Why Minister Children?

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

It is reported that Moody once displayed two lit candles, one tall and the other short. He asked the audience which represented the child and which the adult. A member of the audience guessed that the tall one was the adult and the short one was a child. Dwight responded that the gentleman had it backward. The tall one represented the child who had his entire life yet before him to live, and the short one was an adult whose life was all burned up and who had only a short amount of time left to burn. He then asked, which has greater potential to impact the world for Christ? The child, of course. Reach the children and change the world! (Karl Bastian, Kidologist)

So, why minister to children?

Maybe because they are teachable? Maybe because they are a “blank slate”? Maybe because they are unbiased? Maybe because they need Jesus too?

Sometimes children are off our radar when we think of who we need to reach out to in our communities or in our realms of influence. After all, how to share the gospel with a two-year-old?! But, if we look at the model that Jesus presents to us, we are called to notice children just as we would any adult around us.

Yes, sharing the gospel with a child is going to look different than if you were to share it with an adult. It may look different as the child grows and understands different truths and concepts about who God is. It may require patience as God prepares the child’s heart. And, it may require creativity in how the gospel is presented or explained. But, just like anything else, it takes practice!

As our C! Station grows in size and as our children grow in age, it is important to equip ourselves in how to minister to these children. Likewise, in any ministry, it is important to equip ourselves so we can excel at what God has called us to do as C!C and as individual believers in Christ – celebrate the greatness of God by knowing Him and making Him known.

On March 3, we have a wonderful opportunity to partner together to equip ourselves to encourage and learn from each other, so I urge you to take part in the Volunteer Appreciation and Mobilization meeting that will be taking place after church. It is for anyone currently serving in C!C ministries or for anyone looking to get involved. For more information, talk to any of the leaders or check out the details below! See you there!

Because Jesus loves children,

Amy

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“The Very Last First Time”

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” (Psalm 28:7)

“The Very Last First Time” — this is the title of a book I often read with my kids. It tells the story of an Inuit girl who gets to go by herself under the ice for the first time to collect mussels for her family. The story came to mind as I think about the past six months. Our Children’s Ministry has had quite a journey and has had a lot of “firsts” over this past summer including some of the following:

  • we had our first Children’s Ministry intern
  • we completed our first entire season at the Main Farmers’ Market
  • we volunteered for the first time at the Main Event
  • we partnered with the community activities group for the first time to run an event
  • we started having morning services for the first time, as a congregation

These ‘firsts’ that we, as a ministry and as a church, have accomplished have been such a blessing to be a part of, and it has been so exciting to see how God has been active and moving in our church and congregation as we mature and grow. When you think of a child who has accomplished something for the first time, like ride their bike, their face lights up with pride and excitement. We, as grown ups, are very similar – we have a sense of pride and accomplishment when we do something for the first time.

After all these ‘firsts’ that we have achieved, I look forward to 2013 and wonder what’s next and how God is going to use Celebration! Church, C! Station, or each of us as individuals in the Old Ottawa East community. There are already some exciting possibilities for the new year to build on existing relationships and create new ones in the community, but there is also anxiety over whether events will be successful, the challenges we will face, and the work that will be involved. But, I am reminded of the verse which says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Considering this past summer, I am reminded that God provided opportunities, partnerships, connections, people, resources, and supplies for us to be able to accomplish what we did. I am confident that God will provide what we need in the upcoming year as we prepare for more new and exciting journeys. Although it may not be a ‘first,’ God will undoubtedly be glorified through our service and our commitment to making Him known in 2013!

Joyfully in Him,

Amy

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August in the Station

Dear Parents,

The Bible stories your child will hear this month at church will help him learn that God planned for families.

On August 5, your child will hear about the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:1-4.  We are having a special party in Children’s Church!  So, come join the party where we will be having lots of fun activities, and learning about ways we can pray for our city and our community.

August 12, we will talk about Ruth’s family, and we will learn that family members show love to one another.

On August 19th, Joseph’s family will help teach your child that families work together.

Then, on August 26th, the Bible story about Jesus’ Family will help your child know that Jesus went to church with His family, and God wants all families to go to church.

Talk about these Bible stories at home each week with your child.  Remember to use the Bible as you tell the stories.  When you child sees and hears you tell stories while holding the Bible, he will come to know that the stories in the Bible are real.  He will come to love the Bible and know that what is read in the Bible is real and true.

That you for sharing your child with us each week!

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What I Learned in Ottawa

Hey there!

Summer is slowly coming to a fade and school is going to start soon which means I have to leave this beautiful city of Ottawa and trek it back to Mississippi. While pondering on what in the world to blog on I opted to talk about the top 3 things I have learned from my time here and what I plan to bring back. I will start with saying that this trip’s learning was not ‘knowledge’ but experience.

