Thrill Me To The Bone

2016teaThere are so many things that thrill me to the bone about serving Jesus with little people: singing, dancing, teaching, candy, nursery photos of baby silliness, games, the Bible, children’s moments, faith milestones, field trips, camping retreats, dancing (love me some dancing before the Lord so it gets listed twice), and the laughter, oh the laughter.

To keep it short, here are four things that will be thrilling me to the bone about serving my Jesus with little people in the next 90 days:

  1. Testimony – I will be challenging my students to give testimony. Think “Show & Tell”, but about what God is doing in their lives and using the power of their spoken words to claim His presence in their every day. Our church 2017 theme is to “Let the light of Jesus shine through you” and I wish for their words to do just that with boldness and confidence.
  2. Wesley Chapel Academy – We will begin a series of Friday evenings to learn life skills. After setting up the EventBrite registration, the first class filled up in less than 48 hours. I think we have something here! A dear colleague in my home state of Louisiana shared her organizational plan and the first Academy class is less than two weeks away. Keep an eye on the blog for specifics.
  3. Fifth Grade Only Retreat – Our denominational conference is offering a two day retreat for fifth graders specifically addressing ways to worship at our favorite retreat center, Camp Glisson. The place is holy ground for our kids and I am thrilled to be going in March. Blogs will follow for sure!
  4. Done In A Day Training – Anyone who serves the Lord with little people will find this Saturday training 9am-12noon super-duper-helpful. Video driven plenaries and workshops with multiple stops for discussion, sharing, and hands-on responses will focus on what we all do every.single.week. : Connecting Kids in Worship, Connecting Kids in Mission, and Connecting Kids in Sunday School. The best thing is that this is taking place in every single district in the North Georgia Conference, at the same time, on the same day! I can’t wait to see what we can get done in a day to bring home to our kids.

What is thrilling you to the bone in the next 90 days?

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.” Isaiah 61:10

Pondering The Week Before Christmas

noah2016As leaders in ministry with children, we are all running this week to celebrate, to labor, and to gather. We are also shopping, planning, printing, phone-calling, texting and waking up staring at the ceiling wondering how to get 48 hours of productivity into the next 12. So, I’m going to hit the brakes for a few and give a shout-out to three of the many things I’m thankful for this week:

1. Drug Stores…Yep. There doesn’t seem to be enough Vitamin C, essential oils, or magic soap to keep some crud away. When the grands attend a birthday party at a place I am renaming “Catch Stuff Here,” we’re asking for trouble. Antibiotics and half a row of cold remedies can keep even a rhinoceros moving. Maybe not up to regular speed, but who in the world has time to be sick…it’s the week before Christmas!

2. Amazon…Do we have enough glow sticks? What are the items that make an interactive service with kids an interactive service? How many is really in a gross? Hate is a really strong word, so let me confess instead that I LOATHE shopping. Running around from store to store hoping to find what sold out in November just makes me more susceptible to “Catch Stuff Here, Too.” But in the comfort of my office chair, or the Doctor’s office waiting room, I can order whatever I need. In two days it’s sitting on my desk in plenty of time to glitter blast before Christmas Eve.

emma3. Family…Church family, extended family, and the the-ones-I-live-with-family. The family Christmas letters that come in the mail sharing life beyond what’s told on social media. The private Facebook messages from new family that makes me stop and offer a prayer of thankfulness and wonder at God’s mercy. The Christmas tree decorated by two toddlers with napkins, trucks, tshirts, baby dolls, and anything else they can get to stay in the branches. The family who sent out an invite to their open house on Christmas Eve ALONG WITH an invite to service times at church. Little people singing in their first church Christmas pageant. The many hands that make for light work where and when it’s needed most.

I could go on and on, but it’s the week before Christmas and there lots to do. A baby’s coming! And I am SO thankful.

“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:15b

Merry Grinchmas Party

grinchmeEvery year we assign our December CLUB345 as a time to slow down, breathe, take in the season. One year we enjoy Silent Night. The alternating year we plan for a family gathering of table life, games, food, and service. When gifted with beaucoup lime green paper products left over from a baby shower last summer, we think The Grinch! Confession: inspiration comes from all sorts of places.

5-5:30 – Dinner of ham, mac-n-cheese, salad, Hawaiian rolls, and ice water and/or Sprite. Ready for early arrivals was a Grinch word search and ink pens on all of the tables. Name tags were “find your elf name“.

