All Healthy Things Reproduce

Matt Norman —  November 29, 2010

There is something that my pastor has said a lot over the years,

“All healthy things reproduce.”

If you look around you – in all of God’s creation, this statement is true. Every creature that God created will reproduce if it’s healthy. Every plant that God created will reproduce if it is healthy. Fruit trees not only make fruit, but they produce seeds so that other fruit trees can grow. If you look around yourself at God’s creation, the world is full of examples of this truth. This truth is true for far more than just plants and animals. A healthy business will reproduce itself in some form or another. Can you say franchise? A healthy marriage will produce children. The examples could go on and on.

So, what does all this have to do with Children’s Ministry? Well, actually quite a bit. If reproduction is the sign of something healthy, then it provides us with a measure stick that we can use to measure the health of many different aspects of our ministry.  Let’s look at some questions you should think about in assessing whether or not your ministry is reproducing:

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Volunteer Champion Welcome back to the Volunteer Champion of the Week. There are thousands and thousands of volunteers who turn out each weekend and selflessly serve children in churches around the globe. They do not do what they do for recognition or accolades, but at Kidmin1124 we would like to shine a light on some of these volunteers as a way to say “Thank You!”

So, each week we recognize one volunteer from the world of kidmin who goes above and beyond in their service to God’s kids. Our hope is that this segment will provide some well deserved recognition to individual volunteers. More importantly though, we have asked these Volunteer Champions to share some of their insights and experiences with us so that we can all learn from their wisdom. This week’s recipients, based on a nomination from her Joe McAlpine, is (drum roll please):

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VTB KidologyWelcome to a new feature here on  This site was started to serve two principal groups:

  1. Those who volunteer or work bi-vocationally in children’s ministry; and
  2. Those who lead them.

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Question ManIt is easy for volunteers to complain about the people leading them and vice versa.  Lost in all of that though is the fact that, whether it is provided or not, there are certain things which you, as a volunteer, have a responsibility to seek out.  If your church and children’s ministry leadership is providing those things to you, that’s great!  If they are not, that doesn’t take you off the hook.  The following list is the things which you, as a volunteer, should seek out and make sure you have in your life in order to grow in your ministry to God’s kids.

1. Feedback: No matter what your role is in children’s ministry, you should find people to give you feedback.  If you are a large group teacher, invite the small group leaders and other volunteers in the room to give you feedback each week on your teaching.  If you are a small group leader, ask a student helper who sits at your table what you did well and what could be improved.  If you do worship for kids, ask the other adults in the room about the song choice and whether or not kids were engaged.  If you write your curriculum, ask your teachers how easy it is to teach.  What could be done better?  Self-evaluation is great, but it will only take you so far.  Feedback from others is an opportunity for your to continue to grow both in your giftings and your ministry.

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LearnerWelcome back to the Non-Negotiables series.  It has been a while since our last post.  In this series, we are examining a variety of things which you must make time for in your life regardless of how busy you think you are.  Whether you are a full-time children’s pastor, a bi-vocational children’s pastor or a volunteer, these are the things that must remain top priorities in your life.  So far in this series, we have looked at:

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Usually I would wait to share an idea or event until after it was over, and I could say that it was a success.  However, this idea met with such agreement and enthusiasm at our staff meeting this week that I decided to pass it along even though it is still in the concept stage.

I have been thinking about ways to let more people in our congregation know exactly what it is that we do each week in children’s ministry.  If they could just see first hand what it is we do and what we accomplish, I am certain that they would all immediately sign up to serve!  Well, maybe some of them, at least.  One day, my mind wondered to “Take Your Child to Work Day” in which parents take their kids with them to work so that they can see what Mommy and/or Daddy do.  Kids get really excited about seeing what their parents do during the day, and parents get to spend quality time with their kids.  I began to wonder if there was a way that we could accomplish that same thing on a ministry level at the church.  The staff agreed, and we are currently planning to have a “Take Your Friend to Serve Day” sometime in January.

Most of us will concur that when it comes to recruiting, a happy volunteer all ready serving on your team can be your best and most effective voice in recruiting other volunteers. Rather than have the Lead Pastor announce a need and/or plead for children’s ministry volunteers from the pulpit, or printing another spot in the bulletin, what if someone who is serving realizes the value in what they are doing and shared that with a friend?  What if they truly understood the importance of what they do to the church, to the members, to the pastors, to parents and to potential Christ followers, and a desire to share that with their piers welled up inside of them?  When they talk about how they serve, whether it’s through the nursery, parking cars, or music, what if they get excited about it because they feel like they are making a difference in God’s Kingdom?

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imageWelcome back to the Volunteer Champion of the Week. I was hoping that this day wouldn’t come, but here it is. I am sad to announce that there is no Volunteer Champion of the Week this week because of a lack of nominations.  There are thousands and thousands of volunteers who turn out each weekend and selflessly serve children in churches around the globe. They do not do what they do for recognition or accolades, but at Kidmin1124 we would like to shine a light on some of these volunteers as a way to say “Thank You!” In order to do this though – we need your help.  We need Children’s Pastors, Children’s Ministry Directors, Lead Pastors, Husbands, Wives, Friends and other Volunteers to nominate people for the award.

Here’s how it works.  If you know someone who you think is deserving of this awards, you simply send me an e-mail at including the person’s name, e-mail address and a brief description of what they do in kidmin.  If they are selected, I will send them a document which explains what the award is and asks them to answer some questions.  The questions fall into two categories: Continue Reading…

The Inclusive Church

Tonya Langdon —  November 18, 2010

In the spring of 2010, Amy Fenton Lee launched The Inclusive Church blog. Lee’s passion is to help churches and their staff to be better equipped to meet the needs of families with children special needs. Her passion has not gone unnoticed (90 posts and 25,000 reader views)! Her passion does not come from being employed within the education or medical field. No, this burning passion comes from being a mom, children’s ministry volunteer, a pastor’s daughter, writer and in belief that we need to reach and teach children to be followers of Jesus Christ.

Lee’s vision and hope for The Inclusive Church blog, is that it continues to be a vital resource for staff and volunteers who want grow their special needs inclusion ministry. By providing basic and more in depth “how to” articles that go to the heart of the problems that churches face so they can be solved and best practices can be implemented. Lee says the most popular topic is curriculum. Lee cites that many churches lack the volunteers or staff in the children’s department that are able to modify their existing curriculum for children with learning differences. By posting recommendations on products and websites, it helps to take the “guess work” out of creating lessons for Sunday school or for VBS special needs classroom.

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I love the element of drama in children’s ministry. Though many of us would love to have a great drama team show up each week, and present the lesson live to our classes, often a volunteer children’s leader simply doesn’t have volunteer staff who can devote that much time to learning scripts each week. On a smaller scale, we have had great success bringing different “characters” into our services to help reinforce the lesson of the day. Adding a character is easy because:

Any character can participate in any lesson.

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Giving Back the Rewards

Wendy Douglas —  November 15, 2010

Many children’s ministries have a reward system in place for when kids bring their bibles, memorize a verse, etc. Most have a place also where the kids can redeem these rewards for prizes.

Recently I heard Dale Hudson share how his church’s children’s ministry put a new spin on the reward system. Instead of the kids buying something for themselves, they are given an opportunity to serve others by purchasing mission items in India, like a goat or chicken.

By doing this the kids are learning not only are there rewards for doing good, but also that it is better to give than to receive. I think that this could be done as a local mission as well. Maybe the kids could purchase blankets for the nearby homeless shelter or clothing for a child that is in foster care.

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