Prayer This Week Kids Camp

Thanks for praying with me for Kids Camps!  As all the prep work is getting done, I’m getting more and more excited watching God work out the details.  Please join with me in praying for these things this week:
  1.  Pray for the witness of volunteers at home and work
  2.  Pray for parents that are not involved in their kids’ lives
  3.  Pray for those without a church home
  4.  Pray for church members to reach out to those without church homes
  5.  Pray for the witness of all youth involved at home and school/work
  6.  Pray for the families of all of our pastors
  7.  Pray for children in 2nd grade

Thanks Friends!

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Kids Camp Prayer Week

We are another week closer to Kids Camp 2013!  Thanks for all who are praying with me for the kids, staff and speakers.  Here is the prayer focus for this week:

1.Pray for our Activity, Décor, and Chapel time coordinator; Pastor Harvey Walls

2.Pray for our Prayer Coordinator; Pastor Isaiah McGarry

3.Pray for fun, organized, and safe activities for all

4.Pray for all of our prayer partners

5.Pray for operation of all equipment to be flawless

6.Pray for consistent prayer among all our prayer partners

7.Pray for kids with difficult home situations

Thanks for praying!

Kids Convention

We had such a great time at kids convention this past weekend!  God did some amazing things in the hearts of our students, and He challenged me personally.  There are so many amazing things to tell you about, it’s hard to know where to start.

We were challenged by 2 main speakers, Gregg Johnson and David Boyd.  Gregg is an evangelist and has deep passion to teach kids about how they can be like Jesus when He was 12 years old.  The only thing we know about Jesus between His early years and the beginning of His public ministry is a story found in Luke 2:41-52.  These 12 verses provide some powerful insight to Jesus.  Without going into the whole story, we see that Jesus was passionate about the Word of God, He was found in the right places with the right faces and He grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man.  What more would you want for your tween?

Gregg told us that as a young man, he felt called into the ministry at age 14.  When he came home from that experience, he decided to turn his room into a Bible College.  He spent 2 hours every day, from 3:00-5:00 in his room studying, praying, memorizing scripture and learning anything he felt he would need to be successful in ministry.  Gregg has taken his experience and written books and classes called Bedroom Bible College, designed to help kids between the ages of 10 and 14 do the same thing. 

I found one of these books in our van on the way home.  One of our boys used his spending money to buy one of the books.  When I found it, I asked the boy if he was going to turn his bedroom into a Bible College.  His response? “I think I’m going to turn my living room into a Bible College.”

When I got home, I saw a posting on Facebook about one of the other boys.  After reading some scripture with his parents, he got his brothers and sisters together and said, “It’s time for us to go to school.” They went into one of the kids rooms and prayed and read the Bible together for about an hour. 

Our other speaker, David Boyd is the worldwide director for BGMC (Boys and Girls Missions Challenge, the missions giving and education program for kids in the Assemblies of God).  He talked with the kids about the living for God with power through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  As any good speaker would do, he invited the kids to come forward and pray with their leaders for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  To my knowledge, 2 kids were filled with Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues.  All by 2 of the kids responded.  I prayed with others who were asking God for it, but I did not happen for them at that time. When David asked for hands of kids who were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and began speaking in tongues, many hands went up.  Kids all over the place were filled!

All of our kids came back changed, marked by God.  I’m really excited to see what happens with the 10 kids that we took this year!  Please continue to pray for these kids, that they will continue to seek after God just as passionately as they did this weekend and this week.  Pray that their thirst for God will not be quenched, less they quit seeking.  Pray for those who are still seeking the gift of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, that they will be filled.

Thank you for supporting the ministry of Kids Place.  God is doing unspeakably wonderful things in our kids’ lives!  The best is yet to come!

Heartbreak of Children’s Ministry

I could never imagine what it would be like to minister in a community that experienced tragedy like what happened recently in Newtown, CT.  It is truly unspeakable. My heart goes out to the survivors, families, and pastors, especially children’s pastors who have to live with the tragedy everyday for the rest of their lives.  While I wondered how far I should go to talk to my kids about it, my fellow children’s pastors in CT where wondering how to even deal with it.

