Children’s Bible Review: Power Bible

Posted on 12. Aug, 2014 by .

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A few months ago, the folks from Green Egg Media contacted me and asked me if I’d be willing to review their new Power Bible. I had never heard of the Power Bible, so I was happy to get my hands on it. They sent me book 1: From Creation to the Story of Joseph and book 8: The Light of Salvation. I figured I’d review them and give them away for someone to enjoy.

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t impressed immediately and I put off doing the review because I don’t feel comfortable recommending something I don’t believe in. What I didn’t like was simply a matter of personal preference and I’m kind of ashamed to admit it. I wasn’t a fan of the style. It’s of the Japanese anime style of art and I’m just not a fan. I think anime grew in popularity after I became an adult, so I don’t have any attachment to the style. I just had a hard time imagining Jesus and these other Bible characters I’ve known all my life as anime cartoons. Again, totally my personal preference and opinion. Well, something interesting happened.… Read the rest

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Why you need a system

Posted on 11. Aug, 2014 by .

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I know that some people just aren’t wired this way and so it’s hard to get your mind around this. Some of you are, but you lack the information or sometimes the inspiration to develop the systems you need. Here’s what I’ve come to know over the years. The breadth of your impact will often be determined by the systems you have in place. A ministry without systems will always struggle to grow. Charisma and environment will always help being momentum, but a lack of systems will frustrate, plateau and even cripple sustainable growth. I hear the story all the time, how someone loved a church, product or resource but they eventually left because they weren’t taken care of. This is usually the result of a flawed, broken or lack of a system.

In a basic sense of the concept, a system is simply a set of rules that dictate actions. You know a system is really good when it takes you out of the picture. It’s working well when some task is accomplished regardless of you having to remember to do it.

Why do we need systems? Isn’t it obvious? … Read the rest

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When your kids do not want to go to church

Posted on 09. Aug, 2014 by .

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Several times a year I teach a Child Dedication class and one of my favorite parts of the class is embracing the tension between letting kids making their own choice and making some choices for them. In the class we cover Deuteronomy 6:4 and this tension lives in the part of the passage passage, “Impress them on your children.” What this verse unpacks for parents isn’t quite applicable for the parents of babies in the dedication class, but it’s a huge principle that parents need to carry with them as their kids grow.

In over 15 years of ministry I’ve seen some patterns emerge. There are almost always more 4 year olds than 9 year olds at your church. There are almost always more 9 year olds than 13 year olds and lastly, there are almost always more 13 year olds than 18 year olds. Why?

There are probably lots of answers to that question, but what I’ve found to be the answer is very simply, Kids just don’t want to go to church and parents don’t want to make them. I think that most parents mean well. They don’t want to force faith on their kids in fear that their kids will reject it.

So, what are parents to do when they face this situation? … Read the rest

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How to Dad

Posted on 08. Aug, 2014 by .

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Well played Cheerios, well played.

Read the rest

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Imagine you are gone

Posted on 07. Aug, 2014 by .

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Okay, lets play a little game.

Let’s pretend that tomorrow, you disappeared. Don’t make a big deal out of what exactly happened and where you actually went because that’s not the point. The point is, what is going to happen once you’re gone?

In your mind, you will imagine that everything is going to fall apart… because you’re holding it together, right? Maybe you are, but it’s interesting how this usually doesn’t happen. I kind of wrote about this last week in my post “Jesus loves your ministry more than you do.” Somehow, the world will go one without you. It’s depressing, I know – but that’s how it works. Someone will pick up what isn’t getting done and somehow, it will get done.

So, here is my question: Is it possible that you’re doing more than you need to do. Your frantic and overwhelmed lifestyle might be totally manufactured and unnecessary… a product of your doing. … Read the rest

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I am addicted to busy

Posted on 06. Aug, 2014 by .

