Church Tours

Saddleback Church Kids Area – Church Tour

February 18, 2015

I am enjoying being in sunny, warm California in the middle of February.  I am attending the Children’s Pastor’s Conference in Ontario, California.  While I am here, I am taking the opportunity to visit churches in the area, and learn from their staff & volunteer teams in Children’s Ministry.

Here are some pictures of the main campus of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest.  Their staff were more than friendly and very willing to share their ideas and information with us.

They have a separate building for their kids ministry.  Around the outside of the building, they have several areas that they can use as teaching spaces.  The tomb & 3 crosses are a great place to take kids to teach them about the death & resurrection of Jesus.  The stone wall with windows make a great backdrop for just about any story.
Each room in the 3 story building, had age appropriate toys, games & interactive spaces where kids could connect before the lesson began.  The preschool room had little doors that could be inserted into the doorway of any regular door.  The older kids area had an entire wall that was a whiteboard.  They did a great job of making each room age appropriate & fun for kids.

They used a WIN system for the volunteers in each room.
W – Welcome – the person responsible for welcoming each child as they enter, & help them get their name tag
I – Integration – helped kids move from the door & get connected with other friends
N – Networking – this volunteer kept everyone on schedule & doing the activities for the service

In the next blog post, I will share pictures & ideas from the student ministries building.

Motivating Volunteers Safety & Procedures Training Volunteers

Kids Ministry Volunteer Training Book – Free Download

January 22, 2015
Volunteer Handbook

Every year we have a volunteer training event in September.  We review the safety stuff as well as the vision and values.  It’s a chance for new volunteers to learn the basics and returning volunteers to be reminded about why we do what we do.  At this event we review our Volunteer Training Handbook.  This book outlines our safety policies as well as the need to know info for our Kids Volunteers.

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Family Ministry That's a cool idea!

What American Girl does to help families connect

January 2, 2015

AmericanGirlPic

Yesterday I had a great day enjoying some time with my daughter at the American girl store.  We booked a reservation to attend their Bistro.  While we were sitting there, we noticed a box in the middle of the table.  The box had small strips of paper with questions on them.  The questions are meant to spark conversations while sitting at the table.  The kids at the table enjoyed asking the rest of us questions and hearing our responses.

There are many conversation starter sets available for free on the internet.  Pinterest is loaded with them.  You can even put scripture verses in a small container and pull them out as you sit around the table as a family.  What other ideas do you use to encourage discussion around the dinner table?

That's a cool idea!

Using a backdrop for storytelling

December 9, 2014

When telling a story to children, you can really make the story come alive if you use a backdrop.  A visual reminder of where the story takes place helps children get a better picture of the story.

Backdrops do not have to be elaborate or complicated.  This backdrop was made using some cloth and some paint.  The animals and manger are made with cardboard, paint and a few items for texture and dimension.  The total cost was less than $20.

Our stories in our curriculum come in units of 4-5 weeks.  Each unit has a theme, so a backdrop can be created for the theme, and used for 4-5 weeks before changing it to a new one.

Disney & Kids Ministry

Lessons learned from behind the scenes of Frozen

December 1, 2014

The Story of Frozen- Making a Disney Animated ClassicToday I watched a behind the scenes look at the popular movie “Frozen”.  As I watched the show, I couldn’t help but learn from their experiences.  Here are a few things that I noticed, and how they relate to kids ministry.

Research – Some of the Frozen staff went to Norway to look at the scenery & architecture there.  They opened their eyes, ears & minds to what they experienced there and incorporated a lot of what they learned into the movie.  Also, some of the animators, (who are from southern California) went to Wyoming to play & interact with snow.  They even took turns wearing Anna’s costume so they could see how it moved in the snow and they could incorporate the smallest detail into their animation.
I am a huge fan of going on field trips to learn so that ideas can be added into the kids ministry that I lead.  When was the last time you went on a field trip to do research?

Willingness to change – Did you know that the song, “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?” almost didn’t make it in the final movie?  They had taken it out & then decided to put it back in at the last minute.  Also, once the song, “Let it Go” was composed, they decided to change the rest of the movie from what was originally written.  They were willing to make changes as needed, even if it meant going back to the drawing board and starting from scratch.  Sometimes we need to evaluate what’s happening in our kids ministry.  If something is not working, or is no longer accomplishing the goal we want it to, are we willing to change?

