Holly Furtick

Refreshing Conversations with Sheila Gerald and Wendy Perez

Today we begin our series, Refreshing Conversations.  For the next 10 or so weeks I will be playing back videos recorded from a pastors' wives retreat that I hosted called Refresh.  I couldn't help but take advantage of all the wisdom that was present.  I called in my good friend, Tonia Bendickson, to interview some of the leading Christian women in this nation.  You will hear about a full range of topics from minitry to family to leadership.  And you will hear from amazing women like Amy Groeschel, Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson.

Today we'll start with the topic of Raising Kids in Ministry.

First off is Pastor Sheila Gerald she and her husband, Pastor Kevin, lead Champions Centre in Tacoma, WA.  Sheila and her husband have been pastoring for over 20 years.  Sheila is a wealth of wisdom.  When I am around her, I just love to hear what she has to say.  Listen to her share about her past and hear her challenge to pray over your children…

Next we will hear from Pastor Wendy Perez.  Wendy is married to Pastor Benny Perez and together they lead The Church at South Las Vegas.  Wendy is a pastor's kid herself.  She is daughter to Pastors Wendell and Gini Smith who started The City Church in Seattle, WA, where her brother Judah Smith and his wife Chelsea now pastor.  Listen to Wendy talk about what her parents did right in reguards to raising kids in the ministry…


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Just One

Sidebanner_justone1-300x172 My friend Lori Wilhite is hosting a innovative conference this fall.  You don't have to pay, you don't have to get on an air plane.  You don't even have to leave your house because it is a virtual conference.

The topics include: Marriage, Relationships, Family, Time and Balance, Growth and Passion.

And Lori has an amazing line up of women speaking on a variety of topics (I was so honored to be included with these women).


Speakers include:

Lisa Jernigan and Patty Wyatt…………Donna Politz

Lisa Young………………………………Jenni Clayville

Cindy Beall………………………………Holly Furtick

Tiffany Cooper…………………………..Heather Whittaker

Kay Warren………………………………Lisa Hughes

Kerri Weems……………………………..Sherry Surratt

Natalie Witcher………………………….Amy Groeschel

Jessica Cornelius……………………….Brandi Wilson

DeLynn Rizzo……………………………Lori Wilhite

The conference will take every Tuesday from September 7th to October 12.  You will have two chances to listen each day, at 12 pm (EST) and at 9 pm (EST).  This is an amazing line up of women, I promise you won't want to miss it.

You don't have to register for the event.  You can simply log on each Tuesday at this link.  If you would like to receive reminder emails before each session, you can register here.

I am so thankful for innovative people like Lori who have a vision for the women of our generation, and she thinks outside of the box when it comes to reaching us.  I am also thankful that I live in a day and age where I can learn from amazing women like these with out even leaving my home.  Lori has been putting this conference together for months and I promise it is going to be amazing.  I hope you will be a part!

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Community Service With My Kids

I finished reading Same Kind of Different as Me this week  It was a great story (more on that in another post).  My greatest take away from the book was that I do not want my kids to grow up with the idea that serving the community means working at a homeless shelter in November and giving presents and canned goods to a needy family in December.

I want them to have a role in their community.  I want them to play a part in their community that will be missed when they go away to college.  I am not talking about the part they will play at our church.  That is a post in and of itself. I don’t know how I will go about doing this, or what it will look like, but it is a dream vision I have for my children.

My kids are small, so I start small.  Friendship Trays (previously blogged about here and here).  The first time we delivered Friendship Trays Elijah was about 18 months old.  On and off for the past 3.5 years, my friend, Amy Corbett and I, have had several different routes.  When the kids started preschool, we decided a summer route would be easiest.  So for the past 2 summers, every other Tuesday we deliver food.

It only takes about 1.5 hours from start to finish.  We keep the kids involved by letting them help us bring the food to each home and they enjoy it.  I know it is not much when you consider the needs of our community, but it is something.

Pictures from last Tuesday…


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Spiderman’s Elevation welcome

Once in a while, I do the announcements/welcome at our church.  The message is always the same (whether I do or someone else).  If you attend Elevation regularly you know it too.  It goes something like this…

Welcome to Elevation, if you are a first time guest, you are our VIP.  When you walked in you received a connection card.  If you would, please fill out the card and take it to our black tent, we have a gift we'd like to give you.  If you have been coming to Elevation for a while and are ready to get connected, head to our orange connection tent to sign up for community groups, volunteering and more.

Every once in a while I bring Elijah or Graham on stage to help me.  I guess they have heard it a lot.  Recently the have started playing "Elevation."  Elijah is Mr. Luke (one of our drummers), Graham is Mr. Mack (one of our worship leaders) and I will hear one of them say "You are our VIP."  One day I heard Graham say "In Jesus name, Amen!"

So the other day Elijah grabbed a toy mic and did the announcements for my husband.  You may have already seen it on his twitter but just in case you missed it, here's the link.  Maybe one Sunday you'll see Elijah do it all by himself.

