Having seen enough laptops shut with som

Having seen enough laptops shut with something inside that smashes the screen, this video shows some value… http://ow.ly/5YNE6

I can’t say I see a practical reason to

I can’t say I see a practical reason to drop your laptop from 20′ up, but if it survives this… maybe it will survive a fall from my recliner. http://ow.ly/5YNKB

Ever spilled an entire bottle of water o

Ever spilled an entire bottle of water on your keyboard? I’ve seen it done, but I haven’t seen it survive like this… http://ow.ly/5YNQz

Sunday School Leader News – June 17 2008

Hi team,

I don’t have my notes handy at the moment so am going to wing a recap of some of our discussion from our meeting on Sunday. I’ll get you more details as needed.

Our main topic of discussion was rearranging Preschool / Children / Youth to better align with the structure of the schools the kids are in and also fit within the structure and size of our classes. Jill and I sat down for an hour yesterday (Monday) and went through this in some more detail, and here is where we came to. This may be slightly different than what we talked about at our meeting in terms of the arrangement of the classes, but this makes pretty good sense, and it’s still up for changes as we start talking with Sara, Jill, and the teachers… but we are going to move with this.

Primary changes:

1. Change Y1 to include 6th grade. Why? All of the local schools – Plainfield in particular – are now arranged with Middle Schools for grades 6-8. This new structure will allow us to mimic that for both the relationships / friends of the people who come, and it will also lend itself ok to literature provided by Lifeway. One drawback to this is that for “general” youth events in which both Y1 and Y2 are together, we will now have 7 grades all together, which makes for a large and very diverse group, in terms of age, maturity, and all that. So there may be some additional consideration to give to all this with Mark and the other youth leaders, and we will do that.

2. Change our upper children’s class (C3) to include 4th and 5th grade. Why? Well, first off… just having a single grade in a class is not practical at the stage we are in now in terms of size. This new structure will also match Plainfield’s new school structure where 4th and 5th graders are together at what used to be the Middle School.

Those are the two MAJOR changes. Here are some of the consequences of those changes, as we see them now.

1. We need to decide how to divide up the rest of the children’s area. Jill’s suggestion is to have a class for the 2nd and 3rd graders (C2) and a class for the Kindergarteners and 1st graders (C1). This would move Kindergarten from the Preschool area to the Children’s area. I am not positive how we concluded this in our meeting on Sunday – I don’t have my notes with me – but this comes from my talk with Jill, and it makes sense to me at the moment. But it’s still open for discussion.  – SARA: call me with input if you have some.

2. We will have some major teacher re-arranging. Jill and Sara are setting up division meetings for Preschool and Children to discuss these upcoming changes. They are also working on re-recruiting existing teachers for the next year, but with all these changes, we may want to have “the meeting” first. We’ll also be discussing (Jeff, Laura?, and I) outreach with the teachers at this time. GORDON, I’d like you to set up something similar for all youth SS workers. We need to do this… SOON. Here is a suggestion from Jill in terms of teachers:

a. K and 1st. grade – Charlie and Joan  (she doesn’t like to teach, so she’d just be an extra pair of hands)

b. 2nd. and 3rd. – Suzie and I (maybe Suzie would stay if we only had that one particular child 1 yr. instead of 2!!)

c. 4th and 5th – Kerri and Jeff (with Mark when he returns)

d. Then I wonder if Jeannine would want to move up with Gordon?  She enjoys the youth and they work well together.

e. So we now have two different women who we might consider to work with Gordon – Kerri – from our meeting Sunday – and Jeannine – from my meeting with Jill. Pray, pray, pray over this.

3. Doing what we are planning is going to eliminate a SS class. I am fine with this, at this stage. Others may not like it… “we should be expanding, not shrinking…” That is an empty argument, in my opinion, and we are dealing in reality here. What I feel this does is give us the ability and potential to grow. We may also run into some conflict with moving teachers who truly believe God has led them to “their spot.” I accept where God has led them, but also believe that this is bigger than a single person, especially a teacher. This is why we are going to bring this to the teachers – not for a vote, necessarily, but their voice will be heard, considered, and taken into the big story. Heck, they might have a suggestion we haven’t even considered!

