Worth building up.

Sunday school leaders, Bible class teachers, children’s ministry workers – these are the people that strive away each week preparing, teaching, encouraging and praying for the children in our community. They rarely take sick days – not because they don’t get sick – but because there is no one to take their place. They often spend from their own resources to supply craft materials or extra curriculum material. We happily sign our kids into amazing programs run by these dedicated and passionate people, but how often do we stop to recognize the work they do? How often do we thank them, pray for them or ask how we could support them as they continue with their faithful work?

Let’s make a point of regularly taking time out of our week to build up the people who spend so much building up our kids. Here are some ideas anyone from the church community can do:

  • Next time you see the children being dropped off or collected from a church or ministry program look your child (or grandchild’s) leader in the eye and thank them specifically for a part of the ministry they perform. Eg. ‘Thank you, Leisa, for your enthusiasm for the gospel.’
  • Ask one of the children’s ministry team if there are any practical supplies they are running short of, then make a point of stocking up on that item next time you are at the shops. (Some possibilities could be glue-sticks, coloured paper, felt-tip pens etc)
  • Surprise one of your kids teachers with a card or note that expresses your appreciation.
  • Dedicate time each week to pray for the children’s gospel ministries happening in your area – and tell one of the workers involved what you are doing so they can forward prayer requests your direction.
  • Then follow up with the people you are praying for, take time to let them share their stories with you!
  • Hold a special morning tea or supper in honour of those who do children’s ministry in your church. (Involve the children in the reconnaissance work required to gather favourite food information!)
  • Volunteer to be available for relief teaching. You’ll never know what a blessing a backup plan can be!
  • Check to see if there is enough funding to cover what your children’s ministry team would like to achieve this year. If there is a shortage, pray about helping out or organise a fundraiser on their behalf.
  • Sponsor one or two children’s Bible teachers to local children’s ministry training conferences. It can be such an encouragement to meet and fellowship with other people passionate about kids ministry – and a double bonus to know there is a team back at home supporting such a passion!
  • Jump onto Facebook and write a quick message of thanks and appreciation on their wall. Remember, be specific where possible. (Eg. Hi Sue, just thinking today about the many years you have faithfully taught our children. Thank you!)

So, who does the kids ministry in your church or community? Who’s sharing the gospel with kids in your area?
Choose to do something to build them up today!

Penny

Posted in Church Life, Encouragement, Prayer, Service, Thankfulness, Youth and children's ministry | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Bridging the Gap Between Passover and Easter

bridgingthegap“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.” Exodus 12:14 NIV

Growing up Christian, I rarely understood Judaism and its significance to my faith until my friend, Laurie, invited me to her bas-mitzvah (a Jewish confirmation ceremony). Listening to her read from the Torah, it finally clicked…Jesus was Jewish.

The rich, Old Testament history my mother and Sunday school teachers had taught me came alive that day. And, truth be told, I secretly wished I’d been born Jewish; not because I wanted to trade-in my Christian faith, but rather, because Judaism added depth and significance to my faith in Christ.

Celebrating Holy Week (4/13/14-4/21/14) provides us rich opportunities to bridge God’s Old Testament plan of salvation with God’s New Testament plan of salvation for our children. While the Jews celebrate Passover, (a week-long celebration of their release from Egyptian oppression through the Passover lamb), we Christians celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection, (our Passover lamb and freedom from sin).

Here are a few tangible ways to bridge Passover and Easter:

  1. Read the story of Moses from Exodus 2 ff – the birth of Moses, exile, ten plagues, and Exodus
  2. Clean the housethe ritual of ridding the house of Chametz or yeast is likened to us preparing our hearts for Jesus; recognizing/repenting from sin
  3. Prepare Seder food and explain their Exodus significance – Zeroah (a roasted bone-sacrifice), Bietzah (hard-boiled egg-offering/mourning), Maror (horseradish-harsh suffering/bitterness provides for mercy), Karpas (potato or onion- harsh Egyptian labor), Charoset (apples, pears,walnuts red wine (juice)mixture- the Jews task of making bricks and mortar in Egypt), Chezeret (Romaine lettuce between Matzah-more bitter herbs of slavery ; unleavened bread signifying the rapid exodus and the desert manna God provided daily)
  4. Read the story of Jesus – birth, temptation, death, resurrection
  5. Make Resurrection eggs - signifying Jesus’ tomb and new life
  6. Plant a Resurrection Gardena great back drop to tell the Resurrection story

(I’ve provided “how-to” links for #2, 3, 5 and 6. Just click on the headings)

Enjoy celebrating Passover and Jesus with your loved ones.

Blessings,
Dawn Aldrich
Author, Blogger
Posted in Devotions, Family activities, Holiday | 1 Comment

All Ye Little Children

On Palm Sunday the children from the preschool department came marching down the aisle waving their palm branches and singing their hearts out. One of the songs they sang was a song from my generation, “Praise Him, Praise Him, all ye little children. God is love; God is love.”  It was heart-tugging and inspiring to see the precious little ones, so full of joy while praising their heavenly Father.

I think the reason the song is still current is that praising God never changes. There are many different ways to praise God, but giving Him our sacrifice of song and praise is how we worship Him.

God never changes and neither does His love.God’s love for us is unconditional. If we are His children, He loves us even when we mess up. If you believe in Jesus as your Savior, then you are God’s child–no matter how old or young you may be. God loves you like a loving father loves his children. So join the little ones in joyfully praising your heavenly Father as we look to the cross this week. Jesus paid the ultimate price so that you could be accepted as God child.

Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children!

Crystal

Friends

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Posted in Church Life, Encouragement, Thankfulness | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment