A Church That’s Not Afraid To Talk About Racism In America

racism panel

This past weekend, my church (First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas) hosted a panel discussion on one of the hot button issues of our day: RACISM. What followed was an hour filled with open conversation, shocking statements, raw feelings, surprising confessions – ALL done with the most incredible grace, mercy, and love that only followers of Christ can do.

If you think anyone chose to shy from the difficult facts, you couldn’t be more wrong.  Sit down, watch, and prepare to be challenged and encouraged.  God is at work in HIS Church!

Watch the entire video here:

video - racism panel

 

Every Conversation Is A Spiritual Conversation

spiritual conversations with our kids

 

In my twenty-three years as a kids’ pastor, I can’t tell you how many times a parent has walked up to me after church and asked, “My son was asking me questions about baptism last night.  Would you meet with him to explain what water baptism is all about?”  I’ve received countless emails that say something like, “My daughter asked me what it means to be saved.  I don’t want to confuse her, so can I set her up an appointment with you this week?  I’m sure you can explain it better than I can.”  Parents have asked me to talk to their kids about every conceivable spiritual question.

I’m happy to help, but when a parent asks ME to talk their kid about spiritual issues instead of them…my answer is always, “No.”  Now, before you decide I am the meanest Children’s Pastor on the planet, watch this video and you’ll understand where I am coming from.  In this video, I explain why I believe the primary sources of spiritual conversation for these kids should be their own parents.  Too often, parents and grandparents believe they aren’t qualified to impart spiritual wisdom to kids.

Take a few moments and watch what I share in this video.  I think it will cause you to have a seismic shift in your view of what “Spiritual Conversations” with your kids can look like.

This is the third in a series of videos taken from my new book, “Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids In Life’s Tough Topics.”  If you missed the first two videos, you can find them here:

VIDEO #1:  “Are You A Proactive Or Reactive Parent?”

VIDEO #2:  “Don’t Miss The Cues”

My book releases on September 1, 2015.  For a limited time, you can purchase a pre-release autographed copy of the book HERE!

Don’t Miss The Cues (VIDEO)

dont miss the cues

 

Our kids WANT to talk.  Sometimes, the reason they don’t is because REAL conversation with Mom or Dad isn’t something that they do often.  But, it’s not always THEIR choice.   Too many parents don’t recognize the cues that their children give that are a clear declaration of, “I really want to talk.”

Many times our kids want to talk about things that haven’t crossed our minds. Instead of always being focused on the task in front of us or what’s on the radio while we’re driving, parents need to look for the open doors of conversation that their kids are presenting them dozens of times per day.  Parents need to be able to read their kids’ body language and tone of voice.

In this video, I share a personal story about my son and some insights on how you can always be ready when your child gives you the cue that “it’s time to talk.”  Believe me, you don’t want to miss those cues!

 

In case you missed Video #1 in this series, you can find it HERE!  It’s all about becoming a PROactive parent rather than a REactive parent!

“Friends In Slow Places” (Time Change Parody 2015)

And our final installment in our Time Change Sunday series this year is for all of you Country fans (of which I am NOT).  Hope you enjoy our spoof on a Garth Brooks classic.

Missed our other Time Change Parodies?  Here you go:

“Set My Clock” (parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”)

“All About Time Change” (parody of “All About That Bass”)

 

“Set My Clock” (Parody of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift)

Well, we are back with another funny video to remind your church about TIME CHANGE SUNDAY, March 8th.  This is a great spoof of “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.  The performer is Madison Russell, who is one of the young worship leaders on my Kids Ministry Team.  WOW, she did a great job singing this!  I think she gave Taylor a run for her money – and Madison is ONLY 13 years old!  Feel free to use this video in your church!

Check out last year’s wildly successful “What Does The CLOCK Say?”

“All About Time Change” (parody of “All About That Bass”)

Every year, our church does a great job at poking fun of Time Change Sunday (the day that clocks Spring an hour forward and for some reason people freak out because they are losing an hour of sleep).  To keep people from forgetting and ultimately being late for church that day, we create crazy videos to remind everyone.

The last few years, we have done parody songs and videos of the hottest pop songs of the day.  Well, this year is no different.  For your entertainment, here is a parody of “All About That Bass” (yes, we are fully aware of what the song is actually about and we don’t endorse the message – which is why we changed the lyrics).  After all, it’s “All About Time Change” – NO SNOOZING!

 

Wanna see some of our other videos from past years?  Here are a few below:

Time Change-ian Rhapsody”

“Call Me, Wake Me”

“On Time Style”

Do You Struggle Getting Volunteers For Your Ministry?

volunteer-breakthrough
Do you struggle getting volunteers for your ministry?  If you do, you are NOT alone!  Survey after survey tells us that recruiting and keeping volunteers is one of the biggest struggles for EVERY Kids Ministry Leader.  Well, I have an incredible opportunity for you that will help change that statistic.

