KidzWorld Changed My Life

As Children’s Pastor at NewSpring, I find myself jumping–at nearly break-neck speed sometimes–from one project to the next.  Don’t get me wrong. I love my job and love working with some amazing people who make my job a whole lot easier.  We are starting a building project for our nursery area and I am super excited to be able to use that new space to reach more kids & families in southcentral Kansas.  There are a lot of discussions, meetings, and planning that go on throughout the course of a month to make it all happen.  Also Judgement House is coming up in October and we start looking for volunteers right now to help with that ministry, which I oversee as well.  So I said all that to say this….sometimes you can get so busy that you can miss some blessings that are right in front of you.

I was in the mode of “what is the next project to get after” and I got a message that one of my volunteers in KidzWorld wanted to talk to me.  The two things that run through my mind when that happens are: they are unhappy with some segment of the ministry or they want to pitch a new ministry that we need to start.  So I met this guy for coffee and for the sake of privacy we will call him Bob.  (I love Bob the Tomato on Veggie tales)  We ordered our ice coffees and I paid for his and we sat down. Then Bob said, “Thank you,” and started into his opening statement.   “Mr Dan, I wanted to sit down with you face-to-face and tell you something that I have needed to say to you for a long time.   (I’ve got to be honest, I was thinking this is going to be a gut wrenching conversation and I should have had this meeting in my office not in a public place!)  He said, “I just want you to know volunteering in KidzWorld has truly changed my life.”  I smiled like, “Oh, okay, good to know. How is your ice coffee?” But before I could even say a word he started to tell what it has meant to him to minister to kids here at NewSpring.  He went on and told me how he has a great job, plenty of money, big house, nice family but came to church and then went home year after year without serving the church.  Bob told me he was restless at home trying to figure out a hobby for himself because he was bored with life.  He said, “My family loves each other, but pretty much everything we did was just for ourselves.  So finally I got the courage up to fill out a volunteer application to help in KidzWorld and help engage kids on the weekend with the best news ever!  To be honest I really thought I would not last more than a couple of weeks.  But that hour each week has more impact on me than you will ever know.  I saw in the kids a deep form of worship that I’d hadn’t experienced before. I was trying to make a difference in the kids’ lives, but their love of the Bible and God was impacting me and changing me.  My life is so much more fulfilled because of what KidzWorld offers to kids,  a chance to hear about the greatest story ever told and in a fun and engaging way.  The staff you have ministering to kids is just amazing to me. Their passion to reach boys & girls with the good news is second to none.  I know of six families that work at my company who have started coming to NewSpring and the first pitch I make to them is ‘your kids are going to love it!’ I have tears running down my face every time I see a kid get baptized at FX. If I can’t be there in person I watch online and am blessed to have a very small part in their stories. Or when I see kids getting greeted by a crazy monkey or a lovable dog, or see the little red wagons going through the parking lot, or hear the Adventure Avenue Praise Team as I walk down the hallway, I swell up with pride that I am a part of something that is reaching the next generation.  I travel some and I hate it when I have to miss. But volunteering in KidzWorld has humbled and changed me a great deal and I just want to tell you ‘thank you’.” And then Bob leaned forward and said these words that hit me like a 90mph fast ball…”Volunteering is often pitched as ‘change someone’s life when you volunteer’, but it changed MY LIFE because I volunteered.”

I walked away from my meeting with Bob thanking the Lord for how KidzWorld impacted him and how much more I appreciate the ministry God has given NewSpring Church in Wichita and the eternal impact God allows us to experience.  And if you are reading this and would like to volunteer at NewSpring Church go here for all the information you need.  Who knows–volunteering could just change YOUR LIFE….just like Bob’s.

Thank you to all of our volunteers at NewSpring that make the weekend happen. We couldn’t do it without you!

 

New Day in the Bay

I just wanted to share some good news on this Tuesday. Ready? We have started the dirt work on the “New Day in the Bay” building project! The heavy equipment has started to roll in and the Baby Bay playground is no more. But we are super excited to see this project start and can’t wait to get to the finished product. Here are a couple of things that might affect you.
 The West Entrance is now closed. You will have to use the South Entrance or the entrances located in the north area where the Coffee shop and The Student environment are located. The West Entrance will be shut down for the majority of the project.

