Category Archives: Church Planting

Teaching Kids to be the Church

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Oh, my!  It’s never good when the first thing you think logging onto a site is, “I hope I remember the password…” and this was my thought exactly this afternoon as I was coming to chat with you.  A month has passed by already.  Crazy.  I am definitely still learning how to juggle “life” and all that it entails.  Between cooking meals, prepping snacks, doing way more laundry than three people should ever produce, saving a toddler from death-defying jumps down slides, playing full-time entertainer, jumping full-swing back into ministry at our church plant, and all of the other lovely chaos that defines current life, some days I celebrate when I take a shower before 11 am.  Or at all, for that matter.  Thankfully, I have a pretty gracious husband.  I am hoping you are gracious too.

 

The adorable culprit to all my chaos.  I love this guy.

The adorable culprit to all my chaos. I love this boy!  Excuse me while I go kiss his cheeks some more…

I promise to be more faithful in the (near) future.  I don’t like to commit to anything more than three weeks out; otherwise I may have to eat my words, gravel, and start all over again.  It’s my own awful cycle.

I have so much to share!  Everything in good time, of course…  But a lot has been stirring in my mind, which I am excited to discuss with you.  Lots of good, wonderful stuff.

First of all, I want to share something I have been working on for a bit now for our Sunday school program at Journey!  It’s my own “curriculum!”  I have been working on this every Thursday (as my oh-so-fabulous mother watches Noah during the days for me.  Thank you, Momma!  Well, more like she watches him in the afternoons.  I typically spend the mornings socializing with her until I have only four or so hours to finish all I had planned.)  I’m not certain that I will always write our curriculum, but it seemed fitting for the young season we are in right now.   Besides, I wanted something deeper and more involved than a box curriculum.

At Journey, we have young families participating, leaving their home churches to help us plant.  And as we all have experienced in life, change is not easy.  Particularly for kids.  Especially when they may not understand what the implications are of what we are doing.  So I am writing a church planting series for children so that we can all be on the same page as a church family.

Because I have everything from kindergarten through 6th grade (or whoever else wants to join us) participating, much of what I am writing is geared to fit kids of all ages.  We’re covering great stuff, like how the church started, what the body of Christ is, how prayer affects what we accomplish, what kids can do to serve in the church, and telling people about Jesus!  My utmost desire is to establish a solid foundation for our young ministry and get the kids excited about what we’re doing together.

While working on this I began thinking about how essential it really is for all kids to be aware of this information.  Not simply during a church plant.  This truly is the calling of the universal body of Christ.  You and are I instructed to serve.  To fish.  As Ephesians 2:10 puts it, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  It’s not an option, it’s an expectation.  As such – as mothers, fathers, teachers, or simply disciples of Christ – it is our responsibility to represent this for all of the young eyes that are watching us.  Trust me, they are watching.  Closely.  It is also imperative that we teach this to them and involve them in our service.

Chris always talks about “doing life” together.  Really, that is what it’s all about.  It’s about following Christ, getting dirty, and letting others come alongside to learn and participate.  It’s about putting together props for VBS with a joyful attitude, allowing our children to observe and help (even if it’s not perfect).  It’s not shipping them off to a babysitter because they may get in the way, it’s allowing them to get in the way and get excited about what is at work and what God may (or rather, will) do.  It’s a testimony of life well-lived to our families.  Or sometimes it’s the same testimony to a young person who has no one else in their life who will stand in the gap and show what a God-glorifying life looks like.

All of this to say, I think it is absolutely important that all kids understand these concepts.  If they can grasp it at a young age, understanding all that God did in the Bible to allow us to accomplish what we do now, they will be leaps ahead of most adults.  We are a body.  Rather, we are the body of Christ.  We were established by God, called by the Spirit, and are equipped to do absolutely fabulous,astounding things.  Together.  As a family.  This is exciting stuff!

So with all of that laid out, I would like to offer my curriculum to you.  I’m sure it needs some tweaking, however I want to give it to you as a general outline (it’s linked below).  Of course, it’s intended for a Sunday school group, but there’s no reason it can’t be used with your own children at home as a small Bible lesson.  Or possibly an after-school children’s group for latch-key kids needing something to do with their time.  There are lots of opportunities when it comes to kids.

I’ll post a lesson every week or so (I’m still working on it, so I don’t want this to get ahead of me).  The lessons begin with Pentecost (perfect for this time of year – we’re almost there) and work forward from there.  I hope you and your family, Sunday school, or kids group enjoy studying this together!  I’m excited as we work together to sow seeds in our kids and help build heroes of the faith for our generation! (Or the next one).

