Thursday, August 23, 2007


After much listening with members of our community, God blessed Children's Ministries with a great theme for the year "The BIG House." We're using the Audio Adreneline song "BIG House" for our year theme. Back in June, I had a chance to watch our kids sing this in our WoW (Wonders of Worship) experience. They really had a blast and it put this song in a new perspective for me. I had honestly just listed it prior to this experience as one of the many "tired songs that you are stuck singing in youth groups."

Here is a small 1:16 presentation that we're using in church this weekend.

Lessons in Leadership - the process continues

So okay, this morning I rolled over in bed(yes I know, there's an image you may not want to envision)and realized that our kids return back to school this coming Monday. I'm not sure how things have been in your ministry world, but in mine the summer has flown by with break neck speed.

It's been a continuing process for me with regards to developing leadership skills. I had always been told that I demonstrated good leadership in past projects, I turned a corner with regards to leadership in a church or ministry setting during this season of my life. Leadership, I am beginning to understand, has more to do with the character and nature of the individual rather than the project timeline. I have struggled in how to lead without appearing to be "bossy", a term used to describe my leadership style from a Field Education experience I had. I struggled with trying to understand the subtle and not so stubtle differences by starting with a simple definition of what bossy is. puts it like this:

–adjective, boss·i·er, boss·i·est. given to ordering people about; overly authoritative; domineering.

then of course, there was my favorite -

–noun, plural -sies. a familiar name for a cow or calf.

and the one that just plain made me sick to my stomach after reading -

offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power; "an autocratic person"; "autocratic behavior"; "a bossy way of ordering others around"; "a rather aggressive and dominating character"; "managed the employees in an aloof magisterial way"; "a swaggering peremptory manner" [syn: autocratic]*

Sucker punch to the gut. There are aspects of what I have previously identified as leading in these definitions - the cow one aside. I'm being stretched by God in this area. What I have seen differently in myself over the past few months is that I am walking in confidence; I'm becoming more comfortable in my own skin and that I really think is having an impact how I come across with others.

The more comfortable I become, I am able to listen to what others are sharing. When they are invited to join a team, it's because they are valued and cared for. I'm not babysitting individuals like I have felt I needed to in the past. When I touch bases I know that people have been working on projects and will be ready. And when you are part of a ministry team that is committed to working with kids because it is a value they all share - it's exciting to see what develops.

The summer has been key for me in this area. I've spent more time on relationship building than needing to extinguish fires which is wonderful. The ministry schedule is approximately 60-75% filled. Our WoW (Wonders of Worship) team leader just called and I shared with her the themes for curriculum this quarter and I'm looking forward to seeing how they integrate those plus our overall ministry theme this year. Kick off Sunday teams are starting to get things in place and there is a sense of positive anticipation. Here is a sample of what is taking place in our Children's Ministry.

The "BIG House" is our theme for the coming year. Our scriptural key is John 14:2-4 which is Jesus' last discourse, sharing on how we know the way to the Father, that Jesus doesn't abandon us but is with us always. Things have been in transition in this community for a season, and there is a hope that as we move forward in the selection of a Senior Pastor, there will be new focus and energy in envisioning what God is ready to do in and through us. It's a time to build on the foundation of God's word that has been laid in our children's hearts and ministry and enter into a period of planned expectation. And - from a family ministry/outreach perspective, laying a foundation on which our children will build their ethical/moral structures upon is a highly valued commodity in the San Ramon Valley community at large.

What's valuable in this season of development is recognizing the fruit that is happening, even if it is small at this point in time. When I share it's not out of desperation to "get" individuals to be a part of this ministry. It's to share the excitement and joy that is happening and ready to take place in the ministry. That joy is contagious.

*from Wordnet as found on

What a wonderful world!

GREAT Shadow Puppetry - For more of the funniest videos, click here

I was tipped off about this video from a blog post on I am always amazed at the many ways people share God's creative talents with individuals. This happens to be a favorite song of mine and the images are simply amazing.

Hope you enjoyed the 2 minute break as much as I did when I first viewed this clip!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

756...Staff Devotions and Romans 12

Wow is all I can say. The crowd cheering, the crack of the bat, the absolute anticipation of witnessing that ball going out of the park and into the stands. Finally we have the record broken.

I was not quite 11 when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record. I still remember my dad and I rivited to the TV waiting for that moment to happen. Now all "grown up" I still had that same moment of child like excitement last night when you realized that a previous record was shattered. It will be interesting to watch if A-Rod can make 757 before his retirement which I hope won't be anytime in the near future.The City is celebrating!

I wonder if we find time to celebrate the milestones in our lives - the ones where we recognize that God has been at work in our lives and we're just now experiencing that a-ha moment when we recognize something is changing within us. Celebrating the milestones in our lives both individually and as a community are important. They allow us to see where God has been at work in our lives; providing us with a reality-check of sorts where we can see that we are truly being transformed. This morning in staff meeting we shared on Romans 12 and the idea that Spirit is constantly at work in our lives transforming us not so we can sit back and applaud our change but to live out that transformation in the world about us. It's in the giving out that we discover where God is checking us.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

And a little child shall lead them....

Plant the word deep in their hearts as children - and the future generation will reap a rich harvest!

Friday, August 03, 2007

It takes a village - especially to do VBS!

It's 2:45 p.m. The halls are strangely quiet. Avalanche Ranch has just ended and already the classrooms, sanctuary and halls are stripped and back to their normal look. I know many of us roll our eyes when we hear the proverb that it takes a village to raise a child but for outreaches such as this it really does. There were so many people roaming the halls and rooms this past week - and each person was indispensible coming at the precise moment. From nursery/toddlers who marched around their tables, preschoolers in awe as they recreated stories of Jericho, Naaman and all, elementary kids marching to their own created cadences it was a sight to see!

We had our ice cream social last evening and had the wonderful opportunity to hear stories from families who are not a regular part of our SRPC family. The stories they shared about how their kids loved and looked forward to each morning were gratifying. And the most wonderful words that I heard were from a parent, "I think we'll be coming to visit your church soon."

It's a hard job putting together VBS. I've struggled in the past with one, and been a part of teams that were phenomenal such as this years team. And even as Ministers to Children we wonder if there is a better way to reach our children with the message of Jesus' love for each of them, the value of VBS does become apparant.

You'll find below a Digital Postcard that all our VBS team received in addition to encouragement and notes home. Hope you enjoy it.

VBS down, now back to our Fall Kick Off program!

A Very Special Thank You
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