All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Thursday Book Club: Family Based Ministry

Tuesday/Thursday Book Club:
Perspectives on Family Ministry

“Family-Based Ministry:
Separated Contexts, Shared Focus,”

chapters 7-8

It has been a while (July) since I’ve done any book club posts, but now that the book I was reviewing has actually been released, I thought I’d finish it up in two final posts. If you didn’t catch the first portions of my review, you can link to them here:

Chapters 7-8 of Perspectives on Family Ministry is dedicated to family based ministry.  The advocate for the position is Brandon Shields, who, at the time his chapter was completed, oversaw high school and collegiate ministries at Highview Baptist Church, a large multi-site church here in the metro Louisville area.  Brandon served in youth ministry for 10 years, and he has now take a position as a senior pastor in a Florida church.

It is interesting that this is my first post on family based ministry, because I resonate with it a great deal.  Two key books for the movement are Family Based Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries (Inter-Varsity Press, 2004), and Think Orange by Reggie Joiner (David C. Cook, 2009).  Both of these books are worthy of their own book club installments in the near future. Continue Reading…

SojournKids: What do we celebrate?

As a children’s ministry, we’re very good a talking about what we believe. But I’ve been challenged recently to think about what we celebrate. What are wins or victories for our children’s ministry? What gets us excited? Well, here is a preliminary list:

  • When the lives of children’s ministry servants are changed by the gospel message we’re teaching.
    We want nursery servants, teachers, musicians, and classroom helpers all to be growing leaders who are affected by the gospel, because we give children our lives, not just a curriculum.
  • When kids talk about Jesus while at play.
    Because gospel life is more than just the lessons.  We want to do more on Sundays than teach through a curriculum.  We want to relate the gospel to each aspect of your child’s life.

  • When families talk about Jesus together.
    When we sit at home, when we drive along the road, beside the bed at night, and while we’re eating breakfast–our children’s ministry must be a catalyst for families having gospel conversations together.
  • When families celebrate gospel life milestones with their church community.
    Baby dedication, Coming of age, Baptism–because Jesus informs every stage of life.

A Parent Handbook for your Sojourn campus

Every Christian parent wants to raise children who will grow up to love and trust Jesus.  Parents deliberately search for the church that provides the most opportunities for their kids to grow up in the Lord.  We want Sojourn to be that church!  Yet, as we continue to build our ministry to children, we must not neglect our homes—where children see our faith on real-time display every day.

At Sojourn, we believe that the home is the front line of Christian ministry to children—not the Sunday school or public church gathering.  The practices of a Christian worship service—the Scriptures, prayer, and praise—should be present in the home as well.  After all, the most important teaching moments happen at home rather than at church.   As the church, our responsibility is to encourage and equip you in your parenting role.

We want to empower parents.  One of the ways we’ve done this is by putting together parent handbooks for each Sojourn campus.  The handbook has everything that you need to know about SojournKids’ policies and procedures–including campus-specific emergency action plans.  If you are a parent, you’ll want to take a look.  Grab a copy on Sunday or download them here:

Parent Handbook for the Germantown Campus (PDF)–an overview of SojournKids’ philosophy and childcare policies for those attending Sojourn services at the 930 Art Center.

Parent Handbook for the St. Matthews Campus (PDF)–an overview of SojournKids’ philosophy and childcare policies for those attending Sojourn services at Walden School.

FAQ from flu.gov

We can’t be too careful as flu season begins, and, as the Children’s Ministry director for Sojourn, I can’t over-emphasize the importance of sanitary practices and proper hand washing.  For those of you who have already read Sojourn’s statement on the flu and our SojournKids sickness policy, here are some FAQs from flu.gov:

How does 2009 H1N1 virus spread?

Spread of 2009 H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza.  Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?

The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners* are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

SojournKids Sickness Policy

If your child is sick, please respect others by keeping him or her with you. If your child shows signs of sickness (including, but not limited to, high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, severe coughing, colored nasal drainage, pink eye, head lice, undiagnosed rash, open skin lesions, and any infectious disease), we reserve the right to ask you to remove him or her from the classroom. We define an infectious disease as any disease that spreads from one person to another person. These may include, but are not limited to, HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis, etc. We believe that God has called us to minister to all people and will, therefore, strive to provide a safe environment that is safe and accepting of everyone. Children who appear, or become, ill at church will be isolated from the other children, and the parent/guardian will be summoned immediately.

Parents are asked to contact a member of the SojournKids leadership team if their child contracts a communicable disease (such as chicken pox, head lice, fifth disease, etc.) after attending a SojournKids gathering.  The medical condition of any child or SojournKids servant will be disclosed only to the extent necessary to minimize the health risk to the person and others.  Sojourn’s elders and the SojournKids leadership team will be provided with the appropriate information concerning any special precaution that may be necessary. SojournKids will not disclose the health status of any individual without the express written consent and permission of that individual, or in the case of a child, their parent or guardian. Parents of children involved in SojournKids activities will not be privy to any confidential medical information.

The SojournKids sickness policy exists for the protection of the children in our care. We regret that it sometimes means not admitting children that have been brought to our public gatherings.