5:30-6:15 – Grinch stations (see below)

grinchtree6:15-6:30 – Decorating a tree game, a game of Pit (green crepe paper and cardboard stars all from Walmart)

6:30-6:45 – Left/Right Nativity game (everyone retrieves an item leftover from the morning’s Jingle Bell Shop-church donates items for kids to purchase 50 cents to $5 with free giftwrap so students can shop for their families for Christmas) and circles up for a roaring game of passing items left or right depending upon the reading of the Christmas story.) This has become an annual tradition and it is hilarious!

6:45 – Closing prayers & clean up

Grinch Stations included…

  • Who-Hair Station – A very creative Mom painted a canvas backdrop; asked for colored hair spray from other Moms on Facebook, gathered neon colored pipe cleaners, and Dollar Store table cloths for drop cloths because the spray can get everywhere. Don’t forget the glitter spray!
  • Star ornament – cardboard cut outs with wire and pony beads to wrap or wired tinsel to wrap the cardboard star. Not every student has the same level of fine-motor skills and even our littlest family members can get in on the craft without other hands getting involved. Any crafty ornament will do, just remember to make it VERY simple so even our youngest folks are successful on their own.
  • Red and white Lego bricks – just because
  • Christmas cards – Many of our 3rd-5th graders don’t know the shut-in saints of their church, so we prepared a list of eight with addresses held by our journeying shepherd, Charley, and set out a place where our kids and family members could write Christmas cards. Parents showed students how to address envelopes and we will be mailing them today. This goes along with our theme this year of the life of David in a color-themed curriculum since David was a writer, having written many of the Psalms in the Bible.
  • Hand painted pot holders for Grandparentsfabric paint and a lot of Dollar Tree potholders made a time where kids could make as many as they wished because everyone’s grandparents need new potholders.
  • Coloring Advent Poster – this poster printed from Staples has been following us around for the last couple of weeks leading up to Christmas. Doesn’t everyone like to slow down and color a bit while chatting with friends?
  • How to Draw a Grinch – markers, pencils, paper
  • grinchcandlesCLUB345 service project – preparing the candles for the church’s Christmas Eve service, cleaning up old wax, and placing them in baskets as a gift to the Worship Committee.

Favorite parts of the night? The many conversations between parents and their kids as well as parents with other parents. Even the students whose families didn’t come were loved on well and included by their friends’ families. Amazing parents who do so much for their kids that spending time across the table or passing crazy gifts right and left made them all laugh. We slow down. Dads draw with their kids. Moms and Dads serve one another for dinner. Lots of table life.

grinchbackdropWhat are you doing to help families slow down and smile across the table from one another during a season of a full calendar?

The Lord is with me; He is my helper. Psalm 118:7

Rhinoceros Success: A Book Review

rhinoEver gotten your hands on a little book that if you could, you would buy it in bulk and hand out a copy to everyone you know? This is one of those books. I was getting ready to take a trip and wanted to bring a book on the plane. I didn’t have the focus to take on a novel, so this book of less than 100 pages was perfect.

Scott Alexander wrote this little ditty when he was 23 years old back in 1980. Today he speaks around the world encouraging those who wish to make life an adventure.  I can relate to a rhinoceros…my maiden name is “Bull.” Charging toward opportunities is what I do…it’s in my dna. These are a few of the places I underlined in this little gem, or understood enough to take away:

Rhinoceroses have a natural zeal for living. (pg 13) Live each minute as though you had to pay $10 for it. (pg 46)

We become the product of three things: the people we associate with, the books we read, and the media we listen to. (pg 20) TV is not for rhinos…too much of a negative influence.

Rhinoceroses thrive on goals. (pg 23) Rhinos are happy when they are charging at their goals. (pg 33)

At least twice a year, take off for one week and go lie in a mud hole. Do nothing but relax. (pg 27) Take the family with you. (pg 70) Then when your week is up, explode out of that mud hole and charge!

In the chapter entitled “How To Be The World’s Happiest Rhinoceros” the author writes READ THE BIBLE.  He continues, “Every success book is based on the Bible, only worded differently.”

One of the most intriguing sections was the author’s challenge to be a rhino in work and in finances. Give 10% of all the money you make back to God. After all, if he is your partner, he deserves at least 10% of the take, doesn’t he? If he isn’t your partner, sign him on as soon as possible. Where else are you going to find help like that at such a price?

