Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Family Connection 08.09.2011

Family Connection


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden in light.”-Matthew 11:28-30
When my boys were younger and they wanted to help me with projects around the house my motto was “Half the work in twice the time.” I loved having them help me so I could teach them how to do things, and I loved just being with them, but I really didn’t expect them to be able to do too much; after all they were just little boys. I would also love watching them help their Mom take out the groceries from the car when they would get home. They wanted to help but often the bags they were trying to lift were a bit too much for them. Either Jen or I would grab one handle of the bag and take most of the weight so they could feel like they were helping when we were really bearing the burden for them. They thought they could more than they could; but Jen and I knew better.
There have been many times in my life when I realize I am trying to lift a burden that is just too tough for me. As a pastor, I hurt along with the people who submit prayer requests each week or the children whose parents are going through a divorce or with the couples who are struggling in their marriages. I hurt for them, I do my best to walk alongside them but I realize I cannot carry their burdens for them; that is something only Jesus can do.
What about you? What burdens are you trying to carry that you have no business carrying by yourself? What things does Jesus want you to lay down at His feet? What are you doing about that? If we cannot learn how to give our burdens to Jesus, we will constantly be bogged down with things that don’t belong to us and will be ineffective in our walk with Christ.
How open are you with the children in your lives? Do you share with them your struggles as you strive to follow Jesus? I would encourage you to do so. As followers of Jesus Christ, we make daily decisions on whether or not we will follow Him. Sometimes those decisions are easier than others but they are always opportunities for us to teach the children in our lives how to follow Jesus. Instead of trying to carry the burdens by yourself, talk to the children in your lives and ask them to pray for you. You don’t need to be too specific with them if there are issues they won’t understand but you can model laying burdens down for them when you ask them to pray for you. The great news is that Jesus can, and wants to handle your burdens; won’t you let Him?
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family Connection 07.28.2011

Family Connection


“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘ABBA, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”-Romans 8:15-17
At the end of the book The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, the main character Shasta finds out that he is not the orphaned boy he thought he was but is the oldest son of the King of Archenland and heir to the throne. Shasta had spent his entire life being raised by an abusive fisherman as little more than a slave. When Shasta gets to Archenland he expects to be dismissed but instead is embraced by the King, his real father, and treated like royalty. In an instant, Shasta goes from an orphaned slave to the son of the King and heir to the throne. From that point on, Shasta’s life is forever changed.
This storyline is repeated in many different books but it is always exciting to see someone rise from obscurity to their true place of honor. We thrive on these types of stories and children’s books are full of this theme; it’s even possible that you may have wondered what life would be like for you if you faced something like this. Well, if you have asked Jesus to come into your life and save you from your sins; you are living that life right now because you are a joint-heir with Christ and an heir of God!
If you have never read The Horse and His Boy to the children in your life you might consider doing so in order to help them understand this wonderful truth of how we can and should live life in Christ. Just as people would shudder if Shasta put on his old slave rags and went back to his old life, we should shudder if we pick up our old ways and live in the slavery of sin we used to before we accepted Christ and made Him Lord of our lives. This is a wonderful truth that Paul unveils for us throughout the entire book of Romans. Even though some of the concepts might be a bit over the heads of the children in your lives, I would encourage you to read through Romans with them as well. You might learn something together.
My prayer for each of us is that we can live our lives as a living, breathing example of Jesus to our children and the people around us. I hope you have a wonderful week and God gives you opportunities to glorify Him as you go through your days.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Family Connection 07.19.2011

