Orange 2008: Session Four

Session four was a discussion/interview with Andy Stanley. Not sure if it’s just me, but it seemed like it wasn’t planned… almost like Andy was a fill-in. I only say this because this was the only session that there wasn’t a speaker who delivered a message. In addition, it ended about 30 minutes early. Don’t get me wrong… it was awesome though. I think anytime you can get Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner to engage in a conversation, we should take notes! Andy spoke about how they attract people to North Point. Basically he said it boils down to this: “If you create irresistible environments, people will come.” Andy then went on to talk about the process of discipleship at North Point. Here is how it happens: Practical Teaching Providential Relationships Private Disciplines Pivotal Circumstances Personal Ministry Basically they would hit these things over and over again by different methods. Andy also took some time to talk about the idea of choosing to cheat. He talked about how they created an atmosphere where family was valued. He explained that “there are hundreds of people who can do your job, but you kids only have one dad… and your wife (or husband) only has one...

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Internet radio receiver

Yesterday I posted about HisKids.net, a great Christian Internet radio station for kids. The Internet has significantly changed radio. I used to listen to Air1 all the time when I lived in Indiana, but since moving I’ve really missed it. However, they broadcast through the Internet and over iTunes radio. So, if I’m sitting at my computer, I’ll often get my Air1 fix. The HisKids.net radio website advertised a device I didn’t know existed yet. It’s a wi-fi Internet radio receiver. Now I’ve had XM Radio before, but this is different. As long as you can connect to a wi-fi signal, you can tune into any of the tens of thousands of Internet radio stations. This one sold through HisKids.net comes with HisKids.net stations as presets. The cool part is that you can tune into other stations (like Air1) as well as access music files from your computer. I know that music is such an important part of a child’s development and this could be a great way for my son to listen to positive music while he’s playing, eating or doing all the things he’s up to (even though he’s still a little young right now). Shoot, even my wife will probably enjoy jamming out to Air1 as well! Has anyone else used a wi-fi radio receiver. I’m not sure how “locked-down” this one really is with the...

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Internet radio for kids

I came across this site a few months ago, but I didn’t get it. Maybe I just have a very short attention span and didn’t stick around long enough to figure it out. I think Jim Wideman recommended it as they play a lot of Yancy there. I came back again recently and tuned in and listened for a few hours while I did some work. Duh, I get it now. It’s Christian Internet radio for kids. It’s actually really good. Very well produced and with plenty of good content. I think it’s a program from Cornerstone University Radio. I think it’s about time this was made available. I remember tuning into the local Christian talk radio to hear “Adventures in Oddessy” every morning as I drove to work a few years ago. Far too often good Christian programming for kids was hard to find or spread out throughout the day on different stations. Now with HisKids.net, you have access to this niche programming all day long. How cool! Although some older elementary aged kids will enjoy the programs and songs, it seems geared more toward preschool and lower elementary (as are a lot of Christian Children’s programs). I’ll be excited when someone develops an Internet radio station for Older Elementary and Pre-Teens, that will be fun! Technorati Tags: Internet...

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How about equipping our parents?

A few weeks ago I wrote about “The Essence of Orange” DVD from the reThink group. In this DVD, Reggie Joiner mentioned this very things I’ve been writing about. Since it was Orange, it was in the family ministry context. However, it made more sense to me than anything else I have ever done or heard. *** Preface **** Now I could have heard this wrong or I could be off, but I think this is the gist of what he was saying. All of us agree that we want parents to be more involved in the spiritual development of our kids. If asked though, most of us would probably admit that we were doing little to equip parents to spiritually lead their kids. There are many, many good reasons to invite kids to Christ in a kids church or event. However, why can’t we create more opportunities for parents to be involved in actually leading their child to Christ? Reggie explained that in many of their services they wouldn’t necessarily call kids to make decisions but more call kids toward wanting to make a decision. Once they got to that point, the invited kids and their parents to a class. In this class, both the parents and the kids learned what it meant to make this decision and were giving the tools to do it. Then, the class...

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Handling decisions with kids

Yesterday I talked just a little bit about baptizing kids. Today I want to talk about inviting kids to come to Christ. My philosophy on this has changed over the years, and even more over recent weeks… maybe. I still have some things to work out. Earlier in my ministry I served in more traditional churches. They were churches that offered invitations every Sunday (at least almost every Sunday). As a children’s pastor I would do the same. Actually I’d typically offer some kind of invitation every 2-3 weeks. It’s just what we did. However, as I began serving in churches that didn’t do traditional “alter calls,” I had to evaluate how I approached this with the kids. These churches that didn’t do “alter calls” understood there were many visitors that were still working out their faith. They were giving opportunities to fill out a card where someone could follow up face-to-face. I’m okay with that. Just because they did alter calls at the church I grew up at doesn’t mean they have to do it here. As long as people are coming to Christ, I’m on board. I had to meet with my supervisor and ask what he expected. I understood that the ministry to kids needs to reflect ministry to adults… but we’re not going to have kids fill out decision cards… that’s just silly. We decided...

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Web Tools (Part 1): Opening effective paths of communication

I know, totally boring title! However, this is a topic I’m very passionate about. I feel that if you’re not using the internet to communicate with your church… then you are behind the eight-ball (unless you live in a community that is not tech savvy at all… but those are becoming more and more rare). Nearly every church has a website. Regardless if it is pretty or not, is your content up to date, or did you write it 4 years ago when the site launched. Up until about 6 months ago, the church I worked at over 3 years ago still has a page that I wrote when I first got there in 2000. The page described activities that kids could do on Wednesday nights… activities that I had ended shortly before I left. The funny thing is that the website went through 2 re-designs, but the bad content survived. First of all I want to offer to suggestions to those who have a church/children’s minsitry website or are planning to launch one: Simple and neat is the way to go. Your website needs to make logical sense and be easy to navigate. Can a visitor find everything necessary within just a few minutes. There is nothing wrong with supplying your ministry philosophy, core values and policy manual… but just attach them on a page as pdf files...

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Hosting a real drive-in movie

Here’s an idea I had several years ago and has proven to be a very effective event. Four times a year I plan a drive-in movie to hold my church parking lot. Here’s what I do. I project the movie on a large screen on our parking lot and project sound through an FM transmitter, which allows viewers to tune into the specific station in their vehicles. Most back into parking spots with minivans and truks and enjoy the movie from the back of their vehicles or in nearby lawn chairs. I usually have the sound coming out our parking lot speakers (it’s already wired) for those who aren’t near a car speaker. I rent the largest screen I can without haveing to use a truss-styled screen (9×15 feet I think) for $80. I use whatever projector I can get my hands on (usually I pull my projector from Kids Church). I bought an FM transmitter for $300 (I think. I’ll post the brand and the cost when I come across it again). Although it’s a bigger cost up front, I’ve used it flawlessly close to a dozen times now. I also sell concessions at a reasonable price. Basically, I break even. I don’t charge anything for the drive-in (actually you can’t by law if you’re showing a movie). I hang the screen a few hours before the show and...

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