A Great Start to Sundays!

9 09 2013

how to guideAt this time of year, parents are overwhelmed with “how to’s” regarding the new school year…. how to find the best deal on school clothes, how to pack a healthy lunch, how to set up a well-organized homework area.

However, what are the “how to’s” for helping your child have a great year at church?

Here are a few ideas:

SleepPrepare the night before.  Lay out clothes and accessories, bathe the children, set Bibles and offering money near the door…anything you can do to eliminate as many time-consuming items in the morning will help you get out the door on time.

Go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Being well-rested will ensure that everyone will (1) get up and out the door and (2) help eliminate grumpy behavior – for parents AND kids.

BreakfastDon’t forget breakfast.  A full tummy will help kids focus better and again cut down on grumpy behavior.



Play up positives for church other than “fun”.  If you tell your child something like, “I’ll bet you’ll have lots of fun today!” and they don’t, they will likely resist wanting to go back.  Emphasize that worshiping and attending church is an important start to your week and that when we go to church, we can learn more about Jesus.

Commit to attending church regularly.  There are so many things that vie for your attention on Sunday mornings.  Make regular church attendance a priority for your family.  church_on_time

Arrive at church on time.  By doing so, your child is able to get settled in with minimal disruptions to the class.

Get to know your child’s teacher.  Your child’s teacher has committed to building a relationship with your child and sharing Jesus with him/her.  This relationship is a very important one to nurture.

calendarPut dates for children’s ministry activities on your calendar.  Information about what will be taught, memory verses, and special holiday activities will help you to encourage your child.

Ask the right questions.  Instead of asking, “Did you have fun today?” when you pick up your child, ask more specific questions such as,

“Tell me about your day.”; “What did you do today?”; “What did you like best?”  

Find ways that you can serve together as a family.  Participate in the church food and water drive, serve as ushers, greeters, or bake cookies for church events.  This will help your child feel like they are part of a larger community.  Family serve








Ephesians 6:10-12 reminds us of the daily battle we face and provides us with THE way to win the war.  I hope these tips are helpful and get your Sundays off to a great start!



Back to School!

7 08 2013

Back to School Road Sign

It’s finally arrived….BACK TO SCHOOL!!  This time of year brings a variety of emotions for both parents and children.  Seasoned parents have calmly mastered the routines of organizing backpacks,lunches and homework while parents of kindergarteners are still a bit emotional as they send their “baby” to school.  It is an exciting, emotional and busy time.   So, this month’s blog is devoted to helping you stay on track, spiritually and practically.


Easing Your Child’s Fears and Anxieties

Whether it’s the first day of school or the first time in Sunday School, children face anxious moments.   New teachers, routines, friends, and studies.   Helping children understand  and believe what the Bible teaches about anxiety (Matt. 6:34; 1 Peter 5:7)  takes time and it takes you.  Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  • Show respect for your child’s feelings and provide a safe environment for conversation.
  • Help your child identify their feelings.  Just naming an emotion can bring relief.
  • Identify underlying reasons for fear and provide children with an understanding about who God is.
  • Model trust in God.  Share about how you cope with anxiety.


Time For God, Time For Family

This is a great time of the year to re-establish family priorities and renew your vision of worship.  Your family life doesn’t have to be a whirlwind of evening and weekend activities that move you away from God.  Remember, you are privileged with a great responsibility (Deut. 6:1-8).   This is an opportunity for your family to shine Christ’s light into the world.

Click on the link below to read an article, “Are You A Part-Time Churchgoer?”, describing  a struggle many families face.  It offers interesting insight about our practice of  worship.


As you think about your child’s future….what college they will attend, what they will be when they grow up, who they will marry…have a vision and  a prayer for your child, that they will come to Christ and grow strong in the faith.  For this to happen, they will need you.


Be blessed!


2 07 2013

It’s officially summertime and the heat is on…at least here in Phoenix.  This is the time we slow down to enjoy our family and friends and do all the fun things we promised ourselves during the year.   So, how’s it going?  Have you taken time to do that “something” or go to that “somewhere”  you promised yourself and your family?  Have you slowed down to spend time together with your family?

I think as parents we sometimes think together means running the roads; overpriced summer attractions; bigger, better, brighter.  Those things are wonderful but they aren’t the only way to find quality time with your kids.

Listening to each other, learning something new, explaining, asking your child’s opinion….voices aren’t raised, tempers aren’t flared.  Just enjoying being together.  


As I’ve learned from my son and daughter, the memories that stick in their heads aren’t always the ones with the most $$$ signs.  Memories that stick are rooted in together.  As I write this blog, my adult children are at opposite ends of the country. One is in New York and the other in San Francisco.  They’ll both be home in a few days with stories and pictures of their summer adventures and I will eagerly listen and love that we are together.

Side by side.

