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imageIn May of 2010, a valuable new resource was made available to the children’s ministry community called, “What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry?”  Designed to spark conversations and get people thinking, the free book did just that.  The original team has gotten back together and recently released the second installment in the series entitled:

What Matters Now In Children’s Ministry – Early Childhood Edition

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imageIt’s been almost two months since the last time I posted an article in our series on what your volunteers want you to know but might not be telling you.  Last time, we finished up in the category of “Passion.”  So far we’ve covered,

PASSION

  1. Your Volunteers Are Passionate About What They Do!
  2. Your Volunteers Want You To Use Their Passion!
  3. Share Your Vision With Your Volunteers
  4. Give Your Volunteers Autonomy
  5. Volunteers Need The Opportunity for Advancement

Today, we begin a whole new category of things your volunteers want you to know but might not be willing to tell you.  Today, we start talking about SERVICE.

Your volunteers sincerely desire to help you help God’s kids. In order to do that though, they need some things from you, and many volunteers may be unwilling to come right out and ask for these things.  This week, will want to look at:

TRUST IN YOUR VOLUNTEERS!!!

It is imperative that you find a way to trust the people you have working for you.  Your volunteers are there to help you out.  If you don’t trust them, you’ll never be willing to turn parts of your ministry over to them. And, if you can’t turn parts of your ministry over to other people, it will never grow beyond what you are capable of accomplishing all by yourself.  In other words, if you can’t trust you volunteers, you are dooming your ministry to be a one-man show.

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imageIt has become a bit of a tradition here on Kidmin1124 that we create pages for you to track all the latest tweets from major children’s ministry conferences. We missed D6 a couple of weeks ago, but we’re please to announce that we have created pages for two conferences both going on right now (or starting soon).  Make sure to check out the pages for:

Kidmin Conference 2011

and

Catalyst 2011

Our own Wendy Douglas is at the Kidmin Conference and Barbara Graves is attending the Catalyst Conference.  If you’re at either, make sure to look them up – you won’t regret it!

In case you misplace this post, you can always click on the links at the top of Kidmin1124. Happy tweet watching!

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imageA while back, Matt Guevara, Amy Dolan and Henry Zonio formulated an idea.  It was an idea that had leaders in the field of children’s ministry come together and share the one word which they felt mattered the most in children’s ministry.  These one words, coupled with a brief explanation of each, became the free e-book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry.

It is a book which served as a spark to ignite many a conversation.  I covered the book extensively on Dad in the Middle offering my thoughts on many of the authors’ submissions.

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Browse the top 100 children's ministry blogs below...Cue the power ballad.  All together now:

We’re #16!

We’re #16!

Seriously though, at Kidmin1124.com, we are excited to have claimed the #16 spot in Tony Kummer’s annual list of the top 100 children’s ministry blogs.  Last year, just a few months after our launch, we were excited to come in 44th, and it is exciting to move up this year.  It is exciting to move, not because it feeds some need to be recognized, but because it is a reflection that people are actually finding the blog useful.

I’m a little biased, but I think one of the things that really sets Kidmin1124 apart is our writers.  I have never known a more talented group of individuals who are so willing to give of themselves to help others.  Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised because our writing team consists of volunteers and bi-vocational children’s ministers to begin with.  They make a habit of giving of themselves until it hurts (and then giving some more).

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We need your help.  Those of you who read Kidmin1124 on a regular basis may have noticed over the last couple of months that our posts have been fewer and far between.  Our team of writers has dwindled as people have gotten busy and taken on other tasks.  We are currently looking for people who work in children’s ministry who have something to share about their experience and wisdom with the readers of Kidmin1124.  In short,

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!

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IslandWhat is the most important thing when it comes to retaining a volunteer?  That is a question I have been asked a number of times and ones that I have discussed with innumerable people.  I believe that, in the end, the single greatest thing you can do to retain volunteers comes down to relationship.  Breaking that down a little bit further, I believe there are three components to relationship which are critical:

  1. The Volunteer’s Relationship with God
  2. Volunteers’ Relationships to One Another
  3. The Volunteer’s Relationship with the Kids in Your Ministry

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AdvanceIt’s been a few weeks since I did an installment in the series of things your volunteers want you to know.  We have been dealing with issues of Passion.  So far in the series, we have covered:

  1. Your Volunteers Are Passionate About What They Do!
  2. Your Volunteers Want You To Use Their Passion!
  3. Share Your Vision With Your Volunteers
  4. Give Your Volunteers Autonomy

Today we will look at our fifth and final point in the category of passion:

Your Volunteers Need the Opportunity for Advancement

Along with autonomy, your volunteers want a chance for advancement. You should constantly be evaluating your volunteers’ strengths and weaknesses with an eye towards finding ways to give them more responsibility and more authority.

Do you have a Sunday School teacher who has been in your ministry faithfully for 10 years? Find out if she would like to plan the teaching time for next Summer’s VBS. Ask him if he’d like to be a coach for other Sunday School teachers. Do you have a small group leader who just has an amazing way with kids? Ask him if he would be willing to put on a training seminar for your other volunteers.  Do you have a volunteer who seems to take care of the “little things” before you even think about them?  Ask her to serve an administrative role in your ministry.

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In everyone’s life, they have a handful of life changing experiences.  If you volunteer in children’s ministry, I can almost guarantee that that will be one of them.  Here’s a short list of ways that volunteering in children’s ministry has changed my life and might change yours (some lighthearted and others not so much):

  1. You’ll find yourself humming along to Yancy and Hillsong kids at random times during the week instead of whatever music you grew up with.
  2. You’ll start watching Phineas & Ferb even if you don’t have kids – or when they’re not there if you do.
  3. You will become a “hugger” even if you weren’t before.
  4. You will come to understand why kids hold a special place in the kingdom of God.
  5. You will learn more (both in terms of width and depth) of the nature of God.
  6. You will understand your Bible better from being forced to figured out how to present it to kids in a way that they can understand but which won’t water it down.
  7. Your prayer life will deepen both as you pray wisdom to teach and as you pray for the kids in your ministry.
  8. You will find out that exhaustion can be absolutely exhilarating.
  9. You will find yourself broken to the point of tears over things that young children must endure.
  10. You’ll learn more about different allergies and the ingredients to different snacks than you ever wanted to know.
  11. You will learn how to make up a game at the drop of a hat to keep kids engaged.
  12. You will learn to laugh at yourself.
  13. You will see the grace of God in the heart of a child. Continue Reading…

The Nov/Dec issue of K! Magazine will be devoted to “Creativity.” They’ve got so many ideas of what the want to include that it’s going to be 20% BIGGER than their regular issues! I know that I am excited about getting my copy!  For this groundbreaking article, which will also be available in their new digital format, K! Magazine wants YOUR creative ideas.  In the Nov/Dec issue, there will be a special pull-out “centerfold” with 10 incredibly creative ideas of how ministry to kids is being done.  Each of the 10 chosen ideas will receive $170 of merchandise from KidzMatter!  As an added benefit to me, if you mention that you saw this here on Kidmin1124, they will publish the name of this blog along with your name and idea.  Let’s show them that the readers here at Kidmin1124 are the most creative kidmin workers out there.

Here is the information K! Magazine sent to me:

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