I hired myself…. 6 times.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I didn’t hire all of my staff (some were inherited). But, 4 out of the 6 people who work with me in CT Kids all have the same personality as me. For many years I’ve been a big fan of the Myers Briggs personality test. For all kinds of staff trainings, I’ve given this test to my team. Now there are all kinds of personality tests out there, but this is by far my favorite. It seems to go a step beyond the others as it divides the population into 16 different personality types. Click here to take the test and click hereto learn more about it. I’ve often found it helpful to take as a group as it shows how different temperaments can work together and how teams can avoid conflict by better understanding they way everyone is designed. I know it’s helped me show a lot more grace to those who often frustrated me. It’s part of understanding the unique way that God has designed us. A few weeks ago I took my staff on a retreat. The first thing I did was have everyone sit around and take this personality test. My personality is ENFJ, which makes up only about 5% of the poplulation. I remember taking this test for the first time while I was an intern of a large missions organization....

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SURGE: Kids in Missions

With great excitement I’m embarking on a great new ministry for kids at Cross Timbers. This July I’ll be taking a team of 40 to Mexico on a missions trip. Although mission trips to Mexico are about a common as Baptist Churches in the South, the unique element of SURGE is that we’re taking 4th and 5th graders. Honestly, my idea to take 10 and 11 year olds out of the country isn’t because I’m a risk-taking junkie (although some adults may think from the way I run lock-ins). Actually the idea to begin SURGE was birthed in me almost 5 years ago. Having done extensive short-term missions work, there is no doubt I have a heart for the lost, especially the unreached. My passion for missions has undoubtedly influenced my ministry to kids (all the kids are very familiar with T.H.U.M.B. and the 10/40 window). I know that God calls some to full-missions even as young as children… but the opportunities are very rare. Last of all, I know that a mission trip experience can be like Miracle Grow for a young person’s faith as well as an excellent opportunity to plant a vision for world missions. So I concocted a plan for outreach and missions for 3rd-5th graders. First of all, SURGE would be directly connected to our Small Group ministry. This will be for kids who...

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GO TO SCHOOL!

 Okay, I know that sounded really demanding. Also I know that school is almost out (two more days in my neck of the woods). However, this needs to be said. If allowed, every children’s pastor needs too be in the schools of the kids they serve. About two years ago I made a commitment to bring lunch to every 3-5th grader who was in small groups. It has been a challenge to bring lunch to 50+ kids in just 12 weeks. However, the investment pays off so big! Usually when having lunch with one of my kids, they invite 2 or 3 friends from their class to sit a the visitor table. At some schools, I actually get to sit at the classroom table. Since all the kids are curious about who I am, the kid I’m visiting explains that I am Mr. Kenny and the proceed to tell everyone about their church. How great is that? I’ve heard Craig Jutilia of Saddleback (previously) say many times that it is in the relationship department where we’ll find our biggest wins (our secular competitors will usually beat us in the programming department). Hanging out a kid at lunch advances me forward light years in my relationship with that kid. In addition, I begin forming new relationships with all the friends, making it that much easier for the kids to invite their...

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The Multi-Site Advantage

  Sorry, I still have multi-site on the brain. I was thinking about my last two posts all weekend and felt that I needed to emphasize the last few sentences of my most recent post. This was the thing that I found so beautiful and so powerful about multi-site kids ministry. Anyone who pastors kids knows that it is a lot of work. Many hours go into it. Now tell me if you don’t think this is true, but I believe that whether you lead 50 kids or 500 kids, you’re doing the same amount of work. Okay, I did exaggerate a little. With 500 kids, you will have more work because there are more volunteers to oversee and more resources to purchase and organize. However, the core tasks remain the same no matter how many kids you have in your ministry. It’s going to take the same number of hours to prepare you lesson for elementary. Four kids, forty kids… who cares, you still have to write the lesson that is unbiased to attendance. Same goes for Preschool Same goes for summer camp, outreach events and the like. To be honest, it’s not really fair. Because I have 500-700 kids attend on a weekend, I have 3 full time staff, 1 intern and 3 part timers. However, the CP at the newest campus runs 170-225 and he’s all...

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My Multi-Site Evaluation

Okay, my last post was getting too long and I hadn’t even gotten to my honest evaluation. So, I decided to add a separate post of my evaluation. I’ve been intimately involved in a multi-site church for about 18 months on various levels of leadership. In addition, our style of multi-site leadership has changed over the past 18 months. So, this evaluation is simply my honest opinion based on my experiences. As a children’s pastor for a lot of years, I kind always felt a little isolated. In the early years when I was doing it part time or full time by myself, it was difficult to find time to network with others… or sometimes even find people to network with. I don’t know if it was just me, but a lot of my network attempts were very awkward. Again, maybe this was just me, but I sometimes felt I was being evaluated or coached by others from larger ministries and those from smaller ministries tended to be on a defensive. I just found it hard to just relax and just enjoy being with others who served kids like me (it may have just been my area too, since I’ve been to conferences and have had no problems with this). However, regardless of the awkward unions, many times different churches approach ministry from different philosophies that it is hard to...

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