Archive for September, 2012

Holy Kow! Kidmin Starts Tomorrow!

Posted on 26. Sep, 2012 by .

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Technically, it starts on Friday, but I travel to Chicago tomorrow. This is my second year to be involved in Group's Kidmin Conference and this is Group's second year to host the event. Kidmin has a special place in my heart for two reasons. Group was kind enough to invite me to dream with them about a new kidmin specific conference. Over two years ago, a dozen of us gathered in CO to talk about what the Kidmin Conference would be like. It was just really cool to be invited into that process... I still feel honored. The Kidmin Conference defied my expectations last year. I honestly didn't know fully what to expect. Kidmin is different with a very different approach to conferences. It's more than just breakouts and keynotes. There his a HUGE relational component. Going into last year, I just didn't know what to expect. I was afraid it might feel forced or less than authentic... and I was so wrong. It was beautiful.

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Room ratios in your kidmin space

Posted on 25. Sep, 2012 by .

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Confession: I’ve been in ministry for 15+ years, and I’ve never been a part of a ministry construction project or remodel. I’ve come to churches right after they’ve finished or left shortly before. However, it looks like I might get to take part in a ministry expansion and remodel in the coming years. This should be exciting.

I’m in the early phases of getting ideas to the architect. However, I had a quick question for the kidmin crowd… specifically for anyone who has gone through a construction project in the last several years.

I remember reading/studying years ago about square footage needs for children’s ministry. When it comes to educational space:

  • You need 35 square feet for every child kindergarten and below
  • You need 30 square feet for every elementary child

Does anyone know what to shoot for in a large group area? If I’m going to have a “theater” type space for 150 kids, what kind of square foot range to I need to supply?

Lastly, are the measurements I listed current? Are they just a rule of thumb? Are the minimums? Help me out here. In evaluating our current space, we’re finding that we’ve been crunching too many kids in our spaces and we hope to remedy all of this in our new addition.… Read the rest

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For my fellow bloggers: Feedburner concerns

Posted on 24. Sep, 2012 by .

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I just realized this weekend that all my feed subscribers seem to have disappeared. Not sure what that is about. Looks like it's been like this for almost a week. Since it's been a week since I've posted on this site, I'm not even sure if the service is working or not... like delivering feeds. I'm not super concerned, as there have been days in the past where the feed has shown zero, but this is a little longer than ever before. I started doing a little investigation and found a few things.

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Kid’s Church Worship: Easy as 1-2-3

Posted on 24. Sep, 2012 by .

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I'm almost overwhelmed by the number of resources for kid's ministry worship these days. Well, maybe it's not overwhelming, but compared to where we were 10 years ago, the difference is night and day. Many kid's church environments out there have live bands or utilize presentation software with all the bells and whistles. However, the majority don't. The majority of kid's church environments have a TV and a DVD player, so it's up to volunteers and staff to figure out how to get quality worship on DVDs... and if they do, there's still that awkward pausing and skipping from song to song to match the song order planned for that day. This is why I love the newest product out from God's Kids Worship. I'm a little behind getting the word out, but it's not too late for you to take advantage of this amazing resource. It's called Next Worship. It's a year of worship on DVD format that makes worship simple for the small and large church alike. Here's what you get:

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Kidmin non-negotiables

Posted on 12. Sep, 2012 by .

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The last couple of days, I've been talking about creating safe environments within your children's ministry. It's too important to "wing it" or think that the chances of something happening are slim, so it's not worth getting so particular about everything. Today I simply wanted to introduce a couple of non-negotiables. Hopefully, if you read this, you're already doing these things. I'd love to hear back from some of you and know what your non-negotiatbles are.
  1. Background check and screen all workers - This doesn't matter if they work every week, once a month or two times a year. If they have access to kids, they need to go through the process. What about having parents come in and help? This is an area where some people fudge a little. I'm obstinate about this.

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Guardrails in your children’s ministry

Posted on 11. Sep, 2012 by .

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Last week I I wrote a post about close calls in ministry, how they're more often celebrated as successes rather than serious warnings. My general concern is that far too many churches are playing with fire. Either a lack of knowledge or a lack of organization often leaves far too many opportunities for bad things to happen in the church. More often than not, bad things don't happen. A policy goes ignored for years because it doesn't seem really all that critical and nothing has ever really happened anyway. As leaders in ministry to kids, we have to be better than this my friends. It's far too important not to have guardrails in your ministry. I know that for many of you, I'm preaching to the choir, but I also know that there are many who have not closed these gaps yet. Here are a few reasons why you must have guardrails in your ministry:

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Are you ready for a Soul Revolution?

Posted on 10. Sep, 2012 by .

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Yesterday my church began a corporate revolution. It's not the first time Gateway Church in Austin has participated in the Soul Revolution, but I'm very excited for what this will mean for both my church and for myself as well. Four years ago my pastor, John Burke, released his book Soul Revolution as a guide to Christ followers to revolutionize their spiritual life. Since that time I've met scores of people who describe how their lives were radically changed during the 60/60 experiment which makes up Soul Revolution. The basis of Soul Revolution and the 60/60 comes from the conversation Jesus had with his disciples in John 15. He very simply compared spiritual health and growth to a branch that is connected to the vine. If the branch stays connected to the vine, it will produce fruit. If it does not stay connected to the vine, it will whither and die. Could it really be that spiritual health and growth could be as simple as this. If we can stay connected to the Spirit of God, would we produce fruit?

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Do we see close calls as wins or warnings?

Posted on 04. Sep, 2012 by .

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I read a very interesting article in Wired Magazine last month titled "The Fire Next Time." The whole article is about our tendency to see near misses and close calls as successes or lucky breaks. We can take a cue from hollywood. Pretty much every action flick depends on close calls and lucky breaks for success. The article mentions that we think of success or failure in binary terms... either something was successful or it wasn't. The main illustration was the catastrophe of the Columbia almost a decade ago. It was determined that the culprit was a piece of foam that fell off the external fuel tank during blastoff, damaging the ship critically. The truth is that the problem of foam coming off during blastoff had been reported on nearly 80 previous shuttle launches. Engineers even warned about this problem during the shuttle design process. This was clearly a problem... or potential problem, but because nothing had happened before, it was a problem that was easy to ignore.

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