Friends, another year has come and gone. THANK YOU for all of the interactions we had over 2017, whether we met at a conference, corresponded over email or messenger, shared a lunch or just shared a heart for kids, family, and generational discipleship. This year ReFocus Ministry added a record number of followers and welcomed many new friends to our ReFocus Family and Intergen Facebook group. It blesses me so much that so many ministers and parents have a heart for raising up the next generations through intentional discipleship and legacy leaving.
As I’ve done each year, I wanted to leave you with the top five posts from 2017. These posts generated the most views, shares, and “likes” on Facebook, which tells me that these are the things we are passionate about when it comes to children, youth, the church and the home. Once again, thank you for inviting me to be a part of your journey!
This summer we took out a couple of pews in the back of church, long wooden benches that are designed for fifty minute sitting sessions. Unfortunately worship usually lasts an hour. We replaced the pews with coloring tables. They were an immediate hit. No signs were needed as to why the tables were there. And here is what happened.
When we talk about distraction during worship or at church, it’s not unusual to hear the topic of children come up, because, let’s be honest, children can be distracting. But let’s also be clear, they are not a distraction. They are members of the body of Christ and the only group of people that Jesus specifically instructs us to welcome.
So there it is. The Controversy. In the live action version of Beauty in the Beauty, there is a nod to Same Sex Attraction (SSA). You can go look up the details if you haven’t heard about it yet, but if you haven’t, I’d be shocked. I have a few people ask me for my take on this. Specifically, I had someone ask me “Doesn’t it just make you so mad?” And, I had to look at them and say, “No, not at all.” And here’s why.
A wise person once shared with my husband that “Frustration is the difference between expectation and reality.” He went on to say, “If you are frustrated, you will need to either change your expectation or you will need to change your reality.” The church tried changing the reality with unforeseen consequences. So what if we changed our expectations?
“It’s not about making sure we use strategies to keep kids occupied and from being a distraction. That’s important, but its not about that.
It’s not about changing the way we do our service or sing our songs or preach our sermons. That’s important, but it’s not about that.
It’s not even about making Scripture come alive and building intergenerational relationships and encouraging mentoring. That is so very important, but it’s not about that.
What it is about is simply this:
He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:36,37″
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
About this Blog
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and church planter at Plowshares BIC. With years of experience in family ministry and children’s ministry, she is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, ChurchLeaders.com, and Seedbed
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