When you’re scared to share (guest post at Missional Women)

An easy evangelism tool when you are scared to share {Hive Resources for Missional Women}

I love it when missionaries share tips and tricks straight from the field. But I love it even more when they share their hearts.

At a recent women’s retreat, I had the opportunity to sit under a missionary serving in Central Asia as she shared about her role in bringing the nations to Christ…and even her fears as she shares her faith among them.

As the nations continually pour into our own borders, many of the evangelism tools and strategies used overseas are increasingly relevant here in the U.S.

Here’s one tool my missionary friend demonstrated for sharing your faith when you’re nervous. I as shocked at how easy it was.  To find out what it is, click here. 

 

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Missional motherhood: Being on mission as a mom

Ministry Monday MISSIONAL MOTHERHOOD {Hive Resources} #motherhood #missions

Whenever I attend a conference, I get a little queasy. Not because I’m anxious meeting new friends or because I’m out of my comfort zone, but because I know the guilt is coming.

Whether it’s the heart-felt messages from inspiring speakers on social justice or the endless line of booths on clean water and poverty-fighting non-profits, it’s typically at conferences that the call to be ‘radical’ in our faith is sounded the loudest.  So, after being presented with opportunity after opportunity “to do” something radical for the King’s kingdom, this momma gets a wee bit weary.

As a homeschooling, work-at-home mother of twins, motherhood often feels the absolute farthest thing from being radical. Instead of jetting off to Uganda, I’m printing out copywork. Instead of buying beaded bracelets that fund education for girls, my budget is allocated for pull-ups and bananas.

I’ll be the first to confess, that my feelings for being un-radical are rooted solely in my own sinful pride.  But all the same, the idea of “being radical” can make the more mundane activities of motherhood somewhat lackluster. 

Missional Women Conference

This past weekend, I attended the Missional Women conference, and while I was excited to soak up some truth from new friends and discover some amazing ministries, I also braced myself for the impending wall of guilt.

But guess what? It never came!

Instead, this is what I found. Being on mission occurs within the “existing reality” that God has appointed for me.

My current reality is I’m the mother of two very unique boys. The ministry of the Great Commission – from which all radical faith springs – is to make disciples of my children first and foremost.  So, right now, for me, radical faith  doesn’t involve third-world countries or soup kitchens; it involves my home.

To that end, I found some great ways at the Missional Conference to be on mission as a mom. 

Kids on Mission

It’s radical to teach your child about the gospel. 

Missional Motherhood - being on mission as a mom {Hive Resources}

Kids on Mission is a non-profit that helps you lead your children to learn, pray, and serve God’s world. Their website is chock full of free printables on world cultures and countries – all designed to give your child a heart for the nations.

Child evangelism tool from Kids On Mission {Hive Resources} #KOM #kidmin

At their booth, I picked up these Cross Gospel Tracts for Kids. This tool is so cool. My boys loved opening the different flaps and talking about what they mean. This tool could be used by an adult who is sharing the gospel with a child and even older children could be trained to use them as they learn to share their own faith.

Compassion International

It’s radical to teach your child to love the world.

Missional Motherhood - Teaching your kids to care for the world's poor {Hive Resources} 

At the conference, we heard musician Shaun Groves share his heart for poverty-fighting group Compassion International.  I love this group because they are Christ-focused and local church-based, meaning sponsored children receive their aid through a local church. But I also love this group because sponsorships that alleviate poverty, hunger, and sickness help keep families together who would otherwise be faced with unthinkable choices.

Why I love Compassion International {how to be on mission as a mom} Hive Resources

At the conference, my family signed up to sponsor a child from Ecuador about our boys’ age. We hope it becomes an opportunity for us to teach our children about generosity and compassion for the world’s poor.

But listen to how big our God is. Later, as my husband researched the area in which our sponsored child lives, we discovered her village was located at the base of a mountain my husband climbed some years ago – Mount Cotapaxi.

God was so good to make that connection for us, because we already have material on this area – photos, postcards, and stories from his trip that we can share with the boys to help them understand where and who is receiving their gifts and notes of love.

