Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Martin family easter egg hunt

I love how helpful Blake and Tanner are. It was a little cool - in the 50s, but so mich nicer than Illinois!

Church Easter Egg Hunt

This is our indoor hunt for kids ages three and under. It was fun to have three kids in this hunt!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Coloring Easter Eggs

A yearly tradition in our home. Always dangerous too!

Holiday wonder

Patsy is the homemaker extraordinaire!

Chase was not happy about the easter bunny until dad took off the head!
Tanner gets a chocolate cross! Is this blasephemous?

Big brother Blake helping Chase find eggs. Too sweet.

Kyle uses his hood for the extras

Christian all smiles.

Blake's bag is full.

David finds and egg with a surprise on it. Boy that one tasted good in the egg salad!
David's basket!

Coloring eggs is a favorite tradition!

Brendan takes part in the church hunt.

Chase is amazed by all the hoopla.

Tanner marks out his territory!

Blake finds a gold mind!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Talent Night b

As I promised some more photos from Talent night this time though it's T & T. Not the best pictures sorry!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Part of our St. Patrick's Day celebration. Chase is so cute.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Pat's!

From a real Irish family!


During the month of March we have doing a series called Grossology in the Kove. Today we talked about scabs and wounds and then dived into the story of Ehud and how he killed King Eglon with dagger that sunk into Eglon's large belly and was swallowed up. Then left-handed Ehud escaped through the "latrine." The theme for the day was how Ehud did not his perceived handicap stop him (being left-handed was looked down upon for much of history), but he bravely rose to the occasion. Anyway Jungle Jim came out with Vern today. Apparently Vern had pecked him on his forehead and given JJ a nasty wound. It was nice of Jungle Jim to show us his wound today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Talent Night

