Church Based After School Ministry: SUMMER

1.08-6.08 503Summer gives you amazing opportunities to touch the lives of the children you serve.

  • Don’t do the same old thing you do through the school year.

Kids need change – adults need change too.

Summer is a time to loosen up and have fun.

 

  • SUMMER IS A TIME TO TEACH SKILLS YOU AREN’T ABLE TO INTRODUCE THROUGH THE SCHOOL YEAR.

Summer is a great time to teach children how to take a vision – plan it out,  develop the vision and then implement the vision.

Learning to plan is a vital skill that children must learn in order to succeed in life.  In her book “A Framework for Understanding Poverty,” Ruby Payne writes:

“If an individual depends upon a random episodic story structure for memory patterns, lives in an unpredictable environment, and has not developed the ability to plan, then …

“If an individual cannot plan, he/she cannot predict

“If an individual cannot predict, he/she cannot identify cause and effect

“If an individual cannot identify cause and effect, he/she cannot identify consequence

“If an individual cannot identify consequence, he/she cannot control impulsivity

“If an individual cannot control impulsivity, he/she has an inclination toward criminal behavior.

If we are going to disciple the whole child we must teach them the skill of planning.  When you have kids for a week you can walk them through the process of planning and implementing an event.  They discover, perhaps for the first time, that they are able to create, to do some critical thinking for the best outcome and they have the skills to actually carry through on what they have planned.

Samples of such Day Camps are:   The Fun Zone (they create a Penny Carnival they hold at the end of the week), County Fair (they work all week to create a fair which includes art judging, animals, baking, plants and a carnival), Christmas in Summer (they study how Christmas is celebrated in different countries and create an evening celebration of all these customs for friends and families.)

CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE OF THE FUN ZONE

The wonder and excitement as the kids implement what they have created is amazing.

How would your church help “Michael” and his “Anarchist Soccer Mom?”

This is the question I’ve been asking myself since Friday.
The government can’t make much of a difference – THE CHURCH CAN. But will we? What about Matthew 18:1-14 – every Christian is responsible – no excuses.

Church4EveryChild

Anarchist Soccer Mom“Michael’s story” had been posted on my Facebook wall yesterday morning by one of my ministry colleagues while I was in church. This story has also been circulating under the title “I am Adam Lanza’s mother.” Here’s an excerpt…

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to…

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Church Based After School Ministry: EXCELLENCE

A.  DILIGENCE

Romans 12:11; II Timothy 2:15

As Christians, we are called to a life of perseverance.  We are to move ahead with careful, steady  effort.  To have an excellent Center, we cannot become sluggish or indifferent.

Mediocrity IS OUR ENEMY

If you are diligent you will:

be   Challenged

get   tired

want to  give up  at times

BUT YOU WILL persevere

I had just begun as Children’s Pastor in a different church and knew that the most excellent Children’s Ministry was achieved when volunteers met monthly for training and evaluation.  For the first few months, only a few people showed up.  The fourth month, only two people were at the meeting.  I was so frustrated I sat with the two who had come and cried.  Everyone told me to give it up.  People were just too busy to come to meetings.

Matthew 18 was always going over and over in my mind – I knew God expected me to do everything I could to provide an excellent Children’s Ministry. I REFUSED TO GIVE UP. Slowly the attendance began to grow until there were 20, 30 and even 40 people turning out for these volunteer gatherings.

EXCELLENCE DEMANDS GOING THE EXTRA MILE!

B.        PRODUCTIVITY

You will bear fruit if you are excellent.

What may be some of the fruit you will produce if you have an excellent Center?

(Children catching a love for Jesus, parents coming to church, grades improving, behavior improving, life skills learned, etc.)

C.        PROGRESS

There will be continual change and growth in the program.  You will never be content with how things are going now, even if they are pretty good.

You will be growing as an individual, spiritually, emotionally and professionally.  Don’t be satisfied with where you are.  Browse through a book store at least once a month for the latest children’s books, educational books, and craft and recreational books. OR browse through the internet for books, children’s ministry ideas, parenting ideas.

