Growing Kids Ministry Blog

Warm Hearts Continued…

It’s not just up to me.


Warm Hearts Continued

How can our daily routines teach children about God?

Chapter Two: Bright Lights

This chapter helps to highlight the essential task the church has been designed to do. Reggie paints a beautiful picture of the nature of the church, drawing examples from the Old Testament tabernacle and temple and the letters to the churches in Revelation. No matter where it is discussed, the Bible makes it clear that the church is to function as a lampstand, a light which points to Christ. The author explains that in the Old Testament tabernacle, the lampstand was located in a strategic place. It was directly next to the table which held the “shewbread”, the loaves meant to represent God’s provision and later would symbolize Jesus’ own body. In the book of Revelation, John addresses the seven churches as the seven lampstands. As you read through John’s challenges to these churches, everything makes so much more sense in the light of the lampstand’s original purpose. “God was concerned about the church losing its influence and impact” in order to shine a light on Christ.

Reggie challenges us as churches to makes sure the we are illuminated the right things. In order to be most effective for kingdom, we have to make sure the lampstand is illuminating the bread, Christ. Jesus himself said that when he is lifted up, he will draw men to himself. It’s not our job to draw people in — it’s our job to illuminate the only one who can. All our clever programming and fun activities will become pointless if they are not showcasing the Son of God.

The author warns against several tendencies in the church including using the lampstand to fight personal battles, make political statements, and make our church look better. All Bible-believing churches are serving the same God — and sometimes we “begin believing our mission is to get people to buy into our version of church”. So instead of getting caught up in the minor issues and things that distract us from our true calling, let’s make it a priority to keep Jesus in the spotlight, so to speak. Let’s be intentional about keeping the lampstand in it’s proper place.

Think Orange by Reggie Joiner

 I recently started reading the book "Think Orange" by Reggie Joiner.  It talked about the power of combining church (yellow) and family (red) to produce a more powerful force (orange) than either could be alone.  After a funny and offbeat introduction, Reggie begins his dicussions with some "Orange-ology".  He explains that "The premise of this book is simple: As long as churches do only what they are doing, they will get only results they are presently getting."  The same goes for the family.  There are failures in both homes and churches -- churches are losing influence and families are disintegrating -- so what is the solution?  Step up the force on both sides?  Or how about combining forces for a whole new way of thinking?  This is Thinking Orange.  This is not another "family based ministry" approach.  This is a way of thinking that could lead to radical and controversial changes.  Many churches and families are already working on the same thing -- trying to raise good and Christ-centered kids.  But, as Reggie explains "working on the same thing at the same time is not as effective as working on the same thing at the same time with the same strategy" (p26).   Join me as I continue to work through this book, review my current methods, hopefully make some more effective changes and see kids come to Christ!