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In This Issue of Children’s Ministry
Magazine: March/April 2012
No R-rated Bible story should be off-limits with children-at any
Practices in Family Ministry
We asked children’s ministry and family ministry leaders for their
#1 idea to minister to families. You won’t believe how easy some of
What to do when you’ve done everything possible to get enough
Sunday school teachers…and you still fall short.
Ministry for All
For many parents, a child’s diagnosis of autism can mean a journey
into scary, uncharted territory. Discover how one mom made the
journey-and along the way made a special needs ministry.
Ministry Myth Busters
Check out the top 5 myths children’s ministers believed-and
discover the truth that’s set them free.
6 ideas that’ll help kids in your ministry take Easter to their
Birth to 2
Fish in the sea, sharing song, training tips for nursery, Sunday
Ages 3 to 5
Prayer pizza, marshmallow crosses, from empty space to preschool
space, Heaven Is for Real for Kids, preschool takes a hit.
Ages 6 to 9
Mother’s Day wordles, I’m a tater, mission-minded kids, The Pocket
Book Doodle Bible.
Ages 10 to 12
Stress no more, smile tag, emerging romantic interests, The Rizers
Rise Up, Sunday morning storytellers.
Wipe out malaria in Mali, God’s gardeners, host a block
Equipping grandparents, scrambled Easter eggs, The Legacy
Encouraging ideas, ministry cross-pollination, Different Dream
Disciplining kids of staff, behavior rewards, disciplining a child
with special needs.
30/30 vision, volunteer news, 10 keys to effective leadership,
Volunteer Central, unhappy team members.
From the Editor:
We met in college. She had a gift for drama, a
hilarious sense of humor, and a burning faith in God. A few years
later, we were seminary roommates studying theology because we
couldn’t get enough of our amazing God. We both ended up in college
ministry in separate states. We stayed in touch through marriages,
babies, career changes, and heartbreaks.
I’ll never forget being with her Abby (who was born the same
year as my first). She was 3 with the vocabulary of an adult.
Precocious. Articulate. Curious. Delightful. She was her mother’s
Not long after that Abby had her first seizure. A fluke perhaps
caused by a high fever. But seizure after seizure followed. Doctors
were mystified. My friend cried out to the God she’d always turned
And slowly, my friend watched her Abby disappear into a fog of
medication, after-effects of seizures, and injuries from falls. Her
learning and development was delayed. The traces of the child who
once was stayed, but Abby would never be the same. So much was
And the flame of my precious friend’s faith wavered. She wrote,
“Life is too hard for me. I just could not hang onto my faith. I
tried, white-knuckled, I tried. But it slipped through my
I send her heartfelt words that feel so empty. What can I
possibly say to make things better?
Recently my friend wrote, “It is so hard to reconcile a loving
god with Abby’s daily suffering. Right now, she’s unconscious on
her bedroom floor. She’s had six seizures today. She’s been robbed
of so much. I cannot see the good.”
My friend is miles away and words may soothe but cannot truly
heal. She needs someone there who can lift her burden. Cry with
her. Serve her. Give her some kind of respite.
She needs the words to become flesh. And there are so many more
families like hers–everywhere. They need someone like Stephanie
Willoughby who created a special needs ministry after having two
sons with autism (page 82). They need someone like Amy Fenton Lee
who’s passionate about special needs ministry (page 46). They need
someone like you to become Jesus for them.
My heart breaks for my friend and others like her. My prayer is
that God will give those of us in children’s ministry the grace to
become Jesus for them and not only love their children but possibly
also reignite their faith.
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