I have been absent from the blogsphere for a while now. Our family has had some big decisions to make the past few months, that will overall effect my ministry to children and families. My husband has been the youth pastor at our church, Dutch Fork Christian Church, for the past 7 years – where I have currently served as Children’s Minister. We are going to enter a new season in our life as he has accepted a position with North Point Community Church to plant a Strategic Partner location here in Columbia, SC. His last day at our home church was actually today and as of tomorrow he is full-time lead pastor of Columbia Church. We are first and foremost humbled by what God is doing in our loves. NEVER did we think we would be leading a church, let alone one with the name “North Point” connected to it. We are excited about what God is going to do in our city and through us. This means that I will be stepping down from my current position at Dutch Fork as Children’s Minister prior to launch. We’re looking to launch Sept. 2009 and I will resign effective June. At the same time as this we are adding a new blessing to our family, baby Richards #3, who is due the beginning of June.
So as we step into this new season of our life we are excited and full of anticipation and faith with what God is going to do. I will no longer be posting on this blog as I will be eventually leaving the ministry world to simply serve my husband and the church God has called us to and to minister to our growing family. If you’re still interested in following our journey as a family, this wild adventure we’re starting on, and my personal ramblings, you can follow my other blog: Mommy Needs Coffee. (http://www.mommyneedscoffee.wordpress.com)
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church planter’s wife.
That’s right, as of January 11th, I will be a full-time church planter’s wife. JD announced his resignation to our church today as we open this new chapter in our lives.
So that also anserws a bit as to why I haven’t been blogging the past few months. God has been moving us in this direction, starting this past February. When there’s something so BIG and heavy, and God-ordained, yet you cannot speak of it outside certain circles, it became difficult to blog. Over the course of the next few days, I’ll share some more information regarding what’s going on, what we’re doing, what this means for my children’s ministry, info on the pregnancy, and just an update to our lives.
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Cade, my 4 year old, wanted to color a picture. That’s cool, kids love to color right? So I got him a piece of construction paper and some markers and away he went. A basic task like coloring should be predictable, right? Paper, markers, and a 4 year old = scribbled mess and mommy’s masterpiece, right? That is what I expected, but Cade soon diverted from the plan.
Cade got a hold of a post-it note pad with stars printed on it and thought to decorate his paper with the post-it notes. After precisely applying every note he wanted to display his art in his room. He asked for some tape and Igave him the scotch tape. The pictures below are what resulted.
I really was inspired to think. What I had expected was not at all what Cade produced. It was awesome! He secured his portrait to the wall beside his bed with an entire roll of tape.
As a church leader we need to be inspired to step outside the confines of what is expected, and lead creatively. Too many churches are exactly the same as they were 20 or even 50 years ago. How are you creatively doing and being the church?
Second, always over do it. Over plan, over execute, over communicate, always over do it. In church world there is a tendency to do just enough instead of our very best. Maybe we would see God move if we actually planned for it instead of simply complaining when we didn’t see it. This is especially true when a church or organization wants to create momentum. If you don’t anticipate and plan for the unseen growth you will never see it. If you don’t plan for and create space for people that are not a part of your church you will never see them, and if you do, they won’t be back next week.
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We are 5 days away from Friarsgate’s largest Egg Hunt! Join us on Saturday, March 22nd at Friarsgate Park at 10am to help search among 10,000 Easter eggs. All eggs are filled with prizes in addition to other prizes. We’ll also have games, inflatables, and food following the hunt. So bring your family out, tell your friends, neighbors, etc. and enjoy this FREE event we’re putting on because we care about your family!
I am excited because I got approval today to send flyers home with the children in two elementary schools in our town. Hmm…now I’m thinking there’s a 3rd I should have asked about too….. That’s already over 1500 flyers going to homes via kids!
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Part of my problem with lack of posting is that I never seem to know which direction to post in. Call it a blog identity crisis if you will. After attending a workshop on blogging this past week, I realized that the contents of my Children’s Ministry blog were too broad. It started as professional development, but I have friends and family that follow it as well. To keep this blog more church leadership focused, I started another one as a way of communicating with my friends and family. You’ll be kept updated on family happenings, interesting things I am passionate about, parenting, my spiritual journey, and of course boy fluff! If you want to visit there and enjoy that side of me visit “Mommy Needs Coffee.”
This blog will continue as a professional, leadership & ministry focused blog with possibly some family ancedotes thrown in here and there!
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Reading tonight in “Grace Based Parenting” by Tim Kimmel, I was reminded that Satan is fighting for our kids. Scary thought. He knows the needs they have and tries to fill those needs in counterfit ways, even our youngest children. He operates within our children to lie and deceive them. A child’s three most basic needs are: (1) security, (2) significance, (3) strength. It is our job to daily processs everything we say or do to our children through the filter of these needs. If we’re not keeping these three needs to the foreground of everything, then Satan will use false ways to fill these needs in our kids. We need to shower them with love, purpose and hope. This first begins when you find it in your own relationship with Christ. As they see your needs fulfilled within the Savior, your example will put power and authenticity behind your words and actions.
It’s a GREAT book for Christian parents to read!
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Posted in family on February 11, 2008 |
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Last weekend I was able to savor some beautiful time a wonderful group of friends as we headed to the Asheville mountains for some r & r. We had a blessing of a time and it was like nothing I’ve done before. However, heading back into town Sunday, I was greeted by a sick child. Throughout this next week it went from one child being sick to both along with dear husband and myself. I will just say I AM OVER IT! I can handle a sick kid. I can handle being sick. But when it’s the entire family and we can’t shake it, I can’t take it. Last night I announced to God and our family that we were done with it. And know what? We wonke up this morning with a sense of feeling like we are on the mend. I sure hope so.