First off I saw first-hand what it is like to raise a family rooted in Christ’s love. Being raised in a non-Christian home; parenting styles are much different I quickly learned. I saw Jesus intercede daily through Jason and Carrie with His patience and strength to continue on through the day. I saw what peace that surpasses all understanding truly means while children yell and scream.

I also learned what being transparent and genuine mean. I go to a ‘Christian’ school however many people there aren’t Christian or they are there because of their parents faith. Obviously I know I have mine because it’s not my parents but being around so many shallow people makes you pretty shallow. So being here at C!C-people are very genuine and real about daily life; that each day isn’t the best day ever and to bring it to light. Also with sin; I feel I am more open with things I am struggling with because more people here are. I hope to be able to continue those things back at home starting with my friend group. To be able to open address what is going on in our lives.

I know I touched on this already previously however it’s still just as important to me. I saw and did the Sabbath on a weekly basis. Something I have never done in my Christian life and have missed out on. However I am glad the Lord brought me here to show me how crucial it is in our lives to glorify Him in each area that He asks us to.

There are plethora’s more of little things I learned but those are the top 3 things I wanted to share that I have gained from my internship here! Hope to come back someday again and see y’all again, relive this summer, and make more memories at Ottawa and C!C

Love your sister in Christ,

Meg

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Park Time

Hey gang!

The past few weeks I have been going to Brantwood park, simply painting faces and talking to kids and families and ultimately outreaching to the community that is at our back door. I have loved being able to easily start conversations with people by asking: ‘so y’all live close to here?’ and they usually say ‘yes we live right down this way’ and respond with ‘so you live close to here too?’ and I get to plunge into why I am here-Jesus Christ. However y’all living here don’t have that opportunity but you DO have the opportunity when you are at the park to say yes I live ‘so and so’ but I like coming here because my church meets in at Saint Paul and I just wanted to know the community surrounding us all and potentially insert a “Jesus Snack”. I want to encourage you that when you are at the park to view your purpose as to share Jesus-yes to play and talk with the kids and parents-but YOU are the light of the world-so be the light and don’t hide it under a blanket.

I wanted to give you some practical ways to pray for the community:

-many of them ‘know’ about Jesus and ‘know’ of church-but just aren’t interested. So pray for the Lord to help their ‘arrows’ to point more to Jesus using any means possible, and by using potentially YOU.

-you can also pray that this will happen in His timing; not in the timing we as fleshly C!C members want because it’s not up to us to save them but up to Him.

-it’s mainly nannies and young families like y’all at C!C-so pray that the Lord will use any means possible to show His face to them. They see so much of Him daily at the park through creation-so pray they realize and take the time to ponder that all of creation isn’t here by coincidence.

-quite a few grew up in church or some form of it but strayed away and now probably view it like they did as a child. So pray that their view of ‘church people’ will slowly change with points of contact.

-pray that when I go for my last few weeks here that I be bold in mentioning Christ to those I come into contact with and they be receptive to His name.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”       James 5:16b

In Him,

Meg

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July at the Station

Dear Parents,

We are so happy to have your child in church with us this month.  This month, we will be talking about different things that Jesus did in His ministry.

Here is a brief summary of what your child will be learning about this month:

  • July 8:  Jesus is a helper (Mark 4:33-41) – The story talks about when the disciples doubted that Jesus could calm the storm, but Jesus just simply told the water to stop and it did – whoa!
  • July 15:  we learn about Jesus and the 10 sick men and how we need to always thank Jesus for everything He gives to us though many people forget to.
  • July 22:  we will read the story of the good Samaritan and how we need to embody that mindset!
  • July 29:  we will finish the month with the story about the rich young ruler.  It is a good lesson for the kids to read!

Thanks for letting us teach your child!

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Looking for Spiritual Conversations

This past week, we had a mission team up from Eagles Landing in McDonough, GA for a week to pour into our church and let us pour into them.  We served Brantwood Park all week by doing various crafts, games, and activities with the children.  So, we did start to form awesome relationships with some various children, nannies, and parents.  So the group as a whole got to represent Christ to each person we came into contact with and tried to sneak in ‘Jesus snacks’ the group adopted as the term of the week by Jason.  That is something I am trying to actively work on in my life.  Sharing Christ is something we as Christian’s talk often about-but practically speaking-in the last month how many people have you shared Christ with?  Not counting the week at Brantwood, my number is quite low (and that is what I came here for!).  However, Jesus calls us in Act 1 to GO and share the gospel in ‘Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.’  Practically speaking, this means ‘your city, your country, then the world.’  So though we are indeed called to other countries – as I personally am doing – we are also called to our city.  So you are just as much called to Ottawa, if not more, than I am!  You live here – do life here – go through up’s and down’s here.  Jesus COMMANDED us to GO and share Him with our city-with ‘those’ people that are drastically different than us.