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You know the feeling, right? I hope I’m not alone. I get up early and stay up late. I wish there were a few more hours in every day because as much as I worked and as hard as I tried to get it all done, I go to bed wishing I had accomplished a little more. This is a sickness I’ve had most of my adult life and I’m trying to figure out how to live life a little differently.

  • I want to sleep more.
  • I want to read more.
  • I want to exercise more.
  • I want to enjoy life a little more as it happens.
  • I want to be comfortable in my own mind.
  • I want my family to feel like they’re getting my best.

We’d probably all agree that we all want this, but it’s so hard to get. We’re busier than we want to be and we don’t know how to undo what we’ve gotten ourselves into. … Read the rest

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Take a peak at the next generation

Posted on 05. Aug, 2014 by .

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Perhaps you’ve seen the article about Generation Z circulating around the web the last week or so. If you work with kids/teenagers, you really should read this article now as it has implications for you ministry for the next 15-20 years, seriously.

Reading this article encouraged me and actually gave me a great deal of hope for the future. It also challenged thinking that I’ve often had about the current Generation Y (millennials). So many people (including myself) often put the subsequent generation in a box based on our own generation’s worldview. We find ourselves saying things like “they’re over-connected” or “they’re narcissistic.” We’ll say, “when I was their age, I spent all day on my bike exploring my neighborhood instead of being glued to a screen.” We even mock their TV, movies, music and other media.

As much as we like to compare and it’s practically impossible to put ourselves in their shoes. They grew up in a different world than we did. There were influences beyond their control that shaped them differently than we were shaped. Just embrace the fact that they are different, realize that you just wont get it and try to appreciate that.

This new generation, Generation Z is fascinating – completely different from Generation Y. Here are some of the findings of Generation Z: … Read the rest

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Thoughts after a lengthy vacation

Posted on 04. Aug, 2014 by .

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Today, I am back at work. It’s weird as I’ve been on vacation since July 3. I come back to work today excited to be back at it. I’m excited to be with my team again and excited to be doing great things as part of Gateway Church. However, my return is bittersweet as well.

I had an amazing vacation. Three weeks of traveling and one week of stay-cation with the family. That’s a lot of time with my family. I took Titus out for a little father-son fun last night and while eating pizza, I told him that I had to go back to work the next day. He immediately looked down at the floor as tears began to well up. I’ll admit, I got a tad emotional as well. We had so many great times together this past month.

So, what did I learn? What great nuggets will I take away from my epic vacation? … Read the rest

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App of the week: Cluster

Posted on 03. Aug, 2014 by .

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There are times when you find  great app and it feels great. Then there are days when you find an app that is a game changer, and you can’t stop talking about it. Now it’s my turn to tell you about it. If you’re a ministry leader who ever hosts events, trips or special programs at your church, this app could become indispensable.

Earlier this summer, we were preparing to send off over 150 kids, teenagers and adults on summer mission projects. Our problem was that last year, we didn’t get a lot of great photos from the trip. All the leaders took lots of photos on their phones, but once the trip is over, getting the photos is very challenging. A few weeks before the trip, I tasked one of my staff to write up instructions for sharing photos to a dropbox folder that could be shared with all the leaders. I wasn’t a huge fan, but it seemed like the best option. I LOVE dropbox, but getting people who don’t use it would take a bit of explaining and there were several steps involved. Then we found Cluster and it changed everything. … Read the rest

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Letting your mind wander

Posted on 01. Aug, 2014 by .

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Recently I read a fascinating article from the New York Times called, “No Time to Think,” by Kate Murphy. I love it because it addresses something things that I believe I have very wrong thinking about. I’m a very busy person who is constantly looking for ways to hack my schedule to be more productive. Getting more done at all costs. I read while on the treadmill because it’s one of the few things I can multitask. I get audio books to listen to while doing big yard projects. When running outside, I listen to podcasts and I try to schedule phone calls and appointments during commute times. Yes, I’m one sick puppy.

It’s interesting though how some things in life are counter-intuitive.… Read the rest

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