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April 15, 2010

Spiderman's Elevation welcome

Once in a while, I do the announcements/welcome at our church.  The message is always the same (whether I do or someone else).  If you attend Elevation regularly you know it too.  It goes something like this...

Welcome to Elevation, if you are a first time guest, you are our VIP.  When you walked in you received a connection card.  If you would, please fill out the card and take it to our black tent, we have a gift we'd like to give you.  If you have been coming to Elevation for a while and are ready to get connected, head to our orange connection tent to sign up for community groups, volunteering and more.

Every once in a while I bring Elijah or Graham on stage to help me.  I guess they have heard it a lot.  Recently the have started playing "Elevation."  Elijah is Mr. Luke (one of our drummers), Graham is Mr. Mack (one of our worship leaders) and I will hear one of them say "You are our VIP."  One day I heard Graham say "In Jesus name, Amen!"

So the other day Elijah grabbed a toy mic and did the announcements for my husband.  You may have already seen it on his twitter but just in case you missed it, here's the link.  Maybe one Sunday you'll see Elijah do it all by himself.

Raising kids in the ministry is about accenting the positive and making church fun.  Its seems easy when they are little, but I have pastor's wives friends all over the country who have given me great ideas for the future.  One of them has a teenage son who runs a video camera, another one runs sound in their children's ministry.  It's all about ownership and responsibility.

I'm wondering if there are any ministry families who want leave a comment sharing how you get their kids involved at church?  I'd love to hear from you today.

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Comments

I am a missionary kid so have grown up with PLENTY of church meetings ALL THE TIME!! I think the best thing my Mom has done is a) pray like crazy for us and b) constantly ask us what God is putting on OUR hearts. Its clear that we minister as a family and that we ALL have gifts. We are all as important in the ministry as eachother. Everyone has their role, and everyone is uniquely gifted by God. She has always looked for ways that God can uniquely use OUR gifts... not just our parents.
Also, we know that its bigger than us. Its not about us, its about Jesus being glorified. Mom takes time to care about the little details of our lives (a bad friendship at school, dad & mom making us clean our room, etc...) but we know that in comparison to the people around us whose souls are not saved, and the sick people who need healing... our worries are insignificant. She has found the perfect balance.
We still have a lot of issues... and we are a very imperfect family... but ultimately we all are like that... and thats why Jesus saved us! Will be praying for your kids!

We've been in the ministry for about 5 years and our kids are 10 and 12. They sing on Sunday mornings and our oldest plays her cello. They also help with the younger kids in the nursery. I have witnessed our daughter walk up to a mom with a fussy baby and ask if she can take her to the nursery so the mom can stay and listen to the sermon. I'm seeing leadership potential from them:) We have several widows in our church that we feel were being neglected by the church. We've started visiting them often and our kids are doing small jobs for them. They are now asking to go more often, and I see them enjoying the conversation. What a blessing!

When my husband and I started our church plant, our daughter had been very involved in our previous church. I would find her in her room crying because she missed singing and being a part of the worship in the kids area. It broke my heart and I decided to find a way to help her love our new church just as much as our previous one. She loves little children and we have gotten her involved in helping teach the 4-5 year olds. Now the first thing she asks every Sunday morning is if she can go early with daddy.

When Bil is invited to speak at a church we take one of our kids with us. I love the fact that they get to meet godly leaders that are making such a huge impact for Christ in our World! It just melts my heart to see these busy pastors take the time to give a few words of wisdom, or joke around with my kids!
We also take them to help out at work nights when we are busy getting a new campus open.

Serving is SO VITAL to kids remaining faithful and not walking away from the church when they reach young adulthood! I already have my oldest (he's 7) occasionally helping me teach three year olds. We have four services a weekend - so when he serves he attends childrens' church during one service and serves during one service. He's learning and growing and the 3 year olds love him!

I could really go on for days about this one. I grew up as a PK that really resented the whole thing. God definitely has a sense of humor though because now I'm not just a PK, but also a PS (preacher's sister) and a PW (preacher's wife!). As we have our own kids growing up as PK's now, I have really thought a lot about why I resented it and how to help them love it. I think as a child, I felt like my dad's calling stole him from me. I resented the fact that he often seemed to choose church over family and I knew where I stood on his to do list and it was rarely at the top. In fact, squeezing in time for me didn't happen very often. We moved a lot which I hated. I never felt secure in any place because I was constantly waiting to be uprooted again.

We have decided that it is absolutely critical to teach our children that this is not just my husband's ministry, but our family's ministry. If God moves us to do a church plant and we have to uproot the kids, I want to be certain that they know from day one that God has a plan for them in all of it. They have a purpose too! We are teaching them that they can talk to people everywhere about Jesus. I am trying to help them concentrate on seeing people through the eyes of Jesus. I am praying that they develop a "soul awareness" even as preschoolers.

Love this. I am a Pastor's wife & have 4 children ages 12-19. We've been in the ministry for my kids' whole lives. All of my kids are involved in Ministry of some kind. My oldest son just finished his first year of Bible collage!

We've always encouraged them to find what they wanted to do in the Church to be evolved, but have NEVER forced them, or put expectations on them that because they are Pastor's kids, they are "required" to do things, or expected to act a certain way, or be someone they are not. (after all they are just children, they didn't choose to be Pastor's kids, we chose it for them!) I've found when they are encouraged, but not forced, they are free to find their own niche.

