+ International Assembly Update
Contents w w w w June 2012 • Volume 88, Number 12
Bringing honor to the WORD by the printed word, the White Wing Messenger strives to inspire Christian thought and practice as it imparts the “good news” of the Gospel while serving the connectivity needs of our church community.
Calendar of Events For more information, visit www.cogop.org June 6–9 (tentative) School of Practical & Advanced Studies I Georgia, CIS June 13-16 School of Practical & Advanced Studies II Bulgaria
Features 7 SEVEN (For Young Readers) 8 Take the Lead
by Kathy Creasy
10 Leading Up
by Brian Dollar
12 The Invisible Expectations of a Pastor by Jason Vernon
14 Leading Kids—What’s Your Plan 16 Leading Your Ministry Team by Kathy Creasy
17 Leading Families by Melissa Minter
18 Mobilizing Kids to Lead by Joy Bowen
19 Assembly for Children Teens in Ministry 20 Children’s Ministry Training Volunteers Needed Children’s Resource Room 24 Stories of Sharing Jesus by E. C. McKinley
Ministries 21 Children: Books for Kids (Haiti)
22 Children: Impact Training 26 Center for Biblical Leadership Update 27 Women: Mission Breakfast/Mission Clothes Closet
Editorials 4 Facing Forward: The Perilous Maiden Voyage
by Randall E. Howard, General Overseer
31 Messages: The Math of God
by DeWayne Hamby, Managing Editor
Updates 5 Worldview
Assembly Schedule–Special Guests Workshops–Special Activities Healing–Testimony
30 In His Presence Visit us online—www.whitewingmessenger.org
White Wing Messenger Editorial Board: Londa Richardson, Chair; H. E. Cardin; Daniel Chatham; Hanny Vidal; Cervin McKinnon; Perry Horner; Tapio Sätilä; Brian Sutton; Shaun McKinley; and Adrian Varlack
Executive Editor/Publisher: R. E. Howard, Managing Editor: DeWayne Hamby, Copy Editor: Marsha Robinson, Editorial Assistant: Pamela Praniuk, Graphic Artists: Perry Horner and Sixto Ramirez, International Offices (423) 559-5100, and Subscriptions (423) 559-5114 Please submit all material to the White Wing Messenger; Managing Editor; P. O. Box 2910; Cleveland, TN 37320-2910; phone (423) 559-5128; e-mail us at Editorial@cogop.org.
June 14-16 School of Practical & Advanced Studies II SE Spanish Region--Georgia August 23-25 School of Practical & Advanced Studies III California (English & Spanish) August 27–30 School of Practical & Advanced Studies I Egypt July 25–29 2012 International Assembly Kentucky International Convention Center Louisville, Kentucky September 8 LINKED Children’s Ministries Training Westmoreland, Tennessee September 20–23 TeamUp Conference New Haven, CT October 5–7 Youth Harvest Training Mexico October 31–Nov. 3 TeamUp Kansas City, Missouri White Wing Messenger (ISSN 0043-5007) (USPS 683-020) is published monthly as the official publication of the Church of God of Prophecy, 3750 Keith St NW, Cleveland, TN. Send all materials for publication to Editorial Department; PO Box 2910, Cleveland, TN 37320-2910; e-mail: editorial@cogop. org, fax: (423) 559-5121. For subscription rates, visit wwm.cogop.org; call (423) 559-5114; e-mail: email@example.com. Subscription rate: $18.00 per year, payable to White Wing Messenger by check, draft, or money order. Periodical postage paid at Cleveland, TN 37311 and at additional mail office. Donations for the White Wing Messenger may be sent to the above address. All scripture references are from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to White Wing Messenger, PO Box 2910, Cleveland, TN 37320-2910.
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FACING FORWARD The Perilous Maiden Voyage I just watched a segment of a wildlife program using a title similar to this editorial’s title. It told the story of different animals as their young were born and then made their first movements from the ‘nest’ (for some) out to join the world and their adults. I saw Arctic geese that seemed to be clothed with only fluff as they plunged off sheer cliffs, following their parents, to begin their life of flight. But the most interesting part to me was watching the mother crocodile come back to the place she had buried her eggs 60 days before because she heard the cries of her hatchlings calling out as they struggled to break out of their eggs. Not only was the mother crocodile attuned to those subterranean cries, she came to unearth them and help the weak out of their shells. Then she did something utterly amazing. She knew she must move them from the land where they were vulnerable to nearly any predator to the river where they could survive and grow most easily. So she cautiously picked up each baby crocodile in her mouth, though her teeth were very large, sharp, and protruding. She safely filled her mouth with three or four hatchling and walked them into the river and safety. Obviously the Creator has placed hints of His heart in His design for Creation. Perhaps we can glean precepts from those hints that relate to our vision to minister to our children. Consider a few with me. The mother crocodile is a prime example of what is well documented in nature—the drive and passion of the mother for her young. There seems to be no cost or sacrifice too great as nearly every species will give their life for the safety and life of their young. God has built into mothers the instinct that they must produce, protect, and provide for a new generation to carry on the species. How impacting would it be if the Christian family had a similar drive and passion for reproducing strong faith in each succeeding generation? No doubt this would be expressed as we see it in the animal kingdom—in investments and sacrifice, where no cost is too great for securing faith in our offspring.
Our children are such a precious treasure that no investment could be too great.
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In this wildlife film, the focus was on the perilous maiden voyage for each young animal. They all had to journey at great risk from the place of birth to reach the habitat of life for their species. The parents were keenly involved, giving priority in their lives to making this transition successfully. For us in the family of God, I see the parallel to the entire journey of childhood to adolescence and even to adulthood. Just as each species had predators, we have an enemy who knows that his best opportunity to steal, kill, and destroy comes with the young and defenseless. We can easily see in the world that Satan has focused much of his arsenal at the young, preying on them early. May the people of God awaken to realize what is the norm in the animal kingdom under God’s design. Our children are such a precious treasure that no investment could be too great. Our best efforts aimed at these small ones will bring the best returns in the long haul. We must raise a counteroffensive against the great efforts of the enemy. Our future is at stake and the next generation is vulnerable now. We cannot wait. With these concepts in mind, the Church of God of Prophecy has declared the Young Harvest as a primary goal for our efforts in ministry. Pastors and lay leaders, please listen for the divine heartstirring of God, built into the animal kingdom. The Creator is vitally interested in our young. With His heart stirring ours, we will be too. Randall E. Howard General Overseer
ASSEMBLY The 97th International Assembly will be here soon. In this special news section, you’ll find most everything you’ll need to know about this summer’s biennial convention.
Join the International Assembly Mass Choir Be part of the Assembly Mass Choir at the 97th International Assembly, singing two times during the week. Rehearsals will be July 25–27, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with ministry during the Friday and Saturday evening services. The choir will learn and perform Chris Tomlin’s “Your Grace Is Enough,” Maurette Brown Clark’s “I Hear the Sound Of Victory,” “I’m Amazed” recorded by the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir and the popular worship song, “Here Am I, Send Me.”
International Assembly Schedule
Here’s a quick look at the schedule for the International Assembly. For more detailed information about the Assembly, visit cogop.org/assembly. Wednesday Morning: Anointed to Lead 9:00 a.m. 9:45 a.m.
Anointed to Pray for Vision to Reach the Harvest Bishop David Browder General Presbyter Asia and Oceania Bishop David Bryan Global Outreach Ministries Director Official Opening of the Assembly Greeting by Bishop Fred S. Fisher General Overseer Emeritus Affirmation of General Presbyter Introduction of Newly Selected General Presbyter Vision 2020 Presentation by Administrative Committee
Wednesday Afternoon: Anointed to Serve 2:00 p.m.
Assembly Business Finance and Stewardship Finance Director Tomlinson Center Administrative Committee Biblical Doctrine and Polity
Wednesday Evening: Anointed With Vision 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Musical Concert: Bahama Brass Band Opening Celebration Worship Welcome by Bishop Scott Gillum Kentucky State Overseer Offering
Wednesday Evening (Continued)
Special Singing Onas Bailey—Ontario, Canada LeAnn Hamby—Cleveland, Tennessee Fraternal Delegate Introduction/Greeting General Overseer’s Annual Address Honoring Our Deceased Ministers
Thursday Morning: Anointed With Vision 9:00 a.m. 9:45 a.m.
Anointed To Pray for the Young Harvest Bishop Trevor and Aileen Reid International Youth Ministries Co-Directors Kathy Creasy International Children’s Ministries Director Anointed for Vision 2020
Thursday Afternoon: Anointed to Grow 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Workshop Session Workshop Session
Thursday Evening: Anointed To Reach the Young Harvest 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Musical Concert Worship Offering Special Singing Declaring the Vision: Young Harvest Ministries Anointed for the Young Harvest Mandate Kathy Creasy International Children’s Ministries Director WWM J U N E 2 0 1 2
Continued on page 28
ASSEMBLY Friday Morning: Anointed Emerging Leaders
Saturday Afternoon: Anointed for the Miraculous
9:00 a.m. 9:45 a.m.
