Ministry for adults and children

November 8, 2010

A great description of how one church finds common ground between children and adults through LOGOS. Excerpt from Rapid City Journal:

“I like the intergenerational feeling of it. Family is not just mom, dad and kids. People who go to church here are a sort of family, too,” she said.

“Because the parents of LOGOS ministry members are asked to contribute from time to time — teaching Bible classes, preparing the family-time meal, leading recreation activities — a flourishing LOGOS ministry seeds the church with active adults,” Sherman-Conroy said.

“When kids make friends in the church, parents get involved. When parents get involved, families get involved. When families get involved, the church is a vigorous actor in the community, sharing the love of God, generating excitement and growing. It can transform a congregation.”

The LOGOS ministry builds on itself. Westminster is able to offer not only classes for children and youth, but also for parents and adults.

“The church is for all people and all ages. While kids learn and grow in their way, adults can be encouraged and equipped for their lives, too,” said Jacobs.

An adult small-group study class that is reading “Boundaries,” a book on setting healthy boundaries, includes many people who aren’t members at Westminster.

Sherman-Conroy and Jacobs regularly eat lunch at West Middle School, across the street from the church, and invite kids to attend LOGOS.

“Kids like feeling like they’re part of something,” she said. Weekly attendance in the LOGOS youth group ranges from 16 to 20, a good turnout for a church of its size, Sherman-Conroy said.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Ashes: Finding My Way through Lent

February 17, 2010

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what my Lenten practice might be this year. In the past, for the six weeks before Easter, I’ve “given up” Pepsi, chocolate, TV. I’ve done a once-a-week Lenten fast. I’ve practiced “taking on” something, such as extra prayer time, a service project.

This year I’m going to do something different: I am going to commit to 30 minutes a day of complete silence [no books, no music, no TV, no computer, no phone, no visiting] … in order to read scripture and listen to what God is calling me to do in my community.

I am inspired to do this as a Lenten practice by a book by Laurie Beth Jones entitled Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership. In one of her devotionals, she writes about “the call to leadership coming from many directions and in many ways”. She shares that “the Old Testament indicates there three ways we are called: the burning heart, the burning bush, and the burning house”.

David had a burning heart, leading him to go and fight on behalf of his people. Moses experienced the burning bush which called him to lead God’s people to freedom. Esther was faced with a burning house —the Jewish nation which was certainly to be destroyed—and answering God’s call, she risked her life to save it.

Last spring after Easter services, our church burned the palm branches and saved the ashes in a jar for use in this year’s Ash Wednesday worship. The story of God’s people demonstrates that out of the most difficult situations, from the most ordinary people, come leaders who are inspired by their circumstances and who are equipped by God to do the task. When things were “burning”, David found his bravery, Moses found his inspiration, and Esther her courage. From the ashes came great leadership for meaningful missions.

This Lent, marked at the beginning by the ashes from the old palm branches, I make a new commitment to an old practice as I seek to serve God in my town.

What is God calling you to do?

For more information on discerning God’s call on your life, view The LOGOS Ministry’s webinar “Hey You!” available at http://www.logosresources.com/


The Hope for Children is the Church

April 17, 2009

In his book, Courageous Leadership, Bill Hybels says, “The local church is the hope of the world.”   In the last week, I have experienced the truth of that message in two different settings.   I experienced it in such a powerful way that it has caused me to reflect on how the local church is the hope for our children and their future.

First was on Good Friday.  My family and I piled into the car Friday evening to head to a church 50 minutes away to see a musical Passion Play based on DaVinci’s famous portrait of Jesus’ final meal with His disciples.

We had no idea what to expect but from the moment the children,  youth, and adults came running in with palm branches followed by Roman Guards and then Jesus on a horse, I knew that this was going to be something special.  For the next two hours we watched as men held a frozen state just like Da Vinci’s painting, only breaking their pose to step out in character and remember the life of Jesus.  It was spectacular.

However, what made it more spectacular was we were in a rural church in western Pennsylvania not a mega- church in the suburbs.  For 12 years this church and community has poured their heart out into this production to offer it 4 nights of Holy Week to more than 1200 people.  Who says there isn’t vital ministry in rural areas?  Not only did children, youth and adult participate as characters but it engaged every person of every age in the audience that night.  And as if the presentation was not enough, at the end was an explanation of God’s proposal to each of us for a purposeful and meaningful relationship. Thank you Pastor John and Grace UMC.

The second example of hope I lift up is the church I attend, Charter Oak Church.  Easter Sunday was the kick off of a new series, ” You Don’t Have What It Takes”  which is based on a circus strong man theme.  Not only was this totally engaging for ALL ages but it rang true the real message of  EaStrong Manster, it is through Christ that we have forgiveness and new life not through anything we do.  However, we all fall into the performance trap where we try to earn our way to heaven, even though we aren’t good enough and never will be.  All of us fall short.  When I realize that God accepts me through Jesus, I am no longer living for God’s approval but from God’s approval.  Good people don’t go to heaven, forgiven people do.  Thanks to Pastor Chris for a powerful message.

Both of these local church stories give me such a strong hope for our young people because both churches worked hard to be purposeful, practical and impactful for every generation and not just for one or two.  They were a true every generation experience and message of the Gospel.


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


Why Youth Go to Church?

March 31, 2008

I went to interview a group of youth about their involvement in LOGOS and LOGOS Summer Conferences. Listen to this group of teenagers share why they set aside time each week to attend a weekly LOGOS ministry and the week long LOGOS Conference in the summer. They share their excitement about coming together in this relational ministry and what it means to them and their faith. I was completely surprised by the depth of their answers. The real reasons why they gather each week comes through loud and clear. They want relationships, a place to ask questions and seek answers, spiritual growth, an accepting environment, a place to belong and a gathering where they can be themselves and of course it has to be engaging and fun. What a great way to measure our own effectiveness in ministry with youth. It sounds like they are asking that ministry be practical, purposeful and impactful. What also came through loud and clear is that they don’t want to be talked at and they want a lot more than just fluff. Listen to the excitement as they share why they come to church each week.

Why Youth Go to Church Podcast


Is your Church X-Rated?

November 17, 2007

I am writing this from the Youth Specialties Conference in Atlanta. I heard a powerful message of a youth pastor who was fired because he was bringing the “wrong” kind of youth to church.  This message reminded me of a powerful message I wanted to share with you that came from a new friend  I made last week.  When I was with him last week, Pastor Robb Fuesler from California asked this question, “Is your church X-Rated?”  So what does that mean?  It means, in today’s world many churches are X-Rated, that is no one under 18 is invited or welcome.  We structure our churches, our worship, our ministries in such a way that it sends a clear message that no on under 18 is going to find a place to belong, even if accompanied by a parent.  In short we don’t create our ministries, especially worship, to be inclusive of children and youth.  Robb went on to say that in today’s world, remember we lose 7 out of 8 young people, we should be striving for a church rated as AGE, Adult Guidance and Encouragement required.  We want to welcome the young ones and give them all of the guidance and encouragement necessary to build young disciples of Jesus.  We want to connect young people to Christ and his body in such a strong way that they know this is where they belong.

So, how is your church rated?  Is it X-Rated where no one under 18 really belongs and feels a part of the body or is it AGE rated where adults welcome, guide and encourage all those who are young and seeking?