Let Youth Dream God Sized Dreams!

April 30, 2008

I have just returned from the Prelude Gathering of Youth Pastors hosted by Mike King and Chris Folmsbee.

One of the powerful times was when a young woman, age 15, talked about the organization that she founded after viewing the movie Amazing Grace and praying for God’s guidance. She is an amazing young woman. So here is a summary of the lessons from Sally Rymer organizer of Clapham Sect Phase 2 http://www.csp2justiceseekers.com/

CSP2 aims to equip young people and those who work with them with the tools necessary to fight modern day slavery in their own communities and around the world.

1. Start with spiritual transformation. Teaching young people to get close to God is critical.

2. Discipleship is believing and doing.

3. Make ministry a safe place for dreams and ideas

4. Personal relationships are the key. Please don’t segregate us from adults of all ages. We learn discipleship through relationships.

5. Be an encouraging voice to youth and their dreams.

6. Pray with them, side by side, not just over them or for them.

7. Don’t be afraid to enter troubles, side by side, with the youth.

8. Celebrate with them what God is doing in their lives.

9. Don’t let youth passion and ideas dry up. Keep them accountable. Youth have short term vision. Help them live through their dreams long term.
Ways to support students with dreams-

1. Keep them connected and involved in spiritual disciplines. God pours into me so I can pour into the world.

2. Help them find the resources and connections they need to live it out.

3. Talk it through with them step by step. Help them see the practical application of the dream.

4. Help them set short and long term goals.

5. Keep them dreaming.

WOW the dreams of a young person. I hope you are helping your young people dream dreams and live out God’s call.

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LOGOS Explores New Children’s Ministry Solutions

April 18, 2008

Today’s world demands new approaches to children’s ministry

The notion that children need love, support, and guidance in order to grow into productive adults and disciples of Jesus Christ is not a new concept. What is new, however, is the degree to which today’s society and culture are all affecting this natural growth process…even threatening it. Factors and conditions such as…

– increasing insensitivity to violence and crude behavior in the culture,

– sexualization of the young in the media and consumer products,

– direct marketing to children,

– changing family structures and life styles, and the barrage of messages and information that besiege
kids – constantly in their connected lives (e.g., cell phones, computers and televisions)

…all seem to make it more difficult for children to grow-up healthy today and in a meaningful relationship with their God.

While conditions may be changing, the fundamental need that children have for connectedness and to be in relationship with supporting adults has not changed. In fact, recent studies have verified that this need is still a critical element in the developmental process. Many churches are discovering that fulfilling this requirement in today’s culture is not such an easy matter. Postmodernism, with its emphasis on relative truth rather than doctrine and personal experience as opposed to established tradition, has rendered many previously successful disciple-making approaches inadequate and not-at-all-compelling to either kids or their parents. New solutions in children’s ministry are needed now if we are to provide the support and guidance that kids really need.

At The LOGOS Ministry, this sense of urgency is leading to action. LOGOS is currently in the midst of a campaign to bring regional leaders in many of the major denominations together to discuss the need for effective children’s ministry and a course of action for solution-making. We have introduced a series of free denominational events, called From Urgency to Action, to highlight the critical needs of children today, to introduce a model for enhancing children’s ministries, and to invite partnership with ministry leaders.

LOGOS is committed to working with churches to develop new ministry methods, techniques, and tools that will work in today’s environment. In fact, our new LOGOS@Home resource provides a flexible framework and set of tools for parents to take an active, even primary, role in supporting the spiritual growth of their children. Already, we are seeing that various church groups, individual ministry leaders, and families are discovering new ways of using LOGOS@Home to meet their unique needs.

We may be living in a new world that challenges us in new ways, but we must never lose sight of a timeless commitment – to raise our children as Christ’s own.


We Remember Virginia Tech

April 16, 2008

This day, at the one year anniversary, we remember the 32 who lost their lives at Virginia Tech University. Please take a moment to spend some time today in silent remembrance as well as prayer for the families, students and staff of VTU.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

WE REMEMBER


Spiritual Wholeness Helps Happiness and Healthiness

April 10, 2008

Did you know that your work with children is a major contributor to a child’s overall health and happiness? A recent article in USA Today (read it here, “Spirituality a big part of kid’s happiness”) indicated that a study completed by the University of British Columbia shows a direct connection between spiritual formation and overall happiness in the life of children. While this is great news, it certainly isn’t a surprise to us at The LOGOS Ministry. It is why we believe that a balanced ministry that ministers to the whole child is critical for the church today. Over and over again, we can see the immediate benefits of balanced ministry. Search Institute research tells us that spiritual formation is critical to lowering at risk behaviors. The Hardwired to Connect Study tells us that we are hardwired for relationships that are both personal and spiritual and these relationships have a definite positive influence on the children.

From all of this, we discover how important spiritual formation is for our children. Not only does it make an eternal difference but it makes a definite difference in their lives today, So why wouldn’t we want to make sure that we do all we can to offer our children and youth a life that is happier, safer, more connected, and healthier as well as eternally focused?


Why Children Go to Church?

April 3, 2008

Last week, I offered a podcast from the perspective of teenagers on why they committed to going to church each week in the midst of the busyness of their lives. This week, I offer the written words of a 1st grader given to me on a recent trip. This young boy, who is gifted with words for his age, expresses the feelings of many. He expresses what means the most to him about his midweek LOGOS ministry which he attends faithfully.

My Life in LOGOS

I love LOGOS! I like table time. I sit with my friends and we eat good food. In rec, we learn new games. I learn to be a good sport. I like Bible time. We study about Jesus and how he loves us. He did many wonderful things called miracles. My favorite part of LOGOS is choir. I love to sing praises to God. It is a small gift I can give to Him. LOGOS helps me to grow up in a good way. That is why I love LOGOS.” by Daniel

What a blessing that even in first grade, a child has a great desire to praise God, be in relationship, learn and become a disciple. The messages over these two weeks have pointed out that young people from 1st to 12th grade are not looking for pure fun and play but truly get engaged when meaning , purpose and discipleship are a part of their church experience. I was given a framed copy of this which now hangs on my wall as a constant reminder of welcoming the children. Thank you Daniel!

May God continue to bless your practical, purposeful and impactful ministry with young people.