Well, on Sunday I will have completed my 2nd week as the new CE pastor here at Cornerstone! So far it has been mostly the task of putting together all the leader binders for our pre-school and elementary programs. Not necessarily the most fun part of my job, BUT it is getting me excited for the fall and wondering how God is going to work in the hearts of all our families this year!
There are some really great things that are happening in CE right now…. and frankly have been happening for years! I am so blessed to be able to take leadership of a ministry and a team of people who are passionate about showing the love of Jesus to kids and families all over our community and the world. Jessica Braun, our CE pastor for 8+ years before me, has done an amazing job of listening to God’s vision for this ministry and passing it on to our leaders, kids and families. I cannot express enough how great it is to be a part of something that is so vibrant, healthy and growing! And I cannot talk about the strength of CE without mentioning the many people who choose to serve consistently every year! We are so blessed to have so many people who have served 5+ years…. in fact most of our leaders have been with us that long (and the others are just working up to it!)
Starting a new position has made me think of a lot of things; vision, mission, purpose, etc. One word keeps coming up again and again….. Expectation.
Expectation (definition) - the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.
Expectations (definition) – a prospect of future good or profit.
“Expectation” is probably the theme word for me right now as I look to a new year here at Cornerstone. I definitely have expectations that I have put on myself and I know others have expectations for me as I take on this new role. What I want to focus on though, more than anything, is what God’s expectations are for me and for this ministry.
Here are a few things you can “expect” to see happening in CE this fall…..
- JUMP START will be running August 27-29 from 6:30-8pm at Cornerstone! This is our kick off (or ‘jump start’) to our mid-week program, Tidal Wave, and will run exactly like our midweek program does. It will include games, singing, teaching (both large and small group) and FOOD!
- We are starting a new curriculum in our elementary programs this year, so now both our preschool programs (Little Lambs, Cubs Corner and Kid’s Church) and our elementary programs (Promiseland and Tidal Wave) will be using the Think Orange curriculum. I am looking forward to this change! Sure, there are some fun videos and games, but most of all I see a program that is determined to teach the Word of God, getting kids familiar with their Bibles and memorizing scripture, and showing kids that God wants a relationship with them and how that relationship should change their lives everyday as they deal with decisions and situations that may come. Think Orange also shares Cornerstone’s passion about churches partnering with parents, recognizing that parents have the largest role in teaching their children about God. If you would like more information about Think Orange please go to www.whatisorange.org The 2 curriculums we use are called First Look (preschool) and 252 Basics (elementary). And, as always, you can ask me any questions you have about our teaching material.
- We are also going to be co-hosting a parenting and marriage conference in October with Forrest Grove Community Church and Doing Family Right Ministries. Keep your eyes open for more information coming soon!
As for me, here are some of my own personal expectations that God is calling me to.
- I want to lead a ministry of prayer. That means that myself and our CE committee and leaders are dedicated to praying for all our families and for the kids we work with to know who God is, that He wants to have a deep and meaningful relationship with them and that they would choose to follow Jesus with all their hearts. To have kids know who Jesus is and desire passionately a relationship with Him… THAT is at the top of my prayer list for CE ministry!
- I am also going to be encouraging the kids to pray more…. for their families and situations, but also for those in our Church (look for pictures of those in leadership to appear in the fall…. our kids are going to pray for our leaders!), our community (people in our schools, city, etc) and our world (we already have a committed time every Sunday praying that we would be a light in the world and praying for our sponsor children).
- And we are also hoping to continue partnering with parents, encouraging them to teach their children about praying to God. This fall, we will be providing books in both our Family Resources and our CE library that will teach about prayer…. what it’s all about and how we can model it for our kids. I can’t wait to see what happens when these resources get into our parents hands!
Through this summer, as our family has been up at Ranger Lake Bible Camp, God has re-emphasized for me to follow Him above everything else. I have come to realize that God doesn’t want me to do great works for Him that replace, or takeover, my relationship with Him. Instead God EXPECTS me to dig fully and completely into a growing relationship with Him and then my actions, works, etc. will pour out from that relationship. Above all, I want to continue to focus on my relationship to God, coming to Him first as a follower of Jesus and then secondly as His servant.
It is my desire that when the kids get older and as they leave CE, they wouldn’t just say ‘Dawn was really nice… Dawn was super fun…. or even, she really cared about us’. While that is really nice, I hope all the kids and families I come into contact with will say when they think about me as a leader: ‘She really loved Jesus. She just served Him with everything she had’. That is my expectation. I’m not completely sure what that will look like, but I know if Jesus is my main focus through everything, God will completely blow my expectations out of the park and replace them with His own. THAT gets me excited and I cannot wait to see what happens!