So all that to say, blogging will come. My only inspiration lately has been chicken soup, tissues, breathing treatments, and crying children.
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I was having a parenting discussion with a friend today that led me to thinking (as most parenting discussions do!). As a society we value the attribue of independence in our lives and in the lives of others. From the time our children are born we are concerned with them sleeping through the night, when they can play on their own, when they can walk, as they can achieve benchmark A, B, or C, go to school, get a job, move out of the house, etc. As a parent we make these large issues that we choose to “fight battles” over. Some are large issues, although in the scope of everything in life, some are not.
Why is it so important for our children to achieve independence? Is independence biblical? I actually think it isn’t. We have been made to need each other -we desire companionship, close relationships. Actually I believe dependence is the Biblical model – first and foremost we are supposed to depend on God – ultimate surrender. There’s no room in our relationship with Christ for independence. God desires that dependence from us.
Society has made dependence a negative attribute to have. When we depend on another person we are perceived as a weak and a lesser person. But if God parents His children and desires dependence from them, shouldn’t we desire the same from our children? Is the value placed on creating independent children who only need a parent to “guide” them through life? I think children need parents who know their children are dependent on them and take care of all their children’s needs despite magical ages or moments in life. That’s not alwys easy, especially as your sleep is interrupted at night, or you are ready for empty nest. Children need parents who respect them as individuals and through that children will respect their parents. Respect begets respect. We need to start seeing dependence on each other as part of God’s model of parenting and see it as a stage of development rather than a weakness. And we need to step out and see where our own dependence is on others and on God. We need a healthy balance of dependent relationships in our life. God created us to need each other, community. God created our childrne to need us and depend on us 24/7.
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With a new year starting, a familiar theme in most people’s lives is trying to get their lives in balance. In ministry this is a HUGE topic. How do you balance ministry and family? How do you balance your time? Your resources? Work for someone in the church doesn’t end when you go home at 5:00. Most people in ministry work way more than 40 hour work weeks (even if on paper it’s 40!). So how does one achieve balance with what God has called them to do — and specifically, how does one balance their family if they are a woman in ministry?
One thing for me is that my work situation is unique. The church I work for is incredibly generous in giving me time for our family. I am technically employed “part-time” as being 30 hours a week, not full time at 40. But we all know, the time is done when the work is done. From the beginning our church has understood that my first importance is my relationship with Christ, then our family. After that is work. Ministry gets done, limits are set, and we’re in balance most of the time. Of course there are those crazy camp weeks or right before a large event when you’re working overtime and sleeping and breathing church, but they are the abnormality.
So, how do I achieve balance as a mom in ministry? One thing is that I know my limits. I try to simplify the ministry we do, place importance on the things that yield the most return for what our church’s purpose is. Our church’s purpose is to “Discover God, Develop Relationships, and Demonstrate Love.” I try to weigh the things we do in the Children’s Ministry against whether or not it fits that purpose. Does our Sunday morning environment – large group/small groups fit into this? Yes. We use that as our main teaching time for children to Discover God and the small group portion is the time to Develop Relationships. These things should get priority of my time and resources. A children’s choir. Does that meet our purpose? Not currently, so therefore we don’t have one, it was eliminated recently. I’m not afraid to say no to doing events and activities. We want to do what we do well and not compromise the quality by being cluttered.
I think I also am able to balance things with ministry and our family because I am not afraid to delegate. It hasn’t always been this way. I am a Type A, like it done my way type of individual, but I realize now that with 2 young children that I need help. I can’t do everything on my own, I cheat others by not affording them the opportunity to use God given talents and gifts, and I’m not benefiting the ninistry overall. Things like scheduling, supply room organization, and snack purchases are handed off. When we do a large event I try to work with a team to pull it together. I have a great volunteer staff that has some workers that really go above and beyond.
The biggest thing that has helped is finding a schedule that fits the rhythm of our family and being committed to it. From the beginning of working I have been open with the church we’re at about what I can and cannot do. My office hours are set for times when I have child care for my kids. We did open a preschool program last year at our church that our children are involved in so that is wonderful. It brought more responsibility for my job position, but it was worth it for the child care aspect for our family. Some evenings I go up to church and do a bit of work when the kids are in bed at night or during naptimes on Saturdays. Gathering supplies and prep. work can be done at home. It doesn’t have to all be done in the office.
I hope these ministry thoughts can help someone who is in ministry struggling with little ones and trying to do what God has called them to do with excellence. It’s tough to balance everything and it isn’t always done well, but I think we’ve achieved a pretty good rhythm to our life. The biggest thing that overrides everything is to be open with your church leadership and your priorities. They are only little so long before they’re in school and the whole situation changes.
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Posted in family, random thoughts on December 10, 2007 |
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Does anyone still read this old dusty volume of creative work? My stats tell me I do stil have faithful readers, although for what reason? i don’t know!
I’ve been busy and restless. Busy with the family and restless with life. So, as I process and sort through some things in my view at the moment, I will try to journal the lessons learned here. If you are professional reader i.e. children;s minister – this blog may show more of the side of my family and personal life. If you are a friend or family – this blog may have snippets of ministry tossed in. Who knows!
Anyways, we’ve been through a lot in the past month – our precious baby boy hospitalized and in surgey with a yucky infection, a vacation to FL to see family and Mickey Mouse, the moving of God in our present and possibly future, introduction of new friendships, revival of old, birthday parties, additional jobs, holidays, and the joy of our boys, although relizing time passes way too quckly.
I am ready to blog again, to sort through my thoughts. It may not be as frequent as it once was, but I’ll be here!
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