Thursday, April 23, 2009

VBS is just 2 months away!

Two months from yesterday VBS will have started! I'm so excited for what we'll be teaching, the kids we'll be reaching, and the volunteer's who'll be serving (too bad I didn't have another -ching word to use, that would have been cool!). Our theme this year is "Oh the Places You'll Go!" Our tagline is "God can do big things through someone little, like you." We'll be looking at five kids in the Bible that God used to do great things--Samuel, David, Josiah, Jesus and the boy with the loaves and fishes. Today I sat down with our receptionist's eight-year-old son and he helped me think through/plan our games. It's going to be fun!

Registration starts the weekend of May 2 and 3!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Favorite Elements of Easter 5

Typically, our first two adult Easter services run like clockwork, ending exactly on time. And typically our third service always goes longer (no need to empty the parking lot for another service, so why rush, right???). This year was no exception. Because of that we ended the K-3rd class in small groups even though the previous two hadn't. I simply instructed the kids and their small group leaders to talk about what they heard in the lesson and what Easter means to them. I also invited any kids who hadn't asked Jesus to be their forever friend to talk to their leader about it. The kindergarten girls leader later told me that four of her girls asked Jesus in their hearts, and the others had already done so!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Favorite Elements of Easter 4

Midway through our 9:30 service I had the opportunity to show a visiting mom to our nursery. I was greeted by a room full of frills! We had 10 baby girls and no boys in the room. Each of the little ladies was wearing a fluffy skirt, filling the room with pastels. So cute!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Favorite Elements of Easter 3

One of our visiting families had cautioned us that their preschool boy and girl wouldn't do well without their older brother. I encouraged them to give it a try first, because all the kids would be better off in their age appropriate classes. I later peeked in as one group of our preschool kids were going through their craft/activity stations. The little boy who had been reluctant was standing and watching all that was happening and the shape of his open mouth made it look like he was crying. But when I stepped in the room, I discovered he was simply making that face to show he wasn't happy but not actually crying. But the end of the service, he was fully engaged in the class. Preschoolers crack me up!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First AND Last Impressions

I love food. So when our team traveled to Chicago for the Conspire Conference, I had all our meals planned out. I knew which restaurants we'd eat at, and had addresses saved so I could easily program them into our GPS. We had eaten at these restaurants last year, and I couldn't wait to eat at them again.

Our first must-visit restaurant was Gino's East Pizza. We drove straight from the airport to their restaurant. They have amazing Chicago-style pizza! Our server was great at his job. He welcomed us to the Chicago area, and was even honest at recommending foods. We asked him which appetizers were the best, and he reviewed each of them, honestly telling us which ones are a Gino's specialties, and which ones are in the same class as any other restaurant. The great food combined with great service represented Chicago well as a great first impression.

We ate more great food, had a wonderful time at the conference, and were excited to head home with all our new information and renewed excitement. But we couldn't leave without eating one last time at the airport (after all, who knew when we'd eat next?). We stopped at one of the little restaurants in the airport hoping we'd get a good burger. Not only was the food good, but the service was great! The lady taking our order was quick to tell me and Lucy that the burgers we'd ordered were HUGE and we might prefer the smaller (and cheaper) burgers. We appreciated that she placed our needs ahead of her profits. Then when she brought the food out, we noticed that our order of fries was much larger than the other patrons, even though they only had one size to offer. We were so impressed by such great service!

Our team returned home loving Chicago. We were greeted with great service, and bid farewell with the same quality. Chicago gave us not only a great first impression, but a great lasting impression as well. This got me thinking about our ministry from week to week. We strive to make sure each family is greeted kindly, questions are answered, and that they know their children are in good hands. We want to give a good first impression. But how often to we make sure that they receive the same treatment as they exit the building? A good first impression is important. But wouldn't the last impression be what lingers longer?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Favorite Elements of Easter 2

Another element of our Easter weekend that I loved was being able to lead worship for our K-3rd class during all three Sunday services. The 8 am service only had 14 kids in the class, but they all did a great job of making up for their numbers with enthusiasm. The 9:30 group of 55 kids was so passionate! I love the energy that was in the room, and I'm sure that if the adults in the auditorium had listened carefully, they would have heard us. The 11:00 group of 52 kids wasn't quite as loud, but their love for the Lord was evident as they sang and did motions to "How Great is Our God."

Favorite Elements of Easter 1

One of my favorite elements of this Easter weekend was the additional help we had for our new family registration. Not only did I have a great team of ladies who were quick to make name tags for all of our visiting kids, but I also had wonderful escorts to show families to their classes. Each visiting family was personally shown where their children's rooms were, and several of these escorts stood in line with the families, chatting, as they waited for their turn to enter the room. Watching these friendly volunteers make families feel at ease blessed me beyond what I could have expected.

Sony Style USA