Anointed to Pray for Global Harvest Leadership Bishop Ben Feliz General Presbyter Central America, Mexico, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Bishop Gabriel Vidal General Presbyter South America Leadership Session: Passing on the Anointing Bishop Carswell Leonard Bishop Mario Vega Vitaliy Voznyuk Ukraine National Overseer
Friday Afternoon: Anointed Mission Involvement 12:00 p.m. Mission Encounter: Anointed for the Nations (No General Session)
Friday Evening: Anointed Leadership Development 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Musical Concert Worship Offering Special Singing by the Assembly Mass Choir Ron Scotton, Director Anointed to Develop Leaders Dr. Hector Ortiz Center for Biblical Leadership Director
Saturday Morning: Anointed In Our Homes 9:00 a.m. 9:45 a.m.
Anointed to Pray Effectually Ellen Kolawole窶年igeria Leadership Session
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Worship Anointed to Heal Introduction: Bishop Sam Clements General Presbyter North America Healing Testimony: Sophia Lewis Smith Call to Healing Prayer Bishop Clayton Endecott General Presbyter Europe, Middle East and CIS
Saturday Evening: Anointed for the World 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
Musical Concert Worship Offering and Special Singing Anointed, Called, and Sent Bishop David Bryan Executive Director Global Outreach Ministries
Sunday Morning: Anointed to Go Make Disciples 9:00 a.m.
Ordination, Anointed for Service Worship Closing Challenge Anointed to Go with Him Bishop Ben Feliz General Presbyter Central America, Mexico, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Honor Appointments Consecration/Commission/Close
Assemby news continued on page 28
Soul Searching: Renew My Heart
Some friends and I met at a familiar local restaurant. For some reason, this time we were seated in a dark corner booth. It was beside a window that had a huge, thick curtain and hardly any light was coming in. Besides that, the overhead lighting didn’t seem to be reaching us well, either. We struggled a little to read the menu, but by the time we were ready to order, I thought I would make things better. I grabbed the big curtain and tried to tie it or wrap it around the corner of the booth so the sun would come through the window. It worked. As I looked back down at the table, I noticed my silverware wasn’t too clean. It was spotty. And the table looked barely wiped off—there were crumbs. I wanted to put the curtain back, knowing what I couldn’t see wouldn’t bother me so much. Perhaps I’d just eat my chicken and rice and forget about it. I’ve seen the same situation in my spiritual life. I will pray for God to make me like Him and so He opens the curtain and lets the Son shine in. As the spots and blemishes are exposed, I want to come back and say, “Okay, that’s enough. Let’s just put the curtain back and act like nothing happened.” Just as I’d think I’d have it all together spiritually (I’d pray that prayer not so much for action but wanting to see how few spots I had), things would look much different in the light. The trouble in trying to forget is that what you don’t know can hurt you. Things that might just be “between you and God” soon turn into community issues. A preacher told me recently, “Satan doesn’t care so much about getting you to do wrong as he is getting you to think wrong.” When you begin to think wrong, the flesh is taking the back door and breeding and sooner or later, it will take control. Like a virus eating through the body, unchecked and un-repented sin can ultimately destroy. “It’s human nature” is a common phrase you might hear. “Why would God want me to go against my nature?” The fact is that all humans have a predisposition to serve ourselves first. We are born into a selfish world where we are taught the “me first” attitude. Christian living flies in the face of that philosophy. Humilty replaces pride. Peace replaces violence. Love replaces hate. I want to be washed clean of human nature. I want to follow the example that Christ set before us to love God and love others before myself. I don’t want to serve myself because I see where that road takes you. So I ask God to wash me clean. Sanctify me, Lord. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”—Psalm 51:10
The new CD from Christian hip hop artist Trip Lee, The Good Life, features a countercultural message to what society typically considers to be success. “The good life is not climbing to the top of the corporate ladder, the good life is not a life free from any responsibility,” Lee said. “The good life is living in sync with God and embracing all that He has to offer us in Christ.” The new recording features fifteen tracks and includes guest appearances from artists such as LeCrae, KB, Andy Mineo and Jimmy Needham. Tracks include “For My Good,” “Take Me There” and “Robot,” the first single, which urges listeners to break out of a prison of lies told by the enemy. “We can choose life. I want to challenge the lies we’ve been told, and present a new and more glorious picture.”
“Golf is about fourth on the list”— Bubba Watson, pro golfer and winner of 2012 Masters in Augusta, Georgia, speaking on his priorities. On his Twitter profile, Watson lists those priorities as “Christian. Husband. Daddy. Pro Golfer.”
Watch Trip Lee’s video I’m Good, featuring LeCrae
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What would be the result in the lives of children and families if each of us determined that we would seek the mind of God and step out in courageous faith to do what He has placed in our hearts?
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In his book, Leads on Leadership, George Barna writes, “The American church is dying due to a lack of strong leadership. In this time of unprecedented opportunity and plentiful resources, the church is actually losing influence. The primary reason is the lack of leadership. Nothing is more important than (spiritual) leadership.” I believe this is especially true when we consider ministry to children. Spiritual leadership is significant because it aligns God’s people with God’s purposes. God has amazing purposes for children and they can be found in His book, the Bible. He purposes that every child know Him as Savior (Matthew 18:14). He purposes that every child grow up in Him (Luke 2:52). He purposes that every child minister before Him (1 Samuel 2:18). His purposes for children are many and varied. His purposes for children are general to every child and specific to each individual child. God’s purposes, however, will not be accomplished unless spiritual leaders seek to know God’s purposes for the children in their sphere of influence and responsibility. Then they must take the lead in seeing those purposes accomplished. How will we take the lead and become spiritual leaders that work with God in seeing His purposes accomplished in the lives of children? We must respond to God’s call to leadership. Most of us have responded to God’s call to service. We have said “Yes”—willingly serving children in our homes, families, and communities. But spiritual leadership requires more than simply serving. Judges, chapter 4, tells us that the Canaanites cruelly oppressed the children of Israel for 20 years while Deborah served as judge over Israel. But then Deborah took the lead, challenging Barak to fight against the Canaanite army and free Israel from oppression. Deborah moved beyond simply serving and fulfilling her responsibilities into a place of spiritual leadership. She discerned God’s will, responded in obedience, and influenced others to do the same. Because of this the Canaanite oppression was broken.
I believe God is calling us to do more than simply make a commitment to serve children. I believe that He is calling us to “take the lead,” to fully accept His call to spiritual leadership. God is calling us to discern what His will is concerning the children we serve (in our homes, congregations, communities) and to take the lead in seeing that His will is done. When we do, every plan of the enemy in the lives of our children will be defeated and our children will be freed to be and accomplish all that God has purposed. We must seek and access God’s wisdom. Craig Johnson, the author of Vertical Leadership says, “Vertical leadership starts with looking up and asking for the mind of God.” Too many times we develop ministry vision, goals, programs, and events based on what we think will be the best solution. We fail to look up, to acknowledge and access God’s wisdom. We quickly forget His words in John 15:5, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” When the disciples were faced with the dilemma of feeding 5,000 hungry people (Luke 9), their suggestion was to “send the people home.” But Jesus had a much better solution. He fed 5,000 with a boy’s lunch! Just as the disciples had access to the wisdom of God through their relationship with Jesus, we, too, have that same access. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to ALL without finding fault, and it WILL be given him.” God’s wisdom is available to us in every situation. As we serve children, we can make a choice. Will we develop plans that are within our own human reasoning and abilities? Or, will we seek for and access the wisdom of God? Our plans will eventually “send the children home.” His plans will provide for their every need. We must overcome obstacles with courageous faith. In his book, Crazy Love, Francis Chan asks, “What have I done today that required faith?” He challenges his readers to do one thing each day that moves them out of their comfort zone and forces reliance on God. As spiritual leaders who serve
children we must ask ourselves, “What are we doing that requires faith?” It is tempting to maintain ministry— to do what we have always done, to do what others have had success doing, to do what will cause the least conflict, to do what is expected of us. But courageous faith seeks the mind of God then steps out to faithfully accomplish what God has spoken. Joshua and Caleb, along with 10 other men, brought back a report of the land of Canaan. They showed the fruit and described the inhabitants. Although the land was filled with powerful people and large, fortified cities, Caleb made a faith-filled declaration; “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30). Caleb’s focus was not on the risks or the obstacles. He was not focused on avoiding conflict or doing what would please others. His focus was on seeing God’s promises fulfilled in his life and in the lives of those he served. What would be the result in the lives of children and families if each of us determined that we would seek the mind of God and step out in courageous faith to do what He has placed in our hearts? Spiritual leadership takes Godled risks and overcomes obstacles in order to influence God’s people toward God’s promises. If God’s purposes are to be accomplished in the lives of children in our homes, congregations, and communities, we must move beyond simply serving. We must choose to take the lead. We must choose to be spiritual leaders who seek after and access God’s wisdom. We must choose to embrace God’s promises for our children and overcome the obstacles with courageous faith. Will you take the lead?
Kathy Creasy International Children’s Ministry Director
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Brian Dollar North Little Rock, Arkansas
Building a Healthy Relationship As I travel around the country speaking to kids’ pastors and volunteers, I hear some of them say, “My senior pastor doesn’t get me,” “I’d love to do some big things for our kids’ ministry, but my pastor doesn’t share my vision,” or “If it weren’t for my senior pastor, I’d love serving at my church.” These statements concern me and break my heart. After all, a healthy relationship with the senior pastor is essential for a kids’ ministry leader to succeed. Often, I have found that kids’ ministry leaders expect their senior pastor to do all the work when it comes to building and maintaining that relationship. They say, “He’s the boss. It’s his job to connect with me.” That statement couldn’t be more wrong. Every relationship is a two-way street. Senior pastors don’t come in “one size fits all.” They have different life experiences, different gifts, different personalities, and different visions for their churches. But in regard to their relationships with kids’ ministry leaders, some principles apply in virtually all cases. Here are some commitments I’ve made to my senior pastor and I recommend every kids’ ministry leader make them in this important relationship:
I pray for my pastor and his family daily.
I’ve made a commitment to pray every day for him: for his walk with God, for wisdom in leading our church, for the spiritual vitality of his family, and for God’s protection for him as he steps out to make a difference in our church, our city, and the world. Praying for him causes me to appreciate him even more.
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I own my pastor’s vision.
It’s important not only to understand your pastor’s vision, but also to own it, emotionally and voluntarily. For our kids’ ministry to play a vital part in our church, I need to be in step with my pastor’s heart and take the initiative to coordinate everything we do with his vision for the church.
I look for opportunities to serve.
It’s a mistake to sit on the sidelines and demand that your pastor take the initiative to get you involved in other aspects of church life. Look for ways to take any part of his load off his shoulders that you can.
I offer accountability instead of forcing my pastor to require it.
Don’t make your pastor play CSI. Take the initiative to tell him anytime there’s a problem he needs to know about. If you’re going to be late, call. When something goes wrong, tell him. When there’s a problem that’s going to affect other ministries, give him a heads up.
I’m committed to be open to correction.
For years, my insecurity caused me to struggle with being defensive. Under the hurt feelings and
with Your Senior Pastor protests is a deep sense that I’m not adequate, personally or professionally—or both. No one is above correction and we can all learn to handle it with grace.
I need to keep my frustration quiet.
Whining to a sympathetic ear feels good for the moment, but it causes a lot of damage to everyone involved. I’ve seen it too many times, so I’ve made a commitment to communicate my frustrations only and always to the appropriate person. When I have a complaint, I go directly to my pastor and talk to him. I don’t talk to board members, parents, volunteers, or other staff members.
I express heartfelt appreciation.
For appreciation to be received, it must be sincere. Don’t just go through the motions and hope it works out okay. If you’re not feeling thankful, take time to pray. Ask God for eyes to see what He sees so you can overlook some of the difficulties and really appreciate the phenomenal opportunity to reach kids for Christ in your church. Don’t just be thankful—express it in a way that communicates your heart.
So, what do I do?
If you’re struggling in your relationship with your pastor, take some time for an accurate diagnosis. First ask, “Is it me? Am I contributing to the problem in some way? If I am, what am I doing that’s causing the problem?” Look over the
principles in this article and give yourself a grade to see how you’re doing—and don’t grade on a curve! Be ruthlessly honest with God and with yourself about what you see in your response to your pastor. Take the initiative to talk to your pastor; to have a good conversation about his perception of his vision, your role, and how you can work together more effectively. Your fundamental question is, “Pastor, how can I help you more?” If a significant, long-term problem exists, you might then say, “Pastor, it seems that our relationship isn’t as strong as it should be. I feel disconnected. Is that just me, or do you feel the same way?” Let him answer. You might find out that he thinks everything is going great, or you may realize he feels just as distant in the relationship. Before you meet, ask God to give you ears to hear and patience to listen. Don’t accuse and don’t demand. Listen to his heart as well as his words. You may find that you’ve missed each other for a long time, and this conversation gets you back on the same (or close to the same) wavelength. All of us need to try our best to resolve difficulties in this relationship. No situation is perfect. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on your pastor or the church. We don’t need perfect leaders or churches, but we need situations where we can serve God with all our hearts. Learn to overlook some things, communicate well and often, and give everything you’ve got to the Lord, the kids, the parents, and the volunteers in your ministry. And God will smile. Brian leads a volunteer staff of 150 at the First Assembly of God in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is the founder of High Voltage Kids Ministry, which supplies cutting edge resources to more than 5,000 churches across America.
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Vision must ooze out of your life and it must leak from every person on your team.
The word expectation is a belief that someone will or should achieve something. In regards to leadership, an “invisible expectation” is when a leader has expectations that are not made clear to his or her team. I have experienced invisible expectations before and I know how frustrating they can be. My first encounter with invisible expectations happened when I worked in marketing. I remember working for three months on one particular assignment. Each week, my boss would look at my work and tell me that I was doing fine. He thanked me for everything but when he read my final project he said, “I expected more.” I can’t tell you how terrible that made me feel. I thought I was on the right track, yet, for some reason, it wasn’t good enough. Many children’s workers can relate to how I felt. You are looking for clarity, affirmation, and encouragement. You work hard week after week and still don’t know if you are hitting the target. You would love to ask your pastor questions like, “Am I on the right track?” “Are you pleased with what I’m doing in children’s ministry?” “What are you looking for?” “Do you think I am a capable and qualified leader?”
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Sometimes you drive home from church wondering whether or not you are meeting your pastor’s expectations. I know that I’m not your pastor but I am a pastor. I know that your pastor has expectations of you, whether he or she mentions them or not. I would like to share four invisible expectations that pastors have for their children’s leaders.
Invisible Expectation #1: Pastors expect children’s leaders to display clear vision.
There is so much being said about vision today. It is defined as a clear, challenging picture of the future as it can be and as it must be. Pastors expect children’s leaders to have vision. An excellent, weekly children’s ministry is not enough. Cool decorations and songs are not enough. Even caring for kids is not enough. You should have a clear picture of the future of your children’s ministry. The first way to become a visionary leader is to receive the vision. Jeremiah 42:3 says, “That the Lord your God may show us the way we should go and the thing that we should do.” We do this by listening to God’s
voice. Try to get away and unplug. No phone, no email. Spend this time in prayer. Prayer is the starting point of all vision. All significant ministry accomplishments are birthed in prayer. During this time, ask God to help you answer some of the following questions: “Where should our ministry be in five years?” “What big goals does God want my team to accomplish this year?” “If we had unlimited resources and leaders what would we need to do?” “What is holding me back from my dreams?” “What should we stop doing?” We also receive the vision by listening to others. Attend conferences, read books and blogs, and meet with your pastor on a regular basis. The second way to become a visionary leader is to communicate the vision. Vision must ooze out of your life and it must leak from every person on your team. Someone once said that during World War II if an unidentified soldier appeared suddenly in the dark and could not state his mission, he was shot without question. I wonder, what would happen if we reinstated that policy today in children’s ministry? Once you receive a vision, you have to communicate it again and again. When you think you have finally explained your vision it is time to start all over again. Communicate your vision through a variety of means—develop a simple statement that tells where you are going, share stories, use newsletters and emails, take advantage of social media, share vision in leadership meetings, and pray about your vision with your team. The third way to become a visionary leader is to implement the vision. IBM gave three reasons they were so successful. They started with a clear picture of what they should and would look like in the future. When they saw and understood this picture, they asked how a company that looked that way would have to act and they started acting that way from the beginning. IBM didn’t end up as a great company—they started that way. Your children’s ministry will not end up as a great ministry. It has to start that way now.
Invisible Expectation #2: Pastors expect children’s leaders to recruit and develop strong ministry teams.
Here are some specific expectations to keep in mind as you develop your team: You are not meeting your pastor’s expectations if you are trying to do ministry by yourself. If your children’s ministry solely depends on you, you are not a children’s ministry leader, you have a children’s ministry position. You are not meeting your pastor’s expectations if you think your ministry is all about you. It’s not about you. It’s about your team. Leaders are best when people are hardly aware of their existence. Good leaders work hard and receive recognition. Great leaders work hard so that their teams are recognized. Rick Warren once said, “Don’t expect people to be interested in your vision if you are not interested in their lives.” Treating your team like they do not matter will never work. Call them, text them, baby-sit for them. Do whatever it takes to earn their love. You are not meeting your pastor’s expectations if you don’t handle conflict on your team in a godly fashion. Bitterness, jealousy, unforgiveness, disunity, and fighting will ruin a ministry. I always hold my key directors to a higher standard and I expect them to swallow pride and do the right thing.
of excellence. My three-year-old son has never met a McDonalds that he didn’t like. Is your ministry so organized that it can be shared and implemented with excellence somewhere else? This will require clear roles and responsibilities for your team. Organize your children’s ministry room. A children’s ministry that looks orderly says to new visitors that you know what you are doing. Eliminate unnecessary things. Even Jesus didn’t try to meet all the needs. You have to know what God wants you to focus on.
