Month: November 2010

I’m so lame

I haven’t blogged in close to 10 days. Things have actually been slowing down a little, but I have all these little pet projects that are all coming due this week. Oh, and I’ve been doing a little extra chilling out and reading books and stuff like that. I’m heading up to Fort Worth for a few days so I’ll probably be quite here until...

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-11-22

CMO: #kidmin Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-11-15 # CMO: #kidmin Child Dedication nuts and bolts (Service details) # CMO: #kidmin Parents in Transition # CMO: #kidmin I am already thinking about promotion Sunday # Any #kidmin leaders want to weigh in with promotion strategies? # CMO: #kidmin Child Dedication nuts and bolts (Registration process) # CMO: #kidmin Book Review: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family # CMO: #kidmin Do you have a whiteboard in your kitchen? # Do you have a whiteboard in your kitchen? How do you lead your family? #kidmin # First dentist appointment in way too long… Probably going to be a long one. Also, might be getting braces soon. FUN! 😉 # CMO: #kidmin Child Dedication nuts and bolts (Information management) # CMO: #kidmin How do your families serve together? # CMO: #kidmin Child Dedication nuts and bolts (File management) # Powered by Twitter...

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Child Dedication nuts and bolts (File management)

This week I’ve been writing out every detail of our Child Dedication process. This post is my last entry in this series, and probably one that’s just a little shorter. 🙂 With the system and process that we have in place, it’s very important that we keep all the files nice and tidy so that when a class or dedication comes up, everything is easily accessible. I thought I’d give you a sneak peak into how we store all the files pertinent to our process. For the past two years, I’ve kept these files neat and orderly, but not in a convenient place for anyone but me. Yeah, they’ve been sitting on my desktop. If I’m being totally honest, the fact that these are sitting on my desktop is what inspired this entire series. On Saturday after finishing our most recent Child Dedication, I finally decided that it was time to move the files off my computer and onto the church’s server. However, I figured that I’d write this series before placing all the files on the server for safe keeping. I know, it doesn’t totally make sense, but that’s the way my mind works. So, in my Child Dedication folder, I have four sub-folders. Child Dedication Service, Media, Prep for Child Dedication Class and Service Files. I just hit one at a time for you. Child Dedication Service Folder This one is pretty simple. It...

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How do your families serve together?

Right now my church is developing new strategies to mobilize serving throughout the city. We want every attendee to serve the needs of their neighbors. I’ve never been a part of a church that was so outward focused. It’s still a little disorganized, but I’m really excited about where things are headed. I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about how I can serve my neighbors. Too often it’s really easy to hide behind our staff roles and serve our community through our jobs. My personal conviction is that it isn’t enough. I get paid to do that, so is it really serving? My wife and I have talked and we really want to find opportunities to serve as a family, specifically opportunities that would be appropriate even for Titus (our three year old). It’s really important to us that he grows up truly understanding what it means to have a lifestyle of service. Yesterday I came across this great video. I love the idea of families coming together and taking on a serving project like...

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Child Dedication nuts and bolts (Information management)

This week I’ve been writing a series of nuts and bolts posts about how we do Child Dedications here at Gateway. I love establishing processes for things that are done over and over so that excellence happens ever time and so that things get easier every time they are done. Yesterday I wrote about the registration process and today I want to explain how we manage the data so that multiple people can know exactly what is going on and who is involved. As I described in my blog post yesterday, we have a two part registration. One is for the Prep for Child Dedication Class and the other is for the actual dedication. The first registration is a Google form focused on getting information about the parents, family and situation where the second is a Fellowship One registration focused on getting information about the children being dedicated. The first form is feeds to a google spreadsheet that is always live. After classes have passed, we just edit the “class selections” to new dates or put “Classes are TBD, but we’ll contact you as soon as they’ve been scheduled.” This way we always have a place for parents to sign up. Nothing bothers me more than a note saying, “registration is not yet open, come back later.” With this alway live form, parents can sign up and know that they’ll be...

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Do you have a whiteboard in your kitchen?