Family Connection


“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…My dear brothers, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”-James 1:2-4; 19-21
My family and I just got back from vacation last Friday after spending a week in Williams, Arizona. Williams is near Flagstaff, in the mountains, and is beautiful. The weather didn’t get above 80 and we even had thunderstorms. Not only were we in a different climate, but it almost felt like we were in a different world. You may or may not know this but Arizona laws are a bit different from California. For example, you are not required to wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle, you can ride in the back of a pickup truck and you are allowed to wear a gun in a holster. As a Californian it is a little strange to see a person wearing a firearm in a holster but people in Arizona live under a different set of laws and follow a different set of rules.
I have been thinking that it is the same for those of us who follow Christ. When we decide to ask Jesus to come into our lives and become our savior, we also give Him access to become the Lord of our lives. We ask Him to take charge and we agree to follow His ways, all of His ways (Jesus said-“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”-John 14:15). While this is a lifelong process, as followers of Jesus, we should start to do things differently and live for Him by following God’s Word. I don’t know about you but I don’t always find that easy to do so I am constantly asking for God’s wisdom and help as I strive to live like Jesus.
Each week, this ministry works to show the children who attend how they can learn to live for God now and follow Him for life. As we partner with you, I want to assure you that we are trying to help children understand, at their level, how to follow God and His rules, by teaching them out of the Bible. We are here to partner with you and to help you raise your children to follow God and His ways.
On another note, we are going through a bit of a trial here at church as our Lead Pastor, Bob Thune has resigned. I love Pastor Bob and his wife Ruthie and will miss them. Even though I am sad to see them go, I am excited to see what God has in store for them and this church. Pastor Bob has served with distinction and his ministry legacy will go on. I personally have been ministered to by Pastor Bob and Ruthie and both Jennifer and I, along with our children are forever changed for the better by our knowing them.
I also know that there are those who are questioning the integrity and motives of the Elder Board at this time. I would like to comment on that. These 8 elders are men of godliness and integrity. I know them personally and have ministered alongside all of them for many years. These elders have served this church for many, many years (most of the elders have been on the board for 6 years or more) and before that each of the elders served in other ministry areas. I have served alongside some of these men for the almost 16 years I have served at this church. In all of the years of service alongside these men, none of them have ever given me a reason to doubt their godliness, integrity or love for the Lord and the people of this church. I have utmost confidence, based on years of past experience, that these elders are following God and want nothing but the best for Pastor Bob and Ruthie, this church and the entire Coachella Valley where we are to minister; and I trust them completely.
I apologize for the length of this Family Connection, as most of my others are easy to read in a minute or two, but I felt I should share my heart with you.
It is my honor to serve the children and families of this church; but more importantly it is my honor to serve the Lord.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Family Connection 06.02.2011

Family Connection

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”-Ephesians 1:3 (NIV)
Over the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to praise God while I performed a wedding for a wonderful couple, got to praise God as I got away for a few days with my beautiful bride of 22 years, got to praise God as I have watched children and parents come in through our offices to sign up for Summer Spectacular, got to praise God while I have watched a wonderful group of volunteers as they transform our main stage into a set for Summer Spectacular and this Saturday I get to praise God as I stand with some parents on the main stage as they dedicate their child to the Lord in front of their church family. I have also had an opportunity to praise God while I have prayed and cried with people who are struggling with ill spouses, parents who are struggling with children who are turning away from God and causing themselves hurt and pain and I have had an opportunity to comfort a friend who suddenly lost a parent. But believe it or not, this Family Connection isn’t about me.
I love the above verse because we can praise God because of who He is. We can praise Him because He has already blessed us through His Son Jesus. We can praise Him because we have life through His great gifts. I can only share the things above with you because of who God is, what He has done and I have been open to His leading me into circumstances where He could be glorified.
I would like to encourage you to share the above verse with the children in your lives this week and talk about times when God has used you because you were available for Him. Take time to talk through various ways you, as a family and individually, can live out the fact that God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
I would also ask you for your prayers from myself and the entire Children’s Ministry team of staff and volunteers as we gear up for Summer Spectacular. This is a wonderful, exciting, terrific, life-changing yet stressful time of the year (on a stress scale of 1-10, I think I’m at about an 11 ). Please pray that we can serve the children and families who come into this ministry and that we can do it well to the glory of God our Heavenly Father. But please also pray that we can make sure we are serving our own families and the children in our lives during this time as well.
It is my pleasure to serve you and the children in your lives through this ministry.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

PS-If you haven’t registered your child for Summer Spectacular yet you can do so online at www.southwestkids.org

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Family Connection 05.11.2011

