Pray for your Pastors

9 Things is an amazing little book, and I’ll have a complete review in a couple of weeks, but I couldn’t help but preview one section that was particularly helpful and convicting for me.  Ryan Frank writes a lot about dependence upon God and prayer in this book.  As I said on Thursday, there are two prayer lists in the book that I think are particularly helpful for SojournKids servants.  Here is the second (on page 46).  This is my prayer today.

Pray for your Pastors

Pray especially for Sojourn’s Executive Team—Daniel Montgomery, Brian Howard, Mike Cosper, and Bryce Butler.  Also pray for the Midtown Campus Pastor Chad Lewis and the J-town Campus Pastor Lisle Drury.

P—Purity.  Pray that your pastors will remain pure in the face of constant pressure in an immoral culture.

A—Adversity. Pray that your pastors will confront adversity with faith and endurance.

S—Strength.  These mean all work 50+ hours each week.  Pray that they will have strength to continue their ministry.

T—Teaching.  Pray that these mens’ teaching and preaching ministries will be effective, powerful, and clear.

O—Organization.  These men have more to do than any one person can handle.  Pray that they will prioritize correctly.

R—Rest.  Your pastors need rest.  Pray that they will sleep each night and that they will take enough time away from ministry that they will not get worn out.

For more on praying for your pastors, download 31 Days of Praying for your Pastor, a resources that Frank has adapted from Nancy Leigh DeMoss.


CDG11 Breakout: Disability, Autism, and the Tender Mercy of God

Saturday was World Autism Awareness Day. 1 in 110 children (1 in 70 boys) are affected. I know this has a number of folks in children’s ministry thinking about special needs ministry. One champion in this area is Brenda Fischer, the Disability Ministry Director for Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN.  The following are notes from a breakout session that she led at CDG11 entitled, “Disability, Autism, and the Tender Mercy of God.” I enjoyed attending the session, and I’ve included my notes below as well as links to some resources that she sent me after the fact:

God in His tender mercy brings heart challenges to our ministries. Disability has a way of stirring things up, in the heart and in the classroom.  Brenda outlined three major heart challenges that take place when God brings a child with a disability into your class.

1. Ministering to the Child with a Disability.

  • Ask God to put His hand on your ministry and help you to bless this child.
  • Remember to ask God for wisdom.
  • Ask the parents for advice on caring for their child.  They may provide lots of advice.  They may say, “I don’t know.”  You may even want to ask the parents to model for children’s ministry volunteers how to work with their child.  Here is a copy of their intake form that provides great questions to ask.
  • NEVER try to guess or assume a diagnosis.
  • Learn what you can about the child’s disability.  You don’t have to learn everything, but you can learn something.
  • Be willing to try out proven tools like picture schedules or headphones to help with sensory difficulties.  Try pencil spinners or “pokey” stress balls to help with focussing attention.  Bethlehem uses the Boardmaker software program to make picture schedules as well as visuals to help with Scripture memory.
  • Children with special needs at Bethlehem are all included in regular children’s ministry classrooms, but parents decide which age group class their child will attend.  Bethlehem has found that it is often helpful to recruit a helper to work with a child one on one.
  • Like all people, those with disabilities are sinners and in need of a Savior.  Children’s workers should use discernment about behaviors that are the result of a disability and those that simply flow from a sinful heart.  Many times, this is not clear cut. Sometimes kids need to be led to adapt.  Other times, they need to be led to repent through prayer or asking another child for forgiveness.
  • Here is the copy of the Bethlehem handbook for their disability ministry team. Continue Reading…

Last Sunday: Jesus Welcomes Children

This week, Sojourn celebrated the birth of 32 new babies, and their parents gathered with our community to commit to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  In SojournKids, we studied the story of how Jesus welcomes children from Matthew 19:13-15.  We learned that:

  • Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.”
  • Jesus loves and welcomes little children.
  • Jesus gives his kingdom to needy people who cry out to him.

You can download the SojournKids At Home sheet here.


Grade School Bible Lesson for Baby Dedication Sunday: Jesus Welcomes Children

Jesus Welcomes Little Children
Matthew 19:13-15, 1 hour & 20 minutes, targeted at grades 1-5

Lesson Overview

This week in SojournKids, we will study Matthew 19:13-15, and we will learn that:

  • Jesus’ said, “Let the little children come to me.”
  • Jesus loves and welcomes little children.
  • Jesus gives his kingdom to needy people who cry out to him.

People brought little children to Jesus for a blessing, but the disciples said, “Stop.”  They thought that Jesus was too busy for little children.  But Jesus loves and welcomes little children.  He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them.”

Jesus taught the disciples, “The kingdom of heaven belongs to people who are like these children.”  Little children know that they need help.  They cry out for help with all kinds of things—eating, getting dressed, walking across a street.  Jesus wants all people to be needy like children.  He wants all people to cry out for him. Continue Reading…

Our kids team wears blue T-shirts…

…and sometimes mustaches… because we like them. :)  I love these pics from the 10th anniversary last year.