Every child prayed for – Every child cared for!

Parental Duty (Spurgeon)

October 8th, 2015 | Posted by Ron Elwardt in Kids - (1 Comments)
Parents are called to pass on the faith

Parents are called to pass on the faith

“Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” — Joel 1:3

In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land—the beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty, we are to begin at the family hearth: he is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements. To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday school teachers, or other friendly aids; these can assist us, but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; proxies and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High. Parental teaching is a natural duty—who so fit to look to the child’s well-being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots “secularism” is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honour the Lord and receive his smile. (Taken from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening).

Each One Bring One

January 28th, 2015 | Posted by Ron Elwardt in Kids - (0 Comments)
Jesus looked at the multitudes with compassion.

Jesus looked at the multitudes with compassion.

Over the past few months Pastor Tim has been encouraging our adults to bring someone to church. He has challenged us all to bring “one person who sticks”. It is a great challenge and is certainly in line with Jesus’ sentiment and words found in Matthew 9:35-38.

“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'”

Jesus looked upon the crowds and had compassion. He saw their lives, unconnected to His life and power, as harassed and helpless. Those words depict a sheep that has been neglected, and thus is mangled and thrown down for lack of care. Jesus was moved by such a sight and asked his disciples to pray that God would send out laborers to bring them in to God’s fold.

That is the essence of our pastor’s challenge to us. All around us are people who are like sheep without a shepherd. They need someone to come to them and point them to the Great Shepherd of the Sheep. They need someone to answer the call for laborers so that they might find the life that Jesus came to give. Have you answered the call? Are you praying that the Lord will help you take our pastor’s challenge and “bring one in”? That would be a good first personal application, but there is something more for us to consider as parents. (more…)

As the calendar approaches the final month of the year it is important to ask ourselves the question, “What will the focus of this season be?” It is easy to just let things happen – all the shopping, parties, rushing around, family gatherings… It is easy for these things to take prominence. But we have to ask, “Is that really what we want to happen?” Would it not be better to bring more intentionality into this sacred season?

Most of us would likely agree that we want to keep Christ in our celebrations, but there is so much “cultural inertia” pushing us toward a superficial celebration. Is there anything families can do to celebrate in a more meaningful way? (more…)

Bringing the children to Jesus

Bringing the children to Jesus

This past Wednesday I taught a lesson to our 5th and 6th grade LOGOS boys. We looked together at Isaiah 6. In the passage we were treated to a vision of our great God. He was seated on a throne that was high and lifted up. We talked about our world having thrones for kings and presidents, but this throne was lifted up beyond them all.

We saw that the Lord wore a robe whose train filled the temple. We explained that for kings the longer the train… the greater their supposed glory. This description of our Lord’s train reminded us that His glory is beyond the most glorious of human rulers.

We observed the seraphim that attended the Lord on the throne. They are the “burning ones” who have a glory of their own, but before the Lord whose glory fills the heavens and the earth, these angelic beings had to cover themselves, for their glory does not even compare to the glory of the Lord.

We spoke together about the words of the seraphim. They said, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. The whole earth is full of His glory”. We noted that the angels ascribed three times that the Lord is “holy”. We learned that when someone wants to emphasize something they often say something two times, but when they want to say something is “out of this world – in another league” they might say it three times. So holy, so set apart, so uncommon, so unlike sinful humans is our God! He is indeed “holy”!

We also noted that there was a rumbling, even a trembling of the temple. So awesome, so glorious is our Lord, that His presence causes the most secure things to shake.

Being confronted with such a vision of God Almighty, Isaiah could only declare, (more…)

Training our Teachers

October 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Ron Elwardt in Kids - (0 Comments)

teacher trainingEarlier this Fall 45-50 Children’s Ministry teachers and helpers gathered for a full morning for our annual TNT (Teacher eNrichment Time). This training was designed to inspire and instruct our workers for the vital and eternally significant work they do with our children.

The morning began with a word from our elder, Bill Eaton, who shared not only his appreciation for the ministry to children, but also urged those in attendance to faithfulness in this important work. A time of worship followed that brought us to remember the vastness of the power and love of the God whom we serve.

