This year our goal for Next Gen was to grow 20% and that is what we’ve been able to do. From August through September, we have had the highest kids attendance… EVER. However, October came and our numbers have been in the toilet. Two Sundays ago it was a very wet and rainy day which often affects our attendance, but this last Sunday was a beautiful day and numbers were low… like summer low. I’m going to be looking at some trends from the past four years (since I’ve not been here long enough to have the history). However, I do know that the flu bug has been vicious here. H1N1 has ravaged the state of Texas and there are a couple other flu strains that have been affecting our families. We’ve even had to change our well child policy this fall (we ask kids not to come if anyone in their family has had the flu that week) since H1N1 is contagious even before you know you have it. So although we usually experience a little bit of a decline in October and November, we usually don’t see our numbers take this big of a hit. Has anyone else had a noticeable attendance dip that was out of the ordinary (especially if you’re in Texas)? Let me know as this seems to be the best way gather information...Read More
Month: October 2009
Last week I held a little contest to give away my final Google Wave invite/nomination. Eleven or so people entered and yesterday I randomly picked one of the eleven (someone who had previously commented on this blog before). The winner? Kendra Golden! Woo Hoo! But that’s not all. That may have been my last invite, but I’ve got friends, co-workers and staff who have or will soon have more invites. So in addition, I sent invites to three more randomly selected people who commented on my contest post. Those people are Todd McKeever, Chris Chancey and Erin English. Yeaaaa! More winners. Who knows, maybe I’ll send out a few more when I get them. So, thanks to those of you who participated in my little contest. Even more importantly, thanks for being a part of this...Read More
I’ve been thinking a lot about ministry names lately. Currently the name of Gateway’s Children’s Ministry is Kid’s Quest. Kid’s Quest was well branded here, but I feel a new name and new look is just around the corner for us, maybe launching a new look near the end of 2010. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about. It seems like 5-10 years ago, it was a lot more common to find ministries with unique names. Now it seems it’s a lot more common for the Children’s Ministry to have some iteration of the church’s name. This makes total sense to me as you’re furthering the brand of the church through your ministry. I’ve been a part of a few churches where we’ve renamed the ministry to sync up with the church’s name such as CT Kids (Cross Timbers), Anchor Kids (Anchor Church) and GBC Kids (Graceland Baptist Church). Even when I look around, I see other leading churches that do this as well: LifeKids (Life Church), KidSpring (NewSpring), Kids on the Move (Church on the Move) and so many others (Although there are still plenty of big and influential churches that don’t follow this thought). So, what are you thoughts on...Read More
Did you hear the news? Several months ago Fellowship Technologies announced that they would release an app for the iPhone. Yesterday I downloaded it for myself. Beautiful. I imagine it’s just a start. Currently you can just look people up and see family, address and contact information (99% of what I need to do when trying to navigate F1 on my iPhone). It will be interesting to see if they further develop this app to view live check-in’s, manipulate ministry details, and even view submissions on weblink. Regardless, it’s a great app. It’s free and you can download it now from the iTunes app store. Click here to read their press release. Does Arena do that? I don’t think so! JC, I couldn’t resist....Read More
CMO: #kidmin Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-10-18 http://bit.ly/10xuqJ # CMO: #kidmin Google Wave â€“ Itâ€™s here! (kinda) http://bit.ly/L0zKg # CMO: #kidmin Wanna Wave Invite? http://bit.ly/4rsxrv # @jonathancliff my middle name is google. Just kidding google, I didn't mean it, really! in reply to jonathancliff # @coveredindust maybe Gary Foran does, if not call up Theresa rosza. # Early start this morning. Looks like I'm gonna be in meetings from 8 until 3. Then I've got a 2 hour phone call tonight. Here we go! # CMO: #kidmin I may use a Mac, but I didnâ€™t drink the Kool Aid http://bit.ly/TN8v6 # test #yam # follow Rick Shurtz on Twitter! @rcshurtz # just had a social media meeting with our staff led by @locustfist Lots of new Gateway Staff to follow. # Follow Matson Duncan on twitter @matsonia # @jonros you still in Ohio? in reply to jonros # Dude, I just sent my 5000th tweet and I missed it. Woo hoo! 5000 tweets! # getting ready to watch John Burke speak live from Korea. http://bit.ly/PBxUX # @karinpwilliams Ha! I'm just passing the word along. 🙂 in reply to karinpwilliams # @trozsa looks like you just click the blue "200K" button on the little player and you watch. in reply to trozsa # @samluce Hey, are you at a stop along the Orange Tour or just the leaders forum? in...Read More
