Archives For Equipping

One of the workshops I attended at the KidMin Conference was Working with Parents: What They Do and Don’t Need from Us with Gina McClain. One of the things she shared has me thinking a lot about family time. She suggested that rather than giving parents something else to do during family time, we should be encouraging and helping them enhance what they are already doing with their families.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Tuck In Time –  Most parents with younger children are tucking them in at night as part of a bedtime routine. This is an opportunity to suggest a book to read at bedtime along with questions to go with that book. A worship song could also be added to the routine. It is also a time to encourage parents to pray with and for their children.
  • Dinner Time – Gina shared that statistically children who have family dinner three times a week do better educationally than those who don’t. She asked if then wouldn’t that be true spiritually as well. We could give parents suggestions on topics for discussions during this time by giving them a box with question/scripture cards that would prompt conversation.
  • Drive Time – Most parents spend a significant time in the car with their children driving to school, the store, practices, games, and recitals. This is an opportunity to provide conversation starters as well. Maybe in the form of a card that could hang on the rear view mirror or on the dashboard.
  • Movie Time – Rather than schedule a movie night at the church, we could provide everything needed to have movie nights for families in their homes. We could suggest a movie to watch along with discussion questions for parents.

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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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So you’ve signed on to be a small group leader in children’s ministry. You’ve met with your director and know the expectations and basics for service on Sunday. They’ve shared the vision for the ministry and what the lesson will be for the series coming up. You  have your t-shirt and are ready to serve next weekend.

Then it hits you…the kids might ask you questions…questions you might not know the answers to!

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Leading a small group is one way that you can serve in children’s ministry. Small groups may look different in your church, but three basics will apply to small groups regardless of where you are.  I call them the “Three P’s of Leading a Small Group.”  They are:

1. Prayer

Prayer is so important. You need to be in prayer for your kids, your pastor, and your team. You need to be in prayer over the entire service – inviting the Holy Spirit in. You want to pray for any first time visitors and families who will be coming through your doors for the first time.   In short, you should be in consistent prayer for the kids who are already in the ministry and those who will be coming.

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There’s a new conference in town and I am very excited about it. Group is hosting a children’s ministry conference October 7-10, 2011 in Chicago. There are many speakers such as Jim Wideman, Greg Baird, and Dale Hudson to name a few. You can find the complete listing of speakers here: http://www.childrensministry.com/kidmin-conference/speakers-artists/speakers.

I would have to say what excites me most about this conference is the Connect Groups. This is an opportunity where people in similar ministries can get together and chat, exchange ideas, and get to know each other in a small group type of setting. There are 20 different Connect Groups listed so there is something for everyone. You can find the complete listing of Connect Groups here: http://www.childrensministry.com/kidmin-conference/relate-relax/connect-groups.

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1.  Even if you’re the line leader, you will still get in trouble if you get ahead of the teacher.

We may be leaders in our ministries, but if we get ahead of God, we usually end up in trouble.  Take time to pray and make sure you are following His leading not parading down a side road on your own.

2.  When the last thing you want to do is take a nap, the first thing you should do is take a nap.

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Dancing Gift Box Hey Mr. (or Ms.) Children’s Pastor!  Do you have problems recruiting people to serve in your children’s ministry?  Do you have problems retaining people once they volunteer?  What can you do to find and retain volunteers?  In the end, it all boils down to one very important question – What is it that your volunteers want?

1. Vision. Your volunteers want a vision that they can buy into.  They want you to have a plan and a goal.  They want to know that you have a destination in mind that your entire children’s ministry is pointing towards.  Your volunteers want to know your vision, and the good ones really want to buy into and support that vision.  Don’t fall head first into the trap of just assigning duties to your volunteers.  Make them a part of your vision.  Make your vision their visions, and you will see them soar!

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