4. We may need to review literature to make sure it is appropriate for the new structure. The literature order is making the rounds now, but if you have questions, let’s deal with them NOW. I would say we are planning on doing this in September.

Ok, that’s enough for today… I thank you all for your participation in our discussion on this on Sunday (and Monday). It is a good dialog, and I’m glad we were able to take the month to look at it, and then regroup Sunday and set some clear direction.



10 Excuses for new Sunday School Classes

This is not my stuff, but I’m putting it here with a link to the original author.

Monty Grover (mcagrover@hotmail.com) writes:
New Sunday School class ideas!!!!!

10 ‘excuses’ for new Sunday School classes

By: David Francis

Original article can be found here, http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?Id=27404.NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–At a conference held last year at LifeWay, Rich Smith, minister of discipleship at First Baptist Church in Ellisville, Mo., asked for input on starting classes that match teaching and learning styles. As I thought about it, it occurred to me that just about any excuse to start a new Sunday School class is probably worth trying.

Following are a few ideas:

1. A life stage class. How about a class for Nearlyweds & Newlyweds? Parents of Preschoolers? Parents of Children? Parents of Teens? Empty Nesters? LifeWay’s Bible Studies for Life (BSFL) series includes resources aimed specifically at such classes: Life Matters for younger adults; Life Truths for parents; and Life Values for empty-nesters. LifeWay magazines BabyLife, ParentLife and Living with Teenagers are perfect supplements for classes for parents as well.

2. A “Couples without Kids” class. One of the negative responses we have received about the life-stage approach with the BSFL series is that adults -– notably median-age adults -– who don’t have children feel left out of classes designated for parents or empty-nesters. That’s a good excuse to start a new class specifically for such folks! They could even study the same Scripture passages as other classes using BSFL by using Life Lessons or Life Words. Both of these titles are designed for adults of all ages and life stages.

3. A KJV class. Some people have a strong preference for the King James translation of the Bible. The Life Words title mentioned above utilizes the KJV exclusively and is a complete family of resources, including learner guides, leader guides, a leader pack and even audio CDs.

4. A “Through the Bible” class. LifeWay’s Explore the Bible series is perfect for such a class, covering all 66 books of the Bible every eight years. The series balances studies from the Old and New Testaments and also provides a balanced approach to the various types of biblical literature in each two-year “mini-cycle.”

5. An affinity group class. These classes might include such groups as teachers, medical professionals, peace officers, bikers, etc. Use your imagination! Just about any curriculum choice would work.

6. A “No Teacher” class. What? How would you do that? By using a curriculum resource like LifeWay’s MasterWorks. This Bible study series, based on books by popular Christian authors, includes only one book that is used by learners and leaders. Ideas for guiding the discussion are found at the end of each lesson, so the leadership could rotate among members. In such a class, it would be wise to designate one person as the “shepherd” of the class –- functioning like a teacher in all regards except actually “teaching.”

7. A college class. Recently while dialoging with a group of pastors in Princeton, Ky., a pastor shared that he had started a college class. In a small town. In a church with an attendance of about 70. In jest, I said, “You can’t start a college class in that kind of setting!” But he did and now has about 10-12 collegians each week. LifeWay’s Collegiate Bible study materials are perfect for starting such a class.

8. A special needs class. Churches are rediscovering the joy of serving the needs of adults and children with special physical and developmental challenges. For many years, LifeWay has published Access, a Bible study resource for teaching special needs adults. Now we also publish a resource for special needs children in grades 1-6, Special Buddies. Leaders and parents also benefit from the LifeWay magazine, SET (Special Education Today). Beginning in 2008, LifeWay’s VBS materials will include materials for special needs kids: Outrigger Island: Special Friends. One of the big surprises reported by churches that begin such a ministry is how many people are willing to help. They don’t want to teach a big class. But they are eager to help out in a special needs class.

9. A “transition year” class. Kindergarten and sixth grade are two of the toughest years for kids to navigate. Even churches struggle with where to put these kids. In some churches, kindergarten is in the preschool division; in others, it is in the children’s division. In some churches, especially in communities where the schools operate middle schools, sixth-graders are in the youth division and often grouped with seventh- and eighth-graders; in other churches, they are in the children’s division and often grouped with fourth- and/or fifth-graders. The solution is to start a class just for them. LifeWay has curriculum choices specifically for both of these transition years: Bible Teaching for Kids: Kindergarten and Everything You Need to Know to Be a Teenager.

