Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"Servant Leader" and Pride

I had the incredible opportunity to participate in Willow Creek's Leadership Summit via satellite this past week. It was an amazing experience that I would encourage anyone who ever gets the opportunity to attend. (more about this in my next post)

One of the speakers was Ken Blanchard, who along with Phil Hodges, wrote a book called "The Servant Leader." One of the first things they address is managing the demon of Pride. I found this line very thought provoking. "When the origin of an idea is more important than the idea itself, that's a matter of pride." How easy is it to base our self-worth, our ministry, anything, on whether or not someone liked/used MY idea or the way I planned something? But that's a matter of pride. We have to let pride go in order to effectively minister as a team. Most importantly we have to let God guide us as we seek His kingdom. We can only be servant leaders when we are serving God and serving others. In thinking about Pride, to me this means to not let our "toes get stepped on" when someone else has a different (or even better) idea than ours. It meas truly working together as a team within your ministry. Sometimes that might even mean that "plans" we have made will be changed to better serve God and the people we are ministering to. We need to be open to God and to others and not let our own Pride drag us down or get in the way of what God may be trying to do.

And that's easier said than done....

Two questions from "The Servant Leader" to contemplate:
-Are you thinking more of yourself than you should?
-Who is your primary audience in life - your God, yourself, or otheres?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wednesday night Crosstraining and Kids

On Wed. evenings Crossroads offers Crosstraining classes for adults. These are classes on marriage, kids, finances, Bible study, etc. At the same time Kid Crossing provides activities for kids. For the past few years this has been a struggle. Each year we think we have a program that will fit us and by the end of the year we are back to the drawing board. We met with a group of parents and volunteers tonight to pick their brains on what Wed. ought to look like. We got some good input. Especially valuable in that it confirmed a lot of what Amanda and I had already talked about. Some of our obstacles are that kids are tired after a day of school. Adults want to take the great adult classes. Classes run on a 6 week schedule, so kids come and go just like their parents, there for 6 weeks and then not there.
So...which road do we travel this year on Wednesdays? The general consensus: Kids want to have fun...parents want them to get some "meat". Kids won't sit still for 90 minutes on a week night....they need to move around....Both parents and kids would like to see some sort of ministry/service aspect for the older (gr. 4/5) kids.
And that is where we sit at T minus 30 days or so. Any great ideas? Let me know? Interested in joining us for the ride and having the incredible opportunity to impact a kid for Christ and grow them spiritually? Let me know that too!


Get ready Crossroads - The Flip is coming to Kid Crossing. It's gonna be fun....It's gonna be exciting....it's going to change Kid Crossing! Mark your calendars for Oct. 16 and stay tuned for more info. It's gonna be GREAT!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Lessons from a 6 year old

I decided that August would be the month my family started using the FamilyTimes Virtue packs for our family devotions. We're starting with Patience (waiting until later for what you want now) which my 6 year old son can already recite on demand after only three days, and I think my 3 year old daughter could do it to if she weren't so obstinate about not doing whatever it is you ask her to do....(but that's a whole different story).
There are activities to do in the morning, in the car, at meal time, and at bedtime. We've done a little of all of them so far, but most consistently the bed time cards.
Now, I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but the last two nights I have been tired, it's been past my kids' bedtime, and all I've really wanted to do is tuck them into bed and postpone the bedtime readings for another day. Micah's (the 6 year old) has been the driving force to keep us on track. Each night when the little voice in my head has said, you can skip this night, it's late, don't worry about it, Micah says "Mom, what are we going to read about tonight?" While that sneaky little voice says to just tell him we don't have time, another part of me says to listen to him. So I have, and it's been good. The Bible says that a little child shall lead them...and he's definitely leading me. Tomorrow night we're going to be gone until late. He already asked tonight what we would be doing tomorrow night. When I told him we really wouldn't have time and he'd be asleep before we got home tomorrow night he said why don't we just do it there? Why not, indeed. So now the Bible and bedtime card are sitting on the hallway table, waiting to be taken with us in the morning.
What are you doing for family devotions, or family time? I'd love to hear from you and share experiences and ideas!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

God Loves Chocolate part 2

Here's a short addition for those of you who just might have read my blog first and not seen the others about God and Brownies. Check out this one and this one! God is truly AWESOME! I can't say it enough. And it is very humbling to be used by Him, especially without even knowing it!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

God Loves Chocolate

I have proof! Just read this and see....
Wow, the power of a Blog! I made a friend through my blog, via Pete's blog, via who knows.... The point is I made a very valuable friend who gives me some awesome advice whenever I ask. Through a series of "God-things" her husband ended up here meeting with our Sr. leadership as a consultant for some "tech stuff" today. I had happened to mention to her the my husband, Brian, worked in Ann Arbor and she mentioned that she would love to have some Brownies from a deli called Zingerman's some time. She was even going to try to get her husband to drive up to Ann Arbor to get some. I was pretty sure he'd never have time, so I had Brian stop on his way home yesterday and pick up a pack. I just figured it would be a fun surprise! When I caught up with the guys today it was fun to see and hear his expression. But the best part was yet to come...
I just received an email from my friend and she told me, to make a long story short, that she had been feeling kind of lonely lately and that she had asked God to show her His love for her today. Then her husband called her about the brownies, and she knew it was God's way of showing her He loved her. (See God must love Chocolate - He uses Brownies to show His Love.)
Isn't it incredible that God can use us and the little things we do for such great things! It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. God is truly GREAT!
Lesson learned: You never know when God is going to use you for His purpose. And sometimes the smallest random acts of kindness produce the biggest results. We always be on the look out for small ways we can show kindness to someone.
I imagine most of the time we don't even know He's used us. But what a cool feeling it is when you find out that He used some small thing you did for His Glory!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Back from Vacation

My family and I just spent a GREAT week in Colorado, camping and hiking. We even went to our favorite "church away from church" - Grace Place in Berthoud, CO. It was definitely a relaxing time, just getting away from all the hussle and bussle of normal life - we couldn't even find many hot spots for my wi-fi Axim which was probably a good thing in disguise, so it kept us away from email and the internet. I always have a very hard time coming East after being in Colorado (where I spent 5 of my growing up years), but as much as I hated to say goodbye again, it really is good to be back into the hussle and bussle of Crossroads.
As we look toward gearing up for the fall, especially in Kid Crossing, there will be a lot of exciting things happening! Families will be coming back from vacations, the Crossroads family will again buldge at the seems, and we (Crossroaders) will get the opportunity to minister to more people, more kids and more families. I can hardly wait!