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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. 

Realistic Parent Training

I just saw this posted in a blog for communicating expectations to parents about discipling their children:

  • Every parent must read and study their Bible with their children every day.
  • Every parent must attend a corporate worship experience every week.
  • Every parent must join and regularly attend a home fellowship group.
  • Every parent must be involved in at least one meaningful Bible study each year.
  • Every parent must be involved in at least one mission activity each year.
  • Every parent must be in a meaningful discipleship group with their children every week.
  • Every parent must serve in the children’s ministry as scheduled.
  • My response? Are you kidding me? How are we ever going to reach the majority of parents to make a huge and lasting impact on the next generation? This list smacks of responsibilities for the highly motivated Christian parent already. I'm afraid lists like these and expectations like these leave regular families in the dust and empty-handed.

    Posted at 17:29

    Grapple Good News

    Back in the day...okay, just a couple years ago, I got to work with our amazing team to create Grapple preteen! It's one of my favorite things that we do!

    I just got this email about what people are saying about Grapple (preteen and junior high). So cool! Read on...

    “Recruiting and keeping volunteers is easier since I have switched to Grapple. In the past teachers would have a hard time volunteering because the curriculum did not provide enough resources to keep students pulled in….. This was the main reason why I switched to Grapple because I wanted to make sure my teachers had all the resources they need to provide great learning opportunity to our jr. high and preteen students.”

    “I find Grapple to be the most effective road map to guide me through the lessons.  For me the lessons are down to earth….Grapple is simple to use”


    “We use the pre-teen Grapple with our 4th and 5th graders.  We split our rooms between boys and girls.  One of our congregation members owns a trophy store and I had them make a huge trophy that passes back and forth between the boys and girls when we have our Grapple competitions, i.e. who answered the most questions from the internet, when we play games etc.  The trophy stays in our large group room but moves between the "boys" side and "girls" side.”


    “One thing that we’ve done with our grapple curriculum is we have senior high youth come to the class to lead the small group portion.  Our Junior highers love having the older kids take an interest in them and model their faith.”


    Check it out at

    Posted at 21:39

    Hope for Haiti

    As some of you know, my husband, Ray, works at the Denver Children's Hospital. He sent me this email today and I thought it was something you'd want to read.

    "Wanted to share – a team of doctors and nurses from TCH went on their own to Haiti to help.  The Hospital donated a bunch of supplies to this team, and one of the doctors who went is somebody we work with quite a bit in CAS – so we have a personal connection to the team which makes it special. 

    " Here is from a blog TCH setup about their night last night:

    'There is a man here named Mark who does a lot of work in Haiti and likes to sing with them and educate through song. After dinner he led all the children staying here around the camp singing songs and dancing. Pretty soon we all either voluntarily joined in or where coaxed in by the crew. They love to sing and jump and dance. They love to interact with us, play, have their pictures taken. It was almost a blessing it was dark because we couldn't take pictures or video much. Instead we simply had to join in.

    This is the hope of Haiti. You will hear different reports everywhere about how efforts are going down here. We are here for the heart of these people. For the kids who love to dance and sing and continue to do so despite the tragedy around them.'

    "Right in the middle of all the destruction, all the trauma, and the horrendous hurting in Haiti – what is happening? God is present.  God is especially present and there for the children – for the least of these.  God is leading the children in actions that give the adults hope.  I find it so amazing that in trauma – it is the children who often lead us back to hope."

    Here’s the blog address:

    Posted at 20:36

    Secret Shopper for Churches

    My son Grant took me out to breakfast at IHOP this weekend (the day they had to fly back to Camp Pendleton). I noticed the waitress wasn't taking our order by memory like she usually does, so I asked her why. She told us it's because they've gotten in trouble with secret shoppers who've come in and complained that their order wasn't just right. So, thus, the pen and paper.

    I, of course, asked a lot more questions about the secret shopper program and then explained to her that I thought it would be cool for churches. Because churches can think they're friendly, for example, but someone from the outside could help them see if that's really true.

    While I thought of what a great service this would be to churches, Grant explained to me that I really shouldn't blurt out stuff like that to people. She was interested, I told him. He said, no, she was just interested in her tip. Oh well!

    What do you think? Would churches open themselves up to the scrutiny of a secret shopper to get better at meeting people's needs?

    Posted at 19:52

    CMMag Resolutionaries

    It's that time of the year where we celebrate all that God did in 2009 and look forward to 2010 with hope and anticipation...otherwise known as making resolutions.

    Here are resolutions from the Children's Ministry Magazine staff:

    Carmen (associate editor) is "making a goal for this year to run (or maybe walk!) the Boulder Boulder." (The rest of us will cheer her on from the sidelines with lattes and doughnuts!)

    Craig (staff photographer) is resolved to make no resolutions, but he asked "Did I just make one?"

    Jennifer (managing editor) is going to "stop beating up myself for the little failures that add up to everyday life." (So wise for one so young!)

    RoseAnne (art director) says "Resolutions? Me?? What are you implying? That I need to change?" (never!)

    Celia (administrative assistant) says "My resolution is to stop using my treadmill as a place to store my books and actually get on it and turn it on." (So maybe Celia will do the Boulder Boulder with Carmen!)

    Kathy (associate editor) wants "to be more aware of self-inflicted busyness and spend more time with friends." (and all her friends rejoice!)

    Suzi (computer graphic artist) will be sending "more handwritten notes, letters, etc. to friends and family." (no more facebook, Suzi?)

    And, me, well I'm with Craig...I don't like making resolutions much but I'm resolved in 2010 to "not sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff in light of eternity."

    So...what are you hoping and praying for this year?

    Happy New Year from our team to you!

    Posted at 22:31


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