Archive for 'Resources'
Posted on 12. May, 2013 by Kenny.
About a month ago, I started seeing tweets and facebook updates about people waiting in virtual lines for the new Mailbox App for iPhone. I was intrigued, so I jumped in line. It took almost 2 weeks before I got access. Within minutes I was saying, “Wow, this is a pretty cool app.” However, or the past several weeks, I’ve simply been “playing” with Mailbox. I use it as my primary email client, but I didn’t really use it the way it is intended to be used.
You see, the creators of Mailbox realized that mobile email is kind of broken. People read their emails and often mark them as unread or flag/star so they can do stuff with it later instead of really working their inbox from the phone. Mailbox was designed to push your toward inbox zero. Inbox zero is pretty much the goal of getting rid of every email in your inbox on a daily basis. It’s the idea of working a system so that every email is either answered quickly, deleted, archived (searchable for later), delegated to someone else, pushed back for later or put on a list to be done. If you can apply this system quickly to every email that comes in, there isn’t any reason why you can’t get to inbox zero every day. Then when you have some extra time (on your determined time), you can work on the emails on your to do list.
I saw I’ve been playing with Mailbox because I have four emails connected to Mailbox and for the past 2-3 weeks, I’ve had a little over 3000 unprocessed, read or starred emails in the combined inbox. Then today, something happened.
Posted on 02. May, 2013 by Kenny.
Several years ago, I read a pretty amazing book by Patrick Lencioni, Three Big Questions for the Frantic Family. Lencioni writes amazing books for business leaders about overcoming dysfunction within teams, having better meetings, clarifying core values and other important business objectives. However, he dipped into sacred family territory with Three Big Questions and I must admit, it made quite the splash in my family. Within a couple of weeks, we had a chalk board in our kitchen and several of our friends moved chalk and dry erase boards into their kitchens.
Was the book helpful? Yes! Are we good at applying the principles. Not always. Maybe we just need a coach to help us move along at times.
A new book just came out that approaches the same topic. Bruce Feiler wrote the book, The Secret of Happy Families. Bruce was inspired by Agile software programing, a system to keep teams on track with software development and saw connections to daily family life. The system encourages practices which encourage flexibility, bottom-up idea flow, constant feedback and accountability. Why not apply this to the family. He did and the result was a best-selling book and a TED talk.
What do you think? Have these business/family crossovers been helpful? Inspiring? Lacking?
Anyway, below is the TED talk by Bruce Feiler:
Posted on 26. Apr, 2013 by Kenny.
My 5th Orange Conference has been a very different experience. For years I’ve been coming to learn and gather with others who are seeking ways to better partner with families and impact kids and students. That was a common thread this year as well, but the difference was a specific focus on connecting with other NextGen and Family Ministry Pastors and Directors. Wow, what an experience.
Five years ago I came to Orange only days before beginning my new role as a NextGen Pastor at Gateway Church. At that point in time, I only knew three people who did what I did, and I only had a relationship with one of them. About 6 months ago, I started putting a list together of other NextGen and Family Ministry people and quickly got to 30-40 people. However, in the last two weeks, my list has jumped north of 200 names. WOW! Something is happening here!
My emphasis this week has been about connecting with these people and it’s been a very successful week. NextGen and Family leader have come out of the woodwork. Now, it helped that we led a NextGen leader track at Orange and I got to host or speak at each of these breakouts. I added many people to my list from conversations after breakouts. Yesterday, I was interviewed on the Orange live stream and after talking about my list of NextGen leaders, I got tweets from 6-10 additional people.
Lastly, I was able to have breakfast with 25-30 of some of the sharpest NextGen leaders I’ve ever met. We talked about our biggest challenges, our biggest needs and what beginning a conversation might actually look like. I can’t tell you how excited I am about what is coming for this obscure, new and rapidly role that is so significant for so many churches.
So, I know that most of the people who read this blog are children’s pastors. However, if you happen to be NextGen or Family Ministry Pastor (primarily defined as a staff role that has direct oversite of both kids and student ministry), I’d love to add you to my list. Just contact me on this blog or send me a tweet. There’s a little info I’d like to get from you.
Posted on 25. Apr, 2013 by Kenny.
Orange released a new app yesterday. It’s both frightening, amazing and depressing all at the same time. Whatever emotion you feel, it’s a truth that no parent should ignore. We have limited time. Below I have put in both of my kids. Wow! Time is ticking away!
This app allows you to put in a child’s birthdate and it estimates the time left until their graduation. It is a visual representation of the time we have left to influence a child before they leave home.
You can also add in specific events and see the countdown until that day.
When you see the time you have left, you get serious about the time you have now.