We’re praying this ministry becomes a way for us to be radical in living out the Great Commission as we teach our kids to pray for our sponsored child and her family.

In the next few years, God might change my current reality, making the way I live out radical faith look completely different from the way he has designed it today. But for right now, I’m content to live ‘on mission’ right where he’s put me. Motherhood, in and of itself, is radical – something I’m learning each and every day.

I hope you’ll join me for this new mini-series on Missional Motherhood! For the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some ideas and resources for living out a radical faith at home.

Are you looking for ways to be missional right where you are? Check out Laura Krokos discipleship video explaining this principle!

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He is Risen printable bookmarks

Easter Week at Hive Resources #Easter #Resurrection #HeisRisen

Happy Easter from Hive Resources!

I hope you have a wonderful week celebrating our Savior’s resurrection this weekend! I’m not posting very much this week so I can maximize my time with my littles.

We’re reading books about the Easter story, doing some fun activities, and exploring the resurrection with our Easter Story Eggs.

Free printable Easter bookmarks from Hive Resources

Here are some free printable bookmarks you can add to your Easter baskets or Easter cards! Simply click the image above to download (give’em a chance to load) and then print!

He is Risen Indeed! Happy Easter!

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Meaningful Easter gifts and activities for kids

Easter Week at Hive Resources #Easter #Resurrection #HeisRisen

Some of my favorite memories include Easter Sundays.

Making #Easter Meaningful {Hive Resources}

As a child, I would awake early on Easter morning, run downstairs in my sponge curlers to see what my parents had left for me in my Easter basket. My parents never made much ado about the Easter bunny, so I didn’t grow up thinking too much about him either. Most importantly, we’d attend Easter worship services as a family.

Ideas for making #Easter meaningful {Hive Resources}

I appreciate the balance my parents were able to strike between cultural and Christian traditions. Because of my parent’s careful instruction, I know Easter is a meaningful day because of Jesus’ Resurrection from the grave, not because I received chocolate robin eggs or wore a new dress to church as a little girl.

Ideas for #Easter fun {Hive Resources}

I want to pass that same message on to my sons. I want them to see a Lamb when they approach Resurrection Day, not a bunny.

Easter devotions & activities

For that reason, for the weeks leading up to Easter, I spend time talking to the twins about new life, the cross, the tomb, and what it means for us today.

Here’s some of the tools we’re using to make Easter meaningful:

Bible studies and activities on the Resurrection {Hive Resources}

 

(1) This Easter we’re using the Easter Story Eggs & Devotional by Family Treeditions. (2) We’re also incorporating some of the activities from Amanda White’s new Easter tool – A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families. (3) Last year, we used the superb family devotion study by Barbara Reaoch,  Why Easter?

This year, a friend just released a family guide on the Passover on her site – Passover for Christians. And while I haven’t read her e-book yet, there is a free download resource on her site to help you walk your family through a Seder meal. This might be something we incorporate into our celebrations next Easter.

Easter books

On Easter morning, we will give the boys baskets just like I had as a child.  Inside their baskets,  I’ll put a little candy (candy goes a long way for us!) and either a Bible or Christian books about the Resurrection.

Last year, I gave these books to the boys:

Christian Easter books for kids {Hive Resources}

(1) The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story (2) The Very First Easter (The Beginner’s Bible) (3) The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs (4) The Story of Easter by Patricia A. Pingry (5) The Story of Passover by Francis Silberg (6)  God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren (7) The Prince’s Poison Cup by R.C. Sproul (8) The Donkey Who Carried a King by R.C. Sproul

Books 1-6 are simple and are great introductory tools for teaching smaller children (ages 2-4) about the Easter story. I bought all of these together, knowing that they would be imperfect reflections of the Easter account contained in God’s Word.  But I wanted to capture my kids imaginations with the delight and glory of the empty tomb. Of all the books listed, I thought God Gave us Easter was a little too abstract on its teaching of the Resurrection and too soft on sin.

