Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Multi-Gen Leaders and friends!

For some that have been reading and believing that I am radical, I am!  I am radically in love with Jesus!  

I have been this way since Jesus first found me!  I have been on fire, baked, steamed, fried even for what I believe.  But I have been in ministry and had been hired because I love Jesus and I love kids and I love watching Kids fall head over heals in love with Jesus.  

God has given me a great gift.  I started two Awana clubs.  One in the Azores and one in a Lutheran Church in Omaha NE.  Both clubs had a Multi-Gen group.  How?  Oh Man, have you ever been so excited about anything?  It's contagious and it's wonderful and it's POWerful!   In the Azores, I had leaders that did not have children come and listen to verses!  I had AF Commanders come and listen to verses.  I had them as Game Guys- 4 of them at once did games because of their jobs they needed to be able to be efficient without me being the game person. 
We always started our nights off with worship and prayer.  I love seeing kids worship.  When those 2 and 3 yr olds step into the Spirit, it's awesome!  We would then send the kids back to groups/games/big group time.  Sometimes God put leaders that did not know the Word of God in the teaching position and they would study and study until they got the lesson just right.  God was guiding them.  I would listen and be in awe of what God had done.  
In the Lutheran Church- I spent a year going over different Wed. night programs, knowing in my soul that Awana was what we needed to do, but I went to their different groups and listened, asked why they were not learning scriptures only to be told, "we don't really do that".  I said, YES we do and left the class.  Not in a huff but so discouraged that they just didn't see the importance of learning scriptures.  When I told the Associate Pastor this, he said "yeah, we don't place a lot of value on knowing scriptures".  I shook my head and left his office.  
I was determined to grow something great!  I presented my findings to the Sr. Pastor who was on board with it but wanted me to go and meet this one gal who was so against Awana coming in.  So, I read through the Lutheran Handbook with the scriptures and we met.  I told her my passion, what I wanted to see, how I wanted to grow these kids so they would stick with their faith and grow up knowing Jesus as their friend.  She gave the Okay to the Sr. Pastor and I began to pray in earnest.  He began with Alpha and I began Awana.  The journey to get to where we were was a road long sought, but as a "newbie" outsider- not Lutheran, just an Awesome God follower, we began.  I began by talking to others, then began to tag people, then we started with 25 leaders and 75 kids.  3 sets of grandparents, a few of their friends and parents and singles.  Every week, I would pray in kids and new leaders and every week we began to grow by 5 or 10 kids.  
We started out our night with check in and worship.  I will always believe worship gets to the heart where words can not go alone.  The kids began to know the songs and it would get so loud.  I attended another Awana in town and it was so quiet that you could not even tell if the kids were having fun or not.  I, myself, love it when the kids are excited about being there and they are having fun. 
So, then we did the same, Puggles would go to games first for 5 min.  Then Cubbies, T&T and Sparks or depending on what we decided that year.  
How did I get gramma's and grampas to be one with us?  I asked, I invited, and I would go to the early 8 a.m. service before and after and they always asked about it and I always invited them to dinner and stay and listen to verses.  
You see, we were a church of age.  It had been around since the late 1800's and had 6 generations attending.  The church had a fire once and rebuilt.  A tornado once hit it and it rebuilt down the block.  People attended on horse, in wagons, from far and wide.  It was a German community of farmers.  Then the schools brought in Danish teachers and their were Danes who the Germans did not like well.  The church spoke Latin for many years but soon became English.  They had done Sunday school in small rooms and in the attic.  They had been a Spirit filled church for a time and some still were, they were my prayer warriors and in the secret they spoke as to not be known.  They were the ones that came to hear the children, they were the ones who prayed.  They were the studiers and the doers of the Word.  They understood my passion.  
What is your passion?  What is it that God has called you too?  What do you desire in ministry?  In Life?  What do you want to be remembered for?  
I have returned to that church to do a check up and many of my leaders hug and bless me so.  God was up to something awesome for a time.  After I left, Awana lasted one more year and faded away.  The passion and excitement were gone, the kids I started with were growing up and the next generation of parents did not have the zeal.  The Older Generation, they hopefully have planted great seeds and they will be fruitful and multiply.  We did a training with the Seeds and it was awesome because it helped us understand why we were doing what we were doing.  
I love Awana and would love to teach that passion to others.  To grow disciples and to grow a generation that can deal with our current crisis in our country.    



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