‘The Sword and the Stone’ Lesson: Faith and Disney

The sword and the stone has always been one of my favorite Disney movies. Merlin and Archimedes (the owl) teach Arthur, as in the future King, the importance of knowledge and education over strength and brawn. Based on 1 Samuel 16:21-17:11, 38-50, this intergenerational lesson compares the timeless story of King Arthur to the Old Testament story of David and Goliath.

sword stone pic

Lessons we can learn from David and Goliath and the Sword and the Stone

1. The Lord calls whom He will call

2. Right is better than might

3. The Lord prepares his servants

4. Be yourself

5. Know your weapons

Stories like David’s may have happened long ago, but the truths taught, and lessons learned from such stories are timeless.

Download the lesson by clicking the link below:

The Sword and the Stone

Faith and Disney journal additions:



Snow White Intergenerational Lesson: Faith and Disney


Disney’s cultural influence is enormous.  A saying that I truly love states, “If we don’t teach our children how to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” My husband and I have been teaching a midweek intergenerational study on “Faith and Disney”. The entire family joins us as we examine the religious messages found in our favorite Disney movies.  Unfortunately it has been difficult to find a good compilation of lessons which can fit into the intergenerational category…therefore, we are writing our own,  I really hope that you can use these lessons in your ministry or even as family faith talks at home.

When I began to think about this lesson plan, I came up with over 50 Disney movies that I could find scriptural references within.  We had to start with Snow White because it was the first Disney movie.

Download the lesson by clicking the link below:

Faith and Disney- Snow White

Faith and Disney journal additions:

snow white



2016 CM Connect Conference



How many times do children and youth pastors reach out to their students by helping them “Rise Up”?  To help them focus on God.  The 2016  CM Connect Conference March 28-31 in Louisville, KY encourages us to “Rise Up!” with a focus on God who rises up to our defense, to meet us in our time of need, to be our Champion.  I am super excited to be a part of the blogger team at the CM Connect Conference this year.


At the 2015 CM Connect Conference, President of CM Connect Global, Michael Chanley provided us with a very thought provoking t-shirt to go along with this amazing event.  The front of the shirt has a rhino riding on a skateboard.  If nothing else, it is always the beginning of an interesting conversation because people always ask, “What is with the rhino on the skateboard?”

The Rhino is unique from other animals you’ve seen or heard.  They cannot move backward.  They also have horrible peripheral vision which makes them as good as being blind.  So, Rhino’s always move forward with only one thing in mind.

As Christians, we are to keep our focus on God.  We cannot be preoccupied or distracted from our purpose in life…to love God, love people, and make disciples for Jesus Christ.  The above image shows a young rhino with an adult rhino.  It appears that the adult is helping the young rhino “Rise Up” to the challenge!

The 2016 CM Connect Conference is here to help us connect, serve, and advance those called to children’s ministry.  One of the best times is the after party where a group of like-minded (crazy Children’s pastors) people get together to network and discuss what works and what doesn’t work in the world of Children’s Ministry.  What an asset that doesn’t cost any extra!

So “Rise Up” to the challenge and bring yourself and your team to a beneficial  conference.  Save now with a 50%-off offer for registration using the code BLOG50.  Register today for the CM Connect Conference here.

Check out the Facebook event at CM Connect event

Small-Church vs Mega-Church


Recently mega-church pastor Andy Stanley has been under fire for some comments he made in regards to the selfishness of parents who take their kids to a small church.

You can see the video by clicking here. Andy Stanley – If You Don’t Go to a Large Church, You’re Selfish and don’t Care About Your Kids.

I am not here to agree or disagree with what he said. Mr. Stanley deserves respect for what he has accomplished with God’s help. Besides, we have all had those experiences where we opened our mouth and inserted our foot. We have all said things that we regret.

Unfortunately for him, he had his foot in his mouth for about 3 minutes while he ranted on about the awesomeness of the mega-church and the not-so-awesomeness of the smaller church.

I just want to share our experience in a smaller church and how we were truly selfish for staying there. Following are some reasons we chose to remain in a small church…

Take your kids to a smaller church where they get to be a part of the worship team. In the smaller church there are no big name Christian performers. There are no worship team CD’s for sale in the church lobby. In our small church if a child felt like going to the front and worshiping with the group they went. We oftentimes had kids picking up tambourines and maracas to join the praise team during an upbeat song. Was the congregation entertained by a big name performer, no? Did the kids learn confidence by getting up in front of people and playing an instrument? Yes. Were all ages blessed? Yes!

Take your kids to a smaller church where they get to learn sound and media production. In the smaller church, our sound and media people are volunteers. Are they perfect? Absolutely not! Do we get frustrated when the media locks up and the computer has to be restarted? Yes! Do we get really frustrated when the pastor begins to speak and the sound person has forgotten to turn on his microphone? Yes! But when you look to the sound booth and see a teenager learning the ropes from an adult volunteer, the frustration turns to thankfulness because intergenerational ministry is happening right there in your sound booth.

