Thursday, March 29, 2007

145 Dollars!

A few weeks ago, the curriculum for Grow Zone (second-fifth grades) challenged the kids to do work around the house for money. The money they earned was to go towards a class-wide giving project. On Sunday, we collected $145 from the kids to be given to the Union Gospel Mission! I was amazed by what the kids did. Not only did they understand the challenge, but they remembered to do it when they got home. Kids vacuumed their houses, cleaned gerbil cages, washed dishes, rubbed feet, etc. And they were so excited to know they were helping people who are less fortunate than themselves. Way to go Grow Zone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hello from Chicago!

Amy and I are currently attending the Children's Ministry conference at Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago. Today was the first day, and it was GREAT! There is something so powerful about joining with 3000 other Children's Ministry workers from around the world. While there is so much I could share... for now, I'll stick to just one point. Today was encouraging.
Last year I attended the conference with my mom. Each day left me feeling inspired, overwhelmed, passionate, excited, scared, a mix of emotions. This year, I still feel inspired, passionate and excited. But along with that, I feel like our ministry is moving forward, and doing it well. This doesn't mean we don't still have room for improvement, or lots to do. But through conversations with other directors with ministries similar to our size, or slightly smaller, I was affirmed that Morning Star is a great place to work. My pastoral staff supports me in a way that is rare amoung Children's directors. My volunteers are dedicated and loyal. I love my job description. I have two staff team members who are also passionate about what they do, and our personalities compliment one another. We aren't having to work hard to gain the respect of our church, and mountains (within our church) don't need to be moved in order for us to carry out the dreams God has given us.
But beyond all that, the Word of God is being taught clearly to our children. They leave each Sunday with a greater understanding of His word, and how it applies to their lives. We still have a journey ahead of us. But I travel this road enthusasticly.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Why Do We Love Our Volunteers?

Children's Ministries at Morning Star depends on over 100 individuals per week who give of their time and energy to make sure that the young ones of our church know the love of the Lord. Without these volunteers the children could not be reached. I love seeing the different giftings in each person. From Deena Golden who can walk through a store and see props for a Bible story in ordinary items. To Tom Payseno who understands that our elementary aged boys need to grow into strong men of God. Or Connie Hammond who prepares crafts for two and three-year-olds. Laura Snodgrass not only loves to teach, but she also loves to shop for our tape, scissors, paper, crackers, glue... We have baby holders, toy cleaners, people greeters, name tag writers, lesson teachers, craft makers, song leaders, bathroom takers, table lifters, chair movers, oh the list goes on and on! Without all of you, our ministry could not exist! Thank you for what you do, and be assured that you are making a difference.

Appreciation Video

To all of our volunteers--Thank you so much! We really appreciate you!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Family Experience

This Friday, March 9 is our third Family Experience and I'm so excited! The first two went really well, so it'll be neat to see what happens through this one. Our key concept is "Generosity: Making someone's day by giving something away." We have a great acting team lined up to help illustrate the Bible story! If you aren't familiar with how FX works, here's some background information:
The two greatest influences on the life of a child are the family and the church. On average, the church has about forty hours a year with a child. The family, on the other hand, has three thousand hours. As the church, we would like to engage the family. We would like to combine these two influences. After all, wouldn’t two combined influences have a greater impact than only two influences?
The goal of FX has two parts. One goal is to get parents of elementary aged children excited about what their kids are learning at church. The other goal is to coach parents in how to further their child’s spiritual learning at home.

FX will be high-energy, exciting and fun. It is designed to be a time where kids bring the parents to church. We’ll begin with high energy worship and then slow the songs down so the kids see that their parents praise God just like they do. We will then expand on a lesson your children recently learned in either Discovery or Grow Zone, and provide an opportunity for the family to circle up for a small group time to discuss the lesson and pray together similar to a family devotional time.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Vacation Bible School 2007

Once again we are writing our own VBS! Last year it was so nice to create a program just for our kids and the way they work. With how well it went, how could we not write our own this year? Our theme is Willie Wantcha and the Character Factory with a focus on the Fruit of the Spirit. It's going to be great! If you like planning, we'd love to have your help! We are still looking for people to head up the planning of preschool crafts, preschool snacks, preschool games, elementary games, and volunteer coordination. Let us know if you're interested!

Sony Style USA