I am not trying to compare what is like day-to-day in “normal” children’s ministry to such a great tragedy, I can’t help but to think about some of the difficult situation Children’s Pastors have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.  Please understand that I love children’s ministry.  There are many great rewards to it, like seeing kids that I’ve ministered to grow up serving God continuously through Jr. High, High School, College and into adulthood.  It’s awesome to see kids worshiping God with their whole hearts, praying with kids to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, watching praying with one another, getting baptized and…. I could go on and on.

There is hard side to it though.  Of course, it is hard to see kids stop attending your church because their parents take issue with some adult matter.  But, we hope and pray that the Lord leads them to a church where God will continue to do great things in their life.  Its hard when a child wants to go to an event, but because of decisions the adult made, they are unable to (late registration, other plans, or not asking about scholarship opportunities).  It’s hard to see a families that look so great on the outside, but their kids end up so messed up.

For me the most difficult thing in Children’s Ministry, is taking prayer requests.  About 90% of the time, I get prayer requests that I pray for only out of obligation.  Plus, I figure if it is important enough for the kids to ask, it is important enough to take to the Lord.  After all, He cares about all the big and little things in our lives.  It’s that last 10% though that is really difficult for me, and I imagine almost every other children’s pastor out there.

The last 10% of prayer requests are the ones that kids think are so simple, but adults see the complexities in.  Like the foster child who asks to pray that they can go back to their “real” parents; when they probably do not understand that their “real” parents are drug addict, who neglected them as an infant and rightfully had their parental rights permanently terminated, but now they have the blessing (that they don’t understand) of living with a wonderful new family who loves them and takes care of them above and beyond what the state requires.

Or the child who prays that their parents get back together, not knowing that their mom has had more affairs than she can count, and dad deserves better than that.  Or the child who prays for their dad to come home, because they forgot how dad beat them when he was around.  Or the other child who prays the same thing, either not realizing or not caring that their dad is in prison for murder.  Or the child who believes that God is going to heal their terminally ill brother, even up to the brother’s death.

Children’s ministry certainly has its difficulties, but at the end of the day, it is always worth it.  Even though the kids don’t understand the whole situation, we get to walk with them through it.  One day, they’ll look back and see how God was protecting them, teaching them or helping them through it.  Or maybe they won’t.  I still don’t know why God has allowed me to go through some of the hardships of my life, but I do know that He has walked with me every step through it.  That is the truth that I hope to impart to kids.

Promotion info and Summer Activities For Parents of PCC Kids

Hey Parents,

Summer is right around the corner, and before it officially gets here, I would like to take a moment to let you know about all the excitement that is coming up!

First of all, we have our promotions coming this Sunday!  If your child is a new Kindergarten, 5th or 6th grade student, they may go to their new classes beginning this Sunday in the 9:00 hour.  If they are not here for the 9:00, but are here for 10:15, new kindergarten students may come to the Trailhead, and 6th grade students may attend the adult service.  For 6th grade students, the middle school does have a section where they sit together (look for Pastor Aaron), or they may sit with their parents.  If at any time, anyone is unsure of where to go, you can ask myself, their previous teacher, any other pastor, usher or greeter where to go.

Summer activities:

We’ve got some amazing summer activities on tap this year!  First of all, Young Champions is coming up fast.  Mark your calendars for July 25-28.  Registration is online at www.PCCtoday.com or you can register on paper using the brochures that will be coming out soon.  Young Champions is an awesome track and field clinic where kids learn not only track and field skills but also how to be a true champion.  Cost is $20 per child with a maximum of $60 per family.  Invite a friend!

Royal Ranger Powwow

For so many boys, this is the highlight of their summer.  Activities include rock-climbing wall, zip line, bb guns, canoeing, batting cages, paintball and more!  They will also hear from a great speaker and come away changed by the power of God.  Powwow takes place at Camp Wildcat near Corvallis.  Boys going into grades 2-5 may attend without a male adult coming with them, younger kids must have a male adult chaperone (dad, uncle, grandfather etc) August 11-14, cost: $110 per boy.

Kids Camp

Kids going into grades 3rd -6th are invited to join us at Kids Camp August 15-19, at Kellogg Springs, in Sutherlin, Oregon.  At Kellogg Springs, the kids will be treated to amazing speakers (Jenni and Jeff Smith from Horizon Community Church in Tualatin), zip line, pool, archery, and much more.  For sign ups, see Pastor Brad.  Space is limited, so sign up soon.  Cost: $225 per child.