Some things take time – Did you know that Frozen was in the making for over 70 years?  They began working on ideas in 1937 but started and stopped the process several times because they couldn’t quite get things going in the right direction.  Despite the challenges they faced, they did not give up on the project, even though it really did take a long time to see the final product.  When it comes to kids ministry, sometimes the timing just isn’t right & ideas don’t take off.  It doesn’t mean that you should give up on them altogether.  Perhaps in a different season the idea will work, when God’s timing is just right.

Teamwork – 600 people worked for 2 and a half years to make the movie.  Each department & individual worked according to their gifts and talents to put the movie together.  When working with your team of volunteers in kids ministry, work hard to put people in positions where they are gifted so they can excel in areas they are good at, and kids ministry can be better because of it.  Then work hard to get each department & individual to work together to see kids come to know Jesus and grow in a relationship with Him.

Attention to detail – Like most things Disney does, they pay attention to detail.  The scene in the movie where Elsa creates her castle, took 90 days to make.  The detail in the castle theme is stunning, even though the total length for that part of the movie is only a few minutes.  Do you pay attention to detail in your kids ministry?  Do you make the environments neat, clean & exciting for kids to be in?  Do you go out of your way to tell volunteers how much you appreciate them & the difference they are making?  Do you acknowledge special moments like birthdays & special events for kids & volunteers?

If you are interested in watching the behind the scenes show, you can still watch it.  The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic airs SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2014 (4:00-5:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

 

Church Tours

New kids area @ my church – part 2

November 25, 2014

playground

We did a lot of research before we put together the plans for our new kids space.  Here are some things that we intentionally included in our design:

1.  Indoor Playground.  This will be used for outreach during the week.  It will be open 4 mornings a week to the community, completely free of charge.  One morning a week is reserved for groups with special needs kids.  The Indoor Playground will also serve as a place for families to connect on Sunday mornings.  It creates an opportunity for people to build community.

2.  Washrooms in each room.  Each kids room has one or two washrooms in them.  That way, once kids are checked in, they have no reason to leave until their parents pick them up.

3.  Wide hallways.  With the volume of people coming in to our space, it was necessary to have wide hallways so people could get where they needed to go.

4.  Storage.  We included space in each room for larger props (behind the stage) and smaller items in cupboards right in the room.

5.  Sink.  Each room has a counter with a sink in it.  Great for washing hands & convenient clean up.

6.  Self Check-In.  Our check-in process is electronic.  We have included 5 stations for self check in, and they are spread out in our atrium to avoid congestion of people.

7. Windows.  Each class has lots of windows so people can see in the class.  In most rooms, the stage is on the opposite wall so during story time, kid will not be distracted by people walking in the hallway.

8.  Technology.  All classrooms from Kindergarten & up have a projector, screen, stage lights & sound system in each room.

9.  TVs.  We have intentionally placed TVs in locations where people will be standing around.  We can play video clips and announcements to communicate a variety of messages.

10. Themed Spaces.  Our Themed areas are in areas where people will be connecting & kids will be playing.  (entrance & playground room)  We did not theme our kids rooms, but instead, made them interesting colours and patterns to keep the kid feel, but not distract from the theme of the lesson for the day.

Glenn Reinders from Reinders & Reider Ltd designed our kids area and entire new building.  He has designed both kids areas at the churches I have been employed at.  Best. Architect. Ever.
Bruce Barry from Wacky World designed our Entrance area.  He drew sketches & we built it with our volunteer team.   At the time of this post, we have not completed this area, so there are no pictures.  When it is finished, I will post pics.
We did research by visiting churches & children’s museums including:  Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Christ Fellowship Church in West Palm Beach Florida, Willow Creek Church in Chicago, IL and children’s museums in Chicago, Indiana & Toronto.

 

Church Tours

New kids area @ my church – part 1

November 24, 2014

I have been on a journey since I started working at my church 2.5 years ago.  We have be in a building project and part of that project has included a new kids area.  It’s been exciting to dream, research & design a new kids space.  It has taken many meetings & emails to cover a zillion details.  The most difficult part of this journey has been the last few months as the kids rooms have started to take shape.  Sorting, packing & moving an entire kids ministry is a huge job.  Transition of any kind is not usually easy for people, so helping hundreds of families make this transition has also been a process.  Volunteers have worked countless hours far above and beyond what they signed up for so that the BIG MOVE could get done.

