• Heartprints

    How can we reach more people for Jesus?

      I recently asked Pastor Rodney Beauford, from Houston Texas, how we can help him reach more kids and families.  His answer will make your day. Q:  How can we help you reach more kids and families? A:  "It is easy.  Show that you love the same people we love." My ministry is to help churches and community groups reach kids using Awana.  But Pastor Rodney's answer applies to any ministry.  Whatever your ministry, show people that you love who they love and care about what they care about.  All of our minstries are part of a larger story, and we are not the main character, Jesus is.  Make sure…

  • Engage

    The Dance of Life

    Years of Sunday nights at the Oasis on Lake Travis listening to the Brew, the local Austin band play salsa rhythms for all listening ears and for feet ready to move to it. One, two, three…five, six, and seven. This past year has provided me the opportunity to attend salsa classes for the first time in my life and I love it. Addicting is what it is. In class, the teacher reiterates over and over my hands are not mine while dancing with another person and especially in salsa dancing, the guy leads and directs the ladies hands towards the next turn or step. It’s not my job to decide…

  • Engage

    What Are You Afraid Of?

    While the week of love came and went for many, my husband and I continued our celebration a bit later. After a week of hearts, plush stuffed animals, chocolate and fresh flower scents wafting through the stores, my husband surprised me with a romantic movie I hadn't seen before called The Vow. "You'll like it," he promised. "It's like The Notebook." "Oh great," I muttered. "This is probably one of those dramatic, tear-sapping movies." While it is dramatic, it is also good and ironically, the actor playing the main character also starred in the movie The Notebook. If you haven't seen it, the movie tells the story of a couple…

  • Heartprints

    How MEATy is your Curriculum?

    Choosing a children's curriculum can be a daunting task. We begin all our children on the milk of the world, in the hope that we may also begin to feed them meat as we build on their understanding of God’s Word. In light of repeated New Testament analogies (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:11-14; and 1 Peter 2:1-2); concerning milk and meat (or solid food), I will use the acronym “MEAT”. The acronym MEAT is one tool you can use to evaluate the best curriculum for your needs based on four factors: message (doctrine), expense (cost), applications (uses with learners) and teacher-friendliness (ease of use). Message: Is the message doctrinally sound?…

  • Heartprints

    Lesson From an Egg

    I remember one of the first times I hard boiled an egg. I removed the eggs from the refrigerator, put them in a pot, covered the eggs with water, sprinkled a little salt to prevent cracking, and waited for the pot to boil. Ten minutes later, I removed the eggs from the pot and put them in an ice-water bath. The famous test of a “done” egg seemed to indicate that this was sufficient for producing a proper hard-boiled egg. Some of you noticed my rookie mistake and are chuckling. For those who don’t know, you are supposed let the eggs sit before running them under cold water (or putting…

  • Heartprints

    Three Steps to Combating Power Struggles in Children’s Ministry

    Power Struggles are as old as The Fall. In Genesis 2, the man and his wife worked as a team, one unit working together in trusting teamwork: the ideal for every children’s ministry to aspire. Only a few verses later, everything has changed. Man and wife have sinned, and the Lord pronounces the consequences of their actions. “To the Woman He said:….You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.” (Genesis 3:16). Four verses later, we see the first evidence of this phenomenon: “The man named his wife Eve….” (Genesis 3:20) . Verse 20 is often glossed over. Its significance is often missed. The Man had already…

  • Heartprints

    The Apostolic Creed: Why Should We Teach It?

                It is a disturbing trend that children in many American churches today are more likely to be called upon to recite the Pledge of Allegiance than the Apostolic Creed (or Apostles’ Creed).             I believe such a creed is very apropos to learn today, though children’s ministers and pastors may choose to make slight modifications to the creed or to further explain certain parts of the creed to improve their understanding. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:             Children learn here two truths about God the Father—He is Almighty God and the Creator of Everything. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son,…

  • Heartprints

    Stay Encouraged…The Next Generation of Christians Needs You!

    “…we face a generation of young people who no longer hold to what most evangelicals consider to be the true foundations of the Christian faith: belief in the deity of Christ, the reliability of Scripture, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus.”  Josh McDowell and David H. Bellis, The Last Christian Generation (Holiday, FL: Green Key Books), 27.  The preceding observation by Josh McDowell and David Bellis is sobering to say the least.  The reality is that we are progressively living in a world where the basic tenants of the Christian faith are no longer believed, taught, or consistently championed.  Relativism has taken root and has such a stronghold in our…

  • Heartprints

    Reassuring Parents: What You Can Do

    “Linda” (not her real name) came to pick up her eighteen month old daughter from the church nursery one Sunday. She saw her daughter sitting in a swing watching Barney. The other children in the room were playing or looking at toys on their own while the workers sat in rocking chairs. Linda felt uncomfortable with the situation. Shouldn’t the workers be engaging the children more often?  What were they doing in the toddler room? Were they learning anything? She wondered if she should even expect a church’s nursery to have higher standards. How can you as a children’s minister or nursery director help alleviate Linda’s concerns? Encourage Linda to…

  • Heartprints

    Your Church Has Decided to Hire. Now What?

    You’ve desired that it would be in the best interests of your local flock to hire workers for your church nursery. Your church has approved the hire, and has assigned to you to prepare a list of qualifications for a paid children’s ministry worker.  What should they be? I’d like to suggest some basic qualifications. The worker should be a believer. I do believe that unbelievers can be converted to Christ by hearing the gospel while serving in children’s ministry, however, I hold that a believer instructing young children in the faith is an important part of the young child’s beginning spiritual development. If your church chooses to hire a…