Starting this Sunday, Father’s Day, you will see red KidzWorld Welcome Wagons in the north & west parking lots. These are going to be out and about helping young families make it into the building safely with their kids. So be sure if you need a little extra help getting into church that you take advantage of this ministry!

Continue to pray and give towards the building expansion. Our goal is to pay for this without borrowing any funds. Hope you have an awesome week and don’t forget to celebrate Father’s Day here at NewSpring Church this weekend!

KidzWorld Camp

The first day of camp was amazing! The buses arrived safely and right on schedule. The kids got to have some afternoon free time swimming and games. In the evening, our Bible story focus was on God as our Creator. The bottom line for the evening: God made me!

Coming to Adventure Avenue this summer

Written by Ashleigh Bryan, assistant to Karla Stinson, Director of Adventure Avenue

I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE the rock bands from the 80’s. Journey, Def Lepperd, Styx, Queen…the legends. So when I found out that we were doing a “Kids Rock” theme in Adventure Avenue all summer long, to say I was excited is a bit of an understatement.
Oh, by the way, HAPPY SUMMER!!! There’s just something about summer that, no matter how old you are, brings about a sense of freedom, and fun, and relaxation, annnnd…boredom. Oh, yeah. There’s a lot of that, too. For many of you parents, you are reveling in the newfound freedom of no more homework folders to sign, no more crumpled up drawings to stick on the fridge, YOU. ARE. FREE.

For about a week. Then, without fail, the kids will come to you and say, without a doubt the most famous saying in all of summer history, “I’M BORED.”

Wait a minute…what?! Just last week your kids had a list a mile long of things they wanted to do this summer and were getting along so nicely. But now they’ve succumbed to the mind-numbing hypnosis of the television, the allure of video games, and they’ve become even more creative in the topics of their fights.

Let’s face it—as much as we love summer, it does disrupt the routine. Nights get longer, mornings get later, and eventually, somewhere around mid-July, you’re the parent who lets their kid eat ice cream for breakfast because WHO CARES ANYMORE?!

It’s no different for preschoolers. All school year long, they have a routine. Either they are going to school or daycare, or they are used to their older siblings being gone, and then summer comes. Suddenly, they might be home for the whole day without seeing their friends and there’s this other person in their home, also there all day long, just brimming with ideas to make them mad.

Sometimes it can seem like our kids are just that…kids. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that someday, when they’re older, they’ll do something great. It’s even something parents often dream about—what will my kid be when they’re older? What will they accomplish? What will they be known for?

But, here in KidzWorld, we believe that kids can do great things right now. Even preschoolers! Which is why all summer long, we are dedicating our weekends to stories from the Bible about kids who rocked by doing what God wanted them to do. We believe kids ROCK! And so does God.1706_AABottomLine_Poster-01

Which can be hard to believe when your kids are running around the yard covered in dirt and screaming their heads off. (It’s okay, you can admit it!) But our memory verse this month is “God made us to do good works,” Ephesians 2:10.

There’s no “when you grow up” or “when you’re older” after that verse. We were made to do good works. Period. No matter how old you are. So that means that, yep, your little three year old with chocolate dribbling down her face? Made to do good works. Your five year old who never stops asking why? Made to do good works. Your two year old who just can’t seem to master the idea of potty training? Made to do good works.1706_AAMemVerse_Poster-01

All summer long we’ll be introducing your preschoolers to other kids in the Bible who did great things for God, from Jesus teaching in the temple, to David and Goliath, to Miriam watching out for her little brother, Moses.

And to help you out with that summer boredom, we have a great thing for you to do with your kids. We believe that they were made to do good things, so we have a “Do Good Challenge” for them. It’s simply a piece of paper with rows of smiley faces on them. Each time they “do good,” encourage them to color in a smiley face. Once an entire row is complete, you can celebrate as a family. Hopefully it will keep them busy all summer long thinking of all the things they can “do good.”