The other section I found intriguing was on rhino problems. Using our rhinoceros imagination, we can lower our heads, point our horns at any problem, charge full steam ahead, and tear it to pieces. But what about sorrow? What about death and tragedy? Spending our lives in a closet is not an option, though very appealing. He stresses the importance of having a rhinoceros faith in God, a rhinoceros love for our Maker,  and quotes 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Sheep are indecisive. Cows watch life go by. Rhinos have 2-inch thick skin. Rhinos and optimism go together.  Fight over-caution with rhino audacity and enthusiasm because the worst possible condition to be in life is cool. Dead animals are cool!

My daughter and daughter-in-law broke out in laughter when they saw me take this book from my carry-on bag. Like I needed help being a rhino! But even rhinos need a fresh word of affirmation every now and then. A reminder to be alert for opportunities, make time to meet and hang around other rhinos, and develop my audacity skills.

“Rhinos have scars.  They are signs of being alive and attempting great things.”– Scott Alexander from ScottRobertAlexander.com

We Are All Shepherds

shepherdMy kids missed the Elf on the Shelf movement. Our family tradition was moving Mary & Joseph from the plastic nativity all throughout the house during the season of Advent until Christmas Eve when they finally arrived at the wooden/straw stable. Each year we would discover all the animals with chewed on legs and an angel sitting precariously on a small peg above the stable. How we have kept all the pieces for the last 30 years, I do not know. Last April, we found the angel under the sofa because we have grandchildren now who ‘work’ with the pieces just as their parents did. Sorry…’squirrel’ moment.

I was tagged by a great mom in early November about a wandering shepherd plush-doll with a Baby Jesus and a book: The Shepherd’s Treasure. This little darlin’ could translate into random acts of compassion and activities of service on the campus of our local church for the kiddos to find whenever they came to church throughout Advent and my brain started clicking.  I picked up two (one for church and one for the grands) and I am beside myself with the ideas of fun and adventure for all my little people.

shepard-quest-book-dol-card-setl_1024x1024We named him Charlie last Sunday in Sunday school and read the book while everyone got a chance to handle him.  Beginning on Monday, he will be where the kids are when they come to visit or participate in activities.  He sat with a can of crayons during the annual Chili Cookoff. He’ll be at a station at our CLUB345 Merry Grinch-mas party with note cards, stickers, and pens for little people to write notes to our shut-ins. He’ll be around the sanctuary, at the front door, in the children’s hallway, at the Christmas Eve services, the Christmas Family breakfast potluck, and at Fantastic Friday.

Then on Christmas Day, he’ll be set with the plush-doll Baby Jesus that came in the box which is just darlin’-with-a-side-of-precious. A baby’s coming and this little shepherd is looking for the newborn King.

Happy searching for the new born King, my friends!

“After the shepherds had seen him, they told everyone.” Luke 2:17

2016 Advent Bags

2016adventbagLoving the idea of families sharing in traditions and activities that honor the Lord, the season of Advent is the perfect time to gather some goodies for kids to do each day from Dec 1st through Christmas Eve and beyond. Many Children’s Ministry champions are putting together Advent bags and Advent boxes and this is what ours looks like this year:

  • Magnetic Advent Wreath with magnetic candles – perfect for the car or refrigerator. Place one candle to start, then another each Sunday of Advent.
  • Glow Stick as a reminder to let your light shine!
  • Post-it Notes to share “God loves you” messages with family and friends.
  • Glory in the Highest magnetic list – place it on the refrigerator to make lists to help you and your family make the Christmas card list, make the grocery list, make the donation list, make the errand list, even the packing list if you are heading out of town to visit family.
  • 2016 Advent Calendar from Discipleship Ministries’ United Methodist Ministry with Children to share with your family a thought or activity for each day of the Advent season.
  • God Bless You tissues – perfect for keeping close to stay well this Advent season and offer to help someone else clean up. Be a blessing this Advent!
  • Advent Prayer Cube – place near where you share meals or brush your teeth to offer a prayer each day in preparation for Christmas Day outloud.
  • A Pop-Up Window Calendar for Advent – Set the calendar on a table or on your mantel and each day of December, lift up a numbered window to reveal a surprising message and an image of something or someone who was present to see God’s gift with their own eyes.
  • A Happy Birthday Jesus sticker to place on your family calendar on December 25 to remind you to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus on His birthday.
  • Nativity Sticker Sheet – Using your own art paper, draw a stable/barn and using the stickers, make your own stable scene to display.
  • 24 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

Added to the preschooler’s bags is the book Manger on the Mantel; to the upper elementary bags is a Nativity activity book.