However, in the last few months, despite the chaos, and change, there has been very little complaining.  There is excitement in the air, and people are filled with anticipation to see the new space open.  People have stepped up to do work that needs to be done, and done so with a willing heart & attitude.

All of this work is for a building, but it’s just a building.  Without the amazing team of volunteers to connect with the kids and the families, it is still just a building.  It is a tool that will help us tell kids about God & grow closer to Jesus.  We will use this tool to the very best of our ability, but the real ministry takes place as volunteers connect with kids and their families.  We are looking forward to what God has planned in the new building.  We are looking forward to the life change that will take place there.

Here are a few pics of our new space.  In the next post, I will walk through some of the details that we intentionally included in our design.

 

That's a cool idea!

Parent Checklist for the Nursery

October 23, 2014

checklist

Babies need to be well cared for if you are going to have an AWESOME nursery.  You need to find out information that is important to know while the baby is in your care.  Can they sit unsupported?  Do they have a bottle or sippy cup?  It’s important to get this information from parents before they leave their child in your care.

We use a check list at our church.  This allows parents to communicate with us about their child, but in a fast, efficient way.  You can download the checklist from Google Docs.  Change the bullets to check boxes and you are good to go.

Disney & Kids Ministry That's a cool idea!

Kids in your church will love this low cost promotional item

October 21, 2014

DisneyButton buttonmaker

Have you been to Disney World in the last few years?  If you are celebrating a special occasion you can get a button that displays what you are celebrating for FREE!  Then as you walk around the parks and hotel all the staff congratulate you on your special occasion.

I’m sure any child in your church would love it if all the volunteers said, “Happy Birthday” to them on their birthday, or “welcome” on their first Sunday.  A button maker allows you to make buttons for any occasion or event.  You could even promote upcoming events by making buttons for volunteers or kids to wear.  Put your logo on them and give them out as prizes.  If kids can say their Bible verse, then they can get a special Bible Verse Button.

I found this button maker on Ebay.  You can buy them new or used and are available from many different companies.  Buttons come in a variety of sizes & you can order the button sets in different quantities.  We are going to get lots of use out of our button maker!

What items do you use to help promote your kids ministry?

Church Tours That's a cool idea!

Have you heard about Gressco?

October 10, 2014

gressco

We are in the middle of building a new kids area at my church.  We are scheduled to move into our new space in 4 weeks.  I am SUPER EXCITED about what lies ahead, but there are a LOT of details to look after in the next 4 weeks.

I have been doing a lot of research about Kids Spaces & Suppliers of ‘stuff’.  Have you heard of Gressco?  They make unique library and children’s commercial furniture.  There are so many cool ideas in their catelogue.  Everything from furniture to creative spaces & activity centers.  If you have not heard of them, you should contact them & request a FREE catalog.

Events Motivating Volunteers Training Volunteers

What to include in your training event

September 29, 2014

This weekend we had our annual Kids Ministry Volunteer Training Event.  Here’s what we did:

Promotion – Start months ahead with a few “save the date” emails.  Then 3 weeks before the event, send emails weekly, and get your leaders from each room to email their teams of volunteers.  Put posters of the event up in kids ministry spaces.  Get people to sign up online.

Theme – Choose a theme that is fun!  This year we went with a Transformers theme and focused on moving beyond Supervision (of kids) to Transformation (in their lives)

Set up – Have the room decorated, set up & stuff on people’s chairs like training manuals & chocolates when they arrive.  The first impression when they arrive will be a great one if you have everything ready to go & you pay attention to detail.

Food – Definitely include food.  It’s even better if you can get your food to match your theme!

Fun – Include a game or event that is just plain fun.  Because we had a transformers theme, 5 volunteers had to try to transform the transformer toy from a robot into a vehicle.  Game music & cheering help to bring energy to the game.

Prizes – Door prizes are a great way to go.  People love to win things.  Get as many as your budget will allow.  Ask for donations if you have a limited budget.

Have people talk other than you – We had a discussion panel of volunteers.  I sent them questions ahead of time so they were prepared with their answers.  It was so great to have them talk about stuff that I usually say.  It was very powerful coming from them.

