The Snapshots from Chande

The Chande Orphanage Project…
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Here are a few photographs of the Chande Orphanage, taken by one of the many mission teams from the Inglewood Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, TX.

Click the first thumbnail to begin viewing the photos at full size, or view as a slideshow.

[ Other Chande Orphanage Project Information ]

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Worshiping with Children

We are building a dynamic children’s ministry at King’s Grant, and have a creative, passionate and gifted Director of Children’s Ministries, Katie Goodmurphy. Since we have introduced our children into the corporate cross-generational worship experience, sometimes adults and parents don’t know how to help our kids connect to what is going on. Years ago I discovered these ABC’s of worshiping with children; information we all can use.

Arrive in time to allow children to choose a good place to sit. Encourage them to sit up front where they can see the pastor, musicians, choir etc.Looking at the back of someone’s head does not help them to connect.

Bring your child’s worship bag to church. Make sure it has colored pencils or crayons with a coloring book for younger children to use. For older children have them bring a notebook: to write down unfamiliar words, draw a picture about something they hear in the sermon, take notes during the sermon…

Clue your child into what will happen next in worship. Children who like to read will want to read the words in the Bible, on the screen or in the hymnal. They like to be ready. Keep a bookmark in their bag/notebook so they can find the Scripture text for the day.

Discuss worship when you get home. Take time to answer question about their worship experiences.

Express your joy at having children in worship. After the service, be sure to welcome the children sitting near you. Encourage your children to greet other members of the congregation. When you make introductions, always introduce your children and introduce yourself to other people’s children. Include them in your conversations to let them know they belong.

Firm and consistent. Apply the same discipline used for other important matters. Make the boundaries as wide a you can make them (say yes as much as you can), but the boundaries are FIRM.

Guide young readers to read the hymnal, Bible, the words on the screen, or the bulletin

  1. Look together for familiar words
  2. Follow the lines with a bookmark or bulletin on it its side
  3. Use the large print hymnal

Holy hugs. Use a gentle touch – an arm around your child’s shoulder or your hand in his or hers gives reassurance and appropriate attention.

In and out. Children come in and out of participation. When they can’t keep their focus on the service they can engage in a related activity.

Jesus – to whom our worship is directed.

Keep any activity sheets for the sermon time. Being still and quiet is highly valued by parents and others during this time.

Let your children print their name on the Connection Card.

Make it a rule not to sit with friends. This can become a habit by the time they get to the youth group.

Notice when your child ministers to someone else or is touched in some way by God. Praise him when he’s listening well.

Offering. When we give a tithe to God it shows that we know God is the giver of all good things. You may want to allow your child to put some of his own money in the offering plate as his worship to God.

Participate. Children learn to be passionate about worship by watching you worship in spirit and truth. Let your child see you celebrate before the Lord, maybe even like King David (2 Samuel 6:21-22)

Questions. Whisper questions to your child during the sermon/Scripture readings.

  1. “How do you think Jesus looked and sounded when he said that?”
  2. “What does this say about how you felt yesterday?”
  3. Wondering questions – these keep the Scriptures open by dealing with a child’s experience and understanding of the story. Wondering brings us to the knowledge of God, ourselves and others in a deep and convincing way.
  4. “I wonder why Jesus enjoyed being in the temple so much?”
  5. “I wonder what Bartimaeus is seeing Jesus do now?”

Relax! God put the “wiggle” in children.People in the congregation should also enjoy the freshness of families worshiping together.

Stand “short people” on the pew to “read the hymnal/screen with a “tall person.”

  1. Let them hum or la la along before able to read the words or
  2. Help them sing repeated words or choruses.
  3. During special music have a young child squeeze your hand every time they hear the word Jesus, Glory, etc.
  4. During music without words, children can be asked to listen closely and picture what is going on in the music. Have them think of a Bible story that seems to go along with the music.

Talk about the sermon when you get home and encourage children to share what they learned in the service. Ask them questions and let them ask you questions about what you learned.

Understand their need to move around. Accept them and care for them in the worship setting. Be appreciative of their presence and always be ready to cuddle.

Visit the sanctuary when a service is not going on. Let your child go up front and explore and ask questions.

Whisper instructions.

  1. “Now is the time we tell God about how sorry we are. Remember our talk this morning about being selfish?” Tell Jesus about this right now, and ask him to help you share the last doughnut next time.”
  2. “Listen to this story. It’s a good one.”

EXit when necessary. In certain cases, an exit is desirable: a teething baby, a hurt/distressed child, loud & rambunctious behavior, a toileting emergency, or if a child has set up a distracting pattern of play with another child. Exit relieves tension. Teach your child what behavior is acceptable in worship. When the cause of the child’s complaint is resolved, return. Exiting without reentry is counterproductive.

