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?

{Book Review and Giveaway}: “Talk Now and Later”

brian dollar

Children today carry so many burdens and sometimes parents are ill-equipped to tackle those issues.  Recently, I received a copy of Brian Dollar’s new book “Talk Now and Later: How to Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics” and I was looking forward to reading its contents.

Book Description: It’s a challenge to be a parent today.  It’s an even greater challenge to be a Christian parent.  Brian Dollar’s book provides insight and answers to the questions about how to influence our children for Christ.  He reminds us that we are not parenting alone – we can rely on God’s wisdom.

Here are the 10 tough topics covered in the book:

  • God
  • Death and Tragedy
  • Sex
  • Self-Image
  • Making Wise Choices
  • Divorce
  • Friendships
  • Money
  • Bullying
  • Restoring Broken Relationships

I found the book to be filled with practical tips and insights not only for parents but for anyone who walks through life with a child.  It was an easy read and I think you’ll enjoy it!  You’ll glean so many nuggets of wisdom to help you not only understand these issues but how to address them head on.  You will come back to it time and time again.

I am giving away an autographed copy of this great book!

Enter to win by emailing me at no later than 11:59pm EST on Sunday, September 13, 2015.  Winner will be announced on my Facebook Page on Monday, September 14, 2015.

Be sure to connect with Brian on Twitter or Facebook.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): 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.

{Book Review & Giveaway} “Growing Up Social”

Technology is all around us.  There’s no escaping it.  As a busy woman, mom of two teenagers, and aunt of younger elementary children, I am all too aware of the screen-driven world we live in.  Sometimes, I look around a crowded room and see everyone’s face staring at a screen (TV, mobile phone or tablet).  It’s can be hard to convince everyone to put down the devices and actually talk to each other – voice to voice, eye to eye.

When I was offered the opportunity to review Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

About the book:
Growing Up Social
-209 pages
-Parent Resources
-discussion Guides for every chapter (perfect for a bible study!)
Is technology bringing your family closer together or driving you farther apart?
Children today are no longer playing hide-and-seek outside or curling up with a good book—instead they’ve been introduced to a world of constant digital entertainment through television, video games, and mobile devices. And while technology has the potential to add value to our lives and families, it can also erode a sense of togetherness and hinder a child’s emotional and social development.
In Growing Up Social, Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane will empower you with the necessary tools to make positive changes…starting today. Through stories, wit, and wisdom, you’ll discover how to take back your home from an over dependence on screens. Plus, you’ll learn to teach the five A+ skills that every healthy child needs to master: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention.
•Equip your child to be relationally rich in a digital world
•Replace mindless screen time with meaningful family time
•Establish simple boundaries that make a huge difference
•Discover what’s working for families that have become screen savvy
•Learn healthy ways to occupy your child while you get things done
Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, not for screen time. No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships—only you can.
What I Liked:

I read Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, many years ago & loved it, so I had high hopes for this book.  I enjoyed the content that spoke specifically to social media and how it affects not only children but adults, things such as:

  • “The training necessary for growing up social isn’t found on a phone or tablet.  There’s no app or video game that can replace interactions with other human beings.  Social skills must be practiced in real life, beginning for a child in the home.”
  • “The more a child is involved in screen time, the less time there is for interaction with parents, siblings and friends.”
  • “More and more children are being taught how life works from a screen instead of the real-life classrooms of responsibility, chores, and family relationships.”
  • “If your children are not interacting with the family in a way you consider healthy, it’s your responsibility to make a change.”
  • “…technology works best when it’s a tool in your life.  It becomes destructive when it becomes the main hub where most of your life is experienced.”
  • “Physical presence matters.  You cannot communicate intimacy through texts, emails, or tweets.  The deepest form of affection is given face to face in real-time.”
  • “If we leave our children unattended with their screens, we must be prepared to accept the consequences.”

Many of the tips offered in the book were practical and easy to implement.  I think it equally balanced emphasized being intentional in taking proactive measures as well as measures to change bad habits that have formed.