Seek God daily!  Allow God to show you His truth in your innermost being.  Hunger after knowledge about child development, parenting skills and how to motivate children to learn.

LOOK BACK AT WHERE YOU’VE COME FROM
CELEBRATE WHERE YOU ARE
LOOK FORWARD TO WHERE YOU CAN GO

D.        POWER

Through God, you can meet whatever is thrown at you.  You know that apart from God you can do nothing.  However, you know in your heart that all things are possible with God.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

 E.        ABUNDANCE

You go beyond what you have to do.  You look for what you can do, even if it is tedious or means more work, longer hours, getting dirty, looking ridiculous, or taking risks.

I was leading a vacation Bible school program with hundreds of children.  Each day the children were to bring pennies, which were to go to a missionary.  My son visited the first day and at the end of the day was giving me a critique of what he had observed.

“Mom, you have to give the kids a reason to bring in their pennies that is more concrete than just helping the missionaries,” he challenged.

So I thought about it and the next morning told the kids that if they brought in a certain number of pennies, she would let the interns (six college students hired to run the summer weekday activities) do anything to me that they wanted.

The interns told the kids that at the big closing celebration, they were going to turn me into a hot fudge if enough money was raised.

The week had a new excitement to it.  I egged on the kids telling them there was no way they could raise so much money.  The kids kept saying, “Wait till Friday night.”

Friday evening arrived.  As families began arriving, I was walking around the church dressed in a long black evening dress.  The kids were aghast!  “Wanda, your dress is going to get ruined.”

“No way!  You haven’t raised enough money,” I needled.

One dad came up and told me that he had gone around his office collecting money because this was one event he wanted to make sure happened.

As you might guess, the money was raised.  I changed clothes and was brought out to sit in a wading pool while the interns poured ice cream, whip cream, chocolate syrup, nuts and cherries over me.  The church was packed with children and families.  There was a sense of electricity in the building.

I didn’t have to allow myself  to be made a fool of, but I knew the difference it would make in the week.  What I wasn’t counting on was the lasting effect it had.  Many parents came up afterward and told me how much they appreciated my willingness to go the extra mile so that their kids could be challenged and grow.

F.   RESPONSIBILITY

Excellence demands a realization that I am responsible for the outcome of what happens at the Center.  It requires awareness that one day, I will stand before the Lord and He will judge the effort I put into my ministry.

Romans 14:9-12

  G.   QUALITY

Aim for high quality in all you do.  Continually ask yourself, “Can this be done better?”

H.   HONESTY

Excellence demands that you be honest with yourself.  It is easy to fool oneself because the heart is deceitful beyond all else, Jeremiah 17:9

It is easy to think you are doing something great – when you really aren’t!

The Challenge of the Pedestal

 

Church Based After School: Emotional Needs of Children

   This is the story of a church-raised child – how much more devastating this would be for one of your kids in your after-school ministry.

Nine-year-old Marty loved Bill his Sunday school teacher.  On Sunday mornings, he could hardly wait to get to church to be with Bill.  Bill would call from time to time, and they would chat on the phone, or Bill would send him a postcard just to tell him how special he was.

One Sunday when Marty arrived at church, Bill was very excited.  He told Marty that he had just purchased a new fishing pole and was planning to go fishing the following Saturday.  He invited Marty to go with him, if his parents consented.

Marty was so excited!  After Sunday school, he made a mad dash to find his mom and see if it would be O.K.  Marty’s parents knew Bill well, and they were excited that he wanted to spend a day with their son, so they told Marty that it would be great.  Marty ran back into the room to tell Bill that he would be able to go with him.

Bill was also excited and they made arrangements regarding their day of fishing.

Marty could hardly wait until Saturday morning.  He told all his friends at school about his great Sunday school teacher who was going to take him fishing.

Friday evening rolled around and Marty’s family went out for dinner.  When they returned from dinner, there was a message on the answering machine.  It went something like this.