I led our General Session walking through our statement of mission, values and vision. How important it is for us never to lose sight of why we do what we do and what we are hoping God to accomplish through us to His glory and for the eternal good of our children.

After the General Session we were treated to an interview. Amanda Perkins, our Director of Preschool Discipleship, interviewed Megan Holm who shared how the ministry at CBC was formative in her life, equipping her both for her role as a parent and now as a teacher in Children’s Ministry. It was wonderful to see a living example of the impact we would hope for in all our children’s lives.

Our time concluded with the attendance of various seminars. Susie Baldwin led a much appreciated session on Classroom Management. Rachael White helped our teachers know how to better prepare and present a lesson. Ruth Elwardt got our creative juices going in her session on effective methods of teaching memory verses. I also led a session on the importance of application, helping our teachers understand what a Christ-focused application of Scripture looks like.

Now it might be asked why we call out a group of nearly 50 people to spend a whole morning attending a conference like this. The answer is simple…the work that we do with children matters. We weekly present to them the Word of God which has the power to lead them to salvation and life in Christ. We want to do this well. We must do this well. So, we unashamedly gather our teachers and workers to inspire and equip them for this work among our children that truly matters.

Every Child Made New in Christ

August 14th, 2014 | Posted by Ron Elwardt in Kids | Parents - (0 Comments)

Every Child Made New in Christ

It is that time of year again!

It is that time of year again!

For most families with children the new school year has already begun. Children, equipped with a plethora of school supplies, have made their way to meet new teachers and students (unless, of course, they are schooled at home) commencing another year of studies.

At Camelback we are gearing up for the new year as well. We have been bringing new teachers and helpers into the ministry. Training sessions are planned and will be taking place over the next few weeks. We’ve evaluated curriculum and other aspects of the ministry and will be introducing some new things.

Our hearts desire is to effectively minister to children (and their parents) in line with our mission: as a “Family on a Mission for the Glory of God” we extend the love of Jesus to every child that they might find renewal in Him. We so want to surround increasing numbers of children with the love of Christ so that they might find real life in Him.

Sometimes in the busyness of life, we attend to those things that scream for our attention, but neglect other things that may be even more important than those things crying out. One of those things is our child’s spiritual education. It doesn’t tend to be one of the “urgent” things vying for our attention, but in truth it may be the most important.

As you enter the new year with your child please consider the following suggestions so that the urgent doesn’t crowd out the important.

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The Invisible Tool – Prayer

June 18th, 2014 | Posted by Ron Elwardt in Parents - (0 Comments)

The following post is taken from Marty Machowski, author of some excellent family devotional materials. 

The most important tool in our parenting toolbox is invisible. As a result, we too often fail to put it into use until the last moment when we’ve tried everything with no success.

I had a husband and wife come to me and share that their five-year-old child refused to remain in bed after they tucked him in. Every night they went through a long routine of repeated encouragement, admonishment, and correction that lasted for upwards of an hour while their son again and again voiced excuse after excuse for why he couldn’t go to sleep. They tried waking him very early, the reward system, looking for the idol in his heart, and even allowed him to stay up late till he wanted to go to bed, only to discover the same result tucking him at midnight. They were at their wits end. ”What else can we do?” They lamented in my office with tears. ”We have tried everything.” (more…)

He is Risen!

Every year we have an opportunity to guide our family’s remembrance and celebration of the events surrounding the death and resurrection of our Lord. These events which changed the world and which continue to change the lives of millions of people deserve our focused attention.

One of the ways we can do this is to use our times of family worship to peer into these happenings surrounding the final week of our Lord. Spending a few minutes each day can contribute to your child’s understanding and appreciation  of these events, and can help you as a family celebrate more fully their significance.

But some of you may be asking, “How do I do this?” What might it look like to guide my family through such a worshipful exploration.


Partners in Spiritual Nurture

February 28th, 2014 | Posted by Ron Elwardt in Parents - (0 Comments)
Bringing your family to the cross of Christ

Bringing your family to the cross of Christ

Deuteronomy 6:6-7  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

The above text is  the classic biblical passage that lays out for parents their biblical calling. We, as parents, are first to make sure the Word of God is in our hearts. As they say, “it is impossible to impart what you do not possess”. If God’s Word is not central to who you are as a parent, it is not likely you will be able to pass it on to your child(ren). Having said that, the passage then calls us to “diligently” teach our children. That word “diligently” should encourage us not to be haphazard in our approach but rather seek to be intentional.

