How Small Groups Work in Preschool

If you are not already using weekly volunteers in preschool, I hope my last post convinced you to make it your top priority. Today, I want to show you how we do small groups in preschool. Yes, it’s different from elementary school or student ministry, but it actually works for preschoolers, toddlers, and babies. There are many different ways to approach forming small groups in your preschool environments at church and degrees to which you can logistically make this happen. At my church, we have opted to “major” on the relational connection with leaders and “minor” on the logistical connection created...

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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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Book Club: Parent Chat

I’m in that season of life where I’m reading a lot of books about how to have difficult conversations with my kids. Unfortunately, I’m finding that it’s easier to read the books than it is to have the talks. Here’s what I’m learning about the talks: I’m a professional. I lead and communicate to kids for a living. I am equipped with all the right content. I have a small library of amazing resources. Yet I still struggle with having the conversations that my kids need. There are a lot of books that talk about sex, pornography, technology and other...

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Book Club: Raising an Original

I was recently handed an advanced reading copy of a parenting book called, Raising an Original, by Julie Lyles Carr. Julie is a remarkable woman. She’s a mother of 8 kids (the original Octo-Mom), leads a non-profit, home schools her kids, serves as the women’s pastor at her church, speaks all over the United States, and makes sure her kids are where they need to be when they need to be there. I was intrigued because I’m actually quite amazed by this woman. No one has enough time and somehow she’s doing far more than I am with excellence...

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The Perfect Child Dedication Gift

So, I’m at a new church and I’m leading a child dedication in just a few weeks. Doing things for the first time at a new place always inspires me to rethink what I’ve been doing. I spent nearly a dozen hours revamping the material I teach in the prep for child dedication class, which was a long time coming. However, I’m rethinking what we give to parents who dedicate their children and I thought I’d ask what others are giving away? When I first came to Gateway (8 years ago), they were giving away a child’s gift Bible...

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I’m Sorry

I’m sorry. Can we say that together? “I’m sorry.” These two words might be the most powerful words to come out of your mouth and they’re two words every ministry leader needs to get used to using on a regular basis. Let’s say that together one more time. “I’m sorry.” See, that wasn’t so hard, was it. Some of the biggest frustrations we’ll encounter in ministry are frustrated parents and volunteers. Not a Sunday goes by where I’m not having a challenging conversation with someone. I’ve found that the the more responsibility you have, the more frequent these conversations...

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The Internet is Dangerous

If you have kids, this thought resonates with you. The Internet is Dangerous! It goes beyond just the internet though. Digital media, apps and games are turning young minds to mush. Screens are everywhere. Parents often ask me about resources and services that can help and I’m usually scrambling to find resources to recommend. There are many good ones, but every one has limitations. However, I’ve never been more excited about a product/resources as I am about what launches today. Meet Circle For the past 3 months, I’ve had this little device in my home helping to manage and...

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Thoughts on launching a Parenting Class

So, we’ve been doing child dedication the same way for the past 6 years and I’m feeling like it’s ready for a change. Trust me, I’m not thinking about changing it because I’m bored. It’s been working well, but I’ve seen a need for something else. I’d love your thoughts on the topic and to know if anyone else has considered this kind of change. Here’s the situation. Child Dedication is primarily designed for kids three years old and younger. This is an age where parents are a little more likely to attend the required Preparation for Child Dedication...

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Raising a PK (Pastor’s Kid)

It’s sad that kids raised in ministry have a stereotype. They’re called PKs, but you already knew that because you have a few. Too often they grow up in the shadow of incredibly busy parents and develop some frustrating personality traits and qualities. They can be bratty, rebellious and walk around the church like they own the place. Sometimes this is the result of kids who aren’t getting the attention they need from a mom or dad drowning in the good work of ministry. Over the years, I’ve met many adult pastor’s kids who have broken relationships with their...

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Aligning Momentum with your Strategy

Something amazing happened yesterday. We opened registration for Winter Camp 2016 and in just 24 short hours, nearly 200 kids were registered. To clarify, Winter Camp is still 4.5 months away and over half of the kids who will come signed up on the opening day of registration. But it wasn’t an accident. We simply aligned momentum with our strategy and then just watched it all happen. Here’s what we did: First of all, we’ve really refined our strategy over the past 2-3 years. Just about everything points to small groups now. We put almost all our energy and...

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