Summer Haircuts: 2012 Edition

Because what kind of haircuts my boys want should be among the least of my parenting battles . . .

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More Kidmin1124 Posts

Besides this blog and Mission: Allendale, I've also been writing for Kidmin1124. The latter is "dedicated to those who freely give their time to God's kids" -- more specifically, it is for those who serve in children's ministry.

You can find a variety of articles on this blog, from encouragements to new programming ideas to leadership exhortations. If you work with children in your church, you should check out that blog, and subscribe to it. Additionally, you can follow Kidmin1124 on Twitter and Facebook.

Here are the two most recent posts I've written on the Kidmin blog, and I hope they encourage and bless you.

Does Your Ministry Need a Change in Diet?  Based on the same health-related article which led me to write Your Child's Health May Be 64 Calories Away, I encourage leaders that sometimes small changes can have big effects for an organization.

In Volunteer Appreciation Gifts, I gave some ideas (and asked for more suggestions) for appreciation gifts for volunteers. Years ago, I suggested lottery tickets, but the church staff had enough wisdom to reject my input.

Talented Kids!

So, a few weeks ago, our family is having a conversation about talents they have. Not overly useful talents like math, art, or sports. But some rather obscure talents like rolling your tongue or wiggling your nose.

Sender, our 5 year old, can do neither of those things. But very matter-of-factually he said,
"I can make air come in and out of my nose, and make my boogers go up and down."
Keep it classy, kid.

Do your kids have any obscure talents?

For more about Sender's skills, read Sender the Entertainer and Talent Show.

After Father's Day . . .

These guys need some help.
Dads -- like I said for Mother's Day, our day is now over. It's back to serving and leading our families.

Here are a couple of good posts about conversations that we Dads need to have with our kids. I encourage you to read the full articles.

  1. "Absolute truth."
  2. "How to have sex"
  3. "Mom matters."
  4. "I got your back."
  5. "I screwed it up."
  1. "You are not what they say you are."
  2. "The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears or in the curves of her figure."
  3. "Give yourself to God not a hairy legged boy."
  4. "Don't be afraid to talk to me."
  5. "I love you."

For further reading, be sure to check out:

A Vision For Parenting

image courtesy of Squeezyboy via flickr
I'm working on a project, and could use your input.

What are some key principles of parenting? Not just tips, but core principles that should guide us through the years.

If you could give me 1 or 2 or 3, that would be great. Thanks in advance for your help!

And if you have super great ideas, you probably get lots of rewards. Heavenly rewards.

Happy Father's Day to Us

Here's a great video, that reminds me that us Dads can never quit, and we always encourage our kids to succeed.

And for you wives, we Dads need to hear from you what we do well. We crave your affirmation, to know that we are making a difference.

Recently, I asked Joanna, "What do I do well as a Dad?" What she said is an encouragement to me:
  • Set an example in spending time with God each morning
  • Take kids out on "dates"
  • Take the lead at bathtime and bedtime
Word like this mean more than any tie or cologne or golf club on Father's Day. And if you are looking to give back this Father's Day, check out this great opportunity called Don't Buy The Tie (from The Mentoring Project).

Genetics and the Birds and the Bees

Near the end of the school year, the kids were learning about the human body. In talking about genetics, my wife explained to the kids that life starts from a cell, where one half comes from from Dad, and one half comes from Mom.

Ever the inquisitive mind, Elijah asked, "I know that the baby grows in the Mommy. But how does the Daddy part get to the Mommy part?" To which my wife said that he would be learning about that later.

Showing off his perceptiveness, Elijah said, "I think it has to do with . . ." and then he made a kissy face.

Joining in, Hannah said, "I think you're right. But there must be something else, because we kiss."

Not sure how they figured that all out, but Joanna and I had better make sure we keep our bedroom door locked.

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**image courtesy of Sindala via

On Moralistic Teaching

In an endorsement of curriculum by The Gospel Project, Eric Geiger writes this:

In many student ministries, Leo Tolstoy would be viewed as a hero, a model for moral discipline and Christian virtue. . . . He pursued moralistic perfection in his faith, a task that many viewed as noble. He set up lengthy and complex lists of rules for himself and trusted those lists to guide his life, even forming rules for controlling his emotions.

Tolstoy pursued perfection in his own strength and energy apart from the grace of God. He constantly lived under guilt and shame, and he died a miserable vagrant. He never enjoyed the Christian life because he missed the essence of Christianity.

Sadly, many churches teach as if they desire to produce children and students like Leo Tolstoy. Children’s ministries can drift away from the grace of God and drift into morality training, burdening children and parents with virtues apart from the Vine. Similar to some moralistic messages common in children’s ministry is the tendency to continually address the behavior of teenagers rather than their hearts. While children’s ministry can drift toward teaching for behaviors people want to see in children, student ministry can drift toward teaching against behaviors people don’t want to see in teenagers. The irony is painful in many churches: teach kids how to behave until they hit puberty and then teach them how not to behave until they graduate.

Children and students, indeed all of us, are incapable of living the Christian life in our own merit. We are utterly unable to transform ourselves. Because of this simple truth, transformation is not about trying; it is about dying.
(You can read Geiger's full post.)

As I wrote in How Churches Can Fall Short, I am concerned about how the curricula used in many churches is centered around moralism and being man-centered. The Bible is about good works, but only about the works of God. The Bible is not about us men, but about the One who was both fully man and fully God -- Jesus Christ.

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