Power Point & Video – Keep things visual whenever possible.  Media helps to keep people’s attention.  Video clips bring variety and can help drive your point home.  I used a video clip of Bill Hybels, “Coffee with God“.  It helped to illustrate about the life transformation that can happen when you spend time with God.

Motivation Talk – Remind people why we do what we do.  Tell stories.  Show videos.

Neighbour discussion – To help break up a longer time of “sit and listen”, have volunteers turn to their neighbour & tell each other one thing they just learned from what was just talked about.

Take Home – Have them write down (on a card that you make ahead of time) one thing they can do to improve what they are doing & tell them to take it home & put it in a place where they will see it on a regular basis to remind them.

Appreciation Video – a few weeks before the event get video footage of as many volunteers in action as possible.  Edit it together & add some music & play it at the end of your main session.

Breakout Groups – Give people a chance to chat about their own area of ministry with their team.  The last hour of our training event is spent in ministry specific groups all over our building.  They chat about things that are specific to where they serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership Videos

One of the best gifts a leader can give to their team

September 17, 2014

There are some things that only the leader of a team can do.  Bill Hybels talks about the gift of ENERGY that a leader can give to their team & the difference it will make.  In this video he talks about going from feeling anxious & overwhelmed to feeling focused and energized on the leadership goals that were in front of him.

Leadership Videos

How Bill Hybels stays replenished

September 16, 2014

People lead the best when they are renewed, refreshed & re-envisioned. Bill Hybels, the Lead pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, talks about the challenges of staying replenished and the priorities that he puts in place to keep recharging.

Leadership Videos

Bill Hybels – Coffee with God

September 15, 2014

Bill Hybels is a well known pastor & speaker. His talks are challenging and motivating.
I came across this video of him speaking about Coffee with God. Great reminder of where our priorities should be & the difference it will make.

Kids Worship Videos

New Kids Music

September 10, 2014

music-notes

Are you looking for new kids songs?  Here is a list of names / groups that you can search in YouTube.  These videos would be applicable for different situations.  Some are great to use for teaching Bible verses, some are good for pre-service tunes & some are great to use during Kids Worship Time.  Each of the names listed below has several videos on YouTube so there’s lots to preview.

Go to YouTube, and search the following:

Nate Bristol – His songs have motions to go with them performed by NRUMC Kids.  Be sure to search both names on YouTube.

Seeds Family Worship also found at seedsfamilyworship.com

Jump Start 3 also found at jumpstart3.com

Ambersky Records also found at amberskyrecords.com

Shout Praises Kids also found at shoutpraiseskids.com

Go Fish Guys also found at gofishguys.com

Hillsong Kids also found at hillsong.com/kids

What other music videos do you use in your Kids Ministry?  Add your ideas to the comments section below.

Kids Worship

How to build a great Kids Worship Team

September 8, 2014

KidsWorship

Do you have a Kids Worship Team at your church?  Do you want to start one?  Here are some ideas that will help your Kids Worship Team go from good to great!

#1.  It starts with the leader.  The Kids Worship Team Leader should love to worship God & see kids worshiping God.  It’s all about what comes from the heart, and it’s got to start with the leader.

#2.  Adult Helpers.  Have a team of adults who work with the leader.  The adults learn the songs with the kids & help lead them in the kids rooms.

#3.  Practice.  This should happen in a number of ways.  The team should get together a minimum of once a month to learn new songs, and work on current ones.  Have someone video tape these rehearsals and upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo so that everyone can review the actions/words to the songs at home.  Edit the settings on these videos so that only the team members are able to view them for practice purposes only.  Ask kids to practice the songs at home so that they know them really well when it is time to sing on stage.

#4.  Energy & Enthusiasm.  You may need to coach the kids on this one.  They may have to move out of their comfort zone to sing a little louder or do the actions with a little more enthusiasm.  Encourage them to give God their best!  If the adults & kids on stage are enthusiastic about singing, chances are that the kids in the audience will be too.  I also suggest showing the kids an example of a Kids Worship Team in action.  HillsongKids have great videos of kids worshiping.

#5.  T-shirts.  If you have Kids Ministry T-shirts, or Kids Worship T-shirts, get the kids to wear them!  It helps them feel like they are part of the team!