I don’t know what kind of Apple hate this post is going to bring down on me, but I’ve just gotta vent. I was having a conversation with a fellow blogger yesterday (I won’t say any names as to not place a target on this person as well). I was talking about my current email situation. Last week I switched my work email over to gmail becasue I so passionately hate Entourage. Really, my biggest problem is that I just needed to be able to freakin’ sync my google calendar with my work calendar in any way. I’ve explored every option available and the best solution I had was to forward my email to gmail and use a google calendar. The positive side of things is that my wife can now see my calendar and all is well on that front. However, there are some issues I have to work around. Man, I wish it would just work. I guess this is what frustrates me. Google sync came out for Outlook nearly two years ago. A few months ago, I needed to work with some videos to put on our Kids Church computer which is a Windows machine. In order to work with this video file, I had to purchase the codec for $25. On a Windows machine it wouldn’t have cost me anything. I just read about this...Read More
When Google Wave was released, I wanted one in a serious way. Several of my friends began getting them. I knew that several of them got Wave without any invites where others did. I also knew that the people who got invites only got 8. 8 isn’t very many. So, I was incredibly grateful when my good friend Matt McKee sent me an invite last week. Since then, I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with Wave and inviting others I work with on a regular basis. I wasn’t really sending out invites to be generous, but to people I thought I’d use Wave with. Due to Wave’s slow release, it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t have people on Wave to collaborate with. Even Jonathan Cliff sent me a few extra invites to that I could get more of my staff team on Wave. So, I do have one left and I want to give it away to one of my blog readers. Through this blog I’ve done my best to share ideas, thoughts and stories. This time I want to share somethign a little more tangible (as tangible as a web-based service can be). So, here’s how the give-away is going to work. I can’t tell you how much I value those who read and interact with this blog. I strive to have good...Read More
A few weeks ago, Google Wave launched when Google sent out invites to 100,000 people. Those 100,000 had invites to send to others. It’s Google’s way of releasing a new service in a controlled way. Some say it’s so they can test server capacities but who knows, maybe it’s to amp up the excitement. I’ve had plenty of people asking me what Wave is. What is Google Wave you ask? Click here and watch a video about Wave (caution, it’s a little long). I’m not exactly sure that Wave is for everyone. Wave is a combination of email, IM and document collaboration service. However, if you’re just looking for a better IM, it’s not Wave. An I don’t really see Wave as any kind of replacement to email as this time, so you don’t want it for that. I’ve watched videos how you can use wave to invite people to a party and everyone can help plan what everyone is going to bring, but I’m not exactly sure who all is really going to use that. Maybe if everyone coming to the party works for Google, or if they’re all geeks. 🙂 However, if you find yourself working with other people on special projects a lot, then Google Wave might be your new best friend. Too many times I walk out of a long meeting where a bunch of...Read More
CMO: #kidmin Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-10-11 http://bit.ly/1tMAJY # CMO: #kidmin Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-10-11 http://bit.ly/15q7DX # CMO: #kidmin New family registration form http://bit.ly/163CWk # CMO: #kidmin Registration card resource page http://bit.ly/Ta7nr # Home for dinner, then back to the church again for morph. Having breakfast for dinner. Yum! # Fun reading all the U2 concert tweets from everyone I know who's there. Sounds like they had fun. I had fun not listening to U2. 🙂 # CMO: #kidmin Big postcard sale http://bit.ly/hOeAu # CMO: #kidmin The day I quit Entourage http://bit.ly/fV38f # @mattmckee I love me some Matt McKee! in reply to mattmckee # @coveredindust At this point I'd turn off the computer… in reply to coveredindust # @karinpwilliams seriously? You're going to see them again? You're a machine! in reply to karinpwilliams # @jessica_mckee Ha! I bet you do! 🙂 in reply to jessica_mckee # @karinpwilliams that's a good point. Enjoy them while they're still young(er) and healthy, not a bunch of geezers dancing around on stage. in reply to karinpwilliams # CMO: #kidmin Syncing Google Calendar and Contacts with your iPhone http://bit.ly/17ru3Z # @erin_english yes. http://bit.ly/3q9b0. This has helped communicate what is important to our parents. in reply to erin_english # what do you all think of this for a Kids Push: Love God, Love People & Show Your FRUIT! #kidmin # @mattguevara Ha! I...Read More
I always hate it when I miss an important anniversary. Sara and I missed one by a few days this year. On October 12th, Sara and I moved to the great State of Texas five years ago. We consider it one of our best achievements so far. Okay, we’ve had a lot of great things happen to us, but we’re just so happy to live in Texas. Some of you reading this aren’t from Texas and you may not get it. I don’t know that I can totally explain it. I think there must be something in the air. Now there are certainly places in Texas where I totally would not want to live, but it’s a state with a rich history and a state worth being proud of. Here are some interesting facts. Texas is a nearly self-sufficient state. Texas is the only state with a legal right to secede from the Union. (Reference the Texas-American Annexation Treaty of 1848.) So, if that ever happened, Texas could pretty much take care of itself. We refine over 85% of the gasoline in the United States. Defense Industry–we have over 65% of it. The term “Don’t mess with Texas,” will take on a whole new meaning. Oil – Texas can supply all the oil Texas would need for the next 300 years. Natural Gas – Texas has huge reserves of...Read More
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