My favorite books out of this list are #7 and #8, both by R.C. Sproul. My boys loved the illustrations of The Prince and the Poison Cup, and I loved the theologically-rich message of the new life that springs from Christ’s death. Both of these books are better suited to older children (ages 5+).

Our Easter Baskets

This year, I’m adding these to our collection even though they aren’t specifically about Easter:

The Action Bible

Life Action Bible {Hive Resources}

I’ve avoided buying this Bible for a variety of reasons, chief among them that it’s not an actual translation.  But with one boy who is still a pre-reader, yet obsessed with all things super hero, I decided to give it a go. I was really surprised by its depth and vivid storytelling.

After looking through it, I’m actually very excited to walk through this book with my sons!  I think they will be enthralled with the artistry, as well as the story of Scripture it paints.

Currently, the The Action Bible Easter Story  which is part of this Bible is FREE on Amazon for kindle! So, hurry over and grab it up as a good way to preview the Bible with your child before you buy it.

You Can Draw Bible Stories for Kids

You Can Draw Bible Stories for kids {Hive Resources}

I discovered this little gem from kidmin blogger Amanda White.

I plan to put it in the basket of my budding artist, who eats up all things art and drawing. I hope it will become a tool that will allow us to sketch sermon notes together and give him a bigger framework for seeing God’s story.

 

What do you put in your child’s Easter basket to lead them to the empty tomb? 

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, click here.

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Buy a pin, plant a church

Fill your Easter basket with gifts that matter {Hive Resources} #easter #easterbaskets

When my husband and I moved to Pittsburgh a few years ago, we secretly plotted to find the largest church in our area and hide in the back pew.

We were kidding, but sort of not.

But God has a pretty good sense of humor. Instead, he led us to what seemed like the smallest church in the city – a church that hadn’t even officially opened it’s doors!

And while we would have never picked out church planting for ourselves, we’ve been blessed beyond measure to be a part of one.

Through the month of April, friend and fellow Missional Women contributor Joy Rudolph is donating a portion of the proceeds from her Etsy shop to our church plant – Living Faith Community Church of Pittsburgh!

Spring flower pins that make a difference {Hive Resources}

A church planter herself, Joy knows the roller coaster ride of pioneer missions. She interviewed me about our church planting journey over on her site yesterday. I hope you’ll hop over and marvel with me at how God guides us to the exact location he wants us.

Plus, I hope you’ll support our church by purchasing something from her shop!  She sent me these adorable flower pins, and I thought of so many ways to use them – on hats, on wreaths, on just about any jacket or sweater, and even as a meaningful gift in an Easter basket.

Buy a flower pin for spring and plant a church {Hive Resources}

Yesterday, one of my sweet friends I’m discipling stopped by. She looked so cute, I made her try on the black and white houndstooth pin. Thanks for being such a good sport and super cute model, Toni!

Support our church plant during the month of April and  make a purchase from Joy’s shop! What’s more fun that shopping for a purpose?

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Making Better Disciples: Feeding vs. Feasting

Ministry Monday Making Better Disciples {Hive Resources}

Before I had kids, I said I would never serve my children chicken nuggets or boxed mac-n-cheese. Currently, I have both in my pantry ready to be pulled out in a moment’s notice. Very often, those two foods keep my dinning room from turning into Hell’s Kitchen.

If you’ve got kids, you’ve got food battles. They are a simple  fact of parenthood, no matter how much you believed your kids would be different.

To be fair, my kids mostly eat what is served to them.  The hubsters and I try to be consistent in upholding our dinner table rules for one very good reason: we want our children to be healthy eaters.

Fighting spiritual food battles in disciples {Hive Resources} #discipleship

Feeding vs. Feasting?

Paul, as the mentor and apostle to numerous New Testament churches, entered into many a “food battle” with his spiritual children. His letters to the early churches are replete with hunks of doctrinal meat. He expected his readers to chew thoughtfully on God’s Words and ingest them, setting aside “milk” as they matured in Christ.

