Seeing Kingdom Potential in Each Child

Seeing Kingdom potential in each child

As a little girl, I loved to go to church.  I mean loved.  It was the favorite part of my week.  I remember walking through the doors of my church excited to be with friends and adults that I loved.  The atmosphere in that pink (yes, pink!) classroom was warm and welcoming.  The adult leaders taught me songs and scripture verses that I still remember to this day (and sing aloud occasionally).  I was introduced to bible stories that deeply impacted my life.  These precious experiences impacted my life so deeply that I wanted other kids to love going to church just as much as I did.  Little did I know at that moment that God was preparing me for the call He had on my life.

When I began serving in Children’s Ministry as an adult, that desire was my drive…I wanted other kids to love going to church just as much as I did – even more than I did!  I wanted to create experiences that would help kids know how much the God who created them loved them and cherished them.  I wanted children to make friendships that could become lifelong.  I wanted children to treasure God’s Word and be excited to learn it, know it and do what it says.  I wanted children to develop a love of Jesus, one that would sustain them a lifetime.

You see, for me, leading Children’s Ministry is remembering that each child has Kingdom potential.  That means seeing each child who walks through the doors of my church as children who might one day grow up and be a dynamic Christ-follower.  That means seeing them not as the church of tomorrow but as the church of today.  God is working in their lives now, preparing them for the call He has on their lives.

Who but God knows the future He has for them?  Maybe the next great theologian, pastor, ministry leader or church planter is sitting in one of your classrooms right now.  Maybe God is preparing a boy or girl in your ministry to be the next author, politician, artist, business leader, or teacher to turn the world upside down for His honor and glory.

That’s why what we do each week is so much bigger than what we can see with our human eyes.  Each week, we are privileged to welcome children through the doors of our church…children who come to us with all sort of family backgrounds, personalities, gifts, talents and potential.What we are part of is Kingdom investment right now.  What an honor to be part of influencing the life of a child who might change the world and shine bright for Jesus!

If you’re a kidmin leader or volunteer, there’s something I’d like to challenge you to do.  The next time you hold your mid-week or weekend programming, I want you to look around at all of the children in attendance.  Look them in the eye.  Look beyond the challenging behavior, family circumstances or personality issues.  Look at them through a new, fresh lens…as one who could make Jesus known to a world who desperately needs Him.

If you’re a parent, there’s something I’d like to challenge you to do.  Do everything you can to plug your child into a church that helps them know and follow Jesus, one that challenges them to grapple with what they believe and challenges them to put their faith in action.  Attend church regularly so that your child can be connected to leaders and peers who can encourage them along their spiritual journey.  Help them see the church as another voice to speak into their lives.

Keep the conversation going!  How might this change in perspective affect how you minister and parent this week?

Resolve Conflicts With L.O.V.E

CM Magazine Jan-Feb16

In the January/February 2016 issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine, I wrote about training children to resolving conflict in a God-honoring way.  I thought I’d share a behind-the-scenes insight into why I wrote about this important task.

This month, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the Civil Rights movement from the mid-1950’s until he was assassinated in 1968.  Through all of this efforts toward peace, Dr. King’s platform was based on nonviolence.

Children today are exposed to more violent images than ever before.  Sadly, these images are everywhere our children are: television, movies, phone and tablet screens, and video games.  What breaks my heart even more is that many children experience violence first-hand in their own homes and communities day after day.

I believe that helping children resolve conflict in a healthy way will help them work through down the road.  Whenever my own children have had sibling squabbles or see my husband and I disagree about something, I remind them that healthy conflict resolution will serve them well in relationships with family members, friends, bosses, and their future spouse and children.

Our churches (and homes) are fertile training soil for us to build on.  In the current issue, I share 4 ways that we can do that.  If you are a subscriber, you’ll find my column on page 30.  (There is even a very cute printable bookmark that you can download online.)  If you’re not a subscriber, consider becoming one.  You can find out you can save 70% off here.

Let’s help our children resolve conflicts with love!

{Book Review & Giveaway} “Love Letters from God”

This is one resource that I could not wait to share with you.  The title alone was enough to capture my attention.

