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Christine has over 20 years of children's ministry experience. She's the author of 10 books and hundreds of articles related to children's ministry. It's no wonder she enjoys an almost-daily latte to keep her going! She is also the executive editor of Children's Ministry Magazine and serves as Group's children's ministry champion, responsible for research, development, and innovation in children's ministry resources. 

Meet God in Your Need

"In the space between what you need and what you have in ministry, faith finds room to grow..." I love this quote from "The 80/20 Gap" by Ann Murphy in Children's Ministry Magazine. If you find yourself in that gap, get encouragement from this article today! Check it out here: http://childrensministry.com/article.asp?ID=1863

The Bible is very clear that without faith, it's impossible to please God. I hope you know today as you've experienced the gap in your ministry--whether that's unstaffed classrooms, missing resources, or any other thing you desperately need--that you know your faith in trusting God for those missing things is VERY pleasing to him.

I'm thankful to God today that he doesn't meet our every need all the time. It's in the longing and the waiting that we demonstrate our faith in a completely faithful God.

Be encouraged today!

Posted at 15:03

Give Til It Helps

Giving is down in churches. Studies cite it and personal experience in churches proves it. One study says that church members gave only 2.56 percent of their income in 2004. That's in 2004! Before the economic downturn! What must be happening now?

On a personal level, I have to admit that our family could tithe more. It's a topic of regular discussion--what could we do to up our tithe? Are we giving enough? What life changes would we need to make to increase our giving? I'm feeling very convicted about this issue.

On a ministry level, it's tough to impact the views of the entire church from the perch of the children's minister. But there is one audience that we can challenge to give until it helps--and that's our kids. What a great time to teach them about God's faithfulness when we give like the widow gave her last mite. Teach them that God says to "test him" and see if he isn't faithful--to bring the whole tithe and watch him bless our socks off.

The economy is on television and the radio constantly. It's the topic of discussion in the car and around the dinner table. Kids are aware that family budgets are tighter. Don't miss this opportunity to help them see money from God's perspective.

Check out this great article from Children's Ministry Magazine for tips to do just that: http://childrensministry.com/article.asp?ID=2161 (And if you haven't subscribed to Children's Ministry Magazine yet for your entire team, know that it would be the best investment you could make this year! Subscribe here: http://www.childrensministry.com/magazine/)

Posted at 15:06

Allergy Alert!

Yesterday was so fun with our 2-year-olds in Sunday school! We learned about how Jesus is our friend--and even got to go outside to enjoy God's sunshine! It was fun!

As I checked in the kids, though, I was reminded of the need for a good check-in system. We have a paper system and at times it's fine. But there was the one day that I missed that Tyson had food allergies and fed him goldfish crackers. His mom was restrained but visibly upset (I deserved it) when she picked him up and I confessed that I missed it. Now everytime she drops him off, I affirm that I'm very aware of his food allergy and will give him his personal snack from their diaper bag. She looked relieved when I told her that yesterday, but she admitted that another teacher had missed the allergy in another class. Poor baby!

So I was excited this morning when I met with our KidCheck team to learn that this registration and check-in/check-out system is computerized and has effective ways to alert leaders if a child has allergies. Not only would KidCheck be great to expedite the check-in/check-out system in our ministry, but it would also be great to have an effective computerized system with all the bells and whistles--so Tyson and all our other little ones are protected. Sounds like KidCheck may be just that system. Check it out for yourself at kidcheck.com.

Posted at 20:16

Updated GPS

A few years ago, my sweet husband gave me the best gift ever--a Garmin GPS. I'd just gotten to the point in my life that I was tired of getting lost. So he got me a GPS for Christmas. And I never got lost again--but I did hear a lot of "make a U-turn...whenever possible make a U-turn!" (We affectionately named my GPS Rhoda, since we were on the road-a quite a bit!)

Anyway, Rhoda needs an update. A few weekends ago we were in Denver, plugged in a restaurant and drove across town, only to discover that the restaurant had closed down. Plugged in another one, same story. The same thing happened in California this last week when we plugged in a Barnes and Noble. That building is now a fitness club.

So Rhoda needs an update. Things are quite different now from what they were several years ago. And, frankly, I'm tired of getting lost, feeling frustrated, and wasting time and gas!

Could the same be said for our ministries? What worked years ago was great--it got us to our destination. But are we sure that it really is the best thing today? Do our ministries need an update? Yeah, it might cost us something in time and resources to download the latest version of ministry, but just think of the time and money we'll save by having the most current ministry methods, strategies, and ideas as our navigation tool.

I'll tell you that a couple books we've published lately do that for me--realign my way of looking at ministry--both children's ministry and family ministry. I highly recommend them for realignment. Check out Shift: What it takes to finally reach families today  by Brian Haynes (http://tinyurl.com/l38sda) and Turbocharged: 100 simple secrets to successful children's ministry by Dale Hudson and Scott Werner (http://tinyurl.com/l3f8y3)

You may be making some U-turns after reading these books, but I can guarantee you're going to like the ride and where these amazing authors take you on the journey.

Posted at 19:45

Spillage...Spillage

Why is it that when I'm shaken (and stirred!) that all my ick spills over? My tendency is to worry and obsess and talk way too much about whatever's bothering me. And then a Spiritual Hazardous Waste Team needs to come in and do cleanup. Makes me wonder why I don't let all that ick inside of me spill over to God instead of those around me. If I prayed more...I think...I wouldn't spill over so much.

How do other people keep it all from spilling over when they're shaken at work, in life, or in ministry? Tips please!

Posted at 23:18

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