Invisible Expectation #4: Pastors expect children’s leaders to display a passionate, intimate relationship with Jesus.
You can teach your kids what you know but you can only reproduce who you are. A famous author once said, “A leader who is a stranger to the things of God will be totally unable to teach them to others.” John MacArthur says, “Whatever the leaders are, the people become.” Hosea teaches us that the people will be like the priest. Jesus said, “Everyone, after he is fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Never lose your passion and love for Jesus. Field Marshall Ferdinand Foch said, “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Are you on fire for God? You can’t give what you do not have. These steps will enable you to minister with a new confidence and anointing. As you lead your team, make your own expectations clear. In the end, God will help your team develop and lead a powerful children’s ministry.
Invisible Expectation #3: Pastors expect children’s leaders to lead with organization and excellence.
If your children’s ministry is going to change, then you must change first. It starts with you! Your children’s ministry is nothing more than a reflection of who you are. Lead with organization and excellence by working “on” your children’s ministry and not “in” it. You should spend your time praying, planning, receiving and casting vision, and leading your team. Think like McDonalds. You can go to almost any McDonald’s in the country and pretty much expect the same level
Jason Vernon RTP Community Church Durham, North Carolina
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LEADING KIDS—What’s Your Plan? Children’s ministry leadership is much more than program development and staff recruiting. It is about vision—understanding what God wants to do in the lives of children and families and then leading children, families, volunteers, and the congregation in that direction. I’m committed to integrating kids into the larger faith family Here’s what children’s ministers say of our local congregation. Intergenerational activities and about their ministry plans: My main focus in leading kids is leading my team of leaders. I’m learning from my leaders that if I help define their calling, develop their strengths, and we all hold each other accountable, our children will have fulfilled, dynamic staff dedicated to disciple each child we encounter. I also feel a need to be a “family focused” ministry. That takes a culture shift in our church. I believe it’s my job to raise awareness that empowering the family to disciple their children makes a much greater difference in the lives of the children than to try to disciple them ourselves. Missty Brogdon, Children’s Pastor RTP Community Center, Durham, North Carolina
I’m committed to helping our children have a true salvation experience. This is the very foundation to build upon—not just an emotional response, but a true relationship with Jesus! Amy Morgan Gateway COGOP, Gold Hill, North Carolina
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Bible studies allow children and their families to benefit from the wisdom of the senior adults while connecting them with the families of our teen students. Kenneth Freeman, Children’s Pastor Abundant Grace Ministries, Collierville, Tennessee
I’m committed to a family ministry approach that is doable and one that is sustainable. That commitment has led our ministry to mark family milestones such as a birth of new baby, the first Bible, faith commitments, their passage from childhood to adolescence, from children’s ministry to youth ministry, high school graduation, and the commitment to purity and guarding our hearts. In the past, we were passing by these milestones without recognition. Little effort was made to make an altar—to remember, celebrate, and consecrate this event. Now, we stop for a brief but profound recognition with a family and church ceremony.
Karen Coley, Children Education Director Roberts Tabernacle, Westmoreland, Tennessee
My plan for leading kids is to provide relevant training for our leaders, support for our parents, opportunities for children to serve, and an understanding of the changing cultural climate for our pastors.
My plan is to help our children understand the importance of prayer and Bible reading in spiritual growth. Also I want to involve youth in leadership development so that there is never a lack of children’s ministers.
Susan Graham, Director National Children’s and Youth Ministries United Kingdom
Sharon Deveaux, Children’s Pastor National Children’s Ministries Director Bahamas
At Summerville Family Worship Center we are focused on the family. We strive to connect what the family is doing at home and church (Deuteronomy 6).
The focus of our ministry is reaching children and youth in our community with the life–changing power of the Gospel, discipling them by teaching the Word of God and showing them how to cultivate a strong personal relationship with Christ, and finally, nurturing them as they grow in Christ by embracing them as members of our church family and showing them God’s unconditional love.
Ryan Green, Children’s Pastor Summerville Family Worship Center South Carolina
I am committed to creating a Christ-centered, loving environment for our children. I want them to feel connected through their spiritual growth—to Christ and their local church.
Lauren Harding, Children’s Pastor Pine Grove COGOP, Pine Grove, Tennessee
Joan Harris, Children’s Pastor Keith Street Ministries, Cleveland, Tennessee
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LEADING YOUR MINISTRY TEAM: Making the Commitment What commitments are you willing to make to those who serve alongside you? Leading a ministry team is all about commitment. Yes, you want every team member to be committed to Christ, the ministry, and to accomplishing the assigned task or responsibility. But the commitment I’m speaking of is the commitment you will make to each person serving on your ministry team. A leader who is fully committed to his team will inspire commitment from team members. What commitments are you willing to make to those who serve alongside you?
I commit to building a personal relationship with you.
Successful ministry leaders focus more on the people they serve than the programs they lead. Leaders who lead well are relationally connected to those who serve with them. Build personal relationships with team members by getting to know them and their families, providing affirmation and expressing gratitude, meeting needs, and celebrating personal successes and milestones.
I commit to your personal growth and development as a ministry leader.
Rather than making a commitment to helping team members accomplish assigned responsibilities, an effective ministry leader is committed to helping team members grow spiritually, relationally, as well as in development of leadership and ministry skills. Committed ministry leaders create a development plan for those who serve with them. The plan might include one-on-one mentoring, workshops, assignments, partnering in ministry, and hands-on ministry experiences. Remember that Jesus didn’t train his disciples in a day. Leadership development takes time and relationship.
I commit to providing a nurturing and safe environment where you can serve.
Two words come to mind when I think of a nurturing and safe environment—value and protect. A nurturing environment is an environment that values every person— 16
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children, families, and staff. An environment that gives value to individuals is an environment that discourages labeling, gossip, manipulation, or favoritism. Value is expressed through expressions of affirmation and gratitude. Honesty, transparency, and confidentiality are encouraged. A safe environment is an environment that protects every person—children, families, and staff. When we think of a safe environment we usually think of the safety of the children but team members also need a safe environment. A committed leader will create a safe environment for his ministry team by developing and implementing a child and worker protection policy. (To download the COGOP Child, Youth, and Worker Protection Policy, go to children.cogop.org.) Policies and procedures regarding adult-child ratio, bathroom supervision, discipline, and adult supervision in the classroom assure every team member that they are supported and protected.
I commit to providing the resources you need to accomplish your assigned task. To succeed in ministry, especially children’s ministry, not only requires skill and innate abilities, it also requires resources. A committed ministry leader asks, “What will the team member need to effectively accomplish what I have assigned?” Resources are not just supplies such as construction paper and markers. Resources include curriculum, equipment, facilities, furnishings, and support personnel. If a ministry leader fails to provide the needed resources, he is setting his team member up for failure. Leading a ministry team is about your commitment to each person who serves in ministry alongside you. If members of your team seem to be lacking commitment, evaluate your commitment to them.
Kathy Creasy International Children’s Ministry Director
LEADING FAMILIES: Engaging Parents in Spiritual Nurture A defining moment in my children’s ministry happened through a simple comment, one Sunday morning. The previous week I had taught a lesson to the children on recognizing the subtle influence of evil in our world. I had given them several examples of activities and media that would be good to avoid. The very next week, one little boy reported back to me on his activities. When describing one event, his sister added, “I told my mom you said that wasn’t a good idea, but she let him do it anyway!” It became very clear to me in that moment that teaching the children would have little impact if I could not teach their parents. Children are at church a few hours a week but they are under their parents’ guidance on a day-to-day basis. If it is the church’s desire to see this generation of children fall in love with Jesus and live a changed life through the power of the Holy Spirit, then the best way to accomplish this goal is to strengthen the parents who are on the front lines rearing this generation. Scripture is very clear that the responsibility to spiritually nurture children rests with parents. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6–9, NIV).
Work with parents to create a yearly spiritual goals plan. This could include Bible verses to learn, service activities to complete as a family, Bible characters to study, character traits to develop, and family fun nights with a Bible theme. Again, they will hold each other accountable at regular intervals throughout the year. Families who are intentional and have a plan are more likely to raise godly children!
Regularly provide parents with articles, websites, books, and activities to help them pass on their faith to their children. Send out a survey asking parents how you can help them meet the spiritual needs of their children. Have a special night where you get together and talk about the results. On Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Back-to-School Sunday, etc. give parents a gift that can help them pass on faith at home, such as a book, CD, or DVD.
Provide parents with information about what their children and youth are learning in church. Senior pastors—preach the message from the pulpit!
Melissa Minter, Children’s Pastor Central Community Church Chatsworth, Georgia
continued on page 30
Many Christian parents desire to fulfill that command, but they feel inadequate and afraid. Churches are in the unique position to partner with parents in their desire to raise godly children. We can do this through providing training and resources; sharing information between home and church, and helping parents to become spiritually involved with their children.
