forward to seeing what comes out of this Conversation and from the partnership between David C. Cook and RockHarbor. They are sincerely trying to bring out a resource that many churches can use as they try to facilitate a ministry that is mindful of families.

Seth Godin’s New Book for Less Than a Dollar!

  Seth Godin posted on his blog that his new book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, is available as an audiobook from iTunes for less than a dollar. Now this is a great deal! If you’ve never read anything by Seth, now would be a good time to check him out. I’ve read a couple of his books, Free Prize Inside!: The Next Big Marketing Idea and Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync?, and he does a good job at helping people evaluate how they communicate their message and how to create buzz.

Just thought I’d pass the information on.

UPDATE!!! The audiobook is no longer available for less than a dollar. It was for a limited time… sorry. You can still get it from iTunes for $5.95 right now (don’t know if this is limited as well), which is still a great deal for an audiobook! If you were able to grab it when it was less than a dollar, great! Gotta grab those deals when they come up.

Free Children’s Ministry Resources at LifeChurch.tv

For a while now, I’ve been aware of LifeChurch.tv and Craig Groeschel. When I first heard of what they were doing with online venues and such, I was pretty wary of it not understanding their reasoning for what they do. More recently, I’ve had the opportunity to hear Craig speak and have been impressed with his philosophy of doing ministry. It is very much his passion for the Church to work together and be truly one in reaching those outside a relationship with Christ. This was really evident with the One Prayer Campaign that he spearheaded during the summer calling churches from all over the world to come together and pray for the global Church.

My senior pastor recently sent me a link to another project from LifeChurch.tv called OPEN.lifechurch.tv. This is the site where all of their resources (notes, graphics, videos, children’s minsitry, student ministry) are available for FREE! All you have to do is register on the site for free and you have access to all their stuff online. They’ve got children’s ministry curriculum for the weekend as well as their discipleship curriculum that they use mid week. There are videos and more available there. This is an amazing resource for those who can’t afford to buy curriculum like this.

If you don’t already have a curriculum that you use regularly or take a look at curriculums like Kidmo and Elevate and Empowering Kids and can’t afford any of it, I would recommend you take a look at OPEN.lifechurch.tv.

I’m just really impressed at a church with that many resources that is willing to live out their commitment to equipping churches that they freely share the resources they are blessed with. Kudos to LifeChurch.tv!

(As a postscript… don’t get me wrong about churches that publish resources and charge for them. I am not saying they are selfish. I know that not everyone is able to freely give away the stuff they work on; they don’t have the means or the resources to do that. In fact, I have friends who produce resources and charge, but they charge enough to be able to continue producing… not for the sake of profiting from it. I am just pointing out that a church like LifeChurch.tv that does have the means to share their stuff… does and isn’t looking to inflate their budget.)

Beverly Hills Chihuahua Movie Review on Kidology

I recently wrote a review of Beverly Hills Chihuahua that is posted on Kidology. Kidology is a resource site for those involved in children’s ministry. You can check out the review for free for a limited time. The review has an overview of the movie, some things that might be of concern for children views, and some themes and questions that can be discussed with children.

On a personal note, I did think this was a cute movie… Definitely not the nightmare I had expected from the commercials. I could’ve done without the dog music number, though.

Elemental Children’s Ministry Wordle

Just something fun to look at.

Page 1 of 212»