Take your kids to a smaller church where they get an opportunity to speak to the entire congregation. On several occasions our youth came home from camp or other events and had outstanding stories of faith and acceptance. On these days our pastor would allow for the Holy Spirit to take over the service and we would watch these kids go forward and speak to a group of adults about the experiences they had at their event. These kids needed to be heard. They didn’t realize it at the time but they gave their first sermon. Is speaking in front of an entire congregation (even if it is only 50 people) a benefit to their future years? Yes! Speech classes and presentations are nothing compared to opening your heart to a group of people.

Take your kids to a smaller church where the pastor always has time for them. Granted these pastors are not “rock stars” and they’re not traveling the world and inspiring tens of thousands of people each week, but they are almost always there for their people. To the teenager who is struggling with sexuality issues, the pastor opens his door at any time to talk to this confused teen…without an appointment. To the child who draws a picture representing the sermon they just heard, the pastor proudly hangs the drawing on their wall.

Take your kids to a smaller church where they get to serve along adults in ministry and outreach projects. In the smaller church some of the most valuable volunteers are the older children and teenagers who love offering help. These kids are learning valuable leadership experience as they work alongside adults.

Take your kids to a smaller church where they get to experience intergenerational worship every Sunday. Mega-churches may have playgrounds in their children’s areas and enough video game systems to rival Best Buy, but they are lacking in relationship. Yes, they are forming relationships with kids of their own age that could last a lifetime. But what about the true relationship that happens when a senior-aged adult takes the hand of a 5 year old and prays with that child. Or takes communion with that child. Or shares his Bible with that child. An intergenerational relationship is a foundation to provide the younger generations with a lifelong connection to the church.

On the other hand are there downsides to being in a smaller church? Yes!

We spent eleven years at a small church of approximately 50 people. Were there kids at the church? Yes, even though 4 of them were ours. My oldest son spent his formative spiritual years at this church. Years that I would not trade for an instant but years that may have cost him an eternal life (at least according to what others may say). Our church had a youth group consisting of 3 girls. My teenage son didn’t want anything to do with this group. “Don’t make me go mom! They only talk about girl things and I’m really uncomfortable!”

So when we stayed at the small church during his impressionable years, were we as his parents being selfish? Yes we were!

We chose to stay there. We loved the people and the people loved us. We loved that every Sunday morning felt like a family reunion. We loved that our children got serving opportunities they never would have received in a larger church. We loved that the pastor almost always had time for us.

We have now moved to a larger church because I was offered a paid position in children and family ministry. It has a youth group consisting of about 25 kids and they are led by a former “graduate” of the group who has a heart for these kids and for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our oldest son was 17 years old when we made this transition. According to George Barna he is way past the 4-14 window that most children make their eternal spiritual decisions.

Just the other day my now 18 year old college freshman came to me and said that he wanted to start playing the bass guitar again. He said to me, “You know that praise service that you have been talking about doing on Sunday nights for families and youth? I would play bass for you if you would like.”

In a larger church or even megachurch he would not get this opportunity. He would surely have to try out to see if he was ‘good’ enough to play with the semi-professional praise team. He wouldn’t make it because he’s just a beginner.

But because he grew up in a small church, he knows that anyone willing and able will be given a place to belong.

He grew up with these opportunities because of our small church.

I pray every day that he does not regret his years we spent in the small church. My husband and I were very selfish when we stayed in the small church…we stayed because it was the best place to teach our children to be servants of Jesus Christ!

Because You Know I’m All About That….Self-Image

This is an article I wrote last year for preteenministry.net.  My daughter is now 10 and growing faster than ever.


I don’t think there is anyone that has not heard the song “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor.  If you missed hearing the song all you have to do is turn on any hit music radio station and you will hear it.

The other day I was driving my 9-year old daughter to school and the song came on the radio.

When I first comprehended what my little princess was singing…

…..“I have the boom boom that all the boys chase and all the right junk in all the right places” I wanted to scream…stop growing up!!

Please stay little and innocent a few more years! Continue reading

Youth Easter Sunrise Service


It is hard to believe that we are already a week and a half into Lent.  It seems like it was only yesterday when we celebrated Christmas…oh yea, it practically was.  The life of a ministry leader….

Do you ever feel that you perform your ministry job as if you’re jumping from lily pad to lily pad?  You have Easter, and VBS, and Fall Festivals, and you better jump back to catch church camp.  And then Christmas as well as all the other “smaller” details in between.

To help some of you from drowning among the reeds (and Easter egg hunts) I thought I would give you a taste of something our church does at Easter. Continue reading

Why I was happy when my son failed…..


This past Saturday was our local Solo and Ensemble contest held by the Indiana State School Music Association.  This was my 8th grader’s first time to actually take part in a judged solo contest.  And, well, he got a silver rating.  Of course that is not bad at all for his first time out.  But not when you’re a part of a generation that has had everything given to them.

In school, rather than hurt anyone’s feelings we give all the kids awards.  Continue reading