Posted on 15. Apr, 2013 by Kenny.
Today, we had a slight emergency. It was a great reminder about how carful we need to be in so many aspects of Children’s Ministry.
Every Sunday, we provide snacks like Cheerios and Goldfish to our preschool kids. To save money, we usually buy generic. We’ve been buying the generic version of Cheerios from a local grocery store for a couple of years now. However, a long-term volunteer brought a grave concern to us today. He said, “are you aware that the cheerios we’re feeding the kids could be contaminated with peanuts?” He handed us the box and there it was.
For years, we’ve been unaware. Probably lucky though, we currently don’t have any kids who are crazy allergic to peanuts, but I’ve had kids in the past who were. There’s not even a guarantee that a kid with peanut allergies would be affected by this product, but it could happen. So, we quickly pulled all the boxes and ran to the store and grabbed the name brand boxes (after checking the fine print of course).
You can never be too careful. Read the fine print and hold safety as a top priority!
Posted on 11. Apr, 2013 by Kenny.
Hey, check it out. Orange just released a new app just in time for the Conference a little less than 2 weeks away. It does exactly what you want in a conference app.
Schedule and Map
Probably the two most important parts of an app. What breakout are happening and where can I find them. The app gives you a macro level view of the entire campus and then a micro level of each building. No more fumbling for paper maps and schedules. You’ll look like a pro as you navigate your way around Orange with your iPhone.
Oh, and what could be even cooler than this? Log in and all the breakouts you already signed up for show up. Change your mind and you want to attend another breakout? You can do it right there in the app. Make the change and it updates your account with Orange. Awesome!
Speaker bios and Live Streaming
Want to know more about that guy who is leading the breakout that is so freaking awesome? There’s a great section where you can find those speakers, read their bio and then send them a tweet or visit their blog.
Lastly, there’s a section for live streaming. Let’s be real, if you’re at Orange, what’s the point of live streaming… and we know how stellar internet performance is when there are 5000 people all tweeting, facebooking and instagraming at the event, but if you’re not at Orange… how perfect is this?
Last but not least
You Android or Windows Phone users aren’t going to be happy. This is an iPhone only app. Sorry.
Posted on 08. Apr, 2013 by Kenny.
Looking for a cool video to play in your older kids program while waiting for the service to start, or while kids are being picked up? Check out dance sensation Marquese Scott perform in this video that’s earned close to 100 million views. The song is a dubstep remix of Pumped Up Kicks, lyrically, not an appropriate song at all. There are large parts of the video of just techno/remix/instrumental parts that could be used.
If the music in that video is too questionable for your environment, check out this video:
Its funny, put these videos on and everyone in the room is mesmerized. Seriously, add a timer to this video and you’ve got a countdown video with virtually no work.… Read the rest
Posted on 11. Feb, 2013 by Kenny.
Hey Kidmin friends! It’s that time of year again. Time to pay the piper… I mean Uncle Sam. If you’re in full time ministry, taxes aren’t easy. Self-employment taxes, social security issues, housing allowance, milage and all the other complicated pieces of the puzzle you have to mess with. The result ends up being that tax time becomes either really complicated or really expensive. Over the years, I’ve learned that many of my kidmin friends have a “tax-connection” where they have a friend or professional that gives them a great deal. That’s awesome! For those who don’t, I’ve got a special connection for you!
Posted on 01. Feb, 2013 by Kenny.
Five years ago I was in the process of interviewing for my current job at Gateway. To better know what I was getting into, I picked up John Burke’s (senior pastor) book, No Perfect People Allowed. I was stunned. It was one of the best books I’ve read on practical ministry in a culture where people are far from God… which is pretty much everywhere. After reading the book, all I could think was, “Really, can I work at a church like Gateway?”
Today, John’s new book releases, “Mud and the Masterpiece.” All I can say is WOW, he did it again. This one though is targeted right at our hearts. Why do we so often exhibit “Pharisee-like” behavior and how can we align our thoughts and attitudes to be more like that of Jesus. The book is a study of all of Jesus’ encounters with people. Incredible!
So, although this book isn’t specifically practical church ministry or children’s ministry specific, I do believe that if our leaders and volunteers take to hear the truths from this book, transformation within your ministry and church is inevitable.
So, here’s the deal… it’s a great deal.
If you buy the book this week (February 1-8th), you’ll get $45 worth of resources.
- The audio book (actually, only if you buy it today… February 1st)
- The Action Guide (How this can be more than just a book, but a tool to put into action every day)
- A Small Group Guide
- The 1211 Band new Worship Album (Live CD)
Just go to www.mudandthemasterpiece.com for details. Don’t delay… pick this up today! You can even download a sample chapter.