Give and take.

Patience and time.

Just together.

So maybe for you, together is cleaning out a closet, helping with dinner or pulling all the blankets out and building a fort in the living room. Whatever it looks like at your house, cherish it!  You have a lot of summertime, together-hungry hours ready for you to fill!











Thank you Lord for together!

May is for Missions

24 05 2013

Throughout the year, our Sunday School has focused on a study of Acts.  Our teachers have done an excellent job helping our children understand the early church and Paul’s missionary journeys.  During the month of May, we stepped away from the book of Acts for a special mission focus on Asia.

map of asia






Our children learned about the major religions  in this region and how they differ from   Christianity, the life of a young girl and her family that are missionaries in Asia and they read and re-enacted the story of Jonah!









A special part of our study challenged our children to write or draw a picture about two questions: “What you would want to tell a boy or girl in Asia about Jesus?” or “When was a time you prayed for someone?”.   A big THANK YOU to our parents (Rodney and Bernadette Davis, Paul and Kim Corens and Rich and Amber Wells) for encouraging their children to take on this challenge.

Here are their responses:

Oliva Wells                                                                                Aliya Wells

Olivia essay Aliya

Saul Davis                                                                         Abraham Davis

saulabraham Alily Davis



                                                                 Julia Corens




I’m so excited to watch all our children learn and grow in their knowledge of the Lord.  Let’s continue to pray for their salvation so they might continue the work and become missionaries to the world.  (Matt. 28:19-20)



Family Fun Day at the Phoenix Zoo!

26 04 2013

ENJOY!!zoo pic 1Zoo3zoo5zoo6zoo7zoo8zoo9zoo10zoo12zoo14

zoo pic2zoo 4zoo pic 1

March Madness!!

26 03 2013

It’s been a busy month for Kids ROCK ministry!

Teacher training for our volunteers focused on evangelizing children and how to use everyday objects to help teach Bible truths.  Our talented team developed some great lessons for each other and our parents.


Our Pebbles and Nuggets students are an energetic and curious group.  In our study of Acts, children are learning Bible truths through coloring pages, object lessons, clear instruction and reading the Word.


Thanks to John Rowlee, Harley Lang, and Jerry Everett for serving as our lead teachers for our Nuggets (K-2nd grade)

















This month’s post wouldn’t be complete without a peek at our nursery.  Our babies are growing so quickly and our play and learn time gives new definition to “March Madness”  :).  They have just completed their “study” on “God Made Me” and are now singing and learning about creation.  Our babies love to hear the teachers sing!


This month, I close with words from John MacArthur’s article on Evangelizing Children:

For many believers, fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations begins at home—with their children. In fact, few experiences bring greater joy to Christian parents than seeing their children come to faith in Christ. 

If you’re still left wondering, “How do I present the gospel to my child?”.   Please feel free to contact us through this blog or email at: children@casm.org and we’ll be happy to send you more information.  Even better…plan to visit our church this Sunday and learn more about what the Bible teaches about the Good News of Jesus Christ!




Happy February!

18 02 2013

HAPPY FEBRUARY!  I’m so excited to share the latest Children’s Ministry news and updates!  First, I want to say “Congratulations!” to our newest parents and their little bundles of joy!

Donny and Becky Stager welcomed James Andrew Stager on December 15, 2012.










Harley and Elly Lang welcomed Trinity Kathryn Lang on January 22, 2013.




AND our most recent addition (photo pending): Orlando and Priscilla Jimenez welcomed Jocelyn Galiana Jimenez on February 16, 2013.

As our nursery experiences a little “population explosion”, we joyfully look forward to showing the love of Christ to our newest babies and their parents.  Our nursery team is a pretty amazing and gifted team with one really special volunteer that should encourage all of our men. Yes,  Real Men love Jesus AND serve in the nursery.  We love you Eugene and our babies do too!



Our Boulders (grades 3-6) have been busy studying Acts and learning about evangelism and outreach.  They’ve enjoyed creating these hats that displayed what they learned in a fun and creative way. CollageImage













Additionally, our children have spent time learning how to welcome other children by assembling visitor goody bags for those who visit our church.  Each bag contains a personal note from our children, trinkets and a gospel tract.  We definitely have future greeters and outreach team members in the making :)!



1. The Greatest of These Is Love:  This year, dig into the meaning of “agape” with your kids.  This Greek word best describes God’s love—the highest form of love.  Agape has a deep, rich meaning: selfless, sacrificing, unconditional love. How does God show us that love? How can we show it to each other?


Dig into what makes your kids feel most loved and you’ll learn more about how to connect with them. Ask:

1. What are your favorite memories of things we’ve done together as a family?  Why?

2. What makes you feel safe? loved? happy?

3. What could we do together to grow closer to God ? How does staying close to God help our family love each other more?


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8