family

November 9, 2015

4 Dangerously Negative Effects Of Divorce On Children (And What You Can Do About It)

As I’ve worked with children for over twenty years, I’ve repeatedly seen how news of their parents’ divorce shatters their world.  I wasn’t ready to deal with it as an adult (my parents divorced when I was 25), and I’m sure it’s even more difficult for a child to process this world-changing information.  Everything they know, everything they depend on for emotional stability, is lost in an instant.  They may have detected major issues in the parents’ relationship for years, or perhaps one parent was suddenly shocked to discover a history of infidelity for the other.  Whether the decision to […]
September 7, 2014

How To Handle Parents Who Don't Attend Your Church

Some time ago, one of the children who attends our church (but his parents do not) told me, "I didn’t come last week because my dad doesn't think it’s important.” I recognized what he was doing.  I asked him, “Did your dad actually say that he doesn't think church is important?” The boy said, “Well, no, but since he didn’t bring me, he must have something against me coming.” I quickly responded, “Wait a minute.  We can’t draw that conclusion.  Give your dad a break.  I’m sure he was just busy and couldn’t make his schedule work out.  After all, […]
August 20, 2014

5 Things Every Ministry Leader Should Be Doing With Their Family

This week I got an email from a fellow Kids Pastor.  It said, "How hard do you push your children? On those days when someone from the church has been extremely rude, or when a party took place on a Saturday night and Sunday morning my kids show up and have to clean before worship service can even begin, or when they are just plain TIRED. Everyone gets frustrated from time to time because we are dealing with humans.  How do I, as a mother, know when I'm pushing them too hard.  The LAST thing I want is for them […]
January 19, 2014

How To Talk To Kids About God

Recently, I spoke to our entire congregation about "How To Talk To Kids About God."  It seems that parents and grandparents have mystified the idea of having spiritual conversations about God.  They feel that they must have a Bachelor's Degree in Children's Education in order to have the expertise necessary to speak clearly to their children about the things of God. Unfortunately, we are often to blame.  For too long, the Church (and Children's Ministry Leaders specifically) has poised itself as "the official spiritual trainer of children."  This is definite far from the Biblical case that I lay out in the […]
October 29, 2013

Heartwarming Military Family Reunion

I was honored to be a part of this incredible moment.  My friend, Rocky, had been deployed for over six months.  He has three beautiful young daughters who love their Daddy very much.  They THOUGHT Daddy wasn't coming home for weeks.  We convinced them that we needed to shoot a video to send to him overseas.  I said, "Why not go to the airport where he's eventually going to come home and we can show him what it is going to look like when he eventually comes home."  The girls were all about it. In the middle of their video […]
September 16, 2013

Powerful Video - "This Time" (Based On A True Story)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdYPjpl5pI0 Most of you who read my blog often will know I am a huge fan of the music of John Elefante (the former lead singer of the rock group, Kansas). Having followed his career since the mid-80s, it has been a pleasure as I have become friends with him the last few years. He is an incredible musician, singer, producer - but an amazing man of God as well. I will never forget when he sent me the original demo to the song, "This Time." I was blown away and moved to tears when I heard the song for […]
July 22, 2013

Becoming A SLAM-Grandparent!

Yesterday was a very cool day for my wife, Cherith, and I. It was the day we discovered we are now "SLAM Grandparents" at First NLR. We became the Kids Pastors here in 1999 - nearly 14 years ago. "SLAM" is the name of the Elementary Kids Church service we began when we got here. Yesterday, it was an honor to welcome several children into "SLAM" who belong to Anthony Kennedy, one of the kids that were in that original group. I am about to celebrate my 14th year as Kids Pastor at First NLR. I have been blessed to […]
April 1, 2013

Book Review: "Connecting Church & Home" by Dr. Tim Kimmel

"Strong churches don't make strong families.  Strong families make strong churches." - Dr. Tim Kimmel What is the center of your Family Ministry strategy?  Is it safety and protection from the dark influences of this world?  Is it reaching unchurched families through evangelism?  What drives your ministry to kids and families? Dr. Tim Kimmel offers a one word answer in his new book, "Connecting Church & Home." That one word:  GRACE.  Dr. Kimmel suggests that God's grace can and should be what encompasses everything we do as a church - especially ministering to families. Kimmel begins with the book with a challenging […]
November 25, 2011

Great Family Project: "The Christmas Prayer Chain"

Looking for a great and easy-to-do project for your family this Christmas?  My wife, Cherith, started this Christmas tradition in our family when my kids were just babies.  It has meant a lot to our family, and I hope you will find it meaningful as well. What you need: 25 strips of construction paper (approx 2 inches wide and six inches long); a sharpie marker; glue What to do: 1)  Prior to Dec. 1st, gather your kids together and take turns naming the name of someone the family will pray for (friends, family, pastors, teachers, and others) 2)  Write one […]