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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. 

Large Church Conversation

I'm so excited! In less than an hour, we start our second-ever Large Church Conversation summit! We have 23 people from some of the most amazing churches in America here (it's by-invitation-only). We'll explore the top-four trends in CM today: Safety First, Family Ministry, Wired Ministry, Experience Required. And we'll talk about leading volunteers in a shifting volunteer culture.

Can't wait to hear and learn! I'll keep you posted!

Posted at 19:26

Ten Commandments Holiday?

So I'm driving to work today and listening to K-Love when I heard about a movement to get a Ten Commandments Holiday enacted. Looking online, I found that anyone who resists it is labeled as "liberal and atheistic."

So, at the risk of being labeled, I wondered, "What!?"

Is that our best foot forward as Christians? Why not a "grace and faith" holiday or a "Jesus loves me" holiday? Do we want to proclaim to the world that the essence of our faith is a list of rules that must be followed and obeyed to win God's favor? What!?

By the way, in my opinion, the Ten Commandments aren't the most important part of our faith. What's most important is that a broken humanity CANNOT keep these rules/commandments, so God in his amazing love and mercy came to earth to die for us and provide a way to be forgiven and live with him forever.

I'm afraid that movements like the Ten Commandments movement only serve to solidify a wrong perception of Christianity--it's not man's attempt to be good enough for God; it's a good God's attempt to draw us to himself.

So that's my rant for today.

Posted at 16:59

Miley Cyrus

Check out our poll on the childrensministry.com homepage. Will the Vanity Fair photo of Miley Cyrus have any impact on the kids in your ministry?

And check out this great article on how to talk to kids about it: http://www.pluggedinonline.com/read/read/a0004044.cfm

Posted at 15:46

What We Could Learn From One Another

For the last 17 years, we've surveyed children's ministers to find out what they do with kids during "big church." Without fail, it seems that it's a 50/50 split. Half the churches create a separate "children's church" environment and half keep kids in with their parents.

So, now the half that's been splitting kids and families is starting to ask why. In terms of "reaping what we've sown," these churches recognize that not only is faith segregated at church by age, but it's segregated from the home. These churches desire to get families talking about faith at home (great goal!) The only problem is that they're not creating a common experience for families to talk about.

So, the entry of the "shared family experience"--where families worship together in a kid-friendly environment. It's very cool and very volunteer-intensive. For churches who can't pull it off, would it be enough to keep families together in big church? Could one side of the church learn from another side of the church?

Check out Mary Rose's May 4 post at http://catholicprodigaldaughter.blogspot.com/2008/05/kids-at-mass.html to see what we can learn. Is the answer standing right before us--and we're missing it?

Posted at 17:23

Strategic Planning

Our Group leadership team just went away to the mountains for our spring Leader Retreat. It was so amazing!

We spent a lot of time looking at the barriers that we're facing in our work. We met in teams and brainstormed and shared and laughed and cried. (One of the purposes of the retreat is to grow together as friends so that facilitates trust in all our interactions. It works!)

The "aha" for me--and maybe all of us--was after we'd listed our barriers and itemized points underneath each one, our Brand Champion, Jeff White, spoke up. He said that we could transform each negative barrier into a positive statement that fit our five core values. And he was right. Our values are innovation, people-friendliness, authentic learning, quality, and servanthood.

It was brilliant. And it was a great (long) exercise to get to the realization that whenever we're experiencing barriers in our work, ministries, and life...perhaps we're not being true to our core values.

Maybe that insight will save you hours of processing. If you're blocked somehow, what core value do you need to get back to?

Posted at 16:55

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