You are your child’s best worship teacher. Call her attention to the minister, choir, worship leaders, flowers, banners, seasonal colors etc.

Zzzzz: there is no sleeping in God’s presence.

These ideas and quotes taken from Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman.

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How Do You Spell Love?

How’s your summer going? Bethany is on the MFuge trip to Phillly this week and I stopped to think about how fast the summer is passing by. There are only a few weeks left until she heads back to school.

That got me thinking…

Now would be a good time for the Men of Steel to consider how much time we’ve spent with our kids this summer, and how important it is to them that we do. I’m talking about personal, individual time.

Has it been minimal, or have you intentionally put your work and personal interests on hold so that you can invade your child’s world?

Have you spent time reading together? Talking together? Gone on walks, hikes, bike rides? Taken a family vacation together? Gone swimming together? Taken your daughter out on dates? Gone fishing, canoeing, or a ton of other fun outdoor activities with your son?

I read a great quote this week: “The thing our children need most is often in the shortest supply — our time.”

They don’t care or need the “stuff” that a good paying job with long hours can provide. Children of all ages spell love T-I-M-E.

So, before you begin this mental review of your summer schedule, watch this brief video. Hold on to the very end, it’s powerful.

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A Father's Blessing, Part 1

Have you ever considered the biblical practice of “the blessing?” Authors Smalley and Trent wrote a book about it called, The Blessing, which is the industry standard on the topic. We can go back to Genesis 27 to see how it was used. Jacob stole this older brother’s blessing (Genesis 27:1-29) and then Esau comes to get his blessing, only to find out it was taken (Genesis 27:30-38). When the blessing is withheld, notice how Esau responds (Genesis 27:34, 38). He was not an emotional, fragile, feminine man. He was a hunter, fisherman and gamesman; I’m thinking like Jeremiah Johnson.

How did the Father communicate His blessing to Jesus? Matthew 3:16-17 is a fine example, He expressed words of affirmation; the Father spoke openly of his pleasure in the Son. Not a bad example for us today. Here is a brief list of what Smalley and Trent teach about how to bless our children:

Meaningful Touch (Genesis 27:26-27): Jacob is 40 years old or more and his daddy is kissing him? Yes. There is a healing, affirming and nurturing dimension to appropriate physical touch in the home. Men, we need to show love by your actions, but don’t leave this out. It may be uncomfortable for you, but think of your kids. Jesus blessed children as well, by bringing them close and touching them (Mark 10:13-14, 16).

Spoken Words (Proverbs 18:21, 12:18, 15:4): A blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken. The tongue has the power to give life or destroy. Let’s speak words of affection (like, I love you), or words of reconciliation (like, I’m sorry, I was wrong, forgive me), or words of vision (like, you’re going to do something great with your life, you’re going to make a difference), or words of security (like, you’re mine, and you’re special, helping them to sense God created them for a purpose). Don’t withhold your words (Proverbs 3:27).

Affirming Your Child’s Value (Genesis 27:27, 28, 29): What happened after Isaac kissed Jacob? Yes, he smelled him, but what did that (and the words that followed) mean? It was like daddy was saying, “Do you know what I think of when I think of you, my son? I think of a field with grain growing. I hear birds singing. I see sun shining. You’re in the middle of the field, tall and strong.” It’s like a word picture; it takes a little creativity, but you can do it. Use an everyday object and then match the emotional meaning of the trait you are praising to the object you’ve picked.

Picturing a Special Future (or Spiritual Vision) (Genesis 27:28): May God give you… basically, spiritual transformation, like a metamorphosis. Where do you see you child when they get older? Wonderful verses of blessing are Psalm 127:3-5, Jeremiah 24:7

Active Commitment (to a Prosperous Vision) (Genesis 27:29): They would be the master of their opposition, their role in life, their finances… and not the reverse. Present your children being blessed to the Lord.

A few final questions… Can you trust God with your most treasured possession? Can you commit your children to their best interest (Proverbs 22:6)? Do you understand their particular bent? Have you become a student of your child? Do you know their friends, activities: do you know their heart? Try asking yourself these questions about your kids:

  • What do they most often daydream about?
  • When they think of their years as a young adult, what would they really enjoy doing?
  • Of all the people they have studied in the Bible, who is the person they would most like to be like? Why?
  • What do they believe God wants them to do?
  • What type of boy/girlfriend are they most attracted to?
  • What is the best/worst part of their school day?

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