This fall, move forward into a deeper life of worship with draw near.

God Is Always Working

God Is Always Working

September 08, 2021

It is so easy to miss God's truth in the middle of the battle or despair. We often miss the small moments when God makes himself known because we are so focused on our feelings of doubt or frustration. We overlook the basic goodness and faithfulness he pours out onto us each and every day.

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implementing Hearts Alive curriculum

4 Steps to Implementing Hearts Alive Curriculum

August 24, 2021 2 Comments

Hearts Alive's goal is to introduce children to God through his Word with a strong overview of the story of salvation and how it ties to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This three-year course of study covers the entire Bible and mirrors the liturgical cycles of the Revised Common Lectionary.

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Creating a Positive Volunteer Experience

Creating a Positive Volunteer Experience

August 10, 2021

“How do we recruit and hold on to volunteers?” This is a loaded question, and there are all sorts of theories on why volunteers can be hard to come by and even harder to retain. I don’t believe there is a magic formula, as in my experience so much of volunteerism is based on the overall culture of the church.

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Setting Your Children's Ministry Up for Success

Setting Your Children's Ministry Up for Success

July 27, 2021

Nothing is tougher than when you feel you have lost all control over a group of children. You have some kids running around with excessive energy, others crying out that they’re bored or want to go home. It can make for a miserable experience for all. The good news is that 95% of the time the remedy is quite simple! And it is to make sure your lessons are hands-on and developmentally appropriate.

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You Never Know What Seeds You Are Planting

Radical Perseverance

July 13, 2021

Ministry can be a tough journey, especially in children’s ministry where so often we don’t get to see the fruit of our labor as we are loving on and teaching such young minds and hearts. If you are feeling ineffective, frustrated, or doubtful, then this message is for you… Keep planting seeds.

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a child in prayer

Let the Little Children Come to Me

June 29, 2021

Modeling a healthy prayer life is one of the greatest gifts we can give children. So often prayer is something we as adults often shy away from demonstrating because we don’t feel like we are “good” at it. Yet it is such an instrumental part of a rich relationship with God.

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Children's Ministry

Children’s Ministry Is BACK!

June 15, 2021

Children are so resilient–much more resilient than we often give them credit for. But even with that understanding, there are some things you and your ministry staff and volunteers can do to help them ease back into activities.

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Who Is In Your Formation? Growing Better Because We Are Together

Who Is In Your Formation? Growing Better Because We Are Together

March 04, 2020 2 Comments

By Christine O'Brien, Hearts Alive General Manager

One particular morning, several weeks ago, I saw Jesus in the sky. Stick with me here-I’m not entirely crazy!

As we were driving to school, we saw birds in the sky. The kids said, “Are those bats?” Another one said, “No, those are ducks!” To which I responded, “Look at the geese! They’re flying in a V-shape.” I said the V-shape is what shows that they are geese. From there, a conversation started about why geese fly in a V formation. Nobody quite knew the answer, so the only solution on this particular Wednesday morning was to ask Siri.

“Siri, why do geese fly in V formations?”

She answered us by sharing that there are two reasons why geese take on these formations while migrating. My thirteen year old was quick to point out his brilliance, as he had stated migration was why they fly in this shape prior to us involving Siri!

Siri said that the first reason was for aerodynamics. It’s much easier for geese to fly in a V-shape, as each goose helps direct the air flow around the geese behind it. This takes the pressure off and allows them to fly easier, more gently, and faster.

The second reason was for protection. It is much safer to be with the group than it is to be flying solo, because predators can’t take on an entire flock.

It was in that moment when God spoke to my heart and said, “I’m not done with you yet. This is for you. I’m getting your attention through a flock of geese!”

It began to resonate deep within my spirit that we each need to be like a goose in that pattern. We need to be in formation with others. We need to be in formation with others so that when we are tired and weary and don’t feel like we can go on anymore, you and I will have others beside us. Others who are Aarons in our lives, ready and willing to assist and carry one another’s burdens. To make the flight feel shorter. Less heavy. Less burdensome. To take that weight and share it with others. It might not change the flight, but it sure would make it easier to feel like we’re not so alone.

The second way we are like that goose is because We need protection. It matters who we are giving a seat to at our table. If I am alone, not protected and flying solo, I might as well have a giant bullseye on my back. If we have people that are surrounding us, that are protecting us, that are building us up, we are much less likely to allow an open spot for the enemy, with his lies and schemes, to attack. I don’t know about you, but I know that if there are open seats all around my table, it’s really easy for the enemy to creep in and start to devour my thought process, my emotions, my senses -- what I see, feel, hear, believe. All of those are areas where, if I’m sitting at a table alone and the enemy takes a seat -- beside, before, below, beneath me -- he could devour me.

How much more difficult is it for somebody to find a seat at a crowded table?

If there are people around our table who are surrounding us with Christ-like relationships, what a different outcome it would be.

There is strength in those numbers. When those geese were in the sky that morning, it took them a little while to get into formation. At first my kids thought that they were bats because they were scattered all around. They were flapping their wings every which way. They looked to be on top of each other. They simply looked to be chaotic.

As those geese got into their formation, their plan of action seemed so much more clear. It was evident that they were organized, they were unified, they were working together. They had a similar shared vision that they were trying to accomplish. Those geese will migrate somewhere together, and they had an end goal in sight.

If our end goal on this earth is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, pointing others to him, we need to be surrounded. We need to be rooted and grounded in Jesus, in the Word, with his Holy Spirit inside of us, sensitive to his nudgings and his leading. You and I also need to be surrounded by other geese who will get in formation with us. Who will occupy space around us, and who will remind each one of us of who we are in Christ and what we are doing, especially when we are prone to wander?

Who are the “geese” around you? Are you flying with the right crew? Is your vision aligned or might it be time to either refocus or reposition yourself? 

If you don’t have them around you, if it feels lonely, if it feels wavy, if it feels hard, try to identify some people who could come alongside you.

As leaders, let’s humble ourselves to say, “You know what, I need you… We’re better together… Let’s do this life together… We can accomplish more together than we ever could apart.”

Will you join me in this spring of a brand-new decade, in either finding “geese,” tightening up your formation, and/or being a “goose” for someone else? We have so much to glean from one another as we stay yielded to Jesus, and consistently remind others to do the same.

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Looking for a Non-Denominational Gospel-Centered Sunday School Program?

Looking for a Non-Denominational Gospel-Centered Sunday School Program?

April 22, 2019

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A Children's Director’s Guide to Recruiting and Maintaining Sunday School Teachers

A Children's Director’s Guide to Recruiting and Maintaining Sunday School Teachers

November 08, 2018

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