This past weekend in KidzWorld we had a “banner day”! I can say that because 28 kids accepted Jesus as their Savior. That is totally cool and we are so excited about their new relationship. I trust you will be praying for them and their new walk.
Now, back up to Friday of last week. I received a “sales call” from a new children’s curriculum for churches. I don’t know how he got through but he did. Lucky me! After all the basic chatter from both sides of the phone he asked me this question, “What are you doing to teach the kids that come to your church about going green, carbon footprint etc?” He went on to say that they have a new program that teaches the church to teach the kids about this issue. He rattled off the first five lessons and one of the titles was asking God for forgiveness because you are not green enough! I stopped him right there and said, “It seems to me that you are more concerned about environmentalism than evangelism.” I do believe we need to be responible with God’s creation and all do our part…but for a church to replace the Good News with “Go Green” I think is very dangerous. Needless to say our conversation ended pretty quickly. But the funny thing was as we said good-bye he asked if he could send a free copy of all the material to me. I said, ” No thanks…let’s save the paper.”
Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?
Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?
Why is it called lipstick if you can still move your lips?
Why is a boxing ring square?
Why is the word dictionary in the dictionary?
Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
How do “Do not walk on the grass” signs get there?
When you come to KidzWorld you know something fun is going to happen. No one is exempt from getting involved, including our fabulous volunteers. Tonight we got a couple of them involved in a fun game that helped the kids rehearse the memory verse for the month. You can be a part of the fun too. Just go to the volunteer tab at www.newspring.org and let us know that you’re interested.
So many churches say, “Children’s ministry is one of our top priorities.” They say the words…but they are just words. When you look at the fact that most people accept Christ before the age of 12 you can easily connect the dots on what should be a priority for a church. Unfortunately, so many churches are saying the words without having any action to minister to children. I just got off the phone with a children’s pastor in another state and he is having a hard time trying to convince his senior pastor that children’s ministry is more than child care. This church has spent countless thousands on new furniture for the foyer, repainting & updating all the offices, new lighting for the restrooms but when this children’s pastor asks for money to repaint and theme a room for his kids…the answer that comes back is, “No, it’s just child care for the 11 a.m. service.” My heart breaks, not only for that particular church but for many others around the country, where the sentiment is the same. That’s why I’m so thankful for what we have here at NewSpring Church in Wichita, Kansas. Kids are important to us…and we back those words with our actions. Having hundreds of volunteers who serve with a passion to reach kids is just a start. We also have beautiful, engaging areas for all ages. One thing that can’t be overlooked is our senior staff who believes in kids’ ministry. So the next time you are dropping off your precious cargo in one of our kids’ environments, why don’t you say a word of thanks to the volunteers who are there to greet your child and make KidzWorld a place where kids can learn about God’s love for them.
Saturdays have been getting pretty crazy around NewSpring. The Saturday service is growing. Just last night we had over a 1000 people at Saturday XL and we had the highest total in KidzWorld except for Easter Saturday last year! And I can testify that those kids had a great time. (Side note: If you don’t have a ministry why not give Saturday KidzWorld a try. You might just find out you love it.)
As the kids were checking out, one mom stopped me and asked if she could talk to me. That usually means there is a problem. But she had good news. She told me that every morning at the breakfast table her four-year-old asks, “Do we get to go to church today?” Of course mom has to answer “no” every day. Then finally Saturday morning arrives and as the child eats his breakfast cereal he asks again, “Do we get to go to church today?” And mom gets to respond, “YES!” Her son shouts, “Yahoo!” The mother told me how much her child loves to come and learn about Jesus. In fact she said that they stopped going to church for awhile because her child didn’t want to go. Now he can’t wait to come to KidzWorld and that takes the stress off bringing her family to church. To all those of you who make our environments joyful, relevant and irresistible…thank you!
Saturday night we had a great time with the kids in Route 252 learning about our new virtue: Fairness. We are going to have a blast all month long. What was a blessing to me as I talked to some parents and they told me about their kids bringing kids to church. One mom told me that her daughter got a phone call from a friend asking if she could come with them to church. She had been listening to the daughter all week long talk about how much fun it was at NewSpring so she decided to ask if she could go! How cool is that? What we do at NewSpring is set environments for all ages so they can engage and learn how God loves them. To all you kids and parents who are bringing kids from your schools & neighborhoods, keep it up. You are making a big difference in the lives of others. There were several families tonight that loaded up their minivans and brought many kids with them. In fact some brought two cars to get all the the kids in. I shared that with our executive pastor tonight and he commented that it is like having a bus ministry without the buses. Keep it up!