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…

Practicing the Presence of God

Lately I have been reading a book entitled The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. The book is written by Nicholas Herman who took the name of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection upon becoming a Carmelite monk. The book is small and easy to read, but the encouragement contained in it’s pages is huge. Brother Lawrence very simply lays out his methods of practicing the presence of God.
The best I can do to explain his methods is to liken them to the practice of “praying without ceasing” as we are told to do in the Bible by the Apostle Paul. Brother Lawrence takes great care to go about his daily tasks while keeping his mind focused on God as much as possible. He strives to do even the smallest task with great love for God. He writes that he is in the “presence of God” as much during his daily routine as he is during his designated times of prayer.
Over the last week I have tried very hard to put Brother Lawrence’s advice in to practice. I have enjoyed a deeper, closer time with God during the day’s routine. My thoughts have been more on God instead of my to-do list. I am feeling as though I am in an on-going state of prayer and fellowship with my Father God that is richer than before.
If you are discouraged or struggling under daily stresses, or if you just want to deepen your relationship with your Heavenly Father, give Brother Lawrence’s methods a try. I believe you will notice a difference in your level of stress and have more peace of mind.
What are some other things volunteers or leaders can do to have a deeper, fuller spiritual life? Please leave a comment and share what works in your life.

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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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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Saying Thank You Rocks

Wendy Douglas —  June 27, 2011

 Two of the most powerful words that you can say as a leader in children’s ministry are “Thank You.”

There are so many ways that we can say thank you to our volunteers from cards to gifts to saying it out loud.

Here is one way that I think is incredible:

Message from the Children

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Is This The End?

Wendy Douglas —  June 16, 2011

 Transitions can be challenging including when our fifth graders move out of children’s ministry into student ministry. We can plan and encourage our kids through this time, but there is something that I was reminded of recently.

This isn’t the end of our influence with these kids.

Yes it is the end of our time with them in children’s ministry. We won’t be having that time of connection with them, but we will still have opportunities to speak into their lives. This might take some thinking outside of the box and definitely will take extra effort, but I believe they are totally worth it.

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If you spend any length of time volunteering in children’s ministry, transition is inevitable. That might mean a new Children’s Pastor, a new curriculum, new volunteers, implementing new rules, or a new position. When these things happen, there is a transition period moving from the previous to the next. This time of transition will be what you make it. Most people are resistant to change, but in children’s ministry we have to keep moving forward which means that change will happen.

Here are a few ways to make your transition time easier:

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Here on Kidmin1124 we have been talking about helping kids cope with divorce. One of the ways that we can start a dialog with our children is through reading. I wanted to share a list of books for kids about divorce that you can pass on to the families you serve each week that are going through this difficult time and may be having trouble talking with their kids about it.

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Wayne Stocks, on the kidmin1124 “Radio show” on CMConnect every other Thursday, frequently asks the panelists the question “Why do you do what you do?”.

It isn’t for the money. It isn’t for the fame. It isn’t even because we can play with cool stuff, be a “big kid” and get away with it. It is because of the small rewards we receive. Those glimpses we get of the relationships being built with the children and seeing how God is working in the lives of the children and those serving with us. I want to share my experience this past Sunday…

I don’t often get to go to the preschool KidzChurch because I am with the elementary aged children. I have been able to schedule myself to be with the preschoolers (3 – K) once last month and then last week. They were thrilled to have me there as I heard later from parents.

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She’s the One

Wendy Douglas —  January 26, 2011

You know the one. The one child that stands back from the rest of the group. The one child who sits down during the games. The one child who crosses her arms during worship. The one child who hangs her head when asked a question in small group. You know the one.

I know her. She’s the one. She’s the one that challenges me to engage her every week. She’s the one that challenges me to connect with her every week. She’s the one that challenges me to love her. And I do. So very much.

Continue Reading…