We had our 4th annual Talent Night in Awana on Wednesday. Part 1 that is. The Sparks took the stage and did very well. Austin played his guitar which was a hit and Caleb and Jordan played their violins. Christian B. fought his brother in alight saber duel that was also quite exciting! Other kids sang, danced, played the keyboard and told jokes. Very lively night. Stay tuned for T & T highlights next week!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Priorities in my job
I have been thinking and re-thinking about what is important in my job as the children’s/family life pastor at Parkway. I think how we spend our time and money and what our priorities are express a lot of our values and what we are trying to accomplish. For me the ministry is first and foremost about life-change through Jesus. I also have people ask me what I do during a given week. Well there is no such thing as a typical week but maybe it can be expressed through my ministry priorities:
1. Prayerful Planning, designing and delivering the “lesson” on Sunday morning
a. I have heard it said to keep the main thing the main thing. For our church our number one strategy for evangelism and discipleship is the Sunday morning event. Through the years I have grown to love this aspect of my calling. This includes the power points, visual lessons, technology moments, dramas, illusions or whatever helps drive home or main point for the day.
2. Partnering with Parents
a. This is so important and I am so passionate about this. It is high on my priority list but in terms of time and budgeted funds you wouldn’t know it. This is a big matter of prayer for me and sometimes discourages me. We have the average child in our church less than 100 hours a year. The church is at its best when it equips and partners with parents in reaching children for Christ. God help us!
3. Keeping everything safe
a. Across every ministry I am so committed to putting policies and procedures in place to make sure our kids have a safe and still fun experience at church!
4. Staff oversight and development
a. I am also very passionate about this. I directly oversee 4 staff members and indirectly oversee another 14 staff members. I love to see these talented and excited people succeed in what God has called them to do. It does take a significant amount of time.
b. I also include in here 6 volunteer leadership positions.
5. Helping Robin makes sure Nursery is A+ experience for parents and babies
a. Having Robin Kingery (Early childhood director) on board allows me to place this a little lower on my priority list. This is so important and these parents (and grandparents) are so watchful and their whole impression of the church is often formed by this single ministry. While we are always looking to improve, this ministry is the best it has ever been.
6. Helping Robin make sure Kid Kove Jr. is an A+ venue
a. I would ditto the above on this with the knowledge that the older the children are the less watchful the parents are. However for me the teaching element of this is actually more important. These are such impressionable years and we want to leave these children with a favorable impression of Jesus and church.
7. Helping Paul make sure Student Ministries is an A+ ministry
a. Paul also does a great job with this. Parents are definitely less watchful at this age but still want to make sure their teens are getting some good teaching and making good friends. I want Paul to succeed and he is, and he is always looking to learn too. It is great to have a quality place for our kids to graduate up to! We both see that he is going to need another pastor to help him soon.
8. New Volunteer Recruitment
a. Wow, this is so huge. It can be a nightmare. We are in such a huge growth mode right now that we are certainly growing faster than our volunteer base. This is extremely difficult with ongoing relational based ministry such as Sunday school, Awana and student ministries. Easily the most difficult of my jobs. And few people seem to want to help recruit.
9. Helping our Sunday school teachers make Sunday school a great small group learning and connecting opportunity and trying to keep the classes at a reasonable level.
a. As a parent I love Sunday school but as a children’s pastor this is the area I like the least. It is so very difficult to recruit for, we always need new rooms and new teachers as we grow, and it eats up big time budget money (as the third largest item in my budget). My teachers are great but most struggle with connecting to their own class as well. But our kids find the best connection opportunities here and at Awana. Because we do it has to be the best.
10. Awana and helping Shawnee make this a great time for kids and spiritually significant
a. I love Awana but because it is on Wednesday nights it falls a little lower on the priority list. It is the number 2 on the budget list. It is the most difficult ministry to recruit for but it really is not that difficult to do. I am so committed to finding a fun and meaningful way to get kids to memorize and hide God’s word in their heart. There is such power to change a life in God’s Word! It is worth it.
11. Volunteer, parent and children pastoral care (follow-up, loving on, etc.)
a. This used to be the highest on my list when I first was in the ministry. Robin does a great job at this and has pricked my conscience to do more of it. The ministry is so big and all of these things demand so much administrative time (I would die without Sharon my administrative assistant), that sometimes it is easy to put aside fussing over people, but it is very valuable.
12. Helping Pattie make our weekday preschool an A+ experience for parents and kids.
a. While it is not a Sunday morning event our weekday preschool has brought people to our church. More importantly parents place their little ones in our care and I want this to be an excellent, well run ministry where kids learn and grow.
13. Helping Sharon and others communications our events, policies, schedules, events and ministry opportunities
a. Communication through the newsletter, e-mails, bulletins, posters, announcements, fliers, person-to-person, signs, mailings, website etc... This is major part of Sharon’s job and yet it still never seems enough. I learned long ago not to get frustrated when people don’t know. In fact the ministry is big enough now that sometimes I don’t know!
14. Trying to keep current with kid’s culture and what kids like as well as what other ministries are experiencing and sharing ideas.
a. This is very, very important and I wish I had more time and resources to dedicate. Of course my kids and their friends help me! I always run ideas by Blake and Tanner.
15. Helping Pattie oversee the preschool staff and set policies and guidelines for this staff
a. 13 staff members. Just trying to figure out the weekly pay is a full time job for Pattie. She runs the preschool so well and only occasionally needs my input or help.
16. Being part of pastoral staff and helping to encourage other staff members
a. I try!
17. Being part of the executive team and advising in this capacity
a. Being a leader I naturally feel like I have things to offer in terms of the entire church as a whole. I feel Pastor Ott and Pastor Moe feel the same which really makes me feel part of the broader team.
18. Oversight of budgets for all children’s, preschool and student ministries
a. Lovely.
19. Planning, budgeting and pulling off special events (VBS, Egg Hunt, Trunk or Treat, Summer Camp, Lock-ins, Kid’s choirs, etc. Sport activities).
a. In terms of budget money these are the number one items, yet for me it is the lowest on my little list here. Of course there are things I didn’t even put on the list. For me the weekly and day to day things make us excellent. These events are icing on the cake, but not the cake. For some of our people I think they might be the cake. I would like to see more and more of our events become family oriented. Not all, but over half at least. They do help attract new people and also help kids connect with friends, so they are valuable.
20. Fundraisers
a. A necessary evil

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another boy?

Alright I have five boys and lately I have felt like I have a teenage son as well. My dad has been acting as giddy as Richie Cunningham on a date with Fonzie's girl! I had to throw in a reference from his generation there! He has met a lady from California named Bonnie Clark and at the end of this month they are getting married. I have been asked to officiate the wedding and Patsy will sing a song.
So my dad is moving to California, Rachel and her family are moving to Seoul and Becky and her family are praying about a possible move to Albuquerque! Wow will I ever see any of my family again!

Anyway I am very happy for my dad and look forward to welcoming Bonnie into the Martin clan.