Author: Erin English

How to Recruit Small Group Leaders

Kids ministry in the local church is probably the most influential mission field in the world. You’ve heard the statistics. This is a really big deal. Understanding this is key, especially when you’re recruiting. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of something like that? But what if there is something else to consider? Sure, your kid’s ministry is a life-changing environment that is compelling in its own rank. However, what about the life-changing ministry that happens with each adult in the room as well? If you’ve been working in kidmin long enough, you have a list a mile...

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Group Conversations with Kids

When my oldest boys entered the grade school environments at our church, my husband went with them, volunteering to lead a small group. The boys loved it and always chose to be in his group. John loved it too, getting a great opportunity to know the boy’s friends and build strong relationships with them that still exist to this day (Our oldest is 18 now!). Once they both graduated to student ministry, John realized serving in grade school was a cup filler for him and decided to stay on. Interestingly enough though, his table migrated to an all-girls group...

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What’s the Deal with Elementary?

It’s easy to lean in one direction or another when it comes to prioritizing age groups. Preschool is so foundational. It’s when kids are creating their very first impressions of God, church and the Bible. High School is the final stage before they venture off into adulthood. It’s when we have to shore up everything we’ve been working towards. Middle School is a MASSIVE transition. Elementary is so formative. Which one is most important? I don’t know. All I know is that every age is important. Every age has its critical moments. Elementary though, it’s a big one. Probably...

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Two Types of Checklists: Do-Confirm

In my last post, I mentioned the two types of checklists: Read-Do Do-Confirm Following specific pause points (click here to understand what pause points are), one of the above checklists follows. Where the Read-Do checklist operates by following specific steps (usually in order), like a recipe or assembly instructions, a Do-Confirm checklist is the opposite. You simply perform a task, something that you already know how to do or where steps are fairly obvious, and the checklist is read at a specific point to ensure that every step was followed or to ensure that nothing was forgotten. The Do-Confirm...

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Two Types of Checklist: Read-Do

Yesterday, we introduced the concept of the pause point. A term borrowed from the airline industry, pause points determine when checklists are run. Related specifically to pause points, two different types of checklists exists. These checklists are either: Read-Do Checklist Do-Confirm Checklist So, when you’re creating a new checklist for your ministry you should follow these steps (see, even this blog post is a checklist): Define a pause point Determine if the list following the pause point is Read-Do or Read-Confirm   For the purpose of this post, I’d like to spend some time unpacking specific ministry moments (pause...

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Breaking Ministry Down

Some things never change. Fifty years ago, the job of kidmin was to lead kids to know Jesus. That is true of our job today and will be true of our job in another 50 years. Comparing other aspects of kidmin from today to yesteryear is very interesting (sometimes even funny). Just about everything has changed. EVERYTHING! The “job” of leading kids to know Jesus has grown in immeasurable ways in the last decade alone. Things such as: growing complexity of programming and events increased safety & security protocols expanding ministries and churches The “job” has become significantly more complex. Where someone...

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Partnering with Parents

Need more volunteers? Of course you do. This is kidmin, right? There will always be a need for amazing men and women who will invest in the next generation. The problem we face each and every week – where do we find more of these amazing men and women? There are a lot of tactics, but let me share one that we’ve had success with lately. Think about our most readily available audience. It’s the parents of the kids who attend our programs, right? This isn’t a new thought. Many ministries have considered this abundant resource and we’ve all...

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I Wish I Had Known: Erin English

I recently welcomed a new team leader to the Early Childhood Team. While this leader has served within the life of the church as a volunteer, this is her first position as paid staff. As I reflect on the early days of my own ministry, I realize just how little I knew about, well, anything. Thankfully, God doesn’t call just the equipped, but He is faithful to equip the called. There are a few things I know now that I wish I would have known then. Here are my top three: Keep your eyes on Jesus This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning....

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Book Club: Strategic Volunteers

When I look back over all the books I’ve read as a vocational ministry leader, I think the one that has influenced me the most is the first one I read on volunteer leadership, or leading leaders. This book was Simply Strategic Volunteers: Empowering People for Ministry by Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens. Just a few chapters in, it helped me look at my role differently and do a 180 with my thinking. As a church staff children’s ministry leader, I first believed my primary role to be teaching and discipling children. What this book helped me realize was that loving...

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Goals & Ministry Evaluation (Part 2)

Ever struggle with goals (collectively, everyone raises their hands)? Have the staff you lead ever struggled with goals (collectively, everyone raises both of their hands)? We believe in goals and understand their importance, but why is it that they so often fall flat early in the process. Rarely do our ministries see significant improvement and growth but somehow seem to stay the same year after year. It’s possible that our approach to goals is similar to everyone’s approach to New Year Resolutions – and we all know how well those go. I truly believe that there is a better...

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