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3 Lessons About Kid's Ministry

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I am very excited to be returning to East 91st Street Christian Church! It is the church that my own children grew up in, and the church that we all call “home”. I look forward to doing ministry with you, and to being a part of guiding this next generation of children closer to Christ!

It has been my greatest privilege to be a part of Children’s Ministry for over thirty years. Hopefully I don’t seem that old yet, but I have learned a few things along the way. First, children deserve the very best that we can give to help them to know, follow, and love Jesus. Jesus loved children and put a high priority on them. He knew that kingdom belongs to even the littlest one and that how we teach and reach them today will have a ripple effect for decades to come. We have to be a church that strongly believes in ministry to young people, and it should our number one priority as a church.

Secondly, to really make an impact in kid’s lives, we have to diligently seek after their hearts.  We must provide an excellent ministry, simply so that the door to their hearts will be open. That excellence can be flashy and fun, Bible rich, community deep, or quiet and meaningful. We provide a variety of growing experiences that create space so that they will be able to “hear” God in the way that connects with them the most. We strive to reach EVERY child for Christ. These created moments allow Christ’s message to seep into their hearts, take root, and grow into a living faith that they will one day call their own.

Thirdly, partnering with families is a key element to a successful Children’s Ministry.  The church has roughly 40 hours to make an impact in the lives of kids. We will do everything we can in those 40 hours to point them towards Christ. Families though, have 3,000 hours a year to nurture spiritual development, and we are called to help parents leverage their hours for lasting spiritual rewards. The time spent with family is a game changer, and we want to help you make the most of every minute!

I look forward to meeting you all, and growing together!

With joy, Gerri


Posted by Gerri Baker with 0 Comments

There Are No Shortcuts To Success

“Your work ethic plus your prayer ethic will inch you closer to your dream” (Mark Batterson, Chase the Lion, 66).

When I look at athletes who have achieved great success, I tend to think they are simply more talented than everyone else. But are they? Is an actress who wins a Grammy more gifted than others? Perhaps. How about a musician who has excelled at her phenomenal talent—is she just better than all other musicians?

Those who have achieved a high level of success in their field have great ability, but they also have great determination. Typically, they work harder and longer than their counterparts.

Actor Will Smith shares his secret to success: “I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked. You may be more talented than me. You might be smarter than me. And you may be better looking than me. But if we get on a treadmill together, you are going to get off first, or I’m going to die” (Jon Gordon Blog quoted in Batterson, 66). Smith didn’t become a famous actor on talent alone. It was his dogged determination to work hard off screen before he was on screen.

Two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers has exceptional ability. But ability alone is not what has made him a great quarterback. The reason for his success? “I desperately want to be coached” (ibid., 67). Rodgers, like Will Smith, fights his battles before the big battle. He wins in the weight room and the film room before he wins on the field.

Mark Batterson shares the story of Pablo Casals who is considered to be the greatest cellist of all time. He played for Queen Victoria at the young age of 22, and he played for President Kennedy at the golden age of 86. He lived to be 96, and he still practiced three hours a day. When he was asked why, he said, “I’m beginning to notice some improvement” (idem.).

Your work ethic plus your prayer ethic is what moves you forward in life. Fighting the battles before the battle will give you a greater opportunity for victory.

Eleazar was one of David’s “Mighty Men.” 2 Samuel 23 records how he killed so many Philistines in battle that his hand stuck to his sword. Samuel writes, “And the Lord brought about a great victory that day” (2 Samuel 23:10). The victory may have come that day, but there were many days leading up to it where Eleazar learned how to wield a sword. He was prepared, so that when his moment came, the Lord used him mightily.

This is why we need daily disciplines. There are no shortcuts to long-term success in marriage, as parents, or in our work. To get out of debt, you make one payment at a time. To graduate from college requires you to complete one course at a time. Losing weight comes one ounce at a time. Becoming the person God created you to be comes one day at a time through your work ethic and prayer ethic. So why don’t you begin . . . today?

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