Be sure to put the dates and times for the Drive Through Nativity, Fantastic Friday (parent’s night out), and Christmas Eve services along the bottom.

epiphanyWe also are ready for the season of Epiphany to give out countdowns on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

What’s in your bag?

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3

Faith Milestone: I Can Serve – Part 2

icanservepledgeWe began last year to intentionally provide training along age lines as rights of passage for students called Faith Milestones.  I Can Serve offers an invitation and an expectation to include and engage children in worship for students in 3rd-5th grades. This year, we kicked it up a notch.

icanservesnoconeWe have a Sno Cone machine, a Popcorn machine, and a Spin Art machine to add that little something special to events, hot summer after-church-times of fellowship, and great fun to ministry with children. Including training and practice with these items invite the students to share in hospitality to other students.

icanserveacolyteTeaching one machine at a time included set-up, safety features, possible dangers, how to speak to others we serve, and the all important clean-up. A job done is only done well with training and practice. To everyone’s delight we taste-tested everything and spoke about partnering with one another to serve well as Jesus never sent out his disciples one at a time, but two and three at a time.

icanservepastorWe started the event at 3:20pm and finished out at 5pm just in time for CLUB345. The closing bingo game gave us a chance to elaborate on logistics of serving communion; personal hygiene; icanservebingoarriving 30 minutes ahead of time to set up and get any final instructions before serving; to always be on the lookout to be safe and provide a safe environment for those we are serving (where the electrical plugs go, which way to face the machine, setting up a floor mat, etc.); appropriate dress code when serving; serving like Jesus in extending icanserveinviteover-the-top hospitality in our words and face; we begin serving as a 3rd grader because our hands are strong enough to hold the full challis and tall enough to light the candles on the communion table; by 6th grade they have practiced and followed directions well enough to serve as a student leader in VBS; and vocabulary=an acolyte is a ‘helper in church.’ We took the pledge…’raise your right hand’…and they are chomping at the bit to know when they can begin, as Ashton said, their ‘duty.’

By the end of the day, students have been trained and practiced lighting the candles on the communion table, serving the juice at communion, speaking into a microphone, running the sno cone machine, spin art machine, and serving from the popcorn machine. How are you training up the current and future leaders in your church in service and hospitality?

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” Ephesians 6:7

How Was Your Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years…?

xmasmessWhen folks asked me last January, “How was your Christmas?”, I was stumped for a good answer because the upcoming holiday season starts with last Sunday’s Trunk or Treat. I love this time of year, but the church calendar can have a staff member, volunteer, and family reeling.

Planning freak that I am, the calendar has basically been set since last November. My heart’s desire is to fulfill church traditions, yet not stretch our WC families to the point of where I was last year. Yes, we baked the turkey, made the gumbo, prepped for pies, decorated the tree, and opened presents, but I didn’t watch not one Christmas movie, didn’t linger on the back porch with hot chocolate, and felt pressed to meet lots of expectations until MLK Monday in January.

Our gracious pastor closes the church office the week between Christmas and New Year’s, yet bulletins still need a-printing and bills still need a-paying. Rather than sitting on the sofa in my new flannels, I also take this window of time to serve on a Chrysalis Flight, the youth version of The Walk To Emmaus. It’s kingdom-building! Yeah, I get that it’s my own fault, but I love it all!

Working in the church office has me hitting the ground running January 2nd to close out the year, print the W-2s, set budgets, and prepare the files for the new year. Frankly, I was praying for a snow day last year…I know….in Atlanta…just to have a day to breathe. I did see Christmas lights each night as I drove home in the dark (oh yeah, the time change happens this weekend!), but it’s not the same as piling in the car with the littles or my honey to stroll through the neighborhoods. My strolling takes place in the aisles of Michael’s as I gather the last remaining silver bell and green pompom or on Amazon.com.

I don’t have the answer except that my awareness is so much greater this year heading into the season(s). This is when the people-pleaser in me rears its ugly head and I stare at the ceiling each night wondering if I left something undone. An awesome, sold-out-to-raising-her-kids-in-Christian-community Mom sat across my desk yesterday and we laughed about this very thing because the struggle is real. I would like to think I’d guard the white space better on my calendar, go to bed at a decent hour so I can get up earlier to linger in His presence, and not feel I have to be at everything because I don’t want to miss anything (more like arrive early and be the one who takes out the trash and turns out the lights).

