Archive for September, 2008

Oops!

Posted on 30. Sep, 2008 by .

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In the 11+ years I’ve been a Children’s Pastor I’ve made my share of mistakes. There is nothing I love more than sitting around a table with others and hearing the mistakes they’ve made. It makes me feel better about some of the bone-headed things I’ve done in the past. Trust me, I’ve got some good ones. I’d like to think that some of the big mistakes were because I was in my early twenties and I really just didn’t know any better. Mistakes are a part of the growing process. I can tell you about all kinds of things that I do differently today because of mistakes I’ve made. So as long as we learn from our mistakes, don’t beat yourself up when you make them.… Read the rest

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I’m out!

Posted on 30. Sep, 2008 by .

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by the time this posts, I’ll be on an airplane headed to Canada. Actually I’ll be headed to Canada by way of Atlanta, GA and Salt Lake City, UT. Yes, it was cheaper to go that route. To be honest, I’d be perfectly happy to get to Canada by way of Lima, Peru (okay, maybe that is exaggerating just a little) if it means more time to read, sleep and eat.

We had some airline vouchers and a whole bunch of credit card points… and it’s been way too long since we’ve had a really nice vacation. My parents are here to watch Titus, so we are off to Canada. We’re actually headed to Banff, a perfectly magical town nestled in some of the most beautiful scenary I’ve ever seen (I’ve only seen pictures, so I’ll let you know if the real thing lives up to the photos).… Read the rest

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Near perfect day

Posted on 29. Sep, 2008 by .

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I’m on vacation. Since my parents came in town to take care of Titus as Sara and I left the country, I took a few days off before we left for vacation. From my experience, I am going to highly encourage the practice. It’s like getting warmed up before the big vacation. I’ve heard some people say that it’s best to take vacation and be gone for two weeks straight as you don’t really unwind until midway thorough the first week.

All I can say is that today was near perfect. I say near perfect only because I was a bit naughty and did a few minutes worth of work. It was Sunday and I took my parents with me to church.… Read the rest

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Full color sticky note pads

Posted on 25. Sep, 2008 by .

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Last year when I was helping my parents with their tax business we attempted a marketing strategy. We printed coupons for tax returns on post-it note pads. They were sharp. The idea was for them to get posted on car windows in parking lots. We ordered 12,500 notes, or 500 individual pads. Unfortunately I only had time to utilize 1200-1500 notes… so they have a lot for next year. They got 4 or 5 clients from the notes I distributed which easily paid for the $200 expense for the pads. I kept this information stored away for when I would need it again.

We’re launching a campaign in our church next month that every area of our church will be engaged in.… Read the rest

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Encouraging people to park in off-site parking lots

Posted on 25. Sep, 2008 by .

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It’s that time of year and the buildings are bulging at the seams. Although the parking lot is totally full, there are still some seats available. We do what most churches do in this situation. We use off-site parking. We’ve been able to get a fair amount of people to park in these extra lots, but we really need more.

I remember having a conversation with a staff member at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY (A church many of my friends affectionately called “Six Flags Over Jesus”). She said that the biggest group of people to use the off-site parking (and they had many off-site lots) were families of young children, mainly preschool and lower elementary. Why? Because these kids love riding the bus.… Read the rest

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One week from today…

Posted on 23. Sep, 2008 by .

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I haven’t had a countdown since the last few months before Titus was born. I had a little widget on my desktop that counted down to the minute. I haven’t been as consumed as I was about the coming of my son, but one week from right now, I’ll be on vacation. Serious vacation. Sara and I’ll be on our way to Banff, Canada. Actually, we’ll be on our way to Atlanta, then to Salt Lake City and then to Banff (it was cheaper to go through Atlanta, ok). Actually, I can’t tell you how excited I am to spend 7 hours flying. That will be 7 hours of no phone calls or emails. Seven glorious hours sitting with my wife, eating airplane peanuts (unless they’re charging for those things now) and reading a good book.… Read the rest

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Watching the numbers

Posted on 22. Sep, 2008 by .

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Something I’ve found to be true is that our “feeling” often deceive us. Too many times we also make decisions without taking an honest look at the data. One of my biggest pet peeves is when church leadership makes big (sometimes life-altering) decisions before getting all the facts. Looking at the data, interpreting the data and then asking some questions will help any leader really understand what is going on.

Last Sunday was a pretty full house here at Gateway. We’ve instituted the off-site parking shuttles and all the other things you do to “make room.” One of the things I learned last Sunday is that things were not as I had assumed. I learned an important truth. Because our attendance surged so high this last weekend, I was able to see something I hadn’t seen before.… Read the rest

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My Beef with Bible Bucks: My exception to the rule

Posted on 19. Sep, 2008 by .

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Yes, I think I’ve thoroughly covered my experiences (and opinions) on Bible Bucks programs. I sense that this is one of those “touchy” areas where many people have their strong opinions, and it seems that most people have very strong opinions on the matter. I think that’s great! All the more reason to hash stuff out, push the envelope and get some good ideas. As Jonathan said, Sacred Cows make good hamburgers.

There is one place though where I have done an incentive program. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, I don’t know. Although we didn’t do this at Gateway this year and I don’t know if or when we’ll do one in the future, but I’ve always put incentives in place at our Venture Quest (VBS programs).… Read the rest

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Policy Question: Lap Sitting

Posted on 18. Sep, 2008 by .

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We’re currently revising some of our policies at Gateway Church. Being new I bring a different perspective to the team. At previous churches I have had the policy that once a child is in Elementary, we strictly enforce the policy of children not sitting in adult volunteer’s laps.

However, the policy in writing at Gateway is that even Preschool (which includes out 2.5 through 5 years olds) has a not lap siting policy. I was a little surprised by this policy. This policy is not currently being followed or enforced at this time, but as we revise our policies we will be having follow-up training and communication. I just wanted to find out what others have as policies for preschoolers. I understand drawing a line for the safety of our children and adults, but is this too young?… Read the rest

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My Beef with Bible Bucks: How do I get rid of them?

Posted on 18. Sep, 2008 by .

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Yesterday I talked about my thoughts on Bible Bucks incentive/award programs. This was all inspired by Sam’s posts here, here and here. Anyway, my experience has been only negative or neutral, so I’ve had the pesky little habit of getting rid of them at the churches where I’ve worked.

So, thinking about getting rid of your Bible Bucks system? It’s easier than you’d think. I’ve done it three times and I’ve had exactly the same experience every time.

First of all, your biggest reaction will not be from the kids, it will be from adults. In all honesty, the most noise I heard from were volunteers, not parents. Usually it’s been the “we’ve been doing this for 7 years” thing or “Why would we get rid of something the kids love so much?” reaction.… Read the rest

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