I've seen over the years P.K.'s who were forced to be involved, or had expectations put on them, many times grow up to resent the Church, & I wanted to make sure that didn't happen with my kids. Like you, I want them to desire to be in the house of the Lord, to live & work for Him.

Here is a Blog post I wrote about raising Pastor's kids. http://star4laughs.blogspot.com/2009/09/raising-pks.html

RESPONSE TO ANGELA DE SOUZA (my mum :) )
I absolutely LOVE being in the ministry with my family, at times it can be challenging and storms do come, but we, at a UNIT are strong and move forward together. Seeing the change in the people that come through our doors is SO reassuring and uplifting. I wouldn't want to live life any other way :) xx

First of all I have to say I LOVE "jessica's" suggetion on not blaming the church... good stuff.

Anyway... our son (5 yrs) goes with us just about wherever and we typically give him jobs to do. My fav was that he got to "preach" for my husband. He was talking about being a good friend and my son was very much into super heros. So he got to tell about being a good "partner" for Batman. (becuz in his mind he was)

I was called into ministry a few yrs ago and nearly 2 yrs ago moved from NY to OH to be part of the leadership of a church plant & am now on staff at another church plant. My 20 yr old, who owns his own business has printed t-shirts, signs, business cards, etc; my 17 yr old did all the tech/video/etc for the 1st church and my 14 yr old did childcare, graphic design, tech & just about anything else. Today they jump in as needed. What I've learned is that allowing them to be a part/giving them desired responsibility without 'forcing' them to be respects their own choices/calling while reinforcing/modeling serving (esp as teens!)

We have a food ministry where a couple of restaurants donate food and we hand it out at rescue missions, etc. Twice a week we pick up the food and repackage it to store and deliver. Our 3 (all 5 years old and under) kids love packaging the food with us. It opens up great conversation about how not all people have enough food and we are blessed to help others.

I grew up as a pastors child. It was not easy and there were many parts of my life negatively affected by the position my father had. In fact it came to the point of me rejecting God for a time as well as any thoughts of being involved in any type of ministry.

I am in ministry. God works in wonderful and mysterious ways. It is so important to me that my kids don't experience the negative perspective I carried of ministry. To help with this, we encourage them to volunteer at church. We generally encourage them to do this with us, in an area not directly related to what I do for "work". It helps them to take ownership, but also shows them that even though I work for a church I am still called to serve in it. Also, I make sure that "work" or ministry does not interfere with our family life too often. I never want them to wonder what came first or was most important to me. After God, my relationship with my husband and children comes before "work". That doesn't mean that I never do something work related during family time, but it will never be the norm.

Without our children's help & support we would not have made it! We started our church as a family - only 1 family! Crazy really, can you believe it! Our 18 year old daughter is the worship leader and from June will be the creative pastor. Actually she started the church. When she was 14 we moved cities and she was stuggling at school to make friends as there was no one who shared her values. After a while she decided to see school as her mission field and insisted we start a youth group that she can invite her friends to. She did and to cut a long story short we were in a situation where we had about 30 new converts and needing to start a discipleship group which turned into the church we have today. Sorry this is getting a bit long will wrap it up - so much to say about this subject! Our other daughter who is no 14 helps with the Kids Church and our 4 year old brings his guitar along to church and plays with his daddy while sitting in the front row. Our 1 year old hasn't found her role yet but it I am sure it won't be long before she finds something to do too :) I absolutely love doing church WITH my children - we are in this as a family, we laught together, we cry together, we see lives changed together, we struggle together! It's AWESOME x

Hubby and I used to work at Fellowship in TX. We've since moved to a church in Cincy, but I clearly remember Lisa and LeeBeth Young talking about PKs understanding why we do what we do. Instead of "Daddy's going to miss your soccer game because he has a meeting at church." we say "Daddy 's going to miss your soccer game because he's planning more ways to help people." That way we don't blame church.

I am the Creative Arts Pastor at our church, and my husband, Roger, serves as our Stage Manager. Roger designs and builds sets for our platform, which we change out regularly. Our sons are 5 and 3, and we continually work to incorporate them into our life of ministry. Our heart's desire is to see them grow into the men God has created them to be for His kingdom! To incorporate our boys into our ministry lifestyle, we've done everything from letting them have toy tool kits and blocks of wood to "work" on, to finding simple tasks they can help with during our projects so that they feel a part of what we're doing, such as giving them there own (inconspicuous!) parts of the sets to paint. We also look for specific ways to make it fun for them, like having backpacks with special toys that are for playing with only when we're at the church, and letting them play dress up in some of the costumes from my drama department. Some of their favorite movies to watch, are the videos from our church drama productions and they ask to watch them regularly, reciting the lines right along with the cast. We want them to grow up loving the life God chose for our family!

A couple of my favorite playtime moments I caught them in recently, was when the boys had gathered several of their action figures and set them up in a circle, and my 5-year-old said, "staff meeting time! Staff meeting everyone!" then they proceeded to role-play each of our pastors. Or when I overheard my 5-year-old excitedly telling my 3-year-old that the Holy Ghost and the Fire are both God!

Thank you for your blog! I check it daily, and appreciate your insights! Many blessings, to you and your family!

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