Thursday, April 24, 2008

Taking the spiritual temperature of your ministry

Taking the spiritual temperature of your ministry.


Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?

A thermometer reacts to the temperature of the room.

A thermostat sets the temperature in a room.

Do you set the spiritual climate in your class or do the children?

We as Christian leaders need to set the spiritual temperature for our classrooms whether we are a Sunday school teacher, Children's Pastor, or volunteer children's worker. It is important that when we enter a classroom that we are spiritually prepared to set the spiritual climate for the class. If not the child with the strongest personality will set that climate.

If a child experienced chaos on the way to the service they will bring chaos to the service. If everyone was up late the night before Sunday morning service and tired, the class will be unresponsive to the lesson.

However, if we enter the room spiritually charged and on fire about our lesson the excitement will spread. If we believe in what we are teaching and show excitement about the subject others will be excited also. True faith is contagious. When someone is so excited about what they believe that they speak about it in confidence with passion in their voice others will believe also. If we are not sure about what we are teaching and are reading it out of our lesson planner, the children will be board and not buy into what we are offering them. Confidence comes through knowing the material inside out. You need to know it so well you can present it without reading it.

I have notes every time I speak publicly, however notes are to glance at to keep me on tract so, I arrive at the planned destination. I can expound upon each point of my notes without reading them line for line, however my notes make sure I do not drift off course during my program. I can expound upon each point because the subject is in my heart. It is not something I am not sure about or do not know a lot about.

If we are not confident on our lesson it will show in our body language, tone of our voice, and all around presentation. We cannot give something we do not have. If it is not in our heart then we are just regurgitating an old cold lesson out of a book that really means nothing to us. The reason young adults are leaving our churches by the droves when they are old enough to make the decision for themselves is that all they have heard their entire time growing up in church is old, cold, regurgitated material that is not relative. It does not apply to them. We have offered exciting programs with all the latest methods but have forgotten the message.

Teachers must be passionate about their faith and what they are teaching. Like I said before true faith is contagious. It spreads like a wild fire. When we hear someone with true heartfelt convictions, we want what they have. If we are around it long enough we will start to crave it. And when you crave something bad enough you do whatever it takes to get it.

Let's turn up the spiritual temperature in our classrooms!

Our children deserve it!

By Jerry Moyer
The Jubilee Gang
More articles by Jerry and other leading children's ministry leaders can be found on the Jubilee Gang web site in our media center at the link below...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why Ministry?

Why are we in ministry?
Why set a goal to be in full time ministry?

I have a cousin that is a full time youth minister. Everyday at lunch he would go to the YMCA and play basketball with the youth from the church and community. One day one of his sons came to him and said, “Dad, I want to grow up and be a minister like you.” This made my cousin feel good that his son wanted to follow in his foot steps. As my cousin pursued this a little by asking his son why he wanted to be in ministry when he grew up? His bubble was popped when his son replied, “so I can get paid to play basketball everyday like you.” I do not think this was the answer my cousin was looking for.

A lot of times we want to be in ministry because it looks like an easy occupation. Any one with a successful ministry knows that ministry is spelled W.O.R.K.

A lot of times we want to be in ministry because our father and grandfather were in ministry before us, and we think we should follow in their footsteps. Some may think ministry looks glamorous from the outside. A lot of people see our ministry programs and say “Man I wish I could do this!” If they only had to walk in our shoes for a year the majority of them would want to quit. If all you see is our live ministry event it looks like a spectacular lifestyle. However, most people never see all the behind the scenes of the day to day lifestyle that being on the road consist of. A lot of young aspiring ministers that have gotten to travel with us as interns are very excited at first about getting to travel and use all of our equipment. At first their commits always are “Man when I get my own ministry I want equipment just like this.” About half way through the tour season the statements change to “I don’t think I want to do this when I have my own ministry. There is too much to set up and tear down. There is too much work involved. Too many hours spent traveling in a vehicle.“ If we do not have a genuine love for people and a desire to see the furtherance of the kingdom this lifestyle gets old real fast.

I believe we should ask ourselves periodically throughout our time in ministry why we are doing this. Over and over in the Bible we read that Jesus was moved with compassion when he ministered to people. When he healed the sick, when he raised the dead, when he multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the multitude, and when he taught the crowds of people. The overwhelming love for people (compassion) was Jesus motivation to do what he did during his ministry on earth.

It was not that he felt it was his duty, it was not to make a name for himself, it was not that it was the only thing he knew how to do, it was because he looked at the need and was moved with compassion. Compassion was the overwhelming love for people that motivated him to do something.

Why did God the father send his only son into the world to die on a cross? It was because he loved the world. He was moved with such an overwhelming love that he had to do something.

Our motivation in ministry should be the love God has put in our heart. The bible says in Romans 5:5 that the love of God has been put in our heart by the Holy Spirit. When we are born again we receive the life and nature of God. The Bible says in 1 John 4:8 that God is Love. It is his nature, His Character. When we are born again we are now born of God. His life and nature is inside of us.

1 John 4:7-11
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 Pet 1:3 says God has given us all things that pertain to life and Godliness.(Godliness means having God like qualities) it’s up to us to allow this love to be the motivating factor of our lives.