10. An off-campus, not-on-Sunday class. You mean you can have a Sunday School class that doesn’t meet on Sunday? Of course you can! Funny thing is, the term Sunday School has such a strong “brand identity” that you can even call it a Sunday School class. Wayne Poling, lead Sunday School leadership specialist at LifeWay, recently led training in Guam along with Clyde Kakiuchi, who directs Sunday School work in the Hawaii-Pacific Baptist Convention. Clyde was headed on to Saipan, where one pastor holds Bible study classes every night for different groups of factory workers after they end their nighttime shifts. A perfect opportunity for gathering for fellowship and study.

Every church has unique needs. I hope these ideas have started to generate some ideas that will need some of those needs.
David Francis serves as director of Sunday School for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Copyright (c) 2008 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press. Visit www.bpnews.net. BP News — witness the difference! Covering the critical issues that shape your life, work and ministry. BP News is a ministry of Baptist Press, the daily news service of Southern Baptists.

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Public Confrontations

FYI, we have support from both of our pastors on this. I think my original statement was a little long and drawn out. I will shorten it here. This is not officially written down anywhere, but you have the full support of our pastors, the SS director, and the VBS director on this. You are empowered to stand up and speak for us along these lines any time this type of issue arises.

The church staff, along with the Sunday School and VBS Leadership teams, stand in agreement that we will not publically discuss or evaluate the “qualifications” or “lifestyle” of any individual Sunday School or VBS teacher / worker. If a person or group has a concern with one of our leaders or their character, they may address their concern to one of our leaders privately or in our regular meetings and we will respond to it as a group, with respect to all parties’ privacy and personal worth.

Hopefully this is a little clearer. I will post it online as well, should you ever want to refer back to it.


Sunday School Update – March 26



To me, it seems like it’s been a while since I wrote you all a note. While you may welcome that, I miss it. I missed seeing you guys this past Sunday while we were in Pennsylvania, even though it was good to be around family we haven’t seen in a while. You all are my comrades, my compatriots, my brothers ( & sisters, I guess) in arms. I hope today finds you well. If not, I hope you can find the relief you need. And if you need a night off (guys), let me know… I am planning a short camping trip this weekend and would love to have you join me.


Ok, down to business. We have a lot of irons in the fire… and I do mean “we,” not just “me” – and I’m thankful for that. Here are some highlights; I won’t give you too much detail for now; feel free to follow up with me or the relevant person if you want more info:


·         We are still searching for an adult director. We’ve focused on a couple people so far but haven’t found the right person. I still believe that person is out there, and am waiting for God to bring us and that person together.

·         The story with our SS Outreach ministry is a little different. We have several interested individuals / couples, and I will be setting up some time with them, hopefully as a group, here in the next few weeks. I am hoping that at that time we can find some leadership roles to partake in and get things rolling. April is going to be a big month for this as we organize it, and I hope to start the ball really rolling in May. We are all part of this plan, and it has been on the drawing board for a long, long time, so I welcome your support as we switch from planning to executing.

·         VBS enlistment is coming along well. I’m not sure of the percentage of spots we have filled right now, and frankly, I don’t care. We have two very willing and capable women (Deanna & Katrina) who are excited about this ministry and talking to people like crazy. I have unofficially crowned Katrina the “Queen of VBS Enlistment.” I hope you’ll join me in showing our appreciation to these hard-working teammates.

·         We are looking to start a joint venture in outreach through our SS ministry & Van Ministry. This is another one that’s been on the drawing board for a while between myself and Monty, and we are going to be talking to Mike & Mark about it in the very near future (like 2 ½ hours from now) to get their input & support. This is kind of cool, and I will fill you in on it more in the future.

·         I am THRILLED about the response we are getting by our SS classes/teachers for this SS promotion / highlight time in the worship service once a month. I will be talking with Mike and Mark about that more today as well, to make sure we have their backing and to get things in place. We launch this the 2nd Sunday in April with the Womens 1 and Childrens 2 class being the classes we will highlight. I will have a full schedule for you at our next meeting. We have some neat things lined up for the next several months!

