Sojourn Statement on Influenza

Flu season is coming upon us.  While the Bible teaches that we should not live in fear, we can certainly take precautions as individuals and as a church family to minimize the risk of flu outbreak, whether H1N1, Avian or the seasonal flu.

We can all help protect ourselves, our children and each other by washing our hands and using hand sanitizer regularly, covering with sleeves when coughing, and, if sick, to stay home from Sojourn Gathered, community group and other events and activities.

Know that the Sojourn elders have been seeking counsel and maintaining contact with health agencies and officials, and emergency responders.  Here are some steps we are taking:

  • We will maintain the hand sanitizers in every bathroom and at the Info Table, coffee station, and Sojourn Kids check-in stations.
  • We will perform regular, thorough scrubs of the entire children’s wing.
  • In the event that any Sojourn staff or volunteer worker contracts a contagious illness during the time frame in which he or she serves Sojourn Kids, we will contact the parents or guardians of each child involved.
  • We will stay in close contact with health workers and agencies, and follow public safety guidelines.
  • We will make any additional changes to our gatherings at such time as we are convinced through prayer and counsel that changes are needed to protect you.

We urge you to please stay home if you suspect you may have a contagious illness for the course of the illness and at least 24 hours after all symptoms have resolved.  Also, we encourage you to seek medical care if you suspect the flu.  It is especially important that you refrain from service activities like Sojourn Kids, Connect Team or communion-serving if you suspect you may be ill.  Let your ministry team leader know you will not be able to serve.

While we don’t want to downplay the very real effects of the flu and the continuing spread across the United States of H1N1, let’s not panic or buy into any hysteria.  We live in a fallen world with many dangers, but we serve a God who is never surprised or helpless in the face of any situation.  May His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, and may we remember that our great God is working all things for the good of those who love Him.

Visit http://flu.gov for more information on how to protect your family, and what to do in case of infection.

Two Great Child Evangelism Resources!

Here are two fantastic child evangelism resources you can get on the cheap:

Leading Children Towards Gospel Repentance and Faith by Marty Machowski, (Covenant Fellowship Church, 2007), $5.00

Helping Children to Understand the Gospel by Sally Michael, Jill Nelson, and Bud Burk, (Children Desiring God, 2009), $7.50

I’ll probably be requiring both of these for Sojourn’s Pastor’s School this coming Spring.  Great resources!

Listen to free audio of the Jesus Storybook Bible

Listen to free audio from one of my favorite Bible storybooks, the Jesus Storybook Bible from http://jesusstorybookbible.com

There was once a little girl who didn’t get out of bed one morning, or the next, or the next…
God’s people had some scary enemies, but the Philistines were the scariest of them all…
The heavens are singing about how great God is…
God had a job for Jonah. But Jonah didn’t want it…
Time passed and many people filled the earth. Everyone everywhere had forgotten about God…

Notes from the Family Ministry portion of The Gospel, Counseling, and the Church Conference

You probably know that Sojourn recently hosted a conference called The Gospel, Counseling, and the Church.  SojournKids hosted a pre-conference “family track” for leaders in children’s, student, and family ministry.  I asked Patrick Aldridge, Pastor for Children and Youth at Redeemer Fellowship Church, St. Charles, IL, to take detailed notes for the blog.  He did:

Jared Kennedy asked me to “take detailed notes” of the pre-conference family ministry stuff as well as the break out sessions on parenting dealing with Gospel centered children’s and youth ministry.  He was whining something about his wife being ready to give birth again and he wasn’t sure he was going to be there.  I think he was looking for a way of getting the information without doing any of the work; but whatever he’s a good and godly friend so I am happy to bail him out.

[at the time of posting there is still no baby, so maybe I was just trying to get out of work–Jared]

Tuesday morning and early afternoon a group of us who are all involved in children, youth, and or family ministry got together to talk through some of the issues and struggles we all have.  After a round of introductions, Mark Prater from Covenant Fellowship shared about making sure the children’s youth, and family ministries are Gospel centered.  A ministry, any ministry, which is Gospel centered will bear its own fruit (Col. 1:6).  It’s not about methods or models, it’s about the Gospel.  The Gospel is the central truth we seek to teach and apply. Continue Reading…

Bible translation matters to children’s ministry!

“In the 1984 NIV when Paul says (in 2 Corinthians 11:25) ‘I was stoned,’ we changed it to ‘pelted with stones’ to avoid the laughter in the junior high row of the church.”

–Douglas J. Moo, Committee on Bible Translation

What other texts do you know that could be confusing to kids the way they are currently translated in modern English versions?