Archives For joey

Whether you have been serving for 6 months or 6 years (or more!), you probably have had moments when you questioned why you ever started serving in the first place. Maybe it was that staff member that kept asking you, or maybe it was because you saw the overcrowded classrooms. Maybe you’ve always loved working with kids, and you were eager to serve at the new church you joined.

In any case, the ultimate reason why you serve is because God has called you to do so. Never forget this.

My friend Julia recently told the story how she started serving, and what she experienced over the years. And God reminded her that she was called for a purpose, much like the prophet Isaiah.

Hear her words: Continue Reading…

A friend of mine lost a bunch of weight not too long ago. It was the little things, like being sure to exercise 3 days per week, not just two. And he started watching meal portions, and deciding to not eat that afternoon cookie. And within a year, he lost at least 25 pounds.

And a recent study indicates that in order to reduce obesity rates, children need to eliminate an average of 64 calories per day. That means eating one less chocolate chip cookie (90 calories) or drinking less Kool-Aid (4 oz = 60 calories), or it means physical activity for an extra 15 minutes per day. Small choices can add up to big effects.

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The end of the school year is an opportune time to remind your volunteers that you appreciate them. Receiving a heart-felt expression of gratitude is an encouragement for those who are serving.

A few years ago, a staff member of our church asked me for ideas for volunteer appreciation gifts. The gifts needed to be thoughtful, simple, and inexpensive, since we had well over 100 volunteers in children’s ministry.

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A few years ago, a Children’s Ministry conference came to our home town. We knew it would be a great opportunity for our key staff to learn and to have a team-building day. Over the two-day conference, we would attend different breakout sessions, and then debrief over meals (or ice cream!)

As usual for conferences, we were overwhelmed with a plethora of ideas. We were excited to implement a few ideas immediately. But at the last breakout session I and a co-worker attended, the facilitator said something that rubbed us the wrong way. She said, “You need to manipulate your pastor into thinking your ideas are his ideas, so that you can get what you want.”

Why This Is Wrong?

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I couldn’t believe it when my friend showed me the post-card. “Every six weeks,” she explained, “We get a reminder that it’s our turn to serve in the church nursery.” The problem? They hadn’t been to that church in years! The church had even updated this family’s address in its database, but never caught on to the fact that they had moved two states away.

I vowed to never allow this to happen (actually, I half-jokingly threatened our nursery coordinator to never let this happen). But it also reminded me about ways that I’ve poorly communicated with others — whether volunteers, parents, or other ministry leaders.

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In the midst of all the seasonal programs that occur in November and December, this is also a great time to evaluate how things are going. The school year tends to bring a lot of activity and newness, but we need to be sure to step back and see the bigger picture.

We all know the tragic story of the RMS Titanic (the largest passenger steamship of its time) hitting an iceberg and sinking on its maiden voyage. Much has been said and written about the mistakes that were made. That is what we can learn – that it wasn’t one error in judgment that resulted over a thousand deaths, but a series of decisions.

Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, and we can always learn from history to make our future better. Without trying to minimize this tragedy, here are some thoughts from what we can learn from the voyage of Titanic, and how you can use them to evaluate and improve your ministry: Continue Reading…

In our Children’s Ministry, we developed a volunteer role called “Coaches,” and we’ve had the opportunity to share these ideas with other churches. This volunteer structure can be incredibly useful in your ministry, whether you have 30 or 60 or 200 or 800 volunteers. And keep in mind that this type of structure is not just applicable for churches and children’s ministries, but any type of organization that is volunteer-dependent and where leadership development is a goal.

What Volunteer Coaches Do

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EDITOR’S NOTE: We would like to welcome Joey Espinosa to the Kidmin1124 team.  We are certain that you will find his contributions to be useful and illuminating.  Please take a second to welcome Joey by commenting on this article below.

I work in an after school program with two other people (all of us part-time) and a handful of volunteers. As with most ministries, we are highly dependent on our volunteers to have an impact on the children who come and who want to come.  In fact, we currently have a waiting list due to an insufficient amount of leaders.

Recently, in a discussion about volunteers in our program, someone told me that we need to treat all volunteers the same. According to this logic, because all volunteers give something, they are equally valuable, and should be given parallel responsibilities and privileges.

I disagree!

Volunteers do have equal value, but that’s because value is intrinsically from the God who created us and saved us.

But volunteers are also different. They have:

  • Different strengths,
  • Different levels of responsibility, and
  • Different rewards.

Therefore, they should not all be treated the same.

Different Strengths

Volunteers with unique skills, experiences, and passions should contribute in specific ways. The failure to recognize and act on this principle is one of the biggest mistakes a leader can make. It’s one way that I erred for years in ministry. I would see a need and then look for any warm body to fill it.

Continue Reading…