We've entered into the final month of 2017. Here are a few thoughts as we get ready to finish the year.
1. Dan Gable
Yes, it's wrestling season and I'm excited to watch high school and collegiate wrestling. The guy who I always equate with finishing strong in wrestling is Dan Gable. Gable only lost one match in college. As a matter of fact, he went 64-0 in high school and 117-0 in college. He had already won two NCAA titles and he was prepared to finish the season undefeated and a three-time NCAA champion. But the unspeakable happened. Maybe the largest upset in wrestling history. Gable lost his last match. So how is that finishing strong? Let me fill in a few details. There was this guy Larry Owings who knew that if he wanted to be known as the best he had to beat Gable. He dropped two weight classes to wrestle Gable. He came with one thing in mind, beat Dan Gable. So on that fateful day on March 28, 1970, going into the final period Gable was leading 10-9. Gable didn't want to win by one point he wanted to pin Owings. Gable went for it but then Larry Owings did a move on Dan Gable he had never done in a college match before. He completed a leg sweep on Gable and exposed his back for points. Owings went on to win 13-11. The watching world was astonished. They came to crown Gable but the tables were turned by the giant killer Owings. Gable was stunned and received his second place award with his head lowered and a tear in his eye. He felt he had let everyone down. But the crowd kept cheering. One of Gable's teammates told him they won't stop until he raises his head. He raised his head and the crowd stopped. That moment as hard as it was defined Gable. It is the stuff of legend.
Gable later said,“I say that I went undefeated for seven years, lost a match, and then I got good,”
Gable went on to defeat Owings later for the US Olympic team. Then he went on to win the Gold medal at the Olympics in 1972. He went the whole tournament not being scored upon. In world competition that is so impressive. He went on to be a legend as a coach and a competitor. He didn't let that last match defeat him, he finished strong. As 2017 is in the last period, it is important to finish strong.
"Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts." - Dan Gable
2. Thanks for a Picture Perfect Year!
The servant leaders in our ministry need to know that they are appreciated. Actually, it needs to be done often. But at the end of the year, it is a great time to show appreciation to those who work so hard throughout the year. This is a great time to head out to the store and buy popcorn tins and other items as appreciation gifts. They don't have to be expensive but they can say a lot to our leaders. If you look at Pinterest there are so many appreciation ideas. Here is one link that has about 150 ideas to show appreciation to our kidmin leaders.
No matter what time of the year it is appreciation is important. Although I like the big appreciation banquet, it is not the same as weekly giving an encouraging appreciation. Various little reminders like the ones shared on the Pinterest page are a constant reminder that you thought of them during the week. If I'm going to finish strong in ministry I have to appreciate the team that serves with me. In kids ministry, it is often people who are not even in the same room as me. They may be down the hall working in the nursery or the pre-school. They don't see me. They need me to be intentional in sharing my appreciation.
Another element of appreciation is finding out birthdays and anniversaries. One thing I have always appreciated about our Superintendent Larry Liebe is I know I will receive a phone call on my birthday. It's something that is not really big and certainly not expensive, but it is relational. And relational ministry is a ministry that lasts.
3. It's the end of the year as we know it.
One of the tasks can get away from me if I don't take the time to plan ahead is the BGMC year-end. We have been having a good year in BGMC and this last month can get away from us if we don't plan ahead. Some churches hold their BGMC offering until the end of the year. So it is important to talk to your treasurer about getting a check out for our missionaries. Mary Boyd has put together an article about some last minute items that you may want to consider for the end of the year.
You can read the article here:
As a network, we have helped our missionaries all over the world. It has not gone without notice. I hear from missionaries often how they received the necessary funds to fulfill a project in their ministry. This has come through the help of boys and girls throughout our network and throughout the country. As we get to the end of 2017 let's make it a great finish in BGMC!
4. THE SOURCE
The source is a one-day training for your entire kid's ministry team. This year for the kids ministry training we have preschool training and classroom training for teachers whether they lead a small group or a small ministry. It is a time to come and connect with other leaders in our network and on your own team. It is a time to be equipped and a time to be inspired.
We are excited to announce that one of our kidmin breakouts will feature a demonstration of the TruFire Curriculum. This will be taught by Alycia Horn who is the Children’s Ministries Director of Discipleship for the Assemblies of God Children's Ministries Department.
Alycia will also be teaching a session on ministry to children. She is formerly an elementary and middle/high school educator who had the opportunity of working in both a Christian and public school setting. She was distinguished as Southern Indiana’s outstanding educator when receiving the Teacher of the Year Award and Kentucky’s WHAS ExCel Award for her innovation and enthusiastic teaching methodology. She’s worked in youth and children’s ministry for 16 years and counts it a privilege to be apart of helping kids fall in love with Jesus. One of her greatest passions is mentoring young girls and holding Bible studies in her home. Alycia and her husband Ryan, of 15 years, reside in Springfield, Missouri.
You can find out more about THE SOURCE at the studentmin website:
THE IMPORTANT STUFF
The final month of the year is often filled with all kinds of buzz and excitement. There are kids programs, church programs, school programs. The month can be a program. One of the things not to neglect in this final month is our family. Our family can often take a backseat if we let it. During the end of the year, it is time to finish strong. Every year at the beginning of the year I plan out my calendar. This month I put on the calendar a couple of weeks of vacation. If I don't plan it, it will get away from me.
Finish strong and keep your family dear this December.