I want to do it all, because I love it all! But I want a better answer this year when someone asks me “How was your Christmas?”

“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply-and how good is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23

Like Me?

harvest-vineInvited to serve on a design team for a national conference two years ago made me downright giddy. Two years in the planning offered the chance to leave my bubble of ‘practically everyone like me’ and engage in a creative forum with incredibly gifted people who may not look like me, work like me, process like me, talk like me, filter like me, see like me, speak like me, schedule like me, are the same age as me.  The one commonality? We all love and teach Jesus. A beautifully creative and accessible community that would challenge me…yep, I was ‘all in.’

nogacefHolding conversations with others ‘not like me’ teaches me to listen, to compromise, and to give in gracefully when a ‘win’ is defined as keeping the conversation going. Naturally drawn to hear the stories of folks, I am fascinated at the words and expressions of all of God’s people. But don’t we all linger where we are most comfortable? Collaborate only where it’s easy and frustration is limited? Share our ideas where we are most likely affirmed? Stay in the safe lane? Run from contention and differing processes?

ninjasThe last two years of face-to-face meetings, monthly conference calls, and an enormous number of emails resulted in a national conference where folks new to Christian education were empowered, where experienced folks shared ideas, and where surprises abounded. I was responsible for championing the vendor and networking fair on the second day as well as the conference response stations on the last day.  Ideas and partnerships with those in my own local children’s ministry networking group and KidMin Ninja mentoring group in attendance made for closer relationships and lots of laughter as together we set up, cleaned up, pulled up, worked up,  lit up all three events.

cefchuckThe vendor fair was one afternoon with a variety of local talent and non-profits set alongside seminaries, authors, and denominational agencies. The greatest thing our denomination has to a national celebrity is a guy who stars in three minute discipleship training videos that cover everything ‘church’ from the colors of the church year to the church sacristy: Chuck Knows Church. We expected to have him for 15-20 minutes of photo ops. He stayed 56 minutes. That’s how long it took for the line to go down. He was in full character and was definitely among ‘his people.’ Think twenty somethings with Justin Timberlake. That’s the energy of Chuck among United Methodist Christian educators.  The next hour Flo Paris of the musical group Rain For Roots performed three beautiful songs with her daughters. The next hour we shared in a chef’s delight of afternoon appetizers. Yummy!

cefnetworkingThe networking fair gave conference participants ‘table time’ with folks who are the best at what they do for 15-30 minutes.  Not a workshop, nothing formal, very organic conversation. We offered a schedule of times and locations (three were happening at the same block of time). Some of the networks who gathered included: Developing VBS themes with a VBS publisher; Creating space for young adults in your context; Youth ministry confirmation ideas; and learning how to blog or to go to the next level in blogging.  We even skyped-in a networking leader who spoke of Connecting Worship and Christian Formation for All Ages. Networking and table life takes many forms, amen? A constant coming and going of people, up and down a staircase, in the same three rooms, for close to four hours, who wished to gather and share info on a whole array of topics and conversations. Access!

This season is over, but several new seasons are beginning. I am such a better person, a better collaborator, and a better team member for this experience. For my natural bent to being a chatterbox, I got plenty of practice to ask more questions and make less statements.  I met online, by phone, and then in-person, amazing resource leaders in the field of Christian education who I would never have otherwise had access to. Conversations and collaboration made me think and caused me to laugh my head off. Are you intentional about following Jesus professionally where it may not be so….you?

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble…because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9

CEF Conference Response Stations

cefresponse3Just last week I enjoyed the company of Christian educators at the 2016 National CEF (Christians Engaged In Faith Formation) Conference in Nashville. After participating in teaching, communities of practice, conversations, worship, workshops, table life, and laughter on the lawn, we finished the last day with an hour of response stations. Outdoor stations, enjoying nature, and giving hands-on responses to gather our thoughts and feelings before worship and returning home. These were those stations:

cefresponse7Response Station #1 – Kind Hands TV TRAY, STAND UP FRAME

We are called not only to ‘pray without ceasing’, but also to pray with our whole selves. How we use our bodies when we pray shares what is on the heart of the person who is praying to God.  The KINDNESS that comes from God tells us we belong to His family. We must be KIND because we belong to Him.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

While standing, rub your hands together gently as if you were putting on lotion. Make sure to turn your wrists in all directions and touch all parts of your hands – between your fingers, the back of your hands, and even your wrists.