We will also have some collector cards each week with the kid from the Bible story we talked about that weekend. They can grab the new one each weekend to help remind them that, even though they’re kids, they were made to do great things and God knows that kids ROCK!

It’s going to be an AWESOME summer in Adventure Avenue and we can’t wait to see you there!

And for those of you parents who are already struggling with the summertime blues? All I can say is…61 days until September! GOOD LUCK!

Summer and Kids

Summer break is almost here…or maybe it is already here for some kids. There are lots of ways to have fun during the summer. But summer can be a great time to do something new or impact the lives of others. Here are 10 ideas of things a kid can do during the summer that will make a difference in their own life or the lives of others.

  1. Memorize a Bible verse a week…or maybe a chapter. If you are looking for a really BIG challenge, memorize Proverbs 3:1-15.
  2. Do something kind for someone every day. (Don’t forget that your brothers and sisters need kindness too)
  3. Learn a new skill. Maybe you would like to learn to draw or juggle or do magic tricks.
  4. Read a book a week.
  5. Ask your parents for a special new assignment each week, such as a new chore you could master.
  6. Learn to cook (with some help from an adult).
  7. Play a game that your younger brother or sister likes each week.
  8. Write a letter to a different school friend each week to ask how their summer is going.
  9. Learn about the lives of kids in a different country.
  10. Start a journal. Write a few sentences about what you did or how you felt each day.

Whatever you decide to do this summer, make sure that you always remember:

I need to make the wise choice.

I can trust God no matter what.

I should treat others the way I want to be treated.

Have a great summer!

Easter Weekend at NewSpring

I was sitting in my office this morning and reflecting over the wonderful Easter weekend we had at NewSpring Church.  Each moment that I recalled was connected to either a volunteer or staff member who went beyond the normal to make a big impact on the lives of others. I had several parents come up to me to say “thanks” for what we do for kids.  One comment was, “It is mind blowing to me what you do for kids!” Another comment from a dad who drives all the way from Lawrence, Kansas said, “What you people do for kids is unparalleled to any other ministry. We try to come as much as we can but with our work we can’t make it as much as we would like. If we happen to come to Wichita during the week my kids beg me to drive by the church to make sure we aren’t having services.”   We had 124 first time guests in KidzWorld and over 2700 in KidzWorld this weekend!  Doesn’t that make you shout for joy?  Most churches don’t see that in a year but God has blessed NewSpring with an open door to our community and we should celebrate it!  Overall we had over 12,000 people attend one of the 6 services over the weekend and 53 adults prayed to receive Christ. In 252 Theater we know of 10 kids that made a life-changing decision!
Thank you for making such an impact on south-central Kansas. We couldn’t have pulled it off without our amazing volunteers alongside us.  Many of you worked 2,3,4…some of you 6 services to make sure we could handle the crowds at every hour. KidzWorld Staff is so blessed to have such an army of dedicated volunteers who go beyond the normal to make an eternal impact!
Now it doesn’t stop here! Many of the people who came the first time this weekend will come again.  We are reaching out by phone and mail to each new family and inviting them back to NewSpring.  We want to make sure that we “set the table” properly each and every week so the message of God’s love is clear to every boy and girl that comes into our environments.  Some of you volunteers might be feeling a sense that you would like to step up even more in your area and take on new responsibilities. If that is you talk to the ministry leader in your area. They would love to have a conversation about that with you.

Thank you for your service and willingness to impact others for Christ!

KidzWorld Celebrate Spring FX

Families, we have some great fun coming up this Friday, March 31st at 7 p.m. It’s called FX which stands for Family Experience. It’s a chance for your whole family to enjoy a FREE hour of fun and games and learning about God’s Big Story. We only offer FX four times a year so you won’t want to miss out! Join us in the South Auditorium at NewSpring Church this Friday. We will even offer childcare for kids age 3 and under. This is a great event to invite friends so they can see the kind of fun we have in KidzWorld and encourage them to come back on the weekend.

Can’t make it for some reason? We’re going to live-stream the event at newspringonline.org!