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Christine has over 20 years of children's ministry experience. She's the author of 10 books and hundreds of articles related to children's ministry. It's no wonder she enjoys an almost-daily latte to keep her going! She is also the executive editor of Children's Ministry Magazine and serves as Group's children's ministry champion, responsible for research, development, and innovation in children's ministry resources. 

Heart Matters: Apples We Got

In “Apples We Got,” Amy Beth Larson confronts what seems like insurmountable need. She writes, “For every kid we pick up, there are at least a dozen others staring at our van from finger-smudged windows, street corners, and dirt lots. We've run out of van seats, room in the parish hall, resources, and volunteers. It's an impossible situation. An unfillable need. We can't keep up. Nor can we stop. We can't seem to walk away.”

Find out how God encourages her by reading her article on childrensministry.com.

Posted at 17:51

Heart Matters: What Really Counts

In “What Really Counts” by Amy Beth Larson, she writes in the “Heart Matters” column from Children’s Ministry Magazine about what really matters.

When measured by a supervisor’s critical eye, Amy wonders what success really looks like. She writes, “It felt like an inquisition. She was attempting to create a report to bring back to a church that had given money to our inner city after-school program. Though well-meaning, her questions were ones I'd heard far too many times. How many kids have committed their lives to Christ? What kind of success stories can you tell me?...But is this what matters? Is the gospel a generator of statistics? Do we have the courage to believe that it's something more?”

To read the entire column, click here: http://www.childrensministry.com/articles/heart-matters-what-really-counts

Posted at 18:56

Heart Matters: Living on Life's Fringes

“Living on Life’s Fringes” by Amy Beth Larson is one of my favorite “Heart Matters” columns because Amy helps us see into the heart of a little boy who faces so many challenges but longs to believe.

Amy writes: Tony became a Christian a year ago, but has struggled living this lifestyle out. His family members have been in and out of jail, and his greatest role model is a cousin who now resides in a residential treatment center. Because his peers naturally follow him, Tony, though only 10, is at high risk for the neighborhood gangs and youth violence. I know he believes in Jesus, but the arms of the world are wrapped so tightly around this boy that heaven seems awfully far away.

To read the entire column, click here.

Posted at 16:56

Heart Matters: His God Is Not

“His God Is Not” by Amy Beth Larson is one of my favorite “Heart Matters” columns. I like it because I think that Amy is an amazing writer who artfully shares things from her heart. I love to read her writing. And the other reason I like Amy’s columns is because I know about the amazing ministry she was involved with when she wrote for us—an inner city mission. Amy lives what she writes about.

Here’s part of what she writes: So it's a few weeks before Christmas, and what does Filimon have? Not much. His situation is desperate, but his God is not. I must admit, though, that sometimes it's hard to believe in an active God when the kids I spend my days with are born and raised in such filth, poverty, hatred, hunger, and abuse that it damages their small bodies and threatens to destroy their souls. It doesn’t add up, but we still believe.” 

To read the entire column, click here.

Posted at 17:22

Merry Christmas, Angel!

As you close the door on the last classroom this weekend….clean up the last piece of tinsel and reset rooms for future programs… and drive away from the church building, take this thought with you.

Your gift of service to “the least of these” matters for eternity! The baby you rock in the nursery. The toddler’s nose you wipe clean. The songs you sing with little ones. The Word of God you open up with all ages.

Your yearlong gift—not just at Christmas—to children is seen by a loving God who cared so much about children that he sent his son AS A CHILD!

God values you. God values your service. Know that God sees all the little and big things you do—and God says, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

And now, just rest. Enjoy the holiday. Read a good book. Eat some cookies (no guilt!) Watch a few movies. And nestle in with your family.

In my next few blogs, I’m going to feature some of my favorite “Heart Matters” columns from Children’s Ministry Magazine. I love the title of this column…it’s got that double message—your heart matters…and these are matters of the heart.

Enjoy! And let God love on you and minister to your spirit!

Posted at 23:44

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