Share with God as you rub your hands, “Thank you, God, that You are kind when you ______ and ______ and ______. Help me to be kind when I ___________. Amen.”

Additional Resource: Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy With God by Doug Pagitt and Kathryn Prill

cefresponse5Response Station #2 – 10,000 Reasons TV TRAY, CLOTHESPINS, CUT PAPER & CONTAINER/BASKET, BIG FRAME, STANDUP FRAME

Let’s COUNT our blessings!

“For all Your goodness, I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my heart to find, …to bless the Lord, O my soul. Worship His holy name.”

cefresponse8Write (or draw) a blessing from this week at CEF.  Clip it to the frame with a clothespin.

Additional Resource: Counting Blessings by Debby Boone and Gabriel Ferrer

cef1Response Station #3 – Praying in Color TV TRAY, STANDUP FRAME, FABRIC RIBBON CUT INTO 4-5 INCH STRIPS & CONTAINER, SMALL FRAME

Take a strip of fabric and as you tie it onto the frame, share with God your regrets over the last year. Make a conscious decision to let it go and move on.  You may also choose to give thanks for lessons learned.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Additional Resource: Praying in Color: Drawing A New Path To God (Active Prayer) by Sybil MacBeth

cef2Response Station #4 –Psalm 23 TV TRAY, STANDUP FRAME, 15 OIL ROLLERBOTTLES IN CONTAINER/BASKET, PSALM 23 BOOKMARKS

Anointing sheep’s heads with oil shielded them from annoying and even deadly insects, so anointing became symbolic of blessing, protection, and empowerment.

Using the anointing oil, anoint yourself (on the back of your hand, on pulse points, or on your forehead) and recite the 23rd Psalm.

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” 1 John 2:20

Additional Resource: A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller

cefresponse1Response Station #5 – Bubble Wrap Worries TV TRAY, BUBBLE WRAP CUT INTO STRIPS, 2 CONTAINERS, STANDUP FRAME

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength. Corrie Ten Boom

God loves you and knows the desires of your heart. He also knows what you think can keep you from fulfilling His call on your life as you use your gifts and graces back home.

Take a strip of bubble wrap and pop the bubbles as a symbol of giving your worries over to the One who has called you, will equip you, will go before you, will never leave you, and will teach you along the way.

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthews 6: 34

Additional Resource: Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth by Samuel Chand

cefresponse4Response #6 – A Fresh Word TV TRAY, KIDDIE POOL, STANDUP FRAME, BAG OF SAND, GLASS BEADS IN CONTAINER, FINE SHARPIES IN CONTAINER

Play in the sand with your hands and fingers.

When you choose a word to take with you in your heart, write that word on a glass bead and take the bead with you as a reminder of ‘the fresh word’ you received this week at the 2016 National CEF Conference.

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Additional Resource: Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century: Engaging All Ages & Generations by John Roberto

cefresponse2Response #7 – In Memory PVC PIPE STAND, FISH NET, WHITE TABLE CLOTHS, 2 COLORS RIBBON, STANDUPFRAME, TV TRAY, BASKET FOR RIBBONS

We all follow the saints of our journey. The saints who plowed the fields before us. The saints who spoke truth into our lives when we didn’t want to hear or maybe didn’t know to listen. The saints who have gone on to Glory, yet their influence upon our own calling lives on in us. We are their legacy.

Tie a ribbon in the net as you give a prayer of thanksgiving for the saints of your journey who have gone on to Glory, yet their influence continues in you.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” John C. Maxwell

cefresponseResponse #8 – In Honor (SAME STATION #7 AS ABOVE, ADD ON)

We all share in influencing others for the cause of Christ. We teach, we lead, we speak, and we pray. We laugh, we train, we offer an effective hand off to those coming behind us. They are our legacy. They are the lives in whom we speak truth and influence to fulfill God’s calling on their lives.

Tie a ribbon in the net as you offer a prayer of hope for those who you are influencing to answer the call to carry the banner of Christian education.

“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” Kenneth H. Blanchard

As you end a growth event, like a conference, how do you process on the last day to gather your thoughts and prepare to return home to implement what you’ve gleaned and learned?