Archive | March, 2013

Monday Mornings: Prayer Wall, Candles, and Holy Week

25 Mar

Prayer wall and candlesThinking of each of you knee deep in ministry this week. All the extra prep and expectations and work and energy pointing toward Sunday- Resurrection Day.

And knowing that many of you if not all are struggling somewhere. . . with something. . . with someone.

For some it might be

Lord, we pray for healing.

Lord, we surrender.

Lord, we pray for deliverance.

Lord, we pray for those disconnected from you.

Lord, we say a prayer of Thanksgiving.

Lord, we pray in your name.

This morning I pray for you-those of you who visit this blog- who minister each week-who pour out their lives for kids. And this week I will add you to our prayer wall at church. Just a simple long white piece of paper pinned to a wall surrounded by tables full of candles- each one symbolizing a prayer and the hope that the Light of the World brings to that prayer. Each night these candles lit at 8 pm. A reminder. A thing of beauty- the faith and hope represented here. Knowing that you do not walk this alone.

What can I pray for you?

Leave a comment with your struggle, your hope, your need. We’ll write it on the wall for you.

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Easter Story Multi-Sensory Activity

21 Mar

Easter Eggs

 

Create a simple, walk through multi-sensory area to experience the Easter story. Use with families, groups of kids or individuals. 

(Based on Luke 24)

Supplies: spices, rock, blown out egg (or plastic egg), flashlight, dead and live plants (or cut flowers), long masonry nails, linen cloth, large piece of paper, markers, print out of “read and do” instructions

Preparation: Set up nine stations for the kids to walk through and experience the Easter story. Make a card at each station with the “read” and “do” instructions.

Station #1: Spices 

Preparation: Place spices in a basket for kids to smell. (Myrrh, aloes and cassia would have been used. Any spices can work but cinnamon is close to cassia.)

Read: Very early in the morning, the women took spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

Do: Smell and touch the spices.

Station #2: Rock

Preparation: Place a rock on the table.

Read: They found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

Do: Roll the stone on the table.

Station #3: Egg

Preparation: Blow out eggs. (Using a pin or a small drill, make a hole on either end of an egg. Blow through one hole making the contents come out the other hole. ) Or use plastic eggs.

Read: When the women went inside the tomb, they did not find Jesus’ body.

Do: Open or crack the egg.

Station #4: Flashlight

Preparation: Place a flashlight on the table.

Read: While the women were still wondering about where the body of Jesus was, two men in clothes that glowed like lightening stood beside them.

Do: Turn the flashlight on and off.

Station #5: Plants

Preparation: Place a dead plant and a live plant (or flowers) on the table

Read: The women were so afraid that they bowed down with their faces to the ground. The men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

Do: Look at the difference between the two plants. Feel them. Smell them.

Station #6: Nails

Preparation: Place long masonry type nails on the table.

Read: The men kept talking, “He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee? The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”

Do: Hold nails in hands. Think about how Jesus was crucified but be glad that He has risen.

Station #7: Spoken Words

Preparation: None

Read: The women remembered Jesus’ words and they returned from the tomb and told the disciples.

Do: Look at someone and say, “He is not in the grave. He is risen!”

Station #8:  Empty cloth

Preparation: Fold a piece of linen cloth and place on the table.

Read: The disciples did not believe the women. However, Peter got up and ran to the tomb. When he went inside, he saw the linen cloths by themselves. We went home marveling at what had happened.

Do: Touch the linen cloth. Imagine finding the burial cloth in the tomb but no body.

Level #9: Mural

Preparation: Tape a large piece of paper to the wall. Place markers next to it.

Read: How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is not in the grave but He has risen?

Do: Write a sentence or phrase or draw a picture on the mural to show how you feel.

Excerpt from The Hunt is On!  A downloadable lesson from River’s Edge

Monday Mornings: 2 Kids and A Children’s Ministry

18 Mar

We ventured into an urban church in the Minneapolis area one night. 5 pm. Expecting a large congregation, charismatic choir, a Word from God. Wanting these suburban kids to see what the Kingdom of God looks like outside their own little world. Stepping gingerly over ice patches and snow banks to find the entrance. Wondering where all the people were. . . much like that old rhyme from childhood we would change- Here is the church, there is the steeple, open the door and where’s all the people.

The people.

15 to be exact.

No choir. Recorded music. A dear pastor preaching the Word with all he had. Just as if his congregation was 1500.

He dismissed the kids to go to their class. A total of 2 stood and left with an adult.

And when we arrived home, my 16 year old son who had grown up doing all things kid’s ministry- living, breathing it- asked, “Why did 2 leave? Why do it for 2?”

Why do it for 2?

That question ringing in my ears. Why for 2?

And this morning, I thought- some of you are getting up and facing the reality that yesterday there were only 2. Maybe only 1.

And I imagined you. . . teaching like it was 100. 1000.

In this culture of more is better- numbers are everything-hang your success on how large your ministry is. . . sometimes Mondays are hard. We wonder. Is it enough?

It is.

Real suuccess is measured by fulfilling the purpose that God gave you-not the numbers. And if that purpose is to lead that class of 2, then it is enough.

But do it with all you have. Do it with the Holy Spirit filling you. Prepare well. Pray hard. Give every ounce of energy you have in that moment.

Because those 2 are well worth it.