Creative Ideas for Summer Children’s Evangelism

Local churches too often schedule their year without ever examining the schedule of events that their community has organized. 74-81% of families do not travel away from their communities on summer holidays. Six out of ten children are involved in community sponsored summer programs. Taking advantage of the world’s activities can allow countless opportunities of reaching the lost for Christ.

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The Biblical Model of Training Children to Serve

Fifteen years ago I answered the call to serve as an associate pastor at a Baptist church in northwestern Virginia. We came at a time when the new senior pastor had been voted into office a couple of months before, and a casting of vision was needed for the church to advance. Very quickly after we arrived we discovered a church body that had experienced much hurt, pain, and division because of the mistakes of former leadership. Through no fault of its own the body corporate had not experienced any spiritual growth in years. I can recall a conversation I had with our pastor early on when we reviewed the state of affairs. He asked me, “Well, there are a number of staff members that have left and the work is wide open. What do you think the Lord would want you to do?”

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When Who You Are Doesn’t Match Who You Feel You Are

When you think of a lady in the ministry, what comes to your mind? Often in my mind I think of a woman a lot like my mother. One who has a sweet disposition, who comes off as quiet and mild-mannered, and full of grace. A lady who has manners, knows how to carry herself, is put-together. She is empathetic, good with people, caring, compassionate, and loving to all who cross her path. Her home is spotless, her children well-behaved, and her husband always happy. Basically, she is the quintessential pastor’s wife - a real lady!

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The Desire to “Behave” for Christ

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

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Defined by Our Heartbeat

Proverbs 4:23 states, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” During my lifetime I have mostly heard this passage presented as a warning. Preachers and teachers I have known through the years have spent time admonishing young believers to protect their hearts by not giving in to temptation, lust, and the evil way. At times an attendant verse to support the teaching would be Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Certainly there is a wonderful biblical principle here that does indeed instruct the reader to make sure that his heart was protected against the allurements of this world and to watch out for the “negatives.” We must seek the power of the Holy Spirit through sanctification! However, I wonder if many of us have ever considered the positive aspects of this principle?

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Hezekiah Took Counsel

II Chronicles 32 records the siege of King Sennacherib and Assyria when his mighty army “encamped against” the fenced cities of Judah. Verse three of that passage informs us that King Hezekiah then “took counsel with his princes and mighty men” in order to stop the onslaught. While waiting for a miraculous move of Jehovah, righteous Hezekiah carried out ideas and suggestions from those which he took counsel – all for the strength and support of God’s people. Even King Hezekiah, in all of his wisdom, leadership ability, and spiritual insight, still determined to surround himself with good counselors who could give advice and ideas for the work that lay ahead. Precious time was earned as Hezekiah followed the input of these men, and later on in the chapter the Lord provided deliverance through means of an angel that destroyed the army of Assyria.

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Senior Pastors and the LLC: We are here to help!

Our Loving & Leading Conference has been, and continues to be, a great resource for Children’s Ministry encouragement and challenge. In the past couple of years we have broadened our scope of encouragement and challenge to include education classes. These classes have been a real blessing to us as well as those who attend. In 2018, we will broaden our encouragement and challenge to pastors. I thoroughly enjoy the comradery and fellowship with other pastors of like faith. This year we are adding sessions for pastors in different areas of ministry. I have asked three different senior pastors to join us: a pastor who started a church six years ago, another pastor who took an established church four years ago, and a pastor of thirty-five plus years. Each has different perspectives and areas of ministry that can encourage and challenge us. As in past years, we will have special times to encourage and challenge each other in general sessions with pastors.

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Training Disciples: Following Christ’s Example in the Modern Day Church

Our example in every aspect of life can be found in the life of Jesus Christ. Training, teaching, and developing men and women for the Lord are obviously among the tasks that Jesus leaves us; He gives us undeniably clear examples. Upon starting His earthly ministry He called twelve. It would behoove each of us, who are starting or finishing our ministries, to look at our Saviour for the process and plan of developing disciples. In today’s words: interns, mentoring, leadership training, etc. I suggest a good study of some examples in Scripture such as Elijah-Elisha or Moses-Joshua, but whomever you choose, examine and study our Saviour’s way of discipling with His disciples.

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