Church Planting Series – 1. Pentecost

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Exquisite Life

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We are aware of people who suddenly have a heart attack.  Out of nowhere.  It’s a terrible thing to happen to anyone, however it is even wilder is when the person isn’t someone we would stereotype as high-risk based on their appearance.

Most of us do our best to appear lovely and attractive.   We put on nice clothes, pull up our hair, apply makeup and make sure to touch our noses to our toes at least five times just to add to the acrobatic craziness.  But no one knows what’s really going on under the skin.  Do we eat well?  Exercise regularly?  These are all extremely important questions because when it’s all laid out a stylish haircut won’t help our arteries.  We need to pay much closer attention to the true workings of our body.

While this is on your mind, consider the Church.  The Body of Christ.

I believe a great deal of effort is placed on the appearance of the Body.  We put money and effort into buildings and programs.  We don’t want to support anything if it’s not going to booster either our attendance number or attractiveness.  We place a ton of attention on our appearance while ignoring the blood, bones and muscles.

Let’s face it: Much of the American Church is a pretty heart attack waiting to happen.

This topic (not in the exact terms I’m using here) has been the center of much discussion in our home lately.  We’re asking ourselves: When we truly look at the New Testament Church, as Christ instructed it to work and the apostles described from the early centuries, what is it?  How does it function?  What are we doing well and where are we failing miserably as the Body?

These are important questions to ask when planting a church.  Actually, these are imperative questions.  We recognize the absolute necessity to build the characteristics we wish to emulate into the DNA of who we are as a Body.  In Colossians, Paul refers to keeping (or losing) “Connection with the Head [Christ], from Whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows and God causes it to grow,” (2:19).  We are the heartbeat and muscle of the church.  We must be healthy, relying on God to exist and grow properly.

We are also asking these exact questions of our family and personal lives.  If we are going to strive to request true godly living of our church family, we must be willing to embrace it ourselves.  We don’t want to be hypocrites.  We want to experience the fullness of Christ in our lives and home.

This is heavy because it is in no way easy or comfortable.  Personally, I much prefer comfort and ease.  In our effort, however, we are offered the amazing opportunity to live life to the fullest.  Life that has meaning.  Life that glorifies the Father and loves one another.

I want to extend an offer to you.  Join us.  Take the plunge.  Embrace the ability to live with absolute abandon to the heart of Jesus.  It may not be glamorous.  It will simultaneously wrench your heart and satisfy your soul.  We are called to something more – to much more.  We have before us the most exquisite opportunity.

It is worth it.

Two paths diverged on a road...

Two paths diverged on a road…

 

Sowing Seeds

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Spring is almost here, which means time to plant our gardens!  We get to start dreaming about all of the veggies, fruits, and herbs you’ll choose.  I can’t wait!  I’m going to start my wish list this week.  I’m definitely adding some new herbs and a few different vegetables.  Delish!  My tummy is already grumbling…

I also have some fun new ideas for our little garden area, including possibly expanding (I may have some convincing to do with Chris).  I also want to lay stones around our boxes like a little pathway.  Oh, and I want to try using a pallet to plant some of our produce based the super-cool idea I found on Pinterest.  I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Doesn't this look fun?!

Doesn’t this look fun?!

Our garden isn’t the only thing we’re planting this year.  As you probably know, we’re launching Journey Church this coming September (here’s the plug! http://www.jcspokane.com).  The preparation and planting for our church is under way and it’s starting to get exciting.  This afternoon we had our first ministry team leaders meeting.  It’s wonderful to be with our core group and hear their passion for the body of Christ.Journey_Logo_Orange_Large

It is absolutely encouraging as we discuss our desire to love the people of Spokane and unite with other churches to further the message of Christ.  We truly want to get back to the basics and follow the New Testament blueprint for how to be the church.  We want to meet people and love them where they’re at. right. now.  We don’t want to talk about great concepts and ideas, we want to live out the teaching of Jesus.

Our heart is to show hospitality.  Love liberally.  Worship God.

Planting season brims with potential.  We dream and hope.  We’re ready to put in a whole lot of work.  Lots of dirty, sweaty, gritty hard work.

I look forward to sharing with you all that the Lord leads us through and to while planting Journey. It’s a little bit of a “community garden,” needing help from every available body.  We would be honored if you would help by watering our dreams with your prayers.  Together we will reap the harvest!