Archives For Evaluation

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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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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In part one of this article, I talked about how to identify a dying program, ministry or event. I also promised to offer some thoughts on how you might be able to breathe new life into such a program, ministry, or event. That’s what we will do here in Part 2 of “A Season for Everything.”

Let’s start by going on the record – When the time comes for a program to end, we should end it. I stand completely firm in that conviction. However, there may be a program that is faltering that still has life to it and could still be effective for the kingdom. It is programs like these which may be teetering on the brink which we will consider today.

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1. This passage goes on to tell us that there is a time to be born and a time to die, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to keep and a time to throw away. Christians often quote this passage when making a transition in our personal lives, yet when we think of the season for a program within the church ending we are rarely so casual. There is a season for everything and even as summer must turn into fall so must the programs within the church pass to make way for the next season. With the end of one season comes some happiness and some sorrow. Such is also the case with the passing of a program within the church. Now, I am not trying to say that we should approach the passing of a program as casually as spring turning into summer. What I am saying is that we should accept this inevitability even as we accept that the next season is going to come, with or without our approval. No matter how passionate we may be about summer, winter is going to come and, likewise, no matter how passionate we may be about a program, event or ministry their season is going to end.

That brings up the question, “how do I know when the season for a ministry is ending and how do I end it well?” This is a big question, and it’s one I’m certain most people in ministry have considered. In this article I will do my best to address the first part of this question, in subsequent articles I will give some ideas of how to save a dying program and finally how to end it when the time comes. One thing I will not do is tell you that there is an easy way to know when the season is ending, or that there is an easy way to end it. What I will do is give you some signs that it might be ending. I refer only to programs in this article, but the concepts here will apply to any program, event, ministry, or other activity within your church.

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