Ashton Kutcher Has A Message For Your Kids

Hollywood is known for sending the WRONG messages to our kids.  They promote a false sense of success, what it takes to get there, and what the definition of “sexy” is.  I was completely surprised when I saw this speech given by Ashton Kutcher at the Teen Choice Awards 2013.

Now, let me first say this – I am in NO WAY endorsing Ashton Kutcher, his lifestyle, or his ability to be a strong and positive influence for children.  However, I think his words were refreshing and in many ways shocking among a Hollywood that rarely sends positive messages to our kids.

I wish every child would learn lessons 1 and 2 that he shares.  Now, #3 borders on Humanism (build your own world), but overall it is a very positive message.  Nothing spiritual here, but lessons each of our kids need to learn nonetheless.

Thoughts?  Share your opinions in the comments section.

I Started The Process Of Dying Today

I realize I might have startled some of you with the title of this post.  No, I do not have a sickness – nor am I physically dying in any way.  I apologize if I gave some of you a panic.

Today, Good Friday, the day we remember the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross over 2,000 years ago – I began a journey with many people in my church.  It is a thirty day challenge called “LIVE DEAD.”

“LIVE DEAD” is a challenge to live life wholly for Jesus.  To die to self, knowing God will do a greater work through you.  It is a devotional book that has writings from many missionaries to East Africa.  It challenges us to give a “tithe” of our time each day (for 30 days) to God in prayer, study of the Word, worship, and interceding for the 40% of our world’s population that have NEVER heard the name of Jesus.  I know that figure sounds astounding, but you can learn more about it on the LIVE DEAD website.

Why do I share this with you?  First, for accountability.  By publicly declaring my intentions, I believe it will keep me that much more focused on the goal.  Second, to bring awareness to each Christian about the need for all of us to LIVE DEAD.  Christ died so that we could live, yes.  He also commanded each of us to die to self.

On this Good Friday, I pray that you will be reminded that it’s not about what we can GET from Jesus, it is about what we can GIVE to Him.  To honor Him.  To honor His reason for leaving Heaven and coming to Earth.  That reason:  “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)

The Power Of Praise

As a Kids Ministry Leader, you are in the business of being a PEOPLE BUILDER.  Your goal is to help others reach their full potential of who God wants them to be.

Every person we meet, we either give life to or we take life from.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  There are people who encourage you and when you are done being with them you feel built up.  Then, there are others who you feel torn down by.

Successful leaders are people who have mastered the art of building others up. There are few ways to build others up that are more effective than PRAISING THEM.

There is power in praising people!  Something begins to happen in them, in you, and in your relationship when you praise someone.

Praise Your Kids! – Make a point to speak life into the kids in your ministry.  Don’t allow yourself to speak negativity into their lives.  They hear that enough at school, on the playground, and sometimes even at home.

Even when you are correcting their behavior – avoid saying, “This behavior is ridiculous.  Can’t you just do the right thing?”  Instead, say things like, “You are such an amazing kid.  I see so much potential in you to do great things for God.  These choices you are making are not helping you become all that God has planned for you.  How can we change these choices so that they better reflect the amazing kid that you really are?”

Praise Your Volunteers! – Look for things your volunteers are doing well and speak up!  Tell them how much you appreciate their effort and sacrifice to help build the Kingdom of God.  Make a point to send a thank you note to at least five people every week (that’s ONE note per day in the office).  You can do it!  It will make such a difference.

Praise God! – In your daily prayer, praise God for what He is doing in your ministry.   Rather than just come to Him with a list of needs for your ministry, praise Him for what He has already done!

Praising others is important and comes with some amazing benefits – not only for them, but for you.  When you praise others…

1)  Your relationships grow –  Life is all about relationships.  When you praise others, it deepens their appreciation for you and serves to build your relationship with them.

2)  Your leadership and influence grow – Who has a greater leadership and influence capacity in your own life:  the one who tears you down or the one who builds you up?  It works the same for those you lead.  Build them up, and your influence with them will grow.

3)  Team loyalty grows –  When the volunteers on your team are appreciated and praised, they become fiercely loyal.  When people know that you care for them, love them, and appreciate them – they will go to great lengths for you!

So, take a moment today – praise someone!  Send a note, send a text, make a call.  Praise your team!  Praise your kids!  Praise God!  They all deserve it!!!