Archives For Encouragement

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…

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 Leader Is A Guide

Wayne Stocks —  May 9, 2012

Welcome once again to our series of things volunteers think but don’t necessarily want to tell their children’s pastor or children’s ministry director. For a complete listing of posts in this series, see the listing at the bottom of this article. Last time we started to look at issues related to shepherding and growing volunteers – in other words Volunteer Development. Today we continue in this, our largest category, with:

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We Need Your Tenacity

Wayne Stocks —  April 30, 2012

Welcome once again to our series of things volunteers think but don’t necessarily want to tell their children’s pastor or children’s ministry director. For a complete listing of posts in this series, see the listing of the bottom of this article. Today, we look at our final entry in the category of service:

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Let’s Talk Sabbath

Wendy Douglas —  April 18, 2012

 

Sabbath: a day of rest.

One of the questions I hear alot is “How in the world do you have a sabbath as a volunteer in children’s ministry?” Trying to fit in a day of rest when we have family, friends, work, and ministry requiring our time and attention each week can be a challenge.

But hear me say this…IT IS POSSIBLE. Not only is it possible…IT IS NECESSARY.

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Just Ask Me!!!

Wayne Stocks —  April 17, 2012

imageSix months is a long time to let a series sit, but that is exactly what I’ve done.  You might recall that last year I started a series for children’s pastors called Things Your Volunteers Want To Tell You.  The series has been dormant for a while, but since I have 21 things left to share, I think it’s time to fire it back up again! If you are volunteer, I hope that you will read through this series as well.  As a volunteer myself, I have tried to capture the heart of the volunteer in this series, but we need to remember that the onus falls on us too.  If you aren’t willing to have these conversations with your children’s pastor or children’s ministry director, you should at least find ways the accomplish the goal. Previously, we had made our way through the first category of things under the title of Passion and started our second category: Service.  Here is what we’ve covered so far: 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

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What I Wish I Knew at 50

Barbara Graves —  November 21, 2011

Still looking back in this series and in my children’s ministry, there is one more thing I wish I had known at 50:

That networking will make you smarter than you are.

I had just turned 50 when I came on staff at Momentum Church.  A children’s pastor with  30 years experience, yet I was at a complete loss as to where to begin.  All my previous experience had been in very traditional church settings.  Momentum was a portable church, setting up and tearing down every Sunday to have a worship service.  That meant putting everything you used to teach, all tech, all props, all everything, in a box and loading it in a trailer, set it up at the theater, have service, then put it all back in boxes and back on the trailer; all before the first movies began at noon!

How do you do games?  What back drops work best?  What materials all will hold up to the constant loading and unloading?  How do you have a clean, safe nursery on the floor of a theater?  The questions came faster than I could write them down.  It seemed that every turn, every department, every inch of the ministry was unlike anything I had ever done before.  I was clueless.

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What I Wish I Knew at 30

Barbara Graves —  November 17, 2011

As the years went by in ministry, I learned a lot.  But still, after 11 years in kidmin, there was still so much I didn’t know.  Looking back now, here’s what I wish I knew at 30:

You can say no.

It’s ok, even though what you have been asked to do will make an eternal difference somewhere to someone, if you are all ready booked, if all your hours are all ready taken, then it’s ok to say no.

You are not called to do everything.  You are called to do the thing that God has given you a deep passion and burden to do.  So often in my 30s, I would find myself completely overwhelmed by tasks and projects that had been added to my plate.  Not forcibly, but by my own agreement.  These were all things that were great projects.  They were often noble tasks.  They almost always resulted in someone feeling God’s love.  But they were not what I was called to do.  And it was too much.  But because it was a good thing, I would say yes.

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What I Wish I Knew at 20

Barbara Graves —  November 16, 2011

As a volunteer at 20, there was lots of stuff I didn’t know about kidmin.  And now, I realize that there is even more that I don’t know, but there are a few things that I have learned.  If there was one bit of knowledge that I have now that I wish I had known then, it would be this:

What you’re doing is going to make a life time of difference in some of these kid’s lives.

At 20, I knew that ministry was important.  I knew that kids were capable of learning a lot.  I knew that the time we had with them at church needed to be meaningful and well planned.  But I don’t believe I could grasp the significance that children’s ministry would hold in some of these kid’s lives.  I didn’t realize that these services, Sunday School classes and mid-week sessions would be depositing seeds of faith into children that would grow and grow, and years later, these kids would verbally recall to me some of the events of our times together.  Not only do they remember, they see the value in it now, too.

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Thanksgiving is just a month away and, as usual for this time of year, our thoughts tend to turn to the things we are thankful for. For the next few weeks, I’m going to look at the things I’m thankful for . . . and share these with you!

First of all, I’m most thankful for Grace! God’s grace is the most amazing gift we could ever be blessed with . . . it is so utterly undeserved and so lavishly given . . . which makes it truly amazing! When I think of God’s there is nothing else for me to feel than complete thankfulness. So . . . how do I show this thankfulness because thankfulness which isn’t shown or expressed is not thankfulness at all. Consider the following  . . .

  • I show my thankfulness for God’s grace by loving others . . . I John 4 – “7My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him. 8God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him. 9God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. 10Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. 11Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.” (CEV) 
  • I show my thankfulness for God’s grace by sharing the news of God’s grace . . . I John 4 –13God has given us his Spirit. That is how we know that we are one with him, just as he is one with us. 14God sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. We saw his Son and are now telling others about him. 15God stays one with everyone who openly says that Jesus is the Son of God. That’s how we stay one with God 16and are sure that God loves us.” (CEV)
  • I show my thankfulness for God’s grace by extending God’s grace to others by forgiving them . . . I John 4 – “God is love. If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and he will stay one with us. 17If we truly love others and live as Christ did in this world, we won’t be worried about the day of judgment. 18A real love for others will chase those worries away. 19We love because God loved us first. 20But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we can see? 21The commandment that God has given us is: “Love God and love each other!” (CEV) and Ephesians 432Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.” (CEV)

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