So, I feel this is something that you have probably heard-but I know I often think, “Ok well that sounds great, but practically speaking how do I do that?”  Or you might think, “I am a full time mom, referee, wife, cook, cleaner, etc. so how in the world am I expected to do this?”  I for sure as a non-mom am nowhere close to having answers but I do feel as if I have read a few things that has helped me along the way.  One of the main things to practically do this-I will first off credit ‘Godspace by Doug Polluck’ because it’s where all of this is coming from-but it is to ENGAGE in conversations.

The key is to get your way into spiritual conversations; he does provide numerous ways in.

1.  ‘Noticing’ your way in’ – to see others as He sees them.

2.  ‘Serving’ your way in’  – demonstrate God’s love in random acts of kindness.

3.  Listening’ your way in’ – Seek to understand instead of being understood.

4.  ‘Wondering’ your way in’ – have genuine open-ended questions and interest.

Those are just a few random ways to get ‘in’ the conversation.  The book itself is a perfect dialogue of a practical ‘how-to’ book but these are the four ‘ways’ Polluck lists to get ‘in’!

Good luck on your endeavors of getting into some conversations at the park, pool, or even out walking!

In Christ,
Meg

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Scripture Memory with Toddlers

Hey y’all!

As I was looking for some bible verses for children to memorize and fun way to do it I stumbled upon this article.  I think that every Christian family needs to take the 10 minutes to read it and see what it has in-store for them.  It is VERY applicable to 3 year old’s who can clearly talk and learn but don’t know where to start memorizing   Psalm 119:11 tells us to hide His word in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him.  This is very vital to our lives and it is good to start children very young in learning how to live the rest of their lives.

So check out the link below and start learning!  You will be surprised what you learn WITH your kids!

Until next time,

Meg

“Scripture Memory with Toddlers” – http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2011/07/scripture-memory-with-toddlers.html

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The south has been brought up north!

Hey y’all!

In case you haven’t heard-this is Meg here.  I am from the deep south of the states; Gulfport, Mississippi to be exact.  Google it if you don’t know where that is-it’s a pretty awesome place on the beach!  I am 20 years old and am a double music education major of trumpet and voice at a small private Christian school called Mississippi College-a Christian University.  I didn’t grow up in a Christian home-I learned everything that I know now from middle of high school to now.

I say all of this because comparing to most of you, I am probably not as rounded in my view of life.  I have never had children; never been in a serious relationship; never had to pay bills; never owned my own house, car, or anything.  Everything that I have is because I was blessed with parents who love me and can supply me with all these things.  However, with that said-one thing they can never redo or supply me with is the fact that I didn’t know Christ until I was 15 years old.  However I KNOW that was the Lord’s plan for my life and I would never want it any other way.  That is the only thing I WILL suggest to all parents of what I know for certain of what to do; teach your kids about Christ.

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. –Deuteronomy 6:4-9

I am certainly not going to ever blog about how to raise children, or how to have a godly marriage, or how to effectively make your children try food (ha!).  I am going to blog my thoughts about my time here, what the Lord is teaching me, and within that, random articles about children and what not.

So right now I wish I had some awesome ‘story’ of what the Lord is teaching me.  However I have nothing actually.  Which is exactly what He wants me to learn and pour out; that sometimes He is not going to teach some dramatic lesson weekly.  Or that when someone asks ‘what has the Lord been teaching you’, you don’t have to have some awesome answer like we all feel we need to have.  Instead He is subconsciously teaching to wait-to chill.  To just REST in His timing of life; even though divorce, kids acting out and screaming all the time, annoying moments, and whatever else is making you question what the Lord is doing.

Because in Romans 8:28 it says, “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  This means that all the ‘bad’ things in the world-God WILL use for good because it is all in His plan.
In times of uncertainty of what the Lord is trying to teach you, rest in this fact-that the God of creation WILL work your life out and my life out for good.

Until next time!

Meg

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C! Station in June.

Dear Parents,

we are incredibly exited to have your child with us in church!  Our Bible stories this month are about people who talked to God.

  • -Hannah (1 Samuel 1:2-28)
  • -Elijah (1 Kings 18:1-46)
  • -Daniel (Daniel 6:1-10)
  • -Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:23-25; 5:1; 6:5-13)

 

 

The teachers will say these and other Bible phrases as they talk with your child:

  • God hears me. Psalm 66:19
  • Talk  to God. Matthew 6:6
  • God helps me. Psalm 91:15
  • We thank you, God.Psalm 75:1
  • Jesus Christ talked to God. Luke 5:16

YOU are your child’s most important and effective teacher.  You can teach your child to pray by:

  • Setting an example of praying without ceasing. (1 Thess. 5:17)
  • Singing praises to God.
  • Cultivating an attitude of gratefulness for God’s blessings.
  • Leading your child to say simple prayer sentences using her own words.
  • Saying spontaneous “Thank You, God, for…” prayers.
  • Modeling prayer for others and about decisions.
  • Setting and atmosphere where praying is just as natural as eating or breathing because God is always listening.

We are praying for you and your family.

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