I’m going to brag a little in this post. Something happened yesterday that I didn’t expect. No one told me it was going to happen. However, seeing what happened encouraged me like nothing else.
I was the story teller in Elementary which meant I was stuck in our elementary environment most of the day. Although I had time between services to walk around a little and check on other areas, I spent most of my time backstage and with the other elementary large group volunteers. The first two services had gone very well and when 12:30 came around, I was excited to wrap up the final large group experience of the day. When I walked out on stage after worship, I looked out into the audience and did a double-take. There were only about 25 kids (it’s our smallest service by far), but I didn’t recognize ANY of the small group leaders. Well, I did recognize them, but not for that environment. Every small group leader in that room were middle school small group leaders.… Read the rest
About six months ago, I heard about this app on a podcast and it has undoubtedly impacted my life on a daily basis. It’s not just a handy app, but a go-to tool on my digital tool belt that helps me get stuff done every day. Let me set the scenario.
We all have to-do lists, right? That’s great. Some of us use them just to dump all the things we need to get done and some people take the extra step to assign due dates to each task to make sure it is finished the day it needs to be done. But what about that really specific task that has to be done before you leave the house, like taking out the trash. What about grabbing that form in your inbox before you leave the office? What about making that phone call at 3:45 this afternoon?
Yes, you can set an appointment on your calendar, but it’s easy to miss that appointment because you’re in the middle of something else when the reminder goes off – and then it’s gone. You can use reminders which is built into your iPhone and mac, but I’ve missed my fair share of things I couldn’t afford to forget because the reminder was too subtle and the snooze feature isn’t very customizable. If I’m on the phone when my reminder comes in, reminders may not remind me again in time.
Then I found the app that NEVER lets me forget anything. EVER!… Read the rest
Every week you send out an email to your volunteers and you’re frustrated when many show up having not read the critical information that you spent your precious time typing.
Every couple of weeks you send important email updates to the parents of kids who come to your programs and you can’t understand why more parents aren’t opening your emails. You wonder if they even care?
You’ve been calling the same list of potential volunteers for weeks and few people answers your call and no one calls you back.
Has everyone become apathetic and irresponsible? … Read the rest
A couple of years ago, my team and I had one of the hardest and most feeing conversations we’ve ever had as a team. It’s not a conversation I’d recommend just jumping into as it’s easy to have hurt feelings if it happens impulsively. The conversation was a part of a two day retreat where the focus was team building and dynamics. Here’s how the conversation went.
First, we asked the question, “How do you add value to the team?” Rather than answer the question yourself, the rest of the team answered for you. We took turns and around the circle, each team member had 30-45 seconds to share how that person added value to the team. It’s an encouraging exercise that isn’t that unfamiliar to team building. The follow up question was a little more unexpected.… Read the rest
Remember, remember the 5th of November. Yes, it’s Guy Fawks Day, but that’s not why I remember the 5th of November. For me the day has a special significance. November 5th, 2007 was the day I was let go from my my last kidmin position. I didn’t see it coming and it was not a fun day.
Here’s why I’m dedicating a post to remembering this special day. I’m actually hanging out with some staff friends from my last church and it’s been fun to joke about it. However, I think there’s a special observation to make.… Read the rest
If you have kids, this thought resonates with you.
The Internet is Dangerous!
It goes beyond just the internet though. Digital media, apps and games are turning young minds to mush. Screens are everywhere.
Parents often ask me about resources and services that can help and I’m usually scrambling to find resources to recommend. There are many good ones, but every one has limitations. However, I’ve never been more excited about a product/resources as I am about what launches today.Read the rest
Every December, I’m inspired by my friend Sam Luce with the list of books he’s read in the year. Last year he read more than 50 books. WOW! I think I might have read 8. For the last two or three years, I’ve made a conscious thought to read more books, but I never do. However, this year I tried something different and it worked. This year, I set a goal to read 18 books and this week I completed my 17th and 18th books. With two months left, I think I’ll hit 25.
Over the past 5-10 years, I KNOW that I’ve become better at what I do because of the books I’ve read. I’m probably influenced the most by mentors, relationships and experiences from conferences and trainings. However, what I’ve learned from the books I’ve consumed come in a close second. The books I’ve read have inspired me, equipped me and expanded my vision for the future. I know that my potential is connected to the books I’m reading. If you want to increase your potential, you better up your reading game as I’ve done with mine.
So here are two things I did this year that really seemed to work.… Read the rest
So, we’ve been doing child dedication the same way for the past 6 years and I’m feeling like it’s ready for a change. Trust me, I’m not thinking about changing it because I’m bored. It’s been working well, but I’ve seen a need for something else. I’d love your thoughts on the topic and to know if anyone else has considered this kind of change.
Here’s the situation. Child Dedication is primarily designed for kids three years old and younger. This is an age where parents are a little more likely to attend the required Preparation for Child Dedication Class (boring name, I know). In this class, we cast vision for parenting in a pretty profound way. We connect the dots for parents and show them resources they can use as they parents and explain how we want to partner with them along the way. It’s a great class, but there is a problem.… Read the rest
It’s sad that kids raised in ministry have a stereotype. They’re called PKs, but you already knew that because you have a few. Too often they grow up in the shadow of incredibly busy parents and develop some frustrating personality traits and qualities. They can be bratty, rebellious and walk around the church like they own the place. Sometimes this is the result of kids who aren’t getting the attention they need from a mom or dad drowning in the good work of ministry. Over the years, I’ve met many adult pastor’s kids who have broken relationships with their family and an abandoned faith.
I’m very aware of this problem and the very last thing I want is to lose my kids to the ministry. I want my kids to understand the work that I do. I want them to understand what drives me to work as hard as I do. However, I want them to love that they get to be Pastor’s Kids.… Read the rest
Tomorrow I’m heading to Kansas City for the Orange Tour, but first I’m hanging out with the kidmin team at Westside Family Church. I’m spending a couple of hours talking with them about building systems and processes. I’m pretty passionate about systems, processes and automation because when we do it well, it helps us hand off the things that anyone can do to others allowing us to focus on doing only the things that we can do.
In this training, I’m going to unpack an idea that is pretty critical. It’s something that most of us don’t see correctly. It deals with how we bring value to our organization. This is the idea:… Read the rest