Above all, Paul desired the early church to be “healthy eaters” – individuals who made wise choices in what they consumed so they might be useful to the Lord.

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 1 Cor. 3:1-3

Yet, discipleship in the early church wasn’t a perpetual feast – an exclusive event characterized by the merriment of the feaster.

Often, in the church we invite our members to a feast, encouraging them to gorge themselves on the ministries we offer. And while there is a place for this type of celebration, feasting alone should not be the pattern of our church body’s eating habits.

Here’s just a few ways I’ve seen the feasting principle played out in discipleship in the church planting context:

The Heavy Eater

In evangelicalism today, there is a great call to plunge the doctrinal depths of the Scriptures through the works of heroes of the faith.

I love this! Don’t get me wrong. I like reading the works of dead guys too, but if we only sat around stuffing ourselves on the high-caloric intake of Calvin and Luther, we’re going to get really fat.

In the spiritual realm as in the physical realm, healthy “eating” habits are tempered by exercise. If we’re emphasizing doctrine and theology (and we should be!), let’s also ensure we give our church members adequate opportunities to apply what they’re reading through active service.

Discipleship that caters to heavy eaters produces lazy servants who feast while others do the ‘heavy lifting’ of ministry.

The Picky Eater

The last few decades of women’s ministry have seen a renewed emphasis on women’s Bible studies. As you can guess, I’m a fan of this too!

Bible study MUST be the core and foundational element of any women’s ministry, but we have to serve up some variety in our choice of studies.

Newsflash:  if we only offer one type of Bible study led by the same author, then we are going to produce picky spiritual eaters! If I only serve my kids chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese, then they will never learn to love other foods. Similarly, in some churches, women won’t attend a Bible study unless it’s led by a specific teacher. The result? Very often, picky eaters never learn to do the hard work of feeding themselves. They will only desire to feast on the milk that is provided to them.

True discipleship is about inviting others to the table {Hive Resources}

While all believers start their spiritual meals on the milk of God’s Word, they must learn to cut their teeth on weightier things. They must learn to feed themselves by learning how to mine the Scriptures without sustained assistance from workbooks or video-driven Bible studies.

Discipleship that caters to picky eaters produces self-absorbed servants, who come to the table only when what is served pleases them.

Although it sounds counter-intuitive, both heavy eaters and picky eaters are guilty of the same thing. They are guilty of feasting on God’s Word, although in separate measures. One feasts on only one type of food, the other on the entire contents of the table. Ultimately, feasters are selfish in nature,enjoying the lavish merriment of the table on their own terms.

But true discipleship is about training up life-long learners who seek to find ways to live out their faith.

True discipleship is about inviting someone to the table, providing a feast, and then teaching them to feed themselves so they can prepare a meal for someone else.  

In the end, we want disciples who are capable of discipling someone else. We want healthy eaters.

Is your church guilty of feeding or feasting? Ask yourself these questions:

–Do we ask new people to step in and serve? 

If not, we might be guilty of feasting by making perpetual guests feel comfortable so as not to scare them off. Disciples who are never expected (or asked) to serve never will!

This is a disservice both to the church body which needs all its parts exercising its gifts, and to the feaster, who never learns to put his or faith into action.

–Do we regularly call out new leaders to teach God’s Word? 

If not, we might be guilty of feasting by relying on the store bought “bread” of personality-driven Bible studies. Disciples who are never expected to reproduce themselves will only eat and never lead others to eat.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a time to feast! There is time to rest from service. There is a time to step aside and let newer believers do the heavy lifting ministry often requires. But as with any good diet, balance is the key.

I’m looking forward to that day when all our kingdom work is done, and you and I will enjoy a perpetual feast with our Lord, who made a place for us around his banquet table! (Rev. 9)

But until then, there is much to do to prepare for the party. And food battles do nothing but slow us down.

“And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, ‘See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.’ ” Matt. 22:1-4 

What do your church body’s eating habits look like? How do you win the spiritual food battles that produce heavy or picky eaters?

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.