Family Connection
“Children, obey your parents as believers in the Lord. Obey them because it’s the right thing to do. Scripture says, ‘Honor your father and mother.’ That is the first commandment that has a promise.”-Ephesians 6:1-2 (NIrV)
This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. And while this day has been set aside to honor and respect mothers and all that they do and have done for us, it is God’s plan for children to honor their mothers (and fathers) daily. One of the best ways children can honor their parents is by obeying them and doing this because God asks us to. Needless to say, children don’t usually like me reminding them of this fact (which I do at least monthly during our weekend services).
One of the reasons this is so important for children, apart from the fact that God expects it of them, is because respect and obedience for earthly parents actually helps children come into a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father. If we can’t learn to respect and obey the parents we have before us, how can we learn to respect and obey our Heavenly Father whom we can’t see? I believe this is so important for children, I reinforce this as I teach the children (parents, I am your biggest advocate).
I would encourage each of us to gently remind the children in our lives this week about God’s expectations for respect and obedience towards parents. If you are a grandparent, you can also gently remind your grandchildren about this. If our goal is to raise godly children, we can all work together to reinforce this as children learn and grow.
I would especially like to honor all of you moms who read this Family Connection this week. Even though Mother’s Day is officially over your job doesn’t end. Even if you don’t have any children living at home any longer you are still “Mom”! And for those of us who are blessed to have our mothers still living, I would encourage each of us to give our moms a special call and say thank you to them for all the work they have done to help us get where we are today. And if your mom has passed on, take a moment to thank God for the mom He gave you. If you are a parent, you know how difficult that job is (and if you’re like me, at times you made your mom’s job even tougher than it should have been).
It is my prayer that all of us can impact the children in our lives by our words and deeds as we desire to see them grow in a real, dynamic relationship with Jesus.

Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

PS-I thank you for praying for me and Josh as we were on our trip to Uganda, your prayers were felt.

Monday, April 25, 2011


It's amazing how much can be accomplished in a few short days. Tomorrow Josh and I head to the airport at 5:45 am to begin our trek back home. This has been such an amazing experience; I'm sure I will never be the same.

When Brent and Leah shared that God was calling them to Uganda I thought, "good for them". After spending time with Brent, Leah, Bo, Amy, Luke and Tekle I say, "Good for everyone they come in contact with!" I am sure you have heard the term "lifestyle evangelism" but this isn't just a term for the Phillips, it is a way of life. I have been so amazed that they are very intentional about making the time to love on everyone they come into contact with but especially how they are developing relationships with certain people around them with the purpose of showing them the love of Christ. Although they have only been here 4 months, I already see the impact they are making in the lives of those around them. I had the opportunity to meet 8 different people they are actively loving on and making an eterna difference in their lives. These people aren't even part of the Cherish ministry, these people just live in their neighborhood.

I will share more about Cherish another time but tonight I want to challenge each of us to be more intentional where we live. We don't have to move to Uganda to develop relationships with the people around us but we do have to make a decision to be intentional about showing the love of Jesus wherever we go. This week I challenge each of us to ask one person where we shop, get coffee or order food, their name and take the time to make contact with that person in more than a superficial way.

Josh and I have met some amazing people here. We have seen amazing sights, today we went to the source of the Nile river where it begins it's journey of travel through Africa on its way to Egypt. We have seen amazing ministries, like Cherish Uganda and the ministy goal to give the children in their care hope, love and a chance to live even though they are infected with HIV.

Even though we have seen these things, the biggest question we have now is "what do we do with what we've seen and experienced?" I'm not sure exactly the answer to that, but I do know that God is changing me and with that change I need to be even more intentional in my serving and following Him. I'm not sure what God has in store for the Humphrey family, but as Jen and I talked last night we would say that we are "open" to whatever God has waiting around of the bend as we travel along our own Grand Adventure.

I will try to write again from London tomorrow night.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Brett and Josh


When we woke up this morning the power is out. This is a daily occurance here but it did give us an opportunity to watch a beautiful sunrise. As we headed out of Kampala to go to Cherish we heard that there were demonstrations and/or riots possibly going on along our route. The people are upset by the fuel prices, along with the high costs of food and the police treat every demonstration like it could lead to violence. Thankfully we didn't see any evidence of rioting and the roads were actually clearer than usual.

Once we got to Cherish we went to the staff devotion. We got to join in on some singing; it was beautiful. Brent and I led worship (I Like Bananas and Without Faith) and we taught the children these new songs. They enjoyed the songs and participated in all of the motions. Brent played musical waterballoons with the children and then I taught a brief message. It was a fantastic morning.

After that we filmed some interviews for Summer Spectacuar. Brent also gave a tour of Cherish Uganda on video and we even managed to film some segments of our end of the day video, Survival Tips from Tiger Munson.

We went back to the Lake Victoria Hotel where the kids did some more swimming and then came back to Brent and Leah's, where the power once again was out. I took some video of the driving conditions up and down thier road and will try to post it so you can enjoy the experience.

Tomorrow we head out to the Nile River where we will film some more for Summer Spectacualar.

