The Art of the Pre-Service Huddle

For years, one of my biggest frustrations was getting volunteers to show up on time. After talking to others, I discovered that I wasn’t alone. Honestly, getting anyone to show up for anything on time is a modern-day challenge. However, when services begin at 9:00 and volunteers are showing up minutes before (or even after), ministry leaders will literally lose their minds. However, I’ve found the solution to this little problem. The Pre-Service Huddle. Actually, the Pre-Service Huddle wasn’t created just to get your volunteers to show up on time, but timeliness with your volunteers is a welcome side effect....

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Recruiting Coaches

One of the most important components to a healthy and growing small group program is the coaching system. A small army of coaches to lead, inspire, train and equip small group leaders is simply essential. However, most churches don’t really have them. Most don’t know where to get them. Many don’t even know where to start. That’s okay, everyone starts somewhere. I was leading a large small group ministry for nearly seven years before I started installing coaches. Now I wouldn’t do ministry without them. Once I transitioned to MISSION, the first task I started working on was to...

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Your Biggest Limitation

There’s a dirty little secret to leading small groups for kids. It’s a weakness. A limitation. A barrier that your groups will experience in time. Even if you don’t see it, it’s always there. Others will definitely see it, they just might not say anything because they’re “polite.” Regardless, this issue will limit your success and growth. The sooner you deal with it, the better. Are you ready for this? Your biggest limitation to a ministry of healthy, thriving and life-giving small groups is… YOU! I get it. There’s always a “season.” You’re launching groups and it’s going to require...

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How to Recruit LIFETIME Small Group Leaders

Volunteer recruitment is most likely one of the hardest and most time-consuming aspects of your job. You never have enough helpers to get it all done, and when you are finally getting to that place of calm, someone asks if you have time to talk. What if you could walk over to the wide open back door and leave it only partially cracked? Imagine what it would be like to have a team of committed small group leaders instead of a mismatched group of babysitters. Sounds great, doesn’t it? What if most of your small group leaders actually served...

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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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A Small Group Ministry Framework

Maybe one of the greatest ministry tragedies is when a ministry outgrows its leadership. I see it happen all the time. Something good is happening which causes growth, but the growth put’s pressure on the organization and things start to fall apart. Structure is a key the key to handling growth. Structure will also help you overcome a hectic and frenzied ministry environment. Don’t have enough small group leaders? Structure will help. Have you reached your limit on how well you can lead all the people you are leading? Structure will help. Are parents or kids getting something less than...

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Structuring For Thriving Groups

What if I told you, your small group leadership team could be bigger and stronger than what you see today? You could have enough small groups where every kid has a front-row seat in the circle. You could have volunteer leaders would stand shoulder-to- shoulder with you, carrying the weight of ministry? You could experience big attendance weekends don’t feel like a “brace for impact” moment but more like a moment you’re prepared for. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? It is possible. It’s not easy. But it is possible. EXPERIMENTING WITH STRUCTURE There’s this experiment I like to do when...

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What About Preteens?

One of the greatest children’s ministry challenges is deciding what to do with preteens. 4th and 5th graders (or 5th and 6th graders depending on schools in your area) are losing interest in your church. They WANT to attend your student ministry, but they’re not old enough yet. They don’t want to be in your children’s ministry, it’s too juvenile. They’re far too mature for that. They’re “tweeners.” They don’t fit anywhere. They’re in between. Here’s the interesting thing about preteens. They’re still kids. They are really active. They love to jump around, giggle and act crazy. But they...

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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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