How Does Children's Ministry Help Kids?

14 Ways Children’s Ministry Benefits The Children

  1. It promotes their eternal happiness. I want my kids to find indestructible joy in Christ. 
  2. It helps them make sense out of life. Only understanding who made the world, what went wrong and God’s plan to fix it can explain this world we all experience. 
  3. It’s their best chance to accept Christ. Research has proven that kids tend to be more receptive to the Gospel than any other age group. I want my children to have every opportunity to believe in Jesus. 
  4. It helps avoid some negative outcomes of sin. Only God’s grace can change our hearts, but knowing the consequences of disobeying God is often a wake up call. When children understand the great price that Jesus paid for their salvation, they are more likely to stay on the way of the righteous.
  5. It can help counter balance worldly influences. Everyone knows the harmful influences present in our society. Kids need positive influences to tip the scale.
  6. It can help them learn to love others. The 2nd greatest commandment is to love your neighbor. We must teach this as a way of life, because it doesn’t comes naturally.
  7. It is something fun to do. Do you know who invented fun? God did. Do you know why? For his own glory. While entertainment and fun seeking can become an idol, we should not think God is against fun.
  8. It helps kids want to come to church. There is nothing wrong with having a program that appeals to the interests of children, especially when it brings more children to hear the Gospel.
  9. It helps them make new friends. Some of the best ones children will ever make is in the church.
  10. It helps discover and intervene in abusive home situations. This is something we rarely address. But the church is often one of the few safe places on Earth for abused children.
  11. It helps children get to know their pastors. One of the best ways for ministers to connect with younger families is by working in the children’s programs.
  12. It gives kids meaningful keepsakes. Those VBS and Sunday school crafts often become prized possessions. The Bible verses on their keepsakes will remind them of what they have learned for years to come.
  13. It gives children special memories. Think back to when you were a child in Sunday school. Can you remember a special teacher or event?
  14. It allows them to make friends with adult volunteers in safe context. In our culture child safety is a constant concern, and rightly so. But there is still great value in kids finding adult mentors in the church.
Posted on September 23, 2014 .

Complexity in assembling any Sunday morning service

   We strive and strive to make it seem like a given service is effortless.  The congregant sits in his pew and observes the "event", not realizing the difficulty and complexity of the ingredients.  

Each service requires the following coordination:

1.   Arranging and/or composing the music, or choosing existing material that will fit the theme of     the day, or the sermon of the week.    

2.  Printing parts, or formatting into digital files.       (weeks in advance)

3.  Making sure that all band members, and all choir members get copies, and a folder.

4.  Scheduling rehearsals for both band and choir and tech, then scheduling additional musicians and tech personnel.

5.  Setting up the audio and video in the sanctuary for rehearsals.

6.  Rehearsing Wednesday nights and Thursday nights, compensating for missing people, which may mean changing the song selections.  

7.  Organizing the weekly service plan and adding biblical references, prayers, readings, mission statements, announcements, children's time if necessary, sermon topics, et al.

8.  Assembling the multimedia presentation on the big screen..... 3 days.  Waiting until Thursday or Friday for input and additions from pastors. 

9.  Do a test run in the balcony for all video to check formatting and sizing to the big screen.  Because of late submissions, this may have to happen very early Sunday morning, 6am.  

10.  Sunday morning stage setup is different for both services.  Call for tech people is 6:30am, and call for band is 7am.  

11.  Setup for audio/video in the balcony includes setup for online broadcast.  Coordinate with 3 guys to integrate the audio with the video shoot which includes panning, zooming, focusing in on pastors and soloists, as well as the powerpoint presentation, etc.  

12.  Planning the rear confidence screen for the vocalists for each song, and announcements for the pastors, etc.  

13.  At the end of the service, download the master video file and convert to mp4 format for uploading to the website for On Demand viewing.  Extract the sermon video and audio, and extract any special performances for Youtube channel, BPCTeam, and this site.  Then post those extractions to this site.  

14.  Website design and updating each week.  

You can give Katheryne Levin a big hug and thank you, if you see her, for this gargantuan task coordinating it all.  It is quite overwhelming, and she really needs a day off!






Posted on September 12, 2014 .

The Changing Styles of Church Music

I love this new Hymn Project.  It is a wonderful way to make a hybrid form out of distinctly different styles.  

It’s obvious that different age groups in the church prefer different styles of hymns. Naturally.  We are comfortable with what we have known.  So we can ask, how do you define a hymn? Should we spiritualize a certain time period of hymnology?  Should hymns be considered greater than other types of worship songs?

But in reality, there has never been a golden age.  Every generation gains and loses something...... especially with music.  But most of the time people tend to hold their affinity for music more dearly than doctrine.  

  There is no style of music that is inherently good or evil.  If there was a holy style of music, then the book of Psalms would have written transcribed music.  There are no written notes or rhythms from the Dead Sea scrolls.

Some people have compared songs and music to clothing. Some old clothes don’t fit anymore, so we throw them out.  Some we dust off from time to time for special occasions, or other classic clothes we wear often.

   So funnily enough, much of our preferred music and instruments today were frowned on in church history.  Gregorian chant was supplanted by 4 part harmony in France in the 1200‘s. Martin Luther introduced congregational singing with popular German folk tunes in the 1500’s. The piano was controversially introduced to the American church only in 1910 by Charles Alexander.  Guitars were fought over in the 1970’s Jesus movement and are still seen as controversial in some circles today.

  As for hymnals, some churches update them every 10 years, each edition adding some and dropping others. 

    Yes, music is like clothes and lasts for only a season.  God’s word last forever.

Let’s pass on a heritage to the next generation.... not based merely on music of the times which will change..... but on the unchanging Gospel and Scriptures.  

The Communion of Great Music Making

Occasionally, worship musicians find brief tastes of the musical communion for which we long. As a musician, this can happen when playing music with others. Sometimes when an ensemble of musicians are playing or singing together, we begin to feel as if we are one organism. We can communicate without talking, the music blends so astonishingly, the rhythm, voicing, harmony, are all so locked-in together that we experience an amazing, humbling delight at simply beholding the sound we are making.

For a few too-brief moments, the many become as one. When the song is done, we all look at each other astonished by what we have just heard (typically followed by long silence, sighs or ecstatic laughter). And what runs briefly through our heads is something like, “Wow, that sounded amazing! And I got to be a part of it!” Well, this is truly wonderful, and our hope is that it transcends the inner experience of the band into the outer experience of the congregation. Luckily, we find ourselves dragging and kicking the congregation along with us. And everyone rejoices.

Posted on April 21, 2014 .

Easter Sunday behind the scenes

Kudos to our tech team on Easter Sunday morning.  There were a lot of balls juggling in the air to cover, from classical to rock to drama to pastors to video broadcasting and recording to powerpoint presentations and video.   Andrew Levin and Michael Greig were brilliant.  Many many thanks.  You guys make us look and sound great!

Tech for Easter.JPG
Posted on April 21, 2014 .

The Inside View -

Throughout my years as music director, occasionally, I would hear Christians quietly disparaging their churches music and arts, saying it's too old and somber, or it's too new and loud, or it's just cheesy. And sometimes I can sympathize. It can be frustrating to have songs set too fast or too slow, or other extremes, like a spelling error in the powerpoint presentation—pleez rize 4 ur call 2 wrshp—assembled by the girl who has spent far too much time textingOoh, mortal sin! But this obscures a more significant heart issue.

Posted on March 19, 2014 .