And how can we be intentional? Often when we think about this we may steer toward something like family devotions thinking that this is the only way to be intentional. But I love the fact that the passage encourages us not to think first about a devotional time period each day, but rather thinking of all of life as a place to be intentionally teaching our children. In fact, my observation over the years is that if we are not capturing the everyday moments for Christ, our devotional times may ring untrue to our children. So I want to encourage all parents to live out your calling in the mundane details of life. (So many of the books I read on Family Devotions never make this important point!) Then, having a time of family worship can be all the more effective.

Teach them diligently

Teach them diligently

Though parents are the primary nurturers of their children, I believe God has so designed the church to be a partner in this vital enterprise. God has showered His family with a variety of gifts which are meant to build up all the members of the church, including its children. If parents isolate their children from the church family they may be, in effect, impoverishing their children’s spiritual development. That’s why I seek to promote a partnership between the home and church.

On our Children’s Ministry website we have a page that addresses that very theme: Home and Church. Please take time to read through the brief explanation. Then look at  the “Recommended Resources” link found on the Parent Resources page to find some suggestions that will help you forge a plan as to how your family might approach intentionally nurturing the faith of your children. A recent book by Jason Helopoulos, A Neglected Grace, may be of some help as you consider the more formal part of your calling (Family Devotions).

If you have some ideas or resources to share with others regarding this important topic, please use the comments section below to do so.

Serving the next generations with you,

Pastor Ron

Welcome Parents and Teachers

February 7th, 2014 | Posted by Ron Elwardt in Parents | Teachers - (0 Comments)

UntitledIn this inaugural post I wanted to introduce you to our new website (camelbackkids.com) for parents and children’s ministry volunteers.

As many of you know I am in my second round at CBC as Children’s Pastor. I served for 18 years from 1989-2007, then took a 6 year interim working with adults and the administration of the church. This past summer I was asked to return to Children’s Ministry; a calling I gladly received because of an unabated passion to see children growing up to know the Lord Jesus.

As I approach this next round of ministry I want to continue to see our body provide excellent ministry to our children on Sundays and midweek, as well as special events like retreats and VBS. These I believe can be used of God to lay important foundations of faith in each child’s life. But this time around I want to focus even more on supporting the ministry of parents in the home. After all, parents really are the primary spiritual educators in their children’s lives.

That is what this website and blog are all about. I want to provide for parents all the resources and help I can to help them fulfill the high calling God has given to them (Deuteronomy 6:1-11). In recent conversations with some of our young dads this kind of help and encouragement was expressed as something much needed. So…in this post I want to introduce you to a few of the items you will find in this website that are designed to help you as a parent as well as a volunteer in Children’s Ministry.

In the parent section of the site you will find the following sub-sections:

  1. How to get involved in Children’s Ministry (and why it is important)
  2. Home and Church partnership – information on how to maximize your children’s learning he/she receives in church ministry.
  3. A few links to websites especially helpful for parents. Look for this section to grow in the future.
  4. The parent resource sub-section provides a reading list for parents, some counsel regarding children and worship,  prayer cards and more. This section will be growing in the future as well. In fact, as you have suggestions please pass them on.
  5. Upcoming events to put on your calendar

In the volunteer section you will find the following sub-sections:

  1. Specifics on how to get plugged in as a Children’s Ministry Champion
  2. A listing of staff needs
  3. Staff schedule so we can check when we are serving or know who will be ministering to our children.
  4. Key ministry contacts – the people to call if you have specific questions about a ministry or age group
  5. Teacher resources including a recommended reading list, Child SAFE training video, curriculum and staff manuals and more.
  6. Upcoming events to put on your calendar

Why don’t you take a few minutes and peruse the site. Know that this is just the beginning and as we work together I know that we can create a tool that will be a blessing to parents and consequently to our children.

It is a joy serving your families for the cause of Jesus Christ

Pastor Ron