2 Peter 1:4 says that we have been given exceeding great and precious promises that through these we might become partakers of the divine nature. What is the divine nature? 1 John 4:8 says that God is love. Where do we find these great and precious promises? We find it in the Word of God, the Bible.

As we renew our minds with God’s word it becomes part of our lives. The more it becomes part of our lives the more we become partakers of it. The Bible says in Romans 12:2 be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Be transformed into what? We should be transformed into the Image of Christ.

Eph. 4:15 says that we should grow up until we look like Christ. What does Christ look like? He looks like the father and the father is Love. Let this overwhelming love for people be the motivating factor in our lives and ministry. We truly need to grow up until we look like Christ, so the world can see God in our lives. Let us be moved with compassion when we see a need.

Love for people and the furtherance of God’s Kingdom should be the motivating factor in our lives and ministry. I have always said true ministry is reaching people and touching Lives. Everything else is just stuff we have to do.

Before I had my own ministry, before anyone knew who Jerry Moyer of the Jubilee Gang was, and before anyone wanted to schedule us at their church, I did not wait on a big break. I did not hope that someday my schedule would be full. I starting going to the local housing projects in Southern Ohio because of the love in my heart for the people there. No one was reaching out to them and I saw a need. When I went to the local housing authority and asked if we could do a crusade in the projects, they told me that there had never been any preaching in the projects and there never would be.

I did not give up on what was in my heart to do. As I was reading the news paper one day, I saw where a professional base ball player had came back to our home town and started a anti drug program in the projects. I felt in my heart to go to that organization and tell them that the “Just say No” campaign was not working. Kids need something to say yes to so they can say no to drugs.

I offered to do an anti drug program for them that said say yes to Jesus so that you can say no to drugs. Anything to do with an anti drug message was welcome through this organization. Our first event in the local housing projects we saw around 100 people born again. This happened over and over in different projects around the area. Before long the projects were calling us.

As I put my hand to ministering in the local housing projects because of the love I had for the people God continued to open more and more doors to our ministry. First it was public schools. We offered them a free anti drug program in exchange for the use of the building that evening for a large event where we could present the Gospel. Our first public school outreach we had 250 children in the school and 180 people came out that night to hear the gospel. Almost every one of them came forward to be born again. Then, we opened our program up to churches and it has grown from there.

Let love be the motivating factor in everything we do. God has given us everything we need. Its up to us to use it!

God Bless You
Jerry Moyer
The Jubilee Gang

Monday, April 7, 2008

What is a Christian?

Many people in the world are confused about what it is to be a Christian.

Many believe that is being religious, attending church, being a good person, or believing in God will make you a Christian. We asked some people at the mall "What is a Christian?

In the video below are their answers.

Just because you come from a Christian family, attend church, pray, read the bible, or even do good deeds will not make you a Christian. When a religious person asked Jesus how he could enter into his kingdom (today the question would be, how do I become a Christian?) Jesus replied with the following answer.

You must be born again. John 3:7

He did not tell him to become more religious, He did not say obey more rules, he did not even say you must belong to a certain church.

He said You must be Born again"

Going to church does not make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds will make you a Cheeseburger!

Being a Christian is not obeying rules set forth by your church or denomination. It’s not just being religious.

Being a Christian is a supernatural change of heart. Not the heart that pumps blood or a valentines day heart like you see in pictures. When we say heart we mean the real you. The part of you that goes to heaven when you die if you are a Christian.

Its being born again into God’s Family.

Because of Adam and Eves disobedience when they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they died on the inside. They died spiritually. They were separated from God.

All of us were born with a sinful heart (fallen nature, separation from God.) because of Adams sin. He represented all of us.
Because of Jesus paying the price when he died on the cross and shed his blood, we can now receive a clean heart (Be born again) Its a free gift! The best Christmas gift the world has ever received!

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22 that without the shedding of blood there is no taking away of sin.

Blood had to be shed so we could become a Christian. He paid the price when he died on the cross. All we have to do is believe in what Jesus has done for us and receive the free gift of salvation and be born again.

The Bible says in Romans 10:9 that If we believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess with our mouth that he is lord of our lives we will be saved. (or born again) When we do this God makes us a new creature. Something that never existed before. He changes us on the inside. He does not change our outward appearance.

So, if your really beautiful before your born again, You’ll probably be really beautiful after your born again. If you not so beautiful like some of us guys before your born again. Its not going to help us guys. He changes us on the inside.

1 Corinthians 5:17 says If your in Christ you are a New Creature. Old things have passes away. All thing have become new.

We do not need a new creature kit be become a new creature in Christ. We do not need to pay $19.95 to become a new creature. It is a free Gift! All we need to do is reach out and take it by faith!

Pray this prayer to receive God’s gift to you...
Father I come to you in Jesus name.
I thank you that you sent Jesus to die on the cross for me. I thank you that he rose from the dead. Come in and take away my old sinful heart that I received from Adam. Give me a new heart that is after God’s nature. Right now I confess you as Lord of my life. I will do my best to live for you the rest of my life.
In Jesus Name