I mentioned earlier today that I just finished Patrick Lencioni’s book “The 3 Big Questions for the Frantic Family.” I’m also nearing the end of a small group built around “Revolutionary Parenting” by George Barna. Both book, written by two different authors from two different perspectives and two different end goals seem to have one major thing in common. Success isn’t going to happen without intentionality and planning. I got the very strong feeling that families who are intentional and plan around the development of their family and kids are peculiar (not that this is a bad thing at all). I remember several years ago (before Titus), Sara and I went off for an overnight trip in Dallas to develop a mission, vision and core values for our family and people thought this was kind of weird. The conclusion I’m coming to is that families that proactively go after the spiritual development of their kids are the types of families that have whiteboards in their kitchens. Maybe it’s not that extreme, but maybe they have sticky notes all over their bathroom mirrors (not reminders of when to pick up the kids from school) or giant sheets of paper taped to the wall in their home office outlining their goals, plans or improvement plan. So, are you a whiteboard family? If you’re one of these types of families, how do...

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Book Review: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of books about family ministry. Almost a year ago, I purchased 5-7 books on the topic of parenting or family ministry and lately I’ve been burning through that stack. Last Friday I finished Patrick Lencioni’s book, “The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family.” I can’t even begin to tell you how great this book was. If you’ve read any books by Patrick, you know his style and technique and I’ve never found anyone who didn’t like his approach. Although he normally writes books for CEO’s and businesses, this one is aimed at the family. Why? Patrick explains that when he talks to CEO’s and executives in companies, they often talk about their families and how their families are even more important to them than their companies and careers, but most feel like their families are frantic and disorganized. Lencioni recognized this in his own family as well and began to recognize the problem. Most parents don’t see their families as organizations, yet it is probably the most important organization they’ll ever be a part of. When parents stop reacting and begin to take action using some of the same principles used by successful companies, they might be surprised by the results. When I closed this book, I was ready to get started. Sara and I are currently in a small group working through the...

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Child Dedication nuts and bolts (Registration process)

As much as possible, I try to automate as much of our processes as possible. I’ve gone back and forth on several methods but have finally arrived on what I feel is a pretty effective model for Child Dedication that is simple and efficient. We used to be overwhelmed by questions about child dedication or child baptism which prompted me to put every bit of information a parent might need to know about what we believe and do on our website. Click here to visit our dedication page. Currently it isn’t very pretty, but it’s functional. I’ve trained our receptionists, admins or anyone else who might get emails and phone calls about dedication to direct people to the dedication page on our website. From here, families can lean what we do, why we do it and register for the next available class. Registration for Child Dedication is a two step process for most families. Let me explain what I mean. Attending a Prep for Child Dedication Class is required to participate in Child Dedication. So, on the website they are directed to register for a class (I usually offer 3 classes for convenience). However, I usually have one or two families who have already attended the class, but want to dedicate new children. I usually don’t require them to attend the class again, but send them a link to the registration for the...

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I am already thinking about promotion Sunday

A few days I got an email from a friend in TN asking me some questions about how and when we promote. I’m really glad he asked because it reminded me of some questions I wanted to revisit and some frustrations I’ve run into for the past two years. He wanted to know what other churches do, so I figured I’d ask all of you. First, let me explain what we do here at Gateway, why we do it this way and what I’ve been frustrated about. For the past two summers, we promoted in August, the week kids start their new classes in school. Actually, I’ve promoted the week school started every year I’ve been in ministry except for one I think. I’ve always preferred promoting at the end of the summer for several reasons: It gives those Kindergarteners promoting into 1st grade an extra 2-3 months to mature and get ready for the older environment. It allows our 5th graders one more summer to participate in Kids Camp as Middle School Camp might be too much for them and if they haven’t promoted yet, there won’t be any confusion on what camp to attend (If I’m being perfectly honest, it’s probably my desire to hang on to the 5th graders just a little bit longer). Promotion Sunday is always a highly attended Sunday as families are all...

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Parents in Transition

Time flies fast from elementary to college age, so get ready to change your parenting habits. Every child seems to move in warp speed toward the teenage years. I was caught by surprise when a new declaration of personal independence was automatically assumed the day my son got his driver’s license. It was as though I represented an oppressive and extremely unfair regime whenever I tried to enforce any rule. (Whenever I said no to one of my teenage daughters, she would go to her bedroom, close the door and play Britney Spears’ “Overprotected” over and over again for over an hour, loud enough for me and the whole house to hear.) I have to admit, it was difficult for me to transition from parenting children to parenting teenagers. I had worked with teenagers all of my life, but I had never actually had any living in my home. I am still a recovering parent of teens, but here are a few things I have recognized about this chapter of parenting: It’s a complicated time. While your children are transitioning from being dependent to independent, you are transitioning as a parent from having authority to leveraging your influence. You can’t parent them the same way you did when they were in elementary school. It’s an urgent time. Face it. You know a window is closing fast. Ready or not,...

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