While children are in children’s ministry, provide classes for parents. Share ideas and activities about how they can pass on their faith to their children. Give everyone a specific activity to accomplish with their children during the week and then have them hold each other accountable for completing the task. WWM J U N E 2 0 1 2
Inviting kids and youth to serve in children’s ministries has become a very popular topic in the past few years. The conversation is a welcomed one considering recent trends in faith development. Statistics show that as many as 50 to 70 percent of kids will walk away from the church once they graduate high school, causing many to rethink what matters most in ministry. A recent Fuller Youth Institute article called “Two Sticky Seniors” reinforces the idea that students who invest in younger students’ or kids’ ministries tend to have a stickier faith across that transition from high school to college. Traditionally, success has been measured based on the number of students who sit in seats and listen to sermons. It’s time for a new measuring stick of success. In reality, our focus should mobilize students into a lifetime serving God and others. Instead of attendance numbers, effectiveness should be measured on the number of students who personally invest in others with their time and giftedness. But will a myriad of opportunity for student helpers truly impact the world? Or should our aim be higher? Strategically developing this demographic will yield a greater return on your investment. Instead of generating groups of youth helpers, you begin to develop faithful followers of Jesus who know how to lead well. A few intentional steps can get you moving in the right direction.
Help ‘tweens’ and students discover and use their strengths. You can begin with an assessment such as Strengths Explorer that also offers educator resources to lead group discussion.
The Bandwagon Dilemma
Ask any children’s director what their greatest struggle is and many will confide that recruiting is a top concern. The thought of students flooding the ministry offers an almost utopian solution to a lack of volunteers. Often times the doors of opportunity are flung wide without thought as to how to develop students for success rather than be set up to fail. Deficiencies in assimilation and volunteer development are magnified when students are added to the mix. It is tempting 18
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Kids to Lead
to settle for youth helpers, rather than develop a strategy for mobilizing youth leaders. Really, our job is to equip the next generation with skills that will prepare them for a lifetime of leading well. If we settle for only teaching a student how to run a sound board, we run the risk of mobilizing a generation into culture with a unique skill or two but without the type of leadership tools needed to impact the world or stand up against the moral failures we see on the 5 o’clock news. Our greatest impact can happen during a unique time frame when youth are between the ages of 10 and 13. In this window, youth are able to understand leadership concepts and yet are still moldable in their character.1
Schedule Youth Development
Children and students need a separate and intentional time to work on leadership skills and learn from life experiences of adult mentors. You can grab great leadership development ideas from resources such as KidLead: Growing Great Leaders or LeadYoung: What You Need to Know as a Young Leader.
Consistency is key when it comes to leadership development. Communicate clear behavior expectations and time commitments to both the student and parent in writing through a serving covenant. Volunteer opportunities and leadership development gatherings need to happen regularly for a positive outcome on performance.
Children and students need plenty of affirmation! Saying “Thank you,” both individually and corporately, makes a huge impact on one’s motivation to serve well. Create a culture of gratitude in your environments. It really comes as no surprise that serving others has such a huge impact on faith development. Now is the time to refine our focus and invest in the next generation of leaders who will inherit the church and lead the world.
Joy Bowen currently serves as an Orange Specialist for the rethink Group and is a frequent speaker at the national Orange Conference event for family ministry. 1
Nelson, Alan. KidLead, BookSurge Publishing, 2009 (46). WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
Assembly for children Thursday, July 26—Saturday, July 28, 2012 ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!
(Preschool Ministry, Ages 4, 5) Rooms 218–219 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday • 9:30 a.m.—12 noon Preschool ministry will be packed full of activities just right for your preschooler. They will be involved in learning through games, music, creative Bible story presentations, and relational ministry as they learn how they can participate in this amazing Christian race.
MEET THE CHALLENGE
(School Age Ministry, Ages 6–12) • Rooms 213–217 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday • 9:30 a.m.—12 noon Each day, children will race to a new continent to participate in challenges that decide whether or not they win the amazing race.
RUN THE RACE (Worship, Ages 6–12) • Rooms 208–210 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday • 7:00 p.m.—9:30 p.m. Every child will be challenged to run the race marked out for him through creative ministry, engaging worship, and interactive preaching of God’s Word.
SIMPLY SMART CHILDREN’S CHECK-IN
NOTE TO PARENTS
Registration begins thirty minutes prior to the session. To help ensure your child’s safety, you will be required to register your children via KidCheck. To further ensure his safety, each child must be brought and picked up by a parent.
KidCheck provides easy-to-use, secure children’s check-in solutions, designed for churches. Streamline your check-in process, improve security and have more time to focus on your ministry.
• • • •
Every activity is age appropriate, so please do not bring your child to an “Assembly for Children” activity that is not designated for his age.
TEENS IN MINISTRY WHAT? “Teens in Ministry” is an opportunity for youth to minister to children during
Full Featured Solutions Built with Security in Mind Easy to Implement Simple to Use
See KidCheck in action
Request a demo at www.kidcheck.com or call 855-KID-CHECK (855-543-2432)
TEENS IN MINISTRY REGISTRATION Please Print
Name _____________________________________ Address ___________________________________
the “Assembly for Children”. Teens selected to serve in this ministry will participate in daily times of intercession for children, children’s ministry training, and be directly involved in ministry to children.
WHO? Christian teens ages 13–18 who want to be involved in ministry to children.
WHEN? Mornings and evenings, Thursday, July 26–Saturday, July 28, during the
International Assembly of the Churches of God of Prophecy
HOW can you become involved in “Teens in Ministry?” • • •
Complete the application below and return it to Children’s Ministries, P.O. Box 2910, Cleveland, TN 37320-2910 or register online at children.cogop.org no later than July 1, 2012. After receiving your application, a pastoral reference form and the “Teens in Ministry” guidelines will be sent to you. You must have your pastor complete and sign the reference form and agree to the guidelines of this ministry. Participate with excellence and faithfulness in the ministry activities and duties to which you are assigned.
State/Country _____________________________ Email ________________________________________ Spiritual experiences: Saved _____ Sanctified _____ Holy Spirit _____ Children’s ministry experience _____ Prior children’s ministry training _____ Why would you like to be involved in “Teens In Ministry” _________________________________ Applicant’s signature ________________________ Date __________________
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CHILDREN’S MINISTRY TRAINING and INFORMATION EVENTS WORKSHOPS
Helping Children Pursue a Sanctified Life Thursday, July 26, 2012 • 2:00 p.m.–3:15 p.m. “Helping Children Pursue a Sanctified Life” will:
• • •
equip you with an understanding of biblical truths related to sanctification. make you aware of what every child needs to know in order to live a victorious, sanctified life. provide concrete illustrations you can use to help children understand and apply the biblical truths related to sanctification.
Assembly for children
KC2L: Kids Choosing to Lead
Thursday, July 26— Saturday, July 28, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012 3:30 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Is there a shortage of leadership in our local churches? Or have we failed to develop those God has gifted to lead? There are children in your congregation who are eager to lead and gifted in leadership. Are we ready to train them so that they can be the effective leaders God has called them to be? This session will focus on developing kids who choose to lead and will provide practical ideas for intentionally developing children as leaders in our local churches.
Children’s Ministry Resource Room
Children’s ministers around the world need more resources—curricula, visuals, puppets, idea books, and more. During the Assembly we offer children’s ministers the opportunity to get new and gently used resources in the CM Resource Room. If you have materials that you would like to share, please bring them to the Assembly and drop them off in the CM office, Level 2, Room 211, no later than Thursday evening, July 26. Your gently used children’s ministry resources can provide just what is needed to another children’s minister. Spanish, French, and Russian materials are especially welcome! The CM Resource Room will be open to our international overseers and children’s ministers from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27. Ministries here in the United States may visit to receive free resources after 1:00 p.m.
Children’s Ministry Resource Room
Friday, July 27,2012 • 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The CM Resource Room offers new and used children’s ministry resources to International Ministry Directors and National Overseers. Ministries here in the United States may visit to receive free resources after 1:00 p.m.* *We are asking that self-supporting ministries who receive free resources give a small donation. This donation will be used to fund the International Institutes of Children’s Ministry.
Developing Leaders, Impacting Kids Meeting of Regional and National Children’s Ministry Directors
Saturday, July 28, 2012 • 2:00 p.m. What are your responsibilities as the regional or national children’s ministry director? How can you identify and target potential leaders in your region? How can you equip local children’s ministers?
Thursday, July 26–Saturday, July 28 Volunteers are needed to help with the Assembly for Children. Below are the dates, times, and volunteers needed for each session. If you will be attending the Assembly, and are interested in helping with the Assembly for Children, register online at children.cogop.org or complete the form below. Please circle the area(s) in which you are interested, complete the contact information and return this page to the address below.
