Tag Archives: Change

Monday Mornings: Apple Orchards, Ministry and Change

23 Sep

 apple tree

 This weekend we went to an apple orchard. We used to go every single year. In Minnesota, apple orchards are a family fun event. Music, mazes, farm animals, hay rides, brats, apple cider, picture opportunities and, of course, pick your own apples. We did this every year for 15 years. Until one year. . . the teenaged boys turned the perfect day into a free for all in the apple orchard complete with apple war guerilla tactics. That was the year my husband and I looked at each other and agreed- apple orchard visits would be suspended until grandkids arrived.

 don and dienna

We forgot our resolve this year. So Saturday we forced talked our 16 year old- going-on-17 son into going with us. He kept hinting that we really needed a date. (As in you two go alone.) But we persisted and so the three of us found ourselves in Waconia, Minnesota behind a tractor on a wagon headed out to the orchards.

 tractor

It was one of those days that was perfect. No bees. No mosquitos. Blue sky. Slight breeze. Perfect temperature. And no one threw a single apple. Ok, maybe one.

 

My husband and son found a way to get the apples from the top of the tree without wrecking the tree.

 tyler and don

We also tried some new apples- Sweet 16 and Zestar.

 

Before moving to Minnesota 18 years ago, I only remember buying two kinds of apples: Granny Smith and Red Delicious. In Minnesota apple orchards we discovered a multitude of apple varieties. We tried Cortland and Haralson. And Honeycrisp. Need I say any more.

 

So for years out go-to apple has been Honeycrisp.

 

This year we expanded. We still bought Honey crisp but also Sweet 16 and Zestar made it into our bags. As much as we love a good Honeycrisp, trying something new made the day a bit more adventurous. (I know we lead a boring life .)

 

I’ve found ministry can be like this. We have our go-to people. We forget to include others. We have our go-to methods. We forget to try new things. We have our we-always-do-it-this-way mindset. And we miss so much.

 

What if we tried something new? Maybe it’s time to do some changing in our ministries. Programs need to be freshened up from time to time. New faces need to be added. Creative ideas should be tried. Let’s not end up with Granny Smith and Red Delicious the rest of our ministry lives.

 

 

This week is Apple Week on our blog. Check back to find creative, fun object lessons, crafts, games and snacks using apples.

 

Change

22 Sep

For those in kid’s ministry (but families can definitely apply this too)

Today I may or may not have been slightly amused at all the Facebook bashing going on. Just because this free service that we do not have to use decided to mix things up a bit. Change things. Personally, I loved the change. Not so much the functionality of it all. But rather the idea of change. The challenge of having to figure something out. The idea that this entity is not static. It can change.

How many of us have ministries that are static? That look like they did 10 years ago? Five years ago? Even one year ago means it is a bit. . . stale. Ministry should be dynamic. Exciting. Challenging. Full of surprises.

When was the last time you had a great big surprise in your ministry? And I’m not talking about a teacher that didn’t show up or the kid that threw up in the middle of the worship area. No, I’m talking about a surprise that put that little skip of joy in your heart. You know the kind. When the kid asks the question and you let the Holy Spirit lead and suddenly the kids are sitting on the edge of their seats and you are going a direction you didn’t intend to go but it is all good. Or the kind that happens when you wake up at 5 am on Sunday morning with that idea. You know the kind of idea I’m talking about. And you hop out of bed and head for the church to make it happen before the kids arrive. When was the last time you changed things up so the kids would be surprised when they walked in the door? Or does it all look, feel, smell, and sound the same as it always does week after week after week after week?

Because the thing is. . . God doesn’t want us to stay the same. He wants us to change. So shouldn’t our ministries be changing as we are changing? As we are becoming more and more like Him? If our ministry is static, maybe it is time to look at our relationship with Him.

Maybe it is time to dig deeper. Pray more. Love further. Whatever it takes to embrace change. . . not any kind of change. . .but the kind that tells the world that God is all about changing lives and situations and outcomes. I don’t know about you, but I hope that God changes my life in a way that causes a buzz just as big as the buzz about the Facebook change. But I’d like to think it would be a positive buzz. One that challenges others to move out of their static lives, ministries, existence and move toward a dynamic future. Isn’t that what Jesus has called us to do in his name in the lives of kids?

So, yep. I’m all about change.