#6.  Keep it Simple.  As you look for new songs, look for songs that are not too complicated.  Lots of verses with lots of words are harder for kids to learn.

#7.  Make it Visual.  If possible, have the words on a screen for kids to read.  Even if the kids can’t read, the leaders in the room probably can, and they will appreciate having the words on the screen.  Put the words on a motion background, or use a Worship Video to add interest to the visual component.  WorshipHouseKids is loaded with options.

 

 

Leadership Motivating Volunteers Training Volunteers

How to create volunteer training that people will want to come to

September 5, 2014

TrainingIf you want things to run smoothly in Kids Ministry, it’s probably a good idea to spend some time training your team of volunteers.  However, usually when you mention the word training, people’s schedules suddenly fill up quickly.  Here are some tips that can help you be successful at creating a training event that people will want to come to:

#1.  Value people’s time.  Limit the amount of events that you ask them to come to.  I hold an annual training event for all of my volunteers.  I strongly encourage them to attend, but that’s the only ‘training event’ that I ask them to attend all year.

#2.  Go Big or Go Home.  If you are going to take the time to put together a training event, then make it FUN!  – Choose a theme & run with it.  Pinterest has zillions of ideas on every theme possible.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  Cardboard, paint & paper can go a long way to make your decor look spectacular.  Door prizes are always fun for people because they like winning things.  Take home bags with some resources, notepaper, a pen & a few candies are another good idea to include.

#3.  Have a schedule and stick to it.  Include things like a main session, workshops, guest speakers, discussion panels & team building time.

#4.  Food.  You have to have food.  If possible get your food to match your theme.  Once again, visit Pinterest.

#5.  Make it motivational.  Somewhere in your schedule you need to include a motivational talk.  Remind people why they do what they do.  Remind them that they are making a difference.  Use stories &/or video to help illustrate this.

#6.  Make it practical.  Give people some ‘how-to’s’ and some ideas that they can implement in their roles.  Post cards with websites for more info, or a guest speaker, or a top 10 list are great ways to do this.

#7.  Give people a chance to talk.  The last thing you want to do is talk AT people the whole time.  Get them to turn to their neighbour and share one idea or story.  Do some round table discussion.  Give them time to get into groups of 3 or 4 to share ideas.

#8.  Help them discover action steps.  Be sure to include times throughout your event when they can pause and WRITE DOWN one thing they can do to improve what they do in Kids Ministry.

#9. Include a ‘more information’ option.  Some people might be willing to learn more!  Be sure to include some books, videos, websites & blog posts that might be beneficial to them if they want to learn more.

#10.  Celebrate the wins!  I love to include a video or slideshow of the volunteers in action.  It helps people see that they are not alone and there is a whole team of people who are serving along with them.  Be sure to take lots of video clips & pics in the weeks leading up to your event so you can catch your current volunteers in action!  Add some funky music & you have a celebration presentation!!

 

 

 

 

Books Leadership Motivating Volunteers Recruiting Ideas

How to decrease volunteer turnover

September 4, 2014

EmployeeEngagement

Look what came in the mail today!  I love reading books on leadership, especially ones that are related to Disney.

Employee Engagement was written by Pete Blank who was a cast member at Walt Disney World.  He shares his knowledge & experiences from working at Disney, specifically on the topic of keeping employees engaged.  In the first chapter, he talks about 4 reasons why people work and stay in their jobs.  I think the same principles apply to volunteering in kids ministry.

They like the job – These people like to do the role they are doing.  They are wired to do it and simply love doing what they are doing.
Look for people to serve in areas of their passion.  If you find the role to fit the person, they will stay serving because they are doing what they love to do.

They like the organization – These people believe in the organization.  They may volunteer in your church because they believe in it and are willing to do what it takes to see ministry happen.
Look for people who have been around for many years.  Different stages of life bring about different serving options.  Perhaps people who are retired now have time to invest in the next generation.

They like the boss – These people are connected to the leader.  They like how they lead, the friendship & the overall benefits of interacting with the leader.
Connect with people outside of kids ministry.  The friends you make will probably want to help you in kids ministry because they have connected with you.

They like the people they work with – These people like to be with their team!  Volunteers in these roles have a sense of community with the people they serve with.
Be intentional about placing people on teams where they can connect.  Put young adults with young adults.  Put families with young children with families with young children.  They will probably have a lot in common and will become friends.  Friends like to serve with their friends.

If you work on these 4 areas, chances are you will have less turn over and your volunteers will stick around.

 

 

 

Family Ministry Leadership

How to keep kids from leaving church

September 3, 2014

leaving-church

I went out for lunch with my family after church on Sunday to celebrate the last few days of freedom before school started.  While we were eating, I couldn’t help but listen in on the conversation happening at the table next to us.  The lady was telling her friend about her experience growing up in a church.  The now grandmother age lady recalled a building with hard pews that were uncomfortable to sit in, a pastor who spoke long, and a Sunday morning experience that was extremely boring.  The religious experience was all about rules & consequences for breaking the rules.  When she was old enough, she decided that she had no interest in this thing called church.

As she told her story, I couldn’t help but think about how many other people have grown up with this same experience.  During their formative years, their experience of church was irrelevant & boring.

Parents, Teachers, Pastors & Volunteers wish there was a simple answer to the question:  How do you keep kids from leaving the church when they get older?  Although there is no secret formula, I do think there are several factors that increase the chances of them sticking around.

Relationships – As I think back to my own experiences growing up in the church, I had many people who greatly impacted me and were great role models.  My parents, my parents’ friends, Sunday School Teachers, one-on-one buddies, midweek leaders, youth pastors and summer camp leaders.  Note:  People who invest time in kids may not see the reward of their investment until many years later.

Regular Attendance – My parents believed in going to church EVERY Sunday.  Not just once in a while, or when it worked for our schedule. EVERY Sunday.  This taught me that church was a priority, not just optional when it worked for us.  We planned our family schedule around our church schedule.

Relevant – I went to Sunday School.  I went to the mid-week program for kids.  I went to youth.  During each stage of my life there was a program available for me to attend that was fun & taught lessons that were appropriate for my age group.

Real – My family didn’t grow up in a perfect bubble.  We had our share of challenges.  My dad died of cancer when I was 16 and that left my mom to raise 5 kids on her own.  The church surrounded our family with love & support.  They prayed for us & helped in practical ways.  They were doing what Jesus would have done.  It taught me that the church sticks with each other through the good times & the not so good times.

Serving – (sorry I couldn’t think of a word that started with ‘R’) – From the time I was a young teenager I was given opportunities to serve.  I helped in Kids Ministry & was involved in music.  It took the focus off of myself and helped me focus on others.  I was using my gifts & talents in the area of my passion.  Church was about giving, not just receiving.  In those serving roles I built relationships with people of all ages who were happy to spend time with me and encourage me as I served along side of them.

As I look at the lives of those who grew up in the church with me, many of them are still connected in a church today.  Many of them would list the same list of things as I did.  It’s probably not a complete list, but it’s a good start.

 

 

 

Leadership Strategic Planning

Setting Goals

August 27, 2014

set-goals

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.  This is also true in Kids Ministry.

Every year I take time with my team to evaluate and celebrate things that happened the previous year and think about what we need to focus on for the upcoming year.  I give my leaders a checklist of things to start the creative thinking process:

  1. Do you have enough volunteers?
  2. What does your room look like?  Is it tidy & organized? Counters cleaned off, cupboards organized?
  3. Signs – Posted in appropriate locations?
  4. Schedules – Are they posted in volunteer areas?
  5. Curriculum – Printed? photocopied? Bins ready to go?
  6. Sets & Props for Large Group Time?
  7. Music – CDs ready to go in the room? Worship Teams ready & on same page?
  8. Small Group Bins – Ready to go?  Do they need any basic supplies?
  9. Room Supplies – All stocked up?
  10. Toy Cleaning – Do you have times/dates scheduled for this?
  11. Meeting with your Volunteer Team – Large Group Teachers? Room Leaders?
  12. Welcome Letter/email from you to your volunteers.

Once they read through this list of questions, I ask them to write down 3 goals for each of the following categories:

  1. 3 months from now
  2. 6 months from now
  3. 12 months from now

Every year I am amazed at the goals that they come up with.  They set the bar high & go beyond what I had hoped for.  We take time in our meeting to give everyone a chance to share their goals.  This helps build the sense of team as they share their ideas with each other.  Each month at our meetings we review these goals & check-in to see how they are doing with them.  More times than not, they accomplish their goals well before their target date.  I am reminded every Leaders Meeting about the importance of setting goals, reviewing them & taking time to celebrate the things that God is doing!

Leadership Recruiting Ideas

How to find Kids Ministry Leaders

August 26, 2014

next-level

Finding leaders can be challenging.  Usually it takes time for you to find people who are willing to serve at the leadership level.  So how does this happen?

Almost all of my leaders have come from serving faithfully in kids ministry rooms, and I have asked them if they would consider being at the leadership level. Going from a new volunteer to a leadership role usually happens one step at a time.  Let’s take a look at the process:

Step 1 – This type of volunteer is new to volunteering.  They probably volunteer in a ‘helper’ role with very little responsibility.  Start small and don’t overwhelm them.  It’s important to get these volunteers connected with a more experienced volunteer who they can build a relationship with, and see the benefits of volunteering on a regular basis at a higher level of leadership.

Step 2 – Increase the level of frequency.  When people volunteer on a regular basis, they can see the results faster.  They build relationships with kids faster & get to know them better.   They begin to see the results of their investment in the kids lives.

Step 3 – Increase the level of responsibility.  Once they have had some time to see various roles in action & they have time to learn the culture of the ministry they are involved in, they may be willing to do a little more to help the team.

Step 4 – Invite them to be a leader.  Meet personally with the volunteer & cast the vision of why you think this person would make a great leader.  Highlight the benefits of leading & the impact it will make on their life.

 

Conferences Leadership

Want to build a Dream Team? You should look for these 3 things.

August 25, 2014

top3

I have been to the Leadership Summit several times at Willow Creek Church in Chicago, IL.  It’s a great time to focus on leadership & renew my passion for leading people.  Several years ago I heard Bill Hybels speak about the 3 C’s when it comes to building your dream team.  Bill also talks about the 3 C’s in his book Courageous Leadership.  As I look for people to be leaders in children’s ministry, I remember these 3 things and ask the following questions:

1.  Character – Are they a Christ Follower?  Do their words & actions reflect this?  What is their character like?  Are they humble?  Do they have a servant’s heart? Do they have a positive attitude?

2.  Competence – Are they capable of doing the job?  Do they have the skills & gifts needed for the role they are filling?  Are they self-motivated & have a high level of excellence?

3.  Chemistry – How will they fit on the team?  Will their personality work with the rest of the people on the team?

Bill lists these 3 things, and is careful to note that they are in a specific order.  Character is the most important thing.  Someone might be capable of doing a job, even excel at it, but if their character is not in the right place, he would not bring them onto his team.

What do you look for in a leader?

 

 

 

Books Leadership

Top 10 books on my need to read list

August 21, 2014

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Here are 10 books that I am currently reading or have purchased to read in the next few months.

Creating Ever-Cool – A Marketer’s Guide to a Kid’s Heart – Gene Del Vecchio

Dream It!  Do It! – A Half Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms – Marty Sklar

Be a People Person – John Maxwell

The Advantage – Patrick Lencioni

Amplified Leadership – Dan Reiland

Deep and Wide – Andy Stanley

Rock Solid Children’s Ministry – Larry Fowler

Autism and your Church – Barbara J. Newman

Lead Vertically – Inspire People to Volunteer – Build Great Teams that Last – Craig Johnson

Purpose-Filled Presentations – How any Christian can Communicate More Effectively to Anybody, Anytime, Anywhere – Tony Jeary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books Leadership

My top 10 favourite leadership books

August 20, 2014

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Here is a list of my favourite leadership books that I have read.  They have helped shaped the Kids Ministry Leader that I am today.

Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by John Maxwell

Simply Strategic Stuff by Tim Stevens and Tony Morgan

Simply Strategic Growth by Tim Stevens and Tony Morgan

Stretch – Structuring Your Ministry for Growth by Jim Wideman

Be Our Guest – Perfecting the Art of Customer Service – Disney Institute

The Church Mouse – Leadership Lessons from the Magic Kingdom – Christopher W. Perry

The Complete 101 Collection – What Every Leaders Needs to Know – John Maxwell

Creating Magic – 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From a Life at Disney – Lee Cockerell

The Land Between – Finding God in Difficult Transitions -Jeff Manion –  a must read book if you ever go through a difficult transition.