M’s Club Girls Camp

All girls between 1st-5th grade are invited to Girls Camp at Driftwood Creek Camp in Lincoln City.  Suzie Star will be our guest speaker and she will knock it out of the park!  This will be an amazing time for the girls to connect with other girls, worship God, and be challenged in their relationship with Him.  Cost $90 per girl.

Music Day Camps The 2011 Kids’ Summer Music Adventure Camp

August 8-12, 2011
Morning Only from 9:00 AM – Noon or
Full Day from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
For: Kids entering Kindergarten-4th Grade
Location: Portland Christian Center

Kids will have a blast during five fun-filled days packed with action and adventure as they explore music from the Appalachian Mountains all the way to the Islands of Hawaii!

Each day we’ll dive into a different style of music, have demonstrations of instruments, interactive music games, music instruction, get artsy with fun crafts, learn fun new songs and dances and snack on yummy treats! Optional afternoon activities will include outings to the Oregon Zoo, OMSI, Oaks Park Roller Rink, the pool, and more!

COST:
Morning Music Camp – $130 (Early Bird Rate of $115 if registered and paid by 7/25/11)
Full Day Camp – $245 (Early Bird Rate of $220 registered and paid by 7/25/11)

For more information email lhalling@pcctoday.com

If your child wants to participate in any of these activities, but cost is a factor, don’t fret! Scholarships are available.  I don’t ever want for a child to be hindered from doing something because of money.  For more information on any of these activities, email me at bshimomura@pcctoday.com.

Have an awesome summer, I hope to see everyone at at least one of these events!

Pastor Brad

Where you end

I’m secure enough to admit it.  From time to time, I wonder why God choose to me to be a church leader, Children’s Pastor or to be a part of a decent sized church.  Some days I feel like I am ill-equipped, too young, not smart enough, not strong enough, or a million other things.  The truth of the matter is, that is a good thing.

God does not give us everything to be a perfect leader.  He gives us a certain set of gifts, passions, and even limitations so that you can be exactly the person that He created you to be.  People were not made to attain perfection.  If we were perfect, and had every spiritual gift that we needed and were perfect leaders, we would have no need for God.

We were created with limitations so that we can learn to rely on God.  I love the way John the Baptist puts it in John 3:30.  In John’s teachings of his disciples about Jesus, he made this amazing statement: “He must become greater and I must become less.”  As people we are broken, frayed, flawed and imperfect.  The more of us that shines through, the more the flaws shine through.  When we realize that, get out of God’s way and allow Him to work, He will really show up and do things beyond our imagination.

When you come to your end, God is just getting started.

How important is Children’s Ministry?

Wow!  I don’t know very many more ways to say it, but wow!  Our church had a kindergarten 5th grade school at one point in time.  The school was scaled back to just pre-school a couple of years ago.  Even though the school meets on our church campus, many people are attracted to bring their kids here.  Kids from all different backgrounds attend the school: some of our pastor’s kids, Baptists, Buddhists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, you name it.  Though I am not a big fan of mixing churches and school, I may have just become a believer again.

I’ve spoken in Christian school chapels more times than I can count.  I’ve given every message I can think of, told every Bible story that I can make a point relevant to kids to, and repeated my favorites a couple of times.  When I was asked to do Easter chapel for the preschool and there parents, I agreed but was certainly hesitant because I don’t normally dive into pre-school ministry.  Knowing that this would be kids and parents, I agreed.

Up until literally the morning of chapel, I had two ideas.  Two object lessons both with the same point, but with different ways of getting there.  It came down to technicalities, which one could I actually pull off?  After failing at my favored option, I went with the second one.  After my 7 minute presentation, I received a few complements (which I never really know how to take).

Earlier today, as I was gathering some supplies for Kids Church, one of the moms stopped to talk about the Easter Chapel service.  Being an introvert and more of a task focused person, I tried to say thanks and end the conversation quickly, but she wanted to keep telling me about how powerful it was.  Her daughter came home and opened up a spiritual conversation among her whole family about Jesus forgiveness and how He died on the cross for her sins.

Being me, I thought, “That’s great, a family discussing their spirituality at home!  Mission accomplished!”  She went on to say that the girl asked if she could start attending church here.   The mom explained that the family already has a church, because they are LDS, but if she wants to come to church here, then they’ll bring her here.

I am blown away by God’s power, that he would take a simple object lesson of food coloring and water, and use it to bring a Mormon family to our church.  Children’s ministry is essential to the growth of a church.