9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Assistants in the Children’s Ministry Sales and Resource Area
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–12 noon Monitors
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Altar Ministers Monitors
10:00 p.m. “Hands-on” laborers needed for take down of Assembly for Children props and décor.
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CONTACT INFORMATION Name __________________________________________ Address _________________________________________ City ____________________________ State ____________ Zip ____________ Phone Number ___________________ Email Address ____________________________________ Please return by July 1, 2012 to: Children’s Ministries P.O. Box 2910 Cleveland, TN 37320-2910 Fax: 423-559-5328 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A virtual book drive that will provide our Haitian orphans with books to read, study, and enjoy! As you know, the 2010 earthquake left Haiti devastated. The children’s orphanage which is now called Ca-Ira Village was destroyed and several children and staff persons died. The children’s living quarters and school have since been rebuilt. The children are sleeping soundly in their dorm rooms and classes are back in session. But there is a great need that the children of your congregation can meet. In Haiti, where only 50 percent of the children attend school and the adult literacy rate is 60 percent, books are scarce and reading is a luxury. What few books the children of Ca-Ira Village had were ruined in the earthquake. New books in the French language are needed! Every $10 the children of your congregation donate will buy one book. If 100 children raised $10 each there would be 100 new books in the Ca-Ira Village library. I believe we can do even more. Let’s work together to fill the Ca-Ira Village library with books. Let’s provide books that our Haitian children can read, study, and enjoy! Donate on line at: children.cogop.org Or mail your donation to: Children’s Ministries PO Box 2910 Cleveland, TN 37320
Our Goal–500 books Register your group to join the HH4K Virtual Book Drive
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Developing Leaders, Impacting Kids through
We believe that children’s ministers make an eternal impact on the lives of the children they serve. That’s why we have developed the IMPACT! online training series. The first training series identifies ten competencies of an effective children’s minister. A training course including video instruction, pre-and post-assignments, as well as downloadable resources provides practical instruction and hands-on learning activities for each competency.
Course: The Pursuit of Intimacy
Competency: Minister to children out of an intimate, daily relationship with God through prayer, study of the Word, and other spiritual disciplines. Writer and Presenter: Kay Horner
Course: Build a Bible Lesson
Competency: Develop a Bible lesson that incorporates effective teaching methods, is age appropriate, and motivates children to grow in Christ likeness. Writer and Presenter: Kathy Creasy
Course: Make the Tool of Curriculum Work for You Competency: Critique, select, and adapt curriculum so that it is a useful tool in accomplishing ministry objectives. Writer: Melissa Minter, Presenter: Kathy Creasy
Course: Making Your Classroom a Place Kids Want to Be Competency: Maintain a classroom environment that encourages appropriate behavior, is safe for all children, and stimulates learning/ministry. Writers and Presenters: Shaun McKinley, Kathy Creasy
Course: Teaching Children Right Where They Are—Age-Level Ministry
Competency: Provide age-appropriate instruction/ ministry based on knowledge of age level characteristics. Writers and Presenters: Melissa Minter, Kathy Creasy 22
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Course: Special Needs, Special Ministry
Competency: Create an effective learning/ministry environment for special needs children based on an understanding of their emotional, physical, social, and spiritual characteristics and needs. Writer and Presenter: Kim Batson
Course: Creative Teaching Methods You Can Use Competency: Use creative methods to effectively teach Bible truth. Writer and Presenter: Curt Knowles
Course: Effective Discipleship for Children
Competency: Incorporate basic discipleship principles into instruction/ministry. Writer and Presenter: Melissa Minter
Course: Leading Children to Receive God’s Good Gifts
Competency: Teach children biblical truth related to the experiences of salvation, sanctification, and Holy Spirit baptism and pray effectively with children who are seeking these experiences. Writer and Presenter: Kathy Creasy
Course: Ministry to Kids in Crisis
Competency: Provide godly, biblical counsel to children who are experiencing crisis, i.e. death of loved one, divorce of parents, abuse, etc. Writer and Presenter: Karrie Endecott
How can you participate in IMPACT! Online Training?
• Visit children.cogop.org • Enroll in the course for a nominal fee. Follow the steps required for course completion including viewing the online training video and completing pre- and post-assignments. • Return all coursework. • Receive a certificate for course completion. When all courses for the children’s ministry track have been completed, you will receive an endorsement in ministry. Your local pastor and regional overseer will also receive notification of your endorsement.
Have questions about the IMPACT! Online Training? Contact us at: email@example.com
Book Review In I Blew It! Brian Dollar does a great job of sharing his ministry experiences in a way that challenges every KidMin leader—not only to grow in ministry and leadership skills, but also to view every ministry experience from the Father’s perspective. He understands that ministry is not about abilities but about relationships—with God and with others. This is a must read for every KidMin leader. Order your copy at www.influenceresources.com. WWM J U N E 2012
Pulling Them from the Fire “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating 24
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even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1:21-23). John Bradford (1510–1555) is known as one of the great leaders of the English Reformation Movement. Born into wealth and schooled at Manchester grammar school, he was a man filled with secular promise. In fact, he was on the path to a career in law when a student had a great impact on his life, causing him to abandon the practice of law and
enroll at Catharine Hall, now known as St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, studying theology. In 1550, Bradford was ordained a priest in the Church of England. In 1553, King Edward VI died and the Catholic, Mary Tudor, ascended to the throne. It was during the first year of her reign that Bradford was arrested and charged with “trying to stir up a mob,��� and was cast into prison where he spent the rest of his WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
life. Bradford is best known for one comment he made while watching a criminal on his way to execution. He said, “There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.” Of course, we’ve all heard the phrase popularized as, “There, but by the grace of God, go I.” How often have you reflected on what your life might have been if only one or two decisions you made had been different? If you had not accepted Jesus Christ into your life, what might the outcome have been? There is a man that caused me to reflect on this very thought just a few years ago. One late November night, while returning home from a hospital visit, I observed a man leaning into a dumpster. I felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting to stop and talk to the man.
his eyes. I’ve often described that look as “dead eyes.” I didn’t really know what to say to the man, so I offered to buy him something to eat at a nearby restaurant. His response would have been humorous had the circumstance been different but he simply said, “No thanks, I’m full.” When I offered a cup of hot coffee, he quickly took me up on it and we walked across the lonely parking lot and into the nearby fastfood restaurant. Once in the restaurant and seated with a hot cup of coffee, the man opened up and began to share about his life. He had spent time in prison for murder and after spending onethird of his sentence, he was released. No one would hire him and before
He actually went from a concrete and steel prison to one of sin and addiction. After parking my car, I walked to the end of the dark alley where the garbage dumpster was located and cautiously approached the unknown man. I can still remember how the cold winter air seemed to cut through my overcoat and I could actually see my own breath when I exhaled. As I approached the man, it was obvious that he was eating out of the dumpster and when he turned around, I could see what appeared to be mustard and mayonnaise on his face. Whatever trepidation I might have experienced immediately turned to pity. The man was no longer a stranger; instead, except for the grace of God, it would have been me. He stood there with tattered shoes, clothes reeking of the odor of cheap wine and the grime of the streets. His coat had only one button on it and it was apparent he had not bathed in quite some time. Although his clothing was pitiful, probably the saddest thing was the “lost” look in
long the streets became his home. He actually went from a concrete and steel prison to one of sin and addiction. In an effort to drown his sorrows, he turned to alcohol and had traveled down the long road of a prodigal. Tears welled up in his eyes as he talked about his childhood growing up in a Pentecostal church. He loved to listen to the spirited music and enjoyed the animated preacher and the long worship services. It had been quite a while since he had attended any type of worship service. As we sat there, I could smell the odor of the streets along with the smell of cheap, stale wine, urine, and human feces. My heart felt as if it were breaking when he continued to share with me through a stream of tears. “Preacher,” he said, “people just don’t understand. I try to quit, but I just can’t.” Again I realized that, except for the grace of God, this would have been me. Perhaps
the saddest thought was that before accepting Jesus Christ into my own life, I would have had very little pity for this man; in fact, I had always believed that anyone could (and should) pull himself or herself up to a better life. In the warmth of the restaurant, I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this poor man and asked him if he would like to receive the gift of eternal life. The tears were still flowing down his cheeks as I reached across the table and took his dirty, calloused hands into mine and began to pray for him. A full minute hadn’t passed when the man began to call out to the Lord, asking forgiveness for his multitude of sins. I watched as he literally passed from death to life, crying out to the only One who could help him. As he looked up, I noticed that he no longer had “dead eyes” but there was a real change that had taken place. By now, everyone in the room was captivated by what was taking place as his prayer of repentance turned into a moment of praise. This man was changed! Did he still smell like the streets, and the wine, urine, and feces? Yes! Were his clothes stilled tattered and torn? Yes! But there was a difference on the inside. That night I took him to a place where he could shower, shave, and exchange a cardboard box for soft, warm bed. When I left that city to a new assignment, he was still living for the Lord, with a job and a new life. Did he find the Lord at a revival service at a local church, or meet Jesus at a campground? No, he was one who needed to be literally pulled from the fire. And while I rejoice to this day for what God did in his life, I am reminded daily that there are more out there just like him, waiting on someone to stop their busy day. Will you be that one today? E. C. McKinley Tennessee State Overseer
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Center for Biblical Leadership Update Since our last White Wing Messenger report, the Center for Biblical Leadership (CBL) has conducted the School of Practical and Advanced Studies (SOPAS) in 31 locations, with over 2500 students completing the classes. School of Practical and Advanced Studies (SOPAS) First Term was held in Tanzania, Canada East, India, St. Kitts/Nevis,
SE Spanish Region (Georgia), Antigua, Brazil, Georgia, South Carolina, Belize, Trinidad & Tobago, and Zimbabwe. Second Term schools were conducted in Alabama, Bolivia, Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas, SE Spanish Region (Florida and Kentucky), Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico (South and Central), Honduras, El Salvador, and Jamaica. Our first ever Third Term schools were held in the Midwest Region in two locations, Des Moines, Iowa, and Denver, Colorado. Additionally, the Third Term came to North Carolina and the Pacific Northwest (Washington). By the beginning of the 2012 International Assembly, CBL will have conducted 106 SOPAS, serving over 10,000 Church of God of Prophecy students worldwide.