·         I encourage you to ALWAYS keep your eyes and ears open for willing teachers / leaders / workers and either get with them or get with a teammate who can get with them. We have openings in several spots, from kids to adults.

·         I’m opening up my long-range-vision to you here for a sec to tell you that we may well be anticipating starting a brand new Sunday School class in the next 6-9 months. More details as this develops, but I’d appreciate your prayers on this venture. We may also be multiplying 1 or 2 of our adult classes as they continue to grow. Pray for this and THANK GOD for it as well.

·         I have a “top secret” project that I need a helper for. This will be a fun project that I would like the help of one or two people on and will be worked on through the next 3-4 months. If you’re interested in making someone’s day and giving our teachers a huge “pat on the back,” let me know of your interest and I’ll fill you in.

·         We have some cool hi-tech stuff in the works as well. Not very far along but I think it’s going to be extremely useful for the outreach ministry as well as general Sunday School communication. Stay tuned…


Ok, I’m out of breath… and I am thrilled to be working on these ventures with you. Be courageous, build your strength, and let’s DO THIS!




Upcoming Dates

Next SS Emphasis Sunday: April 13

Next SS Leader Meeting: April 20, 5:00 PM


Bullhorn Guy

Watched these two videos today… For what it’s worth…


and a response…

What do you think?

SS Update – 3/14/2008



Mark Mylcraine called me Monday and said he was having second thoughts on the Adult Director position and was going to back out for now. If you’d like more info you can talk to him or me, but it looks like now is just not the right time for him. So we keep going.


I will be following up with the people I spoke to last Sunday about the Outreach Leadership team tonight. We have some other ideas we’re working on to fit into this as well involving other SS related ministries in the church.


There is a VBS leadership team meeting next Tuesday at 6:30 PM.


I have been working and working and working to see about changing our meeting time for this week, but there is just nothing that’s really any better than our scheduled Sunday meeting. I know several of you are in FPU but we will deal with that this month and figure something better out for the next few months, but this time it’s just not going to work. So our meeting will remain at on Sunday; I am, however, going to change it to 5:00 PM and am going to cancel the all-teacher meeting this month because of FPU; we may pick a different day for that as well over the next few months. I will hang out between the meeting and church and after church if any of you who can’t make the meeting want to talk.


If any of you can’t make the meeting on Sunday but need to talk about something with me or one of our other team members, I encourage you to not wait a month to get it done. Make a phone call, write an email, or sit down and talk. We are on the verge of some great things right now – each of us – and I thank you for staying on top of each of your areas. (even when it doesn’t feel like you’re staying on top of your area)



Adult Class Surveys

Mike / Monty / Cliff,


I’d appreciate your help in reviewing the attached SS Class Review document. This will be for our adult classes and will be used to build a good directory of classes, as well as used to promote / highlight our classes as we start doing so once a month in the bulletin & worship service. I would like to start the next few months with the following classes:


April: Ladies 1 (Ann) Ann has already given me much of the requested info, so I know they can come up with it. She’s also agreed to help us “try the waters” in some new things, and we are now to that point.


May: Adult 4 (Cliff & Co.) Cliff’s class has been one of our best classes at welcoming guests and raising up leadership from within.


…and here is a schedule for the remaining classes. This is still tentative but at least it’s out there now.


June: Singles [2] (Susie G.)

July: Adult 2 (Spencer)

August: Men (Scott)

September: Adult 1 (Jeremy / Deanna)

October: Ladies 2 (Karen)

November: Adult 6 (Dick)

December: Adult 3 (Mark M.)

January: Adult 5 (Dewey)


I have not forgotten Singles 1 or doing another short term class with Pastor Mike or someone else. I also expect / anticipate to start a new class in the next 6 months, but where that’s going to come from and come about is still to be determined.


Let me know what you think of the schedule, and of the attached questionnaire. I could use a better word for survey/questionnaire/report, but I can’t think of one. Can you?  You will be hearing much more about this in days / weeks to come, but this is the part I need your help and feedback on.


Monty – can you have Susie take a look, too, at the basic format and layout? I’d appreciate her thoughts.


The first one of these is going to go to Ann this week. So let’s get ‘er done.



Here is the Survey