School Closure Support

Friends and Family,

I can imagine with this morning’s news on top of yesterday you are anxious and at unease. For many of you, you not only have the memories and emotions from the past when you were younger, but you have to counsel and encourage your children and family members. 

Questions that might be going through your mind....
*What do I say? *What will my kids hear at school? *How do I feel? *What does this mean for the future?
*Why is there evil in this world? 

These are all needed questions. While talking to a few fellow ministers this morning I received some solid advice I’d like to share with you. These aren’t the only answers but it I hope it helps. 

1) Oxygen mask: Take a moment and go into the other room or a different room if you can and figure out what you are feeling. Call someone to talk through it. Figure out what you are feeling first and come to your family with some clarity. Spend some time praying.

2) When you are ready talk to your kids consider your audience: Each age group and dynamic of who you talk to is important. 

Younger kids: 
When talking to younger kids keep it very short and light. i.e. “The school is awesome they just had some concerns about safety and it’s so smart to be safe. I’m so grateful for our schools and law enforcement always wanting to keep us safe.” Stay positive and don’t freak them out. If they ask , “safety from what” then be honest and say you don’t know specifically. It’s important here to not have the news on or show them pictures. Images can be way more scary then words. Pray with them, thanking God for awesome people that work hard to keep them safe. 

Preteens:
I was a youth pastor for many years with preteens and teens. They are very smart. With them it’s important to not gloss over it or ignore their feelings. Ask them how they are feeling about it all. If you relate tell them you get it. Take a similar approach with the younger kids but with room to talk more about it if need be. Encourage them that we need wisdom when it comes to all safety. Say you are thankful for the school and law enforcements using wisdom to keep us safe. Pray with them and thank God you can talk to Him about everything even your fears and thank Him for wisdom and the brave men and women who work hard to keep us safe. 

Check with them in a few days. How is it going? How you feeling? Have you thanked your teachers and law enforcement etc. 

Teens:

With teens it is important to know the dynamic of your teens ability to walk through fear and emotions. Seek first to understand. Listen to and help them talk through their emotions. Remember make sure you are in a good place to do this. If applied, bring in both parents or a friend to help talk through it. After you talk through their feelings, ask them what a good response to to their feelings and the situation could be. Listen and learn they might have insight you don’t. Offer different responses that would be good. After they talk, affirm their safety and once again gratefulness for those who work hard to keep us safe. This is a good time to remind the kids to say thank you to their teachers, principles, law enforcement etc. Pray with them and talk to God about it and thank God for your teenager and their ability to talk through things. Highlight their positive responses. Thank God for the men and women that work hard to keep us safe. 

3) Be a great neighbor: Community is key. Knowing the people you spend most of your day with and live near is important for safety. Using this as an opportunity to get to know the parents of your kid’s friends is important overall. Take a minute today and walk next door or stop and say hello to someone who’s outside in your neighborhood. Get to know their name. We put on BBQs and events in our community for people to get to know each other to provide a positive and safe community.  

4) Be a stakeholder: This is your community, your kid’s school, and your home. Claim it and get involved. We are all too quick to run away, instead stand firm and make our home a better place. Sadly in a broken world with evil there are issues everywhere. Invest in yourselves, others and community to provide a better place. Our goal is to bring the ways of Jesus to earth. That is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self control and more. 

We are praying with you and for you. Let us know how we can support info@crossculturedenver.org.

You Now Have a Marriage Ministry

In the US, there is on average one divorce about every 36 seconds. That's nearly 876,000 divorces a year. The divorce rate only increases as the number of marriages increases, for a couple in their 3rd marriage, the divorce rate is 73%. It's worth knowing that the only thing bringing down the rate of divorce in the country is the fact that fewer people are getting married. More and more people see marriage as something to opt-out of in life.


Financial troubles, miscommunication, affairs, and addictions make getting through life together harder than ever. Not even considering that at any moment you can log onto social media and see some of your "couple friends" doing well, while other couples are calling it quits after one year, three years, even eight years of marriage. We look at our relationships, and wonder, "Can we make it?"


"YES! You can have a GREAT marriage." At Cross Culture we want to be a church of great neighbors, and we appreciate that our closest neighbor is our spouse. So we want to be a church of great marriages actively displaying God's love to our spouses. We kicked off our marriage ministry with a survey of the community and found that the marriages in our church are relatively young and are in good condition. There have been past hurts and a lack of diligence to care for one another in some relationships, and I say that so you know as you read this that you're not alone. 

"we want to be a church of great marriages actively displaying God's love to our spouses."

We have a plan: we will provide resources and tools that will help you have a successful marriage, heal wounds and grow closer together. For example, we will consistently host Marriage Gatherings, an opportunity for couples to connect with others couples. Being together in this intimate group, we help build hope, strength, and joy into marriages with practical lessons and life-changing true stories from other couples. 


We host fun events that enhance intimacy, renew passion, and refresh relationships; events like our upcoming Marriage Social on Saturday, November 10th. Lastly, we have marriage mentors! 82% of couples report wanting to have a mentor couple walk with them, and research shows that couples who have marriage mentors are happier and healthier. 

“82% of couples report wanting to have a mentor couple walk with them."

We want to be a church of great marriages, and we will accomplish this by helping couples maximize their relationships, going from good to excellent, and repair what broke, so life together can be more fulfilling and in harmony.  We started this post with some disturbing statistics. You don't have to be one of those statistics. We're here to help, plug into this community and take advantage of the exceptional resources, tools, events, and connections we have in place to see your marriage succeed.

Leading Past Your Time

Leading is hard! Any type of responsibility is hard.  I have three younger kids. Two boys and a girl. They are beautiful, but parenting them is difficult. One of the hardest parts of parenting is the thousands of books out there on parenting the right way. Which one is it? What’s the best way to be responsible about anything?

I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy and leading past your time.  What I mean by “leading past your time” is leading after you think or society tells you your time is up. In a culture or society where retirement and quick ease is the goal, we need more leaders to keep leading even when they think their time is up.

The biggest lie of leadership in the world is that older leaders need to get out of the way. It’s a lie from Satan.  Here is what happens when the more seasoned leaders completely step out of the way.

*We have young, instant success, under-30 leaders who are training other leaders with much more experience. Dumb success doesn’t equal understanding and wisdom.  This isn’t blog about false successes, but that definitely plays a role in the problems in organizations today. 

*We have young leaders losing steam or confidence because they are making the same mistakes that the leaders did before them. Dumb success catches up to them. We need to find redemption in our mistakes through helping others avoid the same mistakes.


*We only grow wide and not deep. Take a minute and read the parable of the sower in Mark 4. That’s a great description of how easily surface growth can dwindle. Success and growth need to be rooted in a way that lasts.

The best way to grow your organization is through legacy. Legacy takes time and people who have stuck around.

See you Sunday,

Michael  

Stand Up to the Bear

I’ve spent the last week in bear country. Everywhere you go there are signs giving warnings, telling you what to do and what not to do. Don’t leave food out. Carry bear spray. Travel in groups. Don’t go off the trail. Now these are all things that you are to do before you actually meet a bear. You do everything you can to avoid the encounter. But when you actually meet a bear, the rules change. There’s no more avoidance. For most of us, our proclivity would then be to run. Get out of the way of danger. Flee the scene as fast as you can.