Raising kids in the ministry is about accenting the positive and making church fun.  Its seems easy when they are little, but I have pastor's wives friends all over the country who have given me great ideas for the future.  One of them has a teenage son who runs a video camera, another one runs sound in their children's ministry.  It's all about ownership and responsibility.

I'm wondering if there are any ministry families who want leave a comment sharing how you get their kids involved at church?  I'd love to hear from you today.

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Elijah Furtick Presents: The Easter story

Yesterday Elijah came up to me insisting that I give him the keys to our car.  There was something out there he needed to get, he called it homework from church.  I showed him how to unlock the car and let him retrieve his stuff and never payed much attention to what he was doing.  He came in and got to work coloring and cutting.  Eventually he moved on to other things.

Several hours later, after dinner, he announced that he had a puppet show to do for us.  This recording is his second go at it, I just had to get it on tape.  Everything he says, he learned at church.  I couldn’t have been more proud of our children’s ministry. 

So without further adieu, Elijah Furtick presents: The Easter Story…


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Celebrating Easter

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One of the greatest things about having preschoolers is teaching them
the basic stories of our faith.  I don't want them to grow up thinking
Easter is a holiday about

bunnies and eggs.  We can have a lot of fun and keep the focus on

I bought a set of Resurrection
and did the first 3 last night.  My husband and Graham hid the
eggs and Elijah hunted them.  Each egg has a small representation of
the Easter story inside, and a corresponding page in the the book that shares scripture and talks about that part of
the story.  The first one is a donkey.

We had a great time.  You can buy these eggs at any Christian
bookstore, and I also found several links to making your own here and hereHere
is a link to a scavenger hunt with the eggs that is pretty good too.

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Family Christmas

A wise pastor's wife once told me that when it comes to raising kids in the ministry, Santa doesn't have to come on the 25th and the Easter bunny doesn't have to come on Saturday night. 

So, we decided to celebrate Christmas as a family last night before the whirlwind of services begin.  We kept it simple.  One present from mommy and daddy, one present from their brother.

We ate pancakes, opened presents, and finally found out what God wants for Christmas.  It was a great night.  The bike and scooter was a hit.

There's lots more celebrating to do.  I am praying for all the people whose live will be changed forever this Christmas season.

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What God Wants for Christmas

51ZC2SWD3AL._SS500_ A special friend of mine gave a really neat present for Christmas.  This.  Its a family activity called What God Wants For Christmas.  Its a small nativity scene with a book and seven presents.  Each night we read a story and open one gift.  Every story is about a character in the Christmas story and each gift is a figurine of that character for the nativity .

We don't do ours 7 consecutive nights because Christmas time is pretty crazy for us.  It works nice on the nights we are home to sit down and have a Christmas activity that is age appropriate for our kids. They have really enjoyed it.  I highly reccomend this for families with small children.

Here's a few pictures I took the other night…

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Our Halloween

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Hope you had a great Halloween!  We had a great time celebrating on Thursday with our staff as well as Saturday night.  I am proud to announce that due to a bet that I made (and lost) with my husband over the Miami vs Clemson game two weeks ago, I did not eat one piece of Halloween candy.  Nope not one.  Canes, you really let me down this time.

PS.  Click here to see pics from past Halloweens in the Furtick house.

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Best parenting advice

A few weeks ago, I got to speak at our church's baby and child dedication.  I must say it was the most challenging audience I have ever spoken to because of all the young children in the room.  In fact, about midway through, I paused and said, "Hey, don't anybody worry.  I am really good at talking over crying children.  I do it every day."  Needless to say, while it was the cutest audience ever, it was not the most attentive.

So, in one part of my message, I shared the best parenting advice I had ever heard, and I thought I would pass it along here…  Several months ago I was listening to a sermon series by Voddie Baucham  on the family (and Marybeth, if you are reading this, I still plan on returning your set.  Apologies:)) and he said something that has really stuck with me.  Here's the gist of he said…

During the first five years of your child's life, your primary objective as the parent is to teach them to do what you tell them to do, when you tell them to do it with a good attitude.  In short, to obey all the way.  He said that if your children do not learn to obey you, their parents, they will never be able to listen and obey God. 

This is so simply put but when you carry this out day to day, it can get pretty hard.  Its comforting to know that the most important thing I teach my children is not how to read before they go to kindergarten or how to identify every species of dinosaur before age 2.5.  Its also not to teach them to recite the confessions of our faith and the corresponding scripture.

The simple truth of obedience: Mommy and Daddy are in charge, not you (no matter how cute you are when you "no").  When I remember that that's the most important thing I teach them, its easier to be consistent.

How does this look in our house right now?
    For Graham (age 2), it seems like every time I ask him to come lay down to get his diaper changed he gives me this super cute, evil grin and backs away from me.  I have to be consistent with the consequences of not obeying, even for something so seemingly small.
    For Elijah (age 4), we are working on the attitude part.  Its hard to correct this one when technically he did obey.  But all throughout scripture we find God's true concern for the heart.  As Elijah's mom, I have to teach him that this is not acceptable.

I am preaching to myself.  No super-mom here.  Just a woman who wants to raise world changers and who knows that it all starts with the small things.

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