About the book:
 Love Letters from God
Official Website:
For children ages 4-8
“I had so much fun making the world! But do you know the very best thing I made? It was you!”
What child doesn’t love to receive mail?  In this heartwarming lift-the-flap picture book, children can open and read their own personal mail from God as they experience some of the best-loved stories of the Bible.  As each captivating story unfolds, children will eagerly await the opportunity to open the envelope and read God’s message of love written especially for them. They will also delight in the final envelope that encourages them to write their own personal letter to God.
What I Liked:

This storybook is unlike any other I’ve ever read – and I have read quite a few.  Each beautifully illustrated story begins by using very kid-friendly language to explain Bible truths. Each story ends with a related Bible verse (from the very kid-friendly New International Reader’s Version) that is a promise from God and a love letter from God to the child.  I love that the love letter begins with Dear ________ to personalize to the child reading it.

Even the title of the Bible stories were unique, such as “Noah Needs His Nails (Noah’s Ark) and “The Lions Who Lost Their Lunch (Daniel in the Lions’ Den).  And as crazy as it seems, I love the book’s size.  It’s perfect for an older child to read on their own as well as the perfect size for a parent to read to their child – the child would have no problem seeing the pictures or opening the love letter flap.

What I Think Was Missing:

In my opinion, nothing was missing.

My Recommendation:

This book should be part of your family’s storybook library.  Glenys has graciously offered to give a copy away to one of my readers.  Enter to win a copy by emailing me at  Deadline to enter is 11:59pm Monday, January 26th.

Watch the video: 

About the author:
 Glenys Nellist headshot
Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England.  Her stories and poems have been published in children’s magazines where her writing reflects a deep passion for bringing the Bible to life for young children.  Glenys lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, David. For more information, visit




Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Summer Lovin’: Social Media, Video Games and Your Children

The following post is the first in a series of summer-related posts.  

Today’s post is written by Jason Phillips (no relation).

Safeguarding Kids on Social Media/Video Games During the Summer Months


Okay, school is out, and the kids are ready to play! Play video games, that is. Gear up the couch, set up the snacks, and plop those kids on the couch – it’s summer! While you may not be excited that the kids are going to be couch potatoes, they sure are. Don’t forget…they are itching to get online and give your personal information out to complete strangers.

So here’s the bottom line: your children are targets. They are targets to corporate marketing companies, internet predators, and cyber bullies. Everyone wants a piece of your child, because they are young, impressionable and easy to manipulate.

You may be asking yourself – “Self, how do we raise children to live safely in a world with social networking? When are they old enough to drive around in that world on their own? What tools do they need to cope with that world? How can we help them to be successful and safe in that world?” Well, the answer is this: school your kids.

We all know that we need to protect children in the physical world; we also need to realize that there can be just as much danger in the online world. The risks of networking online are becoming well-known, in part, through media attention. Risks for children and teens include:

  • Sharing one’s personal information with the wrong crowd. Unsupervised online contact with adults and older or manipulative kids can potentially lead to personal physical danger.
  • Bullying. Harassment may occur online only (cyber bullying), or it may spill over to offline bullying committed by a schoolmate who has located his victim online.
  • The permanency of online profiles. Once information has been shared on the Internet, it’s out there — forever! Retrieving information that others have read and captured is nearly impossible. Sharing one’s personal profile, words, pictures and videos can potentially lead to future embarrassment, harassment and even discrimination in employment and school admissions (although the latter concern is being addressed).
  • Misinformation. Kids can find inaccurate and misleading information about a variety of topics.

By 2005, 91% of children had regular access to the Internet and online material, and the online world has brought forth a slew of new opportunities for social interactions for children and adolescents. The line between video games and online content has blurred in the past few years due to many games’ inclusion of online content, including options to share personal data, interact with other players in online competitions, and immerse oneself in the worlds of Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG).

As of 2010, 93% of teens (12-17) go online, and of the children (0-5) who use the Internet, 80% use it at least once a week.97% of teens (12-17) play computer, web, portable, or console games.

Here are a few tips to make sure your online gaming experience is okay for your child:

  • Teach your child to use voice chat wisely, make him or her aware of voice masking technology.
  • Make sure your child uses suitable screen names (aka gamer tags) that are appropriate for his or her age.
  • Make sure your child knows what a cyber-bully is and why it’s bad.

As a parent, you need to be educated on your child’s games.

  • Go ahead and use parental controls on all your gaming devices, and make sure you know about the games your child plays.
  • Make sure you know how the mechanics, social interactions, and online content work.
  • Make yourself knowledgeable of ALL of the games that he or she plays, and most of all, watch your child play.  You might just gain some insight into your child’s online habits.

Do you limit your child’s screen time during the summer?  What safety measures have you put in place?

Author Bio: The article is written by experienced writer Jason Phillips. He owns an online gaming website Tom and Jerry Games 365. Apart he is a loving father who spends his free time with his kids.