My friend, Ryan Frank, was a Children’s Pastor for 15 years and is currently the CEO/Publisher at KidzMatter.  He has created a FREE 4-part video series on how to recruit and keep amazing volunteers.  The video series is called “Volunteer Breakthrough.”  In this video series, Ryan unpacks 10 Laws he has discovered that help create dynamic volunteer teams!  You’re going to love it.

You can get this video series for FREE just by clicking the image at the top of this post.  You don’t want to hesitate!  Why am I so passionate about this?  It’s because I have known Ryan for over ten years.  He and I have done trainings together, traveled together, ministered together, and he is one of my best friends in ministry.  I have seen the fruit of what God is doing through Ryan’s life – and it is changing the world!

You are VERY lucky to be able to get some of this RICH content for free.  I am thankful that Ryan has offered this to my blog readers.  Take advantage of it, because I don’t know how long it will last!

Ryan Frank, CEO/Publisher at Kidzmatter

 

There’s A Keystone Cop At Jesus’ Tomb

It was perhaps one of the most embarrassing moments of my life:  Easter, 2003.

That year, I was chosen to be the narrator in our church’s Easter production. To prepare for the event, I had grown a full beard and dressed in full Biblical costume.

In the middle of the final production, when Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified, I left the stage for about 15 minutes because I didn’t have any lines.  During this interval, I wanted to go to our Media Production Room to watch the production on the television monitors.  On my way there, I passed by our prop room and noticed a Keystone Cop hat we had used in one of our productions that year.  I thought it would be funny to put that hat on and walk into the Media Room where several of our other staff were gathered.

I was right. When I walked into the Media Room with the tall, pointed hat on my head, I got big laughs. I left it on while I watched the Easter play on the monitor.  Suddenly I realized they were saying the line that was my cue to walk onstage.  I rushed out of the Media Room and sprinted to the stage to deliver my lines.  It was a pivotal point of the production: Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus were carrying the body of Jesus to the tomb.

I began to deliver my lines: “Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus and placed it in Joseph’s own tomb…”  At that moment, I noticed that Michael Winslow, the drummer in the orchestra, was looking at me with a strange expression.  The orchestra pit was directly in front of the stage where I was standing, so I couldn’t help but notice his stare.  I don’t read minds very well, so I had no idea what he was thinking.  I could tell something wasn’t right, but I kept speaking my lines.

I looked down.  Michael was still staring at me, but now his mouth was open and his eyebrows were furrowed in disgust.  I was a little irritated with him.  I was certain I was saying my lines perfectly.  After all, this was our fourth performance, and I had them down pat.

About a minute into my lines, it hit me.  I thought, Oh, no!  I looked up out of the corner of my eye at the video screen on the wall.  It revealed exactly what Michael—and everyone else in the congregation—was seeing.  I was still wearing the Keystone Cop hat!  I was mortified, but I kept right on delivering my lines.  I thought about taking it off, but that would call even more attention to it.  I thought about running off stage, but I had to finish.  I couldn’t just quit.

For your viewing pleasure, here is actual VIDEO from this disastrous moment in my life.  Watch carefully as you see the moment I look to the screen and realize what had happened!!

I would like to say, “Thank you!” to my Senior Pastor, Rod Loy.  He was VERY gracious and forgiving.  It took a while, but we were eventually able to laugh at this moment.  I learned a HUGE lesson!  To check out the MAJOR lesson that I learned, read this post.  You can also read about MORE blunders in my book, “I Blew It!”

FUN FRIDAY: Coca Cola Parenthood Ad

If you haven’t seen this ad by now, you owe it to yourself to watch!  It’s a very real-to-life portrayal of the unpredictable roller-coaster that is Parenthood.  It will have you laughing and warm your heart all within one minute.

It’s a great reminder to those of us in Kids Ministry as well.  Kids Ministry is not all “neat and tidy.”  Sometimes it can be a really messy job (and not only because of the messes that little ones can make).  In the end, the result is the JOY of knowing that you are affecting a life for eternity.  May that sink in as you serve HIS kids this week!

FUN FRIDAY: A “Redneck-a-fied” Duck Dynasty Christmas

Today marks the start of a new feature on my blog:  FUN FRIDAY!

Every Friday I will share something with you that I think is either fun or FUNNY!  It may be a video, a picture, a joke, a story, you never know!  Should be FUN!

Today, it’s a video that my church did for our Christmas Production this year.  It stars my two kids and several of their friends.  My son, Jordan, plays Phil Robertson.  My daughter, Ashton, is playing Willie Robertson.  It’s a video to depict what the Christmas Story would be if told with a redneck twist (and added lots of LONG beards).  Hope you love it!