I'm heading to bed after a long, exciting day.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

Brett and Josh


We had an opportunity to go to a craft market today to check out some local artisans. I can appreciate African art and got a chance to meet some lovely people. Brent and Leah are trying to build relationships wherever they go so we went back to the same place they often go so we could purchase things from these people. I bought quite a few things from Edith and she had remembered that Leah had told her she would bring people back. These are small things that make a huge difference. There are a lot of street children begging in Kampala so on the way home we bought a bunch of bananas and handed these out to the children instead of giving them money. Many of the children have been "hired" for the day and have to give the money to their bosses. The chidren get about $1 a day for this. By giving them the bananas, they get to fill their bellies with nutritious food and don't have to give anything to their boss. One girl ate 3 bananas one after another, she was really hungry.

When we got back to the Phillips house we got to hang out and I cooked dinner. I made marinara sauce and had a great time talking with Brent as I cooked. After dinner the power went off for about an hour so we got to hang out by candlelight.

It was a great day!

Thanks for your prayers and support,

Brett and Josh

PS-After our shopping trip and lunch, Josh and Bo took Boda Bodas back to the house.

Boda Bodas are motorcycle taxis. I would never let Josh ride on the back of a motorcycle if we were at home but somehow it seems completely safe and sane here in Uganda.


Today was a great day! We started off the day with breakfast at Brent and Leah's house, the pancakes were the bomb! After breakfast we went into a local village to do some grocery shopping. While Leah was working with the shopkeeper on prices and quantities, Josh and I had an opportunity to provide some amuzement for some local children. Our white skin was quite facinating to some of the children and we had a lot of fun holding hands and I received many, many hi-fives from the children. Even though the children and I couldn't communicate with words it was fun to "speak" the language of fun and play with these beautiful children. Josh and Bo took a boda boda ride, motorcycle taxi, back to the house while we finished shopping. It is amazing to see the food prices here. The food is so expensive that many people have to use 1/2 of their weekly salary just to buy enough food to last the week. I will not complain about the price of food at home any longer; it's amazing what a dose of perspective can do for you.

After the shopping trip we got a chance to hang out with Rachael from Cherish Uganda and talk more about the ministry and the things that are happening for these children. The children who live at Cherish Uganda have all been snatched from the jaws of death and are thriving at this ministry. Even though each of the 42 children who were brought to Cherish Uganda were each near death when they were brought in, all of them are living and thriving today. These children aren't considered orpans any longer because now they live in family goups at Chrish and have new lives. It is amazing that for $30,000 US a sustainable home can be build and 8 lives can be saved! What an amazing ministry. I can't wait to share more about it when I get home.

After our time with Rachael, we went to a local hotel for swimming. There were 3 levels of high dives and each of the children, including Brent, went off the highest level; many, many times.

We finished the evening together and I got a chance Skype with Jen, Kenny and Sofie.

Tomorrow we have another full day, including filming at the headwaters of the Nile River. It's pretty awesome that we will be studying Moses for Summer Spectacular and we will get to actually film at the Nile River. What an amazing opportunity.

Good night! Josh and I thank you for your prayers and support. Brent, Leah and the kids also express their appreciation for all the wonderful gifts we brough with us. It's amazing how special a box of cake mix can be when you can't get it.

Brett and Josh


I am sitting here writing on my blog by candleligh, old and new school working togethert. We are having a power outage, this is quite common. I am so glad this laptop has battery power.

Josh and I got to sleep a bit on the plane on the way to Uganda so we hit the ground running by heading to Cherish Uganda. I wil post more pictures tomorrow so you can see everything that we do. I was absolutely amazed to see everything that is accomplished with this wonderful ministry. Then children there are truy cherished as the precious gifts from God that they are. That love and care has made a difference in their lives.

Tonight we had dinner at a restaurant on the top of a hill and God treated us to a light show. There was llghtning in the clouds and it was beautiful. Right now, on top of the power outage, there is a storm brewing outside as well, with the wind I feel like I'm back in DHS.

For some reason I am having trouble posting updates to my blog but I will keep updating these notes instead.

Both Josh and I will sleep well tonight.

Thank you for your prayers,

Brett and Josh

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Waiting In Heathrow


Josh and I are sitting in Heathrow Airport speaking the international language; Starbucks. Our flight was excellent and we even arrived 10 minutes early. It was a little challenge getting our bags loaded since Josh isn't able to do much with his crutches but we did get to board the plane first.