2012 Schedule School of Practical & Advanced Studies III
May 30-June 2
School of Practical & Advanced Studies I
May 30-June 2
School of Practical & Advanced Studies I
School of Practical & Advanced Studies II
School of Practical & Advanced Studies II
SE Spanish Region--Georgia
School of Practical & Advanced Studies III
California (English & Spanish)
School of Practical & Advanced Studies I
*Schedule subject to change. Contact Jeanette Rollins at 423-559-5322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. 26
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Assembly Happenings Mission Clothes Closet
Tuesday–Thursday, July 24–26, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The mission clothes closet is a ministry of assistance designed for national overseers and missionaries. Mission workers come in early on Tuesday to acquire clothing to help them get through the week of the Assembly. The clothing and supplies are then taken home and distributed among the saints throughout many nations of the world. Located in the Daisy Room in the Rivue Tower of the Galt House Hotel (2nd floor, level 2), the closet will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, on Tuesday and Wednesday, only national missionaries with their identification passes will be permitted access. Items to bring for the closet: • Clothing and shoes for adults and children • Materials and sewing notions • Linens—towels, sheets, light blankets, etc. • Miscellaneous items - toiletries, shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, etc. • Luggage—The light, larger bags (duffle-type) are especially needed.
Each year we witness miracles as a result of the mission clothes closet. We are also seeking volunteers who would be willing to work three to four hour shifts. Seek the Lord as to how He would have you involved in this ministry this year.
National/Regional/State/ Local Women’s Ministries Leadership Meeting Thursday, July 26, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
All local/state/regional and national coordinators for Women’s Ministries are welcome to meet with Cathy Payne and other Women’s Ministries leaders in Room #112 in the Kentucky International Convention Center, Level 1 for a time of information, resources, networking, and fellowship. A complimentary ticket is required for the luncheon only. All Women’s Ministries leaders are welcome to attend the leadership workshop following the luncheon beginning at 2:30 p.m. Local Women’s Ministries leaders: Please check at the Women’s Ministries booth for ticket availability.
Women’s Ministries Assembly Mission Breakfast Saturday, July 28, 2012
The Assembly Mission Breakfast provides the opportunity to sit with the women and men who serve on the front line of mission ministry, as mission workers are seated at most of the tables. This year, while enjoying a typical southern-style breakfast, you will learn about the work, needs, cultures and lifestyles, as well as the challenges these missionaries encounter in their particular area of ministry. When: 7:00 a.m. Where: The Archibald Ballroom in the Rivue Tower at the Galt House Hotel (3rd Floor Conservatory Level), Louisville, Kentucky Limited space is available and you must have a ticket to attend. If you have not made a reservation or have not already purchased your ticket, please call the Women’s Ministries Department (423) 559-5336 to use a credit card or send a check for the total price of tickets requested. Tickets are $25.00 U.S. and may be mailed to you or picked up at the Women’s Ministries booth. Cathy Payne, International Director Women’s Ministries
2012 Assembly Mission Breakfast Reservation Form Name __________________________________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________________________________ City _______________________________ State ______________ Zip ______________________ Telephone (______) _______ - _______________ Email _____________________________________________ Number of Tickets __________ @$25.00 each Amount enclosed $ ________________ Please return to: Women’s Ministries • Church of God of Prophecy • P.O. Box 2910 • Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
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The following special guests will be sharing during next month’s International Assembly: VINSON SYNAN
Vinson Synan is a renowned historian and author within the Pentecostal movement. He will be speaking during the Thursday afternoon workshop session. Synan has published sixteen books, fifteen of which are related to Pentecostal history.
Mario Vega is senior pastor of Elim Church, San Salvador, the second largest church in the world— comprising an amazing 11,000 cell groups with 110,000 people attending. He will be speaking during the Thursday afternoon workshop session.
Friday, July 27–12 noon to 5 p.m. Exhibit Hall D, Kentucky International Convention Center The Mission Encounter, sponsored by the Global Outreach department, is always a highlight of the Assembly. Come meet and visit with your international church family, mission leaders, and volunteer missionaries from around the world. See and hear firsthand reports, join together in prayer, experience worship in songs, and enjoy testimonies from our international delegates. Free for all Assembly delegates!
ASSEMBLY WORKSHOPS Workshops are back in 2012. On Thursday afternoon, attendees will have a variety of workshops to choose from. Here is a listing: Women’s Ministries Leadership Luncheon—Cathy Payne Celebrate Recovery—Drawing the Broken-Hearted and Those in Bondage—Mike Jennette Finding and Maintaining the Physical and Mental Edge to Lead—Bess Howard
[wur-ship]—Kris Dockery Behind the Scenes of Worship Leading: Preparation, Practice, and Presentation—Kris Dockery
Helping Children Pursue a Sanctified Life—Kathy Creasy
From Evangelism to Leadership Development: Bridging the Discipleship Gap—Darren Schalk
Holiness Pentecostal Tradition—Vinson Synan
KC2L: Kids Choosing to Lead—Kim Batson
Operation Omega Next Gen Ministries: The Way Forward Trevor and Aileen Reid
Powerful Blessings of Tithing and Giving—Jan Couch
Servant Partners Workshop: Making a Difference in the World—Tim McCaleb
Women’s Ministries Leadership Workshop—Cathy Payne
Raising L.E.A.D.E.R.S.—Dr. H. E. Cardin
SPECIAL ACTIVITIES FOR YOUTH CCMN Lounge Thursday, July 26–Saturday, July 28 • 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Collegiate and young adults are invited to join our College and Career Ministries Network launch. Lounge will be open throughout the day for networking, discussion sessions, and fellowship. Pick up a schedule at the Youth Ministries booth or bookstore. Operation Omega Next Gen Ministries: The Way Forward Thursday, July 26 • 2:00 p.m.–4:45 p.m. • Part 1 & 2 These sessions will focus on developing leaders at all levels of youth ministries to transform the youth culture. All national, regional, state, and local leaders are invited to attend. Operation Omega Student Ministry Thursday, July 26–Friday, July 27 • 10 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Learning sessions for student leaders called to missions, leadership, and fine arts ministries (music, dance, drama, poetry, painting/drawing). 28
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Young Harvest: Anointed to Lead Thursday, July 26 • 6:30 p.m. Young Harvesters will minister in worship, prayer, and testimony of God’s call on their lives. YMIA Louisville Saturday, July 28 • 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Community service project and outreach in Louisville community. Empowered! Friday, July 27 • 6:30 p.m. A worship experience with Coffey Anderson and Trevor Reid. Open to the public. A freewill offering will be received. Leaders Fellowship Friday, July 27 • 10 p.m.–12:00 a.m. Fellowship following the Omega Jam in the CCMN Lounge WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG
Overseer Testifies of Healing
Greetings and blessings from Barcelona, Spain, in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing this letter from the hospital room where I’ve been treated for a month now. I am recovering and hope to leave soon after an amazing adventure in the arms of God. I came here a month ago to have a simple operation to close an ileostomy and it was planned I’d be just a few days at the hospital. Unfortunately, I went through all kinds of complications and I was brought down for a second operation a week later. Things still didn´t look good at all. The surgeons were telling me that they had to bring me down for a third operation with a lot of risk and no guarantees. I asked them for time, but they said it would be too late. We finally “negotiated” and they gave me 24 hours, assuming the infection would not spread at all. That night I poured out my heart to God and broke into tears. “In my distress, I called upon the Lord and cried to my God for help. He bowed the heavens and came down. He sent out His arrows. He sent from on high and took me and brought me forth into a broad place. He rescued me because He delighted in me and the Lord rewarded me” (Psalm 18). Since that encounter with Him, miracles have taken place and today even the doctors are aware of this. I had been given only a one percent possibility of not needing the third surgery and it was canceled. We rejoice in that victory! I thank God for His love, mercy, and power and for the opportunity to testify to many patients and doctors and pray for them. To God be the glory. I truly can say with Paul that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Let us rejoice! I am grateful to all who have been praying for me and my family, and to all of you who are partnering with us here in Europe for the sake of the Gospel. May the Lord bless you. Ximo Gregorio
Overseer of Italy, Malta, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia
Nurse Compares Physical, Spiritual Care I have been a nurse for many years and recently my friend, Veronica, helped me to see a deeper Christian relationship between nurses and their patients. I am proud to be in the nursing profession, but more important than that, I am proud to be a Christian. As a nurse I have had the privilege to share in saints’ “move” from this life to an eternal life with Christ. It was while observing patients in the hospital that I began to see how nursing and patient care are reflected off each other. Let me share a few similarities I have discovered. First, let’s look at peripheral vascular disease, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, a heart attack and a broken heart. As devastating as a physical heart disease is, the spiritual condition of the heart is just as important. God sees your broken heart and I have found that if you let Him, God will heal your heart. His Word says, “The Lord has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to comfort those that mourn” (Isaiah 61:1). “Oh Lord my God, I cried out to you and you healed me” (Psalm 147:3). The second similarity is administering medication. Treating a patient with medication is a huge responsibility, for nurses are taught that medication administration follows the “five rights” protocol: right patient, right medication, right time, right dose, and right route. As a Christian nurse, implementing the “five rights” protocol is just as important as something I continue to work on: right thought, right heart, right compassion, right attitude, and right spirit. Aren’t you thankful that the Lord hasn’t given His children a protocol to follow before coming to Him? I know I am. “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries out the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). Blood is the third similarity. Life does not exist without it; the nurse must possess skill and knowledge related to the administration of blood or blood products before approaching a patient to be transfused. When I hang a unit of blood, I always remember the precious blood that Christ shed for me to give me life. It quiets my spirit, calms the storms in my mind, and humbles me beyond imagination, “Verily, verily I say unto you, except you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:51). I am amazed and humbled to know that one drop of blood saved me and gave me life. He is worthy of our praises! And lastly, some nursing and rehabilitation centers have a program known as “guardian angels,” “bridge builders,” or you may hear references being made regarding a buddy pairing—this program allows the patient to develop a relationship and bond with a caregiver who becomes his “guardian angel”. These guardian angels are assigned to guide and protect the patient, similar to the guardian angels that God has provided to look after His children. There have been numerous times my guardian angel WWM J U N E 2 0 1 2
WORLDVIEW (continued) has guarded my foot steps, allowing me to be (occasionally) late and therefore missing an accident or directing my career. Sometimes I will stop and just look back at my life and I can almost see the footprints where my guardian angels have been. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7). It’s important to remember, doctors have touched the lives of many, yet behind every doctor is a nurse, technician, personal care assistant, etc., who all create a medical team that contributes to a patient’s recovery. The medical team is comprised of many members who work together to accomplish a goal; the same can be said for the many members that make up the body of Christ. As Christians, we have an important role to play and work together. “There are many parts yet one body” (1 Corinthians 12:14). Thank you to all the Christian healthcare providers. Through our efforts, skill, and relationship with the Lord, we are sharing and showing the love of Christ. —Debbie Carr, Roanoke, Virginia
In His Presence MINISTERS Arthur L. Worley; Clinton, South Carolina; March 18, 2012; Licensed minister for 27 years. J. Carlisle Grimsley; Florence, South Carolina; March 15, 2012; Licensed minister for 49 years. James Shepherd; Raleigh, North Carolina; March 11, 2012; Licensed minister for 42 years.
J. B. Beckwith; Tallahassee, Florida; March 21, 2012; Licensed minister for 68 years. David Yancey McHargue; London, Kentucky; March 20, 2012; Licensed minister for 33 years. Charles Hubert Flowers; Waynesville, Georgia; April 3, 2012; Licensed minister for 27 years. George J. Elias; Baton Rouge, Lousiana; April 5, 2012; Licensed minister for 45 years.
MEMBERS Flora Elizabeth Sholar; White Oak, North Carolina; March 4, 2011; Flora was the wife of deceased Deacon Clarence, C. Sholar. Claris Ruth Lynch; Winter Garden, Florida; July 18, 2011; Claris was the wife of deceased State Overseer R. Clement Lynch. Patricia Ingram; Ellerbe, North Carolina; January 22, 2012;
Dean A. Herron; Cookeville, Tennessee; February 27, 2012; Licensed minister for 5 years.
M. S. Stafford; Louisville, Kentucky; March 31, 2012; Licensed minister for 36 years.
Annie V. Williams; Grand Turks & Caicos Islands; January 11, 2012; Licensed minister for 22 years.
Elzabad H. Ferguson Sr.; Fayetteville, North Carolina; March 27, 2012; Licensed minister for 34 years.
Betty Hunter; Cleveland, Tennessee; February 18, 2012. Betty was the wife of deceased Bishop Harper Hunter
Monia Faye Sanford; Bessemer, Alabama; March 30, 2012; Licensed minister for 47 years.
Alpha Jane Srygler; Tampa, Florida; April 12, 2012; Licensed for 71 years.
Thelma Trussell; Grand Rapids, Michigan; November 14, 2011.
LEADING FAMILIES: Engaging Parents in Spiritual Nurture continued from page 17
At the end of adult Bible classes, give parents five minutes to discuss how they can share with their children what they have learned. Ask children’s workers to email parents weekly. Have parents pick up their children from ministry sessions. Share what the children studied.
Set up mentoring relationships for single parents with older parents in the congregation. Provide family activities throughout the year. These events should encourage communication, activity, and fun within the family. 30
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Consider having intergenerational services. You need to actively plan to integrate the children into the service—not just cancel children’s classes and have them join adults. Ask parents to attend Sunday school, children’s church, midweek clubs, or a youth service or activity with their children at least once a year. As churches and families work together, we can raise children who love the Lord with all of their hearts. As church leaders, let’s stop wishing parents would be more involved in their children’s spiritual development and work to make it a reality. As we engage parents, we will see children’s lives changed.
DeWayne Hamby, Managing Editor
The Math of God For someone with lackluster math skills during the years when they seemed to matter the most, I sure do enjoy crunching numbers nowadays. If I’m in my car on the way to a destination, I keep one eye on the odometer, one eye on the time, and the other eye on the road (just seeing if you are paying attention). I figure out how to make the best possible time with the least amount of stops. As an issue is published or a blog post is posted, I check the statistics like clockwork to see if numbers are up or down. I frequently pull up the calculator software on my phone or computer when I’m comparing prices or even when I’m figuring out the most cost-effective way to travel, work, or get things done. I like to be precise when it comes to amounts, whether it’s the number of gallons of gas that it takes to get to a destination (too many), how many discs are in my CD collection (2,000-plus), how many children my wife and I are expecting (two) or how many weddings I will eventually have to pay for (three). I’ve come to rely on and find comfort in mathematics because, of all the school subjects, math is one that’s really not up for debate. It is solid, unchanging. People may disagree on the actual facts of the history of the world, grammar rules may evolve, and some concepts of popular
science may be proved wrong, but one-plus-oneequals-two has been and always will be. End of discussion, right? We plan our lives according to the rules we are given, especially in regards to the time-tested precedents of mathematics and gravity. We go with what we know. One thousand to one in a battle? According to the odds, no contest. A meal of five loaves and two fishes? You’d be lucky to satisfy the bellies of one family with that. More time? With all of time-saving techniques ever invented, what person has ever been able add even one extra minute to the day? If we’re not careful, we also assign worth based on calculations. Ninetynine people on this side and one on the other; where will your resources go? In a banquet hall full of the well-to-do and attention-grabbing, who sees through the sparkle to focus in on the ones filling the drinks? How does the mite of a widow earn the endearment of a God of unlimited resources? Into an immovable, unquestioned world of calculations, God steps in and everything, somehow, not only becomes negotiable, but is frequently turned on its head. You want to gain something as valuable as your life? Lose it. Even the simple equation of one-plus-one is discarded as two separate individuals unite before God in marriage. As the Bible says, there are things that are impossible for man but possible with God.
During the battle between Israel and the Amorites recorded in Joshua 10, the laws of math, time, and space were suspended altogether: “On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon. So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!” (Joshua 10:12–14 NIV). A few issues ago, Sophia Smith shared her story that the doctors gave her only a five to fifteen percent chance of being alive in five years. She’s now seven years past that diagnosis and still going strong. A few issues before that, our copy editor, Marsha Robinson, relayed the story of doctors telling her family she had a “zero percent chance” of making it through the night. That was more than 830 nights ago. Those in the medical profession typically don’t like to go around scaring people—they rely on science and numbers to make their diagnoses. But when we take every piece of information at our disposal, examine every scenario we can imagine, have exhausted every possible option and still find ourselves coming up empty, we’re not done. Let God come in and crunch the numbers.
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