Leadership Podcast with Jim Wideman

I’m happy to say that I’ve had Jim Wideman as a mentor and friend in my life for nearly ten years. He’s been a hero of mine for much longer than a decade, so it’s really fun to have access to him like I do now. Last month, he and I were in Atlanta together for NEXT, an informal gathering of NextGen and Family Ministry Pastors that I help organize. While at NEXT, Jim had me on his podcast. First of all, I have to say the the recording environment might have been my favorite. The last time I was...

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Celebrating T-W-E-N-T-Y Years of Ministry

Last month, I celebrated twenty years of vocational ministry. The first four years consisted of part time ministry while still in college followed by 16 years of full time ministry that took me to Indiana, Texas and now Arizona. It’s amazing to think of how quickly the time has passed. I thought I’d celebrate twenty years of ministry by simply sharing twenty things I’ve learned in the two decades of ministry. It’s impossible to get everything done every week. Don’t kill yourself or you family to “make it happen.” Sometimes things just take a little longer than we’d like....

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This Week is NEXT Week

I look forward to this week all year long. It might be one of my favorite weeks of the year. I’ve learned something very important in the second decade of vocational ministry. Never do ministry alone. There’s too much that we can learn from each other. One of the best investments of our time is to spend a little bit of time with someone else who does what we do. That’s why conferences, seminars and networking groups are so important. For the most part, they’re plentiful in the kidmin world. However, I’m a NextGen Pastor. The first 3-4 years...

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Think Outside The Walls of Your Church

This month, my second e-book with Orange released. My first e-book, Reprioritizing for group can be found here. My new ebook is all about our neighbors. It’s called “Think Outside Your Walls – Making a Shift in the Way We See Our Neighbors.” The premise is pretty simple. Tens of thousands of families drive by your church every day. These are people with hurts, needs and pressing situations. These families need the encouragement and resources we offer, but it’s never occurred to them that the local church might have exactly what they’ve been missing. One of the best things we can...

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Pay Yourself First

It’s still the first week of January and most of us haven’t yet given up on our goals/resolutions yet… right? I have a really interesting thought about doing more for yourself this year. We all have goals that get put off month after month, year after year. They’re they things we really want to do, we just don’t make the time for them. Losing weight Writing a book/resource Launching a blog Saving for retirement I’ve found that we rarely make ourselves a priority. We tend to take care of everyone else first. I’m not talking about being selfish. Just...

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How to Read More

The last couple of years, I’ve certainly upped my reading game. I’ve worked hard to make reading a priority. I read 20 books in 2015 and literally finished my 26th book on December 31st of 2016. Each year, I push myself to read more and each year, I’m my list of books read continues to grow. First of all, let me answer the obvious question. Why make reading a priority? Knowledge. Leaders are readers. A commonality of some of the greatest contributors in this world is that they were voracious readers. Knowledge matters. There’s a lot of ways to learn and...

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My 2016 Reading Goal

Two years ago, I decided to become far more intentional about reading. I began setting goals that really motivated me and I’ve read far more books than in years past. In 2015, I set a goal to read 18 books and ended up reading 20. For 2016, I set a goal to read 30 (maybe a little too ambitious of a jump), but I did end up reading 26. I’m going to use the excuse that I had a baby, started a new job and relocated. Regardless, it was a fantastic year in books and I can’t wait for...

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Volunteer Barriers

I’m fortunate enough to be part of a network of children’s ministry leaders in our area that gathers a few times each year. We use that time to catch up, encourage each other, and learn from one another. Often times, we take suggestions for what topics we’ll discuss as a group. Every time we ask for topics to discuss, there is one that always comes up the most. It’s recruiting volunteers. Leaders in our network consistently ask each other what they do to recruit volunteers. Rightfully so, as that is usually the biggest challenges children’s ministry leaders face. If...

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I Wish I Had Known: Joey Waters

I have a feeling you are a lot like me. I care greatly about the program/production experience kids have at my church. Although we want every kid to connect in a relationship, the worship/teaching experience is significant. How we communicate the gospel in an age-appropriate and compelling way is critical. How we create a large group experience where it is natural to truly worship takes effort. I want kids to experience Jesus in a profound way each and every weekend and it only happens when we adequately plan and prepare. I have the best job in the world. For the last...

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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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