“Hey buddy, this is Bill.  I really hate to do this to you, but I know you’ll understand.  I was just given tickets to the UCLA – USC football game tomorrow.  I know you were really counting on going fishing but we’ll do it another time, O.K., buddy?  Love ‘ya.  See ‘ya Sunday.”

Marty’s mother told this story.

She had just read a brochure on the emotional needs of children.  After reading the brochure, Marty’s mom said that it was at that time that Marty suddenly changed his attitude about going to church.  She hadn’t made the connection before.

As we prepare to provide the most excellent ministry we can for the children whom God sends to us it is vital that we consider each child’s emotional needs.

 WHAT ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS
OF THE CHILDREN?

Church Based After School Ministry: Teaching Children To Pray

One of the most important tools you can give a child to walk through life is prayer.

When was the last time you took time to teach the children about the importance of prayer.

One of my passions is to teach children to turn their self-talk into an on-going conversation with Jesus. There isn’t a moment in the day that we can’t be talking to Jesus and expecting Him to guide us and direct us.

 

What do you do with prayer? 

When a problem arises, where is the first place you turn?  In your day in/day out living, how often are you in a conversation with Jesus Christ?  When your life is going good, do you share with Jesus the excitement of what is going on in your life?  What about when life is difficult?

 How will you teach the kids to pray without ceasing if this isn’t your lifestyle?

How will you challenge them to move toward a victorious walk with Jesus if your walk isn’t victorious?

A lesson on prayer

Below is a prayer I’ve prayed for you.

 Jesus,

I lift this faithful laborer up to You today.  Let him/her grow in his/her depth of conversation with You.  As s/he comes to You, bless him/her with a sense of Your presence.  Speak to him/her in his/her inner most being.  Oh Lord, I know You long to have a continual conversation with this child of Yours.  Please Lord; teach him/her how to speak with you constantly.  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Church Based After School: Opportunity To Learn From A Man Who Once Was An At-Risk Kid

 

Below is an interview which anyone who serves at-risk kids must listen to.

 

Rob Bryceson, Pastor of First Covenant Church Spokane, WA interviews a member of his church who grew up an over the top at-risk kid. It is amazing that he is alive today – even more amazing that he walks with God.

You may want to have a Kleenex handy.

We, who serve kids from dysfunctional homes, can learn what not to do from this man’s story. He accepted the Lord as a child, however due to mistakes the church made he walked away from the Lord in the week after entering the Family of God.

http://www.fccspokane.org/2012/06/sunday-06-17-2012/  

Church Based After School: Is It Worth It All?

    When you begin to wonder, IS IT WORTH IT ALL?

The giving, giving, giving of yourself.

STOP and take a few minutes to write out the little changes you have seen in kids over the past year.

Here are a few from directors I’ve trained.

Keon, 7 years old, used to get in fits and crawl up in a ball and hide in the corner. He would get mad if things didn’t go his way or if he had to do his homework. After one month of having people pray for him daily this behavior stopped. He hasn’t got in a ball like that in months. He has learned to be more responsible according to his teacher and grandmother.

WHEN YOU RUN UP AGAINST A DIFFICULTY WITH A PARTICULAR CHILD ASK AT LEAST THREE PEOPLE TO PRAY EVERYDAY FOR THE CHILD. SEND THEM A DAILY EMAIL DETAILING HOW TO PRAY.

A mother’s statement about her son with fetal-alcohol syndrome, “In all the years my boy has come to church I’ve NEVER seen him grow so much as he did this last year at the center. Thank You.”

IT WAS THE CONSISTENCY
OF DAILY BEING CHALLENGED TO FOCUS ON THE TRIUNE GOD.

We have a six-year-old who believes in God with her whole heart and is completely unashamed of the Gospel. She includes God when she is playing with her friends; I overheard her the other day laying out the plan of salvation as she and another child played. She concluded with, “At the center we learn about God. EVERYTHING is ALL about God!”

DON’T DO TUTORING AND STICK JESUS IN,
DO JESUS AND STICK TUTORING IN.

What At-Risk Kids can receive from adults committed to intentional, individualistic Discipleship.