What I Think Was Missing:

The middle section of the book spoke to five “A+ skills” that every healthy child needs to master.  While this was great stuff, I felt like it didn’t belong in this book.  It would’ve been great in a separate book.  I also felt like some of the content was repeated several times throughout each chapter.  In addition, some of the stories shared in the book seemed a little idealistic to me.

My Recommendation:

Overall, the book had some good points that parents today should take notice of.  You can check it out for yourself by entering to win a copy by emailing me at  Deadline to enter is 11:59pm Friday, November 14th.

About the authors:
Gary Chapman
Gary Chapman- author, speaker, and counselor—has a passion for people and for helping them form lasting relationships. He is the bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. For more information, visit
Arlene Pellicane
Arlene Pellicane– is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife and 31 Days to a Happy Husband. She has been featured on The Today ShowThe 700 Club, and Family Life Today and formerly served as the associate producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah. Arlene lives in Southern California with her husband, James, and their three children. Find out more at

Growing Up Social

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.

Praying for Romeo (or Juliet)

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My daughter’s 9th Grade class just finished reading Romeo & Juliet.  In a recent class assignment, my daughter and her classmates were given this question: What are the top five qualities you are looking for in a ‘perfect’ mate?  I’m sure getting her students to think ‘mushy’ feelings was a little challenging for my daughter’s English teacher!

They were then given a second question: What are the top five qualities you think your parents would want for your ‘perfect’ mate?  Again, probably challenging for the young minds, especially since we don’t want them dating at a young age let alone thinking about marriage at age 14!

The students were then given homework: Ask your parents the following questions:

  • List the top five qualities that you think your son or daughter would want in a ‘perfect’ mate.
  • List the top five qualities you want in a ‘perfect’ mate for your son or daughter.

When my daughter got in the car after school that day, she was excited that Mom & Dad had homework.  But as she described the assignment, I knew that those questions would make for excellent dinner table conversation.

Fast forward a few hours…

We’re seated at the table (my husband, our 17-yr old son, our daughter and I) and my daughter pulls out her questionnaire.  Mind you, I had a slight advantage over my husband – I had a few hours to ponder the questions while my husband had 2 minutes.  I wish you could have seen his facial expression. 🙂

Question #1: List the top five qualities that you think your son or daughter would want in a ‘perfect’ mate.

Hmm…what would Kennedy want in a perfect mate?  Knowing our daughter’s personality, it was surprisingly easy for both my husband and I to answer this question.  My husband gave his top five and I followed with mine.  We know our daughter pretty well – we both scored 4 out of 5.  Not bad!

Question #2: List the top five qualities you want in a ‘perfect’ mate for your son or daughter.

This question was a little more personal as this would reveal more of our heart.  Again, my husband went first and I followed.  What i found interesting was that my husband’s responses were more ‘selfish’ – meaning that he listed qualities for someone who HE’D like to get along with.  My responses, on the other hand, were more for the man my daughter (and Lord-willing, grandchildren) would love and live with.

I love that this assignment provided us with some good table talk but it also got me thinking – How often do I pray for my children’s future spouses?  Honestly, not often enough.  And that was convicting for me.

As a mom, I pray many things for my children..

…that they would love God first and most

…that they would live God-honoring lives and make wise choices

…that they would have friends with similar values

…for their overall safety in an unsafe, dangerous world

…that they would treat others the way that they want to be treated

…and many other things too numerous for me to mention.

But praying for their future spouse?  Not something that I regularly prayed for – until recently.

If you feel so led, do this exercise with your family and see what conversation emerges as a result.  You’ll get to know your child’s heart a little better and they’ll get a peek inside of yours.  And you might have a few good laughs like we did!

*Disclaimer: My daughter attends a Christian school, so that’s the angle that the assignment was taken from.

What about you?  Do you pray regularly for your child’s future spouse?  What do you pray for?