Now we wait! We will be in the airport for about 11 hours until our next flight. We are taking turns wandering around the airport and will do so until our flight. I got about 3 hours sleep on the way over but Josh hasn't slept yet. I'm hoping he will be able to fall asleep on the next leg of our journey.

The next post I make will be from Uganda. We ae looking forward to seeing the Phillips and the ministry at Cherish, Uganda.

I have added some pictures from our trip so far. They aren't too exciting, but we are having an adventure already.

Thanks for your prayers,
Brett and Josh

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On We Go!

"All our bags are packed and we're ready to go..." (Insert musical interlude here)

Josh and I are excited! We've prepared as much as we can and are ready to head to the airport. We take off from LAX at 3:55 today and land in Uganda at 7:45 am on Friday. 29 full hours of flight time plus an 11 hour layover in London, and we'll be there. We're not exactly sure what to expect, but that's okay. We have done all we can to plan and prepare and leave the rest to the Lord. Actually, even our planning and preparing we have left to the Lord as well (I'm still learning the whole trust God with everything deal).

I have been chewing on Romans 12 every day for the past couple of weeks and feel I still need to be there during the trip. I'm praying that Josh and I can be an encouragement to our friends, we can minister to others while we are there and we will gain clarity and insight on what God wants us to do when we come back from this trip by what we experience. I'm glad you are going on the journey with us.

I will post to this blog as often as I can, complete with pictures and videos if I can figure out how to do it. Your prayers are appreciated and we have felt them already. Josh and I are excited to go and Jennifer, Kenny and Sofie are calm as well. Even though it is a difficult lesson, it is wonderful when we can trust God no matter what!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Family Connection 04.11.2011

Family Connection
“Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves. None of you should look out for your own good. You should also look out for the good of others. You should think in the same way Christ Jesus does.”-Philippians 2:3-5 (NIrV)
This has been our memory passage while we have been focusing on the virtue of humility during March and April (we have defined humility as-Putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve). I love the second chapter of Philippians because it details what Jesus did for us; He gave up everything for us. He endured the ultimate humility of death on the cross for you and me; and He did it willingly. He gave up everything so we could gain everything through His death, burial and resurrection. Jesus willingly gave up His power, prestige and place in Heaven so He could become a servant; now that’s humility! But you know what? Philippians 2:5 exhorts us to think the same way Christ Jesus does, if we want to truly follow Him we have to begin to think the way He does (see Romans 12:2). This is what we have been teaching the children in the elementary program during the past month and a half.
On Wednesday my son Josh and I get to travel to Uganda, Africa to work with some dear friends, Brent and Leah Phillips. Brent, Leah, Bo, Amy, Luke and Tekle moved to Uganda in November to minister to orphaned children who have HIV and to help churches minister to children. We will also be working with a ministry called Cherish Uganda. We are very excited!! Both Josh and I are amazed that God would choose to use us to minister so far away from home but we are looking forward to helping out in whatever way possible. I have been sharing this with the children in our ministry but want to share it with you as well and ask for your prayers. Please pray that Josh and I will be able to minister in tangible ways and that God would use us in whatever way He sees fit. I would also ask for your prayers that we can bring back this trip with us to share with the children in our ministry as we desire to support Cherish Uganda this year through Summer Spectacular.
Jesus is our example! He is our hope and salvation and He is the reason we do what we do as His followers. It is my prayer that both Josh and I can humbly serve and be an example of Christ to everyone we meet on our trip. I will be posting pictures and video on my blog, http://musingsofachildrenspastor.blogspot.com/ , as often as I can and as internet connections allow.
It is my prayer that all of us can impact the children in our lives by our words and deeds as we desire to see them grow in a real, dynamic relationship with Jesus.

Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Family Connection 04.06.2011

Family Connection
“After a long time the master of those servants returned. He wanted to collect all the money they had earned. The man who had received $10,000 brought the other $10,000. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you trusted me with $10,000. See, I have earned $10,000 more.’ His master replied, “You have done well, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”-Matthew 25:19-21
“You can’t do everything but you can do SOMETHING!” We have been saying that a lot in our elementary program over the past 5 weeks. As we have been talking through what it means to have humility and how to serve others, we have been talking about how each of us can do something to help others. What is even better than talking about this is hearing the stories from the children who are putting these things into practice; here I s one story I would like to share with you.
One family met together to talk about what they could do to help others. Their three youngest children (9,7 & 7) decided to hold a garage sale and use the money to help the poor. They spent time going through their house looking for items to sell. The day of the big event these children woke up at 5am and started selling. At the end of the sale they had earned $284. Their parents gave them a choice between going to Toys R Us or buying things for the poor; they chose to purchase things for the poor. They went to the store and purchased toiletry items we are collecting so we can put “Grace to Go” bags together to hand out to the homeless. These wise shoppers purchased 216 razors, 108 toothbrushes, 54 bars of soap, 36 tubes of toothpaste and 36 bottles of lotion. They also brought in all of the change to give to the children we support in Haiti. What an amazing story!
This week I would like to encourage you to talk with the children in your lives about some ways as a family you can reach out to the poor. Don’t feel that you have to have all of the answers; your children might come up with some awesome ideas by themselves. Please share your stories with me so we can encourage one another. Remember, you can’t do everything but you can do something!
I would also like to ask for your prayers because my son Josh and I head out next Wednesday to spend 8 days in Uganda helping out a ministry that reaches out to orphaned children who are infected with HIV. Please pray that Josh and I can be effective while we are there and can show the love, care and concern of Jesus by what we do and say.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

PS-I will be updating this blog from Uganda with pictures as often as I can

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Family Connection 03.01.2011

Family Connection

I received this email from a friend this past week and wanted to pass it along to you, the author of this piece is Joe Holland. This is a longer email, but I think it will be worth it to you. Just so you know, each week we send children home with notes about what we taught in the classrooms. This includes the memory verse for the month as well as the passage we focused on during the day. I hope you can have some great conversations with the children in your lives this week.
8 Tips for Talking to Kids about the Sermon
They sit there next to you and their feet don’t even hit the floor. You’re thinking, “What, if anything of this guy’s sermon is sinking into my kid’s head?” And with that little thought you’ve already decided not to engage your child about the sermon. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let me introduce you to the most important rule when talking to your kids about the sermon: They retain more than you think they do. The second most important rule is like it: They understand more than you think they do.
In the interest of these two truths I’m writing this brief guide on how to talk to your kids about a sermon. I’m writing it both as a preacher and as a parent of four boys under the age of 8. I’ve failed, succeeded, and failed some more at talking to my kids about Jesus. Hopefully the tips you find below will help you as they’ve helped me.
At the heart of the gospel is Jesus introducing us to his loving Father. In worship we get to make a similar introduction—we get to introduce our kids to Jesus. Don’t miss that opportunity.
8 Tips for Talking to your Kids about the Sermon
1. Remember the outline. It doesn’t matter if you keep written notes or not. Remember the gist of what is being taught. If your pastor preaches for 40 minutes, then try to make a mental note of what you’ve covered at the 20 minute point. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get every point. Get as many of the big ones as you can.
2. Know the one, main point. Every passage and every sermon—no matter what your pastor says—has a main point. Grab it when you see it go by and don’t let go. And as a word of caution, every preacher has a bad day. Sometimes the structure of the sermon looks like a piece of abstract art. If so, do the best you can. But don’t let the guy close in prayer without having a main point in your head.
3. How is Jesus the hero? Now that you have an outline and main point, make sure you have Jesus too. How was Jesus the hero of the sermon? Kids are incorrigibly self-centered—and so are a few adults. Make sure you have a ton to say about Jesus, no matter what the passage or where the preacher went with it. Without an emphasis on Jesus your little saints will grow up thinking that the Bible is all about them.
4. Engage your kids with open ended questions. You know the outline and you can keep to the main point. You know you’re going to talk a ton about Jesus. Now engage your kids with any kind of question you can think of… except ones that can be answered, “yes” or “no”. Here are some examples:
o In the story questions: “What would have thought if you were an Israelite soldier and saw big ol’ Goliath walking up to little David?”
o Emotions questions: “If you were blind, how would you feel if Jesus put his hands on your eyes and fixed them so they could see?”
o Leading questions: “The rich young ruler was wrong because he thought he could earn God’s favor. Why is it silly to think we can earn God’s favor by doing enough good things?”
o Action questions: “What would you have done if Jesus had made a hurricane turn into a cool breeze right in front of you?”
o Application questions: “If Jesus has forgiven you, do you think you can forgive Tommy when he wings a Tonka truck at your head?”
o Use your imagination questions: You know your kids best. Make up some questions.
5. Make sure the gospel is clear. Jesus died for sinners. It’s very simple and can get very complex. But no matter the passage, don’t you dare teach your kids moralism. Tell them that Jesus has done everything necessary for them to know that God is overjoyed with them. When you tell them to do something, feel something, or think something, show them how those things are motivated by God’s love and not by fear, guilt, or pride.
6. Be the first to pray and confess. Talking to your kids about the sermon is as much letting them watch you learn from the sermon as it is teaching them about the sermon. If the preacher is helping your congregation diagnose sin, show your kids how it affected you. You could say, “You know, sometimes, daddy struggles with being angry. And it’s then that I realize I really need Jesus.” And when it comes time to pray, let them pray after you. Model for them what it looks like for a Christian to talk to God.
7. Chase rabbit trails. Your kids will lead you down them. Go with them. You’ll find out a ton about how they think. And you may just enjoy the unexpected stroll off the beaten path.
8. Remember the first two rules. After all this, it may be you feel like it was a complete waste of time. It’s at that point you must remember the first two rules:
o They retain more than you think they do.
o They understand more than you think they do.
And I promise you this, they will remember these times with you. They will forget a ton. But they won’t forget Sunday afternoons with daddy and mommy talking about Jesus.
I hope you find these tips helpful.

Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Monday, February 14, 2011

Family Connection 02.14.2011

Family Connection

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”-Psalm 119:9-11

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”-Psalm 119:105

When I was younger I was learning about the ocean and realized it was pitch black on the bottom of the deep ocean. I was having trouble with the concept of pitch black so my dad took me into a part of our house that didn’t have any windows and turned off all the lights. It was so dark that I literally couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. If my dad hadn’t been right beside me, I would have been frightened and disoriented even though I knew we were in our house. Apparently this is something I have never forgotten.

Whether we know it or not, we live in a dark world and without the love of God and the light of His Word we would also feel disoriented and possibly frightened. Do the children in your life know the importance of God’s Word? Do the children in your life see you reading your Bible for yourself? Do the children in your life observe you basing your decisions on God’s Word? Do you really see God’s Word as a lamp to your feet and light to your path?

We have such an awesome responsibility in front of us as we try to model a living, growing faith in Jesus Christ to the children in our lives. Just as the simple illustration my dad gave me has stayed with me my entire life, when I model godly behavior to my children; I can hope that will stay with them their entire lives.

This week I would encourage you to make a conscious decision to model godly behavior and practices to the children in your life this week. Talk to them about the importance of relying on God’s Word, but also give them opportunities to see you read the Bible for yourself and put those words in action (I want you to know that we are consistently encouraging the children in our ministry to read their Bibles for themselves). Thankfully God has given us a light in this dark world and a path for us to follow. My encouragement and challenge for each of us is to open up His Word and turn that light on for ourselves.

Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Monday, January 17, 2011

Family Connection 01.17.2011

Family Connection

“Then he (the jailer) brought them out. He asked, ‘Sir, what must I do to be saved?’ They (Paul and Silas) replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus. Then you and your family will be saved.’”-Acts 16:30-31 (NIrV)
“Say with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord.” Believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Then you will be saved. With your heart you believe and are made right with God. With your mouth you say that Jesus is Lord. And so you are saved. Scripture says, ‘The one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.’”-Romans 10:9-12 (NIrV)
“What I received I passed on to you. And it is the most important of all. Here is what it is. Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be.”-1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIrV)

I love to teach children about following the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, one of our values in Flight School, our elementary program, is “I can learn to live for God now and follow Him for life”. It is a privilege for me to present the Gospel to children and help them learn how to become fully, functioning, followers (disciples) of Jesus. This is a passion not only for me, but for every member of our Children’s Ministry team; and we love to help parents learn how teach their children how to follow God as well.

This Sunday, January 23, I will be holding a salvation/baptism class for children and parents during the 9:15 service here at the church. If your child has expressed an interest in baptism, or you feel your child would like more information on what it means to become a Christian, I would like to invite you to attend this class. To RSVP for the class, please contact Susan Coia at 760-200-2000 ext. 2275.

I will also post the information from the class on our website www.southwestkids.org next week. I hope you find it helpful. In case you didn’t know our goal, in children’s ministries, is to create a partnership between our ministry and parents who are committed